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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 (gurval@humnet.ucla.edu).

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 4:24pm by Adam Blistein.

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.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:06pm by Emily Wilson.

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.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:52am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

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.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 04/11/2014 - 9:41am by Adam Blistein.

The Institute for Advanced Study offers opportunities for scholars for 2015-2016.  School of Historical Studies, Opportunities for Scholars 2015-2016.  The Institute is an independent private institution founded in 1930 to create a community of scholars focused on intellectual inquiry, free from teaching and other university obligations.  Scholars from around the world come to the Institute to pursue their own research.  Candidates of any nationality may apply for a single term or a full academic year.  Scholars may apply for a stipend, but those with sabbatical funding, other grants, retirement funding or other means are also invited to apply for a non-stipendiary membership.  Some short-term visitorships (for less than a full term, and without stipend) are also available on an ad-hoc basis.  Open to all fields of historical research, the School of Historical Studies’ principal interests are the history of western, near eastern and Asian civilizations, with particular emphasis upon Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy, modern international relations, and music studies.  Residence in Princeton during term time is required.  The only other obligation of Members is to pursue their own research.  The Ph.D.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:06pm by Adam Blistein.

Derek T. Muller, a law professor at Pepperdine University, has analyzed data from the Law School Admissions Council and has concluded that "the best prospective law students read Homer." 

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 04/09/2014 - 2:32pm by Adam Blistein.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has announced the results of its 2013-2014 Fellowship competition, and three APA members are among the 65 recipients of these awards this year.  ACLS Fellowships provide salary replacement for scholars who are embarking on six to 12 months of full-time research and writing.  The APA member awardees and the titles of their projects are as follows:

  • John P. Bodel, Brown University, The Ancient Roman Funeral
  • Ari Z. Bryen, West Virginia University, Law and the Boundaries of Authority in the Roman World
  • Robert A. Kaster, Princeton University, A New Critical Edition of Suetonius’s Lives of the Caesars
View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 04/09/2014 - 1:25pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA has published a new issue of its outreach publication, Amphora (Spring 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1).  A PDF of the issue is posted here.  Members who requested print copies of Amphora when they paid dues in either 2013 or 2014 will receive those copies shortly as will nonmember subscribers.  Editor Ellen Bauerle and Assistant Editor Wells Hansen welcome your submissions for future issues.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 04/08/2014 - 4:13pm by Adam Blistein.

In 2014 the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association, awarded the second set of its Pedagogy Awards to three outstanding classics teachers. One of the major goals of the Society's recently and successfully completed capital campaign, Gatekeeper to Gateway: The Campaign for Classics in the Twenty-first Century, was to ensure that an inspiring, well trained teacher would be available for every school and college classics classroom. A subcommittee of the Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education, whose membership is selected from both the SCS and the American Classical League, reviewed thirteen applications requesting funds to support a variety activities that would improve their teaching and their students’ experiences in the classroom. The awards received by the three successful applicants are funded by income derived from the following contributions to the Campaign’s Research and Teaching Endowment: a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:26am by Adam Blistein.

The fifteenth annual classics institute of the Wyoming Humanities Council will run from June 15-20, 2014 and is entitled "The Emperor and the Philosopher: Nero, Seneca, and Their World."  The institute will help participants gain knowledge of Roman history, culture, and society and will focus on the reign of Nero (A.D. 54-68) which has gone down in history as a time of lurid palace intrigues, a paranoid emperor who freely put his enemies to death, and heroic resistance to imperial power by a valiant few—particularly Stoics, who needed their stiff-upperlip philosophy to face the emperor’s deadly caprices, and Christians, who never forgot that Nero was the first of a long line of Roman persecutors of their faith. Yet despite dysfunctions at the top, it was also an age of power and prosperity throughout the empire (somebody was doing something right), with some strange and new literary developments, along with religious and philosophical ferment. Gracious (and some not-so-gracious) living flourished in Pompeii, wiped out by the famous eruption of Vesuvius after the death of Nero. This year’s institute will explore all these developments, and more, with an experienced and distinguished team of faculty. The institute will include four minicourses, (each participant will select two courses to attend) a daily seminar for group discussions, and a daily public lecture series.

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 4:37pm by Adam Blistein.

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