SCS Signs on to AIA Statement on UNESCO Decision

Statement from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), American Anthropological Association (AAA), American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), Society for Classical Studies (SCS), and U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (USCBS) Regarding the United States of America’s Intention to Withdraw from UNESCO.

On October 12, 2017, the United States announced its decision to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2018. A founding member of the Organization in 1945, the United States has benefited from UNESCO’s guiding precepts and principles in its efforts to preserve humanity’s shared heritage.

The United States was the first State to ratify UNESCO’s 1972 World Heritage Convention. The 23 U.S. World Heritage sites reflect the universal values of our natural and cultural heritage. These sites include Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed, the Statue of Liberty, which stands at the entrance to New York Harbor as an international symbol of freedom, and sites that reflect our country’s multicultural past from the dwellings and ceremonial buildings of the Pueblo Indians, to the defensive architecture of San Juan, to Jefferson’s plantation at Monticello. The United States’ unique contribution was recognition that natural wonders from Glacier Bay to the volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Kilauea and from the redwood forests to the Smoky Mountains serve as a bridge among generations and peoples in America and around the world.

Provisions of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict serve to protect archaeological sites, historic structures, and repositories of cultural material from looting and destruction both during armed conflict and transfer through the international market. The 1970 Convention also facilitates loans of cultural objects from museums around the world in order to inform American audiences about the heritage of those outside our borders. Throughout the world, UNESCO supports the protection of culture in the face of terrorist attacks, armed conflict, and natural disasters, recognizing its symbolic power to link communities and strengthen their resilience in the face of war and hardship.

The United States has long strived to protect heritage around the world. Through participation in UNESCO the United States has signaled the importance of international cooperation in education, science, cultural awareness and communication, all of which serve to strengthen ties among nations and societies. These messages stand at the heart of American democracy and underlie the activities of our organizations. Despite its regrettable decision, we call upon the United States to continue to work with UNESCO and the broader international community to promote appreciation of the outstanding value of our shared cultural heritage.

The Archaeological Institute of America promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity. Founded in the AIA has nearly 220,000 Members and more than 100 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas. 

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community.

Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association, with 10,000 members, is dedicated to advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems. 

The American Schools of Oriental Research, founded in 1900, is an international organization of archaeologists, historians, linguists, and cultural heritage professionals who initiate, encourage, and support research into, and public understanding of, the cultures and history of the Near East and wider Mediterranean.

The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD has three desired outcomes: engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at www.aamd.org.

The Society for Classical Studies, founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association, is the largest scholarly society in the field of Classics in North America. Its mission is to advance knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the Greek and Roman world and its enduring legacy.

The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield is dedicated to preventing destruction and theft of cultural property during armed conflict and natural disasters worldwide. The name, Blue Shield, comes from the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which specifies a blue shield as the symbol for marking protected cultural property. USCBS is an affiliated national committee of Blue Shield (International).

The U.S. National Committee of ICOMOS is part of the worldwide ICOMOS network of people, institutions, government agencies and private entities who support the conservation of the World's heritage. Since 1965 US/ICOMOS has worked to deliver the best of international historic preservation and heritage conservation work to the U.S. domestic preservation dialogue, while sharing and interpreting for the world the unique American historic preservation system. 

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

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CFP: Truth and Relativism in Ancient Philosophy
Wednesday 19th June — Friday 21st June 2019
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen

This conference will bring together philosophers interested in examining truth and relativism in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.
Confirmed speakers include: Paolo Crivelli (Geneva); Matthew Duncombe (Nottingham); Marion Durand (Toronto); Paul Gottlieb (Wisconsin); Orna Harari (Tel Aviv); John MacFarlane (Berkeley); Tamer Nawar (Groningen); and Noburu Notomi (Tokyo).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 11/16/2018 - 2:53pm by Erik Shell.

At last year’s SCS annual meeting in Boston, the Program Committee sponsored a panel called “Rhetoric: Then and Now.” Among the speakers constituting that panel was Princeton University Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta, who, in lamenting the “inadequacy” and “meagerness” of a number of recent efforts in the field to diversify and expand access, delivered the following provocation: “perhaps it is time for this contemporary configuration of Classics to die so that it might be born into a new life.”

In response to Padilla Peralta’s provocation, I cheekily stood up and asked him where Classics ought to die and where it ought to live. (Full disclosure: Padilla Peralta and I are good friends from graduate school.) I asked this question because, living and working in flyover country—in the state of Nebraska—I can say that Classics here (and in the Midwestern states that surround me) is already dying. More often than not, where it lives is through symbiosis with another academic department.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 4:27pm by Matthew P. Loar.
Hallway

The Society is delighted to announce this year's winners of the awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the Precollegiate Level.  We congratulate Susan Meyer and Thomas J. (TJ) Howell, who will both receive their awards at the Plenary Session in San Diego. You can read their citations below:

Thomas J. Howell Citation

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 9:22am by Helen Cullyer.
Evening Temple of Zeus Columns
At the recommendation of the Committee on Public Information and Media Relations, the Society for Classical Studies awards the 2018 Forum Prize to Ryan Stitt for his non-fiction podcast, The History of Ancient Greece. The Forum Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the Ancient Greek and Roman World.

Since its inception in 2016, Stitt has built an audience of academic and non-academic listeners and found a productive medium to promote Classical history, culture, languages, and the works of Classical authors and academic scholars. With over two million downloads, The History of Ancient Greece podcast serves as a model for how educational podcasts can engage with public audiences.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 9:13am by Helen Cullyer.

Call for Volunteers

The Society for Classical Studies seeks graduate or undergraduate student volunteers for the 150th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, which will take place this coming January.  Assignments will include working in the registration area and assisting staff with some sessions and special events.

In exchange for six hours of service (down two hours from last year), volunteers receive a waiver of their annual meeting registration fees.  It is not necessary to be an SCS member to volunteer.

You can sign up to be a volunteer here. The deadline to sign up is November 21st.

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/12/2018 - 10:49am by Erik Shell.

(Written by Ted Tarkow)

An alum of Dickinson, Brown, and the University of Missouri (MU), Bob Seelinger (1951-2018) taught classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, from 1979 until taking early retirement in 2015, necessitated by a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  By the time of his death, he had served as professor of classics for over 20 years and in addition had served as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of the College for over a half dozen years at the campus made famous by the “Iron Curtain” speech delivered there   in 1946 by Winston Churchill.

A beloved teacher, Bob taught all levels of both languages as well as a wide range of general education courses.  Not surprisingly to the scores of Westminster students who had studied with him, he received the APA Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Classics, the Governor’s Award for Teaching, and the Parents’ Association Award for Teaching, among many other recognitions.    But his career also allowed presentations and publications in some of his favorite authors, from Apuleius (the focus of his PhD dissertation), to 4th century, Republican, and early Imperial authors and genres.  His abundant time at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, as well as at two NEH Summer Seminars, enabled other students and scholars to make the most of their time there.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 11/12/2018 - 8:59am by Erik Shell.
150th Logo

Join us for the official start of our Sesquicentennial!

Transforming Classics: 150 Years of Classical Studies in New York

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:38am by Helen Cullyer.

As one of the cornerstones upon which Classical scholarship has been built, much has already been said about Marcus Tullius Cicero. He has a sizable extant corpus that contains different genres, which in turn vary in style and topic. Furthermore, Cicero was a prominent political figure when the Roman Republic was falling and the Caesars were rising. Because of the nature of his corpus and the man himself, Cicero is an attractive topic of research not only for the traditional scholar but for a digital humanist as well. His large and varied corpus is promising for distant reading techniques, which allow us to examine and explore all of his works, thereby all of Cicero, easily and quickly. Through those digital techniques, we can gain a more complete view of who this ancient Roman man was.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 7:50am by .
150th Logo

The early registration deadline for the 2019 AIA-SCS Annual Meeting in San Diego is Friday November 9. Register on or before that date in order to benefit from the early rate. You can register here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 6:20pm by Helen Cullyer.

This post has recently been updated with a response from Brill.

The SCS Statement on Professional Ethics emphasizes the need for due diligence regarding the provenance of artifacts in many different areas of scholarly work, including initial publications of objects and texts and the management of institutional collections. In recognition of the importance of this issue, the SCS Board of Directors has voted to endorse an open letter on the publication of fragments that were acquired by the Museum of the Bible and published by Brill. You can read the text of the letter below, which was originally published by Dr. Roberta Mazza on November 5, 2018 and signed by many individuals. You can also read the response from Brill, originally published by Dr. Mazza on November 7.

Open letter to Brill: Fake and unprovenanced manuscripts

For the attention of Brill.

FAKE AND UNPROVENANCED MANUSCRIPTS

On 22 October 2018, the Museum of the Bible issued a press release informing the public that five of their recently acquired fragments that were claimed to come from the Dead Sea Scrolls are modern forgeries. These five forgeries are included in the first volume of the series ‘Publications of Museum of the Bible’ which was published by Brill in 2016.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 5:37pm by Helen Cullyer.

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