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 deadline to submit an individual abstract for the 2019 SCS Annual Meeting in San Diego is 11:59p.m. on Wednesday, April 25th

SCS members can submit their abstracts via the Program Submission Site here: https://program.classicalstudies.org/

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 04/17/2018 - 2:52pm by Erik Shell.

Latin Lexicography Summer Workshop: 30 July – 4 August, 2018

Thesaurus linguae Latinae Institute

Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich

                The Thesaurus linguae Latinae Institute announces its first annual Latin Lexicography Workshop, a one-week event in Munich, July 30 to August 4, 2018. We invite participation by researchers at any stage in their career whose work involves the rigorous evaluation of Latin words in any aspect, ranging from their use in specific texts or their changing significance across the entire corpus of ancient Latin. In addition to philology, relevant disciplines include conceptual and intellectual history, epigraphy, linguistics, literary and textual criticism, medieval and Renaissance studies, philosophy, and theology.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 04/16/2018 - 8:48am by Erik Shell.
Header: Achilles cedes Briseis to Agamemnon, from the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii, fresco, 1st century CE (Naples National Archaeological Museum. Image via Wikimedia and is in the Public Domain)

Troy: Fall of a City is a joint effort by Netflix and the BBC to repackage the Trojan War story as the next season of Game of Thrones. Producers David Farr, Derek Wax, and Christopher Aird didn’t have dig too deep to find the material they needed within the ancient myth: blood-thirsty kings, violent battle scenes, forbidden love, and powerful beings flying down from the sky. The Epic Cycle has it all and, since Troy (2004, starring Brad Pitt) hit the theaters nearly 15 years ago, perhaps we were due for another rendering.

Released in the U.S. on April 6th, the 8-episode series is ambitious, to say the least. Its writers wanted to tell the story of the fall of the mythological city of Troy and this, perhaps, is a bit hubristic. After all, Homer’s Iliad (which consists of over 15,000 lines of poetry and would have taken over 15 hours to perform) only covers the “wrath of Achilles,” roughly a 40-day period near the end of the 10-year war. But Troy: Fall of a City has restricted its plot substantially. Rather than including as many heroes and all of the scenes from the Iliad as they could, the writers chose to focus on Paris (aka Alexander, played by Louis Hunter) and Helen (Bella Dayne).

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 04/15/2018 - 5:22pm by Debra Trusty.
NEH Logo

April, 2018

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Jennifer Ferriss-Hill (University of Miami) - "The Ancient Roman Poet Horace's "Art of Poetry" and the Art of Living"
  • Heidi Morse (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) - "Black Women an the Classical Traditions of Greece and Rome in 19th-Century America"
  • Jenifer Neils (American School of Classical Studies at Athens) - "Long-term Research Fellowships at The American School of Classical Studies at Athens"
  • Dean Smith (Cornell University) - "Humanities Open Book Program - Cornell University III"
  • Peter Meineck (Aquila Theatre Company Inc.) - "Citizen Soldiers: Ancient and Modern Expressions of War"
  • Aaron Johnson (Lee University) - "Philosophy and Tradition in the Contra Julianumby Cyril of Alexandria (c. 375-444)"
  • Jessica Powers (San Antonio Museum of Art) - "Sacred Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth in Ancient Rome"
  • Denise McCoskey (Miami University, Oxford) - "Eugenics and Classical Scholarship in Early 20th-Century America"

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View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Fri, 04/13/2018 - 9:25am by Erik Shell.

Seminar on Plato at Syracuse

June 4-5, 2018
Sicily Center for International Education, Siracusa

A seminar on Plato at Syracuse will be held in Siracusa, June 4-5, just before the Fourth Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Heritage of Western Greece.  The goal of this project is to understand Plato’s involvement with Syracuse and Southern Italy in a multidisciplinary way and produce a volume which combines a new translation of the Seventh Letter with original essays from scholars of varying disciplines.

Scholars interested in participating in the seminar should contact Heather Reid, fontearetusa1@gmail.com, no later than May 1, 2018.  If you would like to propose a paper for the volume, you must provide a full-text draft (maximum 5,000 words) in Chicago style, prepared for blind review, before the May 1st deadline so we can include it in the seminar book.  You may contribute a paper without participating in the seminar and you may participate in the seminar without contributing a paper.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 04/12/2018 - 2:43pm by Erik Shell.

Below are this year's Pedagogy Award winners and their projects.

Michael Okyere Asante (Stellenbosch University and University of Ghana)

  • The award supports travel costs from South Africa to London in order to present at the Classical Association Conference. The research explored two schools in Ghana and their integration of Classics into their curriculum.
Bret Mulligan (Haverford College) and Christopher Francese (Dickinson College)
  • This award supports the work required for the digitization of Index Apuleianus by William Abbott Oldfather. The work will convert it into a fully lemmatized text and database.
T. H. M. Gellar-Goad (Wake Forest University): 
  • With this award Prof. Gellar-Goad will fund approximately 50 students’ travel to perform adaptations of Aristophanes and Plautus for the North Carolina Junior Classical League state convention in April 2019.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 04/12/2018 - 2:26pm by Erik Shell.

A new Classics program has started up at Southern Virginia University. The university now offers a Major and Minor in Classical Studies, with classes in Greek and Latin as well as history, philosophy, and the arts.

Join us in congratulating them and the expansion of our field!

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(Photo: "Main Hall" by Carol M. Highsmith, public domain)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 04/12/2018 - 8:56am by Erik Shell.
Detail of Thalia from the Sarcophagus of the Muses, late 2nd century CE, Thassian marble, Archaeological Museum of Ostia. Photo taken by Krishni Burns, unpublished.

This blog entry is the first in a new series, Letters from CAMP, that will appear throughout the year and explore the various practicalities and benefits of the performance of ancient drama in its many forms.

Two years ago at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies, a Senior Scholar of great distinction stood in the middle of a room crowded with many of the finest minds in classical scholarship, looked around, and said loudly, “Look at all these f**king a**holes.”  To the best of my knowledge, this was a first. Most scholars have been tempted to say the same when faced with a crowd of SCS conference goers, but most are a bit more circumspect in their language. 

In this instance, context is everything. The lady in question was performing the part of Poseidon, reworked in a modern aesthetic, at a staged reading of Aristophanes’ Birds organized by the Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) in conjunction with Stanford Classics in Theater. Rather than gasping in shock, the audience laughed and applauded.  In the context of comedy, it’s possible to say what everyone might be thinking, with no harm done and no bones broken. 

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 04/11/2018 - 4:25pm by Krishni Burns.

Medea on the Contemporary Stage and Screen

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)
Nov. 9-11, 2018, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

In recent years, the afterlives of Greek tragedy have received special attention in the rapidly expanding field of classical reception studies. With reincarnations ranging from Japanese Noh theater to the Mexican screen, Euripides’ Medea is now more than ever a truly global “classic.” The time is ripe for dedicated focus on Medea and its traditions in contemporary theater and film.

The panel organizers (Zina Giannopoulou, University of California, Irvine; Jesse Weiner, Hamilton College) invite proposals for papers on receptions of Euripides’ Medea on the contemporary stage and screen, to be presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. The conference will take place Nov. 9-11, 2018 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Questions papers might address include but are not limited to:

  • Medea assumes many roles in Euripides’ play, from abject suppliant to dea ex machina. How do recent adaptations of Medea portray Medea’s inherent theatricality?

  • How have different translations of Medea affected the performance of the play?

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 04/11/2018 - 11:06am by Erik Shell.

I Congreso Internacional Inovação Docente – Instrumentos e Ferramentas na Investigação das Línguas Clássicas / Inovación docente. Instrumentos y herramientas en la investigación de las Lenguas Clásicas

Centro de Estudos Clássicos (CEC-FLUL)
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal)
3 y 4 de diciembre 2018

En la mayor parte de los países occidentales los Estudios Clásicos se encuentran hoy en una prolongada crisis que ha significado la reducción, más o menos drástica, del número de alumnos tanto en la Enseñanza Secundaria como en la Superior. En este contexto urge repensar los procesos de enseñanza y aprendizaje y para este fin se convoca el I Congreso Innovación Docente – Instrumentos y Herramientas en la Investigación de las Lenguas Clásicas, encuentro científico que pretende clarificar el estado de la cuestión pero también estimular y divulgar nuevos abordajes de la enseñanza de las lenguas y culturas clásicas.

Organizado por el "Centro de Estudos Clássicos" de la Facultad de Letras de la Universidad de Lisboa, este congreso se realiza en colaboración con varias universidades ibéricas, a saber:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:13am by Erik Shell.

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