Public Statement from the SCS Board of Directors

The mission of the Society for Classical Studies is “to advance knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the ancient Greek and Roman world and its enduring value.” That world was a complex place, with a vast diversity of peoples, languages, religions, and cultures spread over three continents, as full of contention and difference as our world is today.  Greek and Roman culture was shared and shaped for their own purposes by people living from India to Britain and from Germany to Ethiopia. Its medieval and modern influence is wider still. Classical Studies today belongs to all of humanity.

For this reason, the Society strongly supports efforts to include all groups among those who study and teach the ancient world, and to encourage understanding of antiquity by all. It vigorously and unequivocally opposes any attempt to distort the diverse realities of the Greek and Roman world by enlisting the Classics in the service of ideologies of exclusion, whether based on race, color, national origin, gender, or any other criterion. As scholars and teachers, we condemn the use of the texts, ideals, and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the Classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely-imagined and narrowly-conceived western civilization. 

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The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) of the American Philological Association invites proposals for a panel to be held under the Committee’s sponsorship at the 146th Annual Meeting of the APA (New Orleans, January 8-11, 2015).  Submissions, which should not exceed 500 words in length, should include:
 
(1)  the title of the proposed panel;
(2)  a general outline of the proposed topic;
(3)  a brief explanation of the topic's relevant to the performance of ancient or modern drama;
(4)  and, where relevant, a brief bibliography.

APA panels usually comprise either four 20-minute papers in a two-hour session, or four 20-minute papers plus short introduction and response in a

two-and-a-half-hour session.  Panel proposals should be sent via e-mail to Amy R. Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (acohen@randolphcollege.edu), by December 30, 2013 (note extended deadline).
 
It should be noted that selection and sponsorship of a panel topic by the Committee does not in itself guarantee final acceptance of the panel by the
APA Program Committee.  Note that the organizer of any panel selected by the Committee will have to be a fully paid-up member of the APA for 2014.
View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 11/21/2013 - 9:14am by Adam Blistein.

I want to provide an update on the steps we are taking to implement the change in the name of the  Association that the members approved this summer.  With the help of incoming President Kathryn Gutzwiller, I formed an ad hoc committee consisting of members who represent various communities in our society to consider issues such as communicating with audiences outside the membership and guiding the graphic designer who is creating a new logo for us.

As part of this process we have learned that taking the legal steps required to change our name is the easiest task ahead of us.  We are incorporated in Delaware, and that state requires only that we file a simple form and pay a modest fee.  Legally we will become the Society for Classical Studies as soon as we make that filing.  Before we take that step, we want to have a logo ready and decide how the new name and its “subtitle” (founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association) will appear on our printed and electronic publications.  We also want to identify and prepare communications for all the audiences (both internal and external) who need to know about our change.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/18/2013 - 1:50pm by Adam Blistein.

California State University Long Beach’s Classics program would like to announce that we are making our upper division Latin reading classes available to students via the web. These are not “online” classes; they are classes conducted with students in real time. People who are interested in joining our classes would attend class sessions virtually through a web interface, and thus anyone who wants to participate would have to be online during the specific class time.

For Spring semester 2014, we are offering two reading courses, Cicero and Caesar. The semester begins on Tuesday, January 21, and concludes on Friday, May 23, with Spring Break during the week of March 21. Each class meets three hours per week and earns a student 3 semester units. The prerequisite for each class is intermediate Latin; i.e., students will be expected to have facility with noun and verb morphology and an introductory knowledge of Latin grammatical constructions.

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Mon, 11/18/2013 - 10:08am by .

The Department of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary is currently accepting applications for its first incoming class of students interested in pursuing a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Classical Studies.  This is a flexible program of study for students who have an undergraduate degree and who wish to pursue an intensive course of study in the Classical languages in preparation for graduate studies, teaching, or personal enrichment.  Students in the program take specific courses in Latin, Greek, and classical civilization appropriate to their level of preparation.  This program is especially designed for students who wish to:

  • pursue graduate study in Classical Studies but do not have enough Latin and Greek to be competitive in applying to Ph.D. programs.
  • teach Greek, Latin, or a related field in Classical Studies but have only a limited number of courses in Greek or Latin as an undergraduate student.
  • study Latin or Greek (or both) for personal intellectual growth and satisfaction.

A complete program description and application for admission can be found at: www.wm.edu/as/classicalstudies/post-bac-program/index.php.  For additional information, please contact: John Donahue, Chair, Department of Classical Studies at jfdona@wm.edu or at 757-221-1930.

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 4:19pm by .

Classico Contemporaneo is a new international review aimed at sharing themes, methods and experiences dealing with the persistence of the classical tradition in western cultural memory. The review’s focus converges on the relationship between modernity and Classics and its influence on the daily collective imagination.

The guidelines for submissions include, but are not limited to, didactical practices, research themes, and methodology. Experiences from abroad and reviews of literary and visual works inspired by Classics are welcome.

The first issue of Classico Contemporaneo will collect contributions about the classical tradition in western cultural memory and new perspectives that modern knowledge transmission has created.  For information please contact us: redazione@classicocontemporaneo.eu
 

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 10:26am by Adam Blistein.

OK, my title is a more than a little tongue in cheek. Blogging for the APA doesn’t make me a public intellectual. Nor does the one article I’ve published for a wider public, a piece on Petronius for Salon.com. But by the same token it seems to me that most professional classical scholars don't pursue publishing in such venues, and I think more of us should attempt it. There are a lot of reasons why we don't. We’re not trained to write for broad audiences, and the tenure and promotion system demands that we devote our energy to peer-reviewed publications. Most of us don't know how we would go about finding a venue (I got published on Salon by pure, naïve luck, a shot in the dark to a culture editor. There must be better ways to do it, and I now know that your college’s office of communications can help, but I would welcome an APA panel with advice from those who have actually done it). But I also wonder whether many of us, self-conscious about the specialization of our expertise, don't think of ourselves as having much to say. So I think it’s useful to deflate the vaunted designation of “public intellectual” a bit, because too much vaunting discourages us from trying to attain it. It’s bad for our field if no one is speaking to the public about what we do.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/11/2013 - 3:59pm by Curtis Dozier.

Over the summer I saw a production of Antigone at the Schaubühne in Berlin, and for the most part I absolutely hated it. In a way this was rather good – I’ve seen so many blah-blah-just-fine productions of Greek tragedy that it’s easy to forget the invigorating ire that trickles down your spine when you see the immortal lines to which you’ve devoted your career trampled into the dust before your eyes. It was a classic example of artistic navel-gazing at its most extreme: the whole play was set in a therapy group, where the actors took it in turns to adopt the roles of different participants in the myth to work through their own issues, and then came out of character to discuss what they’d learned from the process. Everything was blasted with self-referential irony until every last trace of emotion withered and died. Tiresias was played by a glove-puppet who threw fried chicken all over the stage while uttering his prophecies in a squeaky voice. The duel between Polynices and Eteocles was staged as a wet towel fight. There was far too much silver glitter involved at every point.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 11/06/2013 - 8:30am by Laura Swift.

“At last my love has come along.” — At Last, written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
tandem uenit amor (at last my love has come along) — Sulpicia poem 1, line 1

Etta James’ most famous song quotes the first line of the love-elegist Sulpicia, one of the few surviving Graeco-Roman women poets.  One of the song’s composers, Harry Warren (born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna), was the son of Italian immigrants.  Perhaps he encountered the line through them, and it stuck with him over the years?  More likely a coincidence.  In “Rumour Has It,” a recent chart-topper by the pop star Adele—a self-described admirer of Etta James and lover of poetry—the plot is one of love unrequited and rumor at large, a scenario reminiscent of Dido, Aeneas, and Rumor in Vergil Aeneid book 4.  (I’m not the first to make this association: see @calpunzel on Twitter.)  Even closer correspondences with Vergil appear in the songs of the singer Dido, particularly “My Lover’s Gone,” as Alden Smith has pointed out.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 2:24pm by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

For several weeks in August and September, the United States government considered whether or not to bomb Syria. Public support for bombing hovered around ten percent, but the nation’s leaders seemed open to proceeding with military action. Various reasons were offered – to prevent further deaths from gas attacks by Syrian government forces; to degrade the Assad regime’s capacity to launch such attacks; to enforce international laws banning chemical weapons; to honor President Obama’s “red line” ultimatum of some months earlier; and to show rogue regimes and the world that the United States meant business when it made threats. An addendum to the last argument was that inaction would embolden the likes of Iran or North Korea. This line of thought got me thinking of a course I teach at Penn State, and the “logic of empire.”

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 10:56am by Garrett Fagan.

When I was invited to participate in APA’s first set of blog posts, it was suggested I might concentrate on digital classics, fitting the message to the online medium. Haud mollia iussa!, I thought. The topic was pleasant, but the scope daunting.

Let me start by assuming you are a budding or established classicist who is not particularly invested in emerging digital methods. Why should you care? The honest answer is, not everybody needs to. There are good folks in computer science, humanities, library science, and other fields already creating digital techniques to answer research questions and better explain classical antiquity. The Orbis website developed at Stanford can now give you a pretty good estimate of how long it took to travel by foot, cart, or ship from one point in the Roman Empire to another, and how much shipping by these modes would cost. Our Tesserae website helps you to find intertextual parallels between Greek, Latin, or English texts. The venerable Perseus Project continues to lay the foundation for digital textual research and develop new resources.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/04/2013 - 9:50pm by Neil Coffee.

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