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What’s So Funny?
Discovering and Interpreting Humor in the Ancient World
20-21 April 2018
The Ohio State University
• Jack Sasson (Emeritus Professor, Vanderbilt University)
• Ian Ruffell (Classics, University of Glasgow)
• Amy Richlin (Classics, University of California at Los Angeles)
• Christine Hayes (Religious Studies, Yale University)
Humor is a ubiquitous human phenomenon with a wide range of applications. Yet, what is deemed humorous is often culturally determined. This poses a significant challenge for scholars of ancient cultures. How do we identify what an ancient culture found funny? How did they use humor, and what drove their usage?
The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for scholars across disciplines to discuss and debate humor and its functions in both textual and material sources across the ancient Mediterranean, from the early Near East through late antiquity. We invite papers that address the above questions, or any others, on the topic of humor in an ancient Mediterranean context.
Possible topics include:
• Theoretical models for identifying and understanding humor and comedy in ancient cultures
The inaugural conference of the Canadian Aristotle Society conference will be May 9, 10, and 11, 2018, at the Dominican University College, Ottawa, ON. The theme of this conference is the following: Aristotle: A Critic of Plato. Please submit a one-page abstract to Dr. Mark Nyvlt at email@example.com. The deadline is January 31st, 2018. Our first Keynote speaker will be Dr. Thomas De Koninck.
The purpose of the bilingual Canadian Aristotle Society is to establish a Centre wherein the themes of Aristotle, along with the Aristotelian tradition, are kept alive by way of either conferences or eventually publications. The spirit of this Society will be speculative and classical in nature, though this does not exclude the analytical and continental traditions. That the Faculty of Philosophy at the Dominican University will house this Society can only enrich its mission to sustain the Aristotelian spirit by both the Anglophone and Francophone communities in Canada and beyond. Their intention is to make this Society into a dynamic Centre that will attract primarily Aristotelian scholars, but also scholars and interested parties from various other disciplines, such as the classics, theology, politics, art, etc.
THEORIZING CONTACTS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, 8-9 December 2017
We live in a multicultural world, in which every community develops in constant interaction with others. A series of theoretical models have been developed to explain these contacts, which in recent years have been utilized to understand the ancient world. In the context of the Roman empire, these theories are typically used to examine the interactions of various indigenous populations with their rulers. These kinds of studies were once grouped under the heading “Romanization”, though the increased questioning of the term’s validity has given rise to a diverse range of alternatives. These are often drawn from modern theoretical backgrounds: multiculturalism and multilingualism are two recent concepts employed in this realm.
The aim of this conference is to assess the validity and scope of a variety of some of these models, with a particular focus on multilingualism and multiculturalism. By promoting and facilitating dialogue between disciplines, we shall aim to provide effective tools for different fields’ approaches in parallel (e.g. historical and linguistic). This has already been done very successfully in a few cases (e.g. ‘code-switching’), though greater interaction remains a desideratum. It is hoped that the participants will thereby open the discussion for a ‘theory of contact’ in the Roman world.
The Atlas Project of Roman Aqueducts (ROMAQ) is an initiative to collect published information about Roman aqueducts from the period of 400 BC to 400 AD. The project website was developed between 2004 and 2011, but the database and other efforts do not appear to have been actively updated since 2013. As it stands, the project’s scope is limited to large aqueducts that served cities and towns, excluding smaller aqueducts that served areas like villas and mines. The need for such a project, as the authors highlight on the landing page, is four-fold:
- aqueducts are important as cultural heritage;
- bibliographic resources on aqueducts are in many languages and can be difficult to access;
- aqueducts provide data for scientific topics like hydrology, geology, and engineering;
- aqueducts are vulnerable to destruction.
The ROMAQ team particularly hoped that the compilation of information about aqueducts and their locations might reduce intentional and accidental damage.
The ROMAQ website has three parts: a map, the database of aqueducts, and a list of references.
June 19, 2017
Recent weeks and months have seen an increase in the cultural tensions in our nation—and, indeed, the world. It is not uncommon now for disagreements to escalate quickly into verbal attacks, threats of violence, and even—as recently took place in Washington, DC—actual violence. Unquestionably, this tendency has been facilitated by social media. But our digital media are only a means or instrument. More troubling is the mentality fueling the rush to attack, across the political spectrum; and that is an unwillingness to verify information, weigh arguments, and attempt to make independent, rationally-grounded judgments. These habits of mind are the very bedrock of learning and of scholarship; they are the principles on which the SCS, as a learned society, is founded and which we have a duty to uphold and protect.
Beginning on Monday, June 26, the SCS Placement Service will enter its yearly maintenance session. That means that no new jobs will be posted and no jobs digests will be sent to subscribers for approximately two weeks. All job ads placed prior to June 26 will be made public so that they are still accessible.
We hope to reopen the Service after two weeks on Monday, July 10th. During the maintenance period we will implement some much-needed and frequently requested improvements, the details of which will be laid out in full when the Service reopens.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Placement Coordinator Erik Shell at firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Numismatic Society has released a free article from their ANS Magazine publication discussing the relationship between the American Numismatic Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
You can read the article here: http://numismatics.org/pocketchange/neh-issue/
(Photo: "2010 Logo fof the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, in the public domain)
Here is an important announcement from the Société internationale de bibliographie classique: beginning October 1, 2017 Brepols publishers will become the sole publisher and distributor of the L'Année philologique, both in print and online. Libraries and individuals currently subscribing through Les Belles Lettres and EBSCO will continue to have online access through these distributors until their current subscription concludes, no later than Dec. 31, 2018.
Pricing is now available directly from Brepols, which is offering discounts and free trial periods to institutions in North America throughout the transition period. Contact them directly at email@example.com for pricing, and for more information, follow the link on their homepage: http://www.brepols.net.
This article was originally published in Amphora 12.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.
It is a great time to be a fan of both the classical world and heavy metal music: the two have never overlapped to the extent that they do right now. Consider, for example, the fact that in 2013 not one but two Italian metal bands, Heimdall and Stormlord, released concept albums based on Vergil’s Aeneid.
But this overlap is not a new phenomenon—in fact, far from it. Heavy metal music has drawn on the classical world almost from its very beginnings, and this interest in the classical world is part of a larger obsession with other times and places—both real and imagined— that is a defining characteristic of the genre. And since metal is a conservative genre (there are clear forefathers to whom almost all subsequent bands owe and acknowledge their allegiance), the interest in these kinds of subjects by earlier bands sanctioned continuous use of them by all subsequent bands.
The Vergilian Society is soliciting proposals for the Third Annual Symposium Campanum, to take place at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma in mid-October, 2018. We will consider proposals on any aspect of the history, archaeology, art and architecture, and geology of Italy and Sicily from the remotest antiquity to the Renaissance.
Each proposal should be prepared by the person who is intending to direct the symposium, or by the lead person if co-directors are envisioned. The successful director will have logistical assistance from the Vergilian Society’s Italian staff and from the executive committee; a set of guidelines is available to assist in planning.
Proposals should be 250-300 words in length, giving a brief rationale for the theme, some thoughts on what kinds of subjects are likely to be treated, and the names of several scholars who have worked on this theme and might be approached to participate. As international meetings, our symposia attract participants from all over the world, but since the Vergilian Society is an Italian-American cultural association, we are especially interested in seeing solid participation from scholars in these two countries.
Proposals should be submitted electronically by September 21, 2017 (new deadline!) to the president of the Vergilian Society, James O’Hara, at firstname.lastname@example.org.