CFP: Race and Racism: Beyond the Spectacular

Revised 7/30/20

As previously announced, Patrice Rankine and Sasha-Mae Eccleston will serve as guest editors of a future issue of TAPA with the theme of race, racism, and Classics (issue 153:1, to appear April 2023). Covid-19 and the global Movement 4 Black Lives have highlighted the extent to which racism is a public health emergency whose reach extends across the Black Atlantic and far beyond. In light of these deeply imbricated developments of 2020, this volume becomes even more timely. A detailed call for papers, along with instructions and deadlines for submission in 2021, follows.

Race and Racism: Beyond the Spectacular

 

…the “cultural logic” of lynching enables it to emerge and persist throughout the modern era because its violence “fit” within the broader, national cultural developments. This synchronicity captures why I refer to lynching as “spectacular”: the violence made certain cultural developments and tensions visible for Americans to confront.

Jacqueline Goldsby, A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature

 

The last few annual meetings of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) have been the staging ground for long overdue discussions about race and other marginalized identities within the discipline of Classics. These discussions have taken place in spectacular fashion, to borrow from Jacqueline Goldsby’s analysis of the cultural logic of lynching, a violent example of the pervasive yet less visible realities structuring American life. This heightened awareness of race and racism might be a new watershed, but it recalls the polarizing controversies that revolved around Bernal’s Black Athena during the culture wars of the 1980s and 90s. That is, having escaped notice for a time, Classical Studies is once again being made to confront its relationship to broader cultural developments. Through keynotes, presidential panels, award ceremonies, and gatherings of caucus groups, classicists have sought of late to counter the public and blatant acts of racism that have drawn the attention of outlets outside of the regular disciplinary orbit. SCS sessions such as Robin DiAngelo’s “white fragility” workshop have revealed the stability of majoritarian, white supremacist practices, exposing what minoritized members of the field have long known: spectacular acts of bigotry and endangerment are not exceptional, not a blip in the otherwise ‘civilized’ rhythms of scholarly life. They are better publicized iterations of everyday experiences.

For Classical Studies, the spectacular is also prismatic. Modern instantiations of whiteness, race, and racism project back onto the past, so that scholarship regularly and unremarkably advances the cultural logic. This logic likewise recurs in conversations about representational diversity and inclusion. The academy at large has only recently begun to systematically interrogate how professional routines normalize racism and racialize other forms of discrimination.  As a field, the Classics must also imagine a full-throated response to the realities of this discrimination in both its spectacular and mundane manifestations. 

This issue of TAPA intends to be a catalyst for transformative ideas regarding the reality of race and racism within all aspects of Greek and Roman Studies. We seek contributions that analyze and critically engage phenomena which have been considered unrelated to race, have been so familiar as to remain un-critiqued as spectacular, have not yet been brought to light, or that have tended to be avoided for being too disruptive of the disciplinary status quo. Rather than cordon off advances from other branches of scholarship, this issue welcomes reflections on Classical Studies from other disciplines. We remain attentive to the discipline’s self-declared roots in philology. But the scope of this endeavor demands that we also open ourselves up to other models of critique and to the insights that those models produce. To that end, scholars from fields with similar disciplinary trajectories, with research interests that dovetail with Classics, or whose work is assumed to have no relationship to race and/in the Classics are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

We offer the following clusters of questions as non-exhaustive entry points into a longer conversation:

What, if any, is the semantic force of the term ‘Classical Studies,’ as opposed to other potential rubrics, e.g., Greek and Roman Studies, Mediterranean Studies, etc.? What is the force of ‘Classical Studies’ in relation to Indigenous Studies, Asian American Studies, Arab American Studies, Latinx Studies and so on?

Are there disciplinary transformations we might use as guides for an anti-racist restructuring of the field?

Though it is often posited as objective and therefore outside of or resistant to so-called 'cultural difference', how can philology and other formalisms shed the garb of objectivity to operationalize racial competence?

How has the elasticity of whiteness manifested in periods when the discipline of Classical Studies has been most self-conscious? Has the warm reception of postcolonial studies within the field obscured the relationship between Classical Studies and contemporary forms of imperial conquest, e.g., global markets, philanthropy and humanitarian relief in the Global South, and American educational expansionism?

How can critical approaches to work and other institutions—universities, prisons, the healthcare industry and so on—inform our understanding of the entanglements of our field and its practitioners? What coalitions does such an approach make possible, perhaps at both the local/regional and national levels?

Submission deadlines and instructions:

  • Articles for this issue should be submitted no earlier than August 1, 2021, and no later than January 1, 2022.
  • Submissions should be directed to the regular TAPA editor (tapa@uci.edu).
  • Contributors should consult the current TAPA guidelines for authors and style sheet.
  • All submissions will receive double-blind refereeing as is usual for TAPA.

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

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Our third interview in the Contingent Faculty Series is a digital sit-down between Salvador Bartera (SB) and Joshua Nudell (JN), Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. Prof. Nudell holds a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Missouri. His research focuses on political culture and identity in Classical and early Hellenistic Greece, with particular focus on Ionia and the Greeks of Asia Minor. His monograph, Accustomed to Obedience?: A History of Classical Ionia, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press. Prof. Nudell is also interested in political rhetoric, imperialism, cultural memory, and the reception of the ancient world in games. His other passion involves food, both from a scholarly point of view and from a more ‘practical’, hands-on approach. His teaching experience includes small colleges, community colleges, and a large state university. He normally teaches courses in ancient history.

 

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 12/18/2020 - 9:37am by .

Ovatio for Dr. Fauci and Response

The Michigan Classical Caucus recently sent an ovatio to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States.

They recently posted the response they received from Dr. Fauci's office in a release to their members. The release follows:

Dear MCC Members,

Recently, two of your past presidents and the Secretary-Treasurer sent a message to Dr. Anthony Fauci on behalf of the Michigan Classical Caucus. Dr. Fauci, in case you did not know, received a Classical education at the Jesuit high school in Brooklyn: 4 years of Latin, 3 years of Greek. He went to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts for his undergraduate degree/pre-med majoring in Classics: Greek philosophy focus. We felt that since he is not shy about praising his background, we should not be shy in thanking him.

We created an OVATIO for him and forwarded it to his office. We realize that he is extremely pre-occupied right now, but we wanted to let him know that people think highly of him for things besides this pandemic and how he trying to help us through it. (He still credits his background in philosophy as a help.)

We have received the following response from his staff:

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 12/17/2020 - 1:18pm by Erik Shell.

The Society for Classical Studies mourns the recent loss of Senator Paul S. Sarbanes.  Obituaries like this one from the New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/us/politics/paul-sarbanes-dead.html

give a full picture of his life of distinguished public service, including his five terms representing the State of Maryland as an exceptionally well-informed, honorable, and self-effacing member of the US Senate.  Intensely proud of his Greek heritage (he was the son of immigrants who ran a Greek restaurant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore), and of the accomplishments of his classicist wife, the late Christine Dunbar Sarbanes, he was a great friend to classical studies in general and to the SCS in particular.  Paul and Christine Sarbanes served as co-chairs of the Society's Gateway Campaign for Classics from 2005 to 2013, and themselves made a generous donation to the Campaign. 

The Society for Classical Studies expresses its deepest sympathy to the Sarbanes family. 

by Adam Blistein and Sheila Murnaghan

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 12/14/2020 - 7:10am by Erik Shell.

CFP: Ancient Leadership Series for SAGE Business Cases

Since 2018, SAGE Business Cases (SBC) has been inviting authors to contribute to its Ancient Leadership series. This year’s series will explore “The Stakes and Sacrifices of Leadership” through history, mythology, philosophy, and material culture.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:56am by Erik Shell.

Ancient Greek Literature

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-time – for a maximum of four years, or Part-time - for a maximum of six years

Application deadline: 15th January 2021

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2021. Please note that May 2021 is also potentially available if preferred - subject to discussion and agreement

For enquiries, please contact Professor Judith Mossman


Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship.

Project details

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship, either full or part-time, in Ancient Greek literature.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:48am by Erik Shell.

In 2020, the inaugural year of the SCS Erich S. Gruen Prize, the selection committee received 31 submissions from graduate students across North America treating aspects of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. The committee was impressed with the candidates’ overall quality as well as range. Papers received, all anonymized before review, reflected the temporal and geographical breadth of classical and Near Eastern antiquity and diverse disciplinary perspectives including archaeology, art history, epigraphy, history and philology. 

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 8:13am by Helen Cullyer.

On December 2, the University of Vermont (UVM) announced devastating cuts to many programs and departments, including Classics. SCS President Sheila Murnaghan and Director of the Classics Advisory Service Jeff Henderson have written to the UVM Provost and President in support of Classics and to protest the deep cuts. Prof. Henderson continues to stay in close touch with department chair John Franklin to provide support and assistance to everyone in the Classics department. Other humanities organizations, including the Medieval Academy of America, are also supporting the humanities at UVM.

Individuals can take action by signing this petition, which was created by a UVM student. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 12/07/2020 - 10:12am by Helen Cullyer.

ANTIQUITY IN MEDIA STUDIES is holding our first-ever virtual conference, and you're invited!

via Zoom on 11-12 December 2020, Eastern Standard Time

AIMS is a newly organized group of scholars who collaborate on research, pedagogy, and outreach activities that examine and enrich how people around the world engage with the concept and contents of "antiquity" in a variety of media. Since our inception via the Classical Antiquity section of the Film & History conference, we have been expanding our focus to include the wider Mediterranean world, with the goal of welcoming engagements with antiquities from around the globe.

In recognition of the ever-greater ubiquity of screens in our professional lives under COVID, this year's conference focuses on receptions through screen-media platforms, including film, television, streaming video, video games, and social media. Our closing session features remarks on the state of Classical Reception Studies by Monica S. Cyrino (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque) and Antony Augoustakis (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).

The detailed program, abstracts, code of conduct, and other information are available at the conference website:

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 12/07/2020 - 6:40am by Erik Shell.

(Un)-Forgotten Realms: Science Fiction and Fantasy in and about the Ancient Mediterranean

25th Annual Classics Graduate Student Colloquium

University of Virginia

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Rea (University of Florida)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 2:58pm by Erik Shell.

Late in the afternoon on November 5, 2020 — close to 24 hours after polls across the country had closed for the 2020 elections — the NRA tweeted a familiar phrase: “Come and Take It.”

In May of 2018, I wrote about the valorization of ancient Sparta for Eidolon. The article underscored Spartan culture as a romantic figment of the far right imagination within America. The growth in the use of Plutarch’s alleged quote of the Spartan king Leonidas, whom the Greek historian says answered back ‘μολὼν λαβέ’ (“having come, take” or in less direct translation, “come and take [them]”) to the Persian king Xerxes when told to surrender his arms, continues to grow in popularity among gun enthusiasts on the far right. 

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 7:52am by Sarah E. Bond.

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