Presidential Letter - Annual Meeting Location (Pt. 2)

In my most recent letter, I outlined the reasons why there are so few cities that can accommodate the SCS-AIA Joint Annual Meeting. That constraint has mainly to do with facilities, and it will likely remain even if we decide to meet at another time of year. In fact, it could get worse, because at another time we might face more competition from the corporate sector, and thus higher costs. But there are good reasons to consider meeting at another time of year, anyway.

Before we get to that, why do we meet when we do in the first place? Many will remember that we once met between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which was a more advantageous time than the current one in certain ways. There was no chance of interfering with anyone’s teaching schedule. Not only had the climate not yet got out of control, but the December date remains less subject to outlandish weather (at least so far). And hotel rates are lower then, because most people are at home with their families. But, in fact, families are the main reason that we, and other learned societies, made the change that we did. (Credit for this goes largely to the WCC and to analogous organizations in other disciplines.) Some years ago, as we realized that the current date tended to interfere with the start of the new semester at some schools, we revisited the question of when to meet. SCS actually voted to go back to the old date, and AIA voted for a date in November. Staying put was everyone’s second choice, and that about sums it up. But what would we say now?

As I wrote in my previous letter, all of these decisions are predicated on one assumption:

"SCS members and AIA members agree that they want SCS and AIA to continue holding a Joint Annual Meeting."

I’ve already made the point that SCS members and AIA members, when they were last polled, could not agree on a first choice of when to meet, and that both sides were willing to compromise, in preference to parting ways. It probably won’t be any easier to agree on meeting at some other time. Summers are impossible for AIA, because so many of their members are in the field. For SCS members, on the other hand, meeting when classes are in session has never had much appeal. One reason is that there are already quite a few meetings during the fall or spring semester that many of our members usually attend. Among Classics organizations, CAAS meets in the middle of the fall, CANE and CAPN in March, and CAMWS also in the late spring. Besides those, there are ASOR and SBL in November, CAA in February, and AAH in April. This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture.

Before deciding that we should stand pat on timing, but focus on meeting in warm-weather cities, please remember a point I made in my previous letter, and let me add another.

First, the universe of possible venues is pretty small, barely more than two dozen cities, of which only half a dozen are really attractive to members (not because they say they want to go there, but because they actually do); and the majority of these are not warm-weather cities. In fact, most of the warmer venues draw significantly fewer members than the colder ones.

Second, holding a winter meeting in a warm city doesn’t guarantee that your travel will be trouble-free. The last time we met in the South, I personally had my worst SCS travel adventure ever. My plane left balmy San Antonio, a city I love to  visit, right on time, but was barely able to touch down in Atlanta because of a massive blizzard that was heading up the east coast, closing every airport in its path. After two days in Atlanta, I was booked on a flight home to Philadelphia through Detroit, where again the airport was shut down moments after I landed. I did finally make it home, but four days later than I expected. The obvious point is that the air travel system is a system, and your plans can be ruined either because of where you are, where you have to go, where you have to change planes, or even because of something that happened in a different part of the country altogether.

In spite of all that, it may be that when we currently meet is still on balance the best time, or the least bad time, to meet; I’m not convinced of that, but it’s not impossible. On the other hand, while a different time will bring with it different problems that we can’t foresee, we shouldn’t let that stop us from making a change if that seems the best thing, or even the least bad thing, to do.

Most of you will have thought of all this, but I thought it was worth just putting it in writing before we get started on a decision-making process. We will do that as soon as we can confer with the AIA leadership, but in the meantime, I invite you to write me informally with any thoughts you may have about when and where we should meet in the future.

- Joe Farrell

Categories

Follow SCS News for information about the SCS and all things classical.

Use this field to search SCS News
Select a category from this list to limit the content on this page.
The mount Ida chain and the Messara plain seen from Phaistos, Crete, Greece. Jebulon. Image via Wikimedia under CC-by-1.0

How do we reconstruct the color palette of antiquity? What role did plants and flora play in the creation of this polychromy world? In February 2017, I arrived in Greece for a four-month research stay, based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Like many academics, I had experienced Greece only in the summer, and the image in my mind was one of bare, rocky, sun-scorched landscapes, punctuated primarily by olives and pines. In those first February days, I explored my local surroundings, walking up into the urban pine forest which is Mount Lykavittos, adjacent to the American School. I was stunned to find the Lykavittos blanketed in wildflowers, climbing over one another in a tangled rainbow of plant life. This immediately challenged my notions of the landscape, and of the color palette of Greece.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 08/15/2018 - 4:10pm by .
Forum Romanum

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) is delighted to announce the first annual nomination period for our Forum Prize.

The Forum Prize - presented by the the SCS Committee on Public Information and Media Relations - recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the ancient Greek and Roman world. It empowers the SCS to build bridges with a broader public by rewarding the best public-facing essays, books, poems, articles, podcasts, films, and art produced each year by someone (either a classicist or a non-classicist) working primarily outside of the academy.

Image by Andreas Tille - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41103

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 9:06am by Helen Cullyer.
San Diego Reflecting Pond

SCS is now accepting applications for travel stipends for the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Click here for more information and to apply.



Image by Rufustelestrat, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 10:58am by Helen Cullyer.
Roman Era Mummy Portraits from the Getty, Met, Wikimedia.

Princeton University’s Department of Classics has launched a new pre-doctoral fellowship for promising young Classicists who would contribute to the diversity of the University. Premised on a recognition that access to Classics is not equitable, the fellowship provides both preparation for and admission to Princeton’s Ph.D. program. I reached out to Professors Michael Flower and Dan-el Padilla Peralta to learn more about the concerns and conversations that gave birth to this fellowship. Below is our exchange, lightly edited for clarity.

Park: This fellowship is, as far as I know, unique. From what I can gather, it essentially offers financial support for post-baccalaureate study along with admission to Princeton’s Ph.D. program upon completion of the post-bacc. It seems to me unusual to fund a post-bacc—can you tell me how the idea for this level of support came about? Were there other fellowships that inspired Princeton’s?

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 7:38am by Arum Park.
Vergilius Romanus. Shepherd with flocks (Georgics, Book III). First half of the 5th c., 22 x 22.5 cm. Vatican Apostolic Library. Vat. Lat. 3867. F ° 44v. Image via Wikipedia by Public Domain.

In our fourth post from the SCS’ Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP), high school Latin teacher Patrick Hogan explores how to bring Vergil to life through dramatic performance. 

Teachers of Greek and Latin, no matter how experienced, are always looking for new ways to bring ancient language to life for their students, whether through basic oral conversation, reading passages of prose or poetry aloud, or translation from modern English into Latin or Greek. In my opinion, teachers should make more frequent use of a fourth option, i.e., public, staged readings of poetry. I have found success in performances of Vergil’s Eclogues at the private high school where I teach.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/09/2018 - 8:56am by Patrick Paul Hogan.
NEH Logo

August, 2018

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

  • Amir Zeldes (Georgetown University) - "A Linked Digital Environment for Coptic Studies"
    • Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
  • Robert Kanigel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - "American Scholar Milman Parry (1902-1935) and the Study of Oral Tradition in Classical Literature"
    • Public Scholar Program
  • Christopher Ratte (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) - "Notion Archaeological Research Project: The Biography of an Ancient Greek Urban Community"
    • Collaborative Research
  • Thomas Madden (St. Louis University) - "The Fall of Republics: A History"
    • Public Scholar Program
  • James Romm (Bard College) - "The Sacred Band of Thebes and the Last Days of Greek Freedom (379-338 B.C.)"
    • Public Scholar Program
  • Tyler Jo Smith (University of Virginia) - "Linked Open Greek Pottery"
    • Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

---

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:05am by Erik Shell.

SAGP at Central and Pacific Divisions of the American Philosophical Association 2019

The Deadline for submission of papers for the SAGP panels at the Central and Pacific Division meetings of the APA is coming up soon: SEPTEMBER 1. Papers on any topic in Ancient Greek Philosophy, from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE, may be considered.

The 2019 Central Division Meeting will be 2/20/19 – 2/23/19 in Denver (Westin Downtown).

The 2019 Pacific Division Meeting will be 4/17/19 - 4/20/19 in Vancouver (Westin Bayshore).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.
54th International Congress on Medieval Studies 2019
Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 9-12, 2019 
 
Bridging the Gap: Classicists and Medievalists in Continuous Dialogue
sponsored by the Classical Association for the Midwest and South. Organizer: Anise K. Strong

We are calling for papers that address ways in which medieval society, texts, and material culture perpetuate and adapt earlier traditions and practices from the ancient world. While papers concerning the reception of literary texts are welcome, we are particularly interested in papers that seek to make connections between ancient and medieval religious practices, local customs and traditions, artistic styles or types of media, persistent urban centers, enduring clans or families, social attitudes towards oppressed groups or minorities, or deliberate political and social echoes of earlier classical forms of government. We define “ancient” and “medieval” broadly in this context. Papers about the influence of Zoroastrianism on medieval writings about magic would be as enthusiastically greeted as papers about the use of ancient Greek political terms to describe Scandinavian Things. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 08/06/2018 - 10:47am by Erik Shell.
Vincenzo Camuccini. The Assassination of Julius Caesar, between 1804 and 1805. Oil on canvas. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea.

Historical fiction based in the ancient world has long been a fruitful way to encourage the interest of non-specialists in the ancient world. These novels can also be used profitably to improve classroom pedagogy. I regularly assign a work of historical fiction in my online Intro to Ancient Rome course.  This summer, I opted for Steven Saylor’s most recent addition to his Gordianus series, The Throne of Caesar. My students in the summer are nearly all STEM majors who are looking to complete a core requirement, often while simultaneously working full-time. I need to select novels that are readable, follow Roman history accurately, and add dimension to the world and characters that they are studying. Ideally, the novel will also encourage the students to think about some aspect of Roman history from a new perspective.  For instance, Saylor’s Catalina’s Riddle tells the story of the Catilinarian conspiracy from the perspective of Catiline rather than Cicero and reminds students to pay close attention to Cicero’s presentation of the events. Robert Harris’s Imperium invites the reader into Cicero’s life at the very start of his career, to learn how Cicero became Cicero.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/02/2018 - 4:10pm by Jen Ebbeler.

From the ACLS (www.acls.org):

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has posted Fellowship application guidelines and deadlines for the 2018-2019 application cycle.  Those relevant to Classicists include:

See the announcement and full fellowships list here.

---

(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 07/31/2018 - 11:21am by Erik Shell.

Pages

Latest Stories

Awards and Fellowships
The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) is delighted to announce the first an
SCS Announcements
SCS is now accepting applications for travel stipends for the 2019 Annual Mee
Calls for Papers
SAGP at Central and Pacific Divisions of the American Philosophical A

© 2018, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy