Message from the President - May 2012

As our capital campaign draws to a close (we still need everyone to help: be sure you are counted!), the APA is in a better position both to survive the challenges of our times and to seize the opportunities.  But we must continue to use our human and financial capital wisely as we do our best to assure that the Association knows and seeks to provide what members actually need and want, and promotes our field as effectively as possible within and without.  Now is the time to take stock, review priorities, and plan for the future.  And so in late March the Board of Directors, as planned (see the Executive Director’s Report for 2011), conducted a weekend retreat facilitated by Laura Lewis Mandeles, our development advisor.  Attending were the Executive Director; the Financial Trustees; the President, President-Elect, and two past Presidents; the divisional Vice Presidents; three Directors at large; a former President of the American Classical League; and to advise about issues affecting “adcons” (adjunct or contingent faculty), a non-classicist from the New Faculty Majority. The retreat was productive and promising, and this letter is a good opportunity to fulfill one of its next steps: to communicate to membership about the results of the retreat.

We came away with a strategic-planning framework whose essence is a clear definition of the Association’s mission and purpose – to sustain and advance the field of Classics and the people involved in it – and an organizational visionthat encourages a more collaborative approach among the Divisions and the membership, and with external constituencies.  We identified priorities and promising initiatives for further study, and in order to get moving we established, for a trial period of two years, a “Cabinet” that will spearhead and serve as a regular forum for refining and advancing the plan.  The Cabinet consists of the President and President-Elect, the divisional Vice Presidents, and the Executive Director, and has scheduled its first meeting (by conference-call) for mid-May.

The title “Cabinet” does not imply a one-way or top-down process: the APA has always relied on its members for initiatives and guidance, and for the volunteer effort needed to achieve results otherwise impossible for an organization of our size.  The planning framework calls for greater responsiveness to the membership and for enhanced communications, especially online and digital, to connect members and other constituencies on an ongoing, year-round basis and through the full spectrum of media: to build the Gateway that inspired our capital campaign.  As planning goes forward, members can expect to be consulted for feedback and advice, and polled for information.

The main roles of the Association should be along the following broad guidelines.  We should support and develop the people who will enliven teaching, learning, and scholarship now and in years to come.  Through our meetings and programs we should facilitate multiple opportunities for connection within the field, especially around research and teaching, that strengthen intellectual exchange, encourage collaboration, and provide mutual support.  We should build information paths that connect professionals in the field and the lay public to data and information about the state and value of Classics, to 21st century resources for research, and about materials for pedagogical development.  Our communications infrastructure should create an environment of support for Classics through outreach to and collaboration with educators, students, parents and the general public, articulate the case for the Classics, and advocate pro-actively for Classics among educational decision makers.

Strategic initiatives include: (1) A sophisticated program of data collection, analysis, and dissemination.  (2) A “year-round”, more inclusive and engaging annual meeting that features a variety of formats for presentation and discussion of scholarship and issues in the field; includes a significant component focused on pedagogy; and offers a well-publicized set of public engagement opportunities in the host city.  The meeting should be preceded and followed by continuing engagement with those who will or who have participated.  In addition, we should explore the potential for convening – virtually or in-person – field meetings that would reach membership unable to attend the annual meeting as well as those who do generally attend.  The Chicago 2014 annual meeting should be the target for significant retooling along these lines.  (3) Developing information-technology to increase accessible research tools and materials, capture and share data about the field, and offer learning opportunities for a variety of constituents.  Our website should become the “go-to place” for people involved in or interested in Classics and should make full use of social media on all media platforms, so that users can find information, follow developments in the field, enjoy presentations and other learning opportunities, and connect with colleagues.  (4) Developing the field’s “talent pipeline” through collaborations and other mechanisms that create a continuum of connection, support, and advocacy for K-12 to undergraduate, graduate studies and career development.

These initiatives may well require that the Board consider by-law and structural changes, e.g. mechanisms for broadening and diversifying our organizational leadership in terms of age, professional status (e.g. adjunct, tenure track), and type of institution.  And of course the Board, Financial Trustees, and staff will explore the potential for new revenue streams both earned and contributed; reallocation of resources in light of new priorities; and efficiencies through technology to reduce expenses.

As these initiatives are pursued, members can expect to be more frequently consulted or polled for needs, opinions, suggestions, and expertise – and also to be surveyed: at a time when we cannot have too much information about the field of Classics and the people involved in it, we have too little.  For professionals and lay people alike, the APA should be the go-to source for data and information about the state and value of Classics.  We will be exploring how to create and maintain a sophisticated program of data collection, analysis, and dissemination.  So please respond when survey instruments come your or your department’s way.  Something that you can do right now is to supply information about your own field(s) of expertise on the APA Membership Form, so that we can complete our online directory.

Among the first issues that members will be asked to consider is whether it is time to change the Association’s name.  The consensus of the retreat was that “philological” no longer defines all that our Association is about and is so obscure to all but practitioners as to impede our efforts to gain broader public visibility.  We need to be found when people search online for information about classics and the classical world.  American Classical Association and (preferred) Classical Association of North America were suggestions.

The enhancement of our Association along these lines is an exciting prospect.  So stay tuned and stay engaged!

Jeff Henderson

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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. This post centers on projects that promote emotional well-being and use Greek texts to facilitate conversations on current social justice issues, from New York to Chicago and San Francisco.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 06/26/2020 - 7:31am by .

Dear members (and past Annual Meeting participants),

After extensive research and discussion, AIA and SCS staff and officers have decided that the January 2021 Joint Annual Meeting scheduled to take place from January 7-10 in Chicago will now be a virtual event. We know that many of you were looking forward to attending paper sessions and other events, to seeing old friends and colleagues, and to making new connections and we recognize that a virtual event cannot substitute in many ways for a face-to-face experience. However, after full consideration of the public health risks and significant impact of COVID-19 on the ability of most of you to travel to and participate in a large conference in the upcoming months, AIA and SCS have decided that a virtual event is the most prudent course.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/25/2020 - 7:13am by Helen Cullyer.

In 2018, a group of scholars founded Mountaintop Coalition, an SCS-affiliated group with a shared interest in advancing the professional goals of Classicists who identify as members of ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in the field. Mountaintop’s activities focus on practical issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in professional settings.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 06/19/2020 - 8:30am by Samuel Ortencio Flores.

Froma I. Zeitlin retired from Princeton University in 2010, where she was the Charles Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature in the Department of Classics and Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature. Dr. Zeitlin received her B.A. from Radcliffe-Harvard in 1954 and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1970. She is a specialist in Greek literature from Homer to late antiquity, with particular interests in epic, drama and prose fiction. Her publications include Under the Sign of the Shield: Semiotics and Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes (1982; 2d ed.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 06/12/2020 - 8:50am by Claire Catenaccio.

Alexander G. McKay Prize competition for the best new book in Vergilian studies is now open

The Vergilian Society is pleased to announce the opening of the next competition for the Alexander G. McKay Prize for the best book in Vergilian studies. The prize, which is accompanied by a cash award of $500 or a life membership in the Vergilian Society (valued at $800), is awarded every other year to the book that, in the opinion of the prize evaluation committee, makes the greatest contribution toward our understanding and appreciation of Vergil or topics related to Vergil. Works of literary criticism, biography, bibliography, textual criticism, reference, history, archaeology, and the classical tradition are all eligible, provided that Vergilian studies represent a significant portion of the discussion. The current competition will cover books published during the years 2018 and 2019. The winner will be announced at the Vergilian Society session at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Chicago in January 2021. The authors of books being considered for the McKay Prize must be members of the Vergilian Society at the time their books are submitted; for new members or to renew memberships see https://www.vergiliansociety.org/memberships-and-donations.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 06/09/2020 - 6:54am by Erik Shell.

A longstanding tendency to ethnocentrism and Hellenophilia implicit in the narrative of the rebirth of Greek science in the Renaissance has shaped the historiography of science and early modern historiography more generally. However, a digital project called Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus (PAL) presents and interdisciplinary, broadly conceived, and ongoing (2013–2038) challenge to this , which lies at the crossroads of Classics, Arabic Studies, History of Science and Digital Humanities. It presents a wide range of primary sources as well as translations and critical editions. Given these unusual features some words of introduction are needed to better understand the relevance of this project for the humanities at large. 

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 06/05/2020 - 12:21pm by .

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.

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