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.
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 (, 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 ( 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 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 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
(Photo: Michael C. Carlos Museum. Carlos Collection of Ancient Art, Atlanta, used with permission)


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CALL FOR PAPERS: Manipulation of discourse in antiquity
Stellenbosch Winelands Classics
12-14 November 2018

This is an open invitation to scholars of antiquity to submit proposals for papers on the topic as set out below.

The conference aims to explore the phenomenon of discourse manipulation for the purpose of establishing and/or maintaining hegemony over views generally held by the public on a particular issue or event.  The aim is to focus on calculated control over public opinion in the political, religious, social, or similar spheres. This would include narratives that invent, reshape or guard over a particular point of view or version and purposeful selective memory on the one hand, and narratives that contest, marginalize and suppress alternative views by ignoring, labelling and smearing opposing voices on the other. The conference organizers will consider papers in the fields of ancient history, literature and material culture concerned with any form of public discourse management and ‘limiting the spectrum of acceptable opinion’ (Chomsky).

Please submit titles and abstracts of approximately 300 words to Philip Bosman ( or Annemaré Kotze ( by 31 May 2018. Further details on the conference will be communicated shortly after the deadline.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 02/09/2018 - 2:01pm by Erik Shell.
Interiority in Roman Literature
Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 32
University of Sydney, 11 to 13 July 2018

The thirty-second meeting of the PacRim Roman Literature Seminar will be held at the University of Sydney from 11 to 13 July 2018. The theme for the 2018 conference will be interiority in Roman literature.

Papers are invited to explore Roman literature’s inner voices, visions and narratives; psychologies; inner lives; the ‘inward turn’ of Roman literature at various periods, such as the first and fourth centuries; interior spaces; inner sanctums and circles of power. Roman literature is conceived of as the literature of Roman world from its earliest beginnings to the end of antiquity. The theme may be interpreted broadly, and papers on other topics will also be considered.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 02/09/2018 - 9:57am by Erik Shell.

The following are the abbreviated introductory remarks to the “Harassment in Academia: Old Battles, New Frontiers” panel co-sponsored by the Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) and the Committee for Gender and Sexuality in the Profession (COGSIP) at the annual meeting in Boston Jan 4-8, 2018. Notes from the panel and the coinciding workshop on sexual harassment can be found at Please note that the comments and ideas of SCS blog contributors are their own.

The idea for this panel first emerged last SCS as a result of series of events that included the online harassment of a colleague for her public scholarship and the silence of organizations within our field in her support. The rejection of a WCC sponsored roundtable on sexual harassment in academia by the SCS program committee (we resubmitted it this year as a workshop and it was accepted), and finally, the situation of a colleague who was facing retaliation when she reported sexual harassment by a Dean at her college and who has since resigned her position.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 1:24pm by Rebecca Futo Kennedy.

Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World XIII

“Orality and Literacy:  Repetition”

The Department of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin invites all classicists, historians, religious studies and biblical scholars, and scholars with an interest in oral cultures to participate in the Thirteenth Conference on Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World, to take place in Austin (TX) from Wednesday 27 March 2019 to Sunday 31 March 2019.

The conference will follow the same format as the previous conferences, held in Hobart (1994), Durban (1996), Wellington (1998), Columbia, Missouri (2000), Melbourne (2002), Winnipeg (2004), Auckland (2006), Nijmegen (2008), Canberra (2010), Ann Arbor (2012), Atlanta (2014), and Lausanne (2016). It is planned that the refereed proceedings once again be published by E.J. Brill as Volume 13 in the “Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World” series.

Location:       The University of Texas at Austin

Dates:            Wednesday 27 March (registration that evening) to Sunday 31 March 2019

Theme:          Repetition

Keynote:        Professor Ruth Scodel (Classics, University of Michigan)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 10:41am by Erik Shell.

Extended deadline for Vergilian Society proposals to direct a Symposium in Italy in June 2019 

The Vergilian Society has extended the deadline for proposals to direct the twenty-fifth annual Symposium Cumanum, to take place at the Harry Wilkes Study Center at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma in about the third week of June, 2019.  We will consider a proposal on any theme pertaining to Vergil and his times, although preference may be given to a subject that has not been treated recently.  Descriptions of previous symposia can be found on the Vergilian Society website, at

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.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:16pm by Erik Shell.

Pedagogy Award Applications: March 2, 2018

The Pedagogy Award is open to pre-collegiate teachers and college and university faculty. Funds can be used to support travel abroad, conference attendance, or educational resources that will impact teaching and learning.

Zeph Stewart Award: March 2, 2018

The Zeph Stewart Award provides funding for those pursuing teacher certification.

Deadline to comment on draft Cultural Property statement: March 15, 2018

Nomination of books for the 2018 C.J. Goodwin Award of Merit: March 19, 2018

Ludwig Koenen Fellowship for Training in Papyrology: March 28, 2018


View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 10:14am by Helen Cullyer.

Position Announcement Editor, Vergilius 

The Board of Trustees of the Vergilian Society is seeking applicants for the position of editor for its journal Vergilius. Vergilius publishes annually peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of Vergil, along with the renowned annual Vergil Bibliography. Vergilius has a wide readership and good circulation. Recent updates to the journal include online publication with no window, expanded contributor base, and occasional columns (for pedagogy, broadly conceived, and reader response).

The Editor's term is three years, renewable once, beginning in January 2019. The Editor of Vergilius is also a member ex officio of the Executive Committee of the Vergilian Society, typically attending two meetings per year, one, usually via Skype, in the fall and one at the SCS meetings. She or he shall be responsible for all activities connected with the publication of the journal, excluding payment of publication and mailing costs, and shall submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees and to the General Membership. The Editor of Vergilius recommends to the Executive Committee Associate Editors, if any, and appointees to the Editorial Board. The Editor of Vergilius may receive an honorarium, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:35pm by Erik Shell.

It is with great regret that we report the passing of Walter Sherwin, former professor and leader at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus.

"Early in his career at UMBC, he established what would later become the Ancient Studies Department, and after receiving a Fulbright grant to study in Rome in 1967, he developed the university's first study abroad program — an opportunity for UMBC students that continues today."

You can find the full story from UMBC's David Rosenbloom here.


(Photo: "Candle" by Shawn Carpenter, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 02/05/2018 - 9:51am by Erik Shell.

by Dr. Ellen Bauerle

After five years seeing the ebb and flow of classical practitioners’ thoughts about outreach, it’s time for me to step down as editor of Amphora.  I have very much enjoyed working with the many members of the Amphora editorial board – I’ve made some good new friends, learned about a lot of things going on in the international ferment we call classical studies – and made new discoveries about current pedagogical trends.  In the last five years Amphora  has moved from an all-print publication format, then to print + website, and now to website-only:  I am sure there will be additional developments upcoming as Amphora continues to change and adapt.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 02/02/2018 - 9:26pm by Wells Hansen.
Terracotta kylix (drinking cup)

Authors: John Jacobs, David J. Murphy, Ann R. Raia

Another of our new monthly columns here on the SCS blog explores the contributions of independent scholars within classics. There is a thriving community of classicists outside of the university system who, while often overlooked, are integral to the strength and survival of our field.

One constituency in our profession who can go unnoticed are those scholars who do research but are not affiliated with a college or university. Although professionally trained, they usually lack the support of a departmental community and the resources and recognition provided by institutional affiliation. Some of these scholars already participate in conferences organized by national and regional Classics organizations.  In 2015, SCS formed an Independent Scholar Advisory Group to discover the identity of these scholars and to strategize for their formal presence as colleagues in our traditional classical associations. In the same year, CAAS started to offer events for independent scholars at its annual conference. 

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 02/01/2018 - 6:39pm by Ann R. Raia.


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