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 Cathartic History Conference is a digital conference, free and open to the public, that aims to propose Aristotelian catharsis as a new lens for historical inquiry. The conference will take place over two days: Friday, February 26th, and Saturday, February 27th. We also invite everyone to join us on Friday, February 19th at 7:00 pm ET for a public lecture by Dr. John Garner on Aristotle's Poetics.

You can learn more at the conference's website here.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 02/03/2021 - 10:05am by Erik Shell.

New Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the Harvard University Department of the Classics

The Department of the Classics at Harvard announces the following opportunities and initiatives designed to advance our community’s goals of diversity and inclusion. Prospective applicants and colleagues with questions about these programs are welcome to contact the Department Administrator Teresa Wu (ttwu@fas.harvard.edu).

1. Summer School Scholarships for Intensive Ancient Greek or Latin at the Harvard Summer School

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 10:35am by Erik Shell.

Sapiens Ubique Civis VIII – Szeged 2021
PhD Student and Young Scholar Conference on Classics and the Reception of Antiquity
Szeged, Hungary, September 1–3, 2021

The Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Szeged, Hungary is pleased to announce its International Conference Sapiens Ubique Civis VIII – Szeged 2021, for PhD Students, Young Scholars, as well as M.A. students aspiring to apply to a PhD program.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 10:28am by Erik Shell.
"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Plautus in the late 19th c Heartland: a Symposium and Performance

In May 1884, nine female students at Washington University in St. Louis staged a performance of Plautus’ Rudens (“The Rope”) in Latin, also publishing their own English translation to coincide with the event. The Washington University Ladies’ Literary Society was one of the first groups in America to perform an ancient comedy in Latin, and their work made a splash at the university and in St. Louis.

What were the aims of the Ladies’ Literary Society in putting on the Rudens, how did the show look and sound, and in what social and academic context did these young women train for and execute their ambitious plan? At a virtual symposium hosted by the Washington University Classics and Performing Arts departments, and open to the public, four scholars will explore this historic event in lectures situating it in literary, academic, cultural, and St. Louis history. Following the lectures and discussion, a group of St. Louis classicists will give a virtual performance of the Rudens using the Society’s translation.

The February 6th symposium will begin at 9:00am Central Time with four lectures by Timothy Moore of Washington University in St. Louis, Julia Beine of Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Judith Hallett of the University of Maryland, and Amanda Clark of the Missouri History Museum. The performance, directed by PhD student Henry Schott, will begin at 2:00pm Central Time.

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 10:26am by Erik Shell.
Relief of Porphyrius the Charioteer. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

The papers of Alan Cameron (1938–2017) have been donated to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University.

Cameron was educated at St. Paul’s School (London) and New College, Oxford. After posts in Glasgow and London, along with an unexpectedly exciting year as a visitor at Columbia (1967–1968) that included the student uprising of spring 1968, he served as Anthon Professor of Latin Language and Literature at Columbia from 1977 to 2008.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 10:24am by Roger Bagnall.

The Department of Spanish Studies and the Department of Classical Philology of the University in Lodz would like to invite you to the third interdisciplinary academic conference

Rome and Iberia.
Diversity of Relations from Antiquity to Modernity. III

April 22-23, 2021

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 10:23am by Erik Shell.

Academic freedom and tenure are of fundamental importance, indeed the basis upon which America has achieved pre-eminence in higher education. Without its protections, faculty are at constant risk of arbitrary termination, with chilling and destructive effects on their ability to conduct groundbreaking research and provide state-of-the-art teaching. To enable termination of the appointments even of leading faculty members at any time and for any reason would inhibit the free flow of ideas, the building of stable departments, and the continuity necessary to conduct quality research and effectively teach students. The result for the university would surely be difficulty in attracting and retaining talented faculty, in securing research funding, in assuring current and potential students of a high-quality education with teachers and mentors who can be counted on to be there when they need them, and in living up to the expectations of our broader society, not least the citizens of Kansas. Academic freedom and tenure should be a line that no institution should be tempted to cross on any grounds short of actual exigency.  Furthermore, members of the faculty accepted their positions in reliance on the existing policy, which was that in place at other institutions; this change is deeply unfair to them.  Of course, the pandemic has caused financial crises in higher education, but that is why the policy allows for the declaration of financial exigency.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Fri, 01/29/2021 - 10:19am by Helen Cullyer.
The creation of Pandora by the Olympic gods. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

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. As part of this initiative, the SCS has been funding a variety of projects, ranging from reading groups comparing ancient and modern leadership practices to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. Most of the projects funded take place in the U.S. and Canada, though the initiative is growing and has funded projects in the U.K., Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ghana, and Puerto Rico. This post centers on online reading and discussion groups that engage local communities and the broad public in the discussion of ancient texts and contemporary issues.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/29/2021 - 10:01am by .
"Portrait of a young woman from Pompeii (so-called 'Sappho')" Courtesy of Creative Commons

This piece was co-authored by Del A. Maticic, Alicia Matz, Hannah Čulík-Baird, Thomas Hendrickson, Anna Pisarello, Amy Pistone, and Nandini Pandey.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/25/2021 - 12:00am by .
webcam

Session Recordings Available

All sessions that gave unanimous consent for post-conference publication have been made available on the OpenWater annual meeting platform.

You can access these recordings by logging in the same way you logged in for the annual meeting, navigating to the paper session you want to see, and watching the recording streamed on the registration site itself.

You can find a list of available recordings below. All those not listed did not give consent for their sessions to be published.

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Tuesday, January 5

  • SCS 1- Merchants and Market in Late Antiquity
  • SCS 6- New Approaches to Spectatorship
  • SCS 10- Roman Comedy

 Wednesday, January 6

  • SCS 15-Staging Epic and Tragedy
  • SCS 16- Virgil and Religion
  • SCS 17-Usurpers, Rivals, and Regime Change: The Evidence of Coins
  • SCS 24- Lightning Session 2: Crossing Boundaries

 Thursday, January 7

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 01/20/2021 - 12:48pm by Erik Shell.

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