Letter on the Annual Meeting from Joseph Farrell

January 15, 2018

Dear Members,

Looking back on the recently concluded Annual Meeting, I’m of two minds. For those who took part, I think it was a big success. Newer-format events, like Career Networking and Ancient Maker Spaces, were really lively and well attended, especially by younger members. Georgia Nugent’s presidential panel on the PhD as a launching pad for careers other than college teaching was really inspiring. And the Program Committee’s special session on “Rhetoric: Then and Now” brought our professional responsibility to be political into the spotlight in a way that I feel was both fruitful and long overdue.

The success of these events is all the more impressive because every one of them underwent major changes at the last minute when key participants simply could not make it to Boston because of the weather. Amazingly few sessions were actually cancelled. But if you couldn’t get to Boston, it wasn’t a good convention for you. I’m very sorry for those whose travel plans were thwarted, and I’m extremely grateful to all those got there in spite of the extra effort, expense, and delay that it cost. Frankly, your success in doing so probably saved the convention from being a total disaster.

(Speaking of expense, Helen Cullyer and her staff are working with those who couldn’t get in to mitigate their financial exposure. Everyone affected has now received instructions on requesting refunds.)

Since this is the second Annual Meeting in four years to suffer the impact of extreme winter weather, many members are asking why we continue to meet in early January and in cities like Boston and Chicago. The question is important, and we have to take it seriously. Two events like this in just four years could be coincidental, but in view of all of the other extreme weather events in recent years, you would have to be a climate-change denier to think that this won’t happen again. So the issue is now top priority for the SCS Board of Directors, and I was happy to learn that Jodi Magness, the President of the AIA, is more than willing to work with us.

That said, just what to do is not obvious. Many members already wonder why we don’t meet more often in warm-weather cities, but even at this time of year we do not have our pick of venues; far from it. Next year, at least, we do have San Diego, and we can look forward to celebrating the Society’s Sesquicentennial in a warm climate. Still, another badly timed storm on the east coast or in the midwest might prevent many of us from arriving in time for the start of the conference. So, in addition to the question of where we meet, we also have to raise the question of when.

We have already signed contracts through 2024, and the time to identify venues for the years beyond that — while they are still available — is now. If we moved to a new time of year in 2025, we would have to avoid conflicts with CAMWS, CAAS, and the other Classical organizations, as well as with CAA, AAR-SBL, and other conventions that our members attend. Holidays and teaching schedules also come into play. It would not be easy. These are the reasons why we meet when we do, in the first place, and it is not impossible that we will continue to do so, although something has to be done to mitigate the risk of another Bomb Cyclone or Polar Vortex. Disruptions like that are bad for our members — especially younger members, those with families, those who have no access to research and travel funds, and so on — and they threaten the Society’s financial health while taxing our professional staff, who worked heroically to keep the most recent convention on track, and who are still dealing with a vastly more complicated aftermath than they expected. Thanks to them, as well as to all of you who made it to Boston in spite of everything, the convention was, against the odds, a success, intellectually and socially. And I promise that we will do everything possible to ensure that future events will be even more successful, and that the risk of weather-related disruption will be as small as possible.

Sincerely,

Joseph Farrell

SCS President, 2018

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Dear friends, sympathizers and fellow classicists,

In 2012, the Faculty of Arts decided to gradually cut down Latin as a major subject. However, the detailed budget plan now anticipates the abandonment of all Latin courses, as well as the introductory courses of Ancient Greek and most subjects relating to classical culture. By this radical cutting off of the classical roots, the faculty loses an essential component to the understanding of western philosophy, art, history, language and literature.

By this petition, we ask the preservation in the long term of one Latin professorship at the Free University of Brussels. We are convinced that such position can serve the purpose of not only the faculty of arts, but also the entire university community.

To sign the petition click: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/557/100/788/quo-vadis-vub-zonder-latijn-free-university-of-brussels-without-latin/

"Qui tacet, consentire videtur".

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 5:39am by .

Steven Perkins, Latin teacher since 1998 at North Central High School in Indianapolis, has been named Teacher of the Year by the Indianapolis Department of Education.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 1:32am by Adam Blistein.

The following members were chosen in the elections held this Summer. They take office on January 5, 2014, except for the two new members of the Nominating Committee who take office immediately.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 9:15pm by .

The Vergilian Society has posted two calls for proposals, one for Tour Directors for 2015 and beyond, and the other for Directors of the Symposium Cumanum for 2015.  These calls invite applications to become involved in the Society’s future programming.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:46pm by Adam Blistein.

From The Economist:

"WHEN Pope Benedict XVI resigned in February he used Latin, giving a scoop to Giovanna Chirri, the only journalist present who understood his words. That was a timely reminder of Latin’s unlikely survival—and revival—as a living language. Radio Bremen, a German station, has broadcast a weekly news roundup called Nuntii Latini Septimanales since 2001. Finland’s YLE Radio 1 has run a similar show since 1989, with listeners in over 80 countries.

"Twitter’s 140-character epigraphs and aphorisms are ideal for Latin: five words can often say more than ten English ones, notes David Butterfield, a Latinist at the University of Cambridge. Tweets also leave no room for troublesome long subordinate clauses. The Pontifex Latin account has gained 132,000 followers since Benedict XVI started it in January. It is run by the Vatican’s Office of Latin Letters—perhaps the only modern workplace where the language of Virgil is still the lingua franca."

Read more…

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:42pm by Information Architect.

The Department of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the support of the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Departments of Classics of Amherst College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Smith College, will host a one-day colloquium on the theme "Speaking of the Republic: Lucilius and his Contexts," Friday, October 25, 2013. Speakers are Anna Chahoud (Trinity College Dublin), "Colloquial Registers and Generic Stylization in Lucilius"; Sander Goldberg (UCLA), "Lucilius and the poetarum seniorum turba"; Angelo Mercado (Grinnell College), "Notes on Meter and Language in Lucilius"; and Brian Breed (UMass Amherst), "Lucilius' Books."

The full conference program can be viewed at http://umass.academia.edu/BrianWBreed/Events.

A registration fee of $20 includes lunch and refreshments. Dinner is also available for an additional cost.

To register or with any questions, please contact the organizers: Brian Breed (bbreed@classics.umass.edu) and Rex Wallace (rwallace@classics.umass.edu).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:40pm by .

At the Joint Annual Meeting in Seattle in January 2013 the Placement Committee organized a panel on nonacademic employment opportunities for Ph.D.s in Classics and Archaeology.  Follow this link (https://placement.apaclassics.org/alternative-employment) to read about the panel, hear audio clips of the presentations, and see a list of resources discussed at the panel.

We are very grateful to Committee Chair, David Potter, and his colleagues Betsey Robinson and Mike Lippman for their work in organizing this session.  Thanks are also due to the seven speakers who gave us permission to offer their talks online.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:12pm by .

The automated system for the 2013-2014 APA Placement Service is now open and accepting registrations by candidates, subscribers, and institutions.  As was the case last year, registrants will need to create an account and then purchase the service(s) they wish.  Registrants who used the Service last year may (but are not required to) adopt the same username and password as before; however, they will still need to create a new account

Please read these detailed instructions for registering for the service and taking advantage of its features. 

Please note the following important changes in the service this year.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:10pm by Adam Blistein.

In the recent election, the members voted to accept the recommendation of the Board of Directors that we should change the name of our organization to “Society for Classical Studies”, with “Founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association” as a permanent subtitle.  In keeping with the truly remarkable dedication and commitment of our membership, 43% of our members voted in this election, at a time when other learned societies report that only 10-15% of their members typically vote in online elections and ballots.  This is the highest participation rate that our Executive Director, Adam Blistein, has seen in the fourteen years of his tenure, and it is probably the highest ever.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:44pm by Adam Blistein.

With great sadness, the members of the Department of Classics at Grand Valley State University mourn the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Barbara Flaschenriem.

Barbara passed away on August 15, 2013, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, following a long illness. Initially appointed in the Department of English in 1998, she became a founding member of the Department of Classics in 2000.

Professor Flaschenriem held the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining Grand Valley, she held faculty appointments at Seton Hall University and Yale University. Her teaching and scholarship were informed by aspects of feminist theory focusing upon representations of women in Roman literature and society. Her writing was marked by great subtlety and intellectual grace. Colleagues and students cherished her unassuming but wry demeanor and her intense passion in the classroom. Prof. Flaschenriem was at work on a monumental study of the Roman poet Propertius that was left uncompleted at her death.

A memorial gathering was held at the Alumni House on GVSU's Allendale campus on Sunday, September 8.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 9:13pm by .

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