CFP: "Food: Sacrificial, Spiritual, and Secular" (14th Annual TACMRS)

The Fourteenth International Conference of the Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (TACMRS)

23-24 October 2020
National Taiwan University

Call for Papers

Food: Sacrificial, Spiritual, and Secular

Food, whether secular or spiritual, physical or metaphysical, human or nonhuman, has been an important issue throughout the history of this planet. Human history is a long story of appetitive contest with nature and the environment, while consumption is an empowering practice that involves struggle and sacrifice. The matter of food may illuminate or complicate histories of labor, leisure, science, production, ethical considerations, religious discourse and practices, and environmental concerns.

Eating and drinking are not only biological behaviors but also acts filled with deeper significance. In the Book of Genesis, God endows humans with ascendancy over the natural world, just as Noah is instructed that every living thing is a potential meal for humankind. The rules for the edible and nonedible in the Bible concern the establishment of a communal identity. In Greek mythology, the change of the seasons is caused by Persephone’s eating of the seeds of a pomegranate in Hades. In the Iliad, Achilles’s refusal to eat indicates both his super- and sub-human status. Eating and drinking in many religions also serve as fundamental metaphors for human connectedness with the divine. For Christians, the Eucharistic bread and wine denote the continuing presence of Jesus in the world, whether in sign or reality, as is graphically portrayed by the Ugolino episode in Dante’s Inferno.

Food, drink, and modes of consumption have been crucial topics in many fields and periods. Plato and Xenophon, for example, considered a symposium the perfect place and time for philosophical inquisitions, where the banquet of wisdom could be consumed. In medieval English romances, banquets and feasts are not only social occasions but also venues where miracles and mysteries happen. In Thomas More’s Utopia, the moral meanings and ethical implications of diet are treated in the context of the design of the farms and dietary treatises. Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew shows how food intakes were thought to influence the balance of the four bodily humors when Petruchio denies Katherine meat in an attempt to quench her feisty temper. Lady Mary Wroth’s 1621 prose romance Urania reflects the social changes around banqueting with particular reference to the court of King James I. In Ben Jonson’s Volpone, the protagonist’s excessive desire, social abnormality, and moral degeneration is demonstrated by the consumption of parrots, nightingales, peacocks, and ostriches. In the visual arts, food and drink also serve as important cultural repositories of numerous allegories and symbols. While Cornucopias celebrate abundance and thanksgiving, apples in devotional paintings frequently symbolize redemption. Furthermore, in material culture, importation of exotic food bore witness to the burgeoning globalization evidenced by frequent international trade and cultural exchange. Oranges stood for wealth in regions such as Flanders after being imported from Spain, while pineapples with their crown-like bracts made their way to European furniture and paintings as images of power after being imported from South America.

To explore the important issues of food/drink/consumption, this conference welcomes papers from scholars working in all fields such as anthropology, geography, history, literature, art, politics, sociology, religion, and cultural studies from the pre-modern to the early modern periods. Topics for consideration might include (but are not limited to):

Art and Visualization of food/drink/consumption

Boundaries of the edible and nonedible

Critical explorations of food/drink/consumption

Culinary writings

Politics of food/drink/consumption

Religion, Heresy, or the Sacred Forms of food/drink/consumption

Food/drink/consumption and Fasting, Festivity, or Medicine

Food/drink/consumption and Emotions, Obsessions, or Language

Food/drink/consumption and Gender, Racial Identity, or Society

Food/drink/consumption and the Moralistic/Legislative

Food/drink/consumption and Ecology, Philosophy, or Theology

Food/drink/consumption and Medievalism or Technology

TACMRS warmly invites papers either in English or Chinese that reach beyond the traditional chronological and disciplinary borders of Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies. This conference will comprise Paper sessions and a Roundtable discussion for pedagogy. Paper proposals and sponsored panel proposals (with individual paper abstracts) are welcomed. To ensure the quality of the papers presented, the presenters should submit drafts of full papers by the end of August 2020. Selected full papers will be peer-reviewed and published in a special issue of Ex-position, the journal housed in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at NTU (http://ex-position.org/).

Please submit proposals (250 words for English, 500 words for Chinese) along with a one-page CV to tacmrs.ntu @gmail.com by 10 February 2020. The Conference will take place on 23-24 October 2020 at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. There is no registration fee for the conference. Please note, presenters should be members of TACMRS if they reside in Taiwan. Membership application forms can be downloaded from the TACMRS website or via email upon request. For more information, please visit the 2020 TACMRS Conference website at https://2020tacmrs.wordpress.com/ and the TACMRS website at http://tacmrs.org.tw/main.php.

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

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Have you ever thought about a terminal MA in Classics?

I have to confess, I hadn’t before coming to teach at Boston College, where we have such a graduate program. I had firsthand experience with Classics BAs in colleges that only granted undergraduate degrees, BAs and MAs in PhD-granting departments — heck, even a combined BA/MA program. But a freestanding MA degree that was a purposeful end goal rather than an add-on, an along-the-way, or a no-more-thanks? It never crossed my mind. To judge from the conversations that I’ve had since joining a department with a terminal MA program, I think that’s true of a lot of Classics faculty, as well as for a lot of students. And I also think that has led to some unfortunate misunderstandings about terminal MAs and their contributions, both to the field as a whole and to the personal and professional development of individual students.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/15/2020 - 8:26am by Christopher Polt.

Barbara K. Gold is Edward North Professor of Classics at Hamilton College, Emerita. She received her B.A. at the University of Michigan in 1966, her master’s degree in 1968 and her doctorate in 1975, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on Greek and Roman literature, particularly Roman elegy, lyric, and satire; medieval literature, culture, and history; Roman social history; women in the ancient world; and feminist criticism. A prolific author and recipient of numerous grants and awards, Professor Gold was the first woman editor of The American Journal of Philology from 2000 to 2008 and is currently Vice President for Professional Matters of the Society for Classical Studies. She has also served on numerous college committees and was Associate Dean of Faculty at Hamilton College (1997-2001).

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/08/2020 - 5:01am by Claire Catenaccio.

THE ERICH S. GRUEN PRIZE

On behalf of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), the Erich S. Gruen Prize Committee invites all graduate students in North America to enter the first annual competition for the best graduate research paper on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean. This year the prize will be a cash award of $500. 

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 05/07/2020 - 6:55am by Erik Shell.

(From Anthony Preus and Caleb Cohoe)

Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Network Facebook group has been set up as a forum for scholars working in any area of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from Thales of Miletus through to Boethius and Byzantium. All members are encouraged to share ancient philosophy related events, questions, books and articles (including their own), and teaching materials. Any scholar with an interest in ancient philosophy, whatever their academic discipline, is welcome to join. Caleb will generally be able to respond to membership requests within 24 hours. 

He'll still be posting events and other key information on my ancient philosophy events calendar. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/06/2020 - 12:52pm by Erik Shell.

(Sent by the National Humanities Alliance on May 5, 2020)

As Congress considers additional COVID-19 stimulus funding packages, we are once again calling on you to advocate for additional relief funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

While we are very grateful for the $75 million awarded to the NEH in the CARES Act, currently available funding will cover only a fraction of the needed assistance.

Humanities educators and organizations across the country continue to face intense strains as they try to meet the growing needs of their communities. Whether it's humanities programming that connects people, scholars contributing to public discourse about the pandemic, or archives that have made a quick pivot to preserve artifacts of this moment, the humanities are proving crucial to community life.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 3:11pm by Erik Shell.
NEH Logo

May, 2020

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Michael Leese (University of New Hampshire) - "Institutions and Economic Development in Ancient Greece"
  • Angelos Chaniotis (Institute for Advanced Study) - "Reconstructing Ancient History through Squeeze Digitization at the Institute for Advanced Study"
  • Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh University) - "Justice in Plato's Republic: The Lessons of Book 1"
  • Elizabeth Baltes (Coastal Carolina University) - "Portrait Statuary from the Athenian Agora Excavations"
  • Richard Armstrong (University of Houston) - "Theory and Theatricality in the Early Work of Sigmund Freud"
  • Michael Brumbaugh (Tulane University) - "Plato and the Guaraní Republics of Colonial Paraguay"
  • Evan Rodriguez (Idaho State University) - "Rivals or Relatives? Tracking Truth and Ways of Knowing among Plato and the Sophists in Classical Greece"

Congratulations to all grantees!

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(Photo: "Logo of the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by National Endowment for the Humanities, public domain, edited to fit thumbnail template)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:54am by Erik Shell.

Update on COVID-19 Joint Relief Fund

The SCS and WCC are delighted to announce that CAMWS, CANE, and CAAS have joined forces with us in sponsoring the SCS/WCC COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund will support microgrants of up to $500 to graduate students and contingent faculty based in North America. Each organization will additionally offer free membership for the remainder of 2020 to successful applicants.

Already, only a week after the April 23 launch of this initiative, we have much to report. As we noted in our initial announcement, the WCC and SCS started this fund together with $15,000. Within eight hours of launching the fund, we had more than thirty applicants, enough to consume our entire seed money. At the same time, individual donations started pouring in, as did substantial pledges from the regional organizations CAMWS, CANE, and CAAS. Thanks to all their generosity, the fund has now doubled in value, allowing us to help more people. Yet we are still not able to meet the need: as of today, there are seventy-eight applicants to the fund, with more arriving daily. 

Due to the high demand, the COVID-19 Fund Selection Committee met this week on an accelerated schedule and selected twenty-five individuals with urgent needs, mostly graduate students but also contingent faculty, to receive this award in an initial round. The committee will meet again to consider applications on May 10th for disbursement by May 20th.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 05/01/2020 - 12:13pm by Erik Shell.

How has the field of Classics changed with the growth of digital writing and social media? How can this writing reframe how ancient languages function online?

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/01/2020 - 6:45am by Patrick J. Burns.

Call for Proposals

Lessons from COVID-19: Reflections on Teaching and Learning Remotely

Special Issue of Teaching Classical Languages

As the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced classes to move to “remote delivery,” students and teachers alike are fearful that both “Everything Will Change” and “Nothing Will Change.” For teachers concerned about the rise of online and distance education, this emergency foray into online teaching prefigures a turn to more permanent and widespread online delivery of coursework: everything will change. For underserved students for whom school serves as a safe place and provides the possibility for socio-economic mobility, the emphasis on technology in remote delivery reiterates geographic and class disparities: nothing will change.

The world over, we are hoping that we will emerge from this period somehow changed for the better: that we will learn lessons about what really matters and how better to do what matters most. We are concerned to make the best use of this bizarre opportunity to reconsider our lives, our priorities, our work, our teaching.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 04/28/2020 - 9:25am by Erik Shell.

The SCS Board has endorsed a statement from the American Sociological Association calling on higher education administrations to revise a number of their academic policies.

Two main policy recommendations include recommending "that institutions make temporary adjustments to timelines for student progression and completion, including revising funding timelines as appropriate" and to adjust "expectations for learning and scholarship during this period...[including] alternate grading options or amended graduation requirements."

You can read the full statement here.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Fri, 04/24/2020 - 10:53am by Erik Shell.

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