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In spring 2018, students enrolled in the upper-level seminar “Antiquity Through a Lens” at Miami University engaged in critical study of the ways the classical world and, more specifically, ancient war narratives have been used in modern film and television to reflect on contemporary society and its conflicts. Alongside study of ancient primary sources, students thus explored a range of concepts such as gender, class, race, religion, and even the meaning of victory itself in Troy (2004), 300 (2007), 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), Spartacus (1960), Masada (1981), and Dragon Blade (2015). It was the latter film, however, that provoked the most intriguing reactions from students in the course, since it forced them to view classical history for the first time through a distinctly non-Western lens. Please note that quotations in italics are taken with permission from comments students wrote when asked to reflect on what their encounter with Dragon Blade contributed to the course, CLS 361.
XVII International ARYS Colloquium
"DRESSING DIVINELY: clothed or naked deities and devotees"
The development of a theoretical framework for the understanding of the links between religious identity and clothing depends both on a careful terminological selection and on a broad and holistic definition of the social aspects of wear. Through the use of trappings as an effective means of communication in social interaction, it is possible to activate identities based on and assigned by social structures, especially those built on kinship, economic, religious and political activities. At the same time, clothing represents for the individual an inexhaustible source of expressive creativity that can even break the “iconographic vocabulary” of a particular social group. Moreover, the specific types and properties of clothing that convey identity may change over time in response to economic, demographic, aesthetic and technological changes. A comprehensive definition of clothing includes both body modifications and complements, the properties of which have to be analyzed together with the sensory stimuli they may evoke.
The departments of Classics, Music, and Comparative Literature at King’s College London are delighted to announce a call for papers for an upcoming conference:
‘Amplifying Antiquity: Music as Classical Reception’
Strand Campus, King’s College London, December 12th-13th 2018
The focus of the conference is deliberately wide, and we welcome proposals to speak on any aspect of how the culture, history, and myth of the Greek and Roman worlds have influenced the music of the 17th-21st centuries. We hope that papers will demonstrate the scope for fresh work and new collaborations in this area.
Musical works addressed need not be conventionally viewed as part of the classical tradition. Papers might touch on topics such as: the use of antiquity in the invention of new musical genres and development of aesthetic priorities; the relationship between performative speech and song, past and present; the gendering of ancient voices in modern productions; the social contexts of musical commissioning and performance; the conservative and radical political potential in music inspired by the classical world.
Speakers already confirmed include Sina Dell’Anno (Basel), Edith Hall (KCL), Wendy Heller (Princeton), Sarah Hibberd (Bristol), and Stephanie Oade (Oxford).
Inscriptions in Historiography and Historiography in Inscriptions. Two Sides of the Same Coin: History
King’s College London, 28th September 2018
Organisers: Steven Cosnett, Dr Giulia Donelli, Federica Scicolone
How reliable are literary quotations of inscribed texts? Why are they included in, or excluded from, historiographical narratives? Conversely, how reliable are inscriptional accounts of historical events? The issue of the relationship between epigraphic and literary texts has recently been brought into sharp relief by the publication of an inscribed dedication from the sanctuary of Apollo Ismenios at Thebes (Papazarkadas 2014: 233-48) and ensuing debate over the light it casts on Herodotus’ use of inscriptional sources (see e.g. Thonemann 2016).
In our third ‘Letters from CAMP’ blogpost, Prof. Emily Jusino discusses the trials and tribulations of picking a translation of an ancient drama for live performance.
“People expect Greek tragedy to sound a little stilted and awkward.” This is a paraphrase of a comment made to me recently by a director planning on staging the Medea. It was his defense of the translation he had chosen when I said that I disliked his choice. What made this translation appeal to him was precisely what made it seem terrible to me: the stiltedness and awkward English that comes across both as “translation-ese” and as a refusal to update any references in the text for a modern audience. But, of course, he could get the rights to use this translation for free.
We have updated our "Related Careers" page to include information on career paths open to Classicists and professional academics who study the ancient world.
This update includes a write-up from the Career Networking event at our 2018 Annual Meeting in Boston, as well as past conversations about academic career paths and new online resources.
You can view the new page here: https://classicalstudies.org/placement-service/related-careers
(Message sent to SCS by James McNamara)
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority is proposing to drop the scholarship exam in Latin (for final year pupils) in 2019. The exam offers students recognition and a monetary award for high achievement. It may be that this would be a precursor to dropping Latin in New Zealand schools altogether.
If you are interested in submitting a proposal in support of continuing the scholarship exam in Latin, it would be greatly appreciated if you could submit feedback to the review, which closes this Friday 22 June, NZ time.
Details of the scholarship review are here:
The feedback form and details of where to send it are here:
ἀγών agōn: struggle, contest, trial, conflict, challenge, strife
with a pre-conference seminar on Empedocles’ Poem on nature and an Empedocles-themed post-conference tour
The cultural and intellectual legacy of Western Greece—the coastal areas of Southern Italy and Sicily settled by Hellenes in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE—is sometimes overlooked in academia. Yet evidence suggests that poets, playwrights, philosophers, and other maverick intellectuals found fertile ground here for the growth of their ideas and the harvesting of their work. The goal of the Fonte Aretusa organization is to revive the distinctive spirit of Western Greece by exploring it from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including art history, archaeology, classics, drama, epigraphy, history, philosophy and religion.
SCS’s Executive Director reflects on the experiences, challenges, and future of independent scholarship in our ongoing series on the subject.
All of our Independent Scholar blogposts have drawn on personal experiences, and mine is also personal. Your posts have certainly helped me think more deeply and creatively about how the national classical society can support independent scholarship. My response falls into two parts: a celebration of the scholarly work that independent scholars are all currently doing in different ways, and some constructive responses to the challenges that independent scholars face.
Now to address some challenges:
1. Access to Scholarly Resources
Plato's Alcibiades I
20-22 Sept. 2018, Cambridge (UK)
Abstract submission deadline: 15 July 2018
Although the Platonic dialogue Alcibiades I was highly regarded in late antiquity and occupied a prominent place within the Neoplatonist curriculum, the dialogue has suffered from relative neglect both within classical and philosophical scholarship ever since Schleiermacher denounced it as spurious at the beginning of the 19th century. This conference will be dedicated wholly to the Alcibiades I, bringing together scholars who have been central in rekindling recent interest in the dialogue while also welcoming contributions from new researchers on the dialogue, including early career researchers and graduate students. Questions that might be addressed include, but are not limited to, questions about self-hood and self-knowledge, the soul-body relationship, politics and political influence, love, the role of the divine within the dialogue, as well as questions about authenticity and the place of the Alcibiades I within – or outside of – the Platonic corpus.