SCS Board endorses joint statement on legislative efforts to restrict education on racism

The SCS Board of Directors has co-signed the following statement, which has been authored jointly by the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America. As of June 16, 2021, 80 organizations have endorsed the statement.

You can read the full text and list of signatories below and read the press release by the American Historical Association here

June 16, 2021

We, the undersigned associations and organizations, state our firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities. These efforts have taken varied shape in at least 20 states; but often the legislation aims to prohibit or impede the teaching and education of students concerning what are termed “divisive concepts.” These divisive concepts as defined in numerous bills are a litany of vague and indefinite buzzwords and phrases including, for example, “that any individual should feel or be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological or emotional distress on account of that individual’s race or sex.” These legislative efforts are deeply troubling for numerous reasons.

First, these bills risk infringing on the right of faculty to teach and of students to learn. The clear goal of these efforts is to suppress teaching and learning about the role of racism in the history of the United States. Purportedly, any examination of racism in this country’s classrooms might cause some students “discomfort” because it is an uncomfortable and complicated subject. But the ideal of informed citizenship necessitates an educated public. Educators must provide an accurate view of the past in order to better prepare students for community participation and robust civic engagement. Suppressing or watering down discussion of “divisive concepts” in educational institutions deprives students of opportunities to discuss and foster solutions to social division and injustice. Legislation cannot erase “concepts” or history; it can, however, diminish educators’ ability to help students address facts in an honest and open environment capable of nourishing intellectual exploration. Educators owe students a clear-eyed, nuanced, and frank delivery of history, so that they can learn, grow, and confront the issues of the day, not hew to some state-ordered ideology.  

Second, these legislative efforts seek to substitute political mandates for the considered judgment of professional educators, hindering students’ ability to learn and engage in critical thinking across differences and disagreements. These regulations constitute an inappropriate attempt to transfer responsibility for the evaluation of a curriculum and subject matter from educators to elected officials. The purpose of education is to serve the common good by promoting open inquiry and advancing human knowledge. Politicians in a democratic society should not manipulate public school curricula to advance partisan or ideological aims. In higher education, under principles of academic freedom that have been widely endorsed, professors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject. Educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning. 

Knowledge of the past exists to serve the needs of the living. In the current context, this includes an honest reckoning with all aspects of that past. Americans of all ages deserve nothing less than a free and open exchange about history and the forces that shape our world today, an exchange that should take place inside the classroom as well as in the public realm generally. To ban the tools that enable those discussions is to deprive us all of the tools necessary for citizenship in the twenty-first century. A white-washed view of history cannot change what happened in the past. A free and open society depends on the unrestricted pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.

Signed,

American Association of University Professors
American Historical Association
Association of American Colleges & Universities
PEN America

The following organizations have co-signed this statement:

ACPA-College Student Educators International
Agricultural History Society
Alcohol and Drugs History Society
American Anthropological Association
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Council of Learned Societies
American Educational Research Association
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
American Folklore Society
American Library Association
American Philosophical Association
American Political Science Association
American Society for Environmental History
American Society for Theatre Research
American Sociological Association
American Studies Association
Anti-Defamation League
Association for Ancient Historians
Association for Asian American Studies
Association for Documentary Editing
Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
Association for the Study of Higher Education
Association for Theatre in Higher Education
Association of College and Research Libraries
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Association of Research Libraries
Association of University Presses
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
Business History Conference
Center for Research Libraries
Central European History Society
Chinese Historians in the United States
Coalition of Urban & Metropolitan Universities (CUMU)
College Art Association
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender History
Comparative and International Education Society
Conference on Asian History
Conference on Faith and History
Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
Czechoslovak Studies Association
Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions
Freedom to Read Foundation
French Colonial Historical Society
German Studies Association
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Historical Society of Twentieth Century China
Immigration Ethnic History Society
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
Labor and Working-Class History Association
Middle East Studies Association
Modern Language Association
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
National Association for College Admission Counseling
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education
National Coalition for History
National Council for the Social Studies
National Council of Teachers of English
National Council on Public History
National Women’s Studies Association
Organization of American Historians
Phi Beta Kappa Society
Radical History Review
Rhetoric Society of America
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
Shakespeare Association of America
Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
Society for Classical Studies
Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Civil War Historians
Southern Historical Association
Urban History Association
Western History Association
World History Association

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Karl-Christ-Prize for Ancient History

Laureate 2021: Prof. Dr. Klaus Hallof

(Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

The Karl-Christ-Prize, endowed with 25,000 euros and dedicated to the memory of Karl Christ, who held the Chair of Ancient History at the University of Marburg from 1965 to 1988, will be awarded for the fifth time in 2021. The prize is awarded every two years for outstanding academic achievements in the field of ancient history and neighbouring disciplines as well as the history of humanities and classical reception. It is presented alternately at the universities of Frankfurt a.M. and Bern, where Karl Christ's scholarship is being continued.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Fri, 06/04/2021 - 12:49pm by Erik Shell.

2022 Comparative Literature Conference

University of South Carolina

February 10th -13th, 2022

Truth in the Late Foucault

Keynote Speakers

Sandra Boehringer (Université de Strasbourg)

Alex Dressler (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Edward McGushin (Stonehill College)

Special Event: “Foucault: A Polemical Dialogue”

David Greven (University of South Carolina) and Marc Démont (Centre College)

Call for Papers

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 06/04/2021 - 12:46pm by Erik Shell.
Dr Chiara Blanco
Research Lecturer in Classics, 
Trinity College, Oxford

Dear All,

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 06/04/2021 - 12:32pm by Erik Shell.

Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”

Dipartimento di Studi letterari, filosofici e di storia dell’arte

EARLY MODERN AND MODERN COMMENTARIES ON VIRGIL 

June 14-16, 2021

An Online Conference 

Link Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81909339883

All times are CEST (Rome time).

For more information: casali@uniroma2.it

Monday, June 14, 2pm-2:20pm

Welcoming words by EMORE PAOLI (Director of the Department of Studi letterari, filosofici e di storia dell’arte, Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”) and introduction by SERGIO CASALI

SESSION 1 

Monday, June 14, 2:20pm-5pm 

Chair: VIRGILIO COSTA (Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”)

DAVID WILSON-OKAMURA (East Carolina University)

Afterimages of Lucretius 

FABIO STOK (Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”) 

Commenting on Virgil in the 15th Century: from Barzizza (?) to Parrasio (?)-I 

GIANCARLO ABBAMONTE (Università di Napoli Federico II)

Commenting on Virgil in the 15th Century: from Barzizza (?) to Parrasio (?)-II 

NICOLA LANZARONE (Università di Salerno)

Il commento di Pomponio Leto all’Eneide: sondaggi relativi ad Aen. 1 e 2

5pm-5:20pm 

Break

SESSION 2 

Monday, June 14, 5:20pm-8pm 

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 06/03/2021 - 4:34pm by Erik Shell.
Broken Statue of Ramses II

The Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019 as the Classics Everywhere initiative, supports projects that seek to engage broader publics — individuals, groups, and communities — in critical discussion of and creative expression related to the ancient Mediterranean, the global reception of Greek and Roman culture, and the history of teaching and scholarship in the field of classical studies. As part of this initiative, the SCS has funded 98 projects, ranging from school programming to reading groups, prison programs, public talks and conferences, digital projects, and collaborations with artists in theater, opera, music, dance, and the visual arts. The initiative welcomes applications from all over the world. To date, it has funded projects in 25 states and 10 countries, including Canada, UK, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ghana, Puerto Rico, Argentina and India.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/02/2021 - 8:07pm by .
Penelope and the Suitors, by John William Waterhouse. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Blog: Weaving Humanity Together: How Weaving Reveals Human Unity in Ancient Times

To start with, she lived a respectable life, frugal and hard;
she earned her living by weaving and spinning wool.

primum haec pudice uitam parce ac duriter
agebat, lana ac tela uictum quaeritans.

— Terence the African (P. Terentius Afer), The Girl from Andros, 74–75

This line drew my attention because I am an avid fiber artist. When I am not reading, teaching, and writing about Classics and its connection to Black people, I am in my wool room, lost in the magical world of fiber arts. This line from The Girl from Andros has led me on a new journey of discovering fiber arts in ancient times.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/02/2021 - 1:18pm by .
Ravenna Mosaic. Image courtesy of Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought historical epidemics into contemporary public awareness on a massive scale. Although ancient pandemics have been studied in detail since at least the 19th century, over the past year, outbreaks of the past have become apparently more relevant for what they might offer us today. Of course, the interest in historical pandemics seems to increase every time contemporary diseases draw public attention. Over the last three decades, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and Zika, among others, have made headlines, increasing interest in past diseases, even if not on the same scale as Covid. Presentist concerns, unsurprisingly, drive historical research.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/28/2021 - 10:26am by .

This is a reminder that the AIA-SCS Future Meetings Survey is now available.

Please click here to access the survey, which should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

The survey will remain open until May 31.

The 2022 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 5 – Saturday, January 8 in San Francisco at the Hilton Union Square, with the Parc 55 hotel serving as an overflow property. AIA and SCS signed contracts with these hotels several years prior to COVID-19, and we realize that attendees’ expectations and needs have changed since then owing to concerns about public health, accessibility, and cost. With this in mind, please take some time to fill out our survey on the 2022 meeting and on longer term planning for our conferences. The survey results will assist us in determining the optimal format and structure for our 2022 meeting and beyond.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 05/25/2021 - 1:36pm by Erik Shell.

Dickinson Summer Latin Workshop 2021: Ovid’s Little Aeneid

Dates: July 12-16, 2021

Location: Zoom link to be provided to registered participants

Text: Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.623–14.582

Moderators: Meghan Reedy (D. Phil. Oxford), Christopher Francese (Prof. of Classical Studies, Dickinson College)

Cost: $200

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 05/24/2021 - 5:36pm by Erik Shell.
14th century illustrated manuscript of Omne Bonum (by James le Palmer – British Library MS Royal 6 E. VI, fol. 301ra); it shows a bishop instructing clerics with leprosy.

What use is Covid-19? Despite its epidemiological and socioeconomic consequences, can this pandemic do anything good for scholars? For Classicists? For one thing, we have seen the capacity of the virus to generate numerous themed conferences, journal volumes, and lecture series. Whether that’s a “good thing” is another matter. But, at the very least, we may say that this global pandemic renders a cluster of ideas more broadly interesting and salient than usual.

For some scholars, such events have proved fortuitous: say, for example, Kyle Harper, whose The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of and Empire appeared in late 2017 and dealt with disease and pandemic in late antiquity. Frank M. Snowden’s Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present has witnessed renewed interest. For some scholars, Classicists or not, Covid-19 has highlighted their work. No one likes to benefit from a public emergency — as a former wildland firefighter, a profession which lives for forest fires, I know the feeling — but it happens. It is outside our control.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/21/2021 - 10:08am by Carson M Bay.

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