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Adam J. Kasarda



Contact Information

Email    ajkasarda@g.ucla.edu
Office  Not Available

As an undergraduate, my interest was primarily in Greek history of the early Classical period, with the focus of much of my research being on the relationship between Athens and its Delian League allies in the period immediately following the Greco-Persian wars.  I have written on inscribed oaths from this period, specifically the oath between Athens and Khalkis on the island of Euboia, in an attempt to further understand the nature of Athenian hegemony in the Delian League.  This is something which remains a key interest of mine.

Other, broader areas of interest include the history of Greece outside of the Archaic and Classical periods (including Hellenistic, Imperial, and Byzantine Greece), archaeological insights into Greek history, and numismatics.  I have an increasing devotion to understanding the way in which societies and cultures have interacted with the natural world, not only in Greece, but in the ancient world more generally.

One of my current projects transcends my undergraduate focus on the Athenian arkhēplacing emphasis instead on the social and biological effects of the eruption of Thera (Santorini) on the Greek world and, more broadly, on the Mediterranean world at the so-called "collapse of the Bronze Age".  

I have a deep-rooted passion for natural and environmental history. The context for all of human history has been the Earth. Had this planet been a little closer to or further away from the Sun, had the primordial ooze from which life first began on this world been just a tad different, if the early atmosphere of the earth was able to hold less water vapor (say that our planet was too small or had less gravitational pull), I would not be here writing this, and you would not be reading it. It goes beyond academics, beyond our government, beyond education- had this planet been any different from the way it was and has been for the past billion years, everything we consider to be “human” would be absent. What about this planet, this environmental context, allowed us to get here, to a place where technologies are being created (and made obsolete) every single day? To a place where we have discussions? About souls, about consciousness, about what we owe to each other? About what society, what our governments, owe to us? Again, what we owe to each other? These debates that stir our political discourse serve to strengthen what it means to be human. Our discussions reinforce the idea that we owe something to each other. We owe something to the Earth. One cannot survive in a vacuum. Not only do we owe something to each other, but we owe something to Mother Nature, Gaia, the terra firma that encapsulates everything that we know to be true, what we call home.  This discourse, these questions are what I am most interested in.


It is difficult to trust or even to play with contrafactual situations, perhaps because they have a way of troubling the ideas we place so much value in. The reason for the beginning of human civilization was the bounty and abundance of natural resources available on this planet. That same abundance, those same resources are what have continued to provide for human society and civilization. The fact that we have time to think and communicate is a virtue of the bounty that the Earth has made available.


The Earth has been the constant medium on which human history depends. We are cognizant of no other planet capable of sustaining human life as we know it- the direct seed which allowed the creation of civilizations. All of them, around the world. As inhabitants on this mass of rock and magma, and metals, and flowers, and animals, we united together to fight against common struggles: tough winters, vicious summers, relentless rain, not a drop!


These violent natural catastrophes are what have bound people together in the past. They have reinforced the need for community, for selflessness, for love. As human beings, as parasites depending entirely on the Earth, we owe a debt to this planet which has allowed our civilization to thrive, flourish, and continue. To do otherwise would a disservice to all that which it has given us.


The Earth will continue to live on, long after human beings have disappeared from it. Created about 4.54 billion years ago, the Earth allowed our civilization to arise. It can just as easily take it away, something we must all work together to prevent.

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Fields of Study

Archaic & Classical Greek political history;  Greek intellectual history;  environmental history

Research

My interest is primarily in Greek history of the early Classical period, with the focus of much of my research being on the relationship between Athens and its Delian League allies in the period immediately following the Greco-Persian wars. I have written on inscribed oaths from this period, specifically the oath between Athens and Khalkis on the island of Euboia, in an attempt to further understand the nature of Athenian hegemony in the Delian League. Other, broader areas of interest include the history of Greece outside of the Archaic and Classical periods (including Hellenistic, Imperial, and Byzantine Greece), archaeological insights into Greek history, and numismatics. I have an increasing devotion to understanding the way in which societies and cultures have interacted with the natural world, not only in Greece, but in the ancient world more generally.

Degrees

PhD., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2017-ongoing

B.A., Rutgers University, 2015: History & Classics, summa cum laude.