Call for Abstracts: 2018 ISNS Conference in Los Angeles

Ex uno nihil fit nisi unum: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew Perspectives. (Abstracts due Jan. 22 to Eric Perl <Eric.Perl@lmu.edu>)

Michael Chase <goya@vjf.cnrs.fr>

At the beginning of his Commentary on the Liber De Causis (lib. 1, tract. 1, cap. 16, p. 13, 69-71 Fauser), Albert the Great writes: “This proposition, that from what is one and simple, only what is one can result (ab uno simplici non est nisi unum) is written by Aristotle in a letter which is on the Principle of the Being of the Universe (qui est de principio universi esse), and it is taken up and explained by Al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes”.

The principle that from what is one only what is one can derive, lies at the basis of what is known as the Neoplatonic theory of emanation, and represents one answer to the age-old conundrum of how the Many can derive from the One. Its antecedents have been traced back to Alexander of Aphrodisias, Plotinus, and the pseudonymous Theology of Aristotle, while its influence has been discerned in Avicenna, Maimonides, and Thomas Aquinas, to name but a few. This panel solicits contributions on all aspects of this principle and the question it is intended to answer: from the Presocratics to the Middle Ages, in Greek, Latin, Arabic, or Hebrew. What are the origins of this principle? Is there any possibility that, as Albert maintains, could Aristotle have actually said such a thing? How is it supposed to solve the problem of the origin of multiplicity? What was its influence on medieval thought, in all the languages of the Abrahamic tradition?

Beauty and Pedagogy in Neoplatonic Thought

David Ellis <ellisdb@bc.edu>, Gary Gurtler, S.J. <gurtlerg@bc.edu>, Santiago Ramos <santiago.xavier.ramos@gmail.com>

This panel invites papers that explore the relationship between beauty and pedagogy in Neoplatonic thought, its sources and its influences.  Pedagogy includes multiple strategies, methods, and aims to acquire a knowledge, art, or practice that induces conversion of the soul.  Beauty signals a form that draws the soul upward; it begins with appearance, but compels a movement beyond appearances to their source.

The relationship between beauty and pedagogy surfaces a multitude of questions: What is a proper judgment about beauty? How does one discern the power of beauty? What types of beautiful things aid pedagogy – music, virtue, bodies? If the goal of pedagogy is directed to the best kind of life, how

Does beauty contribute to that goal? These and similar issues are invited for discussion.

Conceptions of the Soul in Plato, Aristotle, and the Platonic Tradition

John F. Finamore <john-finamore@uiowa.edu> and Svetla Slaveva-Griffin <sslavevagriffin@fsu.edu>

In several dialogues, including the Phaedo, Republic, Phaedrus, and Timaeus, Plato investigated the nature and function of the soul. Aristotle criticized Plato and in his turn created his own theory of soul. Later Platonists used Plato and Aristotle’s as models for their own interpretations of the soul.

This panel will focus on this evolution of thought on the nature and function of the soul.  Contributors may wish to consider such questions as how the doctrine of soul changed over time, how individual authors modified earlier views and their reasons for doing so, the problems raised by the soul’s immortality and transmigration, etc.

Nature, Ecology, and Neoplatonism

Marilynn Lawrence <Pronoia12@gmail.com>

What would Plato say about the extinction of species? What would Plotinus and other neoplatonists say about climate change and plastic in the ocean? For all of our love of neoplatonism and for the nuances and surprises we find in neoplatonic writers, we shouldn’t lose sight that we are in an ecological crisis brought on by humanity’s effect on the environment.  Platonic and neoplatonic views of nature differ from the way we thinking about the natural world today.  For example, nature was an activity of the World Soul for Plotinus. Can we adapt ancient ways of thinking to create new ways of relating to nature? Can the work of neoplatonic writers be used in combination with other philosophies and disciplines to provide a better approach to the ecology crisis? This panel would like to explore these questions along with any topic that relates to neoplatonic understanding of nature, ecosystems, and the environment.

The Good and the Beautiful in the Platonic Tradition

Michael Wagner <mwagner@sandiego.edu>

Papers are invited on the concepts of good and beauty (and/or the beautiful), and their relationship to one another, in Platonic/Neoplatonic philosophies from all periods (classical, medieval, renaissance, and modern/contemporary) of Platonic thought.  Papers may also examine their place and role in such topic areas as aesthetics, ethics, psychology, and conceptions of eros.

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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(From the National Humanities Alliance)

This afternoon, the House of Representatives will consider an amendment to the FY 2019 Interior Appropriations bill that would cut the proposed FY 2019 budget of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by 15% or nearly $23 million. This would be a setback to the increased funding that appropriations committees in the House and the Senate have supported to date.

The House will consider this amendment TODAY.

Please click here to urge your Member of Congress to oppose the amendment and encourage others to contact their Members of Congress as well!

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:00am by Erik Shell.
Battle

(From the Dartmouth News blog)

SCS Outreach Prize winner Roberta Stewart, founder of book discussion groups for veterans, held a workshop recently with Classicists from other states hoping to start similar programs.

"The workshop represents a pilot to test the ability to develop a national network of co-facilitators who work pro bono to run groups nationwide."

You can read the full article here: https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2018/07/classics-professors-book-group-v...

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(Photo: "Painted slab of tomb with 'Duel'" by Carlo Raso, public domain)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:54am by Erik Shell.

When you do study abroad trips with college or high school students, teaching happens on-site and draws upon the artifacts that surround you. We found this out firsthand while leading the first ever 3-week study abroad summer session in Greece from 21 May to 12 June for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Classics department this summer. I co-led the trip with classicist Thomas Rose. We both specialize in different areas, which really gave breadth to the teaching. Whereas Prof. Rose is an expert in Greco-Roman historiography and epigraphy, I specialize in poetry and translation while teaching at the University of Iowa. The itinerary was loosely inspired by the trips we both took to central and northern Greece as regular and student associate members of the American School for Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) in 2012 with our Mellon professor, Margaret M. Miles.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 07/12/2018 - 6:52pm by Adrienne K.H. Rose.

The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for its residential fellowships for the academic year 2019/2020.

The Academy seeks to enrich transatlantic dialogue in the arts, humanities, and public policy through the development and communication of projects of the highest scholarly merit. For 2019/2020, the Academy is also interested in considering projects that address the themes of migration and social integration, questions of race in comparative perspective, and the interplay of exile and return.

For all projects, the Academy asks that candidates explain the relevance of a stay in Berlin to the development of their work.

Approximately 20 Berlin Prizes are conferred annually. Past recipients have included art historians, anthropologists, historians, musicologists, journalists, writers, filmmakers, sociologists, legal scholars, economists, and public policy experts, among others. Fellowships are typically awarded for an academic semester, but shorter stays of six to eight weeks are also possible. Benefits include round-trip airfare, partial board, a $5,000 monthly stipend, and accommodations at the Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center in the Berlin-Wannsee district.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:33am by Erik Shell.
Ancient Greek football player balancing the ball. Part of a marble grave stele, found in Piraeus, 400-375 BC. Item (NAMA) 873 of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Image via Wikimedia under Public Domain.

“For as long as he lives, a man has no greater glory
than that which he wins with his own hands and feet”

οὐ μὲν γὰρ μεῖζον κλέος ἀνέρος, ὄφρα κεν ᾖσιν,
ἢ ὅ τι ποσσίν τε ῥέξῃ καὶ χερσὶν ἑῇσιν.
Homer, Odyssey 8.147-148

Salve, My ancient Roman friend—I know that much of this world of ours confuses you. Not if I had ten thousand mouths and as many years could I cover the histories of the centuries between your world and ours, nor could I catalog and explain airplanes, televisions, cell phones, and the droning chorus of wonders and horrors you see around you.

But maybe I can start with something which will help bridge the gulf between your world and ours—sport. Even though the younger Pliny mocked his contemporaries for their passion for horse races, passion for sport is an ancient inheritance.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 07/10/2018 - 1:22pm by Joel Perry Christensen.

CFP: “Virgil and the Feminine” Vergilian Society’s Symposium Cumanum 2019

June 20-22, Villa Vergiliana, Cuma

Co-Directors: Elena Giusti (Warwick) and Victoria Rimell (Warwick)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 1:25pm by Erik Shell.

The Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the Roman Fora. What could be more Roman? These sites typically exemplify the power of the ancient Roman Empire and its lasting impact on the modern world. These are some of the definitive sites to visit on any trip to the eternal city, but how did these sites contribute to imperial propaganda and memory?

Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati and Fellow in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome and I recently organized and led a tour in Rome, entitled “Sites of Memory and Memories of Conflict: Imperial Rome, Jerusalem, and Nero,” asking just this question with the trustees of the American Academy in Rome. The Flavian dynasty, after the fall of Nero and the disastrous Year of the Four Emperors, built or added to many of modern day Rome’s most iconic buildings: the Colosseum, the Arch of Titus, the Circus Maximus (adding a triumphal arch at the eastern end), and the Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace).

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 07/05/2018 - 3:53pm by Catherine Bonesho.

Call for Papers

Classics and Global Humanities

Extended Deadline: 8th July, 2018

University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

 11-12 October, 2018

Keynote Speaker

      Prof. Barbara Goff, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Studies have explored the cross-cultural engagement between Western civilisation and other cultures (Stephens and Vasunia 2010) as well as the legacy and reception of the Classics in the Arab world (Pormann 2015), India (Vasunia 2013), West Africa (Goff 2013; Goff and Simpson 2007) and recently, South Africa (Parker 2017). Classical reception studies thus continue to play a key role in bringing different parts of the world into greater dialogue with each other.

We invite abstracts for papers not only from Classics but also from other disciplines and sub-disciplines which explore ways in which reception studies is giving a new voice to classical research in West Africa, consider ways in which Classics in West Africa engages with the legacies of Egypt, Greece, and Rome or examine cross-cultural themes in both ancient and modern traditions. We also welcome papers which draw lessons from other parts of Africa and the world.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 07/03/2018 - 2:35pm by Helen Cullyer.

In spring 2018, students enrolled in the upper-level seminar “Antiquity Through a Lens” at Miami University engaged in critical study of the ways the classical world and, more specifically, ancient war narratives have been used in modern film and television to reflect on contemporary society and its conflicts.  Alongside study of ancient primary sources, students thus explored a range of concepts such as gender, class, race, religion, and even the meaning of victory itself in Troy (2004), 300 (2007), 300:  Rise of an Empire (2014), Spartacus (1960), Masada (1981), and Dragon Blade (2015).  It was the latter film, however, that provoked the most intriguing reactions from students in the course, since it forced them to view classical history for the first time through a distinctly non-Western lens. Please note that quotations in italics are taken with permission from comments students wrote when asked to reflect on what their encounter with Dragon Blade contributed to the course, CLS 361. 

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 4:46pm by Denise Eileen McCoskey.

XVII International ARYS Colloquium

"DRESSING DIVINELY: clothed or naked deities and devotees"

V Centenario Residence (UNEX)
Jarandilla de la Vera, 13-14 December 2018

The development of a theoretical framework for the understanding of the links between religious identity and clothing depends both on a careful terminological selection and on a broad and holistic definition of the social aspects of wear. Through the use of trappings as an effective means of communication in social interaction, it is possible to activate identities based on and assigned by social structures, especially those built on kinship, economic, religious and political activities. At the same time, clothing represents for the individual an inexhaustible source of expressive creativity that can even break the “iconographic vocabulary” of a particular social group. Moreover, the specific types and properties of clothing that convey identity may change over time in response to economic, demographic, aesthetic and technological changes. A comprehensive definition of clothing includes both body modifications and complements, the properties of which have to be analyzed together with the sensory stimuli they may evoke.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.

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