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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The National Humanities Center offers up to 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities for academic-year or semester-long residencies.  In addition to scholars from all fields of the humanities, the Center welcomes individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life who are engaged in humanistic projects.  The Center is international and gladly accepts applications from scholars outside the United States.  Most of the Center's fellowships are unrestricted. Several, however, are designated for particular areas of research, including:

  • Philosophy
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Located in the progressive Triangle region of North Carolina, the Center affords access to the rich cultural and intellectual communities supported by the area's many research institutes and universities. The Center's home in Research Triangle Park fosters individual research and the exchange of ideas.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:01pm by Adam Blistein.

We have posted the papers from the panel that the Committee on Ancient History organized for the 2014 annual meeting in Chicago.   Georgia Tsouvala organized the panel entitled History in Classics/Classics in History.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:24am by Adam Blistein.

The 2013-2014 Placement Service season is about to end; so, the portal is no longer accepting new registrations from candidates.  Please join us in a few weeks for the 2014-2015 Placement Year and for interviewing at the 2015 New Orleans Annual Meeting.  Early next week we will publish the June 2014 issue of Positions for Classicists and Archaeologists.  After that, all positions advertised during the current academic year will be available at this URL

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:07am by Adam Blistein.

The NPR news program, All Things Considered, recently featured an interview with Peter Meineck of the Aquila Theatre Company and the actors he has assembled for a new performance of Philoctetes that casts a woman in the lead role and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in the chorus.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:45pm by Adam Blistein.
As Teaching Classical Languages enters its fifth year of publication and as the standards for online publication metamorphose before our eyes, it seems a good time to take stock of how our readers access the journal. How are your reading habits changing? In what formats do you read academic articles? On what devices do you read the sort of research and practical advice contained in TCL? Please click on https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z2M75SD and take our brief five-minute survey and let us know how we can redesign TCL to be more responsive to your needs.  
 
Thanks so much,
John Gruber-Miller
Editor
 
View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:29pm by Adam Blistein.

For the last annual meeting in Chicago, the Committee on Education organized a panel entitled "Classics and Study Abroad".  Click here to read organizer Eric Dugdale's introduction to the panel as well as abstracts of the five talks that cover various aspects of this important aspect of studying Classics.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:10pm by Adam Blistein.

The summer is in full swing for most of us and those who for whatever personal or institutional reason (try to) maintain a research program are turning our thoughts to what we want to accomplish before classes start again. It’s exciting to be able to devote ourselves more fully to our writing and research, but the summer poses not only that opportunity but its own set of challenges: with so much unstructured time and so many appealing distractions it can easily slip away.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 06/06/2014 - 1:35pm by Curtis Dozier.

Two long-time SCS members were among the 33 scholars and leaders in other fields elected this year to membership in the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.  They are

  • Sarah B. Pomeroy, Distinguished Professor of Classics and History Emerita, City University of New York
  • Richard J. Tarrant, Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, Harvard University

We congratulate Professors Pomeroy and Tarrant on this high honor.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 06/04/2014 - 8:45am by Adam Blistein.

In accordance with the Board’s direction, yesterday Executive Director Adam Blistein submitted the filings necessary for the legal change of the Association’s name to Society for Classical Studies.  We are, of course, announcing the advent of this transition first to the membership; but will also distribute a press release to relevant organizations, publications, and individuals within and outside the field of Classical Studies.  We expect to receive confirmation of the name change from the State of Delaware (where we are incorporated) in about a week, and the new name will gradually appear in stationery and our credit card and checking accounts over the coming month.

I am pleased to share with you the new logo in the attached PowerPoint document that shows several versions of the logo as it will appear in various media and on our new stationery.  As directed by the Board, the Name Change Committee began planning for our organizational transition to the Society for Classical Studies and started the process of logo design in October 2013.  We have devoted almost eight months to this effort in order to give the transition the careful deliberation warranted by such a momentous change.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 05/29/2014 - 8:59am by .

The Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis of the Salesian Pontifical University will be organizing an International Conference on the vitality of Latin and the methods to teach and learn it: “Studia Latinitatis provehenda. Vitalità del latino ed esperienze didattiche”.  The conference marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Institute and will be held in Rome from 7th to 8th November 2014.  For further information, please write to convegnolatinitas@unisal.it

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 05/26/2014 - 8:45pm by Adam Blistein.

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