Symposium: "The Romantics and the Classics"

“O Latest Born and Loveliest Vision Far”
The 2016 Virginia Wesleyan College Symposium on The Romantics and the Classics 
November 17-19, 2016


Even from their distant vantage point at the waning of the eighteenth and the inception of nineteenth century, the English Romantics and their circle bequeath a powerful legacy to the modern world: Shelley's utopian schemes and dreams of equality for the oppressed, Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Wordsworth's pantheistic Anglicanism, Byron's rakish peregrinations in Italy and Greece.... all challenged conventional mores while at the same time calling more plodding and conventional British Tories to a higher standard of political fairness and social justice.

Virginia Wesleyan College's Romantics and the Classics Symposium, sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Lighthouse Experiential Learning Center, and funded with a generous grant from the Lighthouse, explores the manner in which Greco-Roman culture inspired the English Romantics both literarily and politically, providing the subject matter and literary form for many of their writings, even as it offering historical precedent for the high political ideals, thirst for travel in Italy and Greece, and scientific and intellectual curiosity which are the hallmarks of English Romanticism.

The symposium was planned and organized by Sara Sewell, Kellie Holzer, and Benjamin Haller.

Speakers include an array of preeminent scholars of Art History, Classics, English Literature, and Religion from across the U.S.


The Grand Tour
Thursday, November 17th
11:00-12:30, Clarke 118

  • Erik H. Neil Ph,D., Director of the Chrysler Museum of Art:  “The Grand Tour in Sicily.”
  • Chris Ann Matteo, Ph.D., Princeton University:  "Byron’s Caprice:  Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the Grand Tour.”

Retelling the Classics
Thursday, November 17th
4:00-6:00 p.m., Clarke 215

  • Michael Panitz, Virginia Wesleyan College, Old Dominion University, and Temple Israel of Norfolk: “Traditional Tales, Contemporary Concerns: Romantic and Modern Retellings of Genesis.”
  • Adam Potkay, The College of William and Mary: “Wordsworth and Vergil.”

Romantics Symposium Round Table
Friday, November 18th
Lighthouse Commons, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Frankenstein and the Grand Tour
Friday, November 18th 
6:00-8:30 p.m., Clarke 118

  • Carl Rubino, Hamilton College: "The Pale Student of Unhallowed Arts:  Aristotle, Lucretius, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."
  • Bill Hutton, Classics Department, The College William and Mary:  “Pausanias and the Grand Tour.”

Chrysler Museum Tour
Saturday, November 19th 
1:00 p.m., Chrysler Museum


(Photo: "Empty Boardroom" by Reynermedia, licensed under CC BY 2.0)


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In his history of the long and costly war between Athens and Sparta, the historian Thucydides explained that he had written his narrative to be “a possession for all time” and to be of assistance to those of future generations “who want to see things clearly as they were and, given human nature, as they will one day be again, more or less."1 Thucydides was a shrewd observer and analyst of human behavior, and his work has frequently been cited in times of crisis by those who see patterns in history.  At the famous ceremony dedicating the battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863 at which Lincoln also spoke, former Secretary of State Edward Everett delivered a eulogy

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 04/03/2020 - 8:10am by .

As we all contend with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, I want to start by highlighting a gratifying fact: the indispensable expert and voice of reason, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, majored in Classics as an undergraduate at Holy Cross!  This is a timely and inspiring reminder that Classics majors go on to distinguish themselves in many different careers and to perform many kinds of vital service.

I also want to emphasize that, despite the ongoing crisis, the SCS is fully up-and-running. Our three fulltime staff members, Helen Cullyer, Cherane Ali, and Erik Shell, have made a seamless transition to working remotely, thanks to careful advance planning on their part. They are maintaining regular business hours even as they work remotely, and are available to help our members however they can.

View full article. | Posted in Presidential Letters on Sun, 03/29/2020 - 2:22pm by Helen Cullyer.

­­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 to modern leadership practices to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. In this post we focus on projects that bring creativity and science into the Classics classrooms of secondary schools from California to Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 6:25am by .

The SCS Board of Directors has endorsed a statement by the American Sociological Association on faculty review and reappointment during COVID-19.

Read the statement and full list of signatories at this link

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 4:26pm by Helen Cullyer.

As the pandemic known as COVID-19 grips the globe, thousands of instructors in the United States and elsewhere have been asked to transition their courses online for the remainder of the semester. To some instructors, such as the superb Classics professors at the Open University, distance learning has become a normalized pedagogy. To many others facing teaching online: this is uncharted territory.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 8:43am by Sarah E. Bond.

Please see the following on access to digital resources during COVID-19:

1. The digital Classical Loeb Library recently announced that it is making its subscription free to all schools and universities affected by COVID-19 until June 30, 2020. Librarians should email for more details. In addition, SCS members can access the library for free until June 30, 2020 via the For Members Only page of our website. Log on to and access the For Members only page via our Membership menu. 

2. Johns Hopkins University Press and a number of publishers that contribute content to Project Muse are making books and journals freely accessible for several months. JHUP journals include AJP, TAPA, and CW. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 9:03am by Helen Cullyer.

Results and materials from the Classics tuning project we've mentioned in prior newsletters are now available publicly. See the below press release from the project's authors for full details:


View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.

We're proud to announce the digital publication of "Careers for Classicists: Undergraduate Edition." This work is a completely new version of our previous "Careers for Classicists" pamphlet, providing the latest insights on how undergraduate classics majors can best prepare for jobs in a variety of fields.

You can read this newest publication in our online book format here:

We'd like to thank Adriana Brook, Eric Dugdale, and John Gruber-Miller for doing so much work in putting this volume together. The print version of "Careers" will be available in a few months, and will be one of several benefit choices for departmental membership.

And, in case you missed it, you can read the Graduate Student version of this publication here:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 03/16/2020 - 12:51pm by Erik Shell.
We realize that this is a time of unprecedented turmoil, disruption, and challenge in all our personal and professional lives. SCS is delaying deadlines for 2021 annual meeting program submission in the hope that some extra time will be helpful to anyone planning to submit. The new deadlines are:
- April 21 (by 11.59pm EDT) for all submissions other than individual abstracts and lightning talks
- April 28 (by 11.59pm EDT) for all individual abstracts and lightning talks
As circumstances change, we will continue to adapt. While it is too early to say what effect COVID-19 will have on our annual meeting in January 2021, we will adjust as necessary and provide an annual meeting in some form. 
View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 4:26pm by Helen Cullyer.

Here is a modest aggregation of some helpful links and resources that link out to other resources. Thanks to all who have shared their wisdom online:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 9:51am by Helen Cullyer.


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