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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Congratulations to Melissa Y. Mueller (Associate Professor of Classics, University of Massachusetts Amherst) for winning the ACLS's Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars.

Her project is "Sappho and Homer: A Reparative Reading" and will take place at the National Humanities Center in 2019-2020.

The full list of Fellowship recipients and their projects can be seen here.

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 10:28am by Erik Shell.

By Andaleeb Badiee Banta (Curator of European and American Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, abanta@oberlin.edu) and Christopher Trinacty (Associate Professor of Classics at Oberlin College, ctrinact@oberlin.edu)

Campus museums can help professors not only to teach about the ancient world, but also to explore connections between different civilizations, time periods, and media. At Oberlin College, professors engage with the collection at the Allen Memorial Art Museum to teach a variety of topics – from philosophy to cinema studies, from anthropology to book studies. This collaboration between professors and the museum’s curators creates evocative and unexpected links for both students and professors, aiding in the interdisciplinary exploration of material.

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 03/04/2018 - 1:31pm by Andaleeb Badiee Banta.
Manuscript of Megillat Esther, dating to the 18th century and currently housed in the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam. Photo by Vassil, licensed under CC0 1.0. Edited (cropped) by C. Bonesho.
In her monthly column, Catherine Bonesho will feature discussions of Greco-Roman age Judaism, the Roman Near East, as well as the American Academy in Rome. For her first monthly column, she explores the Roman context for the Jewish holiday of Purim.

According to historian Amnon Linder, there are approximately 107 imperial Roman laws that concern Jews and Judaism and, for the most part, one can find them in the Theodosian and Justinianic Codes.[1] Roman imperial legislation on Jews and Judaism ranges from discussing circumcision to synagogues and the Sabbath, among other topics. However, one can also find a peculiar law, dating to the early fifth century CE, that establishes Roman policy on the Jewish holiday known as Purim.

This year Purim will be celebrated at sundown on February 28. In this blog, I focus on a Roman law found in the Theodosian Code (16:8:18) that deals with the celebration of Purim and briefly discuss how this law not only aids in understanding Jews and Judaism in Roman antiquity, but also how it helps decipher religious competition during the period known as Late Antiquity (200-800 CE).

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 5:03pm by Catherine Bonesho.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Classical Antiquity: Screening the “political animals” of the Ancient Mediterranean world

An area of multiple panels for the 2018 Film & History Conference:

Citizenship and Sociopathy in Film, Television, and New Media

November 7-12, 2018

Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, Madison, WI (USA)

Full details at: www.filmandhistory.org/conference

DEADLINE for abstracts: 1 June 2018 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 10:20am by Erik Shell.

by Patrice Rankine

One of the precepts of Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces, in fact of his life work of studying myth, generally, is that myth is truer than the truth itself. The metaphoric power of storytelling is such that the story precedes reality. When one deploys the metaphor “my love is a red rose,” the statement suggests the profound truth of the beauty of love, its exquisiteness, its sensual power.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 6:31am by .

By Adrienne K.H. Rose

In her monthly column, Prof. Adrienne K.H. Rose explores issues surrounding translation within Classics. In her first edition, she addresses the challenges of picking the “right” Catullus translation. What does “right” even mean when choosing a translation for class?

Choosing the “right” translation of any Classical author for the classroom is a challenge for most teachers. What is “right” can often be dependent upon factors such as availability and pricing, particularly for students with a textbook budget. For a popular, much-translated poet like Catullus there is a wealth of English-language translations to choose from. Catullus is antiquity’s most modern poet.

His work is raunchy, moody, turbulently charged political and social commentary – my advanced Latin students called him “emo”—his carmina akin to unfiltered Facebook status updates perhaps better left unposted. At the same time they’re fastidious metrically, driven by Hellenic fascination (Grecomania?), and fixated by core human emotions and needs: internal conflict, affection, lust, mourning, and spite. Because Catullus is so contemporary, translations reinvent his persona anew with updated, contemporary language and cultural references.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 02/23/2018 - 5:21am by Adrienne K.H. Rose.
St Andrews Graduate Conference in Ancient Philosophy 2018, on:
 
Teleology, Intelligence and Life in the Platonic and Aristotelian Tradition
 
Teleology plays a central role in both Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophy. It is essential in particular for their cosmological views and their conceptions of intelligence (nous) and life. We are interested in a deeper understanding of both Plato’s and Aristotle’s approach to teleology in all their aspects and the principal differences between them. We invite graduate students to submit high-quality papers on any topic related to teleology within the Platonic or Aristotelian tradition, broadly construed, in antiquity.
 
 Keynote Speakers:
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 2:30pm by Erik Shell.

The Organizer Refereed Panel "Thirty Years of the Jeweled Style" has extended its deadline for abstract submission to March 5th.

See the original CFP here: https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/2017/150/call-abstracts-thir...

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 11:29am by Erik Shell.

Τὰ μεταξύ - Knowing where to draw the line: Intermediates and Dianoia in Plato

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
5353 Parkside Drive
Jupiter, FL 33458

We read in Aristotle’s Metaphysics that Plato regarded mathematical objects as intermediate between forms and particulars (987b14-18). Nowhere in the dialogues does Socrates talk explicitly about these “intermediates,” although it could be argued that there are several texts in which the intermediates are implied. Even if the intermediates were implied, however, it is not at all clear that they match up with the account that Aristotle gives us. The purpose of this event is to reconsider the evidence for and against the intermediates in the Platonic dialogues. Presentations on the ontological status of the objects of dianoia in Plato will be included.

Friday morning until early evening, we will discuss what Aristotle says in his Metaphysics, hear arguments about the implications of his claims and discuss the possibility of intermediates in the Phaedo. Saturday morning until early afternoon there will be presentations of papers and outlines of ideas regarding the possible intermediates in Plato’s Republic and the later dialogues as well as the ontological status of the objects of dianoia.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:43am by Erik Shell.

NEW APPROACHES TO THE ANCIENT GRECO-ROMAN MEDITERRANEAN

A GRADUATE SYMPOSIUM

September 28 – 30, 2018

The Program in Classical and Medieval Studies at Bates College invites papers on any topic related to new approaches to the cultures of the ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean, for a day-long graduate symposium showcasing the work of emerging scholars (recent PhD or ABD) from historically underrepresented groups.

The symposium will showcase new work by individuals from underrepresented groups in the professoriate, specifically defined as including African Americans, Alaska Natives, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 2:08pm by Erik Shell.

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