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On October 13, 2019, the SCS Board of Directors approved the following letter addressed to the Board of Directors of the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study, Inc.
"The Society for Classical Studies joins the American Classical League in expressing deep concern in response to recent public statements regarding the Paideia Institute. Some of those statements are authored by individuals who have been closely associated with Paideia in various capacities and who have now resigned from the Institute. Some of the published allegations are more generally about the Institute’s cultural climate, while others concern specific incidents. All the allegations are serious.
Accordingly, the SCS board of directors has approved a temporary hiatus on new funding for Paideia programs, including but not limited to support via the SCS Minority Scholarships, Coffin Fellowships, and Classics Everywhere micro-grants.
Years of restoration work on the Palatine Hill and in the Roman Forum which—together with the Colosseum—now make up the Parco Archeologico del Colosseo has been coming to fruition over the last few years. After decades of sporadic work, rusting scaffolding, and locked gates, a fabulous flurry of activity has yielded an ever greater number of visitable sites.
Many of these are accessible as part of the SUPER ticket, which provides access to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (but not the Colosseum), and includes access to eight excellent “bonus” sites: Santa Maria Antiqua, Temple of Romulus, Palatine Museum, the Neronian Cryptoporticus, the Aula Isiaca and Loggia Mattei, the Houses of Augustus and Livia, and—most recently—the Domus Transitoria.
Departmental memberships for 2020 are now available. This year's departmental membership includes new publication options as well as the ability to purchase membership for students and contingent faculty.
"Space and Governance: Towards a New Topography of Roman Administration"
Conference, 3-4 April 2020, Royal Academy of Spain at Rome (Real Academia de España en Roma)
Call for Volunteers
The Society for Classical Studies seeks graduate, undergraduate, and contingent faculty volunteers for the 151th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., which will take place this coming January. Assignments will include working in the registration area and assisting staff with some sessions and special events.
You can sign up to volunteer here.
In exchange for six hours of service (either in one continuous or in segmented assignments), volunteers receive a waiver of their annual meeting registration fees. It is not necessary to be an SCS member to volunteer.
For more information about the meeting itself, visit our Annual Meeting page.
In response to problems and needs, some long-term and others exposed by events at San Diego, the SCS Board of Directors has voted to add an Equity Adviser to the SCS board as an advisory member, with voice but without vote. This will be a three-year appointment made by the President, upon approval of the directors. The position will replace on the board, as of January 5, 2020, the current chair of the Strategic Development Committee, who currently serves as an ex officio board member with voice but without vote. The Strategic Development Committee itself is being wound down as part of an attempt to rationalize our governance structure. This change will not affect the 16 elected board positions.
The main roles of the Equity Adviser (hereafter EA) will be to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity in all SCS activities, looking especially at elections, governance, publications, and the annual meeting. The EA will consult with the Committee on Professional Matters to obtain an accurate understanding of topics and data relating to diversity, inclusion, and equity across the organization. This would be particularly important in the first year of an EA’s appointment, as the adviser assesses historical trends in diversity relating to:
1) our Board of Directors and our committees;
2) the program of our annual meeting, and its actual realization; and
ANCHORING TECHNOLOGY IN GRECO-ROMAN ANTIQUITY
‘Anchoring Innovation’ is a Dutch research program in Classics that studies how people deal with ‘the new’ (http://www.ru.nl/oikos/anchoring-innovation/). We want to understand the multifarious ways in which relevant social groups connect what they perceive as new to what they feel is already familiar (‘anchoring’). In this conference, our focus will be on technological innovations in classical antiquity, and the ways in which these became acceptable, were adopted, and spread – or died an unceremonious death.
Technology is here understood in the widest sense of the word: it includes building materials and techniques, technical procedures and products, but also information technologies such as writing and calculating, coinage, medicine and military technology. Greco-Roman antiquity offers an ideal testing ground for understanding technological change in a complex, yet non-modern society: it is richly documented (both in the written record and in material remains), and the ‘sources’ are complex but also well-disclosed, which enables us to tackle complex research questions.
In the past year, the Society for Classical Studies website has published a number of pieces catalyzed by the blatant racism on display at the most recent annual meeting. Professor Joy Connolly wrote a piece called “Working Toward a Just and Inclusive Future for Classics,” which then generated a response by an anonymous graduate student group, which in turn led to further comment by the SCS, Professor Connolly, and the newly formed SCS Graduate Student Committee. These various pieces pointed to ways Classics could progress and thrive for generations to come.
What became lost in this series of posts was a focus on racial diversity and inclusivity, as the conversation increasingly broadened to include all manner of injustice found in academic work conditions. The act of racism that started the conversation became overshadowed by much more general discussion about problems that affect the whole of academia, e.g., the increasing precarity of academic labor.
Below are the citations for the three winners of our 2019 Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit. Please join us in congratulating this year's winners and in thanking the Goodwin Committee members for their hard work.
Andrew C. Johnston, The Sons of Remus: Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain. Harvard University Press, 2017
The story of the Roman Empire, much like the story of the American West, has long emphasized assimilation and Romanization: parcere subiectis et debellare superbos. Presumably discarded were the local identities and indigenous traditions that no longer defined or empowered the provincials. Unlike the cities of the Greek East, with their indigenous and hyper-literate insistence on their own distinctive identities, past and present, the Roman West has been thought to be a virtual tabula rasa, on which Romanness was inscribed with little difficulty.
For the first time since 2016, the SCS will be holding four seminars at this year’s annual meeting.
Seminars as a rule concentrate on more narrowly focused topics and aim at extensive discussion. In order to allow the time to be spent mainly on discussion, the SCS publishes a notice about the session in advance, and organizers distribute copies of the papers (normally three or four in number) to be discussed to those who request them. Attendance at a seminar will, if necessary, be limited to the first 25 people who sign up. Seminars are normally three hours in length. Registered meeting attendees may sign up at no additional cost for one or more of these seminars during the month of October.
You can chceck out this year's seminars and sign up here: https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/2020/151/2020-annual-meeting-seminars