SCS-WCC COVID-19 Relief Fund

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) and the Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) would like to announce the creation of the SCS-WCC COVID-19 Relief Fund, a new award fund to support classicists, particularly graduate students and contingent faculty, experiencing precarity as a result of the pandemic. Applicants do not have to be current members of the SCS or WCC but do need to be currently active scholars or graduate students who study the ancient Mediterranean world. We know that what we can offer is unlikely to match the needs arising from the crisis, but we hope that these microgrants can give immediate, unrestricted financial support.

Awards from this fund will be provided to offer quick relief, based on need, in amounts up to $500. Every award recipient will also receive a free one-year membership in the WCC and the SCS. Awards will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to those with the greatest need, particularly those who have lost funding, paid work, or access to essential research resources as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. We anticipate several rounds of grants, but the initial set of COVID-19 Relief Awards will come from a jointly managed SCS-WCC fund with seed money in the amount of $15,000 (previously earmarked to support travel and services related to summer activities and FemCon 2020).

To sustain this fund into the future, we would also gratefully welcome donations to this new fund from more financially secure members of our community and anyone who simply has a little more and would like to support others who have less. If you would like to contribute to this fund, you can click here to donate via SCS or click here to donate via WCC. Your support, in any amount, would be greatly appreciated.

We encourage anybody in need who studies the ancient Mediterranean world and is based in North America to apply, including those working on Classics-related projects. To apply for this funding, please click here to complete a simple form, which will ask for the following information:

  • Your contact information, including a mailing address and your payment preference (mailed check or electronic payment)
  • Your current or most recent institutional affiliation
  • Brief details of your situation, including the following information:
    • Current status and employment (e.g. ABD student, 2nd year graduate student, Visiting Assistant Professor, independent scholar, etc.)
    • Basis of need (e.g. you lost employment or are between jobs; you expected to have free room and board on a summer dig, etc.)
    • Amount requested and intended use (e.g. rent, groceries, babysitting, research material or technology, internet upgrade, convert a project into a digital medium, etc.)
    • Urgency of need (i.e. when the money would be most useful)
    • Other funds available, received, or due to you (e.g. you applied for relief funds through your university but the decision is pending; please include any relevant dates)

A special committee jointly appointed by the SCS and WCC will review applications monthly and start distributing funds as soon as possible. The goal is to distribute awards by the 20th of each month for as many months as needed or until funds run out. All details will be treated as confidential. Payments will be made by check or PayPal, and funds are unrestricted. You may apply more than once, but priority will be given to those in the greatest need who have not yet received an award.

Helen Cullyer                                                              Lisl Walsh and Serena Witzke

Executive Director, SCS                                              Co-Chairs, WCC Steering Committee

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We are writing to share the Call for Proposals for The Routledge Companion to Publicly Engaged Humanities Scholarship, a new edited volume on theories and practices of the publicly engaged humanities to be published in 2023 by Routledge. 

The core of this companion will consist of 25 wide-ranging, practice-based essays, exploring the history, concepts, and possible futures of publicly engaged humanities scholarship in the United States. To build a foundation for these futures, this volume will collect case studies grounding discussion of their methodologies and objectives. 

The project meets an acute need in the field of publicly engaged humanities scholarship, and we hope it will serve as a standard reference guide for future training in a higher education context. 

Following an introduction to the field and its history and methods, the volume will be organized around five areas of particular impact in public humanities scholarship: 

  1. Informing contemporary debates

  2. Amplifying community voices and histories

  3. Helping individuals and communities navigate difficult experiences

  4. Preserving culture in times of crisis and change

  5. Expanding educational access

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 11/03/2021 - 9:46am by Erik Shell.

Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions IV
An International Digital Workshop on Rethinking Ancient Emotions

November 23-24, 2021

[If you wish to attend, please contact jointly George Kazantzidis
(gkazantzidis@upatras.gr) and Dimos Spatharas (spatharasd@gmail.com)
between 16 and 22 November
2021]

Programme

Tuesday, November 23
Session I. Rethinking the History of Ancient Emotions
16.00* (Athens time)
Douglas Cairns
“Why is there a history of emotions?”
16.45
David Konstan
“Between appraisal theory and basic emotions: How to do the history of
emotion.”
17.30
Chiara Thumiger
“Gates, towers and trenches: history of emotions and the definition of
‘human’”.
18.15-18.30 Break

Session II. Emotion Concepts and the Language of Emotions
18.30
Christopher Gill
“Stoic typologies of emotions: Universalism and ethical standpoint.”
19.15
Catherine Edwards
“Fire and flood: image and emotion in Roman Stoic thought.”
20.00-20.15 Break
20.15
Peter Singer
“Exotic and familiar, medicine and philosophy, emotions and
non-emotions.”

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 11/03/2021 - 9:43am by Erik Shell.
An oil painting set in front of rust-colored rocks. A woman in pink drapery with her head covered approaches from a higher rock with her arms outstretched. Below, a woman in yellow and green, next to a man in black, reaches up towards her.

I recently taught the troubling Homeric Hymn to Demeter in my Classical Myth course at Bucknell. On the one hand, this hymn is a story of violence. Three quarters into the hymn, readers find Hades “sitting in the bed with his bashful, very unwilling, wife who yearned for her mother” (μενον ν λεχέεσσι σν αδοί παρακοίτι, | πόλλ εκαζομέν μητρς πόθ, 343–344). As Jermaine Bryant and Ship of Theses have recently discussed on Twitter, this scene is clear evidence that Hades has sexually assaulted Persephone. On the other hand, the text presents perplexing information about this violence. At the hymn’s opening, the narrator juxtaposes Hades’ kidnapping of Persephone with a reminder that “loud-thundering wide-eyed Zeus gave” her to Hades (ἣν Ἀιδωνεὺς | ἥρπαξεν, δῶκεν δὲ βαρύκτυπος εὐρύοπα Ζεύς, 2–3).  How are we then to understand the role of Zeus, Persephone’s father, in her abduction?

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 9:51am by .
Stone relief in which the body of a child lies on a couch, surrounded by people in various gestures of mourning.

In the modern world, we are confronted with questions surrounding gender daily, from pronouns in our email signatures to gender-neutral bathrooms. Our awareness of the limitations of a gender binary and gendered roles continues to grow in an effort to reflect gender identity and expression more accurately. Despite these efforts and realizations about our own society, when discussing the Roman world, we often assume a gender binary that is inflexible and constant. By examining cases from Roman social life in which gender plays a fundamental role, we can see a wider spectra of gender expression that falls outside of the strict male/female binary. The Roman funeral, in particular, provides a special opportunity to consider how, even when roles are gendered, gender can be transgressed.

The transitional apparatus of the Roman funeral allowed and even encouraged performative undermining of norms. The liminality of the funeral space, in which the living ushered the deceased from their world to the world of the dead, provided a unique setting that demanded a break from norms. This included gender norms, and Roman funerals served as spaces in which normative expectations around gender were both reproduced and subverted. At funerals, men and women had specific jobs according to gender, but those roles often fell outside typical gender expression expectations.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/25/2021 - 10:30am by .
A white circle on a black background with green leaves and white flowers. Around the circle is a yellow vine border, and in the middle there is a palm tree. On the left side of the tree, an abstract figure in drapery stands, and on the right side, a simil

As I strolled one day in the old center of Tel Aviv, I entered the house of Haim Nachman Bialik, the Hebrew national poet. An imposing building, it constitutes a manifesto of Jewish art in the early 20th century: the architectural style reprises oriental shapes, alternating arches and square forms; the decoration aims to express a quintessentially Jewish art. As I daydreamed about the poet holding private meetings and public receptions with the foremost representatives of culture and politics of his day, my eye was caught by two decorative tiles. These tiles, located at opposite ends of an arch that leads into the salon, represent two opposite moments of Jewish history: on one hand, a tile reproduces the Judaea capta coin minted by Vespasian after the First Jewish War; on the other, another tile mirrors Vespasian’s coin, proclaiming, in Hebrew letters, “Judaea liberated.”

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:13pm by .

Dear members,

We have a number of deadlines that fall prior to mid-November. Please see the following:

October 31: Nominations for the Forum Prize

November 1: Applications for annual meeting participation stipends and childcare / dependent care funding

November 1: Nominations and applications for the K-12 Teaching Excellence Award

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 10/21/2021 - 11:40am by Erik Shell.
A bronze bust of a man with short, wavy hair and a slightly pained expression on his face.

The Seleucid empire has long stood on the fringes of Classical scholarship. Following the conquest of the east by Alexander, the vast, multicultural construction lasted from 312–64 BCE, stretching from modern Turkey south to the Levantine coast and east into Afghanistan. Interdisciplinary by its very nature, Seleucid history straddles the boundaries of academic disciplines, languages, and methodologies, further fragmenting the study of an already fractured power. Recent holistic studies are rare, making the 2014 publication of Paul Kosmin’s comprehensive The Land of the Elephant Kings something of a groundbreaking study. The examination of what Kosmin calls the “territorialization” of the empire—the ideological constructions and experiences that bounded, ordered, and defined the imperial realms—changed the nature of Seleucid studies by intensifying the focus of the recent “spatial turn” in the humanities.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/18/2021 - 9:53am by .

(From the Classics Department at Princeton)

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Fri, 10/15/2021 - 9:14am by Erik Shell.
Poster for the play, Plautus's Casina. A minimalist digital design with a blue background; mountain shapes in pink, yellow, and orange; walls with windows in the same colors; and an ancient statue of a woman.

In the Spring of 2021, as her undergraduate UIC Honors College Capstone project, my student Luana Davila adapted and produced a version of Plautus’ Casina in the style of a telenovela. Due to COVID, she was not able to stage the play, but she produced a filmed version in collaboration with theater students at Columbia College in Chicago. For safety reasons, each actor’s scenes were filmed separately, then edited together. Below is an interview with Luana and the play’s director, Amy Gerwert Valdez, a Theater Directing major at Columbia.  [Editor’s note: the transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.]

Krishni Burns: Can we start with a description of your project?

Luana Davila: The project aimed to tie together patriarchal society in ancient Rome and in Latinx cultures (or in the case of this production, Mexico). My play was adapted in such a way that the original storyline was changed as little as possible, proving that its seemingly ridiculous events made for a believable tale in modern Mexico. This was done to show how interconnected the two cultures are, even though they existed thousands of years apart.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/11/2021 - 10:33am by Krishni Burns.

The members of the Committee on the C. J. Goodwin Award of Merit are delighted to announce that the 2021 winners of the Goodwin Awards are Aileen R. Das (University of Michigan), Ellen Oliensis (University of California Berkeley), and Andreas Willi (University of Oxford).

Please click on the names below to read the full award citations written by committee members David Konstan and James I. Porter (co-chairs), Harriet Flower, Richard Hunter, and Amy Richlin.

Aileen R. Das

Ellen Oliensis

Andreas Willi

Citation for Aileen R. Das, Galen and the Arabic Reception of Plato’s Timaeus, Cambridge University Press, 2020

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sun, 10/10/2021 - 6:52pm by Helen Cullyer.

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