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In my post last month I referred to the crucial role that study abroad played in my formation as a classicist, and the papers delivered at a panel on study-abroad programs at this year’s annual meeting showed that I am not alone. Those papers (by McGinn, Severy-Hoven, Thakur, Morris, and Romano) spoke eloquently of the profound impact on students of exploring the remains of ancient Greece and Rome and their continuities with the present. It is easy to dismiss the American form of “junior year abroad” as lightweight, but if we allow ourselves a broad perspective on what constitutes worthwhile learning in the humanities—as I argued we should last month—it is clear that study abroad provides unparalleled opportunities for such education.
Within the next two weeks we will post a link to the online system we will use this year to receive submissions of abstracts and proposals and reports for review by the APA Program Committee. Proposals for at-large panels, committee panels, workshops, seminars, and roundtable discussion sessions; reports by organizer-refereed panels and affiliated groups chartered to present sessions in January 2015; and applications for charters for 2016 and beyond will be due on April 25, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The deadline for submission of individual abstracts will be May 16, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. In the interim, see this document describing the materials required for each type of submission.
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is pleased to announce today a $500,000 grant from the late Ernest L. Pellegri, one of the Foundation's donors, to the University of Maryland's Department of Classics.
Their project entitled, "Between Washington and Ancient Rome: The NIAF Pellegri Program on Roman Antiquity and Its Legacy in America," was selected to receive the NIAF Ernest Pellegri Grant to support the study of Latin, ancient Roman archeology, and ancient Roman civilization; and to offer opportunities for students to study abroad, conduct research, and pursue fellowships in the United States and Italy.
A recent painful loss to our profession came with the death of John Rettig. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated magna cum laude from the Honors A.B. Program at Xavier University in 1953 and was awarded the M.A. in Classics the following year. The next two years were given to military duties, which he fulfilled while stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. After separation from the army, he returned home and taught English and Latin for four years in the Cincinnati public school system, but then returned to formal studies at The Ohio State University, where he earned the Ph D. in 1963. His work on his dissertation, “The Latinity of Martin of Braga”, under the direction of Professor Clarence Forbes, seems to have set the stage for his future primary research interest, the Church Fathers.
Expanding the Reach of Doctoral Education in the Humanities
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites applications for the fourth competition of the Public Fellows program. The program will place 20 recent humanities Ph.D.s in two- year staff positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. This career-launching initiative aims to demonstrate that the capacities developed in the advanced study of the humanities have wide application, both within and beyond the academy.
In 2014, Public Fellows have the opportunity to join one of the following organizations:
It was recently reported that the EU, in the face of continuing economic hardship, may contemplate scaling back its rules on carbon emissions. Here in the United States climate change remains a political football, as established science is denied by politicians and every effort is made to obfuscate the facts and create the illusion of uncertainty where, in reality, none exists. As many of us endured the recent “polar vortex” that dropped temperatures across much of the country to Arctic levels (and stranded castaways at the Annual Meeting hotel), we were treated to the spectacle of pundits and other climate-change deniers scoffing at the notion of “global warming,” since it was cold outside. Indeed.
Classical studies as we know it today grew partly from the pressure of politics — from people’s need for a repertoire of words and images that could respond to the new political possibilities in early modern Europe. When Coluccio Salutati studied Latin prose composition at his boarding school in Bologna, he focused on the art of letter-writing (the ars dictaminis), as generations of Italian boys had done before him. But his teacher also lectured on Cicero and other classical authors — and as Salutati’s career took him to the chancellorships of Todi, Lucca, and Florence, his administrative vision was broadened by his knowledge of classical history and moral philosophy.
Leonardo Bruni, Salutati’s disciple from Arezzo, drew on Athenian and Roman ideals to create a compelling picture of secular civic virtue that could absorb and transcend dominant Christian ideals. In his famous letter to his friend Francesco Vettori, Machiavelli took note of the “capital” he made from conversation with classical authors, which inspired him to write “a little work De Principatibus, where I delve as deeply as I can into reflections on this subject, debating what a principality is, of what kinds they are, how they are acquired, how they are maintained, why they are lost.”
One of the great things about working on a commentary is the random avenues it leads you down. What starts out looking like an unpromising bit of text turns out to raise issues about the ancient world that you’d never have thought of. Before you know it, you’re discovering all kinds of obscure debates, bizarre ancient texts, and random pieces of trivia: it’s the scholarly equivalent of link-surfing on wikipedia.
My most recent experience of this began with one of Archilochus’ least known fragments, 217 West, 'with hair shorn away from the shoulders close to the skin'. Not a line that sets the world on fire, all things considered. It might well have been really interesting in its original context, but we don’t know anything about it, since the line is quoted simply as an example of accentuation. But where it led me to was the wonderful world of Greek haircuts, and in particular to two notorious haircuts of the modern era, the bowl cut and the mullet.
Due to bad weather conditions, the University of Pennsylvania has suspended normal operations for January 22, 2014. The APA Office will therefore be closed as well.
To assist developers of websites who wish to embed New Athena Unicode font, the APA has recently clarified that the Open Font License for New Athena Unicode applies to the woff format as well as to the TrueType format that is installed by users on their own computers.
In addition, all four styles of New Athena Unicode version 4.05 have been converted to woff format and are available for download at the GreekKeys site.
This new font format is for hosting on web servers. Users of GreekKeys 2008 for Mac OS X and Windows should continue to use the TrueType version (newathu.ttf) in their own work in word processors or other desktop applications.
For more information see: