CFP: Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy

Call for Abstracts: Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy

Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting, Jan 7–10, 2021

Curtis Dozier, director of Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics (pharosclassics.vassar.edu), invites the submission of abstracts on any aspect of the relationship of Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy. Selected abstracts will form a proposal for a panel on the topic to be held at the 2021 Society for Classical Studies annual meeting in Chicago, IL (Jan 7–10, 2021). If the SCS Program committee accepts our proposed panel, the Vassar College Department of Greek and Roman Studies will offer panelists who do not have tenured or tenure-track positions a $500 stipend toward the cost of attending the conference. Pharos is also offering a research service for those interested in preparing abstracts but who prefer not to visit White Supremacist websites (on which see below).

At the 2020 SCS meeting, twenty classical scholars gathered for a round table discussion about the ways the discipline of Classics has been and continues to be complicit in White Supremacy. A summary of this discussion is available here: https://bit.ly/2U6TD1L. This disciplinary conversation forms a counterpart to the many examples of Greco-Roman Antiquity being appropriated by White Supremacists outside of Classics that have been documented on the website Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics (https://pages.vassar.edu/pharos/white-nationalism-white-supremacy/). These appropriations are, in a sense, easier to confront than the implication of our discipline in racist power, because they locate racism “outside” the discipline of Classics. At the same time their blatant racism throws into relief the racial politics of many idealizing narratives about the ancient world that underpin traditional justifications for the study of Classics and continue to be prominent in the popular imagination.

This panel seeks to bring together analyses of both dimensions of the relationship between Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy: both the historical complicity of the discipline in promoting, as Critical Race Theorist Francis Lee Ansley puts it, “conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement,” and the ongoing use of Greco-Roman antiquity by overt White Supremacists as a source of legitimacy for their politics. Of particular interest are abstracts that discuss both aspects, but submissions treating one or the other are welcome as well. It is desirable, but not required, that abstracts also make recommendations for a way forward.

Possible approaches include:

  • Situating contemporary appropriations of Greco-Roman antiquity by White Supremacists in the history of the discipline of Classical Studies
  • Examining the role of outdated classical scholarship and outdated conceptions of the study of Classics in the propagation of hateful articulations of ancient history
  • Evaluating differences between current, specialized understandings of the ancient world and public perceptions of the ancient world in relation to the utility of Greco-Roman Antiquity for hate groups
  • Interrogating how the prestige of the “Classical” can often be put to hateful ends without historical inaccuracy, as when, for example, a xenophobic site cites Periclean citizenship requirements as a model to be emulated
  • Connecting the appropriation of Greco-Roman antiquity by hate groups to current disciplinary conversations around inclusion and diversity in Classics
  • Discussing the moral and ethical responsibilities of specialists when faced with such appropriations, and what limits, if any, there are to those responsibilities

Recognizing that many scholars may not wish to visit White Supremacist websites or obtain White Supremacist literature, Pharos is offering a research service to those preparing abstracts: prospective panelists may submit topics/authors/works they are interested in discussing in relation to White Supremacy and Pharos will return references to that topic (if any exist) from the major hate sites and print publications in our database. These will be provided as archived links that do not generate traffic for the sites in question. It is hoped that this service will allow a greater range of specialists to prepare abstracts for this panel.  Requests for preliminary research should be sent by email to pharosclassics@vassar.edu by the deadline listed below.

Timeline and Deadlines:

1) Requests for preliminary research should be made by email to pharosclassics@vassar.edu by 9AM EST on Monday, February 17th, 2020.

2) We will attempt to return research service results by March 1st.

3)  500 word abstracts are due at 5PM EDT Friday, March 13th, 2020. These should be submitted by email to pharosclassics@vassar.edu and should adhere to the SCS’s “Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts” (https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/guidelines-authors-abstracts

4) Notifications of acceptance will be made by Monday, March 30th, 2020.   At this point accepted panelists will need to provide a current SCS Member number (as required for the Program Committee submission).

5) Proposal incorporating accepted abstracts due to the Program Committee in early April, 2020.

6) Notification of acceptance by the Program Committee in June, 2020.

---

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

Categories

Follow SCS News for information about the SCS and all things classical.

Use this field to search SCS News
Select a category from this list to limit the content on this page.
A mosaic featuring two rows of light-skinned women wearing brown bikinis. On top, two women are running, one hold a large object, and one stands still. On the bottom, one holds a crown, one holds a branch, and two play catch with a ball.

The Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities initiative (AnWoMoCo), launched by the SCS in 2019 as the Classics Everywhere initiative, supports projects that seek to engage broader publics — individuals, groups, and communities — in critical discussion of and creative expression related to the ancient Mediterranean, the global reception of Greek and Roman culture, and the history of teaching and scholarship in the field of classical studies. As part of this initiative, the SCS has funded 125 projects, ranging from school programming to reading groups, prison programs, public talks, digital projects, and collaborations with artists in theater, opera, music, dance, and the visual arts. To date, it has funded projects in 28 states and 11 countries, including Canada, the UK, Italy, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Ghana, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and India.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 12/03/2021 - 11:23am by .

In 2021, the second year of the SCS Erich S. Gruen Prize, the selection committee received 15 submissions from graduate students across North America treating aspects of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. The committee was impressed by the papers’ quality and range of disciplinary perspectives, methodologies, types of evidence, and time periods across the multicultural ancient world.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 11/30/2021 - 9:13am by Helen Cullyer.
An engraving showing a muscly man in a helmet carrying an elderly, also muscly man in his arms. A woman with long hair and a small child are also in motion. The figures are moving over fallen statues and weapons inside a large building next to a staircase

A few years ago, I read an essay by Elena Giusti in the now sadly defunct Eidolon. In this piece, Giusti considers the responsibilities of Classicists today, viewed from her perspective as a scholar of Italian origin based in the UK. Drawing attention to the use of Roman antiquity among the contemporary far-right in Italy, she goes on to state that,

No, it is simply not enough to remind readers that Aeneas was a migrant himself in this loaded climate of the migrant crisis (a recurrent reminder in the Italian press of late — counteracted, I now see, by the young alt-right journal Giovani a destra, whose claim to philological accuracy cares to stress, with Vergil, the Western origin of Dardanus).

This 21st-century contestation over the identity of Aeneas, the origins of Dardanus, founder of Troy, and what, if any, the responsibilities of Classicists confronted with such contestations are, piqued my interest.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/29/2021 - 10:31am by .

The SCS Committee on Contingent Faculty is once again organizing mentoring opportunities for contingent faculty.

You can use this form to sign up to participate in one-on-one mentoring meetups during the AIA/SCS 2022 Annual Meeting (January 6-8). This year there will be both virtual and in-person meetings! Once committee members have received your information, they will match you with either a mentor or mentee.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/29/2021 - 9:06am by Helen Cullyer.
An ornate carved gold square, at the center of which is a stylized horse with a small winged animal resting on its hind quarters. There are decorative patterns forming a border around the horse.

Classical Greeks often articulated a worldview that divided the world between Greeks and all other ethnic groups. This fundamental distinction served to justify war and slavery. The tragedian Aeschylus portrays non-Greeks as slavish and decadent in his Persians. Aristotle thought enslaving non-Greeks was a just cause for waging war (Politics 7.15.21). The Greeks called non-Greeks barbaroi, or “barbarians,” because of the unintelligible sounds of their foreign languages (they said bar bar). The historian Herodotus has long been a central figure in scholarly discourse about the creation and articulation of the boundary between Greeks and others.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/22/2021 - 10:34am by .
The Anthony Fauci Award in STEM and Classics
 
The Classical Association of the Middle West and South is pleased to announce the Anthony Fauci Award in STEM and Classics. This $500 annual award recognizes an undergraduate student who demonstrates outstanding work in both Classics and a STEM discipline (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Dr. Fauci graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1962 with a rigorous degree that required both pre-medical and advanced Latin and Greek courses.
View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sat, 11/20/2021 - 10:36am by Helen Cullyer.

Pushing the Boundaries:

African and Asian Interactions with the Ancient Mediterranean

26th Annual Classics Graduate Student Colloquium

Conducted virtually via Zoom

University of Virginia

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Sat, 11/20/2021 - 10:33am by Helen Cullyer.

NATURAL RESOURCES AND FLOURISHING IN ANCIENT GREECE (CFP)

April 22-24, 2022

This conference is dedicated to exploring issues pertaining to natural resources and their relation to individual happiness and successful political organization, as treated in ancient Greek literature, art, history, law, religion and philosophy. We welcome presentations on topics such as the following:  

1. Ancient Greek views on the amount and kinds of natural goods suitable for individual and political flourishing, and on the influence of such goods on human character and behavior.

2. Ownership of, and rights to, natural resources in Greek law and political theory.

3. Greek religious views on the divine dispensation (or withdrawal) of natural resources.

4. The depiction and personification of natural resources in Greek mythology and art.

5. The influence of the availability or lack of natural resources on lifestyle and migration in the ancient Greek world.

6. The just distribution of natural goods in ancient Greek thought.

7. Discussions and evidence concerning the contribution of natural resources to social cohesion and identity in Greek antiquity.

Keynote speaker: Lin Foxhall (University of Liverpool)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Sat, 11/20/2021 - 10:29am by Helen Cullyer.
A black-figure vase depicting three chorus-men costumed as warriors, wearing individually crested helmets, “riding" three partners in horse costume.

A conspicuous theme in Aristophanic comedy is the civic motivation of Athenian citizens, which is presented as highly problematic. Judges and Assembly-goers are portrayed consistently as motivated not by any sense of civic duty but by monetary incentives — the misthos dikastikos and the misthos ekklēsiastikos, respectively. Some scholars have considered this portrayal of everyday citizens as narrowly profit-driven and utterly selfish to be proof of Aristophanes’ elitist and anti-democratic views. Indeed, such a commentary on civic motivation vis-à-vis incentives seems to align with that of Plato, whose Sokrates famously asserts that Perikles’ introduction of public payments made Athenians “idle, cowardly, talkative, and avaricious” (Gorg. 515e).

Yet an examination of Aristophanes’ plays through the lens of behavioral science allows for a radically different reading. This is the reading I offer in my dissertation, Enter homo oeconomicus: Civic Motivation and Civic Education in Aristophanic Comedy.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/19/2021 - 11:21am by Konstantinos Karathanasis.

Registration for the 2022 hybrid annual meeting is now open! If you would like to attend the meeting in person, you need to register on or before Friday, November 19 in order to obtain the early registration rate. Please note that there is no early rate for virtual attendance. You can register online here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/15/2021 - 12:14pm by Helen Cullyer.

Pages

Latest Stories

Calls for Papers
NATURAL RESOURCES AND FLOURISHING IN ANCIENT GREECE (CFP)
Awards and Fellowships
In 2021, the second year of the 

© 2020, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy