The Lego Classicists project is more than child’s play. Recreating classics scholars in Lego bricks crosses the boundaries between pop-art and ancient history, focusing attention on the work of ancient world scholars in an environment of celebration, connection and inclusion.
Although it began almost by accident, Lego Classicists is being embraced by some of the world’s leading classics and ancient world scholars, including Dame Mary Beard. On 20th February 2019, the third annual International Lego Classicism Day also attracted participants from across the world: Cambridge University’s CREWS Project; academic and broadcaster, Michael Scott; the Director of the British School at Athens, John Bennet; staff at Stellembosch University, South Africa; the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney; the Ure Museum; Reading University; and conservators at the British Museum.
Today we wish to introduce a new project: Women in Classics: Conversations. This venture consists of a series of interviews with female professors of Classics, many of whom were the first hired or the first to receive tenure at their institutions in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These academic women blazed a new trail as teachers and scholars at a time when university positions in many fields were overwhelmingly held by men. They did so in a discipline that has been described as “one of the most conservative, hierarchical, and patriarchal of academic fields.” Their experiences, as presented in these interviews, provide colorful, candid snapshots of a critical moment in the history of the discipline.
In the past year, the Society for Classical Studies website has published a number of pieces catalyzed by the blatant racism on display at the most recent annual meeting. Professor Joy Connolly wrote a piece called “Working Toward a Just and Inclusive Future for Classics,” which then generated a response by an anonymous graduate student group, which in turn led to further comment by the SCS, Professor Connolly, and the newly formed SCS Graduate Student Committee. These various pieces pointed to ways Classics could progress and thrive for generations to come.
'Addressing the Divide' is a new series of columns that looks at the ways in which the modern field of Classics was constructed and then explores ways to identify, modify, or simply abolish the lines between fields in order to embrace broader ideas of what Classics was, is, and could be. This month, Sarah Bond discusses the partition between Biblical Studies and the field of Classics.
March 6, 2019
RE: Statement to the Field about the State of Classics at the University of Vermont (UVM)
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
After receiving a number of concerned queries about recent cutbacks to Classics at UVM (Universitas Viridis Montis), the department’s faculty have composed the following statement:
Jeffrey Henderson and Richard Thomas, conducting our Academic Program Review of 2014–2015, concluded their positive assessment as follows:
'Addressing the Divide' is a new column that looks at the ways in which the modern field of Classics was constructed and then explores ways to identify, modify, or simply abolish the lines between fields in order to embrace broader ideas of what Classics was, is, and could be. This month, Prof. Catherine Bonesho, an Assistant Professor at UCLA who specializes in the ancient history of Judaism and the Near East, speaks to classicist and Herodotus scholar Prof. Rachel Hart.
I love Classics, but it isn’t my first love; that was art, specifically Pre-Raphaelite art. A visit to my local museum with school introduced me to them, and my eight-year-old self thought it was fate when I found a painting with my name that I thought was by Edward Burne-Jones (Amy by Arthur Hughes; it wasn’t spelt right but it wasn’t often anyway, and still isn’t). A postcard sent shortly after the museum visit by a relative, featuring A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse (but wrongly attributed on said postcard to Burne-Jones) cemented my love of the Pre-Raphaelites, and Burne-Jones in particular.
Perhaps paradoxically, Classicists spend a lot of time thinking about the future of our field. Although we spend the majority of our working days researching ancient material, teaching such material to students, and thinking about the particulars of a Latin text, North African relief, Hellenistic religious rite, or exceptionally obscure Greek gnome (e.g. “Water is best”), we often wonder (with various levels of anxiety) how such work will be done in the future, or if there will even be Classics in the future.
In order to prepare for the SCS’s upcoming sesquicentennial at the annual meeting in San Diego from January 3–6, 2019, the SCS blog is highlighting panels, keynotes, and workshops from the schedule. This week we are focusing on the Podcasting the Classics panel (8:00am–10:30am on Saturday, Jan. 5) by pointing to some resources for those who want to explore the medium more fully.
Today we feature a set of podcasts in which the host(s) interview guest classicists to discuss their work, their insights into the ancient world and its relevance for modernity, and their personal and professional experiences.
Ancient Greece Declassified (w/ Vanya Visnjic)
Last year the Classical Studies Department at the University of Michigan announced the launch of its Bridge MA, a fully funded program designed to prepare scholars from diverse backgrounds for entry into one of Michigan’s Ph.D. programs in Classical Studies or related fields. There are few programs like it, particularly at public universities. One of its architects, Professor Sara Ahbel-Rappe, recently received a competitive award for her diversity efforts. I connected with her along with Dr.