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 second iteration of the conference, Res Difficiles 2.0 Difficult Conversations in Classics (ResDiff2), will be held March 20, 2021; registration is now

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 11:46am by Erik Shell.

The Perception of Climate and Nature in Ancient Societies

International Online Conference

14th  May 2021

Organised by  Classical Students Association of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Call for Papers

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 11:43am by Erik Shell.
Goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone give grain to Triptolemos and teach him the art of agriculture. Marble Relief from Eleusis. ca. 430 BCE. Roman copy. ca. 27 BCE – 14 CE. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. Most of the projects funded take place in the US and Canada, though the initiative is growing and has funded projects in the UK, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ghana, and Puerto Rico. This post highlights projects that foster engagement and education for school-aged children and young adults from California to Canada, Chicago to New York.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 02/26/2021 - 9:15am by .

The Executive Committee of the SCS has issued the following statement:

For several years, serious issues have arisen concerning online communications within the classics community. The SCS reminds its members to respect the dignity of one another in professional and private communications. These communications include, inter alia, social media posts and direct messages, private emails, and messages posted to email listservs. In view of these concerns the SCS Professional Matters Division is preparing guidelines for social media and other online communications.

Approved 2/25/2021

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Thu, 02/25/2021 - 4:44pm by Helen Cullyer.

Summer 2021 Election Slate

The 2020-2021 SCS Nominating Committee, co-chaired by Laurel Fulkerson and Celia Schultz, has worked hard through the late Fall 2020 and early 2021. The Committee is pleased to present the following slate of candidates for election in Summer 2021. All candidates listed below have agreed to stand. SCS will publish candidate statements in the late spring or early summer and online voting will begin as usual on or around August 1.

President-Elect (one to be elected)

Lesley Dean-Jones

Matthew Roller 

Financial Trustee (one to be elected)

Daniel Berman

Joseph Farrell

Vice President for Education (one to be elected)

Dani Bostick

Teresa Ramsby

Directors (two to be elected)

Yurie Hong

Young Richard Kim

Nandini Pandey

Bronwen Wickkiser

Craig Williams

Nominating Committee (two to be elected)

Ronnie Ancona

Pramit Chaudhuri

Joel Christensen

Akira Yatsuhashi

Program Committee (one to be elected)

Rosa Andújar

Denise Demetriou

Goodwin Committee (two to be elected)

Rhiannon Ash

Constanze Guthenke

Yopie Prins

Phiroze Vasunia 

Committee on Professional Ethics (two to be elected)

Deborah Beck

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 02/22/2021 - 1:45pm by Erik Shell.
Banner of the Women's Classical Caucus, est. 1972

In Part 2 of our guest series for the SCS Blog, the Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) invites you to celebrate the winner of its 2020–2021 Leadership Award: Suzanne Lye, Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award recognizes Dr. Lye’s extraordinary leadership and initiative in establishing, administering, and fundraising for the SCS-WCC Covid-19 Relief Fund. Since April 2020, this emergency microgrant fund has distributed no-strings-attached awards of up to $500 to North American classicists in need.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/22/2021 - 10:27am by Caroline Cheung.
Gaius Gracchus addressing the plebeians. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

If there’s one thing in this divided America that we can all agree on, it’s that former president Donald J. Trump’s impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor was pretty crappy.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 02/18/2021 - 10:35am by Serena S Witzke.

The Classics Department at UNC-Chapel Hill is sad to announce that Philip A. Stadter died last week at the age of 84 in North Carolina. In over forty years of teaching at UNC, and in almost twenty years of a very active retirement, Philip wrote influential books and articles about Plutarch, Arrian, Thucydides and other authors, and his friendships and mentoring and collaborations extended around the world. There is an obituary online, with information about a service Tuesday 2/16 at 2:30 Eastern time that will have an online component, at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsobserver/obituary.aspx?n=philip-stadter&pid=197767979.

A longer statement from the Department about his life and work is forthcoming.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 02/17/2021 - 1:34pm by Erik Shell.
Women's Classical Caucus logo

The Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) invites you to celebrate the winners of its 2020–2021 Public Scholarship and Advocacy awards and to learn more about how their work is influencing our field. Over the next month, the SCS Blog will publish a three-part series of in-depth interviews by the WCC with the award winners, who discuss their work in strengthening communities within the field and introducing new audiences to Classics.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 02/10/2021 - 10:11am by .

The Interplay of Spectacle in the Roman Arena

Call for Papers: An Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by the Texas Tech Classics Program

The Conference will be held virtually on April 17th, 2021.

Featuring respondents Dr. David Larmour (Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Classics at TTU) and Ms. Cait Mongrain (Doctoral candidate at Princeton, TTU MA ‘15, BA ‘12)

 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 02/08/2021 - 10:46am by Erik Shell.

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