In Memoriam: Robert A. Seelinger

(Written by Ted Tarkow)

An alum of Dickinson, Brown, and the University of Missouri (MU), Bob Seelinger (1951-2018) taught classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, from 1979 until taking early retirement in 2015, necessitated by a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  By the time of his death, he had served as professor of classics for over 20 years and in addition had served as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of the College for over a half dozen years at the campus made famous by the “Iron Curtain” speech delivered there   in 1946 by Winston Churchill.

A beloved teacher, Bob taught all levels of both languages as well as a wide range of general education courses.  Not surprisingly to the scores of Westminster students who had studied with him, he received the APA Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Classics, the Governor’s Award for Teaching, and the Parents’ Association Award for Teaching, among many other recognitions.    But his career also allowed presentations and publications in some of his favorite authors, from Apuleius (the focus of his PhD dissertation), to 4th century, Republican, and early Imperial authors and genres.  His abundant time at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, as well as at two NEH Summer Seminars, enabled other students and scholars to make the most of their time there.

A devoted family man, Bob met his wife Cathy Callaway, herself an accomplished professional in the field, when they both studied classics at MU where their son, not surprisingly, also majored in classics, as well as in political science. The family enjoyed traveling together, most notably to Greece, where they enjoyed three different sabbatical  years, the last one in 2005-06.

Until just weeks before he passed away, Bob was working on two projects:  an update of William Parrish’s Westminster College, An Informal History (with Margot McMillen) and an analysis  (with Cathy Callaway) of a Greek funeral stele (2nd-3rd century A.D.) dedicated to Heliodora in the Museum of Art and Archaeology at MU.   He never lost his zeal for research, and his love of teaching.

The proud tradition of classics in the “Show Me” state is honored to acknowledge, with abundant admiration, the life and legacy of a talented exemplar of our profession, a true kalos kagathos for whom more modern adjectives seem especially appropriate:   learned, kind, thoughtful, and brave.

(Written by Cathy Callaway)

ROBERT ADAM SEELINGER died on September 22, 2018, on his father’s birthday, after a four- and a-half-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC on October 16, 1951. An Eagle Scout, he attended Rogers High School in Newport, Rhode Island, and Dickinson College, in Pennsylvania. He spent his junior year in Rome. He received an MA from Brown University, and a PhD in Classics and Classical Archaeology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1981. Seelinger learned Latin at an early age and continued to read, write, and teach it his whole life. He was also a scholar of ancient Greek, and during his three sabbatical years in Greece he became fluent in Modern Greek.

He moved to Columbia, MO in 1974 to pursue his PhD in the Department of Classical Studies. He started teaching Latin and other Classics courses part-time at Westminster College in 1979. The position became full-time and tenure-track in 1981.

From 1999-2005 he served as Dean of Faculty and Vice President of the College. He was a leader in the initiative to start a Westminster campus in Mesa, AZ and was grateful for the support and dedication of all those who were involved in that project. He was gratified by the fact that many of the Mesa students continued their Westminster experience on the Fulton campus. He was deeply moved by the retirement celebration he shared with other colleagues in 2016.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy Callaway, his son, Nicholas Seelinger, his sister, Barbara (Robert) Beebe of Middletown RI, and nephew Adam Carter of Tacoma WA, and two great nephews. He also leaves behind a beloved host of relatives on Cathy’s side that consider him family; several were present at his peaceful death in his home. Thanks to the people at Hospice Compassus and Dr. Anna Hulbert for making this possible. We would also like to thank ALL the health care professionals, at the University Hospital in Columbia, at Mayo in Rochester MN, at Barnes in St Louis, and the Emergency Technicians in Fulton, who showed such compassion, care, and expertise every time they worked with him to cope with the challenges of this disease.

Celebration of Robert's life will be 2:00 pm Sunday, October 21, 2018 at the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury located on the Westminster College Campus, 501 Westminster Ave. in Fulton, Missouri. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be directed to either Westminster College, Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, or the Fulton Soup Kitchen c/o Debo Funeral Home, 833 Court Street, Fulton, Missouri 65251.

---

(Photo: "Candle" by Shawn Carpenter, licensed under CC BY 2.0)   

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From The New York Times:

For the last time: Archimedes did not invent a death ray.

An oil painting of Archimedes by Giuseppe Patania, an early 19th century Italian artist, hangs in Palermo. Two inventions credited to Archimedes, death rays and steam cannons, have proved to be stubborn myths.

But more than 2,200 years after his death, his inventions are still driving technological innovations — so much so that experts from around the world gathered recently for a conference at New York University on his continuing influence.

The death ray legend has Archimedes using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to incinerate Roman ships attacking his home of Syracuse, the ancient city-state in the southeast Sicily. It has been debunked no fewer than three times on the television show “Mythbusters” (the third time at the behest of President Obama).

Read more…

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 06/26/2013 - 1:07pm by Information Architect.

On June 19 the Amiercan Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) released the report of its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a group formed over two years ago in response to a request from members of Congress for a report that would respond to the following question:  What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century? 

Louis Cabot, Chair of the Academy Board, described the report in the following message to Academy Fellows:

I am pleased to announce that the Academy's Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences released its report The Heart of the Matter on Capitol Hill this morning.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 06/20/2013 - 1:11pm by Adam Blistein.

The 2012-2013 Placement Service Year will end on June 30, 2013.  During the next few weeks, we will perform maintenance on the Placement Service Portal Page to prepare it for 2013-2014.  If you plan to enroll with the Service for 2013-14, PLEASE WAIT for our announcement that will state when enrollment is open for the upcoming Placement Year.  If you enroll prior to our announcement, you will not be issued a refund.

After more than 30 years, the AIA has chosen to terminate its participation with the APA in the Placement Service.  For more information, please visit http://apaclassics.org/index.php/apa_blog/apa_blog_entry/4171/.  If you are currently an AIA member, and you plan to enroll with the APA Placement Service in 2013-2014, you will have to pay the higher, non-member fee (USD $55.00) to enroll.  The APA Member’s fee to utilize the Placement Service is USD $20.00, and you must pay dues for 2013 before the end of June if you wish to register for the Service in July.  Payment may be made online.  The APA welcomes all students of the ancient world, and its members advance the study of the classical antiquity in all its aspects.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 06/18/2013 - 6:25pm by Adam Blistein.

Adam Blistein recently sent a message to all members inviting you to volunteer to stand for election to Association offices and to serve on APA committees.  The required form may be accessed here, and you may find full information about what is involved in serving in the various positions here

Why do we send this message every year, and why is it important that we have members respond? 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 06/18/2013 - 1:09pm by Adam Blistein.

The New York Times makes a case that Hollywood learned about the wisdom of producing sequels, prequels, etc. from - among others - ancient Greek tragedians. 

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 06/04/2013 - 7:03pm by Adam Blistein.

In high school, Joshua D. Sosin had two favorite subjects: Latin and biology. "In the end I decided that my Latin teacher was cooler, and if I, too, wanted to be cool, I should do Latin," he says. That led to a concentration in classics, philosophy, and religion at what is now the University of Mary Washington, where he studied not only Latin but also Greek and Egyptian Coptic. He got a Ph.D. in classics from Duke University in 2000. "At no point did I consider what I would do with any of this," he says.

What he did was go on to a career as a papyrologist and epigraphist, a scholar of inscriptions. Now Mr. Sosin, who is 40, is about to put that training to fresh uses in a job configured unlike any other at Duke. In July he will become director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of the Duke University Libraries.

Read more at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 06/03/2013 - 2:01pm by Information Architect.

The World Languages Department at Wenatchee Valley College announces a new web site to support its Latin program as well as spoken-Latin activities in the Pacific Northwest. "Boreoccidentales" provides a forum for the events and activities of the Circulus Latinus Seattlensis ("Seattle Latin-Speaking Club") and the Conventiculum Vasintoniense/Septimana Californiana. The web site also houses Cataracta, an online journal, with works by modern Latin authors. Inclusion in the online journal is open to anyone, world-wide! For more information, please contact Dr. Stephen Berard through the "Contact Us" web form.
http://www.boreoccidentales.com

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 7:15pm by .

All APA and AIA members, be they Grizzled comic veterans or Dewy-eyed tiros, are invited to participate in The 12th Annual Staged Reading of The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP): Plautus’ Rudens, directed by Alison Futrell (University of Arizona) and John Given (East Carolina University). This is the journey of a plucky young woman, kidnapped, torn from the arms of love, shipwrecked, waterlogged, epiphanied, menaced and manacled, to be bound again at last by the salty ties of tender devotion! This is the rambunctious musical production populated by pimps, piscatores, prostitutes, pirates, peons, and paramours! This is the rope-y tug-of-war to tug your heartstrings and tease your toes to tapping!

Rudens aims to be an uproarious extravaganza. There will be singing. There will be dancing. There will be silliness. We need actors able and willing to play big, even in small roles. We also need costumers and other off-stage crew. We need you!

The Rudens performance will take place on the Friday evening, January 3, 2014, at the APA-AIA Meetings in Chicago. Rehearsals begin two days prior to the performance, on January 1. (Travel on December 31 may be necessary.) Actors are expected to familiarize themselves with scripts in advance, though memorization is not required. Acting experience is not required, but is not unwelcome.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 1:43pm by Adam Blistein.

I am sorry to announce that the AIA has terminated its participation in the Joint AIA–APA Placement Service.  This unfortunate decision dissolves a partnership that has lasted for more than three decades.  We at APA discouraged this step because we believe it will put an additional burden on many candidates and institutions both at the joint annual meeting and throughout the hiring process.  In moving ahead, we are determined to continue to offer an excellent Placement Service to our registrants, even as we work on upgrading what has been offered in the past. 

In 2011 the APA independently commissioned the creation of an online system to handle Placement Service registration, the immediate posting of new position listings on a private web site, and the scheduling of interviews at the annual meeting.  During the current academic year, Information Architect Sam Huskey and his colleague Alex Ward made several improvements to this System, including programming that issued an e-mail notification to registered candidates on the day following the posting of a new position.  Sam and Alex are now at work on further improvements for 2013-14, particularly some steps to make the registration process easier for both candidates and institutions.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 7:43pm by Adam Blistein.

The Academy /Vivarium Novum /is offering ten full tuition scholarships for high school students of the European Union (16-18 years old) and ten full tuition scholarships for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held *from October 7, 2013 until June 14, 2014* on the grounds of the Academy’s campus at Rome.

Application letters must be sent to info@vivariumnovum.net by July 15 in order to receive consideration.

A good knowledge of the fundamental of Latin and Greek is required.

The courses will be as follows:

   1. Latin language (fundamental and advanced)
   2. Greek language (fundamental and advanced)
   3. Latin composition
   4. Roman History
   5. Ancient Latin literature
   6. History of ancient Philosophy
   7. Renaissance and Neo-Latin literature
   8. Latin and Greek music and poetry
   9. Classics reading seminars

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Thu, 05/23/2013 - 2:22pm by Adam Blistein.

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