Najee Olya

Edgar Shannon Fellow
Chicago, Illinois
B.A. University of Illinois (2012)
M.A. University of Arizona (2014)
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Art History


Najee Olya is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program for Mediterranean Art and Archaeology (PMAA) in the McIntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia. Najee’s research focus is the art and archaeology of archaic and classical Greece, with specific emphasis on the city of Athens. Najee is interested in the interactions between Greeks and the non-Greek peoples of the Mediterranean world and how these interactions influenced the art, material, and visual culture of Athens. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Constructing the African in Ancient Greek Vase-Painting: Images, Meanings, and Contexts,” is an exploration of visual representations of African individuals which appear on the painted ceramics that were produced in ancient Athens and then widely disseminated across the Mediterranean. Since 2018, Najee has been part of the museum lab team with the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project in Greece. In 2017, Najee received the Hill Open Scholarship to participate in the summer session of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). For the 2019-2020 academic year, Najee returned to the ASCSA as a Regular Member and recipient of the Bert Hodge Hill Fellowship.

Thesis Description:

Constructing the African in Ancient Greek Vase-Painting: Images, Meanings, and Contexts

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