Summer 2018 Seminar on Material Culture: Nominations for Graduate Student Participants

Call for Nominations

The Use of Art and Material Culture in Scholarship and Teaching

A Seminar in Material Culture for Graduate Students in Classics and Ancient History

Directed by Professors Antony Augoustakis and Daniel Leon

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

21 May – 29 June 2018

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL

Supported by generous grants from the Leon Levy Foundation and the School of Literatures, and Cultures and Linguistics of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) invites doctoral programs in Classics or Ancient History to nominate a student to participate in a 6-week seminar that will introduce participants to the use of material culture in their scholarship and teaching. The aim of the seminar is to familiarize students with archaeological material that goes hand in hand with the historical and literary records, and how to incorporate such evidence into historical or philological research. This will be the third of three planned seminars with the same purpose, although each had a different focus.  The first took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2016, and the second at Emory University in 2017.

Background. Despite new awareness of the scope of material evidence, and the ready availability of excellent images, all too often literary scholars treat images as decoration or illustration, while historians exploit the material record only gingerly. Probably more important than “literature” was the oral tradition, and the essential web of images that arose from it. Conversely, it has been wisely said of archaeology that it is a branch of ancient history.

This seminar offers students an opportunity to engage with the material record on a daily basis. Over the six weeks, every effort will be made to introduce the widest range of possibilities encountered in the archaeological record. Not only pottery and sculpture in bronze and marble will be considered, but also works in precious or exotic materials like ivory, gold, silver, amber, gems, glass, faience, and colored stones. Questions of manufacture and circulation will predominate: how these objects were made, by whom, for whom, why, and how to recognize them in the literary, historical and epigraphic record.

Resources and Faculty. Participants will have access to the University’s two teaching and research museums which hold extensive Greek and Roman collections. The Krannert Art Museum has a fine collection of Attic vases dating from the middle Archaic to the early Classical periods (, published as a fascicule in the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (USA, fasc. 24, 1989). The Spurlock’s Museum Workman Gallery of the Ancient Mediterranean Cultures features an extensive collection of artifacts (pottery, sculpture, coins) from Greece and Rome, as well as an incomparable collection of plaster casts reproducing the whole Parthenon frieze, the Ara Pacis and numerous individual sculptures (

Furthermore, the Classics Library Collection is among the three largest libraries of its kind in the nation, and one of the most important in the world ( The collection was initially enriched by the acquisition of the libraries of Dittenberger and Vahlen. Perhaps more than any other American institution of higher learning, the University of Illinois has tied its academic enterprise to the cultivation of its research library, and the Classics collection is one of its jewels: it is autonomous (all books and journals located in one space), on the second floor of the Main Library, adjacent to the primary Reading Room and the Main Stacks.

The course is co-ordinated by Professors Antony Augoustakis and Daniel Leon together with a group of scholars from the University and neighboring schools: Professor Susan Rotroff (Greek Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis), Professor Sinclair Bell (Etruscan and Roman Archaeology, Northern Illinois University), Professor James Dengate (Greek Archaeology and Numismatics, UIUC), Professor Susan Frankenberg (Coordinator of Museum Studies, UIUC), Dr. Katherine Kreindler (Etruscan Archaeology, UIUC), Professor John Senseney (Greek and Roman Architecture, UIUC), Dr. Maureen Warren (Curator of European and American Art, Krannert Art Museum, UIUC).

Proximity to Chicago and St. Louis will allow participants to benefit from two excursions to visit the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Art Museum in order to study additional artifacts.

Schedule. The seminar is structured in broadly chronological terms, from Greece and the Near East to Rome and the West, including lectures on museum studies and modern technological advances. Three two-hour classes are planned around an over-arching theme each week, outlined in the synopsis. Additional two-hour sessions will provide students with guided study regarding their projects. Excursions to local artists’ workshops and to Chicago/St. Louis are planned for the end of each week.  Click here for a synopsis of the schedule.

Expectations of Students. Students will be evaluated based on a combination of exercises on each week’s instruction and a larger research project developed on an individual basis. We expect students to identify a project that suits their interests and uses University of Illinois resources. Each student will pursue their project under the supervision of one of the leading discussants in the seminar and in collaboration with Professors Augoustakis and Leon. The seminar will include mini-presentations on objects from the collections as well as on the individual projects of the students. At the conclusion of the seminar the directors will submit a written report to each student’s home department, assessing the student’s progress in working with material culture.

Logistics and Funding. Students selected for the seminar will be offered free accommodation at the University of Illinois (furnished apartments). Bus service is provided for transportation to the Museums and classrooms/library. As a campus of about 50,000 students, options for food and entertainment are many and multicultural. The University is located 130 miles south of Chicago. Champaign-Urbana is accessible by airplane (University of Illinois Willard airport, serviced by American Airlines and United with several daily flights to and from Chicago and Dallas), as well as Amtrak trains and numerous bus routes. In addition, thanks to the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation, the SCS will provide a stipend of up to $2,000 to cover the cost of travel to and from Illinois, and modest out of pocket expenses. The SCS believes that these arrangements will offset many but by no means all of the costs of attendance at the seminar.

Nomination Process. Each doctoral program may nominate only one student for the seminar. The focus of the student’s academic work should be classical languages, literatures, and/or history and not archaeology or other areas of material culture. Preference will be given to graduate students who are still taking coursework or in the early stages of writing their dissertation. Nominators should elicit from potential applicants a CV and a statement of the value that the student expects to derive from attending the seminar, choose one applicant to nominate, and forward the CV and statement to the SCS Executive Director (, along with a brief endorsement. The student’s statement should be 500 to 700 words in length and should describe how the seminar would advance the applicant’s education and scholarly interests. The student him or herself should also email the Executive Director ( with full name, mailing address, phone number.

A committee consisting of Professors Antony Augoustakis and Daniel Leon as co-chairs and Professors Mary English (SCS Vice President for Education) and Donald Mastronarde (SCS VP for Publications and Research) will select participants from ten different academic institutions and a variety of countries of origin. Although many applicants from North America are expected, students from all countries are equally welcome. Reasonable fluency in English is the only requirement.

Nominations by departments and emails from student nominees including their full contact information should be submitted electronically to no later than 15 February 2018. The SCS will announce the decisions of the selection committee by the end of February. Questions about the seminar program may be directed to Professor Augoustakis at or by telephone at 217 333 7327.


(Photo: Marble Head of Empress Fausta. Gift of Betty Campanile, 1982.07.000. Image courtesy of the Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


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Latin Epigraphy Program in Rome in Summer 2018

The American Academy in Rome is pleased to offer in June 2018 an intensive introduction to the study of Latin and Greek inscriptions in the city of Rome.

AAR Summer Program in Roman Epigraphy, June 18 – June 29, 2018

Application Deadline: 31 January 2018

Instructor: John Bodel, Brown University

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 7:52am by Erik Shell.

(Submitted by Paula Debnar, Professor of Classics, Department of Classics and Italian, Mount Holyoke College)

M. Philippa (Forder) Goold, longtime professor of classics and department head at Mount Holyoke, died on March 29, 2017, after a short illness. She was 84.

Philippa was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) in 1932. After taking degrees at both the University of Cape Town and Cambridge University—where her housemates at Newnham’s Whitstead Cottage included Sylvia Path—she returned to Salisbury in 1956 to begin teaching at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now the University of Zimbabwe). In 1967 she came to the U.S. to join the faculty at Mount Holyoke, but left in 1973 when her husband, George P. Goold, was named Professor of Latin at University College London. When George accepted a professorship at Yale in 1977, Philippa returned to Mount Holyoke, where she continued to teach, eventually holding the chair of Professor of Classics on the Alumnae Foundation, and lead the department until her retirement in 1996.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 7:39am by Erik Shell.


February 10-11, 2018

The ethical and political issues treated in Cicero's major philosophical writings have been a topic of lively interest in modern scholarship. With funding from the Matariki Network, from the University of Durham, and from Dartmouth College, this conference brings together an international group of scholars who are actively working on Cicero's ethical and political thought.

Jed Atkins    

Cicero on the Justice of War 

Nathan Gilbert

Cicero against Lucretius De morte

Margaret Graver

The psychology of honor in Cicero’s De Re Publica

Sean McConnell

Old Men in Cicero’s Political Philosophy

Geert Roskam

Nos in diem vivimus: Cicero’s approach in the Tusculan disputations

Malcolm Schofield

Iuris consensu revisited

Katharina Volk

Towards a Definition of Sapientia: Philosophy in Cicero's Pro Marcello

Georgina White

Skepticism and Fiction in the Academica

Raphael Woolf

Cicero on Rhetoric and Dialectic

James Zetzel

Cicero's Platonic Dialogues

For information on the venue please contact


View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 01/22/2018 - 1:03pm by Erik Shell.

(Written by Sarah E. Cox, and shared with the SCS by Ofelia N. Salgado-Buttrey)

Theodore V. Buttrey, Jr.

29 December 1929 – 9 January 2018

Renowned educator, numismatist and classicist, Theodore V. (“Ted”) Buttrey, Jr., died on January 9, 2018, eleven days after his 88th birthday.  Born in Havre, Montana, as a child he attended the Peacock Military Academy in San Antonio, Texas, where he first encountered the coins of Mexico, a life-long interest.  His secondary education was at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, after which he entered Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude in 1950 in Classics.  In the summer of 1952, he participated in the inaugural Summer Seminar in Numismatics conducted by the American Numismatic Society, an experience that may well have been pivotal in setting the later course of his career.  In 1953, still at Princeton, he completed his Ph.D. thesis on a numismatic subject, “Studies in the Coinage of Marc Anthony,” a chapter of which was condensed and published as “Thea Neotera on Coins of Antony and Cleopatra,” ANS Museum Notes 6 (1954), pp. 95-109.  There followed a Fulbright scholarship to study in Rome.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

The Roman Civil Wars of 49-30 BCE: Analysing the Breakdown of Models

Córdoba, Spain
21-23 June 2018
Deadline for abstracts: 15 February 2018

 Publications (e.g. Armitage 2017) and conferences (e.g. Kavala 2014) dedicated to the theme of Roman civil wars have been constantly on the increase in recent years.  If intellectual life reflects its historical moment, then the phenomenon may be a consequence of both the disappearance of a bipolar international model and the breakdown of the twentieth-century socio-economic basis for the consensus needed for stable parliamentary government.  Reflecting upon the current moment, but limited to a discussion of the Roman civil wars of 49-30 BCE, the proposed conference aims to gather scholars from around the world to discuss the breakdown in political and cognitive models that is associated with that particular moment in history.  This is a discussion that can usefully be undertaken by widening the scope of investigation and focussing upon not only “minor” characters (e.g. Roucillus and Egus), but also people’s documented difficulty in distinguishing between true and false reports (e.g. Caesar’s alleged descent upon Rome with his Gallic cavalry) as they sought to determine what course to take.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:03pm by Erik Shell.
Alan Cameron

Institute of Classical Studies (University of London)

24 March 2018 at 2.30pm
Room 349, Senate House

Everyone is invited to celebrate the life and work of Professor Alan Cameron FBA (1938-2017) with friends, former colleagues and family on 24th March in room 348 of Senate House from 14.30 until 18.00 with a reception following.

Alan Cameron read Classics at New College, Oxford and then went on to teach Latin at the University of Glasgow before coming to London in 1964, where he was first a Lecturer and then a Reader at Bedford College and then from 1972 as Professor of Latin at Kings. In 1977 he moved to Columbia University of New York where he was Anthon Professor of Latin Literature and Language until his retirement in 2008. His books included studies of Hellenistic poetry, of circus factions in Byzantium, of Greek mythography and the magisterial Last Pagans of Rome that appeared in 2011.

A number of friends and colleagues will offer reminiscences of Alan and appreciations of his work. Among the confirmed speakers are Arianna Gullo, Gavin Kelly, Oswyn Murray, John North, Peter Wiseman and members of his family.

The event is free and all are welcome.


(Photo: "Alan Cameron" used with permission)

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:12am by Erik Shell.

January 15, 2018

Dear Members,

Looking back on the recently concluded Annual Meeting, I’m of two minds. For those who took part, I think it was a big success. Newer-format events, like Career Networking and Ancient Maker Spaces, were really lively and well attended, especially by younger members. Georgia Nugent’s presidential panel on the PhD as a launching pad for careers other than college teaching was really inspiring. And the Program Committee’s special session on “Rhetoric: Then and Now” brought our professional responsibility to be political into the spotlight in a way that I feel was both fruitful and long overdue.

The success of these events is all the more impressive because every one of them underwent major changes at the last minute when key participants simply could not make it to Boston because of the weather. Amazingly few sessions were actually cancelled. But if you couldn’t get to Boston, it wasn’t a good convention for you. I’m very sorry for those whose travel plans were thwarted, and I’m extremely grateful to all those got there in spite of the extra effort, expense, and delay that it cost. Frankly, your success in doing so probably saved the convention from being a total disaster.

(Speaking of expense, Helen Cullyer and her staff are working with those who couldn’t get in to mitigate their financial exposure. Everyone affected has now received instructions on requesting refunds.)

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Mon, 01/15/2018 - 8:37am by Helen Cullyer.


an NEH Summer Seminar for Pre-Collegiate Teachers (July 16-August 3, 2018

In the summer of 2018 (July 16-August 3), there will be an NEH Summer Seminar for pre-collegiate teachers on the topic of Roman Daily Life. This seminar is an opportunity to read Petronius and some graffiti in Latin and look at Pompeian archaeology for various topics of Roman daily life. The Petronius reading forms a central core of the seminar, and thus an intermediate level of Latin proficiency (1 year of college level Latin) is required. The seminar will be held in St. Peter, Minnesota (1 hour from Minneapolis) on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. The NEH pays each person $2700 to participate, which will more than cover the living and food expenses (approximately $1500) – note that each participant is responsible for their own travel expenses. The seminar has been organized by Matthew Panciera (Gustavus Adolphus College) and will be co-taught by him, Beth Severy-Hoven (Macalester), Jeremy Hartnett (Wabash), and Rebecca Benefiel (Washington and Lee).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 9:36am by Erik Shell.

Inscribing Death: Memorial and the Transmission of Text in the Ancient World
Yale University, February 23, 2017

Cross-culturally, spaces of the dead have been productive places for considering the inherent difficulty of transmitting traditions and texts. This nexus between text, tradition, and death is seen across a range of genres including law, treaties, and wisdom sayings. Within these genres, the efficacious and correct reception of texts and traditions as lived by actual individuals is paramount. "Inscribing Death" brings scholars together to explore the dynamic connections between textual anxiety and anxiety about death in the ancient world, including ancient Mesopotamia and the Levant, Greco-Roman Egypt, and late antique Judaism and Christianity. It will also seek to integrate ongoing interdisciplinary work with ritual theory, sociolinguistic approaches to ancient textuality, linguistic anthropology, and, more broadly, the material turn in the study of the ancient world in order to further our understanding of ancient attitudes toward the nature of transmission and the reception of traditions and texts in the spaces of the dead.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 9:34am by Erik Shell.

Sing, Muse: Literary, Theoretical, and Historical Approaches to Music in Classical Antiquity

Eleventh Annual Graduate Conference in Classics

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Keynote Speaker: Timothy Power, Rutgers University

Musical Performance: “Old Songs”

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 9:05am by Erik Shell.


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