Tribute to R. Elaine Fantham

Please see the following tribute to R. Elaine Fantham, contributed by Prof. Alison Keith, Acting Chair, Dept. of Classics at the University of Toronto
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Dear Colleagues and friends – 
 
We were devastated to learn that R. Elaine Fantham, a giant in the field of classical scholarship and generous friend and mentor to generations of students and colleagues, died yesterday in Toronto at the age of 83. A member of the Classics department at Trinity College, in the University of Toronto, from 1968 to 1986, and again from 2000 to 2008 after her retirement from Princeton, Elaine was predeceased by her husband Peter, and is survived by her daughter Julia (grandchildren Peter, Alice, and Clare) and her son Roy (wife Jen and granddaughter Marley).

Born in Liverpool U.K. in May 1933, Elaine received her B.A. (first class in Literae Humaniores) and first graduate degree at Oxford University before returning to her home city as Leverhulme Research Fellow to earn her Ph.D. in 1965 with a dissertation on Plautus’ comedy Curculio, “The Boll-Weevil” (examined by R.G. Austin and O. Skutsch). Early training in the ways of roguery naturally equipped her for a meteoric rise in her chosen profession, and she held teaching posts all over the Anglo-American academy. She taught briefly at St Andrews University, as a fellow of St. Salvator’s College (1965-1966), before moving with her mathematician husband Peter to Indiana University in Bloomington. There she taught in the Department of Classics as a Visiting Lecturer (1966-1968), before moving again, in 1968, with their Scottish daughter Julia and American son Roy, to Toronto and Trinity College. There she taught for eighteen years (Assistant to Associate Professor 1968-1978, Professor 1978-86), in a college department celebrated for its collegiality and scholarship. She was welcomed right from the start by Mary White, as well as by the other members of the Classics contingent of that congenial college, including John Cole, Desmond Conacher, Alexander Dalzell, and George Grube. In retirement she returned to the college and was elected a Senior Fellow of Trinity College in September 2012.

During her professional years in Toronto, Elaine served on the editorial committee of Phoenix from 1976 to 1979; gave a series of papers across Canada on both the Atlantic and Western lecture tours sponsored by the Classical Association of Canada; and served as Vice-President of the Association from 1982-84, during which period she also served as Vice-President and then President of the Canadian Society for the History of Rhetoric (1983-1986). In 1996, she delivered the keynote lecture at the annual meeting of the CAC in St. Catharines, Ontario.

In addition to her valuable service to the Canadian academic community, Elaine was very active across North America, especially after moving to Princeton University in 1986, when she was appointed Giger Professor of Latin in the Department of Classics there. She enjoyed spells as a Visiting Professor of Classics at Ohio State University in Columbus OH (1983) and as Langford Visiting Professor at Florida State University in 2001; and in 1999-2000 she lectured for Phi Beta Kappa across the United States. She also contributed signal service to the American Philological Association, the largest professional classics association in the world, where she was an outstanding advocate for classical scholars and classics departments. She served as member, then chair, of the Goodwin Award Committee (1997-2000), and then, after her retirement from Princeton and return to Toronto in 2000, as President-Elect (2003) and President (2004) of the APA. In January 2009, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Philological Association in recognition of her superlative service to the profession.

After retiring from Princeton University in 2000, Elaine made her primary residence in Toronto, where her grown-up family lives, and she continued to make significant contributions to the research and teaching mission of the graduate department of Classics at the University of Toronto, where she had established her career. In the early years of the new millennium, she took on supplementary graduate teaching for the Toronto department in a wide range of M.A. and Ph.D. courses. In addition, and much more importantly, she was closely involved from the start of her retirement in mentoring across the country and around the world – not only senior graduate and undergraduate students but also friends and colleagues. She offered us all a model of the very highest standard of professional activity and collegiality. Her commitment to the Department, her colleagues and students – not only nationally and internationally, but also locally and provincially – was particularly valuable in this period, when she also served as the Honorary President of the Classical Association of Canada from 2001 to 2006. In May 2015 Elaine was honoured with the CAC Award of Merit.

Elaine continued to travel and lecture in the USA, Britain and Italy until recently, as she remained much in demand. Known both for the wide range and for the accessibility of her scholarship, Elaine was the grande dame of Latin studies in the English-speaking world, though it was not only amongst Anglo-American colleagues that she was celebrated. For her fluent Italian, German and French made her a very welcome guest-speaker throughout Europe as well. Outside of her home universities, Professor Fantham lectured across the United States for Phi Beta Kappa and presented lectures and conference papers around the world—including in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Argentina, and Australia.

The author of seventeen books (including scholarly monographs, commentaries, editions and translations, and an omnibus of her selected articles) and over a hundred articles and book chapters, she also co-authored the standard textbook on women in antiquity and served as Associate Editor in Chief of the seven-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome (2010). Many of us encountered Latin literature through her scholarship – the comedies of Plautus and Terence in her first book Comparative Studies in Republican Latin Literature (Toronto 1972), the plays of Seneca and poetry of Lucan and Ovid in later commentaries (Princeton 1982; Cambridge 1992 and 1998) respectively), and of course her magisterial Roman Literary Culture from Cicero to Apuleius (Baltimore 1996), expanded in a second edition (2012) to cover Latin letters from Plautus to Macrobius.

She herself said that she was drawn to the study of Classics because of a glamorous ad for a tonic wine, which featured a handsome longhaired young man in a tunic, riding past the Acropolis in a chariot with an equally alluring young woman. Although the modern professoriate may have been something of a disappointment by comparison, there is no question that Professor Fantham’s career was attended by glamour and acclaim. From 1996 on, she contributed short comments on classical topics to National Public Radio in the United States, where a select company of famous classicists has interested millions in the study of classical antiquity. Always generous with her time and attention to her chosen profession, Elaine gave a public and very human voice to our discipline as a commentator on NPR.

Elaine was a valuable member of the Classics community not only in her former departments but also in both her adoptive countries and on her adoptive continent for nearly fifty years, as a faculty member and staunchly supportive colleague, serving even in retirement as an active participant in the teaching and research mission of classical studies around the world. She provided a model of classical scholarship and personal engagement for generations of students, friends, and colleagues, and served as a warm and generous mentor to many in the profession.

Her generosity was a byword amongst her friends and former students, and her calendar even in retirement was always full of visits from colleagues, who took her out for concerts, cream teas and debauched dinners. A witty raconteur, loyal friend and brilliant cook, she remained excellent company to the end – on the radio, in the classroom, and over the dinner table. She will be sorely missed by everyone whose life she touched.

Ave atque vale – S.T.T.L

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It has now been nearly two weeks since the SCS-AIA annual meeting in San Diego, and many have written evocative, emotional, and important pieces about the racist events that occurred there. Instead of posting each separately on our social media or blog, I have tried to compile as many as I could in this post.
 

In their own words:

Dan-el Padilla Peralta, “Some thoughts on AIA-SCS 2019,” Medium (January 7, 2019).

----- "SCS 2019: The Future of Classics: Racial Equity and the Production of Knowledge,” Future of Classics Panel (January 5, 2019).

Emma Pettit, “‘My Merit and My Blackness Are Fused to Each Other,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 11, 2019).

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/18/2019 - 6:19am by Sarah Bond.

14th Moisa Research Seminar on Ancient Greek and Roman Music Bressanone/Brixen, 2-6 July 2019

The 14th Moisa Research Seminar will take place from July 2nd to July 6th, 2019 in Bressanone/Brixen (Italy) with the commitment of Padua University and of its Department of Cultural Heritage (https://www.brixen.org/en/bressanone/city-centre.html). 

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/17/2019 - 12:29pm by Erik Shell.

Vergilian Society Seeks Directors for Oct 2020 Symposium in Italy 

(deadline Tuesday April 30, 2019)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 01/16/2019 - 9:52am by Erik Shell.

INDA - Italy's National Institute for Ancient Drama, based in Siracusa (http://www.indafondazione.org) and the journal "Dioniso. Rivista di studi sul teatro antico" are happy to announce the programme of their yearly conference on ancient drama introducing the traditional festival, which will take place in Siracusa from May 9 to Jul. 6. 

The conference will be held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in Siracusa (Salone Amorelli, Palazzo Greco, Corso Matteotti), and its title will be The representation of the divine in ancient theatre. Please find below the full programme: 

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 01/15/2019 - 2:00pm by Erik Shell.

David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for Travel in Classical Lands

The Fellowship is intended to recognize secondary-school teachers of Greek or Latin who are as dedicated to their students as the Coffins themselves by giving them the opportunity to enrich their teaching and their lives through direct acquaintance with the classical world.

All materials must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on February 27, 2019.

Pedagogy Award

Open to both collegiate and pre-collegiate teachers of classics

The application deadline is March 4, 2019.

Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Award

Open to those preparing for Latin teacher certification.

The application deadline is March 4, 2019.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:46am by Erik Shell.
CfP: Song, Lament, Love: Harking Back to the Sounds of Elegy 
(submission deadline: 28.02.2019)
 
University of Coimbra, June 26-29, 2019

Panel coordinators:
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides (Macquarie University, NSW) Email: Eva.Anagnostou-Laoutides@mq.edu.au
Bill Gladhill (McGill University) Email: charles.gladhill@mcgill.ca
Micah Myers (Kenyon College) Email: myersm1@kenyon.edu

The nature of archaic Greek elegy and its performative culture, its interface with other Greek literary genres as well as its Hellenistic and Roman adaptation(s) have already commanded an impressive amount of scholarship. Despite, however, appreciating that the functions of elegy were hugely diversified early on (Nagy 2010; Barbantani 2018), despite overcoming the simplistic classification of elegies to subjective and objective (Cairns 1979; Murray 2010; Miller 2012), and even despite doubting Quintilian’s criticism of Propertius as an obscure poet (Inst.Or.10.1.93), foundational questions on the origins, nature, and meaning(s) of Elegy remain unanswered. Elegy, one of the oldest Greek poetic genres, remains the most elusive.  

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/14/2019 - 2:35pm by Erik Shell.

Untold and Inexpressible: Gaps and Ambiguities in the Medicine as an Epistemological Challenge

39th meeting of the Ancient Medicine Interdisciplinary Working Group

Date: 15-16 June 2019
Place: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Institute for History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine of the University Medical Center Mainz, Am Pulverturm 13, basement (lecture hall U1125)
Deadline: 31 January 2019
Organisation: Norbert W. Paul, Tanja Pommerening

Medical treatments aim to improve the patient’s health. From the patient’s perspective, the elimination of the suffering and the restitution of “normal” life is a crucial part of the process. Patients express this in communication with the practitioner by describing symptoms on one side and impairments affecting their lives on the other. Much of this can hardly be described in words, especially embodied experiences which do not correlate with medical findings and thus are often not deemed relevant. In this regard, the patient faces the rigid and rational diagnostical categories of the practitioner that sometimes do not at all coincide with the patient’s own categories. However, how the gap between the concepts used by the practitioner and the patient could be bridged does rarely come up for discussion.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/14/2019 - 1:33pm by Erik Shell.

(Sent via Giustina Monti)

We cordially invite you to the upcoming conference, Revisiting Authority and Tradition in Ancient Historiography: A Conference in Honour of John Marincola, organized by Giustina Monti (Oxford) and Scarlett Kingsley (Agnes Scott). The conference will take place at the Masseria Chiancone Torricella in Puglia, Italy, on April 5-6, 2019.

Speakers include:

KeynoteChris Pelling (Oxford), ‘The Authority to Be Untraditional’

Rhiannon Ash (Oxford), ‘Do or Die! Marcus Terentius’ Bold Virgilian Allusion (Tacitus Annals 6.8)’

Lucia Athanassaki (Crete), ‘Singing and dancing Pindar’s authority’

Deborah Boedeker (Brown), ‘Through Barbarian Eyes: Hellenes as ‘Others’ in Herodotus’

Ewen Bowie (Oxford), ‘Tradition and authority in Philostratus in the Lives of the Sophists

Carolyn Dewald (Bard), ‘Ambiguity and Paradox in Herodotus’ Histories

Harriet Flower (Princeton), ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici: When did Roman politicians use the first person?’

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 01/14/2019 - 10:27am by Erik Shell.
D.C.

Please see the following important information about the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

We plan to supplement our existing harassment policies by appointing an ombuds to whom issues of bias and harassment can be reported.  As we run a joint meeting, we will be working with the AIA on this.

The program submission system will open in late February. The deadline for panel, workshop, and seminar proposals, and for reports on peer-reviewed affiliated group and organizer-refereed panels will fall in early April. The deadline for submission of individual abstracts and lightning talks will be in late April. We will publish the specific deadlines by the end of January.

There are already many calls for abstracts available from our affiliated groups and organizer-refereed panels. Many of these have submission deadlines in early February or March. In addition to calls from longstanding affiliated groups, including WCC and LCC, please see in particular the two following announcements from affiliated groups chartered in the last couple of years:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 01/14/2019 - 9:38am by Erik Shell.

Chanel took over New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts on December 4 for its annual Arts et Métiers fashion show. This year’s theme? Egypt. Except that, in many ways, it was not. What, and most importantly, who was showcased, then? The answer is unsurprisingly predictable, yet for this very reason, it powerfully illuminates the current, Orientalist and colonial reception of ancient Egypt in contemporary fashion and pop culture, and the ways in which this reception hasn’t changed much (if at all) since Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of the country in the late 18th century.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/14/2019 - 5:40am by Katherine Blouin.

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