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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Performing Problem Plays

CAMP Panel, 2018 SCS Meetings in Boston

Organizers: James F. Patterson (james_patterson@utexas.edu) and Michael Mignanelli (mmignanelli@utexas.edu)

From comic elements and happy endings in Euripides to potential mass murder in Aristophanes’ Clouds (Kopff) and rape in Terence, problematic scenes in plays challenge generic categorization. In turn, prescribed dramatic conventions and generic constraints lead to the belief that, for instance, Seneca’s Oedipus simply could not have been performed (Hutchinson, Fitch). Meanwhile, logical inconsistencies in dialogue and narrative discontinuities encourage textual emendation: Willink, for instance, excises Orestes 554 on the grounds that the line “contributes nothing to, indeed gratuitously weakens, Or[estes]’ argument” (175), and Rutenberg removes the choruses from his adaptation of Seneca’s Oedipus because they “tend to hold up the action” (14). But perhaps these and other problems are not inherent in plays. Perhaps, instead, they derive from preconceived notions about how drama should and should not work. Perhaps, then, these problems may be resolved if performance, rather than theory, guides interpretation.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 03/03/2017 - 8:24am by Erik Shell.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will host the

20th colloquium of the Comité international de paléographie latine on 6-8 September 2017


"Scribes and the Presentation of Texts (from Antiquity to ca. 1550)
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The list of speakers for the conference can be found at this link (click here and go to "Programme").

The Colloquium will be followed by an optional trip to the medieval collections at The Cloisters in New York City.


Hotel rooms for the conference can now be reserved at the New Haven Hotel or the Courtyard by Marriott.

Information to book accommodations at the New Haven Hotel: contact the reservations line at 1-800-644-6835 reference the group code “Comité international de paléographie latine (CIPL)” in order to receive the group rate. This code will not be valid for online bookings and can only be used through central reservations line listed above.

Information to book accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriott please follow this link.

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View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 8:57am by Erik Shell.

Panel: Lingua Francas of Knowledge

Convenor: Karen Bennett, Universidade Nova, Lisbon

English is today the unrivalled vehicle for the transmission of knowledge, the language in which most scholarship is published, conferences are held, reading is done and lessons taught. However, its rise to prominence is a relatively recent development in the broad sweep of human history. From the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th, English, French and German enjoyed a roughly equal status as languages of scientific publication, with others, such as Russian and Japanese, occupying niches in particular geographic areas. In the Medieval and Early Modern period, Latin was of course the lingua franca (LF) of learning, once so indispensable that it had to be mastered before any formal education could take place; and before that the prime position was held by Greek, the koiné of the Hellenistic world. Meanwhile, in the East, Arabic, Sanskrit and Chinese were also playing formidable roles in channelling learning through the centuries.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 8:54am by Erik Shell.

SENSORIUM:

Sensory Perceptions in Roman Polytheism

Madrid, 16-18 November de 2017

The Institute of Historiography “Julio Caro Baroja”, at the University of Carlos III of Madrid is organizing an international conference titled, “SENSORIUM: Sensory Perceptions in Roman Polytheism.” Researchers of ancient history, religious history, archeology, anthropology, classical literature, and other related disciplines, are invited to present their research relating to the poly-sensorial practice of religion in the Roman world.

Since M. Maussand Merleau-Ponty’s publications about the role of the body in social interactions during the first half of the twentieth century (Mauss 1934; Merleau-Ponty 1945), studies about embodiment have benefited from a considerable amount of success since the 1990s in anthropology (Çsordas 1994, 2008), philosophy (Haraway 1991), semiotics (Landowski 2005, Fusaroli, Demuru et al. 2009) and cognitive linguistics (Geeraerts&Cuyckens 2007). The paradigm of embodiment considers that the body is no longer a mere object that reproduces culture, but an ontological condition for the existence of culture itself.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 1:56pm by Erik Shell.

The journal Phasis – Greek and Roman Studies is published by the Institute of Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. Phasis is a peer-reviewed academic journal and publishes original contributions in all areas of Greek and Roman Studies.

The journal invites papers for the forthcoming issue. Papers may be submitted in English, French or German. They should be no less than 5 000 words in length (not incl. footnotes and bibliography) and should be preceded by an abstract of 100-250 words in English. Please use a Unicode font for Greek. Each submission will be reviewed by two anonymous external reviewers.

If you are interested in publishing in Phasis, please send your article and abstract to phasis@tsu.ge by March 15, 2017, and include your name, address and affiliation in the accompanying email.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 

Tamara Cheishvili

Managing Editor

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:29pm by Erik Shell.
Erleichterte Griechische Grammatica Oder Gründliche Anführung Zur Griechischen S frontispiece.jpg

Co-authored with Vanessa Gorman, Professor of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. vgorman1@unl.edu 

How many times have you stood in a classroom, trying to figure out a way to diagram coherently a Latin or Greek sentence on the board in order to clarify a structure that is baffling your students? Why not do the same thing digitally, and even require the students to construct their own sentence trees to demonstrate their understanding of the problem? A few years ago, we learned about a program to do just that. Arethusa is a set of tools developed by the Alpheios Project, adopted by the Perseus Digital Library, and delivered by the Perseids editing platform. We began using these syntactic trees in my advanced Latin classroom and were so pleased with the results that we soon introduced them to classes at all levels, from the second week of Latin 1 to the research capstone for majors.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:00am by Robert Gorman.

We are delighted to welcome Cherane Ali as our new Director of Meetings.  Cherane has a BA from Baruch College and extensive meeting planning experience in both the US and Europe.  

We also thank the Nominating Committee for their work throughout the Fall and Winter to identify a slate of candidates who will stand for election in summer 2017.  You can view the complete slate here.

As a reminder, members will also be asked to vote this summer on a revision to the Working Conditions section of the Society's Professional Ethics Statement.  You can view the revised draft of the section here.  Comments on the draft should be sent to the Executive Director by March 1.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 02/26/2017 - 8:25pm by Helen Cullyer.

Today we celebrate the SCS 50-year Club.  Members who joined in 1967 have now been added to our list of 50-year members:

https://classicalstudies.org/membership/scs-50-year-club

Thank you to all on this list for your teaching, scholarship, service, and support.  

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/23/2017 - 9:17pm by Helen Cullyer.
Medieval Imagery

This article was originally published in Amphora 12.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.

This spring I was fortunate to hear an interesting panel discussion—stand-up-and-take-notice interesting—at the Medieval Academy of America’s annual meeting, hosted by Notre Dame University. The panelists’ observations seemed to me relevant to the SCS both as demonstrating additional kinds of outreach but more importantly as discussing the peculiar period higher education now finds itself in, and what might be done about that at every level, from junior scholar to dean. Officially the panelists spoke in the context of medieval studies, but they mentioned classical studies at different points, and the vast majority of their comments would be applicable to nearly any department in the humanities, especially those involved with “old stuff” or those commonly regarded by the public as recondite. In short, if your discipline has a saying about it on the model of “It’s all [your day job] to me,” you’ll want to listen to the presentations by these three scholars.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 02/22/2017 - 8:55am by Ellen Bauerle.

Arabia in the Classical Sources

King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Ad-Darah) invites scholars to participate in the symposium "Arabia in the Classical Sources" which will be held in 21st - 23rd November 2017 in Riyadh.

The symposium welcome papers on subjects related to the Arabs and Arabia in classical sources. Topics will include, but will not necessarily limited to, the concepts of Arabs and Arabia, the sources of classical authors on Arabia, social life and economy of Arabia in the ancient times, flora and fauna of Arabia in classical writings, and classical authors' influence on western thoughts on ancient and modern Arabia.

Invitation has been sent to scholars specialized in the history of ancient Arabia during the Greek and Roman period to contribute to the symposium. Serious participants are welcome to submit new ideas and approaches to the symposium according to the terms and conditions of the attached first circular.
All correspondence should be addressed to prof. Al-Abduljabbar, the supervisor of the symposium and the "Arabia in the Classical Sources" project, at e-mail: aajabbar@me.com or arabiacs@darah.org.sa by April 16, 2017.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:09pm by Erik Shell.

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