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

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Classics in the Anthropocene 

University of Toronto, Department of Classics, Graduate Conference 
April 19-20, 2019 

Keynote Speakers: Brooke Holmes (Princeton), Katherine Blouin (Toronto) 

The recent popularity of the notion of “the Anthropocene” reflects a growing recognition that human societies and their natural environments radically and reciprocally shape and influence one another. Additionally, there is a looming sense that the ecological conditions under which humankind has thrived for millennia are about to undergo a set of epochal transformations. Speculations about the near-future range from optimistic to pessimistic extremes. Will there be a collective and self-conscious effort to re-shape civilization as we have known it, or a total extinction of life on earth? In either case, humanity faces an unprecedented crisis. 

This crisis provides a novel horizon of meaning for the interpretation of human society and culture, past as well as present. The task of rethinking traditional categories such as history, culture, individuality, and nature, has become both possible and necessary. In many disciplines this work is already underway. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 10/18/2018 - 10:16am by Erik Shell.
The Popular in Classical Antiquity
 
Graduate Student Conference, University of Pennsylvania, April 26, 2019
Keynote speaker: Jeremy Lefkowitz, Swarthmore College

What is popular culture in the ancient world? How can we study it? Why should we study it? In recent years the discipline of Classical Studies has sought to move away from its traditionally elite bias and broaden investigation of the ancient world to include popular culture. From Johann Gottfried Herder’s work on folk songs in the 18th century to Lucy’s Grig’s recent edited volume, the “popular” has been variously defined: as folk culture located in the rural tradition; as mass culture in urbanized centers; as the opposite of “high” or “literate” culture; and as unauthorized culture expressed as resistance. One of the aims of this conference is to discuss the validity of such definitions for the Classical world.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 10/18/2018 - 9:32am by Erik Shell.
Lapis SatricanusIscrizione latina arcaica, VI secolo a.C. EDR 078476. Photo by Giulia Sarullo - Own work, via Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0.

EAGLE, the Electronic Archive of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, was conceived in 1997 by the Italian Epigrapher Silvio Panciera (1933–2016). Based at Sapienza — Università di Roma, it appeared under the aegis of the Association Internationale d’Épigraphie Grecque et Latine (AIEGL) and an international steering committee. The site launched in 2003, with the goal of providing a gateway for the search of all Greek and Latin inscriptions.

It began with a collaboration of four major databases of Roman inscriptions. Briefly:

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 10/14/2018 - 11:28am by Charles Hedrick.

Mediterranean Connections – How the Sea Links People and Transforms Identities

Session 7 of the International Open Workshop: Socio-Environmental Dynamics VI (organized by the  Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” and the Collaborative Research Centre 1266 “Scales of Transformation”)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 10/12/2018 - 2:45pm by Erik Shell.
“Ways of Seeing, Ways of Reading, 2”
The Aesthetics and Anthropology of Arms and Armor
 
Columbia University, Schermerhorn Hall 612
1180 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
 
 
- PROGRAM -

Friday, October 19: morning (Columbia University, Schermerhorn Hall 612)

1. Weapons, Good to Think With (9:30-11 am)

- Christine Mauduit (ENS), “Around the Sword: Some Thoughts about Ajax’s Suicide”

- Deborah Steiner (Columbia), "Arms and the Symposion”

- Camille Rambourg (ENS), "Exploring the Question of Responsibility: The Javelin of Antiphon's Second Tetralogy"

- Peter van Alfen (ANS), "Arms and Armor in archaic coins" 

Coffee Break (11-11:30 am)

2. Arms, Culture, Religion (11.30 am-1 pm)

- Ellen Morris (Barnard), "Daggers, Militarism, and the Evolving Culture of Death on the Nile in the Second Millennium BCE"

- Cléo Carastro (EHESS), "Greek Trophies: War and its Dead"

- Christophe Goddard (CNRS), "Arms in Religion, Religions in Arms in Late Antiquity"

- Pierre Terjanian (MMA), "Armor as Votive Gift: Devotion and Self-Representation in Late Medieval and Renaissance Europe”

Lunch Break (1-2:30 pm)

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 10/12/2018 - 11:01am by Erik Shell.
Infant Hercules Strangling Two Serpents, late 15th–early 16th century. Bronze. Metropolitan Museum of Art. CC0 1.0.

What is the role of graphic novels in teaching the ancient world to students? Prof. Chris Trinacty addresses this question and reviews two recent additions to the genre: Rome West and The Hero (Book Two). 

Two recent graphic novels touch upon the ancient world in fascinating ways. The first, Rome West, by Justin Giampaoli, Brian Wood, and Andrea Mutti provides an alternative history of the world predicated on the idea that a lost legion of Roman soldiers make landfall in North America in the year 323 CE. The second, The Hero, published by Dark Horse Comics in two volumes is a creative take on Heracles’ Twelve Labors that offers a mash-up of modern celebrity culture, science fiction tropes, ancient archetypes of heroism, and the visual iconography of Heracles especially from Greece vase painting.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 10/11/2018 - 8:43pm by Christopher Trinacty.
The Annual Ancient Philosophy Workshop (42nd in the series inaugurated and periodically sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin) will be held March 8-9, 2019, at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. This workshop is sponsored by the Trinity Philosophy Department and Trinity University Academic Affairs. Proposals are invited for papers on any problem, figure, or issue in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from the Presocratics to late antiquity. Each paper will be allotted forty-five minutes for oral presentation and will be followed by a response and open discussion.
 
Our keynote speaker will be Verity Harte, Yale University.
 
To propose a paper, send a 1-page abstract of 300-500 words to ancientphilworkshop@trinity.edu under the subject heading “Workshop Proposal.” Please provide contact information in the email but no identifying info in the abstract itself. Proposals are due no later than Friday, December 14, 2018. Proposers will be notified of selections by Friday, January 4, 2019.
 
Complete papers will be due to session chairs and respondents by Friday, February 15, 2019.
 
Questions and Contact
 
Damian Caluori, Associate Professor (dcaluori@trinity.edu)
 
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 10/11/2018 - 1:41pm by Erik Shell.
“Home & Homecomings”
 
33rd Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa
Stellenbosch 7-10 November 2019

The Classical Association of South Africa (CASA) invites proposals for papers for its 33rd Biennial Conference, to be hosted by the Department of Ancient Studies at the University of Stellenbosch.

We invite submissions that focus on the conference theme “Homes & Homecomings” as well as individual proposals on other aspects of the classical world and its reception. Panels are strongly encouraged and should consist of 3 to 8 related papers put together by the panel chair. We also welcome postgraduate students currently busy with Master’s or Doctoral programmes to submit papers for a “work-in-progress” parallel session.

Please submit a paper title, an abstract (approximately 300 words), and author affiliation to Annemarie de Villiers at amdev@sun.ac.za. The deadline for proposals is 31 May 2019.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 10/08/2018 - 2:54pm by Erik Shell.

The second meeting of the North American Sections of the International Plutarch Society will take place 15-18 May 2019 at Utah State University in Logan and Park City, Utah. Logan is ninety minutes north of the Salt Lake City International hub airport and convenient to many national parks and other attractions. Plenary sessions will examine the topic of "Plutarch's Unexpected Silences" in tranquil and beautiful mountain settings as we conclude our meeting in the former mining town of Park City, Utah.

"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences" asks us to consider those times in the Parallel Lives or Moralia when we are surprised that Plutarch does not say something, or when he leaves something out. Whether this occurs by mistake or by design in Plutarch's work, we propose focusing on those passages that foil our expectations or whose silence invites a closer examination. We would also like to consider other odd omissions, perhaps of authors or works, or places even, that Plutarch might be expected to know, or even suspected of knowing.

Abstracts will be judged anonymously by the organizing committee.

The deadline for consideration is 30 November 2018.

Please see also our website: https://ipsnortham.org/.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 10/08/2018 - 12:51pm by Erik Shell.

We would like to remind you of this year's call for applications for the Minority Scholarships in Classics and Classical Archaeology.

The purpose of the scholarship is to further undergraduate students’ preparation in classics or classical archaeology with opportunities not available during the school year. Eligible proposals might include (but are not limited to) participation in classical summer programs or field schools in Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc., or language training at institutions in the U.S, Canada, or Europe.

You can read more about the scholarship and how to apply here.

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

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:20am by Erik Shell.

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