Skip to main content


Andromache Karanika, Donald Mastronarde – “Editors’ Preface”

Ward Briggs – “Opening the Gates: The American Philological Association Becomes the Society for Classical Studies 1969-2018”

The history of the APA/SCS in the last 50 years shows a greater change in the purpose, structure, finances, professional services, and diversity than in the previous 100 years of its history. This article examines the major events in the Society's history during the last half-century based on interviews with senior members of the profession who brought their own recollections of this period.

Andrew Laird – “American Philological Associations: Latin and Amerindian Languages”

This article questions the common assumption that missionary linguists in early colonial Spanish America believed indigenous languages could be governed by the principles of Latin. Passages from sixteenth-century artes or manuals of Quechua, Nahuatl and P'urépecha show that their authors were compelled either to abandon or transform radically the precepts of classical and Renaissance authorities on grammar. Latin, however, did play a crucial part in the production of translations and original texts in Amerindian languages, which, with certain provisos, lay open an important field of future research for classical philologists and literary historians.

Jackie Murray – “W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Quest of the Silver Fleece: The Education of Black Medea”

W.E.B. Du Bois was born in 1868, five years after the emancipation proclamation, and in the same year in which the American Philological Association was founded. He died in 1963, five years before the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. He studied Classics at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, TN, graduating in 1888 to go on to Harvard College to take a second BA because Harvard did not accept credits from Fisk. As the sixth African American to graduate with a BA from Harvard, Du Bois received a scholarship to attend the University of Berlin. In Germany, he studied history and the new discipline Sociology. Returning to the US Du Bois graduated in 1892 as the first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard University. He taught Classics at Wilberforce University and Atlanta University, and was committed to the promotion of a liberal arts education among African Americans to address the demands for a class of professionals who could serve the needs of the Black Community. A prolific author and powerful activist for civil rights, he lived in a tumultuous time. This paper explores how his classical education shaped his first novel, The Quest of the Silver Fleece, in profound ways. It traces how the novel reflects Du Bois' views in Souls of Black Folk on themes of Black higher education, Black leadership, women's equality, anti-racism and anti-capitalism.

Emily Hauser – “When Classics Gets Creative: From Research to Practice”

There is currently high demand for creative reworkings of the classical world, from books to television series to video games. This article asks how creativity might sit together with the academic discipline of Classics and explores examples of the work being done across the boundaries of academia and creative practice by classicists and practitioners. Several ways in which creativity and Classics can be mutually productive and beneficial across all stages of an academic career and different areas of the discipline are put forward, from collaborative research to outreach and engagement to innovative teaching.

Ruth Scodel – “Contradiction in Works and Days and the Early Greek Capacity for Seeing Things Separately”

Ben Edwin Perry's 1937 TAPA article, "The Early Greek Capacity for Seeing Things Separately," is no longer as famous as it once was, but although dated in some ways, it still raises significant questions. This paper examines the stories of Prometheus-Pandora in both the Theogony and Works and Days and the Myth of Races, arguing that the poet accepted their contradictions because he was not aiming at exact historical truth, but an adequate account of the human condition.

Paul Allen Miller – “Assuming the Puella

This paper explores how scholarship on Roman elegiac poetry has changed by tracing interpretations of the elusive figure of the puella in Roman poetry. Charting the history of the concept of the puella in elegy, the paper detects broader trends and epistemic shifts in the field of Classics and beyond.

Gonda Van Steen – “Can Modern Greek Encounters Help Classics Go Global and Become More Inclusive?”

On the occasion of the SCS's anniversary, this contribution reflects on inclusive and collaborative engagements to which the fields of Modern Greek Studies and Classics, whose origins and historical evolutions have been very different, may jointly commit to come to a better understanding—and record—of diversity and global impact. It proposes a (personal) answer to the question of what Classics may learn from Modern Greek Studies and highlights good practices beyond the conventional boundaries of Classics. It holds, too, that cross-disciplinary collaboration of the bolder type will be more productive in facing today's global challenges and in effecting lasting change.

James J. O’Donnell – “The Power of Forgetting”

We know too well who we are as classicists and what we do: part of our charm, as some might think. But surely we can take the risk of seeking fresh ways of thinking. Can we consciously choose to forget the master names and master narratives that have constituted our self-understanding? Can we genuinely collaborate with other disciplines—and not only humanistic disciplines? Can we transform our PhD programs to make them authentically and successfully inviting to young people who might not otherwise be tempted to join our collective efforts? The correct answer to each of those questions is "yes."

Roberta Stewart, Dominic Machado – “Progress and Precarity: 150 years of TAPA

This paper uses the tables of contents of TAPA from the past 150 years as well as the results of a mailed survey from authors who have published in the journal for the last 50 years to interrogate demographic changes in our field. By tracking class, gender, race, and immigration status of TAPA authors, we assess the progress that has been made as represented by the public scholarly face of the Society of Classical Studies since 1869. Yet, we also show that progress has been slow and that the position of classicists from marginalized groups has always been precarious. Further, certain groups, particularly persons of color, are still notably under-represented in the marketplace of ideas represented by TAPA.

Judith P. Hallett – “Expanding Our Professional Embrace: The American Philological Association/Society for Classical Studies 1970-2019”

Focused on the organization's history and leadership over the past half-century, this paper looks back to its first century in reflecting on the increasingly prominent role accorded classicists of previously marginalized and indeed excluded backgrounds—not only women, but also Jews, Catholics, gays, émigrés, and those from non-privileged backgrounds and non-elite institutions. It also analyzes as well as surveys how the Women's Classical Caucus participated in transforming the APA.

Eric Adler, Calvert W. Jones – “What Do Classicists Think? Perspectives on Politics, Scholarship, and Disciplinary Crisis”

This article presents a representative, "state-of-the-field" picture of what US classical scholars think about issues of prime importance to their discipline. It offers results from a large-scale survey of randomly selected members of the Society for Classical Studies. We demonstrate not only what classicists think about key questions, but also how attitudes diverge on the basis of differing political ideologies, genders, ethnicities, and incomes, challenging impressionistic assumptions about the discipline. In light of the survey data, we also present ideas for the field to respond to the pedagogical, intellectual, and financial pressures of contemporary American higher education.