Honoring Archaeology Professor James C. Wright for 40 Years of Scholarship
Bryn Mawr College
Friends, family, colleagues, and former and current students traveled from far and wide on March 2-3, to gather in Bryn Mawr College’s Great Hall in celebration of the distinguished career of Professor James C. Wright. Professor Wright, alongside his wife Dr. Mary K. Dabney, has been the backbone of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College for forty years. This two-day symposium titled “Power & Place: Prehistoric Aegean and Beyond” showcased the breadth and diversity of Professor Wright’s research and intellectual pursuits and its impact on a generation of students and colleagues and on the discipline of archaeology.
The shadow of a shock winter blast did not hamper the cheerful atmosphere on Friday night. The keynote address by Joseph Maran, Professor of Pre- and Proto-history at Heidelberg University and Director of the German Archaeological Institute at Tiryns, was delivered amidst the dimly lit ambience of College Great Hall accented by strikes of rare winter lightning. Professor Maran’s talk “Deceptive Permanence: Architecture, Agency, and Transformations in Mycenaean Greece” investigated the impermanence of social meaning and practice in the long-term use of architectural spaces at Tiryns and Pylos during the Aegean Bronze Age. It highlighted the impact of Professor Wright’s scholarship in the field at both theoretical and technical levels and kicked off a symposium that celebrated the collaborative and generative nature of Jim Wright’s career at Bryn Mawr and beyond.
Having received a BA in Philosophy from Haverford College, Professor Wright pursued graduate studies in the Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Department where he received his Ph.D. in 1978. Professor Wright served as a Professor of Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College since 1978 and was Department Chair from 2002-2012. From 1995-2000 he acted as Dean of the Graduate School of Art and Sciences. Most recently, Professor Wright was the Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens from 2012 to 2017 before retiring.