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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8th Trends in Classics
Thessaloniki International Conference on Roman Drama

May 29-June 1, 2014  

(To be held in Auditorium I,
Aristotle University, Research Dissemination Center
September 3rd Avenue, University Campus  
http://kedea.rc.auth.gr)

Roman Drama and its Contexts

Scholarship, especially in the past, has been reading Roman drama from the perspective of its relation to Greek and Roman prototypes, and its historical context and evolution. Contemporary readings, following recent groundbreaking work based on intertextual, dramatological, performative, psychoanalytical, feminist, gender oriented approaches, philosophical analysis and aesthetics, etc., offer new valuable insights into Roman drama’s poetics and cultural impact.

The conference aims at focusing on the interpretation of Roman comedy, tragedy and the fragments on the basis of such diverse approaches, as mentioned above. By highlighting the various aesthetic, social and historical parameters, the papers are expected to explore ways in which Roman comic and tragic texts fit into their narrower and/or broader textual and cultural contexts.

Organizing Committee

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 07/24/2013 - 8:23pm by .

The APA is a member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), a consortium of over a hundred scholarly and professional associations; higher education associations; organizations of museums, libraries, historical societies and state humanities councils; university-based and independent humanities research centers; and colleges and universities.  NHA monitors national legislation and policy affecting the humanities and informed us this week that the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has recommended that the 2014 fiscal year appropriation for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) be $79 million, a 49% reduction from its 2013 appropriation of $154.3 million. 

The NHA’s web site contains more information about this recommendation as well as a mechanism that APA members can use to write to their Representatives about a level of funding that would seriously reduce the NEH’s ability to support research in the humanities and share the work of humanities scholars with a wider public.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 5:13pm by Adam Blistein.

We are posting a call for signatures to a petition launched by our colleagues in Bern, Switzerland, and circulated by Prof. Thomas Späth, the President of the Swiss Association of Classical Philologists.  As you will see from the message, the canton of Bern is proposing to abolish the study of Greek (and Russian) in high schools.  This is a bad enough step in itself, but if successful it may start a domino effect and make the other cantons consider the abolition of Greek as well.  We thought this was an important petition to draw to your attention, and we urge members to read the message and to consider signing the petition.

Denis Feeney

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 3:10pm by Adam Blistein.

Jennifer Ebbler, Associate Professor at UT Austin, in The Chronicle (http://chronicle.com/article/Introduction-to-Ancient/140475/)

"I spent last year "flipping" my 400-student "Introduction to Ancient Rome" course. For those unfamiliar with the term, "flipping a class" means that students watch lectures online outside of class and then spend class time participating in discussions and working on problems.

"It's a concept that has gotten an undeservedly bad name because supporters of so-called disruptive education have tied it to the controversial massive-open-online-course movement, which says students are served just as well, if not better, by an absent "star" professor than by faculty members employed by their university."

Read more …

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 2:38pm by Information Architect.

A CAMNE Conference at Durham University
20-22 September 2013
Department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham University, 38 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3EU, England

'The cosmos of a polis is manpower, of a body beauty, of a soul wisdom, of an action virtue, of a speech truth, and the opposites of these make for acosmia.'

- Gorgias, Encomium of Helen 1

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 1:24pm by .

The Chronicle of Higher Education has recently published three articles arguing against the "conventional wisdom" about enrollments in the humanities and financial outcomes of humanities students.  They are by

Alexander Beecroft, Executive Director of the American Comparative Literature Association

Michael Berube, Past President of the Modern Language Association

Anthony Grafton and James Grossman, Past President and Executive Director, respectively, of the American Historical Association. 

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 07/04/2013 - 8:00pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA Office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, 2013.  We will reopen on Monday, July 8.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 1:40pm by Adam Blistein.

Tutto Theatre Company of Austin, Texas, proudly announces the world premiere of Zeus in Therapy, an original theatrical experience adapted from the unpublished poetry of Douglass Stott Parker by the company, and directed by Gary Jaffe.  In 1979, Prof. Parker began writing Zeus in Therapy, a cycle of 52 poems which imagines Zeus on the therapist’s couch. Parker did not ‘finish’ it, though he stopped writing in about 1993, and left it unpublished during his lifetime. Every new poem in the cycle was shared both on his office door and with his classes on a weekly basis for some 25 years. Parker’s poetry is whimsical and profound, cosmic and quotidian, thoughtful and irreverent, but always heartfelt and true. The Company’s translation of Zeus in Therapy into a theatrical experience will bring the power of his words to an even larger audience.

In this adaptation, a diverse ensemble of eleven performers will play Zeus, giving Parker’s words a dynamic range of expression.  Zeus in Therapy runs August 16th through 25th at the Rollins Studio Theater in The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 1:01pm by Adam Blistein.

From The New York Times:

For the last time: Archimedes did not invent a death ray.

An oil painting of Archimedes by Giuseppe Patania, an early 19th century Italian artist, hangs in Palermo. Two inventions credited to Archimedes, death rays and steam cannons, have proved to be stubborn myths.

But more than 2,200 years after his death, his inventions are still driving technological innovations — so much so that experts from around the world gathered recently for a conference at New York University on his continuing influence.

The death ray legend has Archimedes using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to incinerate Roman ships attacking his home of Syracuse, the ancient city-state in the southeast Sicily. It has been debunked no fewer than three times on the television show “Mythbusters” (the third time at the behest of President Obama).

Read more…

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 06/26/2013 - 1:07pm by Information Architect.

On June 19 the Amiercan Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) released the report of its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a group formed over two years ago in response to a request from members of Congress for a report that would respond to the following question:  What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century? 

Louis Cabot, Chair of the Academy Board, described the report in the following message to Academy Fellows:

I am pleased to announce that the Academy's Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences released its report The Heart of the Matter on Capitol Hill this morning.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 06/20/2013 - 1:11pm by Adam Blistein.

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