In Memoriam Barbara F. McManus

I am very sorry to report that Barbara F. McManus died this morning after a long and very brave battle with cancer.  Professor McManus received her B.A. from the College of New Rochelle, summa cum laude, in 1964 and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard in 1975.  She began teaching at the College of New Rochelle as an Instructor in 1967 and remained there until she retired from the post of Professor of Classics in 2000.  She produced outstanding scholarship and created innovative courses in classics and women’s studies and was a leader in developing online resources for the field, most notably the VRoma project.

While I hope to publish a more detailed memorial notice in the future, I want to express my immediate regret that the Society has lost a member who served it so long and so well.  Professor McManus was a member and chair of multiple committees.  She was elected an at large member of the Board of Directors (1994-1997) and Vice President for Professional Matters (2001-2005).  As Vice President she led the effort to create our census of classics department staffing and enrollments, personally updated our list of departments where classics is taught, and persuaded those departments to respond to the first iteration of that census (covering the 2003-2004 academic year).  About 60% of the departments on our list ultimately did complete the census, and in subsequent years the Society was not able to achieve that level of participation until the most recent iteration when we hired the University of Chicago’s Survey Lab to carry out this project.  For all of this effort Professor McManus received our Distinguished Service Award in 2009, and the picture below shows her receiving that award from Kurt Raaflaub, then President of the Society, at the annual meeting in that year. 

Working with Barbara McManus was one of the highlights of my experience as Executive Director of the Society.  I will miss her a great deal.

Adam D. Blistein
June 19, 2015

Update July 1, 2015:  The Classical Association of the Atlantic States has posted this comprehensive memorial notice

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Close-up of the statue base of “Silent Sam” on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill with ink and blood running down (Image by permission of the Workers Union at UNC-CH).

On April 30th 2018, Maya Little, a graduate student in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, was arrested after covering the Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam” in a mixture of red ink and her own blood. The monument has stood in a prominent position on UNC’s campus since its dedication in 1913, but has for years been the object of debate and protests, which have intensified since the national push to remove confederate statues following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Funded by the Daughters of the Confederacy and a group of UNC alumni, “Silent Sam” was originally dedicated as a tribute to UNC students who lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War, though like many such statues, it was erected during the Jim Crow era decades after the war had ended.

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 05/20/2018 - 4:22pm by .

Ruth Scodel, SCS delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies, has written up her report of the annual ACLS meeting.

You can read her full report below:

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The most important news from this year’s meeting of ACLS may be from the president’s report: the organization is financially healthy.

For the Thursday evening session there was a panel about free speech in the academy (“The Contested Campus”).  Leon Botstein was a member of this panel.  Of course the other speakers were interesting and distinguished people —Judith Shapiro, the president of Teagle; Jerry Kang, a UCLA law professor and the first vice-chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Ben Vinson, soon to be provost at Case Western, Botstein dominated, as I suspect he does in any event in which he participates. Never having seen the Botstein show, I was fascinated.  The panel considered two related problems—how difficult it can be to have even serious speakers from the right, and how hard it can be to manage the provocateurs who have nothing worth hearing like Yiannopoulos.  Botstein was furious over complaints that a conference at the Arendt Center had included Marc Jongen, especially since Jongen’s respondent was Ian Buruma. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 05/18/2018 - 3:16pm by Erik Shell.
Photo of newly reopened murals in the Domus Augusti by Agnes Crawford.

In a photo essay, Roman tour guide and classicist Agnes Crawford spoke to the SCS Blog about the newly reopened House of Augustus on the Palatine, which was uncovered by archaeologists in the early 1960s. Although it underwent extensive renovations for the events surrounding the  2000th anniversary of Augustus' death in 2014, other portions have now been reopened to the public in time for the summer crowds. Crawford also comments on the myriad restoration projects going on in Rome, Pompeii, and elsewhere in Italy. Together, these initiatives are bringing the color and grandeur of the ancient world back to life within Italy. 





"Coffered" painted ceiling in the newly reopened House of Augustus on the Palatine in Rome. Image by Agnes Crawford and used by permission.

Bond: What is new about the casa di augusto?

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/18/2018 - 6:33am by Agnes Crawford.

The deadline for nominations for the SCS Awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level is June 1, 2018.

You can find more information about the award and nomination process here.

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 10:41am by Erik Shell.
Mizzou

The SCS has learned from Anatole Mori that the Department of Ancient Mediterranean Studies Graduate Program at the University of Missouri will not be discontinued.

Here is her full statement:

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 8:23am by Erik Shell.

(Written by Robert Gurval and David Blank)

Ann L.T. Bergren

The Department [at UCLA] sadly announces the passing of Professor Emerita Ann L.T. Bergren. Ann died suddenly at her home in Venice on May 10, 2018. She is survived by her son and his wife, Taylor Bergren-Chrisman and Erin O’Connor, and grandchildren Foxberg and Otto Chrisman. There will be a private family service in Brooklyn, New York. The Department and family will celebrate her life at a special occasion in October. The Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. is also making plans to hold an academic event in her honor later this fall (Professors Gregory Nagy and Laura Slatkin, co-organizers). Further announcements will be posted on this website. As Ann was fond of saying, to be continued.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 05/16/2018 - 3:18pm by Erik Shell.

Call For Abstracts: 2nd Meeting of the North American Workshop in Platonic Philosophy

Hamline University, Aug 14-15, 2018

Special theme:
The Timaeus and its Reception

Abstracts of 400-500 words on Plato and the Platonic tradition will be accepted until June 15, 2018. Proposals on the theme of the Timaeus and its reception will be given special consideration, as well as papers on related topics like natural philosophy and cosmology in the Phaedo, Statesman, Laws, and other dialogues; in other contemporaneous Socratic authors such as Xenophon and Aeschines; or in the writings of Platonists from antiquity to the modern period. Papers on any aspect of the philosophy of Plato or the Platonic tradition are however encouraged and welcome.

A limited number of low-cost, on campus accommodations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hamline University is located in the vibrant twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Workshop registration is $30 and an optional closing banquet is $35.

Please submit abstracts to Conference organizers:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 05/16/2018 - 9:09am by Erik Shell.
Sousse Mosaic, CC BY-SA 3.0, Ad Meskens

Our second post from the SCS’ Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) explores how to bring a translation to life on the stage through interdisciplinary work.  

Classics is an amazingly fertile ground for interdisciplinary collaboration. As I like to say to colleagues, we are the personification of the liberal arts – where else does one find historians, philologists, art historians, archaeologists, environmentalists, and more, all in one department? Trying to determine a sabbatical project, I landed on the notion of taking my first stab at translation, and I decided that I wanted to tackle Plautus’ Truculentus, a play featuring a clever meretrix (prostitute) deftly playing three relatively foolish men. I wanted to find a quick way to get that translation out into the public. I discovered that collaborating with the Theatre Department at Butler University was precisely the way for me to do that.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 4:38pm by Christopher Bungard.
Figure of the heavenly bodies - Illuminated illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric conception of the Universe by Portuguese cosmographer and cartographer Bartolomeu Velho (?-1568). From his work Cosmographia, made in France, 1568 (Public Domain).

In April, Reed College decided to revamp their year-long core humanities course, Humanities 110.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/11/2018 - 5:58am by Sarah Bond.
Microphone

Multiple proponents of Spoken Latin in the classroom - Edward Zarrow, Tom Morris, and Jason Pedicone - were recently featured on the "America the Bilingual" podcast.

"How has a presumably dead language become such a disruptor? Because Latin certainly seems to be just that. It’s one of the most frequently taught languages in American schools."

You can listen to the podcast in-browser here: http://www.americathebilingual.com/in-case-you-thought-latin-was-dead/

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(Photo: "Audio Bokeh" by Alan Levine, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 05/08/2018 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

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(Written by Robert Gurval and David Blank)

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