T. H. M. Gellar-Goad
The online presence of Classics has shifted profoundly over the past five years. An abortive attempt by the then-APA to set up a team of regular columnists to publish online their thoughts on all things related to the discipline gave way to the much-more-successful endeavor of Eidolon, whose use of the Medium platform has helped it gain a wide readership and a sophisticated site design. Meanwhile, scholars on both sides of the Atlantic have built robust Twitter followings and communities, Digital Classics projects have proliferated and expanded the amount of and means of access to the ancient world, and compelling blog authorship has led to high-profile Forbes columnist gigs for a couple members of the profession.
This presentation aims to share these successes even as it acknowledges some of the challenges the Communications Committee has faced in curating the online presence of the SCS. On the organizational side of the field, for example, finding a niche and a design that draws in an audience has been difficult. The SCS renaming, domain name change, and site design are ongoing sources of struggle -- site design limitations being an issue shared as well by regional organizations such as CAMWS and CAPN and affiliated groups such as the Women’s Classical Caucus -- and the SCS Communications Committee has been working to address these issues. The newly revamped SCS blog, for instance, is aiming not to compete with Eidolon but to complement it, to publish pieces that do not fit Eidolon’s scope but are nonetheless valuable to professional classicists and enthusiastic generalists. It is hard to predict what is to come in all these areas; but there can be no doubt that the future will demand a nimbler and more engaged approach than has typically characterized the academic response to information technology. As the experience of the internet becomes increasingly dispersed and multimodal, the task of digital outreach becomes more like Archilochus’ fox than his hedgehog: we must know many things, not one big one, if we are to connect meaningfully with folks outside the confines of the profession proper.
I look forward to participating in and helping to moderate the open-mic session sponsored by the SCS Division of Communications and Outreach.
Outreach Open Mic