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 (http://kam.illinois.edu/collection/ancient/), 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 (http://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/exhibits/permanent/med/).

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 (http://www.library.illinois.edu/clx/). 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 (xd@classicalstudies.org), 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 (xd@classicalstudies.org) 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 xd@classicalstudies.org 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 aaugoust@illinois.edu or by telephone at 217 333 7327.

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(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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CALL FOR PAPERS

Migrants and Refugees In the Law: Historic Evolution, Current Situation and Unsolved Questions

Murcia, Spain. December 12-14, 2018

International Chair Innocent III calls on all interested researchers to submit papers related to the human mobility and the reception of refugees according to History of Law, Canon Law, Roman Law, Comparative Law, Philosophy, Theology, History, Sociology, Historiography and any other discipline related to the main theme, as stated in the following:

SESSIONS

December 12: session 1. THE MIGRATION IN THE ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL HISTORY. Historical approach to human mobility.

December 13: session 2. NATION, STATE, REVOLUTION. The situation of the migrants and the refugees from the origin of the modern State.

December 14: session 3. BETWEEN EMERGENCY AND ORDINARINESS: Proposals for the enhancement of a constant phenomenon in the contemporary age.

PROPOSALS

Title, academic affiliation, short CV and Abstract - 200 words - (EN, IT, ES, DE, FR), via mail: catedrainocencio@gmail.com

DEADLINE

September 15, 2018. The Scientific Committee will respond to the proposal before September 30, 2018.

PUBLICATION

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 05/31/2018 - 9:26am by Erik Shell.
Some of the blacksmith buildings for the video game 0 A.D (Image via Wikimedia under a CC BY-SA 3.0 by Wildfire Games).

A Day in the Life of A Classicist is a monthly column on the SCS blog, celebrating the working lives of classicists. In this month’s edition, we speak with Hamish Cameron, who is a digital humanist, game designer, and lecturer in Classical and Medieval Studies at Bates College.

I’m an ancient historian who specializes in the Roman Near East, ancient geography, and borderland theory. I am beginning to branch into the reception of the classical world in contemporary pop-culture, especially games and movies.

As well as an academic, I’m a practicing analog game designer. Most of my hobbies are related to games in some way, so I’m always learning about how different games work and how different people encounter them. The close relationship between game design and classroom pedagogy means that thinking about games also bleeds into the classroom. As a game designer, everything I encounter, view and experience, becomes fodder for a game, and in many ways, also becomes fodder for pedagogy.

Hamish Cameron

Prof. Cameron at work at his desk at Bates College. 

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 05/28/2018 - 6:05am by Ayelet Haimson Lushkov.

by Karen Rosenbecker

Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men (2005) depicts the damage done to the west Texas hill country by both the violent cross-border drug trade and the ineffectual law enforcement that attempts to contain it.1 The novel’s exploration of what happens to a society that is unable to police itself shares that same central theme with Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy (Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides). The better-known parallel between McCarthy’s works and ancient literature is between his novels and the Bible, a comparison encouraged by certain titles (Child of God, Cities of the Plain), and by his focus on the collapse of society and the accompanying tectonic shifts in moral order.2 But much in McCarthy’s writing also welcomes a comparison with Greek tragedy, a genre that shares McCarthy’s interest in juxtaposing the limits of human understanding with the human desire to pursue knowledge despite the cost.3 In particular, No Country for Old Men and the Oresteia resonate with each other in terms of literal events, which depict characters struggling to resolve a situation that resists resolution, and in terms of the sweeping implications of those failures. Although what lands Aeschylus’ Orestes and McCarthy’s Llewelyn Moss in their life-threatening predicaments is quite different, the consequences of those actions betoken a breakdown of both societies.4 As a result of the failure of traditional rituals of justice in west Texas and in Argos, Anton Chigurh and the Furies—supernatural agents of their respective worlds—are summoned to apprehend the guilty and to restore order. But it is at this point, when the fate of both communities hangs in the balance, that McCarthy and Aeschylus unfold the future of ancient Greece and of modern America in a contrapuntal manner: one of these communities, guided by the wisdom of men and godly authority, will redeem itself and step into an age of reason and order; the other will slip into the abyss. What accounts for this difference rests on each community’s ability to recognize the divine avengers and to react accordingly, but the dissimilar trajectories of each world also reflect another conceptual parallel between No Country for Old Men and the Oresteia, namely that the quality of contemporary conditions rests upon that of the past.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/25/2018 - 8:49pm by Wells Hansen.
Call for Papers
October 13, 2018.
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Second University of Florida Classics Graduate Student Symposium

NATURA/φύσις vs. ARS/τέχνη: Artificial vs. Natural, in the Ancient World and Beyond

The development of ancient civilizations, reflected today in their literary, artistic, and architectural artifacts, was made possible by several scientific and technological advances. Aimed at improving the human condition, and enhanced by the philosophical observation of the natural world, ancient technologies gradually allowed for human habitation and expansion, and opened new avenues to artistic creation. Whether in the form of grand irrigation systems, harbors and ships, road systems, or city walls, ancient societies dynamically manifested their will to control the natural environment. Viewed, in contrast, as a domain of the divine, nature held an ambiguous position in the imagination of ancient peoples: it could be both hostile and propitious. In the realms of artistic and scientific invention, human creations are in constant dialogue with nature, trying either to imitate it, with varying levels of success, or to surpass it in perfection.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 05/24/2018 - 12:54pm by Erik Shell.

Remembering Antonia Syson (1973–2018)

As readers may have learned from an earlier posting, Antonia Syson, associate professor of Classics at Purdue University, died on March 25, 2018. Her death was the outcome of inflammatory breast cancer, diagnosed only a few months prior. Here we retrace Antonia’s academic path and describe some of the qualities that made her an inspiring friend, colleague, scholar, and teacher. (Prepared by James Ker, Erin Moodie, Melissa Mueller, and Jennifer William, with contributions from Lucy Gaster, Lydia Syson, Christine Albright, Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, Julia Davids, Nicholas Dew, William Fitzgerald, Katherine Ibbett, Jo Park, Anna Lawrence Pietroni, Josephine Crawley Quinn, Allen Romano, Oliver Taplin, James Tatum, and Christopher van den Berg.)

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:09am by Erik Shell.

In my first presidential letter, right after the annual meeting last January, I wrote about the need to consider not only where we meet, but at what time of year. This letter addresses the first question; I will write separately about the other one.

When I wrote my previous letter, we had already signed contracts for meetings through 2024, and since then we have signed another for 2025; the details are here. So, no immediate change is possible, but we still must move quickly since we have to make decisions that far in advance in order to get the venues we want, when we want them, and at an affordable price. It will soon be time to sign a contract for 2026, no matter where, or on what specific days we want to meet.

With that in mind, I wish I could say there are no other constraints, but in reality there are some powerful ones. Apologies to those who already know all of this, but from talking to quite a few members over recent months, I’ve got the impression that explaining the basic issues might be beneficial.

The first point is very simple, but very important:

SCS members and AIA members agree that they want SCS and AIA to continue holding a Joint Annual Meeting.

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Wed, 05/23/2018 - 9:24am by Erik Shell.
Close-up of the statue base of “Silent Sam” on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill with ink and blood running down (Image by permission of the Workers Union at UNC-CH).

On April 30th 2018, Maya Little, a graduate student in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, was arrested after covering the Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam” in a mixture of red ink and her own blood. The monument has stood in a prominent position on UNC’s campus since its dedication in 1913, but has for years been the object of debate and protests, which have intensified since the national push to remove confederate statues following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Funded by the Daughters of the Confederacy and a group of UNC alumni, “Silent Sam” was originally dedicated as a tribute to UNC students who lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War, though like many such statues, it was erected during the Jim Crow era decades after the war had ended.

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 05/20/2018 - 4:22pm by .

Ruth Scodel, SCS delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies, has written up her report of the annual ACLS meeting.

You can read her full report below:

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The most important news from this year’s meeting of ACLS may be from the president’s report: the organization is financially healthy.

For the Thursday evening session there was a panel about free speech in the academy (“The Contested Campus”).  Leon Botstein was a member of this panel.  Of course the other speakers were interesting and distinguished people —Judith Shapiro, the president of Teagle; Jerry Kang, a UCLA law professor and the first vice-chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Ben Vinson, soon to be provost at Case Western, Botstein dominated, as I suspect he does in any event in which he participates. Never having seen the Botstein show, I was fascinated.  The panel considered two related problems—how difficult it can be to have even serious speakers from the right, and how hard it can be to manage the provocateurs who have nothing worth hearing like Yiannopoulos.  Botstein was furious over complaints that a conference at the Arendt Center had included Marc Jongen, especially since Jongen’s respondent was Ian Buruma. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 05/18/2018 - 3:16pm by Erik Shell.
Photo of newly reopened murals in the Domus Augusti by Agnes Crawford.

In a photo essay, Roman tour guide and classicist Agnes Crawford spoke to the SCS Blog about the newly reopened House of Augustus on the Palatine, which was uncovered by archaeologists in the early 1960s. Although it underwent extensive renovations for the events surrounding the  2000th anniversary of Augustus' death in 2014, other portions have now been reopened to the public in time for the summer crowds. Crawford also comments on the myriad restoration projects going on in Rome, Pompeii, and elsewhere in Italy. Together, these initiatives are bringing the color and grandeur of the ancient world back to life within Italy. 





"Coffered" painted ceiling in the newly reopened House of Augustus on the Palatine in Rome. Image by Agnes Crawford and used by permission.

Bond: What is new about the casa di augusto?

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/18/2018 - 6:33am by Agnes Crawford.

The deadline for nominations for the SCS Awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level is June 1, 2018.

You can find more information about the award and nomination process here.

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 10:41am by Erik Shell.

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