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August 24, 2012

Dear SCS Member:

Preparations are well under way for the 2013 Annual Meeting in Seattle from January 3-6, and I look forward to welcoming you to there. This is the first time that APA and AIA have met in this city, but many of us know it as a vibrant and interesting place and are looking forward to visiting it again. Those who do not know the city are in for a treat, and the local organizing committee, headed by Alain Gowing and Ruby Blondell, are doing a lot to make things easier for first-time visitors as well as Seattle devotees.

The membership as a whole is certainly doing its best to make the meeting a success. The number of individual abstracts submitted this year was almost as high as last year’s record-setting total (numbers here), and the quality of the abstracts was high as well: the acceptance rate this year was just over 30%, up from 26.8% last year. The scholarly program will consist of 77 sessions, including 4 seminars As you will see, the Program Committee was able to construct a schedule that omits the traditional Sunday afternoon session. The meeting will therefore end at 1:00 p.m., making it possible for most registrants to return home on Sunday.

Another change: presenters of individual papers will be able to speak for 20 minutes instead of the traditional 15. (The timing of papers presented in panels is determined by the organizers.) The extra time should allow speakers to explore their subjects in greater depth than before. We will also continue the practice started last year of requiring these speakers to share their papers with each other and the presider several weeks before the meeting. Our experience last year indicates that this practice results in better discussions during the sessions.

I especially want to note that Jeff Henderson has prepared an outstanding Presidential Panel and Presidential Address. The Panel, entitled “Comic Dimensions of Greek Myth,” will feature talks by Lowell Edmunds, David Konstan, Jeff Rusten, and Alan Shapiro. The title of the Presidential Address is “A Brief History of Athenian Political Comedy, ca. 440 to ca. 300.”

The traditional Friday night reading of a play on a classical theme continues this year as Vice President for Outreach Mary-Kay Gamel will direct her translation of Alcestis.

On Thursday night, January 3, the Program Committee will offer a session entitled “Pathways to the Program” during which we hope to provide guidance for members intending to submit proposals and abstracts for future meetings. There will also be an opportunity to discuss how the Committee does its work, to answer any questions that there may be about the process, and to hear ideas about ways in which it could be improved.

For complete information on registration, housing, and other aspects of the meeting, visit the Association’s web site. As the time approaches, I expect to be able to update you about specific events and opportunities, including a few innovations. And I look forward to seeing many of you in Seattle.

Very truly yours,

Joseph Farrell
Vice President for Program