MASt (Meetings on Aegean Studies) was co-founded in 2019 by Gregory Nagy, Tom Palaima, and Rachele Pierini. Started as a collegial seminar, MASt quickly grew into a world-wide network in just three months. Today the MASt network involves 20+ institutions in 15+ time zones (from California to Australia) and maintains the friendly and collaborative atmosphere of the earliest encounters. Furthermore, the MASt team includes a project leader (Pierini), two editors (Pierini and Palaima), an editorial board, and a wide array of scholars who participate regularly (including Eric H. Cline, Janice Crowley, Hedvig Landenius Enegren, Brent Vine).
The three initiators shaped the MASt identity around the core values of passionate commitment, cooperation, fairness, growth, and openness. They used these core values to prioritize tasks, make decisions, design biannual plans, and forge the signature features of the MASt project. As a result, the MASt project is designed to boost specialized discussion on Bronze Age Aegean topics and enhance the connectedness between Prehistorians and Classicists and between the ancient world and today’s society. The MASt logo conveys these messages and values, and the MASt initiators designed a twofold strategy (that is, specialist seminars and open-access publications) to achieve MASt’s ambitious goals.
MASt offers quarterly online seminars in which two speakers present the latest results of their research on Bronze Age Aegean topics in a 20-minute talk. A 30-minute debate follows each presentation. In this timeframe, the participants, who all have a substantial expertise in Bronze Age Aegean matters, engage in discussion with the speakers and provide extensive feedback. Within two months of the specialist seminar, the MASt crew peer-review the papers and publish them along with substantial summaries of the discussion in the journal Classical Continuum, an online open-access periodical founded by Harvard University.