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maiakotrosits {at}

on Twitter: @maiakotro

Maia Kotrosits is a scholar of Christianity within the social and cultural world of the ancient Mediterranean. Her work integrates ancient history with contemporary cultural studies, drawing especially from diaspora, postcolonial, psychoanalytic, gender, and queer theories.

Her most recent book is The Lives of Objects: Material Culture, Experience, and the Real in the History of Early Christianity.

What appears real to us?

What appears to us at all,

and why?

The Lives of Objects

Reconsidering material culture through questions of aliveness and deadness, agency and objectification.

“…elegant and persuasive. The writing is some of the clearest discussion of often opaque theory that I have seen….In short, this will be a challenging, even moving, book for scholars in several different fields of the humanities.”

Carolyn Walker Bynum for Critical Inquiry

Rethinking Early Christian Identity

Rewriting early Christian history as a history of diasporic haunting and transgenerational trauma.

“This may well be the most original and important book on Christian identity written in the last decade(s).”



Theory, History, and the Study of Religion in Late Antiquity forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, January 2023. See here.

Recent Talks and Other Projects

OUT NOW: a collaboration with Machines In Between, a project by John Modern

Three sessions dedicated to The Lives of Objects at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in San Antonio (November 2021).

Maia talks about The Lives of Objects on Things Not Seen with David Dault

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA: “Minor Languages: Diaspora, Trauma, and Reading the Ancient World.” March 2, 2022. Info here.

Stanford University, Ptarmigan Lecture Series: “Fantasy and Early Christianity” Feb 16, 2022

The Lives of Objects and the Frustrations of Memorialization in Early Christianity

University of Southern California, Visual Studies Research Institute

April 29th, 2021

Fantasies of Power and Justice: Material Culture Reconsidered

University of Texas Austin

April 5th, 2021

The Classical Ideas Podcast, Ep. 89: The Lives of Objects with Dr. Maia Kotrosits

The Really Real: Fantasies of Materiality in the Study of Religion

University of Pennsylvania

October 25, 2020

Zoom talk with graduate students in Religion at University of Southern California, April 2021

Upcoming project: Ethnicity, Diaspora, and Ethnographic Culture in the Greco-Roman World

Maia Kotrosits and Philip Harland are collaborating on a 5-year Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded project on ethnicity, diaspora, and ethnographic culture in the ancient Mediterranean. One part of this work is building a publicly available, searchable online database of resources on ethnic relations, migration, and diaspora in the Greco-Roman world. See that work (in progress) here.