A Letter from President Sheila Murnaghan

As we all contend with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, I want to start by highlighting a gratifying fact: the indispensable expert and voice of reason, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, majored in Classics as an undergraduate at Holy Cross!  This is a timely and inspiring reminder that Classics majors go on to distinguish themselves in many different careers and to perform many kinds of vital service.

I also want to emphasize that, despite the ongoing crisis, the SCS is fully up-and-running. Our three fulltime staff members, Helen Cullyer, Cherane Ali, and Erik Shell, have made a seamless transition to working remotely, thanks to careful advance planning on their part. They are maintaining regular business hours even as they work remotely, and are available to help our members however they can.

We have, inevitably, been making other necessary adjustments to our operations.  As has already been announced, we have extended the deadline for submissions to the program for the 2021 Annual Meeting, and our award letters to fellowship recipients will include provisions for deferral of the award if that becomes necessary.  We have now decided to conduct the June meeting of the Program Committee virtually rather than in person.  Other committee and board meetings in 2020 will now be held by remote means. Some of these were already planned as virtual, while others will be virtual in response to COVID-19.

There are, of course, many reasons for concern about how the disruptions caused by the pandemic are affecting members of the Classical Studies community, many of whom are devoting large amounts of time and energy to the transition to remote teaching.  Thanks are especially due to the K-12 teachers who are delivering a fulltime curriculum to students whose access to broadband internet is especially variable, while dealing with a host of other issues, including the needs of those who qualify for school meals. We applaud your service to the students who represent our future.  We are also mindful of the extra stress on graduate students, international students, contingent faculty, and those at early stages of their careers.  The Board of Directors has voted unanimously to endorse a statement by the American Sociological Association calling for adjustments to the review and reappointment processes for tenure-track and contingent faculty. 

In addition, the SCS is calling on all Colleges and Universities offering degree programs in Classical Studies to make fair and compassionate accommodations to their students.  We ask that, where possible, graduate fellowships be extended by a semester or a year, although we realize that this may not possible at all institutions owing to financial pressures.  We also ask that other appropriate adjustments be made on a program-by-program or case-by-case basis, recognizing that the structures and requirements of graduate programs vary widely, and that students whose research requires physical access to museum or library collections or study abroad are disproportionately affected. These accommodations might include extension of the date by which admitted students are required to respond to offers, uninterrupted access to health insurance, enhanced access to electronic resources provided by libraries and publishers, the postponement of exams and other requirements, and extensions to the expected time to degree. We note how important it is for graduate students to be heard, to be given transparent information, and to feel fully supported as they face an even more uncertain academic job market.

With regard to undergraduate programs, we urge institutions to make fair and compassionate accommodations to displaced students. These might include efforts to assure that all students have well-functioning access to remote content and judicious reconsideration of grading and evaluation procedures. Many institutions have already made most or all courses pass / fail or made adjustments to their regular grading scheme.  We also hope that, when current undergraduates eventually apply to graduate programs, their Spring 2020 performance will be evaluated with appropriate understanding of the difficulties they faced. 

Finally, we realize that most if not all students graduating this summer with a Classics degree will not be able to attend graduation ceremonies, which normally mark important milestones and honor significant achievements.  We hope that institutions will find ways to celebrate their graduates remotely. In addition, SCS plans to recognize these students by publishing a list of all Classics graduates in North America in this academic year, at every level from BA through PhD.  The Executive Director will reach out to department chairs in April in order to gather information on eligible students.

I wish you all as healthy and productive a Spring as is possible under the current circumstances.  Take care!

Sheila Murnaghan

SCS President

Categories

Follow SCS News for information about the SCS and all things classical.

Use this field to search SCS News
Select a category from this list to limit the content on this page.

From the SCS Board of Directors, approved 6/3/20

The Society for Classical Studies condemns the relentless horror of police brutality and murder of black men, women, and children, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Rodney King, to name just a few of the victims. Brutality perpetrated by the police and others stands with mass incarceration and unequal access to healthcare, education, and housing as symptoms of longstanding systemic, structural, and institutional racism in American and European cultures. These are deep problems in society that will not be fixed without radical policy changes at every level of government and across all institutions.   

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Wed, 06/03/2020 - 6:20am by Helen Cullyer.

The new Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. As part of this initiative the SCS has been funding a variety of projects ranging from reading groups comparing ancient to modern leadership practices to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. In this post we focus on digital projects that engage with ancient texts and discuss the study of Classics during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/29/2020 - 7:55am by .

Fellowships, Scholarships, and Grants, January – April 2020

Some of our short-term fellowship and Classics Everywhere award winners are deferring use of their awards until Fall 2020 or 2021 owing to COVID-19. However, we congratulate everyone who was awarded a scholarship, fellowship or grant this spring, and we thank our selection committees for their hard work.

TLL Fellowship:

Amy Koenig

Pearson Fellowship:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 5:32pm by Helen Cullyer.

Please see below a message from the SCS President, followed by a listing of 2020 graduates:

With in-person celebrations ruled out by the coronavirus pandemic, the Society for Classical Studies is proud to recognize the many graduates at all levels across North America who have chosen to make serious and sustained study of the ancient Mediterranean world a significant part of their education.  For those who are earning PhD’s, we welcome the new contributions to knowledge that each of you has made, and we pledge our support and guidance as you negotiate an even more challenging professional landscape than you signed up for.  We warmly salute all degree-recipients who are pursuing careers in the vital enterprise of K-12 education.  For those who are going in other directions, we take great satisfaction in the variety of paths you will be following.  We hope the classical world will remain an important part of your lives, and we invite you to visit our website, read our blog, and join the SCS as “Friends of Classics.”  And we count on you as lifelong advocates for the value of studying Greco-Roman and ancient Mediterranean history and culture: please take every opportunity to spread the word that the ancient world still presents us with new questions to investigate and with multiple points of reference for thinking through our present-day concerns.  Heartfelt congratulations to all!

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Mon, 05/25/2020 - 12:11pm by Helen Cullyer.

The Arabic and Latin Glossary (hereafter al-gloss) is a free, online dictionary of the vocabulary used by medieval translators, primarily working in eleventh- to thirteenth-century Italy and Spain, to render the Arabic versions of Greek scientific and philosophical texts and original Arabic compositions into Latin. It is parallel, in terms of its scholarly goals and methodology, to the database Glossarium Graeco-Arabicum (hereafter gloss-ga), which is also run out of Germany but by a different team. In this review, I will refer to gloss-ga because it offers a point of comparison for assessing al-gloss’ editorial decisions and accessibility.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/22/2020 - 3:23pm by .
Books

Loeb Classical Library Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Classics

2021-2023

The Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library Foundation announce funding of four two-year postdoctoral fellowships to be held in the academic years 2021–2023. [A further four fellowships will be funded for the academic years 2022–2024] The details for the first round of competition for these fellowships are as follows:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 05/21/2020 - 2:30pm by Helen Cullyer.

Many congratulations to Erik Shell who graduates today with his M.A. in Education Policy from NYU. Erik has been working part-time on his degree while working full-time for SCS in many roles. He runs the the Placement Service, works on social media and our website, coordinates our departmental membership program, edits video, and does so many other things. Thank you, Erik, for everything you do for SCS and its members, and congratulations on a well-deserved Masters degree!

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/20/2020 - 8:09am by Helen Cullyer.

Have you ever thought about a terminal MA in Classics?

I have to confess, I hadn’t before coming to teach at Boston College, where we have such a graduate program. I had firsthand experience with Classics BAs in colleges that only granted undergraduate degrees, BAs and MAs in PhD-granting departments — heck, even a combined BA/MA program. But a freestanding MA degree that was a purposeful end goal rather than an add-on, an along-the-way, or a no-more-thanks? It never crossed my mind. To judge from the conversations that I’ve had since joining a department with a terminal MA program, I think that’s true of a lot of Classics faculty, as well as for a lot of students. And I also think that has led to some unfortunate misunderstandings about terminal MAs and their contributions, both to the field as a whole and to the personal and professional development of individual students.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/15/2020 - 8:26am by Christopher Polt.

Barbara K. Gold is Edward North Professor of Classics at Hamilton College, Emerita. She received her B.A. at the University of Michigan in 1966, her master’s degree in 1968 and her doctorate in 1975, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on Greek and Roman literature, particularly Roman elegy, lyric, and satire; medieval literature, culture, and history; Roman social history; women in the ancient world; and feminist criticism. A prolific author and recipient of numerous grants and awards, Professor Gold was the first woman editor of The American Journal of Philology from 2000 to 2008 and is currently Vice President for Professional Matters of the Society for Classical Studies. She has also served on numerous college committees and was Associate Dean of Faculty at Hamilton College (1997-2001).

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/08/2020 - 5:01am by Claire Catenaccio.

THE ERICH S. GRUEN PRIZE

On behalf of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), the Erich S. Gruen Prize Committee invites all graduate students in North America to enter the first annual competition for the best graduate research paper on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean. This year the prize will be a cash award of $500. 

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 05/07/2020 - 6:55am by Erik Shell.

Pages

Latest Stories

Public Statements
Presidential Letters
Please see below a message from the SCS President, followed by a list

© 2019, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy