Summary of Comments on Name Change and Further Discussion

As promised earlier, I have prepared the following summary of over 200 responses to my request for comments about the Board's proposal that we consider changing the name of the Association.  The Board now wishes to move to a public discussion phase that will inform its deliberations going forward.  Our Information Architect Sam Huskey has created a discussion forum so that all with an interest can exchange views and suggest or express preferences for specific names.  The forum can be accessed here after 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) today (November 30).

The responders seem to a favor name change by about 3-1, though in many cases implicitly, with an opinion only about the two names suggested, and in some cases reluctantly.  Between Classical Association of North America and American Classical Association, CANA was only slightly more popular, and there were many alternative suggestions, as listed below.  I wrote separately to the boards of the American Classical League and the Classical Association of Canada: the ACL Board thinks that ACA would result in confusion for both organizations, especially from the perspective of the general public, while the CAC Board dislikes CANA for implying that it is in effect the parent association of the whole of North America and that all North American classicists claim membership in it.  Below are examples of arguments made to support various positions (indicated in boldface).

Against changing the name at all.  No name change can alter the underlying realities of our situation or likely increase our attractiveness to those not already aware of us; name changes can be branding and marketing disasters; though the practice of philology "no longer defines all that our association is about" it does, or at least should, remain at the heart of everything we do; we should not retreat from who we are and what we do but rather put our energies into revitalizing the use of the word philology; with the name goes a long and honorable tradition of scholarship and service on the part of colleagues, now deceased, who believed in its original aims.

In favor of the suggested names.  ACA: represents only a slight change from APA; "classical" more accurately encompasses the discipline in tune with similar organizations; ACA pleasingly mirrors CAC.  CANA: "North American" is properly inclusive and the acronym has positive associations.

Against the suggested names.  ACA: "classical" is broader than "philological" but not broad enough to represent all our disciplines, e.g. ancient history, archaeology, art history, philosophy; is becoming only slightly less mystifying than "philological," being more commonly associated with the likes of Shakespeare or Beethoven; has snobbish or elitist connotations; can no longer claim special status for its subject; valorizes (the idea of) a common intellectual and cultural heritage that is increasingly called into question; sounds like just another classical organization. CANA: the acronym has negative associations for some; sounds like just another regional association and too much like CANE.

Alternative suggestions.  Whatever the new name, a phrase like "founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association" should be added as a permanent subtitle; like the UK's Classical Association it should have no geographic or ethnic label; if it does, "United States / USA" is more accurate than "American"; some combination of Association / Institute / Organization / Society with Classical Studies (the simplest English expression of concept "Altertumswissenschaft"?), Greek and Roman, (Ancient) Greece and Rome, Greek and Latin, Greco-Roman (though also a form of wrestling), Ancient Mediterranean, Mediterranean, Study of the Ancient World, Antiquity, Classical Antiquity, Classics, Classicists, Languages Literatures and Cultures, Classical Literature and Civilization, and (Their) Pendant Traditions.

I look forward to the further discussion of this issue.

Jeffrey Henderson

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The Classics Program of Hunter College (CUNY) announces the rescheduled conference on Theognis and the Theognidea. The conference will now be virtual. It will run from April 28th (Wednesday) through April 30th (Friday) from 12-3:30 PM. (NB, the first day starts at 11:45AM and the last day runs to 4PM.) The conference is open and free. Registration is required.

 

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 04/19/2021 - 9:43am by Erik Shell.

Howard University is the only HBCU in the United States with a Classics Department, which has been a part of the institution since its inception in 1867. SCS has recently received the following news from the Department:

"Howard University has decided to close the Department of Classics as part of its prioritization efforts and is currently negotiating with the faculty of Classics and with other units in the College as to how they might best reposition and repurpose our programs and personnel. These discussions have been cordial, and the faculty remains hopeful that the department can be kept intact at some level, with its faculty and programs still in place." 

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Fri, 04/16/2021 - 8:52am by Helen Cullyer.
Relief found in Neumagen near Trier, a teacher with three discipuli (180-185 AD). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

As a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin this spring, working on a book on Roman diversity, I've been wondering how German classicists are experiencing current debates about diversifying our field. To find out, I spoke with Dr. Katharina Wesselmann, a professor in the Northern German city of Kiel who has also taught high school and university in Basel, Switzerland. The fact that she specializes in “didactics” — the teaching of ancient Greek and Latin — is one mark of the differences between our two national classics traditions. In Germany, Latin and Greek are regularly offered at the advanced secondary schools known as Gymnasiums. So more Germans than Americans are familiar with the classical languages, and those who pursue university degrees in classics can find employment teaching high school.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 04/15/2021 - 11:12am by Nandini Pandey.
Funerary relief of a priest of Magna Mater (gallus) from Lavinium. Rome, Capitoline Museums (mid-second century AD). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In Dialogue: Trans Studies and Classics works to bring some of the insights and lived experiences found in transgender studies into conversation with the Classics, in the hope that bringing these into dialogue with each other will enrich our pedagogy, deepen our understanding of what gender as an identity category even means, and help critique the various ways gender has been used as an instrument of power throughout history, while also creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for our students. If you’d like to contribute to this column or have ideas that could add to this conversation, email Ky Merkley.

Photo courtesy of Michael Goyette 
Dr. Michael Goyette (he/him/his) is Instructor of Classics and Ancient Studies at Eckerd College. His teaching and research focus on ancient medicine, ancient science, gender, ancient drama, pedagogy, and reception. The question of embodiment unites these various interests. Being at a teaching college with a high number of STEM majors, he is always looking for ways to illuminate the intersections between the sciences and humanities.

This transcript has been lightly edited.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 04/12/2021 - 10:07am by .
Header Image: Etruscan Alabaster Cinerary Urn with bas-relief that represents Odysseus and the Sirens. 3rd-2nd Cent. BCE. Museo Guarnacci, Volterra, Italy.

The Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019 as the Classics Everywhere initiativeby 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. Awardees are selected by the SCS Committee on Classics in the Community. 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 most recently, India.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 04/09/2021 - 9:58am by .
Emerging Scholars NYU Center for Ancient Studies images of landscape, statues, manuscripts
The NYU Center for Ancient Studies is seeking to engage the work of current PhD candidates as part of a new Emerging Scholars video presentation series, beginning in spring 2021. In this series, we aim to showcase research that takes innovative approaches to the study of the ancient world or that incorporates non-traditional materials and/or methods. We are also especially interested in highlighting the work of scholars from groups that are and have historically been marginalized and underrepresented in the fields of ancient studies and the academy at large.

The presentation format of the videos will feature individual PhD candidates who briefly describe their research and then engage in conversation with an NYU faculty member that positions this work in relationship to broader scholarship. These videos will be advertised as part of the Center's academic program and highlighted on our website.  

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 04/08/2021 - 9:21pm by Helen Cullyer.

CfP: Affect, Intensity, Antiquity (Online Conference)

Organizers: Chiara Graf and Adrian Gramps (St Andrews)

Confirmed Speakers: Aaron Kachuck (Trinity College, Cambridge / UCLouvain), Alex Purves (UCLA), Ben Radcliffe (Loyola Marymount), Mario Telò (UC Berkeley)

sed cur heu, Ligurine, cur
manat rara meas lacrima per genas?

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 04/07/2021 - 2:26pm by Erik Shell.
The homepage of Alpheios

Alpheios Reading Tools (henceforth Alpheios) is an open-source web extension that allows users to access information about Greek, Latin, Classical Arabic, or Persian text on any web page. After enabling the extension in Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, you simply double-click on any word on any page to see definitions, morphology, usages, and grammatical information. 

Figure 1: Alpheios Reading Tools integrates fluidly with the online Loeb Classical Library.
Figure 1: Alpheios Reading Tools integrates fluidly with the online Loeb Classical Library.

As an avid user of Alpheios in my capacities as both a Ph.D. student and instructor, I jumped at the chance to speak with Harry Diakoff and Bridget Almas, two of the founding members of Alpheios. Harry Diakoff is currently the president of the board of The Alpheios Project, Ltd., which is a registered 501(c); Bridget Almas is the Executive director and Chief Software Architect for the project.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 04/05/2021 - 10:18am by .

The conference "Contact, Colonialism, and Comparison" will take place over Zoom April 16-17, 2021. Please visit the event page here for further information, including a tentative schedule and list of participants. Conference papers are being made available to participants in advance, and sessions during the event itself will begin with an introductory contribution from a respondent followed by a brief author response and then open discussion. If you'd like to register for the conference, please fill out this online registration form to receive access to the papers as well as a Zoom link closer to the date.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 04/05/2021 - 7:49am by Erik Shell.

AMPRAW is an annual conference that is designed to bring together early-career researchers in the field of classical reception studies, and will be held for the tenth year. It aims to contribute to the growth of an international network of PhDs working on classical reception(s), as well as to strengthen relationships between early career researchers and established academics.
AMPRAW 2021 will be held at Columbia University in the City of New York (USA) from Thursday, November 11 to Saturday, November 13, 2021, in collaboration with the Department of Classics at Columbia University, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Columbia University Libraries Journals.
Due to the unpredictability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not yet able to confirm that the conference will take place in person. We hope that this will be possible; however, we are also making plans to accommodate a hybrid or online-only event. We will keep you updated as the situation evolves. Please be aware that, if the conference will be in person, we are unable to guarantee travel reimbursements to speakers, but we might be able to offer support on a need basis.
 

Confirmed keynote speaker:
Dr. Patrice Rankine (University of Richmond, Virginia)
 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 03/30/2021 - 12:25pm by Erik Shell.

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