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Hybrid Epicenters: Peripheral Adaptation in Flavian Literature
With a response by Antony Augoustakis
Adaptation and change in Imperial Rome tend to aggregate on the margins and at the edges of things, in extremis as it were. In Flavian literature, various dynamic changes have been observed, in the textual space as well as in the socio-political background under which this literature is being produced. One example is the sudden transition between books 11 and 12 in Statius’ Thebaid wherein the fraternas acies of the first 11 books gives way to (attempted) reconciliation. Or from a geographical stance, one example is Scipio Africanus’ rapid rise to power as he pushes Rome’s military might to her future imperial edges in Spain and North Africa in books 16 and 17 of the Punica; from a sociocultural angle, the complex dynamics in the Silvae between Campania and Rome causes difficulties in recognizing which location is central and which peripheral in Statius’ conceptualization of the geography of Roman power in Italy.
The following was approved by the SCS board of directors on February 7, 2020.
The Society for Classical Studies joins the Society of Architectural Historians in opposing the proposed Executive Order “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.” As students and scholars of the ancient Greco-Roman world and its ongoing cultural impact, we recognize that classical antiquity provided some of the many traditions that have shaped this nation, and we appreciate the examples of neo-classical architecture, both public and private, to be found throughout the United States. But we firmly believe that the architectural style of public buildings should not be dictated in advance, but rather freely and deliberately chosen in view of all relevant considerations, and we reject the supposition that a style derived from classical models is necessarily better suited than any other to express the history, values, and aspirations of the American people.
Please see the letter below from the Society of Architectural Historians and a number of other scholarly societies, including SCS.
February 10, 2020
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Re: Opposition to proposed Executive Order “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again”
Dear Mr. President,
The deadline to apply for Classics Everywhere is February 14, 2020.
Applications can be submitted through the above link by filling out the application form linked half way down the page.
The Bridge, a digital humanities initiative out of Haverford College, allows users to generate customized vocabulary lists in both Greek and Latin. Bret Mulligan and a team of dedicated students have done an admirable job of adding texts to their database and are responsive to requests from users (both students and instructors). An accompanying blog helpfully documents the different updates as they are released, as well as a list of requested features, so users can get a sense of what’s in the works for The Bridge. Development has been funded both by Haverford College as well as by a Mellon Digital Humanities Grant and a program grant from the Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS). There have also been collaborators from Bryn Mawr College and Laboratoire d’Analyse Statistique des Langues Anciennes (LASLA) at the Université de Liège, making this a model of a collaborative digital project that can draw on funding and labor from a number of institutions to create an open resource that helps all teachers and students.
In 2020 the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) will again award the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for study and travel in classical lands.
The Fellowship is intended to recognize secondary-school teachers of Greek or Latin who are as dedicated to their students as the Coffins themselves by giving them the opportunity to enrich their teaching and their lives through direct acquaintance with the classical world. It will support study in classical lands (not limited to Greece and Italy); the recipient may use it to attend an educational program in (e.g. American Academy, American School) or to undertake an individual plan of study or research. It may be used either for summer study or during a sabbatical leave, and it may be used to supplement other awards or prizes.
For full details and instructions please visit the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship page. Materials must be received no later than February 27, 2020.
Cultural Identity in Political Rhetoric: Past and Present
Society for Classical Studies 2021 Annual Meeting – January 7-10, Chicago, IL
Organizer: Tedd A. Wimperis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rhetorical appeals to ethnic or civic identity were a mainstay of political discourse in the ancient Mediterranean. Arguments from cultural heritage and mythical kinship between peoples supported diplomatic negotiation; orators invoked values and traditions inherited from past generations to sway audiences; autocrats wove their personal iconography into the fabric of the “national story” to legitimize and authorize their power. Politically-guided ideations of identity were promoted through literature, art, architecture, coinage, and various forms of performance, and relied on effective appropriations of cultural symbolism and myth. Here and now in our own modern world, these kinds of discourse remain entrenched in political communication, from the extremes of ethno-nationalism to the commonplaces of campaign rhetoric, where appeals to “who we are” and “what our values are” appear explicitly and subtly in televised debates and hearings, tweets, billboards, and bumper stickers.
“Koinonia” in Plato’s Philosophy
Plato uses the term “Koinonia” in a wide variety of important ways. It signifies the relation of the forms with each other as well as the relation we can have with them, but also both relations between individual people and between individuals and the community as a whole. Although this term has been the object of intense scholarly scrutiny, many issues remain to be explored. We will consider abstracts on any aspect of the subject, including the metaphysical, epistemological, social, and ethical dimensions of koinonia.
1. Please submit titles and abstracts of 500 words (maximum), double-spaced, 12 point type, formatted for anonymous review
2. Name, Paper Title, Affiliation, Postal Address, Email Address included as an attachment in the email to which the abstract is sent
3. Abstracts can be in any of the IPS’s official languages: English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
4. Abstracts Submission Deadline: July 31, 2020.
5. All abstracts must be sent with the subject "IPS Mid-Term Meeting" to the following address: email@example.com
On January 5, 2020, the SCS Board of Directors approved a name change for the Minority Scholarship in Classics and Classics Archaeology. The scholarships will now be known as the Frank M. Snowden Jr. Undergraduate Scholarships. The name change was recommended by President-Elect Shelley P. Haley and the SCS Committee on Diversity in the Profession.
The new name honors Frank M. Snowden Jr., the renowned black classicist, chair for many years of the Howard Classics Department, and author of Blacks in Antiquity, which won the Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit in 1973. Prof. Snowden was also a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and was elected by the SCS (then APA) membership to the position of second Vice President, serving in that role in 1983-84. According to the cursus honorum at the time, Prof. Snowden should have become President in 1986. However, he had to step down owing to poor health, which was a huge loss to the organization and the profession. You can read a full biography of Professor Snowden here.
The tale of Orpheus and Eurydice has long been a popular myth in music, drama, literature, and film. Anais Mitchell’s recent musical sensation Hadestown (which was workshopped from 2006 and had an off-Broadway debut during the 2017-18 season) is but one example of the reworking of the legendary love story. Although Mitchell’s musical is broadly defined as a folk opera, it is just the latest instance amongst many pop culture reinterpretations of the Orpheus myth across different musical genres. The tragic tale of a famed musician who traveled to the underworld to retrieve his love from the grips of death has inspired several musicians during the 1990s and the 2000s. Many of these retellings have engaged with one of the most important themes of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth: the power of music and art to provide salvation.
Please see our 2021 Annual Meeting page for a number of calls for abstracts from our affiliated groups, organizers of organizer-refereed panels, the Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance, and the Committee on Translations of Classical Authors.