CFP: Ancient Greek and Roman Painting and the Digital Humanities at Tufts University

Ancient Greek and Roman Painting and the Digital Humanities

6th-8th August, 2018 at Tufts University

It is widely known that ancient Greek painting was mostly passed down to us through textual sources. These texts of ancient Greek or Latin authors, mostly dated from the 1st to the 2nd centuries CE, such as Pliny the Elder, Pausanias or Philostratus, offer a valuable testimony which enables us to establish the (partial) history of ancient Greek painting since its beginnings. Of course, these texts do not teach us everything we would like to know about ancient painting, because in the absence of the paintings themselves it is very difficult to write a history of painting that is devoid of suppositions or educated guesses. Yet, archeology has provided and still provides us with valuable information, on the one hand in terms of iconography (in particular through vase painting, but also from wall paintings and floor mosaics) and on the other hand on the techniques used for the treatment of color, thanks to the recent discoveries of Macedonian burial painting. This material can be compared to the texts and confirm or invalidate what ancient authors tell us about painting: names of painters, techniques, title and subject of the works, location of these works, under which circumstances these works were commissioned etc. Much more than trying to reconstruct paintings that are lost forever, the texts, compared to the iconographic and archaeological material we possess, make it possible to place these paintings in their historical and cultural context. This is the challenge of the Digital Milliet: to go back, once again, through the Greek and Latin texts on painting assembled in early twentieth-century collections, following the example of the Recueil Milliet, published by Salomon Reinach in 1921, as well as to compare them with the most recent archaeological findings and historiographical research in order to offer a fresh approach and a new reading of these texts, often known only to specialists.

Creating a corpus of texts devoted to a particular subject is in itself not completely new; however, a corpus supported by digital technology is such indeed, offering an undeniable working flexibility, especially since it is possible to update the data often in a digital collection. The Digital Milliet is the result of two years of work and currently offers some fifty texts devoted to ancient painting, to which images and "keywords" have been added, allowing for the creation of thematic collections.

The conference we are proposing will have as its starting point the Digital Milliet seen as a working tool, and will connect Digital Humanities with Art History. Therefore, this conference has two parts, each of which has a distinct focal point. The first part will be devoted to methodology and digital tools, aiming to provide an overview of the means and methods of research in Ancient Art History. In other words, how do we make Art History in the digital era, when the abundance of data dominates? What tools and methods should we consider? What kind of applications should we envision for digital resources? What are the inputs from a database such as the Digital Milliet?

The second part will be devoted to questions raised by the creation of the Digital Millet, and more broadly to the place texts occupy in Ancient Art History when they are confronted with material sources: what do these texts teach us and what do they not teach us? This section will also be devoted to historiographical questions, and particularly to the choices made by Adolphe Reinach in the process of interpreting the texts (readings of the ancient text, notes, translations) in his original edition of the Recueil Milliet. Therefore, it will be necessary to put the Recueil Milliet in its own historical context in order to get a better understanding of it that goes beyond the mere re-representation of the texts that are gathered in this corpus.

Abstracts should be 350-500 words in length, including a short bibliography (1 page maximum). We welcome research papers on the below mentioned themes but not limited to:

- digital tools in Art History and/or Classical Studies

- methodologies in the digital era

- education, pedagogy

- a case study of a work, a text, or a group of texts.

- new archaeological data, iconographic interpretation, comparison with texts.

-new readings of texts, fresh understanding of their vocabulary in connection to archaeological data.

The deadline for proposals is Friday 16 February 2018. The proposed papers should be sent by e-mail to the following address: Decisions will be made in April 2018.

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


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Leuven, 17 May 2018

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:28am by Erik Shell.
Hellen Cullyer

A Day in the Life of a Classicist is a monthly column on the SCS blog written by Prof. Ayelet Haimson Lushkov celebrating the working lives of classicists. If you’d like to share your day, let us know here.

Hellen Cullyer is Executive Director of SCS.

There are days when I am traveling, days when I spend hours in front of my computer because of a looming deadline, and days when I am on the phone  / email / Skype most of the day dealing with a crisis. However, a typical day is something like the following on Monday-Thursday. Friday is different, as I explain below. On the average Monday-Thursday, I wake up early and have a quick breakfast before running out of the house to get my train. My work day starts as soon as I sit down on the train. I look at the to-do list that I have written the night before, and take stock of the whole state of the organization and figure out if there is anything crucial that I am forgetting to do. I also catch up on email during this time. Emails may be from members, directors, officers, committee members. At the moment, I have multiple email threads with President Joe Farrell in any given day. For his sake, I hope things will calm down a bit soon.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 03/14/2018 - 4:30pm by Ayelet Haimson Lushkov.

The deadline for the SCS's Ludwig Koenen Fellowship for Training in Papyrology is March 28th, 2018.

The competition is open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and untenured faculty. Applicants must be SCS members, and the selection committee will make awards of at least $600 but no more than $1,800.  The application should consist of:

  • One-page single-spaced typed narrative description of the training to be undertaken and the funding amount requested.
  • Current curriculum vitae.
  • One letter of recommendation from someone who can address the importance of the training in papyrology for furthering your current research.
  • A list of any other sources of funding applied for with amounts requested.

Applications must be submitted as e-mail attachments to Executive Director Helen Cullyer at


View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:24pm by Erik Shell.

HIPPOCRATES AND HIS MEDICAL SCHOOL: Tracing the roots of Bioethics back to the ancient Philosophers -Physicians

Ancient Olympia and Zacharo, Greece
July 29th-31st, 2018

Call for Abstracts and Papers

Hippocrates is most remembered today for his famous Oath, which set high ethical standards for the practice of medicine. The congress invites scientists, scholars and researchers to discuss Hippocrates’ revolutionary foundation in a multidisciplinary way and/or present relevant workshops.

We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including bioethics, biotechnology, politics, health and life sciences, law and philosophy as well as philosophy and fine arts, and/or other relevant disciplines and fields. Comparative studies (submissions) on the ancient Philosophers-Physicians before and after Hippocrates will be highly appreciated.

The conference aims at providing a platform for in-depth analysis and discussion of all above related areas.

Suggested Thematic Units:

  • Hippocrates Medical School applications
  • Ancient Philosophers –Physicians background
  • Bioethics
  • Fine arts therapeutic impact


April 30, 2018:  Abstract is due (300-500 words)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 9:54am by Erik Shell.

Authors: Celia E. Schultz (University of Michigan), Carole E. Newlands (University of Colorado), Ruth R. Caston (University of Michigan)

One night over dinner at the SCS in Toronto (2017), conversation turned to one of the more frustrating parts of standard graduate programs in Classics: the surveys of Greek and Latin literature. Students see these courses as great hurdles to leap over, and faculty (well, at least we) felt that their necessarily selective approach is undesireable and that the courses cannot possibly do justice to all the important goals set for them: improving students’ command of the languages and their speed in reading, preparing students for exams, giving students a sense of the chronological development of the classical literary tradition, and introducing them to important trends in scholarship.  Perhaps spurred on by the wine, we decided to see if anyone else felt the same way and to see if we could get a conversation started about how to improve the experience of survey for everyone. 

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 03/11/2018 - 7:16pm by Celia Schultz.

The deadline for submitting:

  • All proposals for panels, workshops, seminars, and roundtable discussions.
  • Reports from organizers of committee, organizer-refereed, and affiliated group panels who have issued their own CFPs.
  • Proposals for organizer-refereed panels for 2020.
  • Applications for new affiliated group charters and for renewals of current charters.

is April 9th, one month from today. Individual abstracts are due April 25th.

Anyone hoping to submit an abstract or another proposal can do so on our program submission website.


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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/08/2018 - 8:40am by Erik Shell.
Terracotta plaque with King Oinomaos and his charioteer, 27 B.C.–A.D. 68. Terracotta. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fletcher Fund, 26.60.31. Licensed under CC BY 1.0.

In the thirteen years I have been active as an independent scholar, I have learned that the independent scholar is in effect the mirror of an independent scholarly readership composed of individuals who are dedicated consumers of scholastic literature without being either presently matriculated students or academics themselves. I have come to believe that we cannot speak of the genuine flourishing of independent scholarship without taking this into account.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 5:09pm by Edward P. Butler.

SCS is calling for members to volunteer for SCS committees and leadership positions.

These positions include many current SCS committees as well as the newly-formed Graduate Student Committee which will make recommendations about issues that concern graduate students, including the curriculum and preparation for a variety of teaching, research, and other careers.  Descriptions of various positions and offices can be found here.

To volunteer, you can fill out the form linked on the Members Only page of our website. You must log in to the site to access this page. The deadline to apply for the Graduate Student Committee is April 12.  All other volunteer deadlines are May 2.  The graduate student committee will start work as soon as all members appointed.  Other appointed committee members will begin their terms in 2019.  Most elected offices will begin in 2020. 

If you have any questions about what might be expected of you feel free to email and we can put you in touch with the relevant committee chair or Vice President.


View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 2:54pm by Erik Shell.

Call for Contributors: Tacitus Encyclopedia

Prof. Victoria Pagán, in contract with Wiley-Blackwell Press, is seeking contributors for an encyclopedic volume on Tacitus.

"Entries offer in-depth treatment of the content and contexts of Tacitus’ history and reception from antiquity to the 21st century. The Tacitus Encyclopedia will be published in two volumes in print and also online. It will comprise approximately 1,000 entries."

You can find a full description of the program here.


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

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:26pm by Erik Shell.

Congratulations to Melissa Y. Mueller (Associate Professor of Classics, University of Massachusetts Amherst) for winning the ACLS's Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars.

Her project is "Sappho and Homer: A Reparative Reading" and will take place at the National Humanities Center in 2019-2020.

The full list of Fellowship recipients and their projects can be seen here.


(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 10:28am by Erik Shell.


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