Message from President Denis Feeney on Proposed Name Change

Last October Jeffrey Henderson began a discussion of one of the major recommendations to emerge from the APA Board’s March 2012 retreat, that our organization should change its name so as better to reflect who we are and what we aim to do.  In late November he reported to the membership on the over 200 comments received to date, and announced a discussion forum to host further debate.  At our Board meeting in Seattle, we took note of the responses and had a wide-ranging discussion of the views of the membership, which at that point were running about 3 to 1 in favor of a change of name, although without consensus on an alternative. 

After a lengthy and full discussion, the Board voted in favor of a change of name, to “Society for Classical Studies”, with “Founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association” as a permanent subtitle. 

This proposal will be on your ballot in July when you are voting in the usual way in elections for new officers, and it will be a straight up and down, “yes” or “no” vote.  We are including the proposal on the election ballot because this is the best way to ensure that as many members as possible will vote on the question of a name change; we want everyone to have the opportunity to express their view on such an important change in the history of our organization.

Let me set out the reasons why the Board believes it is important for our organization to do this (naturally, I am following the lead of Jeffrey Henderson here).

The APA was founded in 1869 as an umbrella group for scholars who were, in the broadest sense, students of language—“philologists”.  If you look in the first issues of the Transactions of the American Philological Association (as it then was), you will find articles on Greek and Latin philology, but these are outnumbered by titles such as “On the German vernacular of Pennsylvania”, “On some mistaken notions of Algonkin grammar”, “Contributions to Creole grammar”, “On English vowel quantity in the thirteenth century and in the nineteenth”.  As time went by, sub-groups of “philologists” developed new group identities and broke off to form their own associations—the Modern Language Association of America (MLA), for example, in 1883, or the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), in 1924.  Classicists were left as the custodians of “Philology”, a term which had originally had a much broader application than what it fairly soon came to represent, “Classics”.

The resulting organization has been highly successful in adapting to all of the changes in life and education over the last century, but we have become more and more a professional organization as well as a learned society, and if we are to flourish then we must, as Jeffrey Henderson put it back in October, adapt to playing “ever broader roles as an academic, professional, and public resource”.  While continuing to provide all the professional services which our core constituency needs, we must also advocate for the importance of the Classics in a more engaged way, and we must take seriously our stated Gateway Campaign goal of becoming the go-to place for anyone anywhere interested in anything Classical. 

The Board believes that the current name of our organization has become an impediment to these new needs, however proud of and emotionally attached to the name we may be (in my own case, as a member since 1987, I feel very proud and emotionally attached).  On the basis of their own personal experience, all members will acknowledge how hard it is to explain to “civilians” what the name of our organization actually means.  Certainly, as many contributors to the discussion forum pointed out, “Classics” and “Classical” are not 100% transparent either, but to our colleagues, our students, and to the general public they are far more recognizable and accessible terms than “philology”.  Our discipline exists under the terms “Classics” or “Classical” in most institutions of higher education, as a departmental or program name, while many of our journals and affiliated regional and other societies have these words in their names and titles.  If we have a brand, “Classics” and “Classical” capture it better than any other language.

This has been a subject of debate within the APA for at least a decade.  The Board of Directors believe it is time for the membership to vote on the question.  The discussion forum is open.  Log in to the forum here, and then click on “Name Change Forum”.  Sam Huskey has made these remarks the beginning of a new topic; you can respond to that topic or create a new one of your own.  We invite members to engage in debate in our usual positive and constructive manner so that we may have an informed vote in July.

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Please see the following deadlines, some of which have recently been extended:

October Deadlines

Nominations for the Forum Prize: October 23 (extended deadline)

Classics Everywhere microgrant applications: October 26 (extended deadline)

November Deadlines

Nominations for the Precollegiate Teaching Award: November 2 (extended deadline)

Pearson Fellowship applications: November 6

TLL Fellowship applications: November 6

December Deadline

Frank M. Snowden Jr. Undergraduate Scholarships (formerly the Minority Scholarships): December 11

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 10/19/2020 - 12:34pm by Erik Shell.

Registration for the 2021 virtual annual meeting is now open!

You can register here: https://aia-scs-2021.secure-platform.com/

We also have funding available to support free registration for graduate students, contingent faculty, and unemployed scholars. You can apply for a registration subvention until November 15th using this form. We will also be sharing information soon on volunteer opportunities since we will be seeking volunteers to assist with tech support within sessions. If you are applying for a registration subvention or are interested in volunteering, please do not pay for registration at this stage.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 10/15/2020 - 10:28am by Erik Shell.

Welcoming New Board Members

In consultation with the Graduate Student Committee and Committee on Contingent Faculty, the SCS Board of Directors has approved two new appointed board positions, with voice but without vote, for a graduate student and contingent faculty member-at-large. These appointments will become effective in January 2021. It is intended that these two seats will become elected positions with full voting rights, but this will most likely require changes to the method of SCS elections, which will in itself require a member vote for approval. 

We welcome, as the initial appointees, Del Maticic (co-chair of the Graduate Student Committee) and Chiara Sulprizio (junior co-chair and incoming chair of the Contingent Faculty Committee) to the board in 2021. Del and Chiara will join the following elected officers and directors, who will also begin their terms in January 2021: Kathryn Gutzwiller (Vice President for Publications and Research); Jinyu Liu (director-at-large); Dan-el Padilla Peralta (director-at-large); Matthew Santirocco (President-Elect); and Ruth Scodel (Vice President for Professional Matters).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 10/07/2020 - 10:50am by Erik Shell.

The Ph.D./ M.A. Program in Classics at the Graduate Center, CUNY is pleased to announce our upcoming virtual conference, 'Honor and Shame in Classical Antiquity', to be held on Friday, October 23 from 9:30 AM- 7 PM (EST) via Zoom webinar. This conference includes three graduate student panels (Embodiment and Performance, Greek Poetics, and Rhetorical Deployment). Our keynote speaker is Professor Margaret Graver (Dartmouth College); her presentation will be "The Eyes of the Other: Honor and Epistemology in Plato and the Early Stoics." A full schedule and further information are available online at https://opencuny.org/classicsconference2020/

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 10/06/2020 - 1:51pm by Erik Shell.

CALL FOR CHAPTERS

Pseudo-Oppian’s Cynegetica ­­– On the Hunt for Ethics and Poetics

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 10/06/2020 - 8:41am by Erik Shell.

Netflix’s new Paralympic documentary, Rising Phoenix (written and directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui), was released in August 2020. As with many Netflix docu-films, Phoenix uses interviews with various athletes and members of the Paralympic Committee to follow the history of the Paralympics. These interviews are intermixed with old footage from the sport events themselves as well as the the use of statues in the style of those granted to ancient Olympians and athletes. Focusing mainly on the games in Beijing, London, and Rio, Rising Phoenix tells the story not only of prominent athletes - Matt  Stutzman, Tatyana McFadden, Ellie Cole, Bebe Vio, Jonnie Peacock, Jean-Baptiste Alaize, Cui Zhe, Ryley Batt, and Ntando Mahlangu to name just a few - but also narrates the history of their disability along with their discovery of sport. In order to do so, Rising Phoenix draws on the imagery of classical statues in order to create a new perspective on disability in the modern world.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/05/2020 - 8:01am by .

10/4/2020

The SCS board of directors has endorsed a statement issued by the Middle East Studies Association on a proposed rule by DHS that would limit the duration of student visas. The proposed rule, if adopted, would mark the most sweeping change to student visa rules in decades. You can read the statement here:

https://mesana.org/advocacy/task-force-on-civil-and-human-rights/2020/09...

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Sun, 10/04/2020 - 8:52pm by Helen Cullyer.

Modern’ Women of the Past? Unearthing Gender and Antiquity

Online conference, March 2021.

Call for Papers

The AAIA, CCANESA, AWAWS, CCWM and the University of Sydney Departments of Archaeology and Classics & Ancient History warmly invite abstracts for our forthcoming conference on the reception of ancient women, to be held over 5-6 March 2021, ahead of International Women's Day, 8 March 2021.

Despite restrictions on their autonomy from the (mostly) patriarchal societies in which they lived, women of the past were astronomers, chemists, warriors, politicians, philosophers, and medical practitioners (to mention just a few examples). Women strove to understand the world around them, and through their observations and innovations, they demonstrated that gender provides no barrier to participating and excelling in a full range of human endeavours.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 10/02/2020 - 10:43am by Erik Shell.

LETRA Seminario di traduzione letteraria (LaborLETT, CeASUm)

https://r1.unitn.it/laborlet/letra/

International conference

Translations of Aristotle’s Poetics ever since the XVI Century and the Forging of European Poetics

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/28/2020 - 1:19pm by Erik Shell.

Resident Fellowship - Center for Ballet and the Arts

The Resident Fellowship is our core offering for scholars and artists of all disciplines to develop projects that expand the way we think about the history, practice, and performance of dance. Past fellows have come from wide-ranging disciplines such as history, design, philosophy, visual arts, and more. Fellows are not required to be experts in ballet or dance, but must have an interest in engaging with the art.

The fellowship provides space, a stipend, and the time to pursue rigorous work. Fellows also gain new colleagues and a broad community of scholars and artists, two communities that do not often meet.

Fellowship timing and duration depend on individual fellow needs and project scopes. Prior residencies have run between four and sixteen weeks. The residency must occur during NYU’s academic year (September 2021 – May 2022).

Application Materials

Applications will be open from September 15, 2020 at 9:00am EST – November 2, 2020 at 9:00am EST

Click here for the application questions as they will appear on the platform.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 09/28/2020 - 1:17pm by Erik Shell.

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