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Troy: Fall of a City is a joint effort by Netflix and the BBC to repackage the Trojan War story as the next season of Game of Thrones. Producers David Farr, Derek Wax, and Christopher Aird didn’t have dig too deep to find the material they needed within the ancient myth: blood-thirsty kings, violent battle scenes, forbidden love, and powerful beings flying down from the sky. The Epic Cycle has it all and, since Troy (2004, starring Brad Pitt) hit the theaters nearly 15 years ago, perhaps we were due for another rendering.
Released in the U.S. on April 6th, the 8-episode series is ambitious, to say the least. Its writers wanted to tell the story of the fall of the mythological city of Troy and this, perhaps, is a bit hubristic. After all, Homer’s Iliad (which consists of over 15,000 lines of poetry and would have taken over 15 hours to perform) only covers the “wrath of Achilles,” roughly a 40-day period near the end of the 10-year war. But Troy: Fall of a City has restricted its plot substantially. Rather than including as many heroes and all of the scenes from the Iliad as they could, the writers chose to focus on Paris (aka Alexander, played by Louis Hunter) and Helen (Bella Dayne).
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.
- Jennifer Ferriss-Hill (University of Miami) - "The Ancient Roman Poet Horace's "Art of Poetry" and the Art of Living"
- Heidi Morse (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) - "Black Women an the Classical Traditions of Greece and Rome in 19th-Century America"
- Jenifer Neils (American School of Classical Studies at Athens) - "Long-term Research Fellowships at The American School of Classical Studies at Athens"
- Dean Smith (Cornell University) - "Humanities Open Book Program - Cornell University III"
- Peter Meineck (Aquila Theatre Company Inc.) - "Citizen Soldiers: Ancient and Modern Expressions of War"
- Aaron Johnson (Lee University) - "Philosophy and Tradition in the Contra Julianumby Cyril of Alexandria (c. 375-444)"
- Jessica Powers (San Antonio Museum of Art) - "Sacred Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth in Ancient Rome"
- Denise McCoskey (Miami University, Oxford) - "Eugenics and Classical Scholarship in Early 20th-Century America"
Seminar on Plato at Syracuse
A seminar on Plato at Syracuse will be held in Siracusa, June 4-5, just before the Fourth Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Heritage of Western Greece. The goal of this project is to understand Plato’s involvement with Syracuse and Southern Italy in a multidisciplinary way and produce a volume which combines a new translation of the Seventh Letter with original essays from scholars of varying disciplines.
Scholars interested in participating in the seminar should contact Heather Reid, email@example.com, no later than May 1, 2018. If you would like to propose a paper for the volume, you must provide a full-text draft (maximum 5,000 words) in Chicago style, prepared for blind review, before the May 1st deadline so we can include it in the seminar book. You may contribute a paper without participating in the seminar and you may participate in the seminar without contributing a paper.
Below are this year's Pedagogy Award winners and their projects.
Michael Okyere Asante (Stellenbosch University and University of Ghana)
- The award supports travel costs from South Africa to London in order to present at the Classical Association Conference. The research explored two schools in Ghana and their integration of Classics into their curriculum.
- This award supports the work required for the digitization of Index Apuleianus by William Abbott Oldfather. The work will convert it into a fully lemmatized text and database.
With this award Prof. Gellar-Goad will fund approximately 50 students’ travel to perform adaptations of Aristophanes and Plautus for the North Carolina Junior Classical League state convention in April 2019.
A new Classics program has started up at Southern Virginia University. The university now offers a Major and Minor in Classical Studies, with classes in Greek and Latin as well as history, philosophy, and the arts.
Join us in congratulating them and the expansion of our field!
This blog entry is the first in a new series, Letters from CAMP, that will appear throughout the year and explore the various practicalities and benefits of the performance of ancient drama in its many forms.
Two years ago at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies, a Senior Scholar of great distinction stood in the middle of a room crowded with many of the finest minds in classical scholarship, looked around, and said loudly, “Look at all these f**king a**holes.” To the best of my knowledge, this was a first. Most scholars have been tempted to say the same when faced with a crowd of SCS conference goers, but most are a bit more circumspect in their language.
In this instance, context is everything. The lady in question was performing the part of Poseidon, reworked in a modern aesthetic, at a staged reading of Aristophanes’ Birds organized by the Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) in conjunction with Stanford Classics in Theater. Rather than gasping in shock, the audience laughed and applauded. In the context of comedy, it’s possible to say what everyone might be thinking, with no harm done and no bones broken.
Medea on the Contemporary Stage and Screen
In recent years, the afterlives of Greek tragedy have received special attention in the rapidly expanding field of classical reception studies. With reincarnations ranging from Japanese Noh theater to the Mexican screen, Euripides’ Medea is now more than ever a truly global “classic.” The time is ripe for dedicated focus on Medea and its traditions in contemporary theater and film.
The panel organizers (Zina Giannopoulou, University of California, Irvine; Jesse Weiner, Hamilton College) invite proposals for papers on receptions of Euripides’ Medea on the contemporary stage and screen, to be presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. The conference will take place Nov. 9-11, 2018 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Questions papers might address include but are not limited to:
- Medea assumes many roles in Euripides’ play, from abject suppliant to dea ex machina. How do recent adaptations of Medea portray Medea’s inherent theatricality?
- How have different translations of Medea affected the performance of the play?
I Congreso Internacional Inovação Docente – Instrumentos e Ferramentas na Investigação das Línguas Clássicas / Inovación docente. Instrumentos y herramientas en la investigación de las Lenguas Clásicas
En la mayor parte de los países occidentales los Estudios Clásicos se encuentran hoy en una prolongada crisis que ha significado la reducción, más o menos drástica, del número de alumnos tanto en la Enseñanza Secundaria como en la Superior. En este contexto urge repensar los procesos de enseñanza y aprendizaje y para este fin se convoca el I Congreso Innovación Docente – Instrumentos y Herramientas en la Investigación de las Lenguas Clásicas, encuentro científico que pretende clarificar el estado de la cuestión pero también estimular y divulgar nuevos abordajes de la enseñanza de las lenguas y culturas clásicas.
Organizado por el "Centro de Estudos Clássicos" de la Facultad de Letras de la Universidad de Lisboa, este congreso se realiza en colaboración con varias universidades ibéricas, a saber:
SCS Member Scott Johnson has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
"Johnson’s Guggenheim project is a cultural biography of the language of Syriac. This will be the first book of its kind in English. It attempts to trace the origins, flourishing, and legacy of Syriac as an actor between empires in the late ancient and early medieval worlds."
You can read the full press release here.
SCS has received a grant in the amount of $157,200 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the TLL Fellowship program for three years, from academic year 2019-20 through 2021-22. The program, administered by the SCS, provides a one-year research fellowship to a scholar to work on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich, Germany.
We are extremely pleased by this news and hope members will benefit from this program for years to come.
Yelena Baraz, Project Director
Helen Cullyer, Executive Director, SCS
(Photo: "Logo of the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by National Endowment for the Humanities, public domain, edited to fit thumbnail template)