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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August, 2019

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Gregory Crane (Tufts College) - "Beyond Translation: New Possibilities for Reading in a Digital Age"
  • Matthew Panciera (Gustavus Adolphus College) - "Roman Daily Life in Petronius and Pompeii"
  • Sturt Manning (Cornell University) - "Medieval Monuments and Wooden Cultural Heritage on Cyprus: Building History with Tree-Rings"
  • Elise Friedland (George Washington University) - "Classical Washington: Greece and Rome in the Art and Architecture of D.C."
  • David Konstan (New York University) - "The Legends of Barbara and Katherine in the Greek Tradition (4th - 10th Centuries)"
  • Elizabeth Samet (United States Military Academy) - "The Nine Lives of Alexander the Great"
  • Jose Bermudez (Texas A&M University, College Station) - "Reconsidering the Sources of the Self in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Periods"

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 08/22/2019 - 1:15pm by Erik Shell.

Many thanks to Bill Beck for his SCS blog post on funding opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, teachers and aspiring teachers. In September, look out for more resources on funding, specifically on funding offered by North American institutions to students enrolled in their MA / PhD programs and terminal MA / MAT programs. This forthcoming resource has been a summer project of the SCS office and our summer interns.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:20am by Helen Cullyer.

Below is an annotated list of funding opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, and current and aspiring teachers of classical philology, ancient history, and classical archaeology. This post is divided into three parts, corresponding to the different target populations, originally discussed separately here, here, and here. The first part is relevant to undergraduate students; the second part concerns funding opportunities for graduate students; the final section is of interest to current and aspiring teachers of classics.

I. Funding Opportunities for Undergraduates

Funding opportunities for undergraduates are organized into two categories: (1) funding for undergraduate study and (2) funding for current undergraduate students who intend to pursue graduate study.

Funding for Undergraduate Study

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 6:01am by Bill Beck.

I bought an old book the other day. 

Used to be, that wouldn’t have been the lede for any writing designed to grab your attention, but as pastimes go, it’s getting a bit less common, so maybe it will do. 

It’s not just that old books have been crowded into a corner of the market for attention by media unimagined only yesterday, but that there are natural cycles that have also been disrupted.  When I was young, we haunted second-hand bookshops and the like because we needed books––good books––ones that had been printed before we were born and long since gone out of print.  Now we’re rich:  everything seems to stay in print forever.  I used to snap up $2 hardcover copies of Henry James novels on the assumption that someday I’d read them.  Now I wonder what I would do with a tired old hardcover when I can count on crisp new paperbacks being deliverable to my door by Amazon in 24 hours any time I want one or e-versions to my iPad in seconds.  In the 1980s, when I wanted a decent copy of Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson of my own to reread, I spent a month searching for one I could purchase––in Philadelphia no less.  My Henry James anxiety only dissipated during the glory years of bookstore superstores. 

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/15/2019 - 8:56pm by James J. O'Donnell.

Williams Sanders Scarborough, an 1875 graduate of Oberlin College, was a pioneering African American scholar who wrote a university-level Greek textbook. Kirk Ormand, who now teaches at Oberlin, interviewed Prof. Michele Ronnick, who has recently published a facsimile edition of Scarborough’s Greek textbook, First Lessons in Greek (1881), with Bolchazy-Carducci press. Prof. Ronnick is the world’s leading expert on Scarborough. She found, edited, and published Scarborough’s autobiography in 2005, and has researched Scarborough’s time at Oberlin and as President of Wilberforce University.[1]  

Kirk Ormand: You are publishing a facsimile edition of William Sanders Scarborough’s First Lessons in Greek.Tell us a bit about why Scarborough’s book is important to the history of the profession.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/08/2019 - 9:01pm by Michele Valerie Ronnick.

Generic Interplay in and after Vergil

Symposium Cumanum 2020

Villa Vergiliana, Cuma

June 24–26, 2020

Co-directors: Brittney Szempruch (United States Air Force Academy) and John F. Miller (University of Virginia)

Although Vergil famously opens the Aeneid with a definitive statement of poetic intent—arma virumque cano—scholarship has long highlighted the poet’s propensity for the complication of firm generic boundaries. Amid a range of theoretical responses that have shaped the past nearly one hundred years (Kroll 1924; Cairns 1972; Fowler 1982; Conte 1986; Harrison 2007), the Vergilian corpus has emerged as some of the most productive ground for the in-depth study of generic flexibility (e.g. Nelis 2004; Seider 2016).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 08/07/2019 - 10:12am by Erik Shell.

The Fragment (Research Institute)

The 2020/2021 academic year at the Getty Research Institute will be devoted to the fragment. Issues regarding the fragment have been present since the beginning of art history and archaeology. Many objects of study survive in physically fragmented forms, and any object, artwork, or structure may be conceived of as a fragment of a broader cultural context. As such, fragments catalyze the investigative process of scholarship and the fundamental acts of the historian: conservation, reconstruction, and interpretation. The evolution of an object—its material and semiotic changes across time, space, and cultures—can offer insights into the ethics and technologies of restoration, tastes for incompleteness or completeness, politics of collection and display, and production of art historical knowledge.

While the fragment has been described as the central metaphor of modernity and the paradigmatic sign of a contemporary worldview, its history as a trope runs much deeper. Cultures of the fragment have flourished throughout history under such guises as the reuse of architectural parts and the cult of relics, the physical and conceptual image-breakings of iconoclasm, and the aesthetics of repair. Fragmentation can occur through artistic processes, acts of destruction, or forces of nature. It can be willful, accidental, or inevitable, but it is necessarily transformative.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 08/07/2019 - 9:55am by Erik Shell.

The SCS Committee on the Awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level has revised the guidelines for award nomination. One to three awards for excellence in the teaching of Classics will be given to college and university teachers from the United States and Canada. Thanks to a very generous gift to the Society’s Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign for the Future of Classics from Daniel and Joanna Rose each winner will receive a certificate of award and a cash prize of $500. In addition, each winner’s institution will receive $200 to purchase educational resources selected by the winner. The awards will be presented at the Plenary Session of the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2020.

New nomination process for 2019: In order to simplify the nomination process, increase the number of nominations, and encourage the submission of comparable information for each candidate, a new nomination process is being piloted for 2019 (see below). Feedback on changes is welcome and may be sent to the Executive Director.

For more information about the award, you can visit the page here: https://classicalstudies.org/awards-and-fellowships/awards-excellence-teaching-classics-college-level-0

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 08/02/2019 - 1:02pm by Erik Shell.
Header Image: Late antique mosaic likely depicting Theseus sailing away from the Labyrinth (Utica, Tunisia, 3rd C CE, now at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Image by Sarah E. Bond).

'Addressing the Divide' is a new series of columns that looks at the ways in which the modern field of Classics was constructed and then explores ways to identify, modify, or simply abolish the lines between fields in order to embrace broader ideas of what Classics was, is, and could be. This month, Kathryn Topper addresses the divisions between Art History and Classics.

For specialists in Greek and Roman art, professional life is an endless navigation of disciplinary divides. Often it seems like we belong to a disciplinary no man’s land – too archaeological for other art historians, too art historical for field archaeologists, and too visual for text-oriented Classicists whose training has predisposed them to doubt the intellectual seriousness of scholars who study something as seemingly straightforward as pictures.

The uneasy position of ancient art historians relative to the allied disciplines arises from historical factors, but it’s also a consequence of the nature of our material. When you work in a field in which reconstruction and interpretation almost invariably go hand in hand, you tend to need all the tools in your own toolbox, and in the neighbors’ toolboxes, too. As a result, historians of ancient art spend a lot of time working in disciplines dominated by colleagues whose priorities and training are very different from our own.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/01/2019 - 9:09pm by Kathryn Topper.

National Humanities Center

Residential Fellowships 2020-21

Call for Applications

The National Humanities Center invites applications for academic-year or one-semester residential fellowships. Mid-career, senior, and emerging scholars with a strong record of peer-reviewed work from all areas of the humanities are encouraged to apply.

Scholars from all parts of the globe are eligible; stipends and travel expenses are provided. Fellowship applicants must have a PhD or equivalent scholarly credentials. Fellowships are supported by the Center’s own endowment, private foundation grants, contributions from alumni and friends, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Located in the vibrant Research Triangle region of North Carolina, the Center affords access to the rich cultural and intellectual communities supported by the area’s research institutes, universities, and dynamic arts scene. Fellows enjoy private studies, in-house dining, and superb library services that deliver all research materials.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET, October 10, 2019. For more information and to apply, please visit the link below.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 07/30/2019 - 12:37pm by Erik Shell.

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