European Academy of Religion Launch: CFP, Location Proposal, Zero Conference

(Below is an announcement sent to the SCS Office by the European Academy of Religion)

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The great success of the launch of the European Academy of Religion was in large part due to the presence, commitment, and support of participants, founders, and mentors. I myself and all the members of Fscire are very grateful to all of you for your presence in Bologna.

First of all, we want to thank the European Parliament and EU Commissioner Moedas, President Prodi and our past Minister Giannini, the Ambassadors and the Envoys of Governments who honored the meeting with their presence, as well as the representatives of Unesco, Osce, and Wef, as well as Rector Ubertini and his colleagues, all of whom offered their endorsement and ideas. We also want to thank all of you for the added intellectual energy you brought to our initiative, which is now your initiative as well.

On the basis of formal and informal talks that we had, the purposes of our Academy can be summarized in six points. The European Academy of Religion aims:

  • to offer an exchange platform to Academies and scientific Societies, Research Centers and Institutions, University Labs and Clusters, and qualified Journals, Scientific Publishers and Media;
  • to act as an inclusive network of networks open to all disciplines in the European and Mena Countries as well as in the Balkans, Caucasus, and Russia,in order to support their exchange and cooperation;
  • to provide an open space to those who work in the production and/or dissemination of knowledge in and of the religious field;
  • to give voice to religious anthropology, archeology, arts, conflicts, cults, doctrines, exegesis, experiences, history, institutions, laws, philology, philosophy, psychology, theologies, texts, and all the disciplines with an academic status in the universities or research centers, with their own distinctive and specific epistemological traditions;
  • to be an instrument to make visible the academic institutions and centers of a very large and diverse set of disciplines to the public opinion and decision makers through a public, open-access web platform and an annual convention;
  • to adopt an inclusive approach and encourage disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the perspective of open research, cultural diplomacy, dialogue among thinkers, peaceful relationships among cultural systems, and intellectual international cooperation.

In practical terms, we ask all of you to make the annual Convention of the Academy a real event: you and the institutions with which you are affiliated can contribute to the Convention and make it the place of regular scientific exchanges among those who are involved in diverse research in the religious field.

This could happen in many ways, for example placing some parts of the regular events of the institutions to which you are affiliated within the framework of the Academy’s convention, conceived as an instrument of dissemination; planning new activities and suggesting panels or sessions for the convention; launching discussion topics that might federate more subjects in consortia, which are the bedrock of EU programs.

We also ask for your help in drafting a list of disciplines that should have an explicit presence in the Convention program and in naming great scholars who can make their research known to a larger audience via a plenary lecture or in the longstanding format of the disputatio.

After consulting the panel moderators (Silvio Ferrari and Susanna Mancini, Hans Peter Grosshans and Vincenzo Pacillo, Patrick Houlihan and Clelia Piperno) and considering the suggestions from the Conference working group, we decided to schedule the Academy Conventions in the first semester of the year, so that they do not overlap with the AAR and SBL events that are held in the fall.

In 2018, the conference could be held in March, starting on Sunday and ending on Thursday. Institutions willing to host it are invited to send their proposals (about a page in length) to eu_are2017@fscire.it.

We also agreed to propose a “Zero Conference”, which will be hosted in 2017 in Bologna, from Sunday June 18 to Wednesday June 21.

The call for papers in now open. Depending on the funds available, we are willing to offer free participation to early-career scholars and PhD students.

The “Zero Conference” program will also include several outstanding speakers and will set aside appropriate time for the General Assembly, which will adopt the definitive version of the Statute: a very simple one, which can be based on the principle that the membership fees should be very low and that incomes will be entirely invested in order to increase the number of students participating in the annual convention.

We are open to exchange views and proposals with you. Please feel free to write to eu_are2017@fscire.it.

Sincerely,
Alberto Melloni

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(Photo: "Travel Map: Europe" by Kevin Hale licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Animal/Language: An Interdisciplinary Conference

In conjunction with the art exhibition “Assembling Animal Communication” Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
21-23 March 2019

Animals and language have a complicated relationship with one another in human understanding. Every period of history evinces a fascination with the diverse modes of communicative exchange and possibilities of linguistic community that exist both within and between species. Recent critics of anthropocentrism are far from the first to question the supposed muteness of the “dumb animal” and its ontological and ethical ramifications. Various cultures have historically attributed language to animals, and we have developed an increasingly sophisticated scientific understanding of the complex non-verbal communicative systems that animals use among themselves. New research complements millennia of human-animal communication in the contexts of work, play, and domestic life.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 1:59pm by Erik Shell.

The presence of Plotinus: The self, contemplation, and spiritual exercise in the Enneads

Poznań, Poland, 9th-10th June 2020
An international conference organized by the Scientific Committee on Ancient Culture of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Department of Classical Studies of  Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

In the center of “The School of Athens”, the famous fresco by Raphael, we can see Plato and Aristotle, the two philosophers who may indeed have been the greatest thinkers of antiquity. However, the scholarly endeavor of the last century has demonstrated with increasing consistency that Plotinus – although his name and legacy are not so popular – could well stand next to them, especially so because he attempted to synthetize the views of those great masters of the past. His presence in  Western philosophy was, perhaps a more silent one, but also very influential. Since Late Antiquity, Christian, Jewish and Muslim philosophers were inspired by him as well as Renaissance Platonists and German idealists. In year 2020, 1750 years will have passed by since his solitary death in a Campanian villa or, in his view, since his final ascent from “the divine in us to the divine in the All”. On this occasion, we want to celebrate Plotinus’ presence by organizing an international conference.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 9:48am by Erik Shell.
Rebecca Futo Kennedy teaching in Rome. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Futo Kennedy.

A Day in the Life of a Classicist is a monthly column on the SCS blog written by Prof. Ayelet Haimson Lushkov celebrating the working lives of classicists. If you’d like to share your day, let us know here.

Rebecca Futo Kennedy is Associate Professor of Classics and Administrative Director, Denison Museum

Since being tenured in 2015, I have actually held two separate positions at my university - professor of Classics and director of the Denison Museum. As a result, my time is now split between the department and the museum (and, if you have to ask - no, I had no experience running a museum before they asked me to do it, and, no, I don’t intend to do it forever; I’d like to go back to full-time teaching someday). So, my average day(s) look something like this:


Rebecca Futo Kennedy teaching students. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Futo Kennedy.
Rebecca Futo Kennedy with students. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Futo Kennedy.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 09/13/2018 - 10:40am by Ayelet Haimson Lushkov.

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World will hold a conference, co-hosted by the SCS, on digital pedagogy:

"Digital resources have become an essential part of studying the languages, history, and material culture of the Ancient Mediterranean. This one-day conference looks at how this disciplinary turn is being integrated into both undergraduate and graduate courses. There will be sustained attention during the day on current practice in recent courses, and the speakers all have considerable teaching experience. Speakers will also address the goals of using digital methods, tools and resources in a wide range of pedagogic and institutional settings. Digital approaches to teaching do not merely replicate earlier methods so that new possibilities for the expanding the scope of curricula will be an important topic. The day will end with a panel discussion and we will welcome input from all who are in attendance."

The conference will take place at their New York headquarters on October 26th, 2018 beginning at 9:15am. To see the full schedule and RSVP you can visit the conference webpage here.

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View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 09/12/2018 - 11:08am by Erik Shell.
CFP: Failure and Flaws in Classical Antiquity
January 25-26, 2019, UCLA
 
In the poem “Failing and Flying”, Jack Gilbert appeals to classical imagery to reconfigure the notion of failure: “Icarus was not failing as he fell,” the poem concludes, “but only coming to the end of his triumph.” Throughout antiquity, numerous forms of literary and material culture, as well as forms of reception, have grappled with real or imagined failure and flaws. The concept of failure is especially pressing because modern society persistently looks back to antiquity’s failures in order to understand its own. By interrogating the use and meaning of failure both within classical works and in discussions about canon, genre, and reception, we aim to explore the interpretive value of failure for our understanding of the classical world.
 
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 2:29pm by Erik Shell.
"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Oedipus: A Greek Tragedy by Sophocles

Director: Donna L. Clevinger
Date: 6:00pm on Tuesday, September 25 & Wednesday, September 26
Location: Griffis Hall Courtyard in Zacharias Village

Oedipus

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(Photo: "Empty Theatre (almost)" by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:02pm by Erik Shell.
Header Image: Detail of a fresco from the Temple of Isis, representing a sea dragon and a dolphin, 1st century AD (Fourth Style), Museu Nacional, Brazil (Image via Wikimedia under a CC-BY-SA 4.0).

Last Thursday, I began class with a caveat, “The class today will be really tough to deliver...” And it was. It was the first time I had taught after the fire and destruction of Brazil’s National Museum, and it was a particularly hard and ironic moment.

I’m teaching a topic on Pompeii, so when classes started, a month ago, I mentioned to my students that there were some frescoes and items from Pompeii at the National Museum, located in a park in central Rio de Janeiro which used to be the imperial family’s property in the nineteenth century. The collection was part of the dowry from empress Teresa Cristina of Bourbon, daughter of the king of the Two Sicilies, a gift that was particularly in tune with the interest that emperor Dom Pedro II had in history and sciences.

Together with objects such as Greek and Etruscan pottery and terracottas, and some Egyptian mummies (including a rare unopened one), the collection was the biggest for Antiquity in Latin America, but not many people were aware of it. The museum, home also to extensive collections in ethnography, paleontology, zoology and geology, happened to have less visitors last year than the number of privileged Brazilians who visited the Louvre. When I asked my History undergrads in our first class whether they had ever visited the National Museum, they all said “no”.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 09/10/2018 - 3:54pm by Juliana Bastos Marques.

Poetics and politics. New approaches to Euripides

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/10/2018 - 1:43pm by Erik Shell.

We wanted to update you on some upcoming prize, award, and nomination deadlines:

Outreach Prize

The Outreach Prize of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) recognizes outstanding projects or events by an SCS member or members that make an aspect of classical antiquity available and attractive to an audience other than classics scholars or students in their courses.

The deadline for nominations is September 14.

Forum Prize

The Forum Prize - presented by the the SCS Committee on Public Information and Media Relations - recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the ancient Greek and Roman world. It empowers the SCS to build bridges with a broader public by rewarding the best public-facing essays, books, poems, articles, podcasts, films, and art produced each year by someone (either a classicist or a non-classicist) working primarily outside of the academy.

Deadline for nomination is October 1. You can nominate a person or project here.

Excellence in Precollegiate Teaching Award

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/10/2018 - 11:22am by Erik Shell.

Edwin P. Menes (February 2, 1939 - August 25, 2018)

Born in Gary, Indiana, Edwin Peter Menes grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Stricken with polio when he was three, Ed was always fiercely independent and never let his disability slow him down.

He graduated from St. Ignatius High School at fifteen years of age (1954)—the youngest graduate in school history and class valedictorian. He next attended Xavier University, earning his A.B. in the Classics Honors Program (1958). His M.A. (1960) and Ph.D. (1968) were from Princeton, the latter completed with a dissertation on Propertius (Cynthia as Symbol: Love, Patriotism, and Poetry in the Elegies of Propertius). Meanwhile he spent two years (1960–1962) teaching at Tabor Academy, Marion, Massachusetts, before accepting a position in the Department of Classical Studies at Loyola University Chicago (1963).

He taught at Loyola's Rome Center of Liberal Arts (now the John Felice Rome Center) three times and traveled all over Europe, most notably on a Vespa through Eastern Europe; the scooter caught fire in Belgrade, putting an end to that adventure and forcing him to take a train back to Rome. Back in Chicago he served as associate director of the Rome Center (1975–1979) and chairman of the Department of Classical Studies (1984–1995). He retired in 2009.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:23am by Erik Shell.

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