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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Classical Representations in Popular Culture

The Southwest Popular / American Culture Association (SWPACA) will once again be sponsoring sessions on CLASSICAL REPRESENTATIONS IN POPULAR CULTURE at their 39th annual conference, February 7-10, 2018 at Hyatt Regency Hotel and Conference Center in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Papers on any aspect of Greek and Roman antiquity in contemporary culture are eligible for consideration.

Potential topics include:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:23pm by Erik Shell.

Tacitus’ Wonders
Conference at Victoria University of Wellington, 27-29 August 2018
First call for papers

Readers have been attracted to the remarkable and wondrous, the admirable and the uncanny in Tacitus. But in order to appreciate what is mirum or novum, we also need to understand the apparently mundane material between the monstra. Tacitus famously derides the praises of new public buildings as a topic more worthy of the daily gazette than illustres annales (A. 13.31.1); his own criteria for selection, however, and his own judgments on what is worthy of note, have often differed in interesting ways from the preoccupations of his readers.

Abstracts (250 words) are invited on the topic of Tacitus’ wonders.
Submissions on comparative material are very much welcome.

Reflection is invited on the consequences of different methods of dividing or reconciling historical events and historiographical representation, e.g. Woodman (1993), O’Gorman (2001), Haynes (2003), and Sailor (2008). In preparing abstracts, it will be helpful to consider the challenge extended by Dench (in Feldherr, 2009), the ‘awkward question’ of whether the much admired Tacitean text ‘represents anything other than itself’. Papers treating the Classical tradition, reception and history of scholarship are welcome.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 1:38pm by Erik Shell.

Human | Nature: Environmental Humanities in Historical Perspective

March 23-24, 2018

The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Keynote Speaker: Timothy Saunders, Volda University College

Opening Remarks: Chris Otter, The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University Department of Classics, in collaboration with OSU’s Discovery Theme for Environmental Humanities and the Humanities Institute, is proud to announce its 15th annual graduate student colloquium.

A sense of urgency characterizes contemporary discussions about ecological welfare and anthropogenic effects on the non-human environment. At the core of this discourse lie questions with a long history of artistic, philosophical, political and religious expression. The proper management of space and resources, the negotiation of shifting boundaries between the “human” and “natural” worlds (however one chooses to define these categories), as well as the contemplation of humanity’s place among the living and nonliving co-inhabitants of Earth are all pursuits basic to human survival and livelihood. Moreover, the ways earlier generations found to represent the natural world they experienced and their human community's place within it have shaped the way we think and talk about such matters today.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 1:06pm by Erik Shell.

Digital Publication in Mediterranean Archaeology
Current Practice and Common Goals

A conference organized by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and The Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications, in partnership with the Archaeological Institute of America
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

15 E. 84th Street
New York, NY
Friday, October 20, 2017
9am-5pm

Speaker list

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 12:56pm by Erik Shell.

“Deconstructing the Open Greek and Latin Project: The First Thousand Years of Greek”

An AIA-SCS Pre-Meeting Workshop, presented in coordination with the SCS 

January 3, 2018, 9:00 to 5:00, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Interested in open access, the digital humanities, or conducting digital scholarship in your research and/or teaching?  Aren't sure what these topics have to do with classics or archaeology, or even how to get started?  Then, please consider joining us next January 3 at the AIA-SCS pre-meeting workshop "Deconstructing the Open Greek and Latin Project"!

In this workshop, partners from the Perseus Digital Library, the Harvard Library and Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, the University of Leipzig, Mount Allison University, and the University of Virginia Library will come together to demonstrate research tools, explain how to involve students in digital scholarship, provide open data for hands-on exploration from the Open Greek and Latin Project, as well as create a growing and supportive open access community.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 9:23am by Erik Shell.

International Association for Presocratic Studies

Sixth Biennial Conference: 25-29 June 2018

Delphi, Greece: European Cultural Centre of Delphi

Chair of Organizing Committee: Richard McKirahan

The International Association for Presocratic Studies (IAPS, founded in 2008) announces its Sixth Biennial Conference. The meeting will take place at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Greece 25-29 June 2018.

IAPS understands “Presocratics” to be the figures for whom either fragments of their work or relevant testimonia are collected in Hermann Diels’ Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (6th edn. 1951, edited by Walther Kranz). IAPS welcomes presentations on philosophical, philological, textual, doxographical, scientific, historical, literary and religious topics having to do with the Presocratics, on connections between Presocratic thought and other figures (e.g., the Sophists)and other areas of intellectual activity (e.g., mathematics, medicine or music), and on the reception of Presocratic thought in antiquity and later times.

IAPS welcomes participation from scholars at all stages of their careers, from graduate students to senior figures in the field.

To receive further information about the conference, please send a message with the title “IAPS 6” to Prof. Richard McKirahan <rmckirahan@pomona.edu>.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:57am by Erik Shell.

Call for Papers
Workshop: Language and Reality in Ancient Philosophy

Tuesday 16th January 2018, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Keynote speaker: David Ebrey (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

Ancient philosophers gave significant attention to the nature of language and its relation to reality. This workshop aims to stimulate scholarly exchange on the issue(s) and invites abstracts dealing with ancient philosophy of language, ancient metaphysics, and the relation between language and reality. Abstracts of up to 1000 words suitable for presentations of up to 40 minutes should be submitted by Saturday 21st October, 2017 to T.Nawar@rug.nl.

- The subject line of the email should read: 'SUBMISSION: Language and Reality in Ancient Philosophy (GRONINGEN)'.
- The abstract should be attached as a .PDF file.
- The abstract should be suitable for anonymous review.
- The author's name, affiliation, and email address should be specified in the email to which the abstract is attached, but not in the abstract itself.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:39pm by Erik Shell.

Deadlines Extended Because of Severe Weather Conditions

  • All paper ballots received by 5pm on Monday, September 18 will be counted in the elections.  Paper ballots do not have to be received on Friday, September 15.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:08am by Erik Shell.

This article was originally published in Amphora 11.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.

“Zero to Hero, in no time flat … Zero to Hero, just like that!” The Muses’ song from the Disney film Hercules could apply equally well to the sudden, spectacular rise of Hercules in pop entertainment of the late 1990s. Those proved lively years for the hero in American film and TV, spearheaded by the 1997 Disney animated movie and by television’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, starring Kevin Sorbo (1995-99). The two quickly spun off more TV series: Disney’s Hercules: The Animated Series (1998-99, 65 episodes of 30 minutes each) and Young Hercules (1998-99, 50 episodes also of 30 minutes each) starring Ryan Gosling.[1] Both spinoffs reimagined the mythological hero specifically for younger viewers and gave him unprecedented exposure in children’s weekday TV.[2]

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am by Angeline Chiu.

A memorial service for Albert Henrichs, Eliot Professor of Greek, will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 27th, 2017, in Memorial Church in Harvard Yard. All are welcome.

See map for details.

You can read our In memoriam for Albert here.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 09/08/2017 - 1:04pm by Erik Shell.

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