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Research—January 2012

1. American Office of L’Année Philologique:  In accordance with the decision taken on January 6, 2011, Hans-Friedrich Mueller of Union College has been appointed as Chair of the Advisory Board for the American Office of APh, for a five-year term. He is full of energy and ideas as well as deeply committed to APh, without being wedded to past ways of doing things. He began his work by representing the APA already at the fall meetings in Paris in November and led a lively discussion at the Philadelphia meeting of the Advisory Board. There are serious threats to the future of the German office, and somewhat less imminent uncertainties about the funding of other European offices (although not to the Paris main office), and these may pose significant challenges to many of APh’s operations. The Research Committee also had an extensive discussion of the situation, and Professor Mueller has a good sense of the range of views there as he looks to this year’s conversations in Paris. A second grant from the Packard Humanities Institute will make it possible to make inroads this summer into the American Office’s backlog in analyzing collective volumes, especially handbooks, companions, and the like.

2. Task Force on Translations: This is now a standing Committee, which Jeffrey Henderson has agreed to chair. The committee met for the first time in Philadelphia and laid out a process for carrying out its multipronged mandate to survey what is available, help make more available what exists but is hard to find, and encourage the creation of new translations where needed.

3. Digital Latin Library: President Coleman was approached by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation during the summer about the possibility of the APA’s undertaking a major project in the area of the Latin textual corpus. A small ad hoc committee worked over the summer and fall, with formal authorization from the Directors at their September meeting, to prepare a planning grant application for this project, and the application was submitted in January. It asks for support for a planning process over the coming year, to be led by Samuel Huskey, to survey existing resources and develop an architecture and plan for a comprehensive resource in the area of Latin texts. The Medieval Academy of American and the Renaissance Society of America will also take part in this planning process, which envisages a Latin corpus extending from antiquity until the present, although probably with a focus on the ancient to Renaissance material.

4. Task Force on Biography of Classical Scholars: This is now a standing Advisory Committee, chaired by Ward Briggs. It has been working toward a formal structure and grant proposal document but is not yet ready to make a substantive report.

5.  Performance Archive of Greek and Latin literature. The Task Force accepted the final proposal by NYU to design and create such an archive, and a working group at NYU, led by Peter Meineck, is currently putting together a structure for the project and preparing a planning grant application. This is expected to be submitted in early 2012.

6. Research and the Profession. This task force, chaired by Michael Gagarin, submitted a report to the Directors, arguing that the APA’s existing statements about research and about professional ethics were sufficient and covered all essential topics but needed greater visibility on the web site.

7. Thesaurus Linguae Latinae: Anthony Corbeill reported in Philadelphia on the year’s fellowship process, which yielded a record applicant pool and a very strong interview group, almost all of whom were felt to be suitable. The NEH has been impressed with this program and encouraged the APA to think about the possibility of applying for funds to expand the program to a second fellowship, perhaps for a more senior scholar. This possibility (obviously dependent in part on the state of NEH funding) will be discussed by the committee in the coming year.

Roger Bagnall
Vice President for Research, 2009-2013

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