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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Latin Epigraphy Program in Rome in Summer 2018

The American Academy in Rome is pleased to offer in June 2018 an intensive introduction to the study of Latin and Greek inscriptions in the city of Rome.

AAR Summer Program in Roman Epigraphy, June 18 – June 29, 2018

Application Deadline: 31 January 2018

Instructor: John Bodel, Brown University

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 7:52am by Erik Shell.

(Submitted by Paula Debnar, Professor of Classics, Department of Classics and Italian, Mount Holyoke College)

M. Philippa (Forder) Goold, longtime professor of classics and department head at Mount Holyoke, died on March 29, 2017, after a short illness. She was 84.

Philippa was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) in 1932. After taking degrees at both the University of Cape Town and Cambridge University—where her housemates at Newnham’s Whitstead Cottage included Sylvia Path—she returned to Salisbury in 1956 to begin teaching at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now the University of Zimbabwe). In 1967 she came to the U.S. to join the faculty at Mount Holyoke, but left in 1973 when her husband, George P. Goold, was named Professor of Latin at University College London. When George accepted a professorship at Yale in 1977, Philippa returned to Mount Holyoke, where she continued to teach, eventually holding the chair of Professor of Classics on the Alumnae Foundation, and lead the department until her retirement in 1996.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 7:39am by Erik Shell.


February 10-11, 2018

The ethical and political issues treated in Cicero's major philosophical writings have been a topic of lively interest in modern scholarship. With funding from the Matariki Network, from the University of Durham, and from Dartmouth College, this conference brings together an international group of scholars who are actively working on Cicero's ethical and political thought.

Jed Atkins    

Cicero on the Justice of War 

Nathan Gilbert

Cicero against Lucretius De morte

Margaret Graver

The psychology of honor in Cicero’s De Re Publica

Sean McConnell

Old Men in Cicero’s Political Philosophy

Geert Roskam

Nos in diem vivimus: Cicero’s approach in the Tusculan disputations

Malcolm Schofield

Iuris consensu revisited

Katharina Volk

Towards a Definition of Sapientia: Philosophy in Cicero's Pro Marcello

Georgina White

Skepticism and Fiction in the Academica

Raphael Woolf

Cicero on Rhetoric and Dialectic

James Zetzel

Cicero's Platonic Dialogues

For information on the venue please contact


View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 01/22/2018 - 1:03pm by Erik Shell.

(Written by Sarah E. Cox, and shared with the SCS by Ofelia N. Salgado-Buttrey)

Theodore V. Buttrey, Jr.

29 December 1929 – 9 January 2018

Renowned educator, numismatist and classicist, Theodore V. (“Ted”) Buttrey, Jr., died on January 9, 2018, eleven days after his 88th birthday.  Born in Havre, Montana, as a child he attended the Peacock Military Academy in San Antonio, Texas, where he first encountered the coins of Mexico, a life-long interest.  His secondary education was at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, after which he entered Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude in 1950 in Classics.  In the summer of 1952, he participated in the inaugural Summer Seminar in Numismatics conducted by the American Numismatic Society, an experience that may well have been pivotal in setting the later course of his career.  In 1953, still at Princeton, he completed his Ph.D. thesis on a numismatic subject, “Studies in the Coinage of Marc Anthony,” a chapter of which was condensed and published as “Thea Neotera on Coins of Antony and Cleopatra,” ANS Museum Notes 6 (1954), pp. 95-109.  There followed a Fulbright scholarship to study in Rome.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

The Roman Civil Wars of 49-30 BCE: Analysing the Breakdown of Models

Córdoba, Spain
21-23 June 2018
Deadline for abstracts: 15 February 2018

 Publications (e.g. Armitage 2017) and conferences (e.g. Kavala 2014) dedicated to the theme of Roman civil wars have been constantly on the increase in recent years.  If intellectual life reflects its historical moment, then the phenomenon may be a consequence of both the disappearance of a bipolar international model and the breakdown of the twentieth-century socio-economic basis for the consensus needed for stable parliamentary government.  Reflecting upon the current moment, but limited to a discussion of the Roman civil wars of 49-30 BCE, the proposed conference aims to gather scholars from around the world to discuss the breakdown in political and cognitive models that is associated with that particular moment in history.  This is a discussion that can usefully be undertaken by widening the scope of investigation and focussing upon not only “minor” characters (e.g. Roucillus and Egus), but also people’s documented difficulty in distinguishing between true and false reports (e.g. Caesar’s alleged descent upon Rome with his Gallic cavalry) as they sought to determine what course to take.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:03pm by Erik Shell.
Alan Cameron

Institute of Classical Studies (University of London)

24 March 2018 at 2.30pm
Room 349, Senate House

Everyone is invited to celebrate the life and work of Professor Alan Cameron FBA (1938-2017) with friends, former colleagues and family on 24th March in room 348 of Senate House from 14.30 until 18.00 with a reception following.

Alan Cameron read Classics at New College, Oxford and then went on to teach Latin at the University of Glasgow before coming to London in 1964, where he was first a Lecturer and then a Reader at Bedford College and then from 1972 as Professor of Latin at Kings. In 1977 he moved to Columbia University of New York where he was Anthon Professor of Latin Literature and Language until his retirement in 2008. His books included studies of Hellenistic poetry, of circus factions in Byzantium, of Greek mythography and the magisterial Last Pagans of Rome that appeared in 2011.

A number of friends and colleagues will offer reminiscences of Alan and appreciations of his work. Among the confirmed speakers are Arianna Gullo, Gavin Kelly, Oswyn Murray, John North, Peter Wiseman and members of his family.

The event is free and all are welcome.


(Photo: "Alan Cameron" used with permission)

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:12am by Erik Shell.

January 15, 2018

Dear Members,

Looking back on the recently concluded Annual Meeting, I’m of two minds. For those who took part, I think it was a big success. Newer-format events, like Career Networking and Ancient Maker Spaces, were really lively and well attended, especially by younger members. Georgia Nugent’s presidential panel on the PhD as a launching pad for careers other than college teaching was really inspiring. And the Program Committee’s special session on “Rhetoric: Then and Now” brought our professional responsibility to be political into the spotlight in a way that I feel was both fruitful and long overdue.

The success of these events is all the more impressive because every one of them underwent major changes at the last minute when key participants simply could not make it to Boston because of the weather. Amazingly few sessions were actually cancelled. But if you couldn’t get to Boston, it wasn’t a good convention for you. I’m very sorry for those whose travel plans were thwarted, and I’m extremely grateful to all those got there in spite of the extra effort, expense, and delay that it cost. Frankly, your success in doing so probably saved the convention from being a total disaster.

(Speaking of expense, Helen Cullyer and her staff are working with those who couldn’t get in to mitigate their financial exposure. Everyone affected has now received instructions on requesting refunds.)

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Mon, 01/15/2018 - 8:37am by Helen Cullyer.


an NEH Summer Seminar for Pre-Collegiate Teachers (July 16-August 3, 2018

In the summer of 2018 (July 16-August 3), there will be an NEH Summer Seminar for pre-collegiate teachers on the topic of Roman Daily Life. This seminar is an opportunity to read Petronius and some graffiti in Latin and look at Pompeian archaeology for various topics of Roman daily life. The Petronius reading forms a central core of the seminar, and thus an intermediate level of Latin proficiency (1 year of college level Latin) is required. The seminar will be held in St. Peter, Minnesota (1 hour from Minneapolis) on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. The NEH pays each person $2700 to participate, which will more than cover the living and food expenses (approximately $1500) – note that each participant is responsible for their own travel expenses. The seminar has been organized by Matthew Panciera (Gustavus Adolphus College) and will be co-taught by him, Beth Severy-Hoven (Macalester), Jeremy Hartnett (Wabash), and Rebecca Benefiel (Washington and Lee).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 9:36am by Erik Shell.

Inscribing Death: Memorial and the Transmission of Text in the Ancient World
Yale University, February 23, 2017

Cross-culturally, spaces of the dead have been productive places for considering the inherent difficulty of transmitting traditions and texts. This nexus between text, tradition, and death is seen across a range of genres including law, treaties, and wisdom sayings. Within these genres, the efficacious and correct reception of texts and traditions as lived by actual individuals is paramount. "Inscribing Death" brings scholars together to explore the dynamic connections between textual anxiety and anxiety about death in the ancient world, including ancient Mesopotamia and the Levant, Greco-Roman Egypt, and late antique Judaism and Christianity. It will also seek to integrate ongoing interdisciplinary work with ritual theory, sociolinguistic approaches to ancient textuality, linguistic anthropology, and, more broadly, the material turn in the study of the ancient world in order to further our understanding of ancient attitudes toward the nature of transmission and the reception of traditions and texts in the spaces of the dead.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 9:34am by Erik Shell.

Sing, Muse: Literary, Theoretical, and Historical Approaches to Music in Classical Antiquity

Eleventh Annual Graduate Conference in Classics

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Keynote Speaker: Timothy Power, Rutgers University

Musical Performance: “Old Songs”

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 9:05am by Erik Shell.


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