"ENSURING A FUTURE FOR CLASSICAL STUDIES IN THE ACADEMY: INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL AND SUCCESS"
Organized and led by SCS President Matthew Santirocco
Friday, January 6, 5:30-7:30pm CDT
Over the past several years, Classics departments and programs have been closed, shrunk, or merged with other programs, with tenured faculty not replaced, or replaced with contingent faculty, or reassigned to other units until their retirement. Driven by budgetary considerations, these administrative decisions also reflect attitudes toward the humanities in general and a rebalancing of priorities by colleges and universities to align with vocational anxieties, perceived societal needs, and enrollment trends. It is paradoxical that this is taking place at a time when interest in the ancient world among the general public is high, and when the field is as intellectually vital as it has ever been, exploring in its research and teaching new and timely subjects and approaches to antiquity, while also recognizing the need to address historical injustices and to become more diverse and inclusive.
Through the heroic efforts of our Campus Advisory Service, the SCS has provided tactical advice to departments at risk and has intervened when threats materialized. This panel will explore additional, more radical, and longer-term strategic moves that we can make. In particular, while traditional Classics departments have many advantages (especially their multi-disciplinary makeup) and will likely survive at larger and well-resourced institutions, there are other ways to organize our field institutionally, to reflect our current intellectual preoccupations, to build new partnerships or strengthen existing ones with other fields and the general public, and to allow our field not just to survive, but also to lead the way in ensuring a place for premodern studies and the humanities more generally in the academy. The following panelists will explore several proactive strategies:
1) Matthew S. Santirocco (New York University), Introduction and moderator;
2) Joy Connolly (ACLS), "Five Reasons Why Classical Studies Should Change its Name and Go Global";
3) Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University), "Systems Thinking in Premodern Studies";
4) Brandon Bourgeois (University of Southern California), "The Place of Reception, Translation, and Performance";
5) Sanjaya Thakur (Colorado College), "The Future of Classics in Liberal Arts Colleges";
6) Nadhira Hill (University of Michigan), "Reinventing Graduate Education in Classics."