The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) announces the selection of Dr. Sean Burrus as the next Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow, a three-year appointment. Burrus joins the BCMA from the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, where he is currently an Institute Fellow. Burrus is a scholar of the art and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean, with specialization in the history of Judaism and its visual culture across the Roman world. Burrus previously served as the Bothmer Fellow in Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has participated in archaeological excavations at Sepphoris, Ashkelon, and Yotvata, all in Israel. He will assume his position at the BCMA in June 2018.
As the Mellon Fellow, Burrus will be responsible for strengthening the academic role of BCMA’s collections across campus and facilitating curricular engagement with museum objects through close work with Bowdoin’s faculty. As a key member of the BCMA’s curatorial team, he will develop programming, research, and publications related to exhibitions and the BCMA’s permanent collection. In addition, Burrus will work closely with BCMA’s antiquities collection, containing over 1,800 Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine objects and constituting one of the most comprehensive compilations of ancient art at an academic institution.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sean Burrus to the Bowdoin community,” said co-director Frank H. Goodyear III. “An accomplished scholar and teacher, Sean will utilize the BCMA’s encyclopedic collection to create connections across the college curriculum and advance object-based learning for both faculty and students.” co-director Anne Collins Goodyear added, “Sean brings a background of rigorous intellectual engagement with questions of inclusion, diversity, and cultural exchange from the ancient past to the present. These issues matter more than ever on college campuses and we look forward to the role Sean will play in facilitating conversations on these topics.”
Burrus earned his B.A. in religious studies from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and his M.A. and Ph.D. in religion from Duke University. He also completed post-graduate studies at the Rothberg Institute at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has taught courses in classical and religious studies at Elon University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Burrus has contributed to a variety of digital humanities initiatives, including co-directing the online database WIRE: Women in the Roman East. The BCMA looks forward to working with Burrus to strengthen still further the role of the Museum in supporting digital humanities initiatives on campus.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art received a grant in 2010 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to strengthen the curricular role of the museum’s collections and programs, which led to the creation of a three-year fellowship program for scholars to embed at the museum as part of the curatorial team.