2017 Awards for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level

The SCS Teaching Excellence Awards Committee has awarded three prizes this year to the following teachers at the college and university level:

E. Del Chrol (Marshall University)

Shelley Haley (Hamilton College)

Mary Pendergraft (Wake Forest University)

The winners will receive their awards at the Plenary Session at the Boston Annual Meeting. Please click on the names above to read the full citations. 

E. Del Chrol

The committee is delighted to recognize Professor E. Del Chrol of the Humanities Program at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he has been for the past twelve years.  Prof. Chrol is already a decorated teacher: he has won the Pickens-Queen Teaching Award at Marshall, the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, and, in graduate school at the University of Southern California, both a departmental and a university-wide teaching award.  So it is no surprise to find in his application materials a deep commitment to and patent skills in pedagogy, conceived very broadly, including also a wide range of presentations on pedagogical issues.

One of his letter-writers notes, “He is a spell-binding presenter, a showman with pizzazz as well as substance, who utilizes humor, rhetorical flourishes, and a fast-paced delivery to keep students interested and engaged. He so thoroughly inhabits his ideas that his presentations often seem off-the-cuff, even though he works diligently on them.”  It is no surprise, then, to find that one of his most popular courses is entitled “The Rhetoric of Seduction.”  This course, which builds upon his research, is taught in election years, and is specifically designed to enable students to think through campaign rhetoric.  Prof. Chrol regularly enlists local and state politicians to come to the course as guest lecturers, an event which clearly blows the students away.  And, as Prof. Chrol notes in his description of the course, his aim in this is not merely to impress: his main goal is in bringing in such local superstars is to introduce his students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, to successful individuals who have similar backgrounds to them, and to encourage them to broaden their horizons. 

Indeed, the broadening of horizons is an apt way to characterize Prof. Chrol’s approach to teaching as a whole.  Several years ago, he began to invite outside speakers to come to Marshall, and he regularly attends regional conferences with students.  He incorporates oral Latin into his Latin classes; he uses Classcraft in beginning Latin; he regularly teaches Reacting to the Past modules; he mentors both students who want to teach Latin and those interested in graduate programs.  Such horizon-broadening is well within the realm of ordinary mortals, and indeed, might well result – as it has at Marshall – in regularly filled courses offered by Prof. Chrol, and increased enrollments across the program, including in Greek language courses.  But there is also a faint whiff of the super-human about his team-taught major seminar on horoscopes, divination and astrology, which involved a field trip to the top of the parking garage for a hands-on session in ornithomancy and the casting of horoscopes according to several ancient systems.

Prof. Chrol shines in the classroom, but according to one student he is even more impressive in situ, as it were, in Rome, giving lectures on a remarkable range of topics.  His passion for the Classics, construed extremely broadly, was noted by many of his students and colleagues, as were his accessibility to students and his evident concern with their progress as students and as human beings.  We are, then, extremely pleased to honor Del for his exemplary teaching and service to the profession with this Award for Excellence in Teaching of Classics at the College level. 

Shelley Haley

Shelley Haley, professor of Classics and Africana Studies at Hamilton College, wears many hats. As a traditionally trained Classicist, she teaches a wide range of courses in Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilization. As an expert in North Africa during the period of classical antiquity, she teaches courses on Ancient Egypt.  And as Shelley Haley, she challenges all her students and colleagues to see the effects of racism and gender discrimination in the ancient world, in modern scholarship, and in the world around us. In a course on Xenophon, she asks students to consider the treatment of the “other” by the author; in a senior capstone class for classics majors, she taught a segment on “Constructions of Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome.” Her course “Unraveling Cleopatra”, which is cross-listed with Classics, Africana Studies, and Women’s Studies, exposes the many biases that underlie the reception of the character of Cleopatra.

Haley’s knowledge and passion for Classics is widely appreciated by Hamilton students, who all comment on her broad knowledge, caring mentorship, and teaching approach which challenges them to look beyond the narrow confines of the whiteness of Classics. Many students comment on how Haley challenged them to be conscious of their own biases, and the lifelong benefit they derived from her approach. One student, now a physician, writes “What I admire most about her teaching style is how she challenges students to analyze ancient sources and modern receptions of antiquity through an intersectional feminist lens… I often use what I learned about intersectionality from her in my patient interactions to provide more holistic medical care to patients.” A recent graduate notes “From her fascination with Cicero, to her flawless mastery of the Latin language, to her research on thousands of years of Egyptian antiquity, it was always clear that Professor Haley’s passion for these subjects was unwavering, and that she could never rest complacent in her existing pool of knowledge.  Shelley Haley is always pushing to learn new things in her own field, ensuring for her student that no lecture or assignment will ever feel stale.” Students and colleagues alike note her tremendous skill in and passion for mentoring. It should come as no surprise that students at Hamilton College awarded Haley the Samuel and Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

We are honored to recognize Professor Shelly Haley for her devotion to teaching and mentoring with the SCS’s 2017 Award for Excellent in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level.

Mary Pendergraft

Mary Pendergraft has been a Classics professor at Wake Forest University since 1988 Throughout that time, Prof. Pendergraft has tirelessly and masterfully taught, advised, and mentored countless students. As all of her letter writers note, she is extraordinarily generous with her time and is always available to students. Wake Forest University acknowledged her devotion to mentoring her students by giving the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising in 2016. She has played an important guiding role in undergraduate honors theses and M.A. thesis committees at Wake Forest. As a letter writer put it, "that, for me, is the mark of 'teaching excellence' […] someone from whom you continue to learn, even 20 years after you have left her classroom." She has endless reserves of wisdom, energy, and patience for her students and her memorable classes are clearly only the beginning of her lasting effect on their lives. One letter writer stated that Prof. Pendergraft "helped me to achieve through her rigorous training, tireless encouragement, and wise counsel." It is no surprise that CAMWS recognized her superlative teaching with its award for Excellence in College Teaching in 2013.

This would be in itself a notable legacy but Prof. Pendergraft has somehow found the time to develop and sustain substantive dialogues between college professors and high school teachers. She has consistently organized panels, delivered papers, and published articles about pedagogy and mentoring. As an expression of their gratitude for all she has done to support and promote the field of Classics, Prof. Pendergraft received a Merita Award from ACL in 2011, and an Ovatio from CAMWS in 2013. She has been active in the National Committee for Latin and Greek and is the current coordinator for the Tirones Project that mentors new Latin teachers. She has also been heavily involved with the JCL at the state and national levels. Prof. Pendergraft has been an integral part of the AP Latin Readings for the past twenty years, and she has served in every leadership role there including that of Chief Reader (2007-2011). When the AP curriculum substantially changed, Prof. Pendergraft offered many workshops, seminars, and webinars devoted to helping teachers to teach that material effectively. She has been advisor for Wake Forest's Eta Sigma Phi chapter every year since 1994, and she has encouraged many students over the years to attend and present at the annual national conference. Unsurprisingly, a large number of those students look back on these conferences as important moments in their professional careers. Under the kind and expert eye of Professor Pendergraft, many of her students have gone to graduate school and become teachers and professors all over the country in Classics and related fields.

This is just a small sampling of the astonishing amount and variety of teaching and service she has done for students and teachers at the local, regional, and national levels. She has in a sense been mentoring the very field of Classics itself by directly inspiring so many students to remain engaged with the ancient world as teachers and as avid lifelong learners. As one letter writer puts it, "Mary Pendergraft has taught us all, and she is deserving of the award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level." The committee could not agree more and we are delighted to honor Prof. Pendergraft this year with this Award for Excellence in Teaching of Classics at the College level.

Citations by the Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee members, Eric Casey, Laurel Fulkerson, and Jennifer Sheridan Moss

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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Battle

(From the Dartmouth News blog)

SCS Outreach Prize winner Roberta Stewart, founder of book discussion groups for veterans, held a workshop recently with Classicists from other states hoping to start similar programs.

"The workshop represents a pilot to test the ability to develop a national network of co-facilitators who work pro bono to run groups nationwide."

You can read the full article here: https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2018/07/classics-professors-book-group-v...

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(Photo: "Painted slab of tomb with 'Duel'" by Carlo Raso, public domain)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:54am by Erik Shell.

When you do study abroad trips with college or high school students, teaching happens on-site and draws upon the artifacts that surround you. We found this out firsthand while leading the first ever 3-week study abroad summer session in Greece from 21 May to 12 June for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Classics department this summer. I co-led the trip with classicist Thomas Rose. We both specialize in different areas, which really gave breadth to the teaching. Whereas Prof. Rose is an expert in Greco-Roman historiography and epigraphy, I specialize in poetry and translation while teaching at the University of Iowa. The itinerary was loosely inspired by the trips we both took to central and northern Greece as regular and student associate members of the American School for Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) in 2012 with our Mellon professor, Margaret M. Miles.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 07/12/2018 - 6:52pm by Adrienne K.H. Rose.

The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for its residential fellowships for the academic year 2019/2020.

The Academy seeks to enrich transatlantic dialogue in the arts, humanities, and public policy through the development and communication of projects of the highest scholarly merit. For 2019/2020, the Academy is also interested in considering projects that address the themes of migration and social integration, questions of race in comparative perspective, and the interplay of exile and return.

For all projects, the Academy asks that candidates explain the relevance of a stay in Berlin to the development of their work.

Approximately 20 Berlin Prizes are conferred annually. Past recipients have included art historians, anthropologists, historians, musicologists, journalists, writers, filmmakers, sociologists, legal scholars, economists, and public policy experts, among others. Fellowships are typically awarded for an academic semester, but shorter stays of six to eight weeks are also possible. Benefits include round-trip airfare, partial board, a $5,000 monthly stipend, and accommodations at the Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center in the Berlin-Wannsee district.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:33am by Erik Shell.
Ancient Greek football player balancing the ball. Part of a marble grave stele, found in Piraeus, 400-375 BC. Item (NAMA) 873 of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Image via Wikimedia under Public Domain.

“For as long as he lives, a man has no greater glory
than that which he wins with his own hands and feet”

οὐ μὲν γὰρ μεῖζον κλέος ἀνέρος, ὄφρα κεν ᾖσιν,
ἢ ὅ τι ποσσίν τε ῥέξῃ καὶ χερσὶν ἑῇσιν.
Homer, Odyssey 8.147-148

Salve, My ancient Roman friend—I know that much of this world of ours confuses you. Not if I had ten thousand mouths and as many years could I cover the histories of the centuries between your world and ours, nor could I catalog and explain airplanes, televisions, cell phones, and the droning chorus of wonders and horrors you see around you.

But maybe I can start with something which will help bridge the gulf between your world and ours—sport. Even though the younger Pliny mocked his contemporaries for their passion for horse races, passion for sport is an ancient inheritance.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 07/10/2018 - 1:22pm by Joel Perry Christensen.

CFP: “Virgil and the Feminine” Vergilian Society’s Symposium Cumanum 2019

June 20-22, Villa Vergiliana, Cuma

Co-Directors: Elena Giusti (Warwick) and Victoria Rimell (Warwick)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 1:25pm by Erik Shell.

The Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the Roman Fora. What could be more Roman? These sites typically exemplify the power of the ancient Roman Empire and its lasting impact on the modern world. These are some of the definitive sites to visit on any trip to the eternal city, but how did these sites contribute to imperial propaganda and memory?

Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati and Fellow in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome and I recently organized and led a tour in Rome, entitled “Sites of Memory and Memories of Conflict: Imperial Rome, Jerusalem, and Nero,” asking just this question with the trustees of the American Academy in Rome. The Flavian dynasty, after the fall of Nero and the disastrous Year of the Four Emperors, built or added to many of modern day Rome’s most iconic buildings: the Colosseum, the Arch of Titus, the Circus Maximus (adding a triumphal arch at the eastern end), and the Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace).

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 07/05/2018 - 3:53pm by Catherine Bonesho.

Call for Papers

Classics and Global Humanities

Extended Deadline: 8th July, 2018

University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

 11-12 October, 2018

Keynote Speaker

      Prof. Barbara Goff, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Studies have explored the cross-cultural engagement between Western civilisation and other cultures (Stephens and Vasunia 2010) as well as the legacy and reception of the Classics in the Arab world (Pormann 2015), India (Vasunia 2013), West Africa (Goff 2013; Goff and Simpson 2007) and recently, South Africa (Parker 2017). Classical reception studies thus continue to play a key role in bringing different parts of the world into greater dialogue with each other.

We invite abstracts for papers not only from Classics but also from other disciplines and sub-disciplines which explore ways in which reception studies is giving a new voice to classical research in West Africa, consider ways in which Classics in West Africa engages with the legacies of Egypt, Greece, and Rome or examine cross-cultural themes in both ancient and modern traditions. We also welcome papers which draw lessons from other parts of Africa and the world.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 07/03/2018 - 2:35pm by Helen Cullyer.

In spring 2018, students enrolled in the upper-level seminar “Antiquity Through a Lens” at Miami University engaged in critical study of the ways the classical world and, more specifically, ancient war narratives have been used in modern film and television to reflect on contemporary society and its conflicts.  Alongside study of ancient primary sources, students thus explored a range of concepts such as gender, class, race, religion, and even the meaning of victory itself in Troy (2004), 300 (2007), 300:  Rise of an Empire (2014), Spartacus (1960), Masada (1981), and Dragon Blade (2015).  It was the latter film, however, that provoked the most intriguing reactions from students in the course, since it forced them to view classical history for the first time through a distinctly non-Western lens. Please note that quotations in italics are taken with permission from comments students wrote when asked to reflect on what their encounter with Dragon Blade contributed to the course, CLS 361. 

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 4:46pm by Denise Eileen McCoskey.

XVII International ARYS Colloquium

"DRESSING DIVINELY: clothed or naked deities and devotees"

V Centenario Residence (UNEX)
Jarandilla de la Vera, 13-14 December 2018

The development of a theoretical framework for the understanding of the links between religious identity and clothing depends both on a careful terminological selection and on a broad and holistic definition of the social aspects of wear. Through the use of trappings as an effective means of communication in social interaction, it is possible to activate identities based on and assigned by social structures, especially those built on kinship, economic, religious and political activities. At the same time, clothing represents for the individual an inexhaustible source of expressive creativity that can even break the “iconographic vocabulary” of a particular social group. Moreover, the specific types and properties of clothing that convey identity may change over time in response to economic, demographic, aesthetic and technological changes. A comprehensive definition of clothing includes both body modifications and complements, the properties of which have to be analyzed together with the sensory stimuli they may evoke.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.

The departments of Classics, Music, and Comparative Literature at King’s College London are delighted to announce a call for papers for an upcoming conference:

‘Amplifying Antiquity: Music as Classical Reception’
Strand Campus, King’s College London, December 12th-13th 2018

The focus of the conference is deliberately wide, and we welcome proposals to speak on any aspect of how the culture, history, and myth of the Greek and Roman worlds have influenced the music of the 17th-21st centuries. We hope that papers will demonstrate the scope for fresh work and new collaborations in this area.

Musical works addressed need not be conventionally viewed as part of the classical tradition. Papers might touch on topics such as: the use of antiquity in the invention of new musical genres and development of aesthetic priorities; the relationship between performative speech and song, past and present; the gendering of ancient voices in modern productions; the social contexts of musical commissioning and performance; the conservative and radical political potential in music inspired by the classical world.

Speakers already confirmed include Sina Dell’Anno (Basel), Edith Hall (KCL), Wendy Heller (Princeton), Sarah Hibberd (Bristol), and Stephanie Oade (Oxford).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 06/26/2018 - 3:42pm by Erik Shell.

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The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for its residential fello
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CFP: “Virgil and the Feminine” Vergilian Society’s Symposium Cumanum
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