2018 Goodwin Award Winners

Below are the citations for the winners of our 2018 Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit. Please join us in congratulating this year's winners.

Gil H. Renberg

Amy Richlin

Harriet I. Flower

Gil H. RenbergWhere Dreams May Come:  Incubation Sanctuaries in the Greco-Roman World.  Leiden:  Brill, 2017.

Sweet dreams, bad dreams, broken dreams, impossible dreams, dream jobs, dreams come true, dreamy dates, dream teams, the American dream, only in your dreams, dream on: dreams are among our most familiar experiences but wonderfully mysterious all the same. In modern times dreams tend to be something internal and personal, perhaps mere nonsense, perhaps an expression of wishes and fears conscious or unconscious. For classical peoples, dreams were something more, signs from outside, indeed an important channel for divine-human communication. And so incubation – sleeping in a place where dreams may come – was a multi-faceted practice throughout the ancient world from earliest times to late antiquity: a practice undertaken for therapy, for cures, for enlightenment, and for revelations.

Gil Renberg's Where Dreams May Come: Incubation Sanctuaries in the Greco-Roman World, in two ample volumes from Brill, is a dream come true for all students of ancient religion and healing: a systematic, exhaustive, beautifully organized, and highly readable exploration of incubation from the Mesopotamian, Anatolian, Greco-Roman, and Egyptian worlds, from the bronze age to late antiquity, masterfully assembling and analyzing a vast amount of data and testimony literary, epigraphical, and archaeological, all anchored to a full bibliography. Along the way Gil Renberg brings to life a great many details of the incubatory experience: who knew that Asclepius could send a snake to lick your ears to cure hearing loss? Or that mere water could play such a central and complex role? This work’s combination of systematic inventory and revelatory analysis reminds us that in classical studies, creative excellence manifests itself in a variety of ways.

Gil Renberg, who has spent many years on this project, emphatically stresses at the outset that a far-flung and generous scholarly community has made his work possible, thanking more than a hundred scholars for their helpfulness. His aim is not so much to solve all of the many issues that a century and more of incubation studies have raised as it is to clear the ground for future work by separating what is definitely known from what still needs to be learned, distinguishing also what can only be the object of speculative argument or the product of imagination. In the process, he brings to life an important aspect of ancient experience in the Greco-Roman and wider world, and also provides a model of meticulous, lucid, and generous scholarship for the present. Like all great works of scholarship, Where Dreams May Come has handsomely – even dreamily – set the table for all future work in this central and fascinating area of ancient religion and healing.

Amy RichlinSlave Theater in the Roman Republic:  Plautus and Popular Comedy.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2017.

All comedy starts with anger.  That leitmotif runs through the pages of Amy Richlin’s Slave Theater in the Roman Republic:  Plautus and Popular Comedy, Richlin’s summa, one might say, product of a distinguished career that began with a similar theme in The Garden of Priapus:  Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor thirty-five years ago, and that has ranged widely through explorations of subjects once left discreetly aside or veiled in the obscurity of a learned language. 

Now she rewrites the history and meaning of the fabula palliata, mastering, but not enslaved to, a long scholarly tradition, from Eduard Fraenkel to Sandra Joshel and Kathy Gaca.  But her reach is wide as well as deep, engaging recent and contemporary work in anthropology, folklore, and modern pop culture.  One very instructive and relevant footnote pursues the details of the Latin curriculum of Dulwich College in the student days of P.G. Wodehouse.  The book offers a paradigm of traditional philological scholarship at its very best, enriched by a broad view, a keen eye for the telling detail, and a passionate commitment to hearing and letting us hear the voices of the downtrodden. 

The story that unfolds is set in a beleaguered Italy, a land of constant warfare and mass enslavement.  We never forget that Plautus’ career unfolded during Hannibal’s years in Italy and we are challenged to keep in mind that the actors and spectators of these funny things that happened on the way to the forum included survivors of the carnage at Cannae.  The actors, the spectators, and the characters literally embodied the culture and horrors of the time.  Too often beaten, raped, and starved, they made of their experience occasions for laughter – for whatever little laughter can do to assuage or avenge or almost make sense of the effects of violence.

The stage – often not more than a wide spot in the road – set slaves and masters, prostitutes and pimps, in whirling motion.  The palliata gave the slave, the freed slave, and just the wretchedly impoverished free citizen a chance to act out the open secrets that possessed them, through double-entendre, irony, verbal duels, slapstick, role reversals and knowing asides to the audience – and a little song and dance.  This was their opportunity to speak shtick to power and and they do so with a will, giving us glimpses of their shimmering dreams of home and freedom.  We come away with a renewed sense of our good fortune in having these plays survive, disguised as classical literature, to enable Richlin to bring us closer to Roman lives that were marked by much sadness, much anger … and even much laughter. 

Harriet I. Flower, The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner. Princeton 2017

A dense and rich account of an understudied aspect of Roman religion, Harriet Flower’s The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner weaves together strands from complex and variegated sources into a coherent picture. The book opens with its own act of pietas: a striking photograph of the book’s distinguished dedicatee, standing nonchalantly before a surviving compitum, brings the Roman street-corner to life. Comparison of inscriptions, altars, and painting from Rome, Pompeii, and elsewhere on the Italian peninsula with literary works written by elites shows that lares, consistently gods of place, were worshipped differently depending on locale, but with an overall constancy that has escaped prior scholarship. Because those primarily responsible for the daily worship of the domestic gods of the hearth were often women or the master’s delegate and the vicomagistri of the lares compitalia were often freedmen, they fly below the radar of elite experience and hence the literary record. Reconstructing their history has required Flower to demonstrate expertise in material culture and to survey her subject across disparate and demanding fields.

The interpretation of most of her materials was controversial in antiquity and remains so now. Flower grabs the nettle. She is generous in taking her reader through her thought processes and fearless about advancing novel views. She bats away suggestions that the lares were spirits of the dead. Cult of Augustus’ genius at Rome? Flower answers a resounding “no.” Surely that’s Aeneas or perhaps Numa on the Ara pacis Augustae? Unlikely. She thinks a better candidate for the figure is Titus Tatius. Not all her conjectures will win assent, but she is intellectually forthcoming about making them and they raise the bar for future scholars, who will have to reexamine questions they thought were settled and argue for competing interpretations within a more capacious evidentiary frame.

Learned and confident, Flower offers a page-turner that sheds light on inaccessible aspects of Roman daily life with vividness and sympathy. Her intersecting paths of research culminate in her reassessment of the Augustan religious revival. By giving responsibility for local worship of the gods of the street corners to the lower classes of society, Augustus provides a vehicle through which they may share and invest, emotionally and financially, in his declaration of a new age of peace and prosperity. Scholars interested in Roman religion, in social history, and in the Augustan program will refer to this book for years.

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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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