This year the SCS Is proud to announce two winners of our annual Outreach Prize.
Please join us in congratulating the University of Cincinnati and Dr. Sarah Bond for their unparalleled efforts.
The Classics Outreach Program of the University of Cincinnati
The Outreach Prize Committee is very happy to award the 2018 SCS Outreach Prize to the University of Cincinnati’s Classics Outreach Program.
For a decade now, the Classics Outreach Program has been taking the “Classics for All” mission to heart. In close consultation with faculty members who serve as mentors, Cincinnati Classics graduate students have been meeting with a wide variety of local audiences and sharing with them the wonders of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Mediterranean more broadly.
Driven by their love of teaching and passion for the material, the members of the Outreach Program have devoted their time and energy to bringing the classical world in all its complexity to many who would not otherwise have such a chance to explore them: students in elementary, middle, and high schools (private and public; suburban and inner-city); community and youth centers; and the elderly in retirement communities and nursing homes. UC’s Outreach Program has thus helped cultivate interest in classical culture amongst a broad range of constituents.
A typical year in the program involves upward of 75 presentations to an average of 2,000 members of the community on topics ranging from gladiators, Pompeii, the Roman army, pot sherds, women in the Odyssey, to the classical roots of the city of Cincinnati. Topics are chosen in close consultation with requesters from the community to make sure that particular desiderata are met.
We are deeply impressed by UC Classics’ Outreach Program and their continued dedication, not just to sharing their passion for the classical world, but to using it as a vehicle for developing relationships with audiences outside of the Ivory Tower. The sheer diversity of those audiences commends the program to us especially, as do its reach, the effort and time involved in maintaining the program, and the continued fostering of an ethos of service in the profession. Its community-mindedness and warm engagement with non-elite and non-traditional audiences offers a noteworthy model for academe’s interaction with the public.
The Cincinnati Program adopts an energetic and personalized approach to creating dialogue with the local community at large. Highlighting the intrinsic value of studying antiquity is fundamental in their initiatives. Of equal importance are the exchanges and connections that the program makes possible. They take care to make every interaction dialogic, thereby recognizing that this is a two-way exchange, and enriching for all involved.
For these reasons and more we are, once again, very pleased to award the 2018 SCS Outreach Prize to the University of Cincinnati’s Classics Outreach Program.
Daniel Harris-McCoy, Chair
The individual we are honoring here is without question one of the most prolific, interesting, engaged, and courageous public voices in the field of classical studies today. She has found ways of making our discipline come alive to non-specialists and routinely addresses some of our most challenging social and moral issues. For these reasons, we are thrilled to award the 2018 SCS Outreach Prize to Prof. Sarah Bond.
Prof. Bond’s public scholarship can be found in a remarkable range of venues, through which she has been able to communicate her ideas with a large and diverse audience. Here is a small sampling: she published an op-ed piece on damnatio memoriae and the 2011 Egyptian revolution in the New York Times and another on ancient boxing in connection with the film Creed in Sports Illustrated for Kids. She also wrote a regular column for Forbes Magazine, through which she has provided a classicist’s insights into topics as wide-ranging as ancient music and modern listeners; pagan and Christian competition over New Year’s festivities; and Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Prof. After leaving Forbes in 2018 to run the SCS Blog, she now regularly contributes to Hyperallergic and blogs occasionally for Eidolon and other online publications. Bond also maintains an active presence on Twitter, where she has more than 25,000 followers, and is a prolific blogger on her personal website, History From Below.
Prof. Bond writes on an impressive array of subjects with the varied goals of inspiring curiosity and self-reflection; offering helpful advice; and sometimes stirring the pot. In each case, the work Prof. Bond does is highly intelligent—true public scholarship—and a tribute to our discipline.
We particularly admire Prof. Bond’s ability to relate classical culture to pressing contemporary issues. For example, as her nominator points out, “Dr. Bond regularly uses her platform at Forbes to tackle ethical issues, particularly with the misuse of history” and mentions her article “A Short History of Regulating Female Dress”, in which burkini bans in the French Riviera serve as an entrée into a longer history the subject that runs from Athens through Rome, the Codex Justinianus, and the Middle Ages. Along the same lines, we could cite Prof. Bond’s articles on “What [Iowa Representative] Steve King Gets Wrong About the Dark Ages—And Western Civilization”; “Redrawing the Margins: Debating the Legalization of Prostitution”; and “Yes, Ancient Athletes Had Sponsorship Deals, Too”, among many others. We should also mention Prof. Bond’s well-known piece in Hyperallergic, “Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color”, which became a target of white supremist attacks and a flashpoint in the current culture wars.
Prof. Bond has made several public calls for greater justice and equity in academe; for example, in her Forbes article, “Dear Scholars, Delete Your Account at Academia.edu”, which has received 350,000+ views. Prof. Bond also created the website Women of Ancient History (WOAH), a crowd-sourced digital map and catalog of women who specialize in classical and biblical history. The website serves both as a public testament to the presence of women in this field and as a corrective to a tendency to overlook women when filling academic panels and selecting keynote speakers.
In gratitude for her enormous efforts to bring classical culture to the general public in lively, engaging, and relevant ways, and for her powerful moral compass and strong sense of social justice, we are, again, delighted to award the 2018 SCS Outreach Prize to Prof. Sarah Bond.
Daniel Harris-McCoy, Chair