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The By-Laws of our organization, as written at its founding 145 years ago, specify that “any lover of philological studies may become a member of the Association” (article 18). Since that nineteenth-century statement was penned, much has changed for our organization. Early on, scholars of other languages decamped to form their own learned societies. As a result, the term “philological studies” gradually acquired a specialized reference to ancient Greek and Latin, and then over time to the expanded study of the Greeks and Romans in terms of literature, history, philosophy, and culture. Our impending name change to Society for Classical Studies aims to encode more accurately the current character of our organization, though always with recognition of our long history as the American Philological Association. What I want to point out, however, is that as the APA became increasingly a professional organization for academic classicists, one thing largely lost was the idea that its members were to be not just scholars of classical philology but more broadly its lovers. Plato might have called such people ἐρασταὶ τῆς φιλολογίας, but in searching for a twenty-first century equivalent of “lovers” the best terms I have found are “enthusiasts” or “friends.” It is to recapture these enthusiasts as members that, upon my proposal, the Board has created an associate membership known as Friends of Classics.
For the 2014-2015 academic year, the Academy Vivarium Novum in Rome is offering ten full tuition scholarships for high school students (16-18 years old) and ten full tuition scholarships for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held from October 6, 2014 until June 13, 2015 on the grounds of the Academy’s campus at Rome. The goal of the Academy is to achieve a perfect command of both Latin and Greek through a total immersion in the two languages in order to master without any hindrances the texts and concepts which have been handed down from the ancient times, middle ages, the Renaissance period and modern era, and to cultivate the humanities in a manner similar to the Renaissance humanists. All the classes will be conducted in Latin, except for Greek classes which will be conducted in ancient Greek.
Application letters must be sent by June 30, 2014 in order to receive consideration. Application instructions appear here.
The APA has awarded its first Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Awards. Four students currently enrolled in courses leading to their certification as Latin teachers will receive grants that will offset a portion of their tuition payments. To fund this program the Association uses income derived from contributions from the Friends of Zeph Stewart and matching gifts from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Research and Teaching Endowment established by its Gateway Campaign for Classics in the 21st Century. Professor Stewart taught at Harvard for several decades, served the APA in many capacities including terms as President and Financial Trustee, and was a passionate supporter of the work of primary and secondary school teachers.
The four winners were chosen from fourteen applications reviewed by a subcommittee of the Association’s Joint Committee (with ACL) on the Classics in American Education. We are grateful to John Gruber-Miller, Keely Lake, and Sally W. Morris for their hard work on this program.
The names of the winners and the schools they are attending are
- Brandi Boseovski (University of Washington)
- Stephanie Marie Hutchings (University of Arizona)
- Hannah M. Moore (Bowling Green State University)
- Wesley Joseph Wood (Miami University of Ohio)
A call for applications for the 2015 Stewart Awards will appear in late 2014. The tentative application deadline is March 1, 2015.
Virginia Tech has recognized three APA members for their service to the university. Terry Papillon, Professor of classics and Director of the University Honors Program, has received the university's 2014 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising. Andrew Becker, Associate Professor of Latin and Ancient Greek Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and Trudy Harrington Becker, Senior Instructor in the Department of History, both in the Classical Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will share the university's 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education.
Haun Saussy, University of Chicago, has received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for his project Translation as Citation, or Zhuangzi Inside Out.
We have posted texts of the talks given at the Presidential Panel organized by Denis Feeney in Chicago. The title of the Panel was What Is the Future of Liberal Arts Education?. We are grateful to Teresa Sullivan, President of the University of Virginia, and to APA members Bob Connor and Peter Struck for providing their texts.
The UCLA Division of Humanities, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS), and the Department of Classics are pleased to announce the award of a three-year grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the preparation and training of young scholars in post-classical Latin for graduate programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
The post-baccalaureate program in Latin is intended for students who have completed B.A. degrees and who wish to pursue Ph.D. programs requiring study and proficiency in post-classical Latin. A cohort of up to five students will be chosen each year by an international application process. All fees and a stipend of $18,000 will be provided to allow the admitted students to spend a year at UCLA participating in the post-classical Latin curriculum as well as taking existing courses in Classical Latin and, more broadly, in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The program is intended to prepare students for successful applications to top-ranked Ph.D. programs.
The Department intends to offer a full year of coursework in post-classical Latin at the undergraduate level in 2014-15, in addition to graduate seminars in related areas of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Inquiries should be addressed to Professor Robert Gurval, Director of the Mellon initiative (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here is a perhaps unfinished poem I wrote today about Helen, partly inspired by reading Ruby Blondell's great book on the character; partly by trying to come up with a translation of Euripides' "Helen" that gets the tone right; and partly by life.
I am the woman with the golden hair.
The one you're looking at -- but I'm not there.
You think I'm not quite human. Maybe not --
you don't know who I am or what I want.
I'm wanted. But it seems like an excuse.
She wanted something else, and so did Zeus.
I'm staring in my mirrors. What I see
is beauty, but no truth. It isn't me.
I like the clever ones. Odysseus
is absent, just like me and just like you.
This month’s column is adapted from a paper I gave at the invitation of the Graduate Student Issues Committee at the CAMWS meeting in Waco earlier this month.
The humanities are a field in crisis because the number of students pursuing liberal-arts degrees has plummeted over the past couple decades. Classics is producing more Ph.D.s than the discipline can support. Online education will be the death of us all.
Sound familiar? Well, most of that’s bull. The decrease in liberal-arts majors was caused by opening non-humanities fields like engineering to women: without formal gender discrimination, as Heidi Tworek explains, women’s humanities-degree rates have adjusted to match men’s, which have remained stable since the 1960s. Online education has indeed opened opportunities to people otherwise lacking access — but isn’t close to usurping in-person teaching, as witnessed by abysmal completion rates of overhyped MOOCs.
Yet our discipline does face grim realities: almost nobody nowadays lands tenure-track positions when first on the market, and many classicists never will. Adjunct faculty outnumber tenure-line faculty nationwide, and tenure-line employment has remained stagnant while the number of Ph.D.s awarded has blossomed. White privilege, class privilege, male privilege, thin privilege, and abled privilege affect academic careers in big and small ways, from hiring to service workloads. It’s not necessarily Sisyphean, though it is definitely a steep uphill path. But it’s worth considering three interrelated ways of achieving a strong, satisfying career: the value of non-tenure-track faculty positions, possibilities for non-faculty employment, and mindful approaches to the academic market.
In the April 14 issue of The New Yorker, Daniel Mendelsohn, winner of the APA's President's Award in 2013, discusses the Parthenon with particular attention to Joan Breton Connelly's recent book, The Parthenon Enigma. An abstract of his article is available online at no charge; subscribers have full access.