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 order to prepare for the SCS’s upcoming sesquicentennial at the annual meeting in San Diego from January 3–6, 2019, the SCS blog is highlighting panels, keynotes, and workshops from the schedule. This week we are focusing on the Podcasting the Classics panel (8:00am–10:30am on Saturday, Jan. 5) by pointing to some resources for those who want to explore the medium more fully. 

Today we feature a set of podcasts in which the host(s) present material about the ancient world directly to audiences, focusing variously on history, biography, culture, literature, archaeology, and reception. We’ve tried to select series that represent the enormous chronological, topical, and tonal variety that can be found in classics podcasts today (but there are so many available options that we simple couldn’t list everything here, so apologies to all the excellent podcasters we didn’t get to include!).

History of Egypt (w/ Dominic Perry)

https://egyptianhistorypodcast.com

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 12/25/2018 - 9:19am by Christopher Polt.

In order to prepare for the SCS’s upcoming sesquicentennial at the annual meeting in San Diego from January 3–6, 2019, the SCS blog is highlighting panels, keynotes, and workshops from the schedule. This week we are focusing on the Podcasting the Classics panel (8:00am–10:30am on Saturday, Jan. 5) by pointing to some resources for those who want to explore the medium more fully.

In Epistles 2.1, Horace argues that poets are useful to the city because they can teach the young how to speak, turn people’s ears from crude discourse, and mold the hearts of others with kindly teachings. And what fuels their work? Why, “they live on pods” (vivit siliquis, 2.1.123)!

Horace is thinking legumes, but the same could easily be said of a different kind of pod—the podcast, or siliquasparsio, si licet Latine—which in recent years has helped to cultivate new audiences for classical studies and to find new avenues through which to share knowledge about the classical world. There’s now a podcast for almost every taste: the general public eager to fill their commute and feed their fascination with antiquity; teachers looking for alternative ways to engage with their students; professional classicists seeking metascholarly insights; and so on.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 12/24/2018 - 6:09am by Christopher Polt.
San Diego Reflecting Pond

Luis Alfaro

From the Ancient to the Streets of L.A.: Imagining the Greek Classics for Communities Today

Thursday, January 3, 8:15-9:30PM

San Diego Marriott Marquis at the Marina

Marriott Grand Ballroom 9

Hosted by the SCS and co-organized by Classics and Social Justice and the Onassis Foundation USA


In his lecture, playwright Luis Alfaro, author of Mojada and Oedipus El Rey, guides us on a journey from Athens to East L.A. as we connect the ancient myths and bring them alive for contemporary audiences today. Socrates reminds us that storytelling changes and grows, but do stories ever lose their meaning and power? Come discover the journey that makes these classics still essential today.

Luis Alfaro works in theater, performance, poetry and is an associate professor at the University of Southern California. A Chicano born and raised in the Pico-Union district of downtown Los Angeles, Alfaro is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant”, awarded to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields. He is the first Playwright-in-Residence in the 84-year history of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the largest repertory theatre company in the United States, serving for six seasons (2013-2019).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 12/20/2018 - 10:14pm by Helen Cullyer.

As the field of Classical Studies has sought to maintain its relevance in our ever-changing modern world, it has begun to incorporate new approaches. Today there is much more scholarship on topics such as gender, sexuality, and race in the ancient world, for example, than there was even thirty years ago. Much of this change has resulted from the incorporation of theoretical frameworks from fields outside of classical studies, including literary criticism, gender and sexuality studies, and social theory. Yet there is still so much work to be done, especially when it comes to understanding marginal groups in antiquity, such as women, ethnic minorities, and sexual minorities.

One framework that has been underutilized in the field of Classical Studies is global/transnational feminism, a feminist approach that challenges the tendencies of Western feminism to universalize the Western experience onto other cultures. Global/transnational feminism instead examines the diverse experiences of women and sexual minorities across the globe and takes into consideration how the intersections of cultural, economic, religious, social, and political structures impact individuals in different places.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/20/2018 - 9:22pm by Andrea F. Gatzke.
Map of Atlantis by Athanasius Kircher, Mundus subterraneus, vol. 1. (Amsterdam 1678) (Image in the Public Domain via Wikimedia).

A recent surge of critical focus on pseudoscience and classics focused on issues from Hippocrates and scientific racism to the racial bias of Ancient Aliens sees scholars doing the work to convince our field that classicists, historians, and archaeologists ought to take action to address the dissemination of pseudoscientific views in popular media.[1] Yet once we’ve accepted that we should confront pseudoscience in classics and archaeology, we find ourselves confronted with a rather different question: how can we best teach this in our classrooms?

When I was assigned as a teaching assistant for Intro to Greek Art and Archaeology last winter, I admit my first feeling was of slight trepidation: outside one requisite archaeology course for my bachelor’s degree, my classical training had skewed heavily toward philology and literary analysis.[2] How could I hope to leave a lasting impression on fifty students, with material I hadn’t “officially” studied in a course since my own freshman year, with only one fifty-minute discussion section per week?

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 5:09pm by Ana Maria Guay.

Reframing Wisdom Literature: Problematising Literary and Religious Interactions in Ancient Wisdom Texts 

Postgraduate Conference
Department of Classics, King’s College London, 30th-31st May 2019 
 
Keynote speaker: Prof. Dimitri Gutas, Yale University 
Organisers: Sara De Martin and Anna Lucia Furlan

Introduction 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:44am by Erik Shell.
NEH Logo

December, 2018

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Suzanne Obdrzalek (Claremont McKenna College) - "Plato's Philosophy of Mind: Soul, Body and Forms in Plato's Oeuvre"
  • William Seales (University of Kentucky Research Foundation) - "Reading the Invisible Library: Rescuing the Hidden Texts of Herculaneum
    Project Description: The continued development of computerized techniques to recover writings from the Herculaneum library, the entire collections of which were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 BCE
  • Thomas Keeline (Washington University in St. Louis) - "Latin Textual Scholarship in the Digital Age: An Open-Access Critical Edition of Ovid's Ibis and its Scholia"
  • Rachana Kamtekar (Cornell University) - "Human Agency and Cause from Aristotle to Alexander"
  • Katharina Volk (Columbia University) - "The Politics of Knowledge in Late Republican Rome"
  • Paul Iverson (Case Western Reserve University) - "The 2,000-Year-Old Calculator Known as the Antikythera Mechanism and Ancient Greek Calendars"

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View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:37am by Erik Shell.

NACGLE 2020


The 3rd North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy

“Inscriptions and the Epigraphic Habit”

January 5-7, 2020
Washington DC

Call for papers:

The third North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy will be held January 5-7, 2020, in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of the American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (ASGLE), and with support from Georgetown University.

The congress will be held immediately following the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies in Washington DC (January 2-5, 2020), and will include thematic panels on a variety of topics, a poster session, and possible excursions. We invite papers that present epigraphy related to the ancient world from the archaic period through late antiquity.

The congress organizing committee is pleased to invite individual abstracts for the parallel sessions (for papers of 20 minutes) and for the poster session.

Panels may be devoted some of the following themes:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:14am by Erik Shell.

BRITAIN'S EARLY PHILOSOPHERS (Durham, April 1-2, 2019)

The Durham Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (http://dcamp.uk) is hosting a two-day workshop on Britain's Early Philosophers and is seeking abstracts for contributed talks on any aspect of philosophy and philosophers born in or living in Britain before 1000.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:54am by Erik Shell.
San Diego

The local guide to San Diego is now available!  Many thanks to our local arrangements committee.

As a reminder, December 14 is the deadline to sign up for our Career Networking session and to make a hotel reservation at our group rate. 

See our 2019 Annual Meeting page for details.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 12/12/2018 - 9:53am by Helen Cullyer.

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