SCS Blog

The SCS Blog is edited and overseen by the SCS Communication Committee. Graduate students, independent scholars, teachers of all levels, faculty, and any other scholar who wishes to pitch a blogpost should use our Google Form or email a member of the committee directly. Please also note our “Blog Guidelines” prior to submitting a pitch.


01/15/2021
On December 21, 2020, which now seems like eons ago, Donald Trump issued the “Executive Order on Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture” (EOPBFCA). This understandably has been overshadowed in recent days by discussions of the Executive Order on Promoting Besiegement of Federal Civic Architecture (also EOPBFCA). Nevertheless, we should not forget to examine the original document (which, in draft form, was opposed by the SCS Board in February 2020), especially since the two occurrences are closely related — and not only in the sense that the latter action seems in direct violation of...
01/12/2021
Against the backdrop of the United States’ first non-peaceful transition of power, there is a much smaller-scale — and much more peaceful — transition happening: the changeover of the SCS Communications Committee chair and SCS blog Editor-in-Chief. Sarah Bond, after three years of visionary leadership and fantastic direction of the blog, has handed the reins over to me, as a veteran Committee member. I think I speak for the Committee and for the blog’s readership when I offer Sarah my profoundest gratitude and appreciation for her awe-inspiring work during her term. I’ll be...
12/21/2020
In memoriam Stellae Q. Decimae Lucerna ardens extinguitur   In March 2019 the Classics Department of the Universitas Viridis Montis posted a piece on the SCS blog about the ongoing austerity measures afflicting our old program, despite enrollment numbers that have been comparatively healthy for the field (including 31% growth in majors since 2015) and a long record of public outreach befitting our Land Grant mission. By now many will have heard that Dean William Falls has proposed to abolish permanently UVM’s majors and minors in Greek, Latin, and even Classical Civilization, as...
12/18/2020
Our third interview in the Contingent Faculty Series is a digital sit-down between Salvador Bartera (SB) and Joshua Nudell (JN), Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. Prof. Nudell holds a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Missouri. His research focuses on political culture and identity in Classical and early Hellenistic Greece, with particular focus on Ionia and the Greeks of Asia Minor. His monograph, Accustomed to Obedience?: A History of Classical Ionia, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press....
12/04/2020
Late in the afternoon on November 5, 2020 — close to 24 hours after polls across the country had closed for the 2020 elections — the NRA tweeted a familiar phrase: “Come and Take It.” In May of 2018, I wrote about the valorization of ancient Sparta for Eidolon. The article underscored Spartan culture as a romantic figment of the far right imagination within America. The growth in the use of Plutarch’s alleged quote of the Spartan king Leonidas, whom the Greek historian says answered back ‘μολὼν λαβέ’ (“having come, take” or in less direct translation, “come and take [them]”) to the...
11/25/2020
  The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. As part of this initiative the SCS has been funding a variety of projects ranging from reading groups comparing ancient to modern leadership practices to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. Most of the projects funded take place in the US and Canada, though the initiative is growing and has funded projects in the UK, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ghana, and...
11/16/2020
On November 3, 1903, the Department of the Isthmus separated from the Republic of Colombia and became its own republic. This act ended 82 years of history between them. The reason? to allow the US to build a canal after Colombia refused to in August of that same year. The new republic entered the twentieth century with great emotion and with the dream of finally seeing an interoceanic canal. New projects were sought, but there was also an uncertain future accompanied by the first conflicts with the Canal Zone and the United States. Which were initiated by the Hay-Bunau Varilla...
11/09/2020
Some months ago, a piece by Leah Mitchell and Eli Rubies on Classics and reception studies in the 21st century reiterated the importance of studying the reception of classical antiquity. It was a reminder that reception of classical material itself predates the scholarly field devoted to it. Its provocations overlapped with the suggestions of scholars such as Lorna Hardwick and Lowell Edmunds, namely that the interpretive benefits of reception cut two ways: not only can a source text help us understand a receiving text, but the receiving text can also help us understand the source text...
11/03/2020
(Please Read Part I First) Playing Cleopatra: Hollywood and Anglophone Television Castings For the most part, big budget Hollywood productions on the life of Cleopatra have cast actresses that conform to a certain archetype: Elizabeth Taylor, Vivienne Leigh, Claudette Colbert, Theda Bara were all ‘seductress’ types. Their curvy figures emphasized by dazzling fashion, their dark hair intended to represent their more salacious sexuality vs the casting of blond ‘innocence’. Their pale white skin represented the Eurocentric ideal beauty standards for women promoted throughout the beauty...
11/02/2020
On October 11 2020, American screenwriter and producer of Greek descent Laeta Kalogridis posted this tweet: The same day, she posted a picture of a marble head found close to Rome and believed by some scholars to portray Cleopatra VII. The next day, October 12,, Israeli actress Gal Gadot announced on social media that she was teaming up with Kalogridis as well as with American director Patty Jenkins (with whom Gadot has previously worked on the set of Wonder Woman) “to bring the story of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before”. She added...

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