Call for Student Nominations: Emory Summer Seminar in Material Culture

The Use of Art and Material Culture in Scholarship and Teaching:
Greek and Roman Art: an Introduction
A Seminar in Material Culture for Graduate Students in Classics and Ancient History
Directed by Dr Jasper Gaunt, Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum,
Emory University
22 May – 30 June 2017
Emory University, Atlanta GA
Supported by generous grants from the Samuel H. Kress and Henry Luce Foundations, and Emory University
 
The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) invites doctoral programs in Classics or Ancient History to nominate a student to participate in a 6-week seminar that will introduce ten graduate students to the use of material culture in their scholarship and teaching. The aim of this seminar is to familiarize students with archaeological material that goes hand in hand with the historical and literary records, and how to incorporate such evidence into historical or philological research. This seminar will be the second of three with the same purpose but with different foci and at different institutions. The first took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2016; the third will be held in 2018. Background. Despite new awareness of the scope of material evidence, and the ready availability of excellent images, all too often literary scholars treat images as decoration or illustration, while historians exploit the material record only gingerly. Probably more important than “literature” was the oral tradition, and the essential web of images that arose from it. Conversely, it has been wisely said of archaeology that it is a branch of ancient history.
 
This seminar offers students an opportunity to engage with the material record on a daily basis. Over the six weeks, every effort will be made to introduce the widest range of possibilities encountered in the archaeological record. Not only pottery and sculpture in bronze and marble will be considered, but also works in precious or exotic materials like ivory, gold, silver, amber, gems, glass, faience, and colored stones. Questions of facture and circulation will predominate: how these objects were made, by whom, for whom, why, and how to recognize them in the literary, historical and epigraphic record.
 
Resources and Faculty.
Participants will have access to the Museum’s collections of Egyptian, Nubian, Near Eastern, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, both those on view in the galleries and those in storage. The latter, which will be used daily for teaching, include notably rich holdings of fine pottery and gems. The Karen Mariea Madsen Parsons Conservation Laboratory, the Thalia N. Carlos Education Center and its staff are also participants, as are Emory faculty members. An extensive collection of plaster casts of ancient sculpture, and models of the sanctuaries at Delphi, Olympia and the Athenian Acropolis on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art are sprinkled among several buildings on campus. Further resources include the two principal campus libraries, the Robert W. Woodruff together with the Stuart A. Rose Manuscripts and Rare Books Library; and The Pitts Theology Library. Besides resources at Emory, the course will include the participation of Prof. Patricia Butz, Savannah College of Art and Design, on treasuries and their inscriptions; Prof. Mark Abbe, University of Georgia at Athens, on polychromy and color on ancient sculpture; and Prof. Peter Bing, University of Toronto, on the new Posidippos papyrus and hellenistic gems.
 
The course is co-ordinated by Jasper Gaunt, Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. He is the joint editor with A.J. Clark of Essays in Honor of Dietrich von Bothmer (Amsterdam 2002), and has published widely on Greek vase-painting (including a volume of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Great Britain 21: Harrow School, 2005), vessels in bronze and marble, metrical inscriptions on pottery, and reception studies.
 
Schedule.
The seminar is structured in broadly chronological terms. The importance of time allocated for students to absorb material in the galleries in their own ways cannot be overstated. Three two-hour classes are planned each week around an over-arching theme, outlined in the synopsis. Provision is also made each afternoon for further opportunities to handle original objects. Excursions to local artists’ workshops – such as glass-blowing, gold working and a bronze foundry – are planned on Friday afternoons, as is a day trip to see the Nashville Parthenon and its life-size reproduction of the chryselephantine cult statue.
 
Expectations of Students.
It is proposed that students will undertake small assignments on an on-going basis, intended primarily to foster familiarity with the world of objects. These will include informal mini-presentations on objects in the Carlos Museum’s collections, gallery talks, and some sketching. Over the course of the seminar, participants will work on a paper to be presented in the last week. The subject will be of the student’s choice, rising out of their research interests, but in conjunction with the course co-ordinator, who will allocate generous weekly time to meet with students individually.
 
Logistics and Funding.
Students selected for the seminar will be offered free accommodation at the Clairmont Campus of Emory University. A shuttle service operates between this campus and the main one where the seminar will be held. Both on campus and within walking distance of campus can be found a variety of shops, grocery stores and places to eat. Some public transportation, and taxi services like Uber, work well. In other words, the use of a car is not essential. The cost of car rental is greatly reduced if the airport is avoided. In addition, thanks to the generosity of the Samuel H. Kress and Henry Luce Foundations, the SCS will provide a stipend of up to $2,000 to cover the cost of travel to and from Atlanta, and modest out of pocket expenses. The SCS believes that these arrangements will offset many but by no means all of the costs of attendance at the seminar.
 
Nomination Process.
Each doctoral program may nominate only one student for the seminar. The focus of the student’s academic work should be classical languages, literatures, and/or history and not archaeology or other areas of material culture. Preference will be given to graduate students who are still taking coursework or in the early stages of writing their dissertation. Nominators should elicit from potential applicants a CV and a statement of the value that the student expects to derive from attending the seminar, choose one applicant to nominate, and forward the CV and statement to the SCS Executive Director (xd@classicalstudies.org), along with a brief endorsement. The student’s statement should be 500 to 700 words in length and should describe how the seminar would advance the applicant’s education and scholarly interests. The student him or herself should also email the Executive Director (xd@classicalstudies.org) with full name, mailing address, phone number.
A committee consisting of Dr Gaunt as chair and Professors Mary English (SCS Vice President for Education) and Donald Mastronarde (SCS VP for Publications and Research) will select participants from ten different academic institutions and a variety of countries of origin. Although many applicants from North America are expected, students from all countries are equally welcome. Reasonable fluency in English is the only requirement. Nominations by departments and emails from student nominees including their full contact information should be submitted electronically to xd@classicalstudies.org no later than 1 January 2017. The SCS will announce the decisions of the selection committee in early February 2017. Questions about the seminar program may be directed to Dr Gaunt at jgaunt@emory.edu or by telephone at 404 727 1146.
 
Synopsis of Curriculum
 
Each week has an over-arching (chronological) theme that is explored in a two-hour class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30–11.30. On Mondays through Thursdays, an afternoon session 2.30–4:00 is offered during which original works of art that are relevant to the topics discussed during the week are handled, and questions of manufacture discussed. On Friday afternoons, excursions are planned to studios of artists working in different media.
 
Week One: Monday May 22 – Friday May 26: Homer between Bronze Age and Geometric Greece
The Heroon at Lefkandi - Nestor’s Cup from Pithekoussai – Early artistic responses to the Epic Cycle
 
Week Two: Monday May 29 – Friday June 2: Archaic Greece: The symposium: how to throw a party in archaic Greece
Myths on vases, myths in “literature” - History and heroes - Herodotus and the Vix krater
 
Week Three: Monday June 5 – Friday June 9: Classical Greece
Inscriptions and the Parthenon Inventories – Polychromy on Greek sculpture - Textiles
Guest speakers: Dr Patricia Butz, Savannah College of Art and Design (inscriptions); Dr Mark Abbe, University of Georgia at Athens (polychromy)
 
Week Four: Monday June 12 – Friday June 16: Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World
Macedonian Tombs - The Posidippos Papyrus and gems – Ptolemaic Egypt
Guest speaker: Dr Peter Bing, University of Toronto (Posidippos)
 
Week Five: Monday June 19 – Friday June 23: The Roman World
Trimalchio’s dinner party - Portraiture - Glass
 
Week Six: Monday June 26 – Friday June 30: Pulling Things Together
Student reports
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(Photo: Michael C. Carlos Museum. Carlos Collection of Ancient Art, Atlanta, used with permission)

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As one of the cornerstones upon which Classical scholarship has been built, much has already been said about Marcus Tullius Cicero. He has a sizable extant corpus that contains different genres, which in turn vary in style and topic. Furthermore, Cicero was a prominent political figure when the Roman Republic was falling and the Caesars were rising. Because of the nature of his corpus and the man himself, Cicero is an attractive topic of research not only for the traditional scholar but for a digital humanist as well. His large and varied corpus is promising for distant reading techniques, which allow us to examine and explore all of his works, thereby all of Cicero, easily and quickly. Through those digital techniques, we can gain a more complete view of who this ancient Roman man was.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 7:50am by Caitlin Marley.
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The early registration deadline for the 2019 AIA-SCS Annual Meeting in San Diego is Friday November 9. Register on or before that date in order to benefit from the early rate. You can register here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 6:20pm by Helen Cullyer.

This post has recently been updated with a response from Brill.

The SCS Statement on Professional Ethics emphasizes the need for due diligence regarding the provenance of artifacts in many different areas of scholarly work, including initial publications of objects and texts and the management of institutional collections. In recognition of the importance of this issue, the SCS Board of Directors has voted to endorse an open letter on the publication of fragments that were acquired by the Museum of the Bible and published by Brill. You can read the text of the letter below, which was originally published by Dr. Roberta Mazza on November 5, 2018 and signed by many individuals. You can also read the response from Brill, originally published by Dr. Mazza on November 7.

Open letter to Brill: Fake and unprovenanced manuscripts

For the attention of Brill.

FAKE AND UNPROVENANCED MANUSCRIPTS

On 22 October 2018, the Museum of the Bible issued a press release informing the public that five of their recently acquired fragments that were claimed to come from the Dead Sea Scrolls are modern forgeries. These five forgeries are included in the first volume of the series ‘Publications of Museum of the Bible’ which was published by Brill in 2016.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 5:37pm by Helen Cullyer.

Natural Not Yet Understood: The Supernatural from Antiquity to the Medieval Period

Department of Classical Studies, Brandeis University
Graduate Student Conference
April 13th, 2019

Keynote Speaker: Professor Debbie Felton, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Humans have always been drawn to the idea of creatures and worlds that exist alongside or outside of our own. These extraordinary ideas can take many forms, from average people with usual abilities to worlds of the dead and fantastic beasts. But as Elbert Hubbard once said, “The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.” Today, we have realized that many of the past’s supernatural events were simply misunderstood natural phenomena. We seek papers roughly 10 minutes in length that explore this idea of the supernatural of the distant past either within its original context or through a modern lens.

Possible topics include: Ancient religion, cultic practices, divination, ghosts and spirits, magic and witchcraft, monsters and the monstrous, mythology, and the preternatural more generally.

We welcome submissions that touch on these and similar topics from graduate students of all levels and from disciplines including: Anthropology, Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, History, Jewish Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sexuality Studies, and Women’s Studies.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:25am by Erik Shell.

SCS

SCS members can apply for funds to support childcare / dependent care provided either in San Diego or in other locations during the Annual Meeting. To apply, please email helen.cullyer@nyu.edu by November 30 with the following information

I.  Name and mailing address
II. Reason for attending the meeting
III. Amount of funds requested and a brief explanation of how those funds would be used
IV. Any other applications that you have made for childcare / dependent care funding
 
WCC

The WCC provides chidcare/caregiver support at or during the SCS/AIA. Applicants for grants should e-mail the current WCC co-chairs (wccofscs@gmail.com) with a brief statement explaining their purpose in attending the meeting (i.e. job interviews, presentation of or commentary on a paper, attendance at panels) along with the following information in the e-mail: a. rank in field (graduate/ undergraduate/post-doctoral); b. employment status (graduate student/temporary position/tenure-track or tenured); c. any financial support offered by home institution; and d. a rough estimate of the total expense requested.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 8:03am by Erik Shell.

Registration for the Career Networking event at the 2019 Annual Meeting is now open. This special event is co-sponsored by SCS and the Paideia Institute.  Graduate students and contingent faculty interested in careers outside of academia are encouraged to attend.  There is no extra charge for this event but space is limited.

Registered attendees of the 2019 meeting can sign up for this event by filling out this form. Sign up will be open until November 30th or close sooner if the event reaches capacity before that date. 

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:57am by Erik Shell.

As Benjamin Isaac concisely stated in a 2016 piece in Eidolon,[i] the “pseudo-scientific roots” of American racism can be traced back to Ancient Greek theories of human difference. A crucial text quoted at length by Isaac is Airs, Waters, Places . Preserved as a medical document in the Hippocratic Corpus , this treatise argues that climate has a strong influence on human biology and human society: some climates are conducive to bodily health and social flourishing, while others are conducive to disease and lack of ‘civilized’ society. Isaac cites this text as foundational for the later development of theories of race:

The form of environmental determinism that was first found in Airs, Waters, Places became the generally accepted model in Greece and, afterwards — with variations — in Rome. According to this view, collective characteristics are permanently determined by climate and geography, implying that the essential features of body and mind come from the outside and are not the result of genetic evolution, social environment, or conscious choice.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 11/01/2018 - 4:27pm by Lisl Walsh.

Calls for Papers are already out for Affiliated Group Panels and Organizer Refereed Panels that will take place at the AIA-SCS 2020 meeting.

You can click the links above to go directly to those CFPs, or you can view the 2020 Annual Meeting page here.

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

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 10/31/2018 - 3:00pm by Erik Shell.

The Society for Ancient Studies (SAS)—an interdisciplinary graduate student organization at New York University—is hosting a one-day undergraduate conference on the ancient world on Friday, February 8th , 2019 in Manhattan. This conference, organized and moderated by graduate students for talented undergraduates in New York and surrounding states, will offer participants the opportunity to present their scholarship in the engaged professional setting of an academic conference.

Participants will be expected to present a 15-minute paper to a forum of their undergraduate peers, graduate students, and NYU faculty. Submissions may be a condensed version, or a particularly strong chapter, of an undergraduate thesis, an exceptional course paper, or an independent research project. We welcome work informed by any and all theories and methodologies, and encourage submission from students working in any discipline (e.g. Classical Philology, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, etc.) or geo-temporal focus ( e.g. Mediterranean and Atlantic Studies; Egyptology; Pre-Columbian, Near East, and East Asian Civilizations; Medieval Studies, etc.) .

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 10/31/2018 - 10:46am by Erik Shell.

Call for Volunteers

The Society for Classical Studies seeks graduate or undergraduate student volunteers for the 150th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, which will take place this coming January.  Assignments will include working in the registration area and assisting staff with some sessions and special events.

In exchange for six hours of service (down two hours from last year), volunteers receive a waiver of their annual meeting registration fees.  It is not necessary to be an SCS member to volunteer.

You can sign up to be a volunteer here. The deadline to sign up is November 21st.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/30/2018 - 9:04am by Erik Shell.

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