AAAS Report on Value of Humanities and Social Sciences

On June 19 the Amiercan Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) released the report of its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a group formed over two years ago in response to a request from members of Congress for a report that would respond to the following question:  What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century? 

Louis Cabot, Chair of the Academy Board, described the report in the following message to Academy Fellows:

I am pleased to announce that the Academy's Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences released its report The Heart of the Matter on Capitol Hill this morning.

Presented by Commission cochairs, Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University, and John Rowe, retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exelon Corporation, The Heart of the Matter looks at the vital role of the humanities and social sciences in preparing Americans to be productive citizens of the United States and the world.

The report focuses on five areas of concern--K-12 Education; Two- and Four-Year Colleges; Research; Cultural Institutions and Lifelong Learning; and International Security and Competitiveness--and makes recommendations to achieve three goals:

  • Educate Americans in the knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to thrive in a 21st century democracy;
  • Foster an innovative, competitive, and strong society;
  • Equip the nation for leadership in an interconnected world.

Today's release of The Heart of the Matter launches a national conversation about the importance of the humanities and social sciences to America's future.

A short companion film, The Heart of the Matter, produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Ewers Brothers Productions also was released today. Appearing in the film are producer, screenwriter, and director George Lucas, actor John Lithgow, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, among others.

The report, report brief, and film are available at www.humanitiescommission.org.

Several media outlets have reported on the release of The Heart of the Matter; links to stories in The New York Times; USA Today; and Time appear below:

  1. Humanities Committee Sounds an Alarm (The New York Times)
  2. Humanities, social sciences critical to our future: Column by Norman Augustine and David Skorton (USA Today)
  3. Critics of the Liberal Arts Are Wrong by Annette Gordon-Reed (TIME)

I am grateful to the Members of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences for undertaking this critical study and for preparing such a timely report. I invite all Fellows to take part in the important conversation that this report will surely stimulate.

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The ACLS is running two searches this summer at ACLS. They seek a Program Officer in International Programs (regular ongoing staff position) and a Program Officer in Higher Education Initiatives (two year term).

These positions are excellent for classics Ph.D.s looking to stay in academic contexts but do a different kind of work from teaching and researching.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 06/16/2021 - 10:53am by Erik Shell.

The SCS Board of Directors has co-signed the following statement, which has been authored jointly by the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America. As of June 16, 2021, 80 organizations have endorsed the statement.

You can read the full text and list of signatories below and read the press release by the American Historical Association here

June 16, 2021

We, the undersigned associations and organizations, state our firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities. These efforts have taken varied shape in at least 20 states; but often the legislation aims to prohibit or impede the teaching and education of students concerning what are termed “divisive concepts.” These divisive concepts as defined in numerous bills are a litany of vague and indefinite buzzwords and phrases including, for example, “that any individual should feel or be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological or emotional distress on account of that individual’s race or sex.” These legislative efforts are deeply troubling for numerous reasons.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Wed, 06/16/2021 - 7:09am by Helen Cullyer.

TLL Fellowship 2021-2022 Application Cycle

Supported by a Generous Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:16pm by Erik Shell.

Call for papers: Human Crime and Divine Punishment in Ancient Didactic poetry

Trinity College Dublin, 10-11 March 2022

As has long been observed, ancient Didactic poetry is not merely a vehicle to convey technical information and instruction. Justice and the place of humanity in the cosmos are already central concerns of Hesiod’s Works and Days, which attributes the harsh realities of agricultural life to a history of transgression, moral decline, and punishment. Similar questions continue to fascinate his didactic successors, who not only develop Hesiodic material, for instance in the departure of Justice from Earth in Aratus’ Phaenomena, but also explore other manifestations of divine intervention, such as through myths of metamorphosis and catasterism. In some didactic poems, such as Virgil’s Georgics or Oppian’s Halieutica, the pursuit of their subject matter itself poses the risk of violating ethical norms or overstepping mortal boundaries.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:09pm by Erik Shell.

Reception Studies: State of the Discipline and New Directions

Online conference

 

24-27 June 2021 (Northern Hemisphere)

25-28 June 2021 (Southern Hemisphere)

Conference Organiser: Anastasia Bakogianni

Hosted by Massey University, New Zealand

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:03pm by Erik Shell.

City Lit, one of London’s largest adult education colleges, and the British Museum are organising Classics Week.

Classics Week runs from 21-25 June 2021 and takes inspiration from the British Museum’s current exhibition Nero: the man behind the myth (27 May- 24 Oct).  Join us for a programme of online talks, discussions, and taster courses exploring the subject of power in ancient Rome.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 06/15/2021 - 4:40pm by Erik Shell.
A page from Martin Kraus’ Aethiopica Epitome processed using LatinOCR within VietOCR. It handles the opening chapter summary well but is only 88% accurate with the italicized body text.

LatinOCR and Rescribe are related optical character recognition (OCR) tools that substantially accelerate the conversion of scanned Latin to Unicode text and, in the case of Rescribe, to searchable PDF format. Both are pleasant to use but require a degree of comfort with command-line tools, at least to get up and running.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 06/14/2021 - 1:34pm by .
The Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC, the Network for the Study of the Archaic and Classical Greek Song, and CHS Greece invite you to attend Performing Texts, an international virtual conference to be held from June 30 through July 4, 2021.
View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 06/14/2021 - 9:29am by Erik Shell.

(Originally posted here)

Seattle, Washington - Rochelle Elizabeth Snee, born December 6, 1947, in Trenton, NJ, passed away at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA on Sunday, September 6, 2020.

Rochelle was a 1965 graduate of Dulaney High School in Lutherville - Timonium, MD. She earned her B.A. degree at the University of Maryland at College Park, majoring in Classical Studies under Wilhelmina Jashemski. She attended the University of Washington, where she earned both an M.A. and a PhD in Classics with a concentration in the Byzantine Period.

As a Classics scholar, Rochelle had many opportunities for both study and travel. She had fellowships at Colby College in Waterville, ME, to work with fellow classicists Dorothy Koonce and Peter Westervelt; and in Washington, D.C., she continued her study of Byzantium with fellowships at both Dumbarton Oaks and Catholic University. In Rome she translated ancient Greek documents in the Vatican Library; in Jerusalem she read ancient manuscripts available only to those with special permission; in Istanbul she researched for an article on Gregory Nazianzen's Anastasia Church. She was on the faculty of Pacific Lutheran University, where she taught ancient Greek, Latin, and imbued students with a knowledge of ancient history.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 06/09/2021 - 2:24pm by Erik Shell.
Children playing ball games, 2nd century AD. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“Think of the Children! The Reception of the Ancient World in Children’s Media” was the Women’s Classical Caucus panel at the most recent AIA/SCS meeting. We (Melissa Funke and Victoria Austen, co-organizers) conceived of this panel as a far-reaching conversation about how children have historically engaged with ancient Greece and Rome and how they continue to do so today. In choosing the papers for this panel, we had two primary concerns in mind: to think about how various media use ancient Greek and Roman material for education and play alike, and to use girlhood as a lens to reconsider reception in those media. While more traditional forms of literature, such as storybooks and poetry, were featured as an important aspect of this conversation, the presenters also addressed these issues in primary textbooks, video games, and web comics.

“Nationalism and Imperialism in Futures Past: Classical Reception in Louisa Capper's A Poetical History of England: Written for the Use of Young Ladies Educated at Rothbury-House School (1810),” by Kathryn H. Stutz

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 06/07/2021 - 8:30am by .

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