Diversity and Equality

I should like to bring you up to date on the Society’s efforts to encourage the development of a more diverse profession of Classics. It is perhaps appropriate that I write these words in St. Louis, which has become one of the symbols of our nation’s failure to achieve equity in a diverse population. It might also, however, become representative of what can be achieved by people of very different outlooks and interests, working together for the common good. Last night, my daughter attended a meeting of a civic coalition devoted to reforming local governance; it framed its discussions, before an overflow audience, with the question, “Why does a region with world-class resources struggle to thrive?” Social justice groups and the Chamber of Commerce came together around the task of thinking through some practical approaches to fixing the extreme governmental fragmentation that has made St. Louis County notably ineffective in many domains, not least in the justice system.

Mutatis mutandis, a similar question was one of the driving forces behind parts of the reorganization of our Society’s committee structure about which I wrote earlier this year. The creation of a new Committee on Diversity in the Profession was part of our response to this challenge. Although our new bylaws and committee structure officially come into force only in January, I felt we should not wait to get this committee formed and given its charge. It is already at work by email conversation in advance of meeting in Toronto for the first time. 

One of the stimuli to the Board’s thinking, and now to the Committee’s work, was an essay sent me by Bob Connor, whose blog on liberal education, begun during his years as president of the Teagle Foundation, is a constant source of ideas and prod to the conscience (http://www.wrobertconnor.com/). Bob challenged the Society to take a more activist and thoughtful approach to the long-standing and persistent underrepresentation of African-Americans in Classics, and without offering a detailed blueprint, he pointed to directions he thought might be most productive and yet within the capabilities of a learned society like ours.  This paper will soon be available at Inside Higher Ed.  You can read it now here.

We should have no illusions that a small organization like the SCS can solve fundamental problems in American society. But the worst illusion would be that we can’t do anything to make it better. We can, and with your help we will. This matters to all of us, both because a diverse profession will be a better one and, above all, because our classical heritage belongs to all of humanity; it is not the possession of any national or ethnic group, and we should reject any attempt to use it against anyone.

Roger Bagnall

Recent Posts

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.

Applications are available now online for the 2023/2024 Residential Grants and Fellowships at the Getty Research Institute in the following competitions:

  • Getty Scholar Grants
  • Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships

Applicants are invited to address one of the following future themes:

Art and Technology (Research Institute)

2023/2024

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 07/13/2022 - 10:22am by .
A nude, light-skinned man with a cloth tied around his waist sits inside a large, overturned pot holding a lantern. Four dogs sit outside the pot watching him. He sits in front of a large pedestal, behind which is a city scene.

At the end of every year, the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center in mainland China, an organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, publishes a list of the most popular online words and phrases of the year. One entry in the 2021 list is tǎng píng (躺平), or “lying flat.” “Lying flat” denotes a posture both physical and political. It is a rejection of the “996” (9am–9pm, 6 days a week) work culture prevalent among China’s younger population. It is also a silent protest to widening income disparity, exorbitant housing costs in major cities, and the myth of a middle-class life.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 07/11/2022 - 2:47pm by .

The International Plato Society’s Symposium XIII will take place at the University of Georgia July 18-22.  The Symposium is entirely devoted to Plato’s Sophist.  It is hybrid with all papers simultaneously broadcast on Zoom.  A copy of the program is available on our site, Platosociety.org.

Remote and in-person registration are also available on our site.  You must be signed into the site in order to register.  Then, when you click on the “Register” button, are taken to a secure site at the University of Georgia.  Registration includes a copy of the published volume of selected papers.  All who are registered will be sent Zoom links on the morning on July 18.  Many of the papers that will be presented are posted and accessible to those who register.

If you have difficulties registering, try a different browser.  If that doesn’t work, contact us at webmaster@platosociety.org.

Athens, Georgia, the home of the University of Georgia, is quite a nice place, and we have arranged receptions every evening and a brief excursion.  Most of all, we have an excellent set of papers.

For more details and information click the link below:

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 07/08/2022 - 2:13pm by .
Bronze statuette showing a smaller animal biting the leg of a horse, which stands above it.

This is a two-part blog post reflecting upon AAPI experiences in classical studies. Part 1 reflected upon the author’s personal experience teaching race & ethnicity in antiquity in the context of the ongoing surge of anti-Asian violence in the country. Part 2 reflects upon the shared experiences of students and scholars of Asian descent in classical studies through a series of interviews.

Curious about whether other people of Asian descent in Classical Studies have had experiences similar to mine and how that affects our lives in the field, I reached out this spring to scholars and students from other institutions in North America, public and private, large and small, through the recently formed Asian & Asian American Classical Caucus (AAACC).

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 07/08/2022 - 12:56pm by .

Call for Papers 
Saturday, February 18, 2023 
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) 

Sixth University of Florida Classics Graduate Student Symposium 

Movement and Mobility in Ancient Spheres  
Mobility and movement, which lie at the core of the human experience in both ancient and modern societies, hold a critical place in the study of the ancient Greco-Roman world. From Herodotus’ wanderings around the Persian Empire to Pausanias’ Periegesis and Lucian’s fantastic travels, Greco- Roman literature captures the intertemporal need and desire of individuals and groups of people to move and travel from one place to another. We can wonder, for instance, at Odysseus’s journey across the Mediterranean, Aeneas’ Underworld katabasis, or Trimalchio’s social advancement while recognizing the multiple considerations of movement in these narratives and at the same time reflect on what sort of mobility allows for these stories to be transmitted to us over millennia. 
 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 07/06/2022 - 11:00am by .

Contributed by Hanna M. Roisman:

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 07/06/2022 - 8:48am by .
A Black woman with short hair posed as Venus in Boticelli's Birth of Venus. She stands on an open seashell in the sea, and her body is adorned with patches of gold. On the right, a dark-skinned hand coming out of a white blouse holds an orange tapestry.

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 132 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, 07/01/2022 - 10:52am by .
A white marble stele featuring two standing women and two seated women. The central standing woman holds the hand of the central seated woman.

With weary hearts, we consider with you what Classics can do in the face of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decision overruling Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992). We bring you what we can from our own experience: Amy Richlin spent the 1990s teaching half in Gender Studies in the aftermath of the Reagan-Bush administration, when Planned Parenthood v. Casey was heard, and also taught Roman women’s history and sometimes Roman law during her years at USC and UCLA. Bruce Frier has been on the Faculty of the Michigan Law School since 1986 and has participated in numerous discussions and debates concerning Constitutional interpretation; he also chaired a Provostal Committee to improve the campus climate for LGBTQ+ faculty, students, and staff.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/29/2022 - 10:50am by .
A dark painting featuring men in togas. A number of men in the center wearing white togas reach towards an older man, seated in a brown toga. As they extend arms towards him, he pushes them away and looks aside.

This two-part series reflects upon AAPI experiences in Classical Studies. Part 1 is catalyzed by the author’s personal experience teaching race & ethnicity in antiquity in the context of the ongoing surge of anti-Asian violence in the country. Part 2 will reflect upon the shared experiences of students and scholars of Asian descent in Classical Studies through a series of interviews.

“Do you know about your Penn Law School colleague Amy Wax?,” a friend texted me in January, as the semester was starting.

“Blocked it out,” I thumbed back. I had, in fact, dimly seen the news, but the idea that a professor at the same university where I was excited to be newly teaching might be publicly rejecting the civic fitness of Asian Americans like me had, frankly, been too much to contemplate. “Good mental health strategy,” my friend responded dryly.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 06/27/2022 - 9:05am by .
A black-and-white image of the reverse of a diadrachm of Magas, dated 300–275 BCE, depicting the silphium plant, with a small crab on the right side and Greek letters interspersed in the branches of the plant.

I guess I should say “thank you.” Gratias vobis ago. Thank you to the Republican Party’s long game, a partisan SCOTUS, years of deliberate Democratic avoidance. You see, I’ve been wanting for a while to write a book about social control, forced reproduction, and their effects on real people living under an authoritarian government. Of course, I was planning to write about Augustan Rome. But with the Court’s decision yesterday, ending nearly 50 years of Roe (that is, legal abortion in America), I’ve got a great reception study. And in real time.

View full article. | Posted in on Sat, 06/25/2022 - 1:39am by .

Pages

© 2020, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy