President's Message about Greek in Switzerland

We are posting a call for signatures to a petition launched by our colleagues in Bern, Switzerland, and circulated by Prof. Thomas Späth, the President of the Swiss Association of Classical Philologists.  As you will see from the message, the canton of Bern is proposing to abolish the study of Greek (and Russian) in high schools.  This is a bad enough step in itself, but if successful it may start a domino effect and make the other cantons consider the abolition of Greek as well.  We thought this was an important petition to draw to your attention, and we urge members to read the message and to consider signing the petition.

Denis Feeney

Liebe KollegInnen,
   vor zehn Tagen ist der "Bericht des Regierungsrates an den Grossen Rat" des Kantons Bern veröffentlicht worden, der unter dem Titel "Angebots- und Strukturüberprüfung" ein allgemeines Sparprogramm vorsieht. Vorgesehen ist unter anderem, dass ab 2014 das Schwerpunktfach Griechisch (und im Übrigen auch das Schwerpunktfach Russisch) an den Berner Gymnasien nicht mehr angeboten werden soll -- mit der Streichung der zwei Fächer will der Regierungsrat nächstes Jahr den lächerlichen Betrag von CHF 100'000 einsparen. Der Grosse Rat wird im kommenden Herbst über diese Vorlage beraten -- es scheint mir aber wichtig, dass wir unmittelbar darauf reagieren. Der Schweizerische Altphilologenverband hat eine Online-Petition lanciert unter "http://www.philologia.ch/bern/" und ich möchte Sie gerne bitten, diese Petition zu unterzeichnen und sie in Ihrem Umfeld bekannt zu machen. Das wird ein erster Schritt sein, dem weitere folgen müssen -- aber ich erinnere gerne daran, dass vor zwei Jahren eine von 17'000 Personen unterzeichnete Petition im Kanton Genf den Lateinunterricht auf der Sekundarstufe erhalten konnte!
   Mit den besten Grüssen
   Thomas Späth

Chères et chers Collègues,
   il y dix jours, le "Rapport du Consel-exécutif au Grand Conseil" du Canton de Berne a été publié ; sous le titre "Examen des offres et des structures", il propose un programme général de réductions budgétaires et prévoit que l'option spécifique du grec (et également celle du russe) dans les lycées bernois soit supprimée à partir de 2014 -- par la suppression des deux langues, le Conseil veut économiser la somme ridicule de CHF 100'000 en 2014. Le Grand Conseil délibérera en automne prochain -- mais il me paraît très important d'y réagir immédiatement. L'Association Suisse des Philologues Classiques a lancé une pétition en ligne sous l'adresse "http://www.philologia.ch/bern/", et j'aimerais bien vous demander de signer cette pétition et de la faire circuler dans votre entourage. Cela pourra être un premier pas et nous aurons à réfléchir à d'autres -- mais rappelons-nous : il y a deux ans, une pétition signée par 17'000 personnes a réussi à sauver le latin dans le secondaire à Genève !
   Avec mes salutations très cordiales
   Thomas Späth

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"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

CAMP Press Release

The SCS’ Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) would like to announce a change in its staged reading for the 2020 meeting in Washington D.C.  Instead of Robert Montgomery Bird’s “the Gladiator,” the committee will instead present Joseph Addison’s “Cato.”  Both plays provoke interesting discussion on the connections between American history and Classical Rome.  “Cato,” which dramatizes the stoic and patriotic Cato’s last stand against a tyrannical Julius Caesar, was quoted and alluded to by the leaders of the American Revolution, and staged by George Washington for his troops at Valley Forge in defiance of a congressional ban on plays.

Both plays and their authors are also rooted in the ideologies of their own times, ideologies which include some racist and colonialist viewpoints.  That these viewpoints have been connected with Classics as an academic field is an important element of both the history of and the contemporary challenges of our discipline.  CAMP believes that by working with and presenting such material, even when (and in fact especially when) it is problematic, we can simultaneously acknowledge the field’s entanglement with historical wrongs, and have fruitful discussions about how we can productively move forward.

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Wed, 11/20/2019 - 8:17am by Erik Shell.

Vergilian Society Call for Proposals to direct June 2021 Symposium in Italy

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 11/19/2019 - 8:54am by Erik Shell.

Today we wish to introduce a new project: Women in Classics: Conversations. This venture consists of a series of interviews with female professors of Classics, many of whom were the first hired or the first to receive tenure at their institutions in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These academic women blazed a new trail as teachers and scholars at a time when university positions in many fields were overwhelmingly held by men. They did so in a discipline that has been described as “one of the most conservative, hierarchical, and patriarchal of academic fields.” Their experiences, as presented in these interviews, provide colorful, candid snapshots of a critical moment in the history of the discipline.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/15/2019 - 6:19am by Claire Catenaccio.

Information and an RSVP form for our Career Networking Event at this year's annual meeting are now available.

You can read about this event and sign up here:

https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/2020/151/2020-annual-meeting-career-networking-event

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/12/2019 - 11:29am by Erik Shell.

What is the interplay between Classics and literary translation? What are the preparatory actions for launching a new journal that will address problems and lacunae within the field? Adrienne K.H. Rose explores the challenges of beginning a translation journal which will address the philosophies, difficulties, and necessity for diversity within the area of classical translation.

Early Latin translators, including Cicero (De optimo genere oratorum iv. 13-v.14), Horace (Ars poetica II.128-44), Quintilian (Institutio Oratoria X.xi 1-11; X.v.1-5), and Jerome (Chronicle 1-2) distinguish between the act of word for word––or literal translation––and literary translation. The latter type of translation prioritizes senses, aesthetics, and rhetorical verve. However, language pedagogy in Classics departments emphasize the first type of translation, word for word, and often stop short of encouraging more literary pursuits. In fact, creative translations that deviate from translationese (a kind of literal, affected translation style from which the reader may deduce the exact parsing of the original word) is actively discouraged.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 6:29am by Adrienne K.H. Rose.

This is a reminder from the SCS Office that members hoping to register at the reduced Early Registration rate for the Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. must do so on or before this Friday, November 8th.

If you find you are unable to register or in need of any help please contact our registration vendor at aia-scs@showcare.com

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 11/06/2019 - 10:58am by Erik Shell.

2020 Annual Meeting: Seminars

For the first time since 2016, the SCS will be holding four seminars at this year’s annual meeting.

Seminars as a rule concentrate on more narrowly focused topics and aim at extensive discussion. In order to allow the time to be spent mainly on discussion, the SCS publishes a notice about the session in advance, and organizers distribute copies of the papers (normally three or four in number) to be discussed to those who request them.  Attendance at a seminar will, if necessary, be limited to the first 25 people who sign up. Seminars are normally three hours in length. Registered meeting attendees may sign up at no additional cost for one or more of these seminars.

Third Paper Session, Friday, January 3, 1:45-4:45 PM

State Elite? Senators, Emperors and Roman Political Culture 25BCE-400CE (Seminar)
John Weisweiler, St John's College, University of Cambridge, Organizer

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:21am by Erik Shell.

"WARNING: Storm Approaching": Weather, the Environment, and Natural Disasters in the Ancient Mediterranean

24th Annual Classics Graduate Student Colloquium, University of Virginia
March 21, 2020

Keynote Speaker: Clara Bosak-Schroeder (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Scientific, aesthetic, and religious conceptions of weather events appear throughout Classical antiquity, as the Greeks and Romans attempted to make sense of environmental phenomena. Often, these events were explained as expressions of divine wrath or favor. Storms and natural disasters figured as literary devices, for example to delay narrative action or as metaphors for the cyclic nature of human life. Climate, broadly defined, was thought to determine national character, and weather played a critical role in military expeditions. Recently, scholars have made considerable advances in applying principles of bioarchaeology to the study of the ancient world. Hand in hand with these, theorists working with the tools of ecocriticism envision a humanities broader than humans, accounting for the whole natural world.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 11/01/2019 - 2:55pm by Erik Shell.

Modern cinema and Greek tragedy illustrate that few things elicit a fear more profound than parents killing children. Horror movies have often grappled with figures of “monstrous” mothers in particular, from the obsessive, hypochondriac Sonia Kaspbrack in Stephen King's IT (1986), to the lonely, murderous Olivia Crain in Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House (2018). In Greek tragedy, too, mothers are often monsters: women like Medea, Agave or Althaea are all tragic examples of women who have killed their children. In both genres, these gestures of extreme violence are meant to shock and unsettle the audience by pushing back against “normal” familial bonds, bringing into question relationships of gender, the body and motherhood.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/01/2019 - 5:16am by Justin Lorenzo Biggi.

The Outreach Prize Committee is delighted to award the 2019 Outreach Prize of the Society for Classical Studies to Dr. Salvador Bartera, Assistant Professor of Classics and Dr. Donna Clevinger, Professor of Communication and Theatre at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi.  For the past five years, Professors Bartera and Clevinger have organized “Classical Week” at MSU, which includes a two-night run of an ancient comedy or tragedy and a colloquium about an aspect of the performance. This joint venture of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and the Shakouls Honors College showcases the interdisciplinarity of the event, in which Dr. Clevinger choreographs and directs the production, Dr. Bartera serves as dramaturge, and both collaborate on the colloquium.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 10/31/2019 - 9:09am by Erik Shell.

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