2017 C.J. Goodwin Award of Merit

The C.J. Goodwin Award of Merit Committee has selected three winners of this year's Goodwin Award.  All three will be honored at the Plenary Session at the Boston Annual Meeting.  You can click on the names below to read the full citations.

James I. PorterThe Sublime in Antiquity, Cambridge University Press, 2016

Amy RussellThe Politics of Public Space in Republican Rome, Cambridge University Press, 2015

Peter T. StruckDivination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity, Princeton University Press, 2016

James Porter

James Porter's The Sublime in Antiquity is a critical tour-de-force and at the same time a rich and open-ended source-book that will delight readers interested in how the Greeks and Romans described and analyzed the experience of being struck, captivated, even overwhelmed by an act of hearing, viewing, or reading – an experience surely familiar to all lovers of Classical literature and art.

The notion of “the sublime” and of a special category of awe-inspiring, transcendent and almost inexpressible greatness, whether encountered in the natural world (mountains, oceans, storms, a divine presence…) or in various forms of artistic production, has been a key element in Western aesthetics at least since the 18th century.  Critics such as Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant, and G. W. F. Hegel have been followed by innumerable philosophers and historians of aesthetics, almost all of whom have traced the origin of this notion back to the unknown author (traditionally referred to as “Longinus”) who composed a remarkable rhetorical treatise entitled Peri Hypsous (or in Latin, De Sublimitate), some time between ca. 50 and 300 CE.  Longinus’ treatise is thus almost universally regarded as constituting a major break-through in aesthetic thought that really stands alone in Classical antiquity.  (M. H. Abrams, for example, in The Mirror and the Lamp, famously zeroed-in on the contrast between “Classical” poetics, as represented by Aristotle and the mainstream, and “Romantic” sensibilities, as adumbrated by Longinus.)  James Porter, in his immensely erudite and wide-ranging new book, overturns this standardized history of criticism and offers a new and fascinating account of the multiple ways in which “sublime, wonderful, stupendous” experiences and compositions were recognized and described by a wide range of authors before and after Longinus – from Homer and Pindar, to Empedocles and Lucretius, and even such drily analytical critics as Aristotle and Dionysius of Halicarnassus.  Porter’s extensively documented study, exploring numerous poetical and philosophical passages in close detail, makes it clear that Longinus’ treatise in fact comes in the middle, not at the beginning, of such discussions, distinguished more by its style and choice of particular examples than by its conceptual originality.  As Porter observes, “The sublime pervades much of antiquity; it has simply been hiding in the light.”

Porter’s book is not simply a negative achievement, however, in its re-positioning of Longinus within literary and aesthetic history. Along with its stimulating and important argument about the “tradition of the sublime” as a concept and an affective experience, the book provides a wonderful assemblage of particular close readings and analyses of individual texts, making new connections both within antiquity itself and between ancient and modern authors.  Porter explores such stylistic strategies and dichotomies as simplicity vs variety, the power of the kairos and of ekplêxis, and the “logic of excess,” showing how all of these techniques involve an “art of the emotions” in which, as both rhetoricians and philosophers implicitly agreed, artistic skill and organizational power, whether human or divine, lie at the heart of the sublime effect. This book will immediately become required reading for anyone seriously studying ancient stylistics, rhetorical theory, and the history of aesthetics.  

Amy Russell

The semantic range of public and private in Latin, and the degree to which it overlaps with and challenges our own concepts, has been a fruitful topic in recent research.  In terms of the built environment, stimulating scholarship has shown how public concerns such as aristocratic display infuse the private sphere of Rome down to the layout of the Roman house.  In The Politics of Public Space in Republican Rome (Cambridge 2016), Amy Russell flips our perspective by revealing the complexity of Republican Rome’s public sphere, tracing the fraught, entangled relationship between private and public in the variegated  histories of the Forum Romanum, the Capitoline, and Pompey’s temple, theater and portico complex on the Campus Martius.  In doing so, she tells an entirely fresh, 3D story of the contradictions and paradoxes of later Roman Republican political history through competing efforts to control, delineate, frame, or co-opt public space and through different groups’ diverse experiences and interpretations of public space.  Russell allows us to see fully how incomprehensible the Romans would have found modern presuppositions about institutional agency.

Russell delves into textual sources with fine-tuned interpretive skills, into the archaeological record with a sharp eye for detail, and with discerning judgement into theoretical literature on the spatial turn, behavioral methodology, and hotly debated questions of the shape of Roman Republican politics; she highlights the peculiarity of Roman Republican configurations of the public not just in theory, but in everyday experience: on the streets, in temples, and in the staged environment of the Forum Romanum.  The spatial configurations of the later Republican Forum Romanum, for example, tell multiple, competing stories of differentiated roles and perspectives, and of efforts to control and their limits.  Speakers on the Rostra towered over the Comitium, the monumentalized assembly-place of citizens, while the Curia constrained it. But tight choreography invites disruption, so that a tribune standing on the Rostra could turn his back on the Comitium and Curia and invoke a new vision of the Roman populus occupying the open space of the Forum proper.

It was the “ideology of publicity” (in Fergus Millar’s words), the necessity for Republican political actors and actions to have public witnesses and endorsers, that ramped up aspirations to control, claim and corner the Roman people and the public sphere itself.  Russell’s compelling tableaux “show the consequent interpenetration of private and public and illuminate their confrontations.”  Basilicas built with public funds nevertheless monumentalized their patrons, and actively shaped the experience of the public that enjoyed them, their architecture and very name invoking the palaces of Hellenistic kings. Temple complexes might incorporate individual family tombs, or their decoration might speak the quintessentially private, even regal language of leisure. If, for us, “the personal is political,” Russell argues convincingly that the political and the public become ever more personal in the last decades of the Republic until, once Augustus eclipses the state, it becomes impossible to see any light between them.

Peter Struck

Ancient divination is regularly dismissed by moderns as a species of fake knowledge.  Some of the rhetorical moves in that dismissal are borrowed from Cicero and other ancients, but the dismissal itself is peremptory, often smug.  Peter Struck’s subtle and ambitious exploration of the subject begins with the recognition that for those who used and respected mantic practices, divination successfully offered a means of acquiring knowledge that was real and functional.  For the practitioner or observer, the critiques of a few were immaterial and irrelevant.

With a careful exploration of the history of thinking about divination among the philosophers, Struck mediates between ancient and contemporary observers to create a way of interpreting divination that escapes both credulity and dismissiveness.  In Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics he traces a history of argument that is serious and credible and respectful of the real experience of their contemporaries.  Faced with knowledge of evident usefulness, knowledge that did not differentiate itself clearly in their eyes from that acquired by what we would regard as true scientific means, the subtlest ancient thinkers provided a rationale that did justice to experience.  Struck traces his story then to the neo-Platonists and in particular Iamblichus who, working in and faithful to the traditions he inherited, nevertheless introduced distinctions that would begin to define and harden the lines separating real from fake, human (and eventually scientific) from divine. 

Struck’s theoretical exposition of ‘surplus knowledge’ and the analogy to modern understandings of intuition familiarize the unfamiliar and make divination more accessible.  As a result, Struck shows we know more than the ancients did … and less.  His erudition, patient argument, and lucid explanation enrich our sense of the ancient past as indeed a foreign country, but one that we can imagine inhabiting.

Citations by the Goodwin Award Committee members, Mark Griffith, Sheila Murnaghan, Emma Dench, Michele Lowrie, and James J. O'Donnell.

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

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Lapis SatricanusIscrizione latina arcaica, VI secolo a.C. EDR 078476. Photo by Giulia Sarullo - Own work, via Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0.

EAGLE, the Electronic Archive of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, was conceived in 1997 by the Italian Epigrapher Silvio Panciera (1933–2016). Based at Sapienza — Università di Roma, it appeared under the aegis of the Association Internationale d’Épigraphie Grecque et Latine (AIEGL) and an international steering committee. The site launched in 2003, with the goal of providing a gateway for the search of all Greek and Latin inscriptions.

It began with a collaboration of four major databases of Roman inscriptions. Briefly:

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 10/14/2018 - 11:28am by Charles Hedrick.

Mediterranean Connections – How the Sea Links People and Transforms Identities

Session 7 of the International Open Workshop: Socio-Environmental Dynamics VI (organized by the  Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” and the Collaborative Research Centre 1266 “Scales of Transformation”)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 10/12/2018 - 2:45pm by Erik Shell.
“Ways of Seeing, Ways of Reading, 2”
The Aesthetics and Anthropology of Arms and Armor
 
Columbia University, Schermerhorn Hall 612
1180 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
 
 
- PROGRAM -

Friday, October 19: morning (Columbia University, Schermerhorn Hall 612)

1. Weapons, Good to Think With (9:30-11 am)

- Christine Mauduit (ENS), “Around the Sword: Some Thoughts about Ajax’s Suicide”

- Deborah Steiner (Columbia), "Arms and the Symposion”

- Camille Rambourg (ENS), "Exploring the Question of Responsibility: The Javelin of Antiphon's Second Tetralogy"

- Peter van Alfen (ANS), "Arms and Armor in archaic coins" 

Coffee Break (11-11:30 am)

2. Arms, Culture, Religion (11.30 am-1 pm)

- Ellen Morris (Barnard), "Daggers, Militarism, and the Evolving Culture of Death on the Nile in the Second Millennium BCE"

- Cléo Carastro (EHESS), "Greek Trophies: War and its Dead"

- Christophe Goddard (CNRS), "Arms in Religion, Religions in Arms in Late Antiquity"

- Pierre Terjanian (MMA), "Armor as Votive Gift: Devotion and Self-Representation in Late Medieval and Renaissance Europe”

Lunch Break (1-2:30 pm)

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 10/12/2018 - 11:01am by Erik Shell.
Infant Hercules Strangling Two Serpents, late 15th–early 16th century. Bronze. Metropolitan Museum of Art. CC0 1.0.

What is the role of graphic novels in teaching the ancient world to students? Prof. Chris Trinacty addresses this question and reviews two recent additions to the genre: Rome West and The Hero (Book Two). 

Two recent graphic novels touch upon the ancient world in fascinating ways. The first, Rome West, by Justin Giampaoli, Brian Wood, and Andrea Mutti provides an alternative history of the world predicated on the idea that a lost legion of Roman soldiers make landfall in North America in the year 323 CE. The second, The Hero, published by Dark Horse Comics in two volumes is a creative take on Heracles’ Twelve Labors that offers a mash-up of modern celebrity culture, science fiction tropes, ancient archetypes of heroism, and the visual iconography of Heracles especially from Greece vase painting.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 10/11/2018 - 8:43pm by Christopher Trinacty.
The Annual Ancient Philosophy Workshop (42nd in the series inaugurated and periodically sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin) will be held March 8-9, 2019, at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. This workshop is sponsored by the Trinity Philosophy Department and Trinity University Academic Affairs. Proposals are invited for papers on any problem, figure, or issue in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from the Presocratics to late antiquity. Each paper will be allotted forty-five minutes for oral presentation and will be followed by a response and open discussion.
 
Our keynote speaker will be Verity Harte, Yale University.
 
To propose a paper, send a 1-page abstract of 300-500 words to ancientphilworkshop@trinity.edu under the subject heading “Workshop Proposal.” Please provide contact information in the email but no identifying info in the abstract itself. Proposals are due no later than Friday, December 14, 2018. Proposers will be notified of selections by Friday, January 4, 2019.
 
Complete papers will be due to session chairs and respondents by Friday, February 15, 2019.
 
Questions and Contact
 
Damian Caluori, Associate Professor (dcaluori@trinity.edu)
 
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 10/11/2018 - 1:41pm by Erik Shell.
“Home & Homecomings”
 
33rd Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa
Stellenbosch 7-10 November 2019

The Classical Association of South Africa (CASA) invites proposals for papers for its 33rd Biennial Conference, to be hosted by the Department of Ancient Studies at the University of Stellenbosch.

We invite submissions that focus on the conference theme “Homes & Homecomings” as well as individual proposals on other aspects of the classical world and its reception. Panels are strongly encouraged and should consist of 3 to 8 related papers put together by the panel chair. We also welcome postgraduate students currently busy with Master’s or Doctoral programmes to submit papers for a “work-in-progress” parallel session.

Please submit a paper title, an abstract (approximately 300 words), and author affiliation to Annemarie de Villiers at amdev@sun.ac.za. The deadline for proposals is 31 May 2019.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 10/08/2018 - 2:54pm by Erik Shell.

The second meeting of the North American Sections of the International Plutarch Society will take place 15-18 May 2019 at Utah State University in Logan and Park City, Utah. Logan is ninety minutes north of the Salt Lake City International hub airport and convenient to many national parks and other attractions. Plenary sessions will examine the topic of "Plutarch's Unexpected Silences" in tranquil and beautiful mountain settings as we conclude our meeting in the former mining town of Park City, Utah.

"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences" asks us to consider those times in the Parallel Lives or Moralia when we are surprised that Plutarch does not say something, or when he leaves something out. Whether this occurs by mistake or by design in Plutarch's work, we propose focusing on those passages that foil our expectations or whose silence invites a closer examination. We would also like to consider other odd omissions, perhaps of authors or works, or places even, that Plutarch might be expected to know, or even suspected of knowing.

Abstracts will be judged anonymously by the organizing committee.

The deadline for consideration is 30 November 2018.

Please see also our website: https://ipsnortham.org/.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:51pm by Erik Shell.

We would like to remind you of this year's call for applications for the Minority Scholarships in Classics and Classical Archaeology.

The purpose of the scholarship is to further undergraduate students’ preparation in classics or classical archaeology with opportunities not available during the school year. Eligible proposals might include (but are not limited to) participation in classical summer programs or field schools in Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc., or language training at institutions in the U.S, Canada, or Europe.

You can read more about the scholarship and how to apply here.

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

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:20am by Erik Shell.

The deadline to apply for the TLL Fellowship is November 16, 2018. The application includes many parts, and so should be started early.

Applications must be received by the deadline of Friday, November 16, 2018, at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Applications should be submitted as e-mail attachments to Dr. Helen Cullyer, Executive Director, Society for Classical Studies, xd@classicalstudies.org.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Fri, 10/05/2018 - 1:14pm by Erik Shell.

Teachers of Classics have been impacted by hurricane Florence.

ACL and SCS are launching a joint initiative that will help connect institutions in need with our members who are able to offer assistance.

If you are a teacher or faculty member at an institution whose academic programs have been interrupted, suspended, or impacted by the recent hurricane, you may fill out the form linked below to request financial assistance that will accelerate the recovery of your classes and programs. You need not be an ACL or SCS member to request help.

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

Once we have received your form, an ACL or SCS staff member will contact you to verify your identity and the nature of your request. We will then publish verified requests on our websites and via our social media accounts so that our members can reach out to institutions in need and offer direct financial help. We feel that this is the quickest way of getting funds to the schools, colleges, and universities that need them.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 10/05/2018 - 10:15am by Erik Shell.

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