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Oedipus: A Greek Tragedy by Sophocles
Last Thursday, I began class with a caveat, “The class today will be really tough to deliver...” And it was. It was the first time I had taught after the fire and destruction of Brazil’s National Museum, and it was a particularly hard and ironic moment.
I’m teaching a topic on Pompeii, so when classes started, a month ago, I mentioned to my students that there were some frescoes and items from Pompeii at the National Museum, located in a park in central Rio de Janeiro which used to be the imperial family’s property in the nineteenth century. The collection was part of the dowry from empress Teresa Cristina of Bourbon, daughter of the king of the Two Sicilies, a gift that was particularly in tune with the interest that emperor Dom Pedro II had in history and sciences.
Together with objects such as Greek and Etruscan pottery and terracottas, and some Egyptian mummies (including a rare unopened one), the collection was the biggest for Antiquity in Latin America, but not many people were aware of it. The museum, home also to extensive collections in ethnography, paleontology, zoology and geology, happened to have less visitors last year than the number of privileged Brazilians who visited the Louvre. When I asked my History undergrads in our first class whether they had ever visited the National Museum, they all said “no”.
Poetics and politics. New approaches to Euripides
We wanted to update you on some upcoming prize, award, and nomination deadlines:
The Outreach Prize of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) recognizes outstanding projects or events by an SCS member or members that make an aspect of classical antiquity available and attractive to an audience other than classics scholars or students in their courses.
The deadline for nominations is September 14.
The Forum Prize - presented by the the SCS Committee on Public Information and Media Relations - recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the ancient Greek and Roman world. It empowers the SCS to build bridges with a broader public by rewarding the best public-facing essays, books, poems, articles, podcasts, films, and art produced each year by someone (either a classicist or a non-classicist) working primarily outside of the academy.
Deadline for nomination is October 1. You can nominate a person or project here.
Excellence in Precollegiate Teaching Award
Edwin P. Menes (February 2, 1939 - August 25, 2018)
Born in Gary, Indiana, Edwin Peter Menes grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Stricken with polio when he was three, Ed was always fiercely independent and never let his disability slow him down.
He graduated from St. Ignatius High School at fifteen years of age (1954)—the youngest graduate in school history and class valedictorian. He next attended Xavier University, earning his A.B. in the Classics Honors Program (1958). His M.A. (1960) and Ph.D. (1968) were from Princeton, the latter completed with a dissertation on Propertius (Cynthia as Symbol: Love, Patriotism, and Poetry in the Elegies of Propertius). Meanwhile he spent two years (1960–1962) teaching at Tabor Academy, Marion, Massachusetts, before accepting a position in the Department of Classical Studies at Loyola University Chicago (1963).
He taught at Loyola's Rome Center of Liberal Arts (now the John Felice Rome Center) three times and traveled all over Europe, most notably on a Vespa through Eastern Europe; the scooter caught fire in Belgrade, putting an end to that adventure and forcing him to take a train back to Rome. Back in Chicago he served as associate director of the Rome Center (1975–1979) and chairman of the Department of Classical Studies (1984–1995). He retired in 2009.
2019 Ohio State Classics Graduate Colloquium
A Crucible of Cultures: Cultural Exchange in the Ancient Mediterranean
In the wake of Hordern and Purcell’s The Corrupting Sea, there has been a renewed interest in studying the cultures of the Mediterranean as part of an integrated whole rather than in isolation. The annual OSU Classics Graduate Colloquium invites papers on a range of topics that explore the interconnections between peoples in and around the Mediterranean in the ancient world broadly conceived (Bronze Age to Byzantium/Carolingian Renaissance). Since most research has focused on relatively narrow archaeological concerns, we encourage papers that attempt to tackle big picture questions. Broad categories might include:
Panel 1: Reading and Writing the Classics in Antiquity and Beyond
The literature of ancient Greece and Rome has survived for thousands of years. As a result, Classical literary and philosophical works have served as a profound influence on the writings of subsequent time periods. Indeed, in many subsequent time periods, the ability to quote from Classical sources became a marker of status and intelligence. However, many works of ancient Greece and Rome are not wholly original, but in fact flaunt their use of source materials, citing earlier versions of myths and epics. Often, Classical and post-Classical authors would modify their source materials, and we are able to see them not only as writers, but as readers in their own right.
Here is the call for panels for the 17th annual ISNS conference, to be held in Ottawa on June 12-16, 2019, in conjunction with Dominican University College.
Anyone interested in organizing a panel at the conference should send a brief description of the panel along with its title and the name(s) and email address(es) of the contact person(s) to the conference organizers:
Mark Nyvlt <email@example.com>
Louise Rodrigue <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Suzanne Stern-Gillet <email@example.com>
John Finamore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Panel descriptions are due to us by January 21, 2019. I will email the list of proposed panels to the ISNS membership before February 4. Panel organizers are responsible for choosing and collecting abstracts for their panels. They should notify the organizers of their decisions by February 25. Abstracts should be no more than one page, single spaced.
We also welcome individual abstracts for papers that do not fall under any of the announced panels. Please send those abstracts (again, one-page maximum) to the four conference organizers above.
(The following is an excerpt from the National Humanities Alliance quarterly column sent to scholarly societies, and shared here with permission)
To highlight the public impact of the humanities in higher education, the National Humanities Alliance recently launched Humanities for All: a website that documents the past 10 years of publicly engaged humanities research, teaching, and programming in universities and colleges across the U.S. The website presents a cross section of over 1,400 projects, searchable, sortable, and illustrated with 51 in-depth profiles. When viewed together, these initiatives illustrate the broad impact of the humanities beyond higher education.
Humanities for All not only seeks to broaden narratives about the humanities in higher education but also to deepen the practice of public engagement in the humanities. We at NHA have a stake in encouraging more of this work, which provides more opportunities for members of the public to have humanities experiences and appreciate the significance of the humanities in higher education. In addition, when integrated into coursework, engaged humanities projects can provide meaningful and practical learning experiences that prepare students for the workforce. To this end, we present these examples as a resource for all who would like to begin or deepen their practice of public engagement.