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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In The New York Times on April 5, David Brooks asks a fundamental question: “What is a university for?” (“The Practical University”, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/opinion/Brooks-The-Practical-University.html?ref=davidbrooks&_r=0).  In answering, he distinguishes between “two sorts of knowledge, what the philosopher Michael Oakeshott called technical knowledge and practical knowledge”.  Basically, “technical knowledge” is “the sort of knowledge you need to understand a task”, “like the recipes in a cookbook”, whereas “practical knowledge” is a kind of “practical moral wisdom”, absorbed rather than memorized, acquired and sustained through practice.  According to Brooks, the online revolution in education will have its main effect in the domain of “technical knowledge”, and the real “future of the universities is in practical knowledge”. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 04/15/2013 - 7:56pm by Adam Blistein.

The program for the 2013 edition of the Symposium Cumanum (June 25-27) has been set. If you would like to attend please use the link below. One can also send queries to
charles.gladhill@mcgill.ca
.

http://www.vergiliansociety.org/symposium_cumanum/

“Aeneid Six and Its Cultural Reception”

Villa Vergiliana, Cumae and the University of Naples Federico II, Italy
June 25-27

Sponsored by The Vergilian Society, Harry Wilks Study Center,  Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici University of Naples Federico  II,   British Virgil Society, McGill University,
Accademia Virgiliana di Mantova.

Program

June 24

Cocktails (7:00pm) and Dinner (7:30pm)

June 25

Breakfast (7:30 am)

Greetings and Introduction (9:30-1030)

Session one (10:30-11:45): Pasts of Aeneid Six

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 04/15/2013 - 2:35pm by .

The deadline for all submissions to the APA Program Committee except individual abstracts is this Friday, April 12, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.  (The individual abstract deadline is Wednesday, May 1.)  To make a submission you must be an APA member in good standing for 2013 and create an account at this year's APA program submission system.  Please note these important items.

1.  You must create an account on the program submission system.  It does not automatically contain an account you may have created on the APA's members' only page or on the placement system site. 

2.  The program submission system will not permit you to create an account if you are not in good standing.  If you have not yet paid dues for 2013, and you want to make a submission by the April 12 deadline, you must pay your dues by the close of business tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10 and then wait until Friday, April 12, to make your program submission.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 9:33pm by Adam Blistein.

The New York Times has just published an article on Nuntii Latini the weekly newscast in Latin produced by the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 4:51pm by Adam Blistein.

The International Plutarch Society announces its 10th international congress , to be held on the topic SPACE, TIME AND LANGUAGE IN PLUTARCH’S VISIONS OF GREEK CULTURE: INTROVERSION, IMPERIAL COSMOPOLITANISM AND OTHER FORMS OF INTERACTION WITH THE PAST AND PRESENT. The conference, organized by the University of Patras, will take place at the European Cultural Centre in Delphi, 16-18 May, 2014. For more information contact: Aristoula Georgiadou (University of Patras) ageorgia.gm@gmail.com or Katerina Oikonomopoulou (Humboldt University of Berlin) katerina.oikonomopoulou@gmail.com. See the pdf for more information).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 04/05/2013 - 3:54pm by .

On behalf of Ruth Scodel:

With great sadness we announce the untimely death of Kathryn Bosher, from metastatic lung cancer.  Kathryn came to Michigan from the University of Toronto in 1998 and finished her PhD in 2006.  She was an assistant professor at Northwestern and was going to start a new position at OSU in August 2013.

Kate’s great love was the theater, and the center of her scholarly work was the Greek theater in Sicily and Magna Graecia.  In 2012 she published Theatre Outside Athens:  drama in South Italy and Sicily, proceedings of a conference she organized at Northwestern.  Nobody who saw the production of Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen that she directed for the 2008 Feminism and Classics conference will forget it.

Nobody who had the good fortune to know her will forget her kindness, joy in life, and modesty.  She could even seem diffident, but she had the drive to row in national competitions in single sculls, and her scholarly arguments were energetic as well as thoughtful.  We will miss her, and we offer our deepest condolences to her husband Dale and her young son Ernest.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 12:54pm by .

APA Member, Christopher B. Krebs, Stanford University, has won Phi Beta Kappa's Christian Gauss Award for his work Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich.  Phi Beta Kappa has given the Gauss Award since 1950 for books in the field of literary scholarship and criticism. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/21/2013 - 2:01pm by Adam Blistein.

The Department of Classics at the University of California Berkeley reports with sadness the death of Charles Murgia.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 03/08/2013 - 7:48pm by Adam Blistein.

There has been a lot of talk in the US recently about the importance of encouraging the study of the so-called STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  In the UK, the civil service has long been advocating such an emphasis on STEM, although it is revealing that in the US people still tend to focus on whether this or that education is a good “investment” for the individual, whereas in Britain the government agencies are more concerned with which education is best for society as a whole (on “investment” as the wrong metaphor in the first place, see Bob Connor’s recent post).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 03/06/2013 - 8:40pm by Adam Blistein.

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