/Archaeolonista/ this means the Fashionable Archaeologist.
I grew up with an artist/interior designer mother and a musicologist father.
In my youth, my dad would take me to operas and concerts and my mom would take me to museums, galleries, and fashion houses. So it is no wonder that my love for style became part of my academic personality as I was exposed to various designs and motifs at a young age.
As an archaeologist and historian, I have developed a marked interest in artistic motifs from different cultures.
I have lived in several cities and countries and have come into contact with people from all parts of the world and these multicultural experiences, combined with an unabated interest in Classic Hollywood films (film noir in particular), have contributed to my academic style which can best be described as a mixture of vintage and ethnic.
If I wear a shirt and pants, I make sure to accessorize them with jewelry, scarves, or belts bearing ancient or ethnic motifs.
For example, if I am teaching about Classical Greece, I will often wear a monochrome shirt and either pants or a dress or skirt and add a scarf with motifs from Greek vase paintings.
In a recent conference in Heidelberg, Germany, I presented a paper on Roman Crete and, appropriately, I wore copies of Roman earrings that I had purchased at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with my Ralph Lauren polka dot dress and red cardigan (inspired by film noir, of course).
As a graduate student, I presented a paper at the 10th International Congress of Egyptologists in Rhodes, Greece ten years ago and wore a replica of a 1920s Egyptian faience bead collar, a treasured possession that was given to me by the wife of a well-known American artist and which she had purchased at the Brooklyn Museum in the 1950s.
In addition to wearing motifs associated with the lectures I deliver, I also like to honor the cities and countries that I am invited to lecture in by including elements from their native cultures in my wardrobe.
In a conference in Ireland some years ago, I wore a Celtic pin, and during my talk in Finland, I wore Kalevala earrings which I had purchased at the airport in Helsinki.
I have yet to lecture in Asia, Africa, or South America and I can only look forward to all the wonderful wardrobe pieces I would acquire in these continents.
I see style as a form of self-expression but above all, as a marked illustration of the love I harbour for my field.
What better way to lecture about ancient archaeology and history than to actually wear some pieces showcasing the subject of a lecture?
The best part is that individual pieces of my wardrobe have served as conversation starters and have helped me connect with other academics, some of whom have also shared their own love of vintage and ethnic motifs and have become good friends to this day.
Dr. Anna Kouremenos (DPhil University of Oxford; BA/MA City University of New York)
Current Affiliation: DFG Researcher, University of Tübingen, Germany | Academia.Edu
All photos are the copyright of Dr. Anna Kouremenos ©
You may also like to read:
Sartorial Stories: an essay on my personal and scholarly style – Dr. Madeleine Seys
The Unstylish Academic Speaks – Dr. Helen Kara