Book Review: "A Most Dangerous Book"? Depends who's reading it.

"No woman, according to New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, was ever ruined by a book. But Christopher B. Krebs, a classics professor at Harvard, makes a strong case that an early ethnological monograph, written in the first century in Latin by the Roman historian Tacitus, may have warped the cultural identity of an entire nation. In my old Penguin translation, 'Germania'—'On Germany'— runs fewer than 40 pages, but, like other comparably short documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and 'The Communist Manifesto,' its influence has been earthshaking. As the Penguin translator, H. Mattingly, frankly writes in his 1947 introduction, the book is 'a detailed account of a great people that had already begun to be a European problem in the first century of our era.'"

Read more of the review of A Most Dangerous Book at The Washington Post online.

 

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The 2013-2014 Nominating Committee has submitted its report, which includes the slate of candidates for the election to be held this summer.  Members are reminded that it is possible to nominate additional candidates by petition.  Nominations of candidates not proposed by the Nominating Committee shall require the signature of twenty members in good standing (2014 dues must be paid) and must be reported to the Executive Director by April 15, 2014.  A current curriculum vitae of the candidate, who must also be a member in good standing, should be submitted by the same deadline.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 2:33pm by Adam Blistein.

National Public Radio presents a talk by a classics teacher (among other things) with an unusual view of the subjunctive.

http://www.npr.org/2013/12/13/248195238/does-the-subjunctive-have-a-dark-side

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 4:15pm by Adam Blistein.

Greek Myth is one of the standbys of Classics general-education courses at colleges and universities across the United States.  These courses often have high enrollments and are populated by students with little prior knowledge about the ancient Mediterranean world who are taking the course to fulfill a degree requirement.  They may take Myth because of a lifelong interest in the stories (or because they’ve read the Percy Jackson series), they may be inspired to major in Classics by the course, or they may never read or think about Graeco-Roman culture after the term ends.

A common way of teaching the Myth survey course is like a panorama, a wide-angle shot that tries to fit in as much content as possible from a high-altitude perspective.  I took a different approach in my fall 2013 Greek Myth course at Wake Forest University — a closeup, zooming in on one specific ancient myth-cycle in elaborate detail.  Rather than try to cover Graeco-Roman mythology from Chaos to Romulus, encountering tidbits of art and literature from Homer to Ovid, my course focused on just one mythic figure, and students studied every major visual and textual treatment of that figure that survives from the ancient world.

The myth-cycle I selected was Herakles/Hercules.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 12:22pm by .

Due to bad weather conditions, the University of Pennsylvania has suspended normal operations for February 13, 2014.  The APA Office will therefore be closed as well.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 02/12/2014 - 8:27pm by Adam Blistein.

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.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 02/12/2014 - 4:16pm by Curtis Dozier.

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.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 3:24pm by Adam Blistein.

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.

For more, go to http://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/umd-study-roman-impact-american-identity.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 1:24pm by Information Architect.

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.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 02/03/2014 - 9:41am by Adam Blistein.

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:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:14pm by Adam Blistein.

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.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 1:19pm by Garrett Fagan.

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