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I have always been a proponent of reading outside of one’s own field. We are all pressed for time, of course, and keeping up with the scholarship in our own areas of expertise is itself a constant challenge. But reading outside of our traditional areas of study is one of those intellectual activities in which even a little goes a long way towards exposing us to real and imagined worlds that can allow us to better reconstruct the ancient Mediterranean.
As an ancient Mediterranean historian, I have gained most from my reading in (loosely) adjacent historical fields, especially early China and early modern Europe. I have also benefitted from exploring research in social-scientific disciplines with which history is in ongoing dialogue, especially sociology and cultural anthropology. My reading in these fields could hardly be called systematic, but it doesn’t matter. The time spent reading outside of ancient Mediterranean history almost always repays the reader by presenting new questions, new approaches, and new ways to think about familiar material.
However, today I want to explore something a little different: how my ideas about the Roman Empire, my research and teaching focus, have been shaped by creative literature—an essential tool, I have found, for facilitating the leaps of historical imagination necessary for an empathetic (if ultimately incomplete) understanding of a world so alien from our own.
Classical Representations in Popular Culture
Southwest Popular / American Culture Association (SWPACA)
Area Chair: Benjamin S. Haller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Proposal submission deadline: October 31, 2019
Proposals for papers and panels are now being accepted for the 41st annual SWPACA conference. One of the nation’s largest interdisciplinary academic conferences, SWPACA offers nearly 70 subject areas, each typically featuring multiple panels. For a full list of subject areas, area descriptions, and Area Chairs, please visit http://southwestpca.org/conference/call-for-papers/
Classical Representations in Popular Culture
Papers on any aspect of Greek, Roman, or Mediterranean antiquity in contemporary or popular culture are eligible for consideration.
Classical Representations welcomes submissions on a broader range of topics including:
Call for Lightning Papers: Classics and Civic Activism
Joint AIA/SCS workshop, January 2–5, 2020, Washington, D.C.
Organizers: Yurie Hong (Gustavus Adolphus College), Marina Haworth (North Hennepin Community College), Amit Shilo (UC, Santa Barbara), T. H. M. Gellar-Goad (Wake Forest University)
Classicists at all levels have knowledge, experience, skills, and contacts that can usefully contribute to civic activism outside of academia proper. The Classics & Social Justice Affiliated Group has organized a workshop on the subject of Classics and Civic Activism for the upcoming AIA/SCS meeting. We invite proposals for a lightning round on outward-facing activism in which presenters will spend 3 minutes sharing their own experiences and making recommendations. These presentations will become integral to discussions among participants during the following breakout sessions.
The lightning round is the second of three parts of the workshop:
1) Three featured presenters from Indivisible, the National Humanities Alliance, and the American Federation of Teachers will offer guidance in community organizing, engaging with representatives, and other advocacy work, specifically focusing on how academics and educators can combine their skills and expertise with activism.
The United States was more than a century old before it saw its first play staged in Latin. What follows is a story about its producers’ struggle for recognition and the external factors that doomed it to obscurity. Beyond a footnote in theatrical history, the 1877 production of a Jesuit Latin play at Boston College offers a glimpse into the fraught politics of education in the United States in the late 19th century, the origins of the modern college elective, and a form of Classical curriculum that might have been—if an ugly fight in Boston had turned out differently.
In April of 1894, Harvard’s production of its first Latin play had set Boston buzzing. The event even rated a couple columns in the New York Times, which remarked:
Latin plays have been given in this country and in England, but never with the careful study of detail bestowed upon the Phormio of Terence, to be produced by Harvard students in Sanders Theatre this week… Educators from all parts of the country are expected to witness the production.
Seneca 2020. International Conference
What more can we say about Seneca?
The Centre for Classical Studies of the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon is organizing an International Conference on Seneca to promote and encourage a critical reflection on the permanence of themes, values, perspectives and representations of Seneca’s works in Western literature and culture.
The Conference will take place between 14-17 December 2020, and, through the interdisciplinary debate of the contribution given by the experiences of researchers from different fields of study, it aims:
- to think of how Seneca became one of the most prominent figures in Western culture;
- to consider, examine and reflect on our current knowledge about Seneca, his life and works;
- to explore new study angles and what remains to be said about Seneca in the Twenty-First Century, in light of the renewed interest shown in his works.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
António Pedro Mesquita (University of Lisbon)
Alessandro Schiesaro (University of Manchester)
Catharine Edwards (University of Cambridge)
Gareth David Williams (Columbia University)
Chiara Torre (University of Milan)
Jesús Luque Moreno (University of Granada)
José Pedro Serra (University of Lisbon)
Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song
6th Open Conference, July 1-5, 2020, Spetses, Greece
Gregory Nagy (Classics, Harvard University) announces the 6th Open Conference, which is organized by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC (CHS DC) on behalf of the Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song. The organization of the Conference will be administratively and logistically supported by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece (CHS Greece).
The conference will take place on the island of Spetses in Greece from July 1 to July 5, 2020. The topic of the conference is "Performing Texts."
Justin Slocum Bailey will give a two-day series of workshops, BRINGING LATIN TO LIFE IN THE CLASSROOM, in Syracuse on Sept. 20-21, hosted by SU and generously supported by Binghamton University, Le Moyne College, The Humanities Corridor (and others).
Justin will help explore new and interactive techniques of Latin instruction. His pedagogy has proved to be very fruitful on all levels of Latin language classrooms (high school, college, etc.). Please consider attending and help spread the word.
Registration is $40 for one day, $75 for both: this will help cover a at least the lunches and refreshments. Students can attend for free. If the fee is an impediment to participation, we can offer a reduction.
Tina Chronopoulos (email@example.com) and I will be happy to learn if you want to attend and to hear any suggestions.
The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2020/2021 term will focus on the ancient cultures of the Levant and their relations with the classical world. Lying on the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean, the Levant was a crucial crossroads between the classical world of Greece and Rome and the kingdoms of the Near East. Home to the ancient peoples of Phoenicia, Ugarit, Canaan, Philistia, Jordan, Israel, and Judah, this region participated in a vibrant Bronze-Age network of trade that flourished for many centuries until a combination of warfare, migration and famine around 1200 BCE destroyed these palace societies.
Central: February 26-29, 2020, Palmer House Hilton Chicago
This is a call for submissions of papers to be presented to the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy.
The Deadline for Submission of papers is August 1.
a) To have your paper considered, you need to be a member of the Society for 2019/20 - a form is attached, and it needs to come back via regular mail, not as an attachment!
b) You should submit your paper as an attachment to an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email message is your cover letter; it should include your name, address, academic affiliation (as of 2019/20), and the title of the paper. Note if you would prefer the Central or Pacific Division, or either! The paper itself should be prepared for blind (anonymous) review, and IT MUST BE IN DOC, DOCX, OR RTF FORMAT! NOT PDF! Papers may include "real Greek" if it is in a Unicode font.
The Program Committee has decided that authors who had a paper accepted by the Society for presentation at a meeting of the American Philosophical Association or the Society for Classical Studies during the past year should not be considered.