Update, December 31, 2017: Mark Thompson is unable to attend the Rhetoric panel due to unforseen circumstances. In his place, Professor James Engell, Harvard University, will be speaking.
The 2018 SCS-AIA Meeting in Boston is just a month away! The Program Committee has worked hard to put together a rewarding and stimulating meeting and, as Vice President for Programs, I am particularly pleased by the growing number of panels – some 18 were accepted for the Boston meeting, an increase by three over last year. I want now to call your attention to a few of the exciting events that are planned.
President S. Georgia Nugent will focus attention on the “The PhD Today: This Is Your Brain on Classics.” Her presidential panel on Friday, January 5, from 5-6 pm brings together three graduates of Classics PhD programs who have elected career paths in law, technology, and secondary school teaching. They will discuss why and how they transitioned from the traditional expectation of a career in college teaching, as well as how their graduate study in classics affects their lives today. In her presidential address on Friday, January 5, from 6-7 pm, entitled “Chiron Meets Charon: On Crossing Over to the Dark Side,” president Nugent will reflect on the transition from professoriate to presidency and the invaluable lessons that study of the classics provides. This address will take place during the Plenary Session, at which SCS awards will be presented.
This presidential panel and address is one part of a three-pronged initiative during the annual meeting in order to highlight differing career possibilities open to Classics PhD’s. A special Career Networking event will take place on Saturday, January 6, from 12-2pm. This will bring together Classics PhD holders now working today in a variety of fields in who will be available to discuss career paths with interested meeting attendees.
The SCS Program Committee invites you to attend a special panel in Boston that will address a significant, contemporary issue: how do the political and rhetorical theories and practices of the ancient world illuminate current developments? The panel, "Rhetoric: Then and Now," will take place on Saturday, January 7. from 5-6:45. The panel includes four Classicists whose research addresses ancient rhetoric directly – Professors Joy Connolly, Curtis Dozier, Johanna Hanink, and Dan-el Padilla Peralta; in addition, we have invited a special guest, Mark Thompson, President and CEO of the New York Times and former Director General of the BBC. Thompson is the author of "Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?" (St. Martin's Press, 2016), and has been a visiting professor of Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion at the University of Oxford. His background and research adds a unique contemporary dimension to this panel for which Paul Allen Miller, Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina, will be the presider. After their presentations, there will be ample for discussion in what we hope will be a lively interchange. And for those of you who cannot be there in person, we plan to film this event and post it on the SCS YouTube page.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Boston. After the meetings, the SCS/AIA will distribute a survey to assess your views on the program. We want to encourage dialogue at the meetings and afterwards. As I noted, we will be filming the “Rhetoric: Then and Now Panel” to encourage discussion. If you use Twitter, remember to use the conference hashtag #aiascs!