Norma Wynick Goldman (1922-2011)

October 11, 2011 was a remarkably beautiful afternoon to celebrate a  remarkably beautiful soul at the Community Arts Auditorium at Wayne State University in Detroit. And I was honored to be there to speak, not only on behalf of Wayne State University and the Department of Classical and Modern Languages Literatures and Cultures, but also on behalf of the  American Classical League, the American Philological Association, the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the Classical Association of New England, the Classical Society of the American Academy in Rome,  the Michigan Classical Conference and the classics honor fraternity, Eta Sigma Phi: each of which asked me to present  their condolences.

Norma Wynick Goldman(1922-2011) was an ambassador for Wayne State University in general, and for the discipline of classical studies in particular.  She was associated with Wayne State in one way or another for more than six decades beginning in 1939 when she enrolled  as an undergraduate. For such a small person she had a very long reach --and truth be told her reach never seemed to exceed her grasp.  She was by discipline a Latinist with a broad range of interests in the classical world  both near and far. In 1957 to further interest in Greece and Rome among high school teachers and the community at large, she and Dr. Edith M.A. Kovach (1921-2009) founded the Detroit Classical Association. Norma’s work won her a Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne State in 1985, an Ovatio from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South in 1988, and a Merita Award from the American Classical League in 2006.

Her books include:

1)Latin via Ovid,  coauthored with Dr. Jacob Nyenhius, professor of classics at Wayne from 1962-1975. Accompanying the textbook, she developed a workbook entitled Practice! Practice!   Now in its 3rd edition,  Latin Via Ovid is Wayne State University Press’s  best selling book of all time!

2) English Grammar for Students of Latin which she coauthored with Ladislas Szymanski in 1983.

3) The Janus View From the American Academy in Rome: Essays on the Janiculum, coauthored with Katherine Geffcken,  (American Academy in Rome, 2007).

 4)New Light from Ancient Cosa which was a set of articles continuing the pioneering work of Frank E. Brown (1908-1988) begun in 1947 at Cosa, to which Norma contributed her own essay (Peter Lang, 2001).

5)  Cosa, the Lamps, coauthored with Cleo Fitch,  which studied the oil lamps found at Cosa (University of Michigan Press, 1994).  

Norma had the  “hands on” approach of a craftsman. She  was in fact a potter and a seamstress. These talents led her to try recovering the formula for Roman concrete and to reconstructing the awning over the Colosseum- both of which were featured on television by BBC’s  Nova  in 1995.  Her keen interest in Roman styles of dress and Roman foot-wear resulted in more than 30 live fashion shows presented here and abroad,  and 2 essays published in The World of Roman Costume (University of Wisconsin Press. 1993). In 1993 she made an hour long video called “Let’s Wrap:1000 Years of Roman Costume” with Mary Yelda and George Booth. The video was distributed by the Teaching Materials and Resource Center of the American Classical League and it taught viewers how to dress like a Roman. As a recent audience member  in attendence at  a live presentation  said:“I really want to be 80 years old and still teaching Latin like the “Let’s wrap” lady, Norma Goldman. No joke, I watched two live hours of ancient Roman runway at my first ACL convention and that woman is a firecracker.” http://www.aclclassics.org/store/multimedia/dvd/let-s-wrap-ars-vestiendi.html (10/17/2011)

Norma also made a special study of Detroit’s own architect Albert Kahn (1869-1942). To us at Wayne State University he is known as the architect of the little Pantheon, the former Temple Beth El on Woodward Avenue, which today houses the University’s Bonstelle Theater.  Norma designed  a class about Kahn, his buildings,  and his work for Henry Ford, and she led  many “Albert Kahn” tours around the city. Few of us know that Albert Kahn himself evinced his deep interest in Graeco-Roman antiquity by membership in the American Philological Association  (1924-1942).

Norma was no armchair scholar. Truth be told she was  an unusually intrepid traveler. She crossed the Atlantic to work at the American Academy in Rome 31 years in a row. Her last trip was in the fall of 2010, and in the words of Dr. T. Corey Brennan, Andrew W. Mellon Professor, American Academy in Rome“there was not a walk, talk, bus trip, lecture, conference, or concert that she missed.”  It is no surprise that  Dr. Mel Ravitz,(1924-2010) Wayne State University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Detroit City Council member (1962-72; 1982-97) called Norma “a spark plug.” As a member of the Council, Dr. Ravitz was delighted  when she,  Dr.  Michaela Sampson and I brought students from  Dr. Sampson’s Latin classes at Martin Luther King High School to perform an excerpt of their Latin play in the Council chambers during the early 1990s.

To many Norma’s most notable achievement was maintaining the perennial joy in learning that runs through every aspect of her work. Her books, her lectures, and her life were bathed in the warm glow of her exuberant enthusiasm. And those around her caught fire in the refractions of  her light. Norma was excitement personified. And now  the Kalends of this October—October 1, the Saturday she left us --- has revealed a beautiful symmetry in the circuit of Norma’s life as a scholar and as a spouse. For she recently  finished a work of scholarship that had interested her husband, Dr. Bernard M. Goldman (1922- 2006) from his days at the University of Michigan as a student of Dr. Clark Hopkins, (1895-1976) professor of classical art & archaeology. Their book, My Dura Europos The Letters of Susan M. Hopkins, 1927-1935, (which gives readers an inside view of  Dr. Clark’s excavations at this remote outpost of the Roman empire through the eyes of his wife Susan),  is due out from Wayne State University Press this November.  The completion of My Dura Europos represents both the intersection and the circumference of Norma’s and Bernard’s life together. It is also a final lesson  from this master teacher and scholar instructing us to look to the imago suae vitae to find her lasting legacy. We are all her best students now!Norma Wynick Goldman was buried on October 5, 2011 next to her husband of sixty-one years at the Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ. She is survived by their son Mark, daughter-in-law Carolyn, and  two beloved grandchildren, Liam and Grace,  of Phoenix, AZ.

Michele Valerie Ronnick

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Homer in Sicily: An Academic Conference and Tour of Ancient Sites

Exedra Mediterranean Center
Syracuse, Sicily, 12-15 January, 2021
With a post-conference tour of Greek Sicily, 16-18 January

Homeric Thrinacia – our Sicily – is the legendary home of the Cattle of the Sun, the Cyclops, the Laestrygonians, Aeolus, and close neighbor of Skylla and Charybdis. Samuel Butler, in the nineteenth century, memorably theorized that the Odyssey’s author was a young Sicilian woman, glimpsed in the figure of Nausicaa. Otherwise, surprisingly few scholars have explored Sicily’s association with the Homeric epics, the Odyssey in particular. The goal of this conference is to bring scholars from a variety of disciplines to Siracusa to discuss Homer’s epic vision and to visit the archaeological traces of the mythic places and beings of the Odyssey.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/09/2020 - 9:00am by Erik Shell.
"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Joan and Mason Brock Theatre, Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, 5817 Wesleyan Drive, Virginia Beach, VA

Fri 2/7/20 7:30pm to 9:30pm

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Thu, 01/09/2020 - 8:30am by Erik Shell.

The SCS Board of Directors has endorsed the following statement developed by the American Anthroplogical Association in collaboration with a number of other societies and associations:

Targeting Cultural Sites is a War Crime

On behalf of more than 50,000 scholars and researchers in the humanities and social sciences, our scholarly and professional societies call upon people throughout the US and, indeed, around the world to remind the President of the United States that targeting cultural sites for military activity is a war crime except under the narrowest of circumstances, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:21am by Helen Cullyer.

Graduate Student Caucus Meeting

Hosted by the SCS Graduate Student Committee

Friday, January 3, 5:00pm-6:00pm, Independence Ballroom Salon C

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Come hear about the Graduate Student Committee’s plans for 2020 and offer your feedback on how best the SCS can serve graduate students.

We hope this meeting can be the springboard for a new level of collective action of North American Classics graduate students.

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This event will be followed by a Social Hour, also hosted by the Graduate Student Committee, which will take place Friday, January 3, 7:00pm-8:00pm on the Mezzanine Level of the Marriott Marquis. Come get your drink ticket while they last!

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 4:16pm by Helen Cullyer.

That contingent faculty members make up a significant portion of those teaching on college campuses today is a well-known fact. This fact also holds true in our own fields of study (e.g. Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Art History), and over the years much attention has (rightfully) been paid to the many challenges and problems that stem from this reliance on contingent labor. At the same time, and despite these challenges and problems, contingent faculty members have been making important contributions to our fields in the areas of service, teaching, outreach and research, and these contributions have only grown in their significance as the number of scholars working in these positions has grown. As members of the Committee on Contingent Faculty, we believe it is time to acknowledge these contributions and celebrate the accomplishments of faculty who are working off the tenure track in our related fields. While we continue to search for solutions to the problems of contingency and advocate for those in precarious positions, we think it is equally important to bring visibility to some of these exceptional members of our scholarly community. To that end we seek to publish a series of individual profiles/interviews on the SCS blog over the course of the next year featuring some of our NTT colleagues at various stages in their careers, who are making a difference and making their mark in our discipline.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 1:50pm by Chiara Sulprizio.
 
The SCS Board is delighted to announce a new prize, which will be awarded for the first time in 2020. The Gruen Prize honors Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.  It will be an essay prize for the best graduate student research on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean, and submissions about any aspect of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange will be considered. 
View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 11:04am by Helen Cullyer.

The SCS is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrice Rankine and Sasha-Mae Eccleston as guest editors of a future issue of TAPA with the theme of race, racism, and Classics. A detailed call for papers will be issued in early 2020, and a timetable for submissions will be provided. This themed issue is likely to appear as TAPA 153:1 in spring 2023.

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Sun, 12/29/2019 - 7:32pm by Helen Cullyer.

SCS is pleased to be able to offer professional learning units (PLUs) to K-12 teachers in the District of Columbia who attend the AIA-SCS Annual Meeting from January 2-5 at the Marriott Marquis, Washington DC. Forms for PLUs will be available at the SCS booth in the exhibit hall.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 12/29/2019 - 7:12pm by Helen Cullyer.

It might seem that Plato and Xenophon have little in common with heavy metal bands; however, they do share an admiration for those warlords of Laconia: the Spartans. In a word, each expressed a degree of laconophilia. What drew ancient philosophers and heavy metal bands alike to Sparta may be a feeling of disenchantment with their respective mainstreams. Socrates’ pupils were no doubt disillusioned with Athenian democracy following his execution in 399 BCE, and the Spartan alternative arguably inspired in Plato’s Republic and Xenophon’s Constitution of the Spartans was a type of escapist fantasy.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 12/27/2019 - 5:55am by Jeremy J. Swist.

The SCS Board is delighted to announce a new prize, which will be awarded for the first time in 2020. The Gruen Prize honors Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.  It will be an essay prize for the best graduate student research on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean, and submissions about any aspect of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange will be considered. 

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 12/23/2019 - 9:53am by Helen Cullyer.

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