From the SCS President and Executive Director

We are writing for two reasons. First, we reiterate the statement of 1/6/19, authored and approved by the Board of Directors in San Diego. There is no place for racism in our field and we feel that is important to reissue that statement, given the increasing toxicity of online debate and the intensification of online harassment over the last few days:

“The Board of Directors of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) condemns the racist acts and speech that occurred at the 2019 SCS annual meeting. The Society’s policy on harassment addresses, among other things, hostility and abuse based on race and ethnicity. There is no place for racism on the part of members, attendees, vendors, and contractors at the meeting.  In addition, the Board reaffirms its statement of November 2016 in which the directors condemned ‘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.’” 

Second, we would like to make a clarification regarding Professor Sarah Bond. After the Future of Classics panel, a number of complaints were brought to the Society’s Committee on Professional Ethics. A member of the SCS filed a formal complaint against Professor Bond. The Committee dismissed this complaint, determining in accordance with our procedures that the complaint was not credible and did not rise to the level of requiring formal investigation. The Committee did not approve or recommend to the Board any formal censure of her. However, the Committee did advise that someone communicate to her informally, on behalf of the Committee, some concerns regarding her behavior at the panel. The subsequent communication with Professor Bond resulted in misunderstandings of the content and intent of the Ethics Committee's concerns, particularly because it was not explicitly stated to Professor Bond that she was not being formally censured as a result of a complaint. We apologize for the great hurt and damage that this has caused to Professor Sarah Bond, our Communications Committee chair and blog editor, who does so much good for the Society.  The President and Executive Director bear the ultimate responsibility for the miscommunication and mishandling of the situation, and the subsequent damage, including the ambiguity of whether she was censured. Together with the Board, we are reviewing our procedures to ensure that what Professor Bond experienced does not happen again.

Mary T. Boatwright, SCS President 2019 

Helen Cullyer, Executive Director 


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In 2014 the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association, awarded the second set of its Pedagogy Awards to three outstanding classics teachers. One of the major goals of the Society's recently and successfully completed capital campaign, Gatekeeper to Gateway: The Campaign for Classics in the Twenty-first Century, was to ensure that an inspiring, well trained teacher would be available for every school and college classics classroom. A subcommittee of the Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education, whose membership is selected from both the SCS and the American Classical League, reviewed thirteen applications requesting funds to support a variety activities that would improve their teaching and their students’ experiences in the classroom. The awards received by the three successful applicants are funded by income derived from the following contributions to the Campaign’s Research and Teaching Endowment: a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:26am by Adam Blistein.

The fifteenth annual classics institute of the Wyoming Humanities Council will run from June 15-20, 2014 and is entitled "The Emperor and the Philosopher: Nero, Seneca, and Their World."  The institute will help participants gain knowledge of Roman history, culture, and society and will focus on the reign of Nero (A.D. 54-68) which has gone down in history as a time of lurid palace intrigues, a paranoid emperor who freely put his enemies to death, and heroic resistance to imperial power by a valiant few—particularly Stoics, who needed their stiff-upperlip philosophy to face the emperor’s deadly caprices, and Christians, who never forgot that Nero was the first of a long line of Roman persecutors of their faith. Yet despite dysfunctions at the top, it was also an age of power and prosperity throughout the empire (somebody was doing something right), with some strange and new literary developments, along with religious and philosophical ferment. Gracious (and some not-so-gracious) living flourished in Pompeii, wiped out by the famous eruption of Vesuvius after the death of Nero. This year’s institute will explore all these developments, and more, with an experienced and distinguished team of faculty. The institute will include four minicourses, (each participant will select two courses to attend) a daily seminar for group discussions, and a daily public lecture series.

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 4:37pm by Adam Blistein.

Der Karl-Christ-Preis ist dem Andenken an den Marburger Althistoriker Karl Christ gewidmet (1923 – 2008). Mit dem Preis werden herausragende wissenschaftliche Leistungen auf dem Gebiet der Alten Geschichte und ihrer Nachbardisziplinen sowie der Wissenschafts- und Rezeptionsgeschichte des Altertums ausgezeichnet. Der Preis ist mit 25.000 Euro dotiert und wird im zweijährigen Turnus verliehen. Vorschlagsrecht haben Mitglieder und Angehörige von Universitäten und Akademien sowie Fachverbände und wissenschaftliche Vereinigungen. Eine Selbstnomination ist nicht möglich. Stimmberechtigte Mitglieder der für die Verleihung des Preises verantwortlichen Kommission sind Prof. Dr. Stefan Rebenich (Vorsitzender, Universität Bern), Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin (Universität Frankfurt) und Prof. Dr. Andreas Rödder (Universität Mainz). Der Preis wird im Wechsel Frankfurt a.M. / Bern verliehen. Die zweite Verleihung erfolgt am 17. April 2015 an der Universität Bern.
Vorschläge mit einem curriculum vitae, einer Publikationsliste und einer eingehenden Würdigung (drei bis fünf Seiten) der wissenschaftlichen Leistung und Laufbahn der bzw. des Vorgeschlagenen sind bis zum 31. Oktober 2014 an den Vorsitzenden der Kommission, Prof. Dr. Stefan Rebenich, Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte, Universität Bern, Länggassstr. 49, CH – 3005 Bern (stefan.rebenich@hist.unibe.ch) zu senden.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 4:16pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA has received an invitation from a ministry in the Italian government to respond to a survey about visits to Hadrian’s Villa.  The ministry is looking into the possible impact of a housing development on the Villa.  If you would like to respond to the survey, visit this web site.  Although the first page of the survey states that the deadline for responses is March 10, the deadline has been extended to March 31, 2014.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/27/2014 - 10:32am by Adam Blistein.

The APA is a member of the National Humanities Alliance, a consortium of learned societies and other institutions that advocates for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other relevant agencies.  Thanks to the efforts of the Alliance, several members of Congress, Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Thomas Petri (R-WI) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) are circulating “Dear Colleague” letters in their respective chambers that support funding for the NEH.  “Dear Colleague” letters are a way for members of Congress to express their backing of legislation in advance of a vote on the relevant bill. 

You can assist in this work by urging your representative and your senators to sign these letters.  The Alliance has set up an electronic form that you can use to send your message.  Once you provide some basic contact information that will direct your message to the correct members of Congress, you will have access to a template that describes the importance of humanities funding and provides contact information for the Congressional staff members gathering signatures for these letters.  You should feel free to add to this template examples of how you have used federal funding to reach audiences both on your campus and off it or of effects you have observed of recent cuts in federal funding for the humanities. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 4:16pm by Adam Blistein.

It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.

So ended Missouri Republican Todd Akin’s chances of unseating Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in the 2012 U.S. election.  Discussing pregnancy resulting from rape (timeline of the comments here), Akin was defending his belief that anti-abortion laws shouldn’t include exemptions for victims of rape.  Akin’s words are a now-classic example of a “Kinsley gaffe,” when a politician slips up and says what s/he actually thinks—classic enough that the term “Akinize” now describes the tactic whereby a Democrat compares a Republican opponent’s words to Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments.

Akin was expressing a factually baseless belief that’s not a new idea, and was part of such a trend of election-cycle “rape and pregnancy controversies” that Wikipedia has a page devoted to it.  He also was participating in a tradition dating back at least to the 1st/2nd-century CE Greek medical writer Soranus of Ephesus, whose treatise on gynecology is filled with quack-science gems akin to Akin’s.  Yet there’s a key difference of opinion between Akin and Soranus, as we’ll see, that makes Akin’s comments more sinister by contrast.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:00pm by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

Most people nowadays read classical literature in translation, if they read it at all. This isn't at all a bad thing, or something that classicists need to waste time lamenting. Getting even an "intermediate level" knowledge of Latin or Greek is a hard slog, and life is not infinite: dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: "Time is a hater, and while we are talking, she's gone". Translation is the means by which most people will read Horace. If we wonder about one version (as we probably will about my deliberately-debatable stab at this line: did the Romans really have "haters"?), we can compare it with multiple others: "envious time"? "hostile time"? "jealous time"? Any of these choices makes a different suggestion about what kind of person time might be, how we should feel about her tendency to scarper, and what drives her animosity towards us.

In this context, it's not surprising that new translations of classical texts are rolling off the presses at an alarming rate. I write as one of the hordes currently working on a new translation of the Odyssey. It is notable that many of my fellow-translators are not tenured academics: translation has a fairly marginal position in the contemporary academy (and certainly won't get you tenure), but it is a practice that ought to be of interest to all of us, as scholars, as teachers and as defenders of our discipline. Translation is the most direct means by which we communicate these texts to a large number of people.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:28pm by Emily Wilson.
Sicily, Crossroads of History, Dec. 27, 2014-Jan. 4 or 7, 2015, Director: Beverly Berg

Sicily is a true crossroads of history, with striking archaeological remains from antiquity and beautiful churches from Medieval and Baroque times. Our program takes a complete circle tour of this magical island. We begin with a visit to beautiful Taormina, then on to Syracuse, where Timoleon and Plato once walked. We contemplate the golden temples of Agrigento, Selinunte, and Segesta, some of the best preserved temples of Classical Greek times. The program ends in Palermo, and there is an optional post-classical continuation to see more of Palermo, once a Punic town, beautified by Norman French rulers in the 12th century and Aragonese rulers thereafter.

Price: 8 night version: $1,595 per person, single supplement of $200. 11 night version: $1,995, single supplement $275.  Price will include hotels, breakfasts, dinners except in Syracuse and the extra nights in Palermo, ground transportation, and entry fees.  Price will NOT include airfare, dinners in Syracuse and on post-classical extension in Palermo, and transfer from Palermo airport to hotel, or (for those on post-classical extension) from hotel to airport.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:22am by Adam Blistein.
The Program in Ancient Studies at Indiana University (http://www.indiana.edu/~ancient/home/) will host a conference on the topic of the miniature and the minor on April 11-12, 2014, on the Bloomington campus.  Whereas so much of our research implicitly or explicitly concerns the monumental and the major, we propose to investigate the miniature and the minor in antiquity from five distinct disciplinary perspectives: Classical Studies, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, and Religious Studies. We are interested not only in the realia of the miniature and the minor but in the construction of those categories by both ancients and moderns. We are interested in the miniature and minor both in their own rights and as counterpoints to the monumental and the major. We are less interested in simply demanding that attention be paid to the neglected and the overlooked. 
 
For further information, please contact Jonathan Ready (jready@indiana.edu) or visit the conference web site:  http://www.indiana.edu/~ancient/events/Con2014.shtml
View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:07am by Adam Blistein.

The Department of Classics at the University of Reading (UK) has recently launched a new interdisciplinary MA course in ‘Ancient Maritime Trade and Navigation’ in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari University in Italy. This unique MA focuses on the history of maritime trade, shipbuilding, and navigation techniques in the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean, and the archaeology of port infrastructures, ships, and trade goods.

The duration of the program of study is 12 months; Reading courses draw on the research expertise of academic staff within the Departments of Classics, Economics, and Archaeology, as well as the Centre for Economic History.  The two-month long Venice course combines seminars, lectures and site visits and is taught in English by staff of the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici of Ca’ Foscari. Students will also have the option to take part in one of the underwater excavation projects run by Ca’ Foscari over the summer. Applications for the academic year 2014/15 close on June 1, 2014.

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:08pm by Adam Blistein.

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