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Valerie French, Associate Professor Emerita of History in American University, Washington, D.C., died suddenly in her home in Washington, Dec. 8, 2011, in her 71st year. She was born in Toledo, Ohio, Jan. 16, 1941. She received her B.A. degree in chemistry from Cornell University, where her interest in ancient history was awakened in classes under Donald Kagan. She pursued ancient history at UCLA, where she gained her M.A. and Ph. D. (1971) degrees, learning her needed languages in graduate school. She taught at American University from 1969 until her retirement in 2005. She received multiple awards for teaching and for her work in administration. Ebullient and supportive towards all, she served several years as a dean. She published widely on the history and activities of women and children in antiquity and sustained by herself the program in ancient history at American University. Other colleagues will discuss her work in these areas. This notice will focus on her strictly scientific work. It has remained little known but is of the highest importance for Greek, especially Athenian, history.
James H. Tatum, Dartmouth College, has won the American Book Award for 2011 for his book African American Writers and Classical Tradition, Chicago, 2010, co-authored with William Cook. The American Book Awards, established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation, recognize outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community.
Each year the National Committee for Latin and Greek (NCLG) sponsors National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week (NLTRW), which takes place during the week of March 5th this year. The APA has joined the American Classical League and numerous regional and state organizations in this effort to encourage all Classicists at all levels of instruction to take steps that will ensure that Latin, Greek, and Classics pre-college classrooms have the teachers they need. Thanks to the considerable public interest in Latin and the classical world, demand for Latin teachers at the primary and secondary levels has outrun supply, and there is now a serious shortage in many regions of the USA and Canada. Each year, for lack of teachers, existing programs are cancelled, thriving programs are told they cannot expand, and schools that want to add Latin are unable to do so.
From The Chronicle Review:
Erasmus quoted the Iliad in a time of widening war:
Men get their fill of sleep and love, of beautiful singing and carefree dance, but they never get enough of war.
And they never get enough of the Iliad. In his anthology, Homer in English, George Steiner asked in 1996, Why are there so many Iliads in English? His answer: notions of noble manliness. "There shines throughout the Iliad an idealized yet also unflinching vision of masculinity, of an order of values and mutual recognitions radically virile."
Small wonder the epic has appealed to warrior nations like England and the United States. William Blake warned, "It is the Classics & not Goths nor Monks, that Desolate Europe with Wars.
Instructions for submission of proposals to the APA Program Committee for review at its meeting in April will be posted here at the beginning of February. The deadline for receipt of these submissions will be no earlier than March 16, 2012. Until these instructions are posted, consult the information provided last year, especially the program policies, the descriptions of materials required for the different types of submissions, and the information on eligibility. (Note: Persons submitting proposals to the Program Committee this year must be members in good standing for 2012.) While the method of submission may be different this year, general policies and the materials required will be very similar and probably identical.
At its April meeting the Program Committee will consider the following types of submissions
Proposals of Sessions for the 2013 Annual Meeting
The message below was sent to all APA members for whom we have a valid e-mail address on January 20, 2012.
Our joint annual meeting just completed in Philadelphia attracted over 3,000 registrants—one of our largest meetings ever. Daniel Mendelsohn got us off to a wonderful start by movingly reminding us why we devote our lives to the study of classical antiquity. Kathleen Coleman’s Presidential Panel entitled “Images for Classicists” showed us new ways to carry out our work, and new initiatives from the Program Committee improved both the presentations at sessions and the discussions they stimulated. And to judge from the number of institutions conducting interviews through the Placement Service, even the job market (knock on wood) was improved over the last two years. All these efforts produced an energy that carried over to the book display, the CAMP performance, and, of course, the receptions. I look forward to working with you to maintain that energy during my Presidency.
Search for Editor of Transactions of the American Philological Association
Professor Katharina Volk has indicated her intention to complete her term as Editor at the 2014 Annual Meeting. The Editor, who must be a member in good standing of the Association, is initially appointed for four years, with the possibility of extension for a maximum of two additional years. The new editor's term officially begins in January 2014 and will cover volumes 144-147 and the years 2014-2017. As Editor Designate, however, the new editor will begin to receive submissions in early 2013 and spend the summer and fall of that year preparing the 2014 issues for the press. Professor Volk will complete the two issues for the year 2013.
The editor of TAPA has sole responsibility for editorial content, and must acknowledge submissions, select referees, and inform authors whether submissions have been accepted. In addition, the editor must work closely with the journals division of Johns Hopkins University Press, which typesets, produces and distributes each issue. A lively interest in the future of scholarly publishing in the digital age will be a welcome qualification.
"Latin is a bit like a zombie: dead but still clamoring to get into our brains. In one discipline, however, Latin just got a bit deader. For at least 400 years, botanists across the globe have relied on Latin as their lingua franca, but the ardor has cooled. Scientists say plants will keep their double-barreled Latin names, but they have decided to drop the requirement that new species be described in the classical language. Instead, they have agreed to allow botanists to use English (other languages need not apply). In their scientific papers, they can still describe a newly found species of plant — or algae or fungi — in Latin if they wish, but most probably won’t."
Read more online at The Washington Post.
"A university professorship which has been dormant for more than a decade is to be revived after a £2.4m bequest from the last person to hold the post. Professor Douglas Maurice MacDowell held Glasgow University's Chair of Greek between 1971 and 2001. After his death in 2010, aged 78, Prof MacDowell's will stated his portfolio of stocks and shares be used to re-establish the position. The new Chair of Greek is expected to be in place for September this year." Read more at the BBC online.
From the Truman State University Index:
"Despite its small numbers, the classics department remains alive even though their languages are ancient. There are 19 declared classics majors, five of whom will graduate this year, 27 minors and four full-time staff members, said Clifton Kreps, classical and modern language department chair. The Missouri Department of Higher Education reviewed all programs with fewer than 10 graduates a year during Fall 2010. Truman State thus was required to provide a written justification and answer a questionnaire regarding enrollment data for the small number of graduates in classics, along with art history, Russian, German, interdisciplinary studies and bachelors of music. The explanation satisfied the MDHE for the time being, but another review is scheduled for 2014. No further information regarding the format or consequences of the next review has been provided to the University."