Click on the links below to read the statements from candidates for each office. The candidates were asked to address in their statements: (1) their experiences and qualifications relevant to the office for which they are standing; and (2) what they hope to contribute to SCS and achieve if elected. Candidates were also asked for links to online CVs or for CVs that the SCS office could upload to its website.
The full set of election materials will be available in late June and voting will open in early August. You can find a list of election candidates and the report of the Nominating Committee here.
- Board of Directors
- Nominating Committee
- Goodwin Award Committee
- Program Committee
- Professional Ethics
- Vice President for Professional Matters
- Vice President for Publications and Research
When the next Annual Meeting occurs, we will be sporting classical-themed masks, sitting in staggered positions, and watching video conference papers in many sessions. We will also be engaging in vigorous debates about how to enact the meaningful actions to promote racial justice that the SCS Board called for in its recent statement. The widespread protests and calls for change are urgent and as a discipline, Classics must clearly address its history and embrace an inclusive future. Educators in high schools and universities will all be having these conversations, and the SCS can be a critical nexus for sharing ideas and seeking new connections.
As a member of both the AIA and the SCS, my experience at the annual meeting allows me to explore the true multidisciplinary nature of Classics and to benefit from panels that present wide-ranging scholarship and pedagogy. It also exposes serious, long-standing communication gaps and segregation between the organizations.There are certainly positive examples to build on, such as the prominence given to material culture and digital humanities on the SCS Blog, for example, or jointly organized conference sessions. But more could be done. Archaeological evidence can help to visualize and foreground the authentic, vibrant diversity, and interconnectedness of Classical and Near Eastern cultures. Closer integration of our disciplines in curricula and scholarship can foster new voices and initiatives that yield opportunities for student and faculty research.
If elected to the Board, I am also interested in a targeted project to explore how the SCS can support faculty in their mid-careers, after earning tenure and as they work towards promotion. There is always a need to bolster younger scholars seeking academic positions and earning tenure, but this career stage, which often coincides with intensive child and elder care, can be longer and is often neglected by institutions and disciplinary organizations. How can faculty stay connected to emerging ideas in classics research and pedagogy, especially as they take on significant institutional service? Tenured faculty may be interested in exploring new research agendas, perhaps in collaboration with other disciplines beyond those they trained in. Are there venues to cultivate these connections and ideas, with potential joint projects with students or other scholars? For those interested in pursuing administrative positions, how can the SCS draw on its impressive roster of scholar-administrators for advice? Paying attention to leadership development at this stage can help mid-career Classicists be at the table for discussions about the future of the field and education, and is a win-win for them and the discipline.
Qualifications and experience: AIA and SCS member, AIA National Lecturer 2016-present, Professor (2020-), Associate Professor (2010-2020), Visiting Assistant Professor (2000-2004) at F&M; Visiting Lecturer, The George Washington University (1999), Research Associate, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art (1999-2000); F&M in Shanghai program (online course, fall 2020); Mentor for first-gen, low-income students (2014-2016), Posse Mentor (2016-present); Director, Clemente Course in the Humanities at F&M College (2005-2007)
Joel P. Christensen (Associate Professor of Classics, Brandeis University)
Along with many other academic fields, the disciplines represented by Classical Studies have seen a considerable period of challenges and change over the past decade, including, but not limited to, the steady casualization of academic labor and flatlining job market, increased scrutiny from the public at large, and new pressures from demographic change, income inequality, and technology. The recent economic and political upheavel—not to mention the human cost—of COVID-19 will only exacerbate the impact of these forces.
At the same time, we cannot lose sight of our field’s historical relationship with racism and our responsibility to learn from the #BlackLivesMatter movement and be prepared for both incremental and radical change. We need to examine our scholarly and professional practices critically to make our fields more equitable, inclusive, and accessible.
Far from being pessimistic about our discipline’s future, I am impressed by the energy, wisdom, and creativity of younger generations of scholars. I believe that each person on the slate of candidates for the Board of Directors is capable of contributing to these discussions and reforms well and I will have a hard time casting my own votes.
Classical Studies needs to represent the many different experiences of professionals who teach and study the classics while also being sensitive to the new generations of students we should be attracting to our fields. Some of my experiences make me a good candidate for contributing to the SCS’ mission over the next few years. I come from outside the top-ten PhD granting programs and have taught outside a traditional Classical Studies department at a large state school (UTSA) as well as in a liberal arts context (Brandeis). I have also taught high school Latin and have made partnering with high school teachers a priority throughout my career.
I would also bring to the board some recent leadership experience. I am the Chair of an MA granting Classical Studies Department at Brandeis University where I am also Chair of the Faculty Senate and an ex officio representative to the Board of Trustees. This means that I have experience with higher educational finances and governance of Classical studies. Over the past few years I have been on many faculty hiring committees outside of Classics as well as on administrative hiring committees for positions in HR, Communications, and Dining Services. I have been deeply engaged with faculty governance at Brandeis, especially in designing legislation and policies for workplace dignity, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
I try to think broadly about what Classical Studies means to the world outside the University and have spent a good amount of time over the past decade blogging, using twitter, and writing for non-specialist publications. I have done my fair share of publishing as a Homerist, but my online work has reached a broader audience by far.
If elected to the Board of Directors, I hope to use these experiences to support the organization's efforts to engage with constituents outside of the traditional academy (especially at the secondary level) and to support initiatives that make our fields more accessible and equitable. In addition, I believe that the Board should advocate for hiring, promotion, and tenure standards that better reflect contemporary publication practices and contributions to the field beyond conventional publications. These suggestions are, admittedly, examples of the kind of incremental change that may not help us provide the paradigmatic shifts we as a discipline require to contribute to a more just world. I hope to be open to voices which call for more and to use my position to enure they are heard.
CV: Brandeis Website
Jinyu Liu (Professor of Classical Studies, DePauw University)
My experiences and qualifications are closely intertwined with what I hope to contribute to SCS and achieve if I were elected to the Board of Directors. I identify three areas of my potential contributions or agenda.
First, I bring to the board the perspective of a faculty member from a Liberal Arts institution, where I have taught for 15 years, chaired a Department of Classical Studies (2013-2016), and witnessed the invaluable work that my own colleagues and colleagues in other similar institutions have put in to spread the interest in and reshape Classical Studies, prepare students for graduate school, as well as inspire appreciation for resilience, engagement, and inclusivity. We cannot afford to ignore or downplay the importance of the Liberal Arts institutions in the landscape of our field. In this current situation where COVID-19 has affected many higher education institutions and might have accelerated the crisis for the small colleges, the Liberal Arts colleges need support and recognition more than ever.
Second, I bring to this position years of experiences teaching, doing research, and organizing events in both America and China, where Classics as a field has had different trajectories of development and is faced with different challenges and opportunities. The increasing globalization of Classical Studies does not and should not mean Europe and America exporting existing paradigms of teaching and learning. Rather, it will be a two-way traffic. I am dedicated to developing cross-cultural synergy, and improving on ways of mentoring the increasing number of students from non-European and non-American backgrounds, which I have already been doing through the AAACC mentorship program as well as informal interactions.
Third, I identify myself as both an Ancient Historian and a practicing translator of Latin Literature into Chinese. I will be eager to engage in the continued discussions concerning the relationship between the different branches of Classical Studies, the (re)positioning of philology and classical languages in the field, as well as the dynamics between Classical Studies and other disciplines including but not limited to Translation Studies, Reception Studies, and Comparative Studies.
Link to resume: https://www.depauw.edu/academics/college-of-liberal-arts/classical-studies/faculty-staff/detail/1668765416913/ (For a full CV, please click on the Personal Website on the page.)
Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Associate Professor of Classics, Princeton University)
It is hard to write this statement as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the communities that I love. It is doubly hard to write this statement as daily reminders of endemic racism’s murderous fury confront me on all sides. “Even good Ancus closed his eyes to the light”: but why did George Floyd have to die? Ahmaud Arbery? Breonna Taylor?
If I were elected to the SCS Board of Directors, I would agitate for a vibrantly anti-racist Classics, in solidarity with colleagues at K-12 and postsecondary institutions throughout the country. As I see it, the uncompromising commitment to an anti-racist Classics will require the SCS and allied disciplinary stakeholders to act on multiple fronts at once:
1. Pedagogy and scholarship. White supremacy remains alive and well in Classics pedagogy at all levels. To re-imagine the teaching of Classics, it’ll be important not only to pool collective resources towards learning and implementing best practices for reparative pedagogy and training, but to be honest about the scope of the historical and ongoing violences without which the discipline in its present form (and the name to which it clings) would not exist. I’m talking here about the urgent need for regular and coordinated oversight of the textbooks and teaching materials that we use; meaningfully inclusive protocols for research and publication; and support for disciplinary histories and archaeologies that critically engage with race instead of pushing it to the margins or peddling feel-good bromides about rigor. The TAPA special issue that is being guest-edited by Patrice Rankine and Sasha-Mae Eccleston is a crucial first step, but it cannot be the last.
2. Networks and partnerships that significantly scale up the ambitions of Classics Everywhere, bolstering and to the maximum extent possible extending the community-facing collaborations of scholarly societies such as Eos. This work’s prospects for success will hinge on recognition and dismantling of those barriers that to this very day have confined Classics and classics-adjacent fields largely within predominantly White institutions while shutting off funding and support to humanistic education at historically Black-, Latinx-, and AAPI-serving institutions. Moreover, the pursuit of partnerships needs to be grounded in an activist ethos, and not merely service the appetite for self-congratulation. A discipline that heeds the call to social justice will demand far more of its practitioners than outreach from relatively privileged institutions to profoundly underprivileged and underserved ones. It will demand the imagination and courage to attack racial capitalism at its roots.
3. One of the manifestations of racial capitalism that bears tangibly on the lives of SCS members is the collapsing job market. It is our responsibility to make common cause with and support grassroots efforts to ensure living wages and benefits for contingent and casual employees and for graduate students. It is equally our responsibility to resist with all our collective strength the false god of austerity and the siren songs of belt-tightening.
The realization of these objectives will depend not on any one person or group, but the enduring buy-in of SCS leadership and membership. Through word and deed, I will organize my contributions as a Director around the conviction that the struggle for our discipline’s future demands nothing less than a full accounting: of its long-running alliance with white supremacy, in its national and global manifestations; of the contemporary moment’s unique ethical demands on our discipline, and on us as practitioners; and of the inseparability of what we do as classicists from our obligation to build a just world.
Caroline Stark (Associate Professor, Howard University)
I am honored to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors and believe my background, experience, research interests, and especially my role as a faculty member at Howard University would provide valuable perspectives for the organization.
I have benefited from engaging with our discipline in three distinctive environments, first as an undergraduate at a very small, residential college of the liberal arts and then as a graduate student at a research institute overseas and at a large research university. I have taught at a state university, liberal arts college, and am now a faculty member at Howard University, the only Historically Black College and University with a classics department, which has a rich and significant tradition but which faces ongoing existential challenges, with respect to both the discipline’s place in the institution and the resources we have to fulfill our responsibilities as faculty members. Consequently, I have a passion and concern not just for the diversity of our discipline with regard to individual scholars and teachers but also for the types of institutions and variety of contexts where students can engage with the study of the ancient world.
As a member of the SCS I have served on the Committee for Career Planning and Development (2016-2019), and I am active in two of the society’s affiliated organizations: Society for Early Modern Classical Reception (SEMCR) and Eos: Africana Receptions of Greece and Rome, for which I was one of the founding members. As a member of several other professional organizations, for example, the Modern Language Association, the Renaissance Society of America, and the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies, I believe we can learn much from our sister societies, collaborate more productively with them, and adopt some of their approaches to extend their reach to new constituencies and update ways of presenting and disseminating the work and accomplishments of our members. From my main research interests, Early Modern Receptions and Classica Africana, has evolved an acute interest in how the study of classical antiquity can inform and contribute to an understanding of the contemporary world and how engaging with diverse traditions and perspectives can vitalize our discipline. Advocating for those interactions in as many places and in as many possible ways would be one of my main concerns as a member of the board.
Anne Duncan (Associate Professor of Classics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
I have served the SCS as the Legate for the state of Nebraska (since 2017) and as a member of the Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession (COGSIP) (2017-20). I have also served the profession as the Vice President for the state of Nebraska for CAMWS (since 2019), as a jury member for the John J. Winkler Prize for Scholarship in Classics (2014-15), and as a mentor for a junior female Classicist through the Women’s Classical Caucus’s mentoring program (2013). In all of these capacities, I have tried to represent the under-represented. I also believe that my experiences working and being a student at various institutions have given me a set of useful perspectives to bring to the Nominating Committee. I did my undergraduate work at a small liberal arts college and my graduate work at an Ivy League university; since then, I have worked at large state universities in “flyover country.” Currently, I work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a flagship land grant state university. Despite being part of an R1 university, my department does not have a graduate program. It is also a blended department: the Department of Classics and Religious Studies. Thus, I have colleagues in my department voting on the hiring, reappointment, promotion, and tenure of Classicists who do not know anything in particular about Classics. This is an experience that is increasingly familiar to many of us teaching in combined or consolidated departments across the country: departments of History, Modern Languages, Art History, World Cultures, etc. If our colleagues at schools with Classics Ph.D. programs are thinking about the future of Classics from the perspective of training the next generation of Classicists for an uncertain job market, I and my colleagues at Nebraska are thinking about the future of Classics from the perspective of the possible wholesale elimination of departments. Classics will survive if we can appeal to a broader range of students and capture the public imagination. To do that, we need to widen the tent.
If elected to the Nominating Committee, I would continue to try to represent the under-represented by increasing the diversity of candidates nominated to stand for election to the SCS’s various committees. As Classics in North America contemplates the rest of the 21st century at a moment of disciplinary, institutional, and global crisis, having the broadest possible range of Classicists helping to guide our professional organization will enable us to confront the usual and unusual challenges that face our discipline. I would strive to nominate candidates who represent a diverse range of institutions, a diverse range of personal backgrounds, and a diverse range of geographical areas. One thing that I have learned from participating in search committees for my university, doing national service for the profession, and attending annual meetings of the SCS and CAMWS is that there are more Classicists, ancient historians, and Classical archaeologists in North America than I had realized, working everywhere from relatively large university departments to relatively small ones, working as the lone Classicist in a larger unit, teaching high school, working as an independent scholar, or working as a contingent faculty member at multiple institutions. All of us have a stake in the future of our discipline. In order to advocate for the value and the future of our discipline as effectively as possible, we need every voice in our community to be heard. If elected, I will make every effort to help make this happen.
CV at https://www.unl.edu/classics/anne-duncan
Serena Connolly (Associate Professor of Classics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
My first experience on a nominating committee was at my own institution, five years ago. Presented with a list of committee openings and a faculty directory, and under pressure of time, my colleagues and I quickly populated the list with names of people we knew. Most of the new committee members had served before and in their research interests and diversity, they were remarkably similar to the nominating committee, most of whom had also served on those same committees. With such an outcome, there was little likelihood that committees could offer fresh ideas and real change. The experience provided lessons in how to—and how not to—populate committees. I remembered those lessons when I became president of the Association of Ancient Historians in April 2017. During my three-year term, I established and populated two new committees, on mentoring and teaching, and worked with Chairs to find new members for our existing four committees, to replace those who had reached the end of their terms.
Two principles guided me in that work: first, that a committee’s effectiveness comes in large part from the range of experiences and viewpoints of those serving; and second that a professional association needs committees that represent its members in order to serve them best. As a result, I sought out for committees senior, junior, and contingent faculty, graduate students, and those pursuing alt-ac careers; members at two-year and four-year institutions, both public and private, large and small, and from across North America. A range of teaching and research interests is also important. But diversity is the highest priority. We all have many demands on our time, and as a result, I have frequently been turned down: for each committee position that needed filling, there would be individuals who declined my request to join. I learned to continue undeterred. I also realized the benefits of investing time in interacting with members, identifying those who seemed most enthusiastic and engaged, prioritizing those who had not yet served, and making a note to approach them for future openings—unsurprisingly, they were the folks who usually said yes. As a member of the SCS Nominating Committee, I would continue to apply these principles to find committee members who will represent the membership and perform excellent service on their behalf.
For the SCS, I have previously served on the Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession and the Committee on Ancient History.
Katherine Lu Hsu (Assistant Professor of Classics, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (until August 2020), then College of the Holy Cross)
At the time of writing this statement (late-May 2020), we are all living with a great deal of uncertainty. Were I to serve on the Nominating Committee, my goal would be to help build an organization that is resilient in the face of the unknown and that represents the future community that we want to inhabit. This means involving the widest possible range of individuals who work on the ancient Mediterranean world. I’m especially interested in nominating contingent and non-tenure track faculty, K-12 teachers, junior faculty from a broad range of institutions, and members of underrepresented groups to serve and lead the SCS.
I view this work as an extension of my previous service on the Committee for Scholarships for Minority Students and then the Committee on Diversity in the Profession (2016-2018). In addition, through raising scholarship funds for students at the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute (of which I was the Director for the past seven years), I have had the good fortune to see the incredible energy and intellectual contributions that traditionally underrepresented students (along, e.g., racial/ethnic, gender, sexuality, class lines) can offer the field. I appreciate how the SCS has sought in recent years to support contingent faculty, publicize the careers of classicists outside of academia, and diversify its membership. I also see that while we have been making efforts and perhaps even having some success on diversity and inclusion within the discipline, we are still years and years away from equity. If I could make any contribution toward achieving these goals through the Nominating Committee, I would be honored to serve.
James Uden (Associate Professor, Boston University)
The Society of Classical Studies is exactly as responsive, active, empathetic, and innovative as we make it. Before I became involved in the SCS, it seemed like a huge and immovable organization. Now that I have taken part in its committees, I see that it is very much movable, and that we can shape its goals, policies, activities, and ideals, so long as we get involved. The task of the Nominating Committee is to ensure that the many different people who make up the SCS – faculty at all stages and with differing levels of job security, graduate and undergraduate students, administrators, teachers, librarians – are represented in its governance and activities. In 2020, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the call to racial justice in all our institutions make all the more pressing the need for the SCS to help its members feel seen and heard. If we want the Society to ask hard questions and find passionate, compelling answers, we need people from all parts of the discipline driving that process.
My background: I was a member of the Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession (COGSIP) for four years, and was Chair in the final year. I was part of a team that assembled the SCS Report on Harassment and Discrimination (posted to the SCS website in May 2019), and co-organized a series of panels exploring professional issues relating to immigration, LGBTQ+ classics, and teaching in religiously affiliated colleges. Through that experience, I met a wide variety of people involved in the SCS, and I explored problems in our discipline that prevent scholars from having their voices valued and heard. On the Nominating Committee, I would draw from my experience teaching and researching in a number of different areas (Latin literature, Late Antiquity, Reception), and on my time teaching and studying in the US and abroad. My aim will be to unite people with fresh ideas with those who have the institutional know-how to get things done. I will also seek to give voice to those who have not previously participated in SCS governance and committees, so that our professional association can remain representative of the full range of its members.
Richard Hunter (Regius Professor of Greek, University of Cambridge)
I would bring to the Goodwin Committee long experience of research and publication across wide areas of Greek and Latin literature and, I believe, a record of helping and supporting other scholars in their work: I have edited the Journal of Hellenic Studies and the Cambridge Classical Journal, served as Chair of the Board responsible for Classical Quarterly and Classical Review, and for many years have been an Editor of Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics (the ‘Green and Yellows’) and Cambridge Classical Studies. I have twice served as Chair of my Department and also as Head of the School of Arts and Humanities at Cambridge.
On the Goodwin Committee I would hope to promote and reward scholarly excellence and adventure across the full range of our subject and to do what I can to draw attention to some of the remarkable work currently being produced.
Kirk Ormand (Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics, Oberlin College)
I have been nominated to the Goodwin Award committee, which is charged with selecting up to three books of outstanding merit from the past three years. I have no qualifications for this committee that would distinguish me from any of the other senior scholars nominated. I’ve written three monographs, and edited two volumes of essays. For the past 19 years, I have administered the John J. Winkler prize, which has allowed me to read a wide range of cutting-edge graduate and undergraduate essays. Early in my career I reviewed a number of books for various journals, but I have almost entirely stopped doing that in the past decade. I work at a small liberal arts college, not an R1, so I do not teach graduate students.
If I were elected, I would strive to recognize books that are not only competent but innovative and interesting. I have a high tolerance for theory-driven approaches, and I would rather read a book that challenges my current understanding than one that confirms it. That said, I think some arguments are simply wrong, even if provocative. So I would try to select books that I think say something new and stand a good chance of being correct. I suspect that the same is true for all the other nominees for this committee.
Amy Richlin (Distinguished Professor of Classics, UCLA)
The APA/SCS is unique among professionalacademic organizations in having only a single book prize; in 2013 this problem was partly addressed by the decision to award three prizes per year. It then became possible for the Committee to recognize a broader range of work, more representative of our wide-ranging field. Still, the Goodwin Committee has to think hard about what makes a book good. It helps to know what’s out there. Since 1978, I have published on the history of sexuality, women’s history, feminist theory, and theory of history; on Roman satire, invective, epistolography, elegy, law, rhetoric, and comedy. For teaching, I keep up on the Greek side in comedy, in women’s history, and in the history of slavery and social class. My work has won the WCC article prize, the Rehak Prize of the LCC, and the Goodwin Award, and I regularly read for university presses, journals, and my friends and students.
As an historian, I would bring to the committee a lifelong interest in the sociology of knowledge (see web profile). I always read the acknowledgments first; each book stands as an indicator of the state of the question. And I always look for women in the index. Surrounded by monuments, we all hope to write something true and lasting: how do we recognize it? Ever on the hunt for a good book, I know I would learn a lot from being on this committee. Thank you for the honor of your consideration.
Here is a link to my web profile and CV:https://classics.ucla.edu/person/amy-richlin/
Sarah (Sallie) Spence (Distinguished Research Professor Emerita of Classics and Comparative Literature, University of Georgia)
The path of my career has led in several different, yet complementary, directions. Trained as a medievalist with additional specialties in rhetoric and Vergil, I taught in Comparative Literature departments for 12 years before moving to the Classics department at the University of Georgia. I enjoyed having a foot in each camp: thriving on the precision demanded in the Classics courses and the brilliant focus of those students, I also tried to teach the bigger picture, setting the Latin in a literary context or the literature in a cultural one. My publications reflect this dual interest: my books and articles cover classical and medieval topics (and beyond), as does the editing work I have done: founding editor of the creative and scholarly journal, Literary Imagination, I then served as editor of Vergilius, and, most recently, as editor-in-chief of Speculum, the journal of the Medieval Academy of America.
The contribution I could make to the Goodwin Award committee would stem from my own research and teaching interests, together with an ongoing engagement with humanities research, broadly speaking. Before leaving UGA I served on the selection committee for the University’s Distinguished Research Professors, often as the only humanist. I relish the discoveries good research uncovers, both in my own field and others, and I admire the structure of a good argument, something both my initial work on rhetoric and my later work as editor has nurtured. I continue to advise graduate students from UGA and elsewhere on developing their theses into articles and books. Perhaps most pertinent to the task of the Goodwin Award committee is the fact that I served on the selection committee for the Phi Beta Kappa’s Christian Gauss Award, reading piles of books each summer in an effort to identify “the most outstanding books in the field of literary scholarship or criticism.
Emily Baragwanath (Associate Professor of Classics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The SCS has in recent years expanded the formats of sessions and offerings in exciting ways that have deepened the intellectual vitality of the annual meeting, while better supporting a broader cross-section of members (grad students, those new to the profession, those in non-tenure-track positions). Recent initiatives have invited members to grapple with Classics’ blind spots of the past and allowed us to envision a future in which our field remains vibrant and relevant. The program has hosted an increasing number of interdisciplinary sessions shared with the AIA, and supported critical discussions both on contemporary themes (Black Classicism, migration studies, LGBTQ+) and on looming challenges to the profession (the accelerating shift away from tenured positions, the transitions underway in graduate education and the nature of publishing, etc.), which have only been exacerbated by COVID-19. If elected to the Program Committee I will work to ensure that the program recognizes the very best new work, reflects (in format as well as content) the diversity of our field, and supports younger members of the profession. Individual papers remain important, marshalled into intellectually coherent panels with senior scholars as presiders and discussants; but broader issues too, such as access, deserve serious attention as well.
One way forward may be to expand remote participation even beyond the pandemic, which is likely to affect us for some years to come. I will work with the program committee, the Vice President for Program, and the Board of Directors to enhance future electronic-only or hybrid conferences so that the SCS can take advantage of the present challenging circumstances in ways that support all members and may actually strengthen our field. Possibilities include pre-recorded specific-topic Zoom conversations between, e.g., two older members and two younger ones, or Q&A podcasts that can be listened to after the conference. Electronic or hybrid conferences would also allow panels and activities with colleagues in other fields (the AHA, the MLA, theater, philosophy, and more). Such collaboration can forge connections vital to the survival of Classics and the strengthening of the humanities in the coming years.
My prior SCS experience is limited to serving as Ambassador on the Development Committee. I have served on CAMWS’s Outstanding Publication Committee and UNC’s Hettleman Selection Committee (which selects the winners of prizes for artistic and scholarly achievement by young Faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill), organized conferences and panels, and am currently on the editorial boards of Histos and Classical Journal and reviewing NEH fellowship proposals. I would bring to the program committee a broad and open-minded approach, and expertise in literary approaches to the historians, gender, and ancient history. My experience of studying and working in different countries and classics traditions is valuable because the SCS membership extends far beyond the US.
Lauren Caldwell (Ph.D. University of Michigan; Lecturer in Classics, UMass Amherst)
As a member of the committee, I would like to work on continuing to increase the value of the annual meeting program for attendees. Virtual panel or workshop formats, for example, may allow more participation, with more members able to receive feedback and visibility for their work. I am a conference-goer who is aware of the cost of attending the annual meeting in person, and I would be committed to addressing this issue of accessibility. Moreover, in reading abstracts and proposals and considering configurations of panels, I would be eager to prioritize diversity – for example, by finding ways to distribute presentations on diversity across many panels, to ensure that they are brought up at many points in the program and not confined to a single panel or round table.
At the SCS I have served on the Lionel Pearson Award Committee (2013-2016) and have attended annual meetings since the early 2000s. I have also served as a referee for manuscripts and articles. I have worked with the Women’s Classical Caucus mentoring program, and I coordinated a K-12 urban education partnership in Hartford, CT that has expanded access to the study of the ancient Mediterranean to students at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.
Roman Girlhood and the Fashioning of Femininity (Cambridge, 2015)
"Roman Medical Sects," in Oxford Handbook of Ancient Science and Medicine, edited by P. Keyser and J. Scarborough (Oxford, 2018)
"From Household to Workshop: Weaving, Women and Roman Law," in Negotiating Silence, edited by B. Longfellow and M. Swetnam-Burland (University of Texas Press, forthcoming)
Ayelet Haimson Lushkov (Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin)
I am an Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin, and have been attending the SCS meeting since 2003. Over that period, I have seen the program expand and contract, experiment with new formats, and trace the changing contours of the field. As a member of the Program Committee, my commitment will be both to building on existing successes (such as the increased visibility of Reception, Digital Humanities, and Professional Development) and continuing to experiment with new topics and formats to make the program an advertisement for the value of the classics for everyone who studies them.
In particular, I am interested in finding new ways to make the program (and thereby the Annual Meeting) serve the various needs of the SCS’s membership, in particular those for whom barriers to access exist. This includes exploring ways to participate remotely, whether through virtual presentations, electronic handouts, electronic galleries for poster sessions, or live-streaming panels, so that the program extends beyond the physical location to the homes of those who cannot afford the time or money to participate in person. Further, I am interested in devoting a larger section of the program to professional issues, in the hopes of creating a consistent space for sharing research, opinion, and personal experiences about professional matters in the field: best practices in inclusive pedagogy, first generation and international students, parents and care-givers, women and minoritized scholars, LGBTQ+ issues, graduate education, university administration, employment beyond the Ph.D., and so forth. Finally, I would like to see the program continue to reflect the field both as it is actually practiced, with space devoted to work by new and emerging scholars, and as it could be practiced in dialogue with other disciplines: global, intersectional, and directly engaging modern concerns.
Scott McGill (Professor, Rice University)
I am a longstanding member of SCS and have attended its annual conference for over two decades now. I value the conference enormously: it has introduced me to ideas and books that have had a great impact on my work, and to people who became interlocutors and collaborators. I am excited for the opportunity to be part of the Program Committee and to give others, particularly graduate students and younger scholars, the chance to benefit from the annual conference in similar ways. I do think that I am well positioned to serve in that capacity, because I have ample experience in evaluating the work of others, especially as an editor of book volumes and of a monograph series. I believe that I have developed a good balance of rigor and fairness as a reader, which is precisely what the Program Committee requires.
If elected to the Committee, I will continue the excellent work that the SCS has done in opening the program slate to more voices and critical perspectives, while still preserving room for traditional subjects and methodologies. As we all know (but as we sometimes have to remind administrators), Classics is a thrillingly varied discipline, with an inspiring capacity to hold on to and revivify the old ways while making room for the new. The SCS program has reflected this well, and I will do my part to make sure that it continues.
Jennifer Rea (Professor, University of Florida)
I attended my first SCS meeting in Chicago in 1997. Since then, I have observed many additions to the program that I believe have improved the conference. From lightning talks to round tables and workshops, the SCS has expanded the annual meeting’s range of topics, approaches, and methodologies. If elected, I would be especially interested in working to expand program offerings that would benefit junior scholars and anyone seeking employment, especially in what will be the post-COVID academic job market. Previous panels have discussed the precarious lives of adjunct faculty and have initiated a much-needed dialogue about the realities facing today’s PhDs. More events on the program, however, are required to tackle the questions surrounding what the future of classics should look like and how we can make a more diverse and inclusive future for the discipline into a reality.
As a member of the program committee, I would work with my fellow committee members to construct a program that embraces inclusiveness for historically marginalized groups and engages the SCS’s membership in discussions of ways to expand achievement and opportunities for classicists within academia and outside of it. The program needs to remain intellectually stimulating and exciting for scholars at all stages of their careers, but the conference can be even more forward-thinking if we can create additional opportunities for classicists to forge connections, share their research, and network with a more diverse population within academia and beyond it.
I would look forward to bringing my diverse experiences as a classicist to the program committee. I have taught at both a small liberal arts college and R1 schools. In addition to publishing articles and book chapters, I have published a monograph (Duckworth Academic, 2007) and a graphic history (Oxford University Press, 2018). My experience serving the SCS includes participation on the Outreach Committee (2011-2014), and as a member, and then chair, of the Coffin Travel Fellowship Awards Committee (2016-2019). I have given a number of SCS papers and served as co-organizer of the SCS 2020 panel on “The Future of Graduate Education.” It would be a pleasure to serve as a program committee member.
Sarah Culpepper Stroup (Professor of Classics, University of Washington, Seattle)
I attended my first (then APA / AIA) annual meeting in 1996 where, as a second-year graduate student—with trembling feet and knees I begged not to lock—I presented a paper on the Epidaurian Iamata. I have since presented regularly at our annual meetings and have co-chaired an organizer-refereed panel; when not presenting myself, I have attended as a job candidate, as a member of a search committee, and as a regular civilian poring over the program and picking out papers like a kid chewing through the Sears catalogue (to engage in a bizarre archaism). In my organization of panels both at the annual meeting and elsewhere I have learned the critical skills of balancing breadth and depth, of diversifying voice and view, and of keeping out the Nazis. I have published one monograph and am working on two more: one in my area of specialization, and one a public-facing Humanities book on “STEM” in the ancient world. I serve on the editorial board for CA and am a frequent referee of articles, MS submissions, and book proposals for a variety of presses. While I have not before been asked to serve the SCS, I have been tremendously active in university service, chairing our Faculty Council on Academic Standards (which oversees all undergraduate programs on campus), and serving on our Enrollment Goals workgroup (which recently reviewed our admissions process and, detecting a bias toward high school STEM courses, recommended a revision which was adopted). I engage in considerable outreach / in-reach to middle and high school students on the Colville Indian Reservation. I am at my core a Humanist who is both deeply engaged with the current state of the Humanities, and deeply dedicated to charting its successful trajectory into the future: not only on our campuses, but in our schools and communities. As such, I have been charged by the dean of the Humanities division to develop and direct a First Year Experience for humanities-interested freshmen. Over this past year I chaired a workgroup representing nine of our eleven Humanities departments; we developed the curriculum for Humanities First, which was awarded a $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and which will launch Fall 2020.
There have been many positive recent changes in the annual meeting Program. And yet, this is a painful time for our field and our society. The systemic racism and socioeconomic inequities on our campuses and in our communities have erupted—often with avoidable offense and great pain but with insufficient introspection and discussion—at our meetings. The erosion of tenure lines, the increased dependence upon labor-abused contingent faculty, the continued marginalization of BIPOC scholars, and the threatened closure or consolidation of departments makes this a particularly precarious time for our field. We are poised between exciting innovation and suicidal calcification, between dynamic new voices, approaches, and perspectives, and those who would prefer to hold the status quo that may have served them well, but that has endangered the field’s viability. If elected, I would be a strong voice for continued innovation, and further diversification, in Program content and format (including the option of Distance panels or presentations, which may not only be epidemiologically advisable, but which address issues of financial inequity); for breaking down the artificial and often harmful barriers between poetry and prose, “Greek” and “Roman,” and text and material culture; and for bolstering voices, topics, and approaches that engage with the future of the field. This is not a call to burn it all down: rather, to be honest with ourselves about what has not been working and whom it has hurt; to question the outrageous narrowness of our canon and whom it has benefited; and to work together to imagine creatively the future of our Program, our annual meetings, and our field.
My CV may be found on my faculty page:
Emily Mackil (Associate Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley)
The charge of this committee is to consider “grievances and complaints pertinent to the SCS Statement on Professional Ethics with a view toward providing informal and formal resolution of specific disputes within the Society and outside it, according to policies and procedures established by the Board of Directors.” The Society’s Statement on Professional Ethics is comprehensive, thoughtful, and detailed. I have been on the faculty of a large, public university for fifteen years, serving on search committees, advising graduate students, working on a committee to change graduate programs in light of the dramatically changed job market, and serving for several years on committees to address concerns around professional climate and equity among both faculty and graduate students. Ours is a fragile, but tremendously valuable enterprise. The degree to which people can flourish—as scholars and as human beings—as they pursue it depends significantly on the commitment of every member of our profession both to upholding a high ethical standard and to pursuing the resolution of grievances and complaints fairly and seriously. I care deeply about what we do. In order for our scholarly enterprise to survive, we as a professional society will need to adapt quickly and thoughtfully to the massive changes ahead, while also remaining deeply moored in our shared values and professional ethics. It is in order to work toward the latter that I am willing to serve on this committee.
My years of employment at a large, public university combine with my earlier working experience at a small, liberal arts institution and my years as a graduate student at a private university to give me insight into many different institutional cultures and the pressures and priorities that attend them. I would utilize these insights to work as a member of the Committee on Professional Ethics to resolve grievances and complaints around conditions of employment, teaching, and research with the utmost fairness and respect.
Amy Pistone (Assistant Professor, Gonzaga University)
I have been advocating for "the promotion of equity in all aspects of the profession," the stated goal of the Professional Matters division of the SCS in the three years since finishing my PhD (as a co-chair of the Classics and Social Justice affiliate group and a member of the Women’s Classical Caucus steering committee) and before that as a graduate student (when I served as the graduate liaison for the Women’s Classical Caucus). For the past several years, I have worked closely and cultivated meaningful relationships with both undergraduate and graduate students as well as teachers at both the K-12 and college levels. I have also helped organize conferences, workshops, and panels aimed at addressing pressing issues in our field, on topics including contingent labor, inclusive pedagogy, expanding and diversifying the field, and gender discrimination in academia. Developing these events has given me the experience and the skills to make meaningful changes within the critical area of Professional Ethics. Finally, since I teach at a smaller university without a graduate program, as do many members of the SCS, I am able to advocate for the needs and concerns of classicists at these types of undergraduate-focused institutions. Finally, I hope to bring more members of our discipline into conversations about the future of the field and about the ethical obligations we all have to our students and to our colleagues. Educators at community colleges and K-12 schools do not feel like the SCS cares about their voices and I hope to change that by more directly engaging these educators in conversations about the future of the field.
As a member of the Professional Ethics Committee, my focus will not only be on representing the full range of classical educators but also on advocating for the ethical treatment of contingent faculty and graduate students as they navigate their complicated career trajectories. As an early career academic who recently navigated graduate school and the dismal job market, I am well-equipped to give voice to the concerns facing other junior members of the field at institutions of all sizes. Before my current position, I held posts as both a Lecturer at the University of Michigan and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Notre Dame, and I experienced some of the emotional and economic challenges of precarious employment. As a member of the Professional Ethics Committee, through constant communication with colleagues, I will be a tireless advocate for fair working conditions at all institutions. A recent hire myself, I am acutely aware of the hardships job seekers face in this ever-worsening academic job market. If given the opportunity to serve in this capacity, I will urge the SCS and the field as a whole to make some meaningful changes to how both graduate training and job searches are organized, in consultation with all the stakeholders in these complex processes. In particular, I will continue to advocate for clearer guidelines and best practices for graduate education and professional training that will prepare graduate students for a much broader range of careers beyond the increasingly rare tenure track faculty position. Our field and the landscape of higher education is changing and our collective sense of what professional ethics (and our ethical obligations to one another within this field) entails needs to adapt with this changing reality.
Paul Allen Miller (Vice Provost and Director of Global Carolina, Carolina Distinguished Professsor of Classics and Comparative Literature)
The Vice President for Professional Matters is charged with the oversight of the Society’s Committees on Professional Matters, Professional Ethics, Career Planning and Development, Gender and Sexuality, Diversity, Contingent Faculty, and the Classics Advisory Service. For the last eleven years I have served as Vice Provost and department chair at the University of South Carolina. In those roles, I have dealt directly with these issues as both an advocate for the faculty and as an administrator charged with overseeing the internationalization of the university. I have a record of advocating for scholars across the humanities, promoting racial, sexual, gender, national, and religious diversity. As Vice Provost at USC, I am charged with managing the university’s international profile. In the last five years, we have tripled our international undergraduate student enrollment, while improving retention. We have developed strategic partnerships with universities around the world. We have been a finalist for the Simon Award for comprehensive internationalization, and last year we won the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Gold Award for Diversity and Inclusion in Internationalization. I firmly believe that the future of Classics is global and that a narrow, Eurocentric vision of our field risks condemning all that we love to irrelevance, leaving Classics an easy target for administrators bent on efficiency in difficult economic times. I understand how university administration works and have an expansive vision of what Classics is and can be.
In my tenure as editor of TAPA, I saw my position as one that both sought to offer an expansive and innovative vision of the field and one that was beholden to no one group but represented the profession in its totality, across ideological, political, and methodological divides. It is the task of the Vice President for Professional Matters to be an advocate for the fair treatment of every student, teacher, and scholar of Classics in North America. He or she must stand up for equity and combat racism, sexism, religious bigotry, and stereotyping of all kinds. The Vice President for Professional Matters must come to the aid of the weakest in our profession, students and contingent faculty. This means having a vision of Classics that encompasses not just the achievement of its past but also what Classics can mean to a larger, more diverse community of students and scholars. It means advocating for the continued relevance of the study of the ancient world to understanding today’s concepts and conflicts with regard to race, sex, sexuality, gender, class, and nation. It means not seeing Classics as a museum but as an active inquiry into how our past—material, textual, historical, and intellectual—has shaped and been received by diverse communities, those who have been inspired by it and those who contest it. Lastly, it means being able to articulate this expansive vision to a diverse audience of students, administrators, political leaders, and benefactors, because only by this advocacy can we assure the continued presence of the resources needed to ensure the future of our programs and departments, the development and security of the faculty they hire, and the diversity, equity, and inclusion of all our members both today and tomorrow. The SCS has an important voice in combatting systemic racism both within and outside the profession, and we must make sure that voice is heard not only in the classroom but also in the board rooms and conference halls as well as in the street.
Ruth Scodel (D. R. Shackleton Bailey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Latin, emerita, The University of Michigan)
I never expected that I would come to be someone who was frequently consulted about difficult situations in professional politics and ethics. Somehow, this happened, and Professional Matters came to look like an appropriate division for me after my long career of service to the APA/SCS and the profession (Editorial Board for Monographs; ; Editor of TAPA;VP for Publications, 1996-1999; Goodwin Committee; President 2007, Alternate Delegate to FIEC; Nominating Committee;; Delegate to ACLS; Legate for Eastern Michigan; I've also been president of CAMWS and a department chair). I've messed up a lot but I've also learned a lot and I hope done some things right.
I am now unsure about myself as VP for Professional Matters, because the problems are so daunting. When I went to graduate school, there were pockets of antisemitism, sexism was often blatant, and some of my peers thought racist and homophobic jokes were perfectly okay. But it felt as if the arc was bending towards justice, in our field and beyond. By 2019, we had increasing exploitation of an academic proletariat of adjuncts; contempt for education in general among a significant sector of the public; marginalization of the humanities; and the abuse of antiquity by white nationalism. Amid all this, we need to become a far more inclusive discipline without abandoning what is best in our traditions at a time of financial contraction. We cannot be timid (I worry that the decision to withdraw support from CAMP's planned performance of The Gladiator indicated fear more than sensitivity). And now we face the havoc that the pandemic has brought to higher education and the world economy. The struggle feels endless.
A few areas where I hope we can make genuine progress: the sad numbers Dan-El Padilla Peralta produced in San Diego can't be transformed instantly, but the SCS can work with both journal editors and with the scholars who are not being published to improve them. Most of us who operate graduate humanities programs (not just in classics) have not really confronted the reality that although it is certainly possible to get a PhD in classics and have a fine career in secondary teaching or nonprofit administration, there are more efficient ways to prepare for those careers, and we need real change, not window-dressing.
Kathryn Gutzwiller (John Miller Burnam Professor of Classics, University of Cincinnati)
The Vice-Presidents are the work horses among the elected members of SCS’s Board of Directors. They monitor and assist committees and projects under their purview, provide detailed reports for the Board and the membership, choose members for appointment to various committees and for leadership positions, and offer new initiatives for the Board’s approval. Because of the four-year length of their terms, they bring continuity and drive change. I am honored to be nominated as Vice-President of Publications and Research because this division is essential to what we do as classicists: it deals with the propagation of knowledge about the ancient world, through such resources as our venerable journal TAPA and the newer Committee on Translations of Classical Authors. I offer as my credentials for this position my five years of service as the editor of the monographs series called American Classical Studies, published by OUP (2006-2011) and my work as President during the year of name change from the APA to the SCS (2014). I have also served three years as a Director (2002-2005) and another three years on the Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups (1997-2000), one year as Chair. I have received recognition for my scholarship by the grant of the Goodwin Award for Poetic Garlands and have been twice selected for the Gildersleeve Award from the American Journal of Philology (see CV).
Publication and research have been at the heart of what the SCS does from its beginning, and our division remains committed to serving those activities by supporting and advancing large-scale research tools. For example, L’Année Philologique continues to bring scholarly thoroughness to the piecemeal approach of other sources, and the Digital Latin Library (DLL) is beginning to publish electronically scholarly editions of classical Latin texts. It is also time to support more directly the scholarship of all who study the ancient world, including students, independent scholars, contingent faculty, and faculty at all kinds of institutions of learning. Topics that are increasingly central to new approaches in teaching should also be marked by the Publication and Research division for support; the forthcoming issue of TAPA featuring race, racism, and classics is such an example. The division can also work toward sharing the products of certain kinds of research with a broader, more general audience, by digital means or as appropriate in print publications. Discoveries such as new papyri and parallels between ancient and modern events such as plagues are attractive to many beyond academia. The Publications and Research Division can become a focal point for making such information widely available.
David Levene (Professor of Classics, New York University)
My qualifications for this position primarily rest in the thirty-five years I have spent actively engaged in research and publication, combined with the administrative experience of my 12 years as the chair of two different departments, and my service on a variety of editorial boards and committees, whether departmental, institutional, national or international – not least relevant being my years as a member of the Publications Committee itself, prior to its merger with the Research Committee. My published work has primarily centered on Latin prose literature and Roman religion, but I have worked in other areas also, including reception and Jewish studies, and my firm belief is that our discipline should be expansive rather than confined, not bounded by artificial limits on its spatial or temporal dimensions, nor in the approaches deemed appropriate to it. Whatever our own background or presuppositions, we should all be capable of learning from all others.
We are, as I hardly need explain, faced with entirely new problems at the moment. The Age of Coronavirus has required of us huge changes in the way we conduct our research, and it has exposed disparities in our access to research resources, and not only the disparities that we could have predicted. The SCS has long promoted digital publication and access to online texts, and it is of course essential and urgent that this work continues. But we are now all the involuntary subjects of an experiment, testing what we can and cannot do in our current situation; this is a major hindrance, but also gives us the opportunity to survey members and find out what gaps most urgently need filling as we go forward. Not everything is in the hands of the SCS: there are vast problems related to copyright and funding which a society such as ours cannot solve by itself (though we can and should seek to work with others to address them). But there is much we can do even now, in simply terms of linking materials, cataloging and properly indexing – because not all of the material which is freely available in principle is in fact easy to find or access in practice. We need to find out from members what is missing, and work to improve access it it. This should be a major job for the Publications and Research Committee in the coming years, and, if elected to the position of Vice-President, it will be my primary aim to carry it forward.
Matthew S. Santirocco (Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts & Science, Professor of Classics, Angelo J. Ranieri Director of Ancient Studies, and Faculty Director of NYU Washington DC)
When this election was announced, no one anticipated the disruption that was on the horizon. Bad in itself, the pandemic has also revealed and amplified larger problems that have gone unaddressed for too long: systemic racism; intersecting prejudices (e.g., class, gender, LGBTQI, religion, nationality); and the many structural inequalities that result from these. And then, reinforcing the point, we have witnessed yet again the tragic killing of Black people by police and armed civilians. We are all feeling sorrow and rage, but we must also hope that this moment will offer an opportunity to imagine and reinvent a better society. What does this mean for classicists and the SCS?
When the SCS (then APA) was founded 150 years ago as a learned society, its goal was to promote scholarship. Over time it became also a professional society promoting the interests of its members. And as that membership changed, the SCS continued to evolve. Thus, it now functions, in some ways actually and in others aspirationally, less as a guild and more as a diverse and inclusive community of scholars and teachers (at all levels and types of institution), independent researchers, students, and the interested public. The needs and concerns of these stakeholders are increasingly reflected in our annual meeting; in committees that focus on diversity, contingent faculty, graduate students, and outreach; and in important conversations about the state of our field and how a legacy of privilege and exclusion presents a moral and intellectual challenge to what we do.
This is a critical moment for the SCS. At least in the short run, resources will be scarce and programs at risk. This reality necessitates a commitment to flexibility and rethinking business at usual. Not to do so will make us vulnerable in what will be a dynamic environment for some time to come. But this is also a time for us to think bigger and bolder, not just to continue but to redouble our efforts toward making classics an even more vibrant and inclusive field. Of course, as in any membership organization, some worry that the SCS may be retreating from some traditional activities, while others are impatient with the pace of change. But it is possible to serve multiple goals; in fact, only by doing so will we meet the needs of our diverse communities and our field as a whole.
First, as we stand up for a more just society, we also need to do more to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our own house. As the SCS board recently acknowledged, our field has historically been complicit in promoting a racist view of the past and ignoring the contributions of underrepresented scholars, and we all know of incidents of bias within our midst. Our incoming president has reflected on her own experiences and challenged us to make our field more welcoming and inclusive. The role of her successor and the board will be to continue that process by listening hard, really hard, to the experiences and suggestions of our members, and to work together to come up with concrete actions we can take. This can happen not only within the confines of our annual meeting and official deliberations of the board and committees, but also at a local level, through regional in-person and online listening sessions facilitated by the SCS. But even now there are many things we can do—e.g., funding a pipeline of students from underrepresented communities, revising syllabi to be more inclusive, involving more persons of color in the leadership of the SCS, honoring the legacy of others who contributed to our field, devising public programs on the classics and social justice, and sharing best practices for improving the culture and climate at our home institutions.
Second, we must continue to move forward on our other priorities as well—to promote research and teaching, especially in areas that move our field in new directions; to protect programs and individuals, including the most vulnerable among us; and to reach out to broader constituencies. In these areas too, there is much that we can do. For example, the recent pivot to remote instruction challenges us to think creatively about how to leverage technology not only to improve teaching and increase access to the classics in underserved communities, but also to enhance how we engage with one another. So much of what the SCS does depends on working in person, which may not always be possible in the future; but even before COVID, the cost of travel (in dollars and time) prevented many of our members from participating fully. How can we use technology to solve this impediment to inclusiveness? Or another example: at this time of economic stress, classics programs will be at risk. Since most decisions that affect our field are made at a local level, the role of the SCS has historically been to intervene when problems arise. But can we be more proactive and draw on experienced administrators in our midst to train more of our members to be effective advocates on their own campuses, working at a grassroots level to prevent permanent restructuring that will damage our field? And as we protect programs, we must also ensure their future by empowering emerging scholars. To that end, what will it take for graduate students to feel more welcome and be more involved in the SCS? Also, since the pandemic has interfered with their research and teaching opportunities, how can the SCS assist institutions to set aside or seek funding for bridge or early-career support (such as the new Loeb post-docs).
Third, and finally, our advocacy must extend beyond our campuses to the wider public. At this time when so many people are turning to the classics (and the arts and humanities generally) to find meaning and hope, how can the SCS meet this need? The Classics Everywhere Initiative is a good start. But can the SCS be more proactive in its outreach, either by creating its own public programs through which the perspective of the past can illuminate our present situation, or by serving as a clearing house to connect our members with relevant expertise to the larger community through partnerships with arts organizations and the media? At the same time, how can we make the case for the classics to decision-makers in government, education, and foundations? To reach them, it isn’t enough to partner with classical and other disciplinary societies; we must also make common cause with larger organizations that have more public platforms, such as the ACLS (of which the SCS is a member and whose leader is a classicist) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (which has become a strong advocate for the humanities, languages, and education). In doing this, we will amplify our own voice, but also make a case for the liberal arts more broadly and for those values which, even before the pandemic, were at risk—devotion to truth and evidence, intellectual rigor, respect for difference, academic freedom, and a global perspective.
These are just a few ideas, and the members of the SCS will have many others. It would be a privilege to help facilitate this conversation and to implement strategies that will enable us not only to weather the current crisis, but also to solve long-standing challenges and to advance the priorities which support our diverse communities and goals.
Ever since I was a graduate student, the SCS (then APA) has played an important part in my life. I will always be grateful to it for offering me a supportive community when that was not always available where I studied or worked. I have tried to pay that debt forward over the years by serving the organization—as Editor of its monograph series, as Vice President for Professional Matters, as Financial Trustee, and as a member of the Board and various committees, including those focused on women and minority groups, professional ethics, and the campaign. In addition to my long engagement with the SCS, several other experiences I have had may also be relevant. One is my work as editor, not just of our monographs, but also of the journal Classical World and, now, the Palgrave book series, “The New Antiquity.” This work has involved me with research outside my own area; in fact, the special issue of Daedalus that I recently edited on new approaches to the Greco-Roman world draws on this experience supporting other scholars. Finally, perhaps most relevant is my extensive administrative experience. In addition to serving on the boards of educational and cultural organizations, and as chair of two departments at moments of significant building, I have also spent 25 years as a college dean and academic vice provost. These leadership positions have given me insight into how institutions work, and I have not been shy about using them to promote classics at every opportunity, through curriculum development, program building, fundraising, and outreach activities (such as those organized for students, faculty, and the general public by the Center for Ancient Studies which I founded and direct). I look forward to putting whatever I have learned at the service of the SCS at this challenging time.
Niall W. Slater (Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Latin and Greek, Emory University)
I have served in a number of roles in both classical and other academic organizations. My long involvement in the Classical Association of the Middle West and South included service as president (2002-03); similarly, I held various governance roles with the Phi Beta Kappa Society and its Foundation nationally, serving as president 2003-06. For the SCS (then APA) I served on the Nominating Committee (1997-2000) and the Finance Committee (2011-2014). My scholarly interests are quite wide-ranging: while most of my publications deal with ancient drama and prose fiction, the connections of these with material culture and classical reception continue to feed both my teaching and research.
As I write these words in May with the pandemic filling all the foreground, the impulse to think in terms of crisis management is powerful. Between now and our hoped-for gathering in Chicago the present SCS leadership and our superb staff may be fighting on many fronts to maintain the space and resources for the study of the languages, culture, and history of the classical world in both our colleges and secondary schools. Yet we must think beyond the journal of this plague year and our own particular pieces of the educational landscape. Continuing our outreach efforts is essential. Faced with increasingly presentist biases in demands on education at all levels, we need closer alliances (especially through the American Council of Learned Societies and National Humanities Alliance) with other organizations and disciplines that support the vital importance of studying past cultures as part of understanding our own.
Link to web profile and CV: http://classics.emory.edu/home/people/niall-w-slater.html