President Kathryn Gutzwiller Asks Members to Help in Promoting Friends of Classics

            The By-Laws of our organization, as written at its founding 145 years ago, specify that “any lover of philological studies may become a member of the Association” (article 18). Since that nineteenth-century statement was penned, much has changed for our organization. Early on, scholars of other languages decamped to form their own learned societies. As a result, the term “philological studies” gradually acquired a specialized reference to ancient Greek and Latin, and then over time to the expanded study of the Greeks and Romans in terms of literature, history, philosophy, and culture. Our impending name change to Society for Classical Studies aims to encode more accurately the current character of our organization, though always with recognition of our long history as the American Philological Association. What I want to point out, however, is that as the APA became increasingly a professional organization for academic classicists, one thing largely lost was the idea that its members were to be not just scholars of classical philology but more broadly its lovers. Plato might have called such people ἐρασταὶ τῆς φιλολογίας, but in searching for a twenty-first century equivalent of “lovers” the best terms I have found are “enthusiasts” or “friends.” It is to recapture these enthusiasts as members that, upon my proposal, the Board has created an associate membership known as Friends of Classics.

            Associate memberships are new to our organization. The Friends membership targets those who are not professional teachers or scholars of classics but do wish to have special access to information about the ancient world and contribute to our efforts to support a thriving climate for classical studies. The Board has also created a similar associate membership for K-12 teachers, designed for educators at those levels who do not require all the services offered to regular members. Of course the full range of professional benefits, including making a presentation at the annual meeting, using the Placement Service, and election to committees or voting, will be reserved for regular members. We do believe, however, that the benefits of a Friends membership will be attractive to many. These include Amphora, discounts on books, and participation in APA blogs, all at $35 a year (see the full list of benefits on the online signup site or the downloadable form). A special opportunity exists for Classics majors, who are eligible for a free one-year membership in Friends within the first two years after graduation. Our hope is that those majors who do not pursue an academic career in classics will nonetheless remain in touch with the field as Friends of our organization.

            To implement the Friends of Classics membership, Mary-Kay Gamel as Vice-President for Outreach and I are co-chairing a Making Friends Committee. We are grateful to the following for agreeing to serve on this committee:  Antony Augoustakis, Ward Briggs, Christopher Faraone, Joseph Farrell, Nancy Felson, Judith Hallett, Brooke Holmes, Alexander Loney, and Marilyn Skinner. So far we have undertaken to (1) find ways of identifying potential Friends so as to extend to them an invitation to join and (2) strategize about ways to enrich the Friends experience in the future.

            We believe that potential Friends easily number in the thousands. The most obvious group to solicit for membership are those who have studied Classics at some level, whether in high school, as Classics majors, or at the graduate level, and who remain passionate about antiquity while perhaps enjoying careers in other fields. The difficulty is to find them. Each of the members of the Making Friends Committee has provided the names of at least three persons who might wish to affiliate with our organization, and we have extended invitations to this initial group of potential members. In addition, we have written to chairs of Classics departments inviting them to give us the names of recent graduates (which we’re defining as those who received their degrees after December 2012) who qualify for a year’s free membership in this category. 

            We need your help as well. I call upon each of you as a member of our organization to notify us of three or more persons who you think would like to participate in this associate membership by sending their names with email or postal addresses to the APA Office (apastaff@sas.upenn.edu). If you are submitting the name of a recent undergraduate Classics major who is eligible for the one free year as a Friend of Classics described above, please be sure to communicate that. If you are involved with an organization, meeting group, or class to which you would like to distribute flyers about Friends, feel free to download and copy the one on our web site, or you may ask the APA office to send copies to you.

            The goal of these Friends memberships is to create an audience of enthusiasts with whom we may communicate about Classics and to establish a network of persons who support our initiatives. I am sure that I do not need to tell you how valuable a network like this can be in our ongoing efforts to advocate for Classics. The effort will only succeed, however, with the involvement of regular members. Please send in your names. I also invite you to communicate to me any suggestions and comments you may have on how to build the number of Friends and how to expand upon what we offer our new associate members. These suggestions will be added to the exciting ideas being generated by the Making Friends Committee for enhancing the benefits of becoming a Friend of Classics.

Kathryn Gutzwiller

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In his history of the long and costly war between Athens and Sparta, the historian Thucydides explained that he had written his narrative to be “a possession for all time” and to be of assistance to those of future generations “who want to see things clearly as they were and, given human nature, as they will one day be again, more or less."1 Thucydides was a shrewd observer and analyst of human behavior, and his work has frequently been cited in times of crisis by those who see patterns in history.  At the famous ceremony dedicating the battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863 at which Lincoln also spoke, former Secretary of State Edward Everett delivered a eulogy

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 04/03/2020 - 8:10am by .

As we all contend with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, I want to start by highlighting a gratifying fact: the indispensable expert and voice of reason, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, majored in Classics as an undergraduate at Holy Cross!  This is a timely and inspiring reminder that Classics majors go on to distinguish themselves in many different careers and to perform many kinds of vital service.

I also want to emphasize that, despite the ongoing crisis, the SCS is fully up-and-running. Our three fulltime staff members, Helen Cullyer, Cherane Ali, and Erik Shell, have made a seamless transition to working remotely, thanks to careful advance planning on their part. They are maintaining regular business hours even as they work remotely, and are available to help our members however they can.

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Sun, 03/29/2020 - 2:22pm by Helen Cullyer.

­­The 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 projects that bring creativity and science into the Classics classrooms of secondary schools from California to Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 6:25am by .

The SCS Board of Directors has endorsed a statement by the American Sociological Association on faculty review and reappointment during COVID-19.

Read the statement and full list of signatories at this link

https://www.asanet.org/news-events/asa-news/asa-statement-regarding-faculty-review-and-reappointment-processes-during-covid-19-crisis

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 4:26pm by Helen Cullyer.

As the pandemic known as COVID-19 grips the globe, thousands of instructors in the United States and elsewhere have been asked to transition their courses online for the remainder of the semester. To some instructors, such as the superb Classics professors at the Open University, distance learning has become a normalized pedagogy. To many others facing teaching online: this is uncharted territory.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 8:43am by Sarah E. Bond.

Please see the following on access to digital resources during COVID-19:

1. The digital Classical Loeb Library recently announced that it is making its subscription free to all schools and universities affected by COVID-19 until June 30, 2020. Librarians should email loebclassics_sales@harvard.edu for more details. In addition, SCS members can access the library for free until June 30, 2020 via the For Members Only page of our website. Log on to https://classicalstudies.org and access the For Members only page via our Membership menu. 

2. Johns Hopkins University Press and a number of publishers that contribute content to Project Muse are making books and journals freely accessible for several months. JHUP journals include AJP, TAPA, and CW. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 9:03am by Helen Cullyer.

Results and materials from the Classics tuning project we've mentioned in prior newsletters are now available publicly. See the below press release from the project's authors for full details:

THE ACM CLASSICS TUNING PROJECT: REPOSITORY OF MATERIALS

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.

We're proud to announce the digital publication of "Careers for Classicists: Undergraduate Edition." This work is a completely new version of our previous "Careers for Classicists" pamphlet, providing the latest insights on how undergraduate classics majors can best prepare for jobs in a variety of fields.

You can read this newest publication in our online book format here: https://classicalstudies.org/careers-classicists-undergraduate-edition

We'd like to thank Adriana Brook, Eric Dugdale, and John Gruber-Miller for doing so much work in putting this volume together. The print version of "Careers" will be available in a few months, and will be one of several benefit choices for departmental membership.

And, in case you missed it, you can read the Graduate Student version of this publication here: https://classicalstudies.org/careers-classicists-graduate-student-edition

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 03/16/2020 - 12:51pm by Erik Shell.
We realize that this is a time of unprecedented turmoil, disruption, and challenge in all our personal and professional lives. SCS is delaying deadlines for 2021 annual meeting program submission in the hope that some extra time will be helpful to anyone planning to submit. The new deadlines are:
 
- April 21 (by 11.59pm EDT) for all submissions other than individual abstracts and lightning talks
- April 28 (by 11.59pm EDT) for all individual abstracts and lightning talks
 
As circumstances change, we will continue to adapt. While it is too early to say what effect COVID-19 will have on our annual meeting in January 2021, we will adjust as necessary and provide an annual meeting in some form. 
 
View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 4:26pm by Helen Cullyer.

Here is a modest aggregation of some helpful links and resources that link out to other resources. Thanks to all who have shared their wisdom online:

https://classicalstudies.org/about/so-you-have-teach-online-now

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 9:51am by Helen Cullyer.

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