Professor of Classical Archaeology
Adrian Stähli studied Classical Archaeology, Art History, and Philosophy at the University of Bern in Switzerland (1981–83 and 1984–85) and the Freie Universität Berlin (1983–84 and 1985–92). In 1988, he received his M.A. from the Department of Classical Archaeology at the Freie Universität Berlin with a master’s thesis focused on a collection of ancient portraits in 16th century Rome. He earned his PhD from the same institution in 1996, with a dissertation on the cultural and social context of erotic sculpture in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The Faculty of Arts at the University of Zürich in Switzerland presented him with a Venia Legendi in Classical Archaeology in 2003 upon his completion of a habilitation thesis on the visual representation of the nude male body in the visual media of ancient Greece.
Stähli’s publications include books, co-edited volumes, journal articles, and contributions to exhibition catalogues and to lexica. In his work, he investigates topics ranging from Geometric Greece to the Roman Empire, and covering Greek and Roman sculpture and portraiture, Greek vase painting, the iconography and cultural history of gender, sexuality and the body, visual communication and visual media in their cultural context, practices of collecting and collections in antiquity (and since antiquity), and the reception of antiquity.
He joined the Harvard University Department of the Classics in 2011 as a Professor of Classical Archaeology, after holding positions at the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Zürich, the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Basel, and the University of Konstanz in Germany. His academic awards and honors include the Research Fellowship for Established Researchers of the Swiss National Endowment for Academic Research (1997–2000) and the Getty Villa Visiting Scholar fellowship (2009). In 2006, he curated an exhibition at Basel University that examined the impact of the discovery of Pompeii on European culture, art, and academia. He has also co-organized academic conferences focusing on the reception of the ancient world in film (Antiquity in Cinema: Towards a Cultural History of Films Set in Antiquity, Basel 2005), the relationship of original and copy in antiquity (Original and Copy: Forms and Concepts of Emulation in Ancient Art, Berlin 2005), and Greek vase imagery as media of cultural transfer (Greek Vase Imagery as a Medium of Cultural Transfer, Munich 2010).