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Because it’s spirits, we ain’t even really rappin’
We just letting our dead homies tell stories for us.
Tupac Shakur, saying these words to journalist Mats Nileskär in 1994, articulated the centrality of community and collective history to hip hop and offered his response to the vexed question of the wellspring of poetic inspiration. Nearly two decades after Tupac’s murder, Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar gave new life to those words in his track “Mortal Man,” recasting Nileskär’s interview and intersplicing Tupac’s voice with his own, so that it is Lamar who seems to be in dialogue with Tupac. The result is an impossible conversation between the living and the dead: impossible because Tupac died when Lamar was just nine years old. But in highlighting and embodying Tupac’s perception that rap gives voice to the stories of one’s dead comrades, Lamar’s “sampling” of the conversation centers Tupac’s vision and acknowledges the debt Lamar owes to his predecessors, cementing the connection between them.
If you attended the 2022 Annual Meeting earlier this year — and if you woke up bright and early on Saturday morning! — you may have been lucky enough to tune in to the very first panel sponsored by the Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities Initiative (AnWoMoCo). Recent recipients of a microgrant from this program gathered from all over America, Canada, and even Ghana to present seven exciting public-facing projects that aim to bring Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies out of the ivory tower. The goal is to reach audiences, organizations, and people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to engage with the history, literature, language, archaeology, culture, texts, and individuals of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Ten presenters shared their projects, which ranged from primary school curricula, prison programming, visual and performing arts, and digital initiatives. I was beyond inspired by all of the incredible people who presented that day, so I jumped at the chance to summarize their contributions here for those who missed it.
(publishing on behalf of Thea Sommerschield, a Marie Curie fellow at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Fellow at Harvard’s CHS)
Res Difficiles: A Conference on Challenges and Pathways for Addressing Inequity in Classics
When: May 20, 2022 , 9:00am - 4:00pm
Where: Live-streamed via Zoom [Registration now open]
Classical Studies at Boston University and Classics, BU Center for the Humanities, Philosophy, & Religious Studies at the University of Mary Washington present Res Difficiles: A Conference On Challenges and Pathways for Addressing Inequity In Classics. [Res Difficiles 3: Difficult Conversations in Classics].
Dr. Kelly Nguyen (Stanford University) will deliver the keynote address.
The event will be live-streamed via Zoom, and will be live-captioned. Participants/viewers may live-tweet the event on the hashtag #ResDiff3.
You can find more information about the speakers and sessions here: https://resdifficiles.com/
You can register here.
Dura-Europos: Past, Present, Future - Celebrating the Centennial of Excavations at Dura-Europos
Sponsored by: Yale University’s interdisciplinary ARCHAIA Program for the Study of Ancient and Premodern Cultures and Societies
Dates : March 31, 2022 - April 2, 2022
Where: Hybrid/Virtual [livestream]
Yale University’s interdisciplinary ARCHAIA program is pleased to share news of its upcoming hybrid conference: Dura-Europos: Past, Present, Future. This three-day event (March 31-April 2, 2022) is arranged to celebrate the centennial of excavations on-site at Dura-Europos (Syria). Papers and discussion will explore the town’s regional and long-distance ties in antiquity, 21st-century geopolitical entanglements, and avenues for future research. Registration is free, and online attendance is open to all.
For information about the papers and presenters, and to register, please see:
CAAS ARC Workshop: Diversity Policies are for Everyone
When: Saturday, March 19, 2022 - 11:00AM EDT
Where: Virtual (via Zoom)
The Antiracism Committee (ARC) of The Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS) is organizing another workshop on diversity policies. Through a series of case studies, this workshop will explore ways to create and improve on diversity policies so that they can be more helpful to BIPOC students and scholars. We’ll be meeting on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 11am EDT via Zoom. This workshop is free and open to anyone who registers.
If you’d like to register, you can fill out this form: https://forms.gle/C5KMYK7nB3FQRVXr8
Call for Proposals: CAAS 2022 Annual Meeting
The Classical Association of the Atlantic States
Dates: October 6-8, 2022
Venue: HOTEL DU PONT, Wilmington, DE
Deadline for all proposals (individual papers, panels, workshops): (extended) Monday, March 28, 2022
The Classics Program at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), advertises its graduate programs in Latin education. These programs combine courses and mentoring in the vibrant environs of New York City. They aim to foster the ability to make Latin compelling to a diverse population of middle and high school students. Both programs lead to certification in New York State. Applications are accepted in both the Fall and the Spring. The deadline for applications to start in Fall 2022 is March 15th, 2022, but consideration may be made for later applications.
- MA in Adolescent Education, Grades 7-12 – Latin
A 49 to 50-credit course sequence in Latin, Classics, and Education that prepares students to teach Latin in grades 7-12. This program is run jointly by the Classics Program in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.
When you are standing at the edge of the Pontic steppe, where the Bug-Dnieper estuary melts into the Black Sea, there are three islands on the horizon. It can be difficult to see in the haze of late summer, which is when I was there last with two friends, Sam Holzman and Phil Katz.
Foremost is Berezan, once connected to the adjacent mainland. Long and flat-topped like a container ship, the largest of the handful of islands to rise from the Black Sea. It was settled by Ionians in the sixth century BCE, and has been all-but-continuously excavated since 1894.
A second island is artificial: across from the mainland town of Ochakiv lies the fortress isle of Pervomaisky. The Ottomans used the citadel at Ochakiv to control access to the river until it fell to John Paul Jones in service of the Empress Catherine in 1788. Pervomaisky was built up from a sandbar and fortified by Russia in the late nineteenth century. Both permanently blocked off the Dnieper as an invasion or slaving route to the forest steppe.
1st ICoNiC: Audience Response in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature: Concepts, Contexts, Conflicts - Multiple Approaches to Author-Audience Relationship
02-03 September 2022 (virtual via MS Teams)