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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I want to thank the more than 200 APA members who responded to my recent request for comments about the proposal from the Board of Directors that we consider changing the name of the Association. I am currently preparing a summary of their comments and suggestions and will post it just before or after Thanksgiving. That will initiate a public discussion that the Board wants to be as open and inclusive as possible. Information Architect Sam Huskey has been developing a new blogging mechanism that will permit Board and committee members to post articles and allow members and friends to respond. The Board believes that public discussion of the issue of the name change is a good way to inaugurate this new effort on our part to take advantage of electronic media. This discussion will inform the deliberations of the Board of Directors when it meets, as usual, at the annual meeting in January and determines the next steps we should take in reaching a decision on this important issue.

With best regards,
Jeff Henderson

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 11/08/2012 - 3:19pm by Adam Blistein.

The Ancient World Mapping Center is pleased to release version 2.0 of the Antiquity à la Carte application. Version 1.0 appeared in spring 2012 and served as a proof of concept for the mapping application. The application, engineered by Ryan Horne, provides the user with a map base that can be populated by drawing on the collective databases of the Ancient World Mapping Center and the Pleiades Project. The new version, more fully featured, offers the user a range of new capabilities, including:

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Fri, 11/02/2012 - 11:24pm by .

Because of Hurrican Sandy, the University of Pennsylvania, where the APA is based, has suspended operations for Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30.  The APA Office will therefore be closed on those days.  We will respond to e-mail and telephone messages as soon as possible.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 10/28/2012 - 6:45pm by Adam Blistein.

Details of academic sessions at the 144th Annual Meeting in Seattle are now posted.  On this page see links to information about the program and logistics of attending the meeting.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 8:33pm by Adam Blistein.

Dear members and friends,

As promised in my May letter about APA strategic planning (see the link below), I am writing to invite comment on the Board's unanimous view that we should change the name of our association.  The Board is divided between American Classical Association or the Classical Association of North America, so would be interested to know which you prefer, or whether you can suggest a better name.  Whether or not to change the name of TAPA would be decided at a later stage.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 10/08/2012 - 2:51pm by Adam Blistein.

The following members were chosen in the elections held this Summer.  They take office on January 6, 2013, except for the two new members of the Nominating Committee who take office immediately.

President-Elect

Kathryn J. Gutzwiller

Financial Trustee

Ralph J. Hexter

Vice President, Professional Matters

John F. Miller

Vice President, Publications and Research

Michael Gagarin

Board of Directors

Sarah Iles Johnston

Ralph M. Rosen

Nominating Committee

Joshua T. Katz

Jennifer T. Roberts

Education Committee Member

Sally W. Morris

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:17pm by Adam Blistein.

I am very pleased to report that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made an additional grant of $300,000 to the American Philological Association (APA) for its Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign to raise an Endowment for Classics Research and Teaching.  This grant, like the Foundation’s earlier gift of $325,000 in September 2008, supports the production of Classics bibliography through the American Office of L’Année philologique.  It also enables the APA to exceed all matching fund requirements of the challenge grant awarded to the Association by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in June 2006. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 5:41pm by Adam Blistein.

The Classical Works Knowledge Base (CWKB) is a new service of the American Philological Association developed under the direction of Eric Rebillard (Cornell University). The project was supported by a grant made to the American Philological Association (APA) in 2010 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CWKB contain information for the retrieval of citations from ancient Greek and Latin texts--from Homer (8 c. BC) to Bede (mid 8 c. AD)-- in the following online resources: Brepols Library of Latin Texts, Perseus Library, PHI Latin Texts,  Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.

CWKB adopts an OpenURL approach. It is both a relational database and a link resolver software. The relational database stores metadata about authors and works; the link resolver parses the OpenURLs, makes a lookup in the relational database, and returns links to digital libraries of Greek and Latin literatures. This web page has more information.

L'Année philologique online is the first resource to use CWKB for linking citations of ancient texts to digital libraries of text.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 8:14pm by Adam Blistein.

The Humanities Research Center at Rice University hosts up to three interdisciplinary visiting professors each year. The fellowship term ranges from one semester to one year.  Fellows teach one humanities course, participate in special symposia, and take part in an informal lecture series. Applicants must hold a tenured/tenure-track position and have received the PhD no later than June 2010. Annual salaries are commensurate with rank and length of term. Non-US scholars are especially encouraged to apply.  Applications for 2013-14 due October 29, 2012. See http://hrc.rice.edu for information.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 2:10pm by Adam Blistein.

From the Guardian (8/31/2012)

Alarmed by a decline in the use of Latin within the Catholic church, Pope Benedict is planning to set up a Vatican academy to breathe new life into the dead language.

Long used by the Vatican as its lingua franca, Latin is currently promoted by a small team within the office of the Holy See's secretary of state, which runs a Latin poetry competition and puts out a magazine.

But Benedict – a staunch traditionalist – is backing a plan for a new academy which would team up with academics to better "promote the knowledge and speaking of Latin, particularly inside the church," Vatican spokesman Fr Ciro Benedettini said on Friday.

Read more …

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 8:57pm by Information Architect.

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