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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Jim Halporn was born in New York City, grew up on Long Island and carried his accent from there for his whole life — much of it spent far from there. His mother Louisa taught English in the public schools. His father Robert brought much of the influence of his Gymnasium education and Viennese values to educating his son. (Much later, in retirement, Robert moved to Bloomington, where he took a number of Latin and Greek classes with his son’s Indiana University colleagues.)

After a year at St. John’s College, Jim entered Columbia College with the full intention of becoming a chemist, despite his strong interest in literature — from childhood he was a constant reader of anything at hand. That interest, the year at St. John’s, and the first-year humanities courses at Columbia influenced his decision by his senior year to major in classics rather than chemistry. He then concentrated on Latin and started Greek in order to prepare for the Masters degree program at Columbia; following that, he earned his Ph.D. at Cornell. His previous scientific training and inclination gave him a discipline and focus that was an asset to his linguistic and philological future. While at Columbia, he was coxswain for the junior varsity crew. Chosen for his very lightweight physique, his winter training consisted of smoking and playing cards while the oarsmen worked out. He was bemused to have earned a letter in the sport.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 6:07pm by Adam Blistein.

Last October Jeffrey Henderson began a discussion of one of the major recommendations to emerge from the APA Board’s March 2012 retreat, that our organization should change its name so as better to reflect who we are and what we aim to do.  In late November he reported to the membership on the over 200 comments received to date, and announced a discussion forum to host further debate.  At our Board meeting in Seattle, we took note of the responses and had a wide-ranging discussion of the views of the membership, which at that point were running about 3 to 1 in favor of a change of name, although without consensus on an alternative. 

After a lengthy and full discussion, the Board voted in favor of a change of name, to “Society for Classical Studies”, with “Founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association” as a permanent subtitle. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 1:20am by Adam Blistein.

On February 6, President Denis Feeney and I on behalf of the APA submitted comments to a British Parliamentary Committee investigating the government’s policy on Open Access (OA). Although most scholars support OA in principle, a recent proposal in the UK, resulting from a high-level report in 2012 (the Finch Report), has raised concerns particularly among scholars in the humanities. The proposal would require all UK research that is supported by public funds to be published in OA journals,  with the costs to be borne by the researchers themselves rather than the journals. The proposal is complex and the issues are difficult, but Denis and I have tried to present a concise summary (as required by the Committee) of our concerns.

I would be happy to hear any comments you might have on the matter.
Michael Gagarin, VP for Publication and Research (gagarin@austin.utexas.edu)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 02/08/2013 - 5:11pm by Adam Blistein.

David C. Young, Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Florida (http://web.classics.ufl.edu/faculty/faculty_o/young.html), died February 5, 2013. An internationally recognized scholar of Pindar and a pioneer in the history of the Olympic games, David was recognized with a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award in 2007 by the International Society of Olympic Historians. He taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1963-1989) and was a visiting professor at Stanford (1974, 1976) and the University of Michigan (1973, 1983) before joining the faculty at the University of Florida where he was a beloved teacher who inspired students for twenty years.

The Department of Classics at the University of Florida will post information here http://web.classics.ufl.edu/index.html regarding a memorial service to be held in his honor in Gainesville, FL. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may assist you to attend.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 4:01pm by Adam Blistein.

As noted earlier, Craig Gibson has been appointed Editor of Transactions effective January 5, 2014.  However, he will handle new submissions effective immediately.  Please send all submissions electronically to tapa@uiowa.edu, following TAPA guidelines.  Katharina Volk will remain the official Editor through 2013 and in charge of producing this year's issues (143.1 and 2).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:07pm by Adam Blistein.

As Chair of the Search Committee, I am happy to report that Professor Craig Gibson of the University of Iowa has accepted our invitation to become the next Editor of the Transactions of the American Philological Association.  Professor Gibson is a distinguished and very productive scholar of ancient literature and its intersections with other aspects of ancient culture.  His term as Editor will run from January 5, 2014 to January 7, 2018.  An announcement concerning the transition of responsibility from current Editor Katharina Volk to Professor Gibson and protocol for submission of manuscripts will soon be published on the web site and in the Association Newsletter.

I want to thank the other members of the Search Committee (John Bodel, Jeff Henderson, Chris Kraus, and Adam Blistein) for their assistance in the completion of this successful search.  I also very much appreciate the interest that the Committee saw from the other highly qualified candidates for this position.  Finally, we are grateful to Department of Classics of the University of Iowa for its support of the arrangements necessary to enable Professor Gibson to accept this position. 

Michael Gagarin
Vice President for Publications and Research

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:48pm by Adam Blistein.

After three weeks, the 144th Annual Meeting in Seattle is receding into history, and it is a good moment to take stock of what a successful meeting it proved to be.  The host department from UW-Seattle, led by Ruby Blondell and Alain Gowing, did a superb job, and we thank them all for helping to make the Meeting such a success.  Even the Northwest weather cooperated to make Seattle a great venue for us: on my fourth visit to Seattle I finally got to see Mt. Rainier.  There was a tremendous program of panels and performances, even if your officers, including the President, were unable to emerge from their seclusion in committee rooms to enjoy more than a small fraction of the riches on offer.

In the Plenary Session, we honored a remarkable group of teachers and scholars for their achievements. From the point of view of our Association’s history and future, the most significant moment in the Plenary Session was the celebration of the triumphant conclusion of the Gateway Campaign, steered to its harbor by President Jeffrey Henderson.  It was a delight to see the Campaign Committee members being honored, and to see Distinguished Service Awards presented to the three visionary and energetic APA members who provided such outstanding leadership from the beginning to the end of the Campaign: Ward W. Briggs, David H. Porter, and Michael C.J. Putnam.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:46pm by Adam Blistein.

"Tools of the Trade" was conceived by Lowell Edmunds as a bibliographic guide for graduate students and others interested in furthering their knowledge of the Roman world. When the expansion of scholarly resources and the growing capabilities of web-based publication made a second edition desirable, Professor Edmunds decided to divide the project into thirteen discrete bibliographies, each with its own editor/compiler.At this point, the project was passed on to Sander M. Goldberg of UCLA, who has assumed responsibility for editing the final documents and posting them on this site. The content and form of each bibliography has been determined by the subject editor, who is identified in the heading for each document.

Download "Tools of the Trade".

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 1:02pm by .

A short conference organised by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Date:  Friday 15th-Saturday 16th March, 2012

The starting point for this conference is the lively and controversial figure of Caesarius, bishop of Arles from 502-542. Both Caesarius and the time in which he lived have been seen as emblematic of the cusp between the ancient and medieval eras. This conference brings together scholars from diverse backgrounds in order to throw light on this fascinating figure, an eventful period of late antique history, and the rich material culture of southern Gaul.

Friday 15th March Opening Lecture, 5pm

William Klingshirn (Catholic University of America): ‘Caesarius of Arles: 1970-2042: retrospect and prospect’

Saturday 16th March Day Conference (9am-6pm)

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/10/2013 - 2:08pm by .

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