Letter from President Mary T. Boatwright

As some of you witnessed personally and all can now read (see, e.g., The Chronicle), the 150th Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies last weekend in San Diego was disgraced by two shocking incidents. One occurred when an independent scholar attending a panel told Princeton Assistant Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta that he got his job because he is black. The SCS, after consulting internally and in accordance with our annual meeting harassment policy, notified the scholar that she should no longer attend SCS sessions and events in San Diego. In the other incident, the founders of the Sportula, two students of color, were questioned by a hotel staff member about their presence at the conference. We are in contact with the Marriott. We have reached out to the students to express our support. We also understand that the Marriott has contacted them to better understand their experience and apologize.

But these and other immediate responses, such as the Board statement the SCS passed on the meeting’s last day, by themselves can do little to redress the real and deep-seated problems the incidents disclose about not only US society but also about our field. The events reveal fears, resentments, and anger among our members. Dan-el Padilla Peralta makes the case on Medium that our field “lacks the courage to acknowledge its historical and ongoing inability to value scholars from underrepresented groups.” Other colleagues also express despair at the incidents, which resonate with micro-aggressions, and worse, that they themselves have experienced.

We must confront, meet, and remedy the problems so appallingly revealed in San Diego. It is more than ironic that the accusation of preferential job treatment on the basis of race was made at a special Sesquicentennial panel on “The Future of Classics,” and that the two students representing Sportula had received awards from WCC and LCC for advancing equality and diversity. The future of our discipline depends on expansion and inclusion. Just as importantly, the integrity and value of the Society and of all classicists are inseparable from equity and respect for everyone.

The SCS has been working consciously towards expansion and inclusion since the 1970s, if not before, through changes such as anonymous submissions for the program, the creation of committees to safeguard the rights and promote the interests of specific groups of our members, and the establishment of policies against harassment. There is obviously very much more to be done. I am working with the SCS Past President (2018) and President Elect (2020) Joseph Farrell and Sheila Murnaghan, with the SCS Executive Director Dr. Helen Cullyer, and with the Board of Directors. But everyone must work together and we must listen to one another honestly and openly, for the SCS and our discipline to move forward. In the meantime, we deeply regret the insulting events that occurred at the 2019 SCS annual meeting, and we recommit to effecting change in the field.

Sincerely,  

Mary T. Boatwright, President of the SCS, 2019

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March 6, 2019

RE: Statement to the Field about the State of Classics at the University of Vermont (UVM)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After receiving a number of concerned queries about recent cutbacks to Classics at UVM (Universitas Viridis Montis), the department’s faculty have composed the following statement:

Jeffrey Henderson and Richard Thomas, conducting our Academic Program Review of 2014–2015, concluded their positive assessment as follows:

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 9:08pm by University of Vermont.

The World Upside-Down: Absurdities, Inversions, and Alternate Realities

Columbia University Ancient Mediterranean Graduate Student Conference
November 1-2, 2019. Columbia University in the City of New York, USA.                           

Keynote Speaker:  Patrick R. Crowley (University of Chicago)

In an era of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ it can seem like no form of media should be entirely trusted. While these issues are a modern problem, exacerbated by the unprecedented rise of social media, evidence from the ancient world produces a similar ‘truthiness’: an upside-down world or alternate reality that is latent, barely below the surface of the present and just beyond the borders of civilization and norms. Unlike utopias, which are placeless or displaced, many of these imagined dystopic or feigned worlds are presented as dangerously close to their contemporaries.

We invite papers from graduate students working across disciplines related to the ancient world––and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged––for a conference that will explore the relationships between fact and fiction, order and chaos. From representations of alternate realities in ancient drama, painting, and sculpture, to disparate histories and archaeological evidence, we hope to discuss the motivations behind, and effects of, the absurd, inverted, and alternative.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 03/06/2019 - 3:04pm by Erik Shell.

We are writing for two reasons. First, we reiterate the statement of 1/6/19, authored and approved by the Board of Directors in San Diego. There is no place for racism in our field and we feel that is important to reissue that statement, given the increasing toxicity of online debate and the intensification of online harassment over the last few days:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 03/04/2019 - 9:04am by Helen Cullyer.

Enlightenment: Paideia and Politics

The International Conference of Philosophy is organized every year by the Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture in collaboration with the Region of Western Greece in Ancient Olympia, Greece. The XXVIII World Philosophy Conference will be held in Ancient Olympia, Greece, from July 5 to July 7, 2019.

The 28th International Conference of Philosophy is dedicated to the memory of Leonidas Bargeliotes, Emeritus Professor and Honorary President, and Sotiris Fournaros, Faculty member of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology, Department of Philosophy, University of Athens, who both recently passed away. The aims of the 2019 Conference include an emphasis on exploring Enlightenment.

We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including politics, law, education/paideia, life sciences, and philosophy as well as philosophy and fine arts, and/or other relevant disciplines and fields.

Suggested Thematic Units:

  • Ancient Greek Enlightenment
  • Neoehellenic Enlightenment
  • European Enlightenment
  • Enlightenment and Religion
  • Enlightenment and Culture
  • Enlightenment and Postmodernism
  • Ancient Greek Theatre

Deadlines:

April 30, 2019:  Abstract is due (300-500 words)

May 31, 2019: Full Paper is due (2.500 words)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 03/01/2019 - 11:42am by Erik Shell.
Perseus and Andromeda in landscape fresco Metropolitan Museum_public domain

The Scaife Viewer of the Perseus Project pursues a simple goal: to provide a clear and enjoyable reading experience of the Greek and Latin texts and translations of the Perseus Digital Library. It is the first installment of Perseus 5.0 and eventually will replace Perseus’ current interface, Perseus Hopper, as the primary means for accessing the texts and translations of the Perseus library. In its goal to simplify access to Perseus’ repository of texts, the Scaife Viewer is a success. Its layout is uncluttered, its texts legible, its design refreshing. As a result, the Scaife Viewer is a welcome re-imagining of how users read Perseus texts.

Since it is primarily a redesign of the Perseus interface, the Scaife Viewer’s interventions are both functional and aesthetic. Gone are the floating grey text-boxes, the blurry title card, the distracting Unicode-Betacode display preferences, and the rows of patchwork, horizontal browsing bars. The homepage presents the user with two options: Browse Library and Text Search.

Splash screen of Perseus Scaife viewer

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/01/2019 - 10:42am by Stephen Andrew Sansom.

(Posted, with permission, from Meaningful Funerals)

Dr. John C. Traupman, of Penn Valley / Narberth, PA., a World War II veteran, University Professor, author of translation dictionaries of languages in Latin and German to English, and a prolific author of may Latin related subjects, died on February 18, 2019 at the Bryn Mawr Hospital. He was 96. His wife Pauline Temmel Traupman, whom he was married to for 70 years, died on December 7, 2018.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Thu, 02/28/2019 - 8:49am by Erik Shell.

The Society for Classical Studies would like to clarify that the Society's Committee on Professional Ethics has not censured Prof. Sarah Bond. More details will be forthcoming later.

Helen Cullyer, Executive Director

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 02/27/2019 - 9:49am by Helen Cullyer.

The new Classics Everywhere initiative, recently launched by the SCS, supports projects that seek to introduce and engage communities all over the US with the worlds of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. During the first round of applications, the SCS funded 13 projects, ranging from performances and a cinema series to educational programs and inter-institutional collaborations. In celebration of Black History Month, we’d like to highlight four of the projects funded in this round which aim to shed light on African-Americans’ interaction with the Greek and Roman worlds.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/25/2019 - 6:00am by Nina Papathanasopoulou.

From time to time, T.H.M. Gellar-Goad will be checking in with a member of the discipline to see how they conceptualize or define “productivity” in their own work and in the profession. We’ll ask them the same set of five questions and share their responses, plus perhaps a photo or two from their experiences. These Perspectives on Productivity will present views from a diverse cross-section of our field, people from all sorts of backgrounds, working in all sorts of areas, and at all sorts of stages in their Classics-related journeys. Today we hear from Lindsey Mazurek, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Oregon.

What does “productivity” mean to you as a member of the discipline?

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 02/21/2019 - 9:28am by Lindsey Mazurek.

"Fly me to the moon" The moon in human imagination
University of Genova (Italy) December 12th-13th 2019

From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen Americans on the moon between July 1969 and December 1972.

All kind of events, activities, exhibitions, seminars dedicated to celebrating the first moon landing are understandably spreading everywhere and we want to join the celebrations in our own way.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 12:20pm by Erik Shell.

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