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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Chanel took over New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts on December 4 for its annual Arts et Métiers fashion show. This year’s theme? Egypt. Except that, in many ways, it was not. What, and most importantly, who was showcased, then? The answer is unsurprisingly predictable, yet for this very reason, it powerfully illuminates the current, Orientalist and colonial reception of ancient Egypt in contemporary fashion and pop culture, and the ways in which this reception hasn’t changed much (if at all) since Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of the country in the late 18th century.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/14/2019 - 5:40am by Katherine Blouin.

Call for Papers
Sapiens Ubique Civis VII – Szeged 2019

PhD Student and Young Scholar Conference on Classics and the Reception of Antiquity
Szeged, Hungary, August 28–30, 2019

The Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Szeged, Hungary is pleased to announce its International Conference Sapiens Ubique Civis VII – Szeged 2019, for PhD Students, Young Scholars, as well as M.A. students aspiring to apply to a PhD program.

The aim of the conference is to bring together an international group of young scholars working in a variety of periods, places, languages, and fields. Papers on a wide range of classical subjects, including but not limited to the literature, history, philology, philosophy, linguistics and archaeology of Greece and Rome, Byzantinology, Neo-Latin studies, and reception of the classics, as well as papers dealing with theatre studies, comparative literature, contemporary literature, and fine arts related to the Antiquity are welcome.

Lectures: The language of the conference is English. Thematic sessions and plenary lectures will be scheduled. The time limit for each lecture is 20 minutes, followed by discussion. It is not possible to present via Skype.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:47am by Erik Shell.

Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Rutgers University, May 31 - June 1, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Kristina Killgrove, UNC Chapel Hill

Human activity is regulated by the constant need to acquire and consume food. Assuredly, food and drink played a significant role in antiquity just as now, and, since we all must eat and drink, we naturally become curious about what and how our distant ancestors ate and drank (Alcock 2006). The study of food and drink in the ancient world expanded tremendously in the 1990s and has continued to do so in the decades following (e.g. Davison 1997, Garnsey 1999, Wilkins and Hill 2006). This resultant trend is partly owed to a focus in research less preoccupied with the great deeds of great men, but one open to seeing antiquity as a period that offers a wealth of information on the varied life of the everyday world (Donahue 2015).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:36am by Erik Shell.

The 49th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest (CAPN) at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, has been rescheduled for April 5-6, 2019. As such we are renewing the Call for Papers. Please see below for the timeline for the submission process.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Donna Zuckerberg, editor of Eidolon and author of Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age. This lecture will be open to the general public as well.

Keynote Title and Abstract: Who's Revitalizing Homer?: The Relevance and Risks of Classical Reception Today
Recently, a surprising group has taken up the mantle of explaining why the study of the ancient Greeks and Romans remains vitally important: the alt-right. Alt-right thinkers present themselves as protectors of the Classics who are saving the cultural heritage of the West from social-justice-warrior professors who secretly want to destroy it. In this lecture, Donna Zuckerberg explores what antiquity means to far-right online communities and what progressive classicists can do to respond.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:16am by Erik Shell.
Header Image: Athena looks on as Oedipus slays the Sphinx (Attic red-figured lekythos, 420-400 BCE now at the British Museum).

On Thursday evening at the annual meeting of the SCS, together with about 150 others, I witnessed, experienced, and participated in something beautiful. With the enthusiastic support of the SCS, Classics and Social Justice, and the organization I work for, the Onassis Foundation USA, playwright and activist Luis Alfaro shared with a captivated audience his heart, his brilliance, and his creativity, a shining example of the good that can be done with and to Classics, and the reach our discipline can have to new, perhaps unexpected audiences. I resist here the urge to discuss some of the painful ugliness we saw at our meeting, leaving only a hint of it in the title I originally thought of for this piece, because I do not want to take away from the light Luis brought to us.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 01/10/2019 - 8:59pm by Young Richard Kim.

The Classical Association of the Atlantic States is seeking applications for the position of Webmaster. The Webmaster will serve a three-year term, with the first term beginning immediately after the 2019 CAAS Board Meeting on Saturday, April 13 and running through the end of the Fall 2021 Annual Meeting. The position carries a stipend of $3,000 per annum, and may be renewed for more than one term.  Time commitment will vary during the year but may be up to 7.5 hours per week during peak times.

The general responsibilities of the Webmaster according to the CAAS Bylaws:

The Webmaster shall maintain and update the Corporation’s website and manage all on-line functions associated with the website.

A more detailed description of the responsibilities are listed in the CAAS Regulations and Operating procedures. The applicable functions are:

The Webmaster, a Board-appointed officer serving a three-year renewable term, shall:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:04am by Erik Shell.

(Cross-posted from @libertinopatren)

Are you a classicist at any stage of your career? (From high school to tenured professor)

Do you self-identify as part of a group that's faced structural barriers to educational success? (e.g. BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ+, working class, student parent...)

This is a conference BY us and FOR us, to showcase our excellence!

The conference will be online: Saturday, June 22nd.

Students will have their papers read/developed with UC Berkeely Ph.D. students. Professors: Show the next generation the brilliance of classicists like us!

To Submit: Paper presentations (OR creative performances like poetry/art), 15-20 minutes in length, on any classical topic.

Send submissions and questions to libertinopatrenatus@gmail.com.

Conference will be hosted by The Sportula (twitter.com/libertinopatreon)

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/10/2019 - 9:19am by Erik Shell.

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.

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Wed, 01/09/2019 - 9:17pm by Helen Cullyer.

The Board of Directors of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) condemns the racist acts and speech that occurred at the 2019 SCS annual meeting. The Society’s policy on harassment addresses, among other things, hostility and abuse based on race and ethnicity. There is no place for racism on the part of members, attendees, vendors, and contractors at the meeting.  In addition, the Board reaffirms its statement of November 2016 in which the directors condemned “the use of the texts, ideals, and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the Classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely-imagined and narrowly-conceived western civilization.” 

January 6, 2019

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Sun, 01/06/2019 - 7:36pm by Helen Cullyer.

Perhaps paradoxically, Classicists spend a lot of time thinking about the future of our field. Although we spend the majority of our working days researching ancient material, teaching such material to students, and thinking about the particulars of a Latin text, North African relief, Hellenistic religious rite, or exceptionally obscure Greek gnome (e.g. “Water is best”), we often wonder (with various levels of anxiety) how such work will be done in the future, or if there will even be Classics in the future.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/04/2019 - 6:18am by Christopher Trinacty.

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