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Have you ever thought about a terminal MA in Classics?
I have to confess, I hadn’t before coming to teach at Boston College, where we have such a graduate program. I had firsthand experience with Classics BAs in colleges that only granted undergraduate degrees, BAs and MAs in PhD-granting departments — heck, even a combined BA/MA program. But a freestanding MA degree that was a purposeful end goal rather than an add-on, an along-the-way, or a no-more-thanks? It never crossed my mind. To judge from the conversations that I’ve had since joining a department with a terminal MA program, I think that’s true of a lot of Classics faculty, as well as for a lot of students. And I also think that has led to some unfortunate misunderstandings about terminal MAs and their contributions, both to the field as a whole and to the personal and professional development of individual students.
Barbara K. Gold is Edward North Professor of Classics at Hamilton College, Emerita. She received her B.A. at the University of Michigan in 1966, her master’s degree in 1968 and her doctorate in 1975, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on Greek and Roman literature, particularly Roman elegy, lyric, and satire; medieval literature, culture, and history; Roman social history; women in the ancient world; and feminist criticism. A prolific author and recipient of numerous grants and awards, Professor Gold was the first woman editor of The American Journal of Philology from 2000 to 2008 and is currently Vice President for Professional Matters of the Society for Classical Studies. She has also served on numerous college committees and was Associate Dean of Faculty at Hamilton College (1997-2001).
THE ERICH S. GRUEN PRIZE
On behalf of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), the Erich S. Gruen Prize Committee invites all graduate students in North America to enter the first annual competition for the best graduate research paper on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean. This year the prize will be a cash award of $500.
(From Anthony Preus and Caleb Cohoe)
Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Network Facebook group has been set up as a forum for scholars working in any area of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from Thales of Miletus through to Boethius and Byzantium. All members are encouraged to share ancient philosophy related events, questions, books and articles (including their own), and teaching materials. Any scholar with an interest in ancient philosophy, whatever their academic discipline, is welcome to join. Caleb will generally be able to respond to membership requests within 24 hours.
He'll still be posting events and other key information on my ancient philosophy events calendar.
(Sent by the National Humanities Alliance on May 5, 2020)
As Congress considers additional COVID-19 stimulus funding packages, we are once again calling on you to advocate for additional relief funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
While we are very grateful for the $75 million awarded to the NEH in the CARES Act, currently available funding will cover only a fraction of the needed assistance.
Humanities educators and organizations across the country continue to face intense strains as they try to meet the growing needs of their communities. Whether it's humanities programming that connects people, scholars contributing to public discourse about the pandemic, or archives that have made a quick pivot to preserve artifacts of this moment, the humanities are proving crucial to community life.
Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.
- Michael Leese (University of New Hampshire) - "Institutions and Economic Development in Ancient Greece"
- Angelos Chaniotis (Institute for Advanced Study) - "Reconstructing Ancient History through Squeeze Digitization at the Institute for Advanced Study"
- Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh University) - "Justice in Plato's Republic: The Lessons of Book 1"
- Elizabeth Baltes (Coastal Carolina University) - "Portrait Statuary from the Athenian Agora Excavations"
- Richard Armstrong (University of Houston) - "Theory and Theatricality in the Early Work of Sigmund Freud"
- Michael Brumbaugh (Tulane University) - "Plato and the Guaraní Republics of Colonial Paraguay"
- Evan Rodriguez (Idaho State University) - "Rivals or Relatives? Tracking Truth and Ways of Knowing among Plato and the Sophists in Classical Greece"
Congratulations to all grantees!
(Photo: "Logo of the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by National Endowment for the Humanities, public domain, edited to fit thumbnail template)
Update on COVID-19 Joint Relief Fund
The SCS and WCC are delighted to announce that CAMWS, CANE, and CAAS have joined forces with us in sponsoring the SCS/WCC COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund will support microgrants of up to $500 to graduate students and contingent faculty based in North America. Each organization will additionally offer free membership for the remainder of 2020 to successful applicants.
Already, only a week after the April 23 launch of this initiative, we have much to report. As we noted in our initial announcement, the WCC and SCS started this fund together with $15,000. Within eight hours of launching the fund, we had more than thirty applicants, enough to consume our entire seed money. At the same time, individual donations started pouring in, as did substantial pledges from the regional organizations CAMWS, CANE, and CAAS. Thanks to all their generosity, the fund has now doubled in value, allowing us to help more people. Yet we are still not able to meet the need: as of today, there are seventy-eight applicants to the fund, with more arriving daily.
Due to the high demand, the COVID-19 Fund Selection Committee met this week on an accelerated schedule and selected twenty-five individuals with urgent needs, mostly graduate students but also contingent faculty, to receive this award in an initial round. The committee will meet again to consider applications on May 10th for disbursement by May 20th.
How has the field of Classics changed with the growth of digital writing and social media? How can this writing reframe how ancient languages function online?
Call for Proposals
Lessons from COVID-19: Reflections on Teaching and Learning Remotely
Special Issue of Teaching Classical Languages
As the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced classes to move to “remote delivery,” students and teachers alike are fearful that both “Everything Will Change” and “Nothing Will Change.” For teachers concerned about the rise of online and distance education, this emergency foray into online teaching prefigures a turn to more permanent and widespread online delivery of coursework: everything will change. For underserved students for whom school serves as a safe place and provides the possibility for socio-economic mobility, the emphasis on technology in remote delivery reiterates geographic and class disparities: nothing will change.
The world over, we are hoping that we will emerge from this period somehow changed for the better: that we will learn lessons about what really matters and how better to do what matters most. We are concerned to make the best use of this bizarre opportunity to reconsider our lives, our priorities, our work, our teaching.
The SCS Board has endorsed a statement from the American Sociological Association calling on higher education administrations to revise a number of their academic policies.
Two main policy recommendations include recommending "that institutions make temporary adjustments to timelines for student progression and completion, including revising funding timelines as appropriate" and to adjust "expectations for learning and scholarship during this period...[including] alternate grading options or amended graduation requirements."
You can read the full statement here.