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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Earlier this year SCS President Georgia Nugent issued a Presidential Letter on the Trump administration's budget blueprint that proposed elimination of many educational and cultural agencies including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The administration's full budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, published yesterday, is in line with the earlier blueprint.  It calls for the shutdown of the NEH and other agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This is still only a proposal. We can expect a long and contested appropriations process. All those in the US who are concerned about these cuts and eliminations can take action by contacting their representatives in Congress.

You can contact your representatives in the House and Senate in the following ways:

1. Make a phone call directly to Congress: All members of Congress can be reached through the US Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/24/2017 - 9:47am by Helen Cullyer.

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)
" at Yale University

Two deadlines are approaching:

First, the blocks of hotel rooms being held at the New Haven Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott will not be available after 15 June 2017 at the reduced room rates.  And please be aware that New Haven is a small city with a limited availability of rooms and little in the way of public transportation.

Secondly, in order to plan for the colloquium, registration will close on 1 August 2017.

For further information on the Colloquium see:

http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/LatinPaleography2017

The conference organizers encourage you to register and to book your room reservations at your earliest convenience if you have not done so already.

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View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 05/23/2017 - 8:08am by Erik Shell.
Southeast boundary marker of the Tritopatreion

Attic Inscriptions Online (AIO) presents translations of Attic inscriptions alongside cross-references to Greek texts, images, and notes. The website is the creation of Stephen Lambert and is affiliated with the Europeana Eagle Project. As of March 2017, AIO contains over 1,000 inscriptions with the eventual aim to provide translations of the 20,000+ inscriptions originating from Athens and Attica. The majority of the translations are by Lambert himself, with the remaining texts translated by a team of collaborators.

The majority of translations on the site come from the most recent IG II3 publications focusing on laws and decrees from the fourth to the second centuries BCE, with a gradually increasing number of notable inscriptions from the fifth century BCE. At present, there is little coverage of the archaic or imperial periods, although one imagines that this will change as the site continues to grow (information on how inscriptions are prioritized for inclusion can be found in the About section of the site).

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 12:00am by Alan Sheppard.

Topic:  A classical “Wonder Woman” appearing out of her native context to save the day

The backstory of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is heavily inspired by characters, places, and events from classical mythology.  DC’s Wonder Woman is portrayed as appearing in a variety of different places and times in history, all while maintaining her essential identity as the Amazon Princess Diana.  Entries for this contest should take a “Wonder Woman” from classical history, mythology, or literature and come up with some pretext for setting her in a place and time outside of her native one.  In that new context, this “Wonder Woman” should use her “super” powers/skills that are apparent from her portrayals in the classical world to solve some problem that was confounding the people of her new context.
 
This contest is open to any student enrolled full-time in high school (anywhere in the world) during the current school year. An award of $250.00 will be given to the author of the best entry written in English on the specified theme. The entry may be a short story, a play, a poem, or an original literary work of any other sort.

This contest was established in 1985 by the Department of Classics at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, to honor Bernice L. Fox, to promote the study of Latin and the Classics in high schools, and to recognize the good work of high school students.

Judging

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Fri, 05/19/2017 - 9:50am by Erik Shell.

In Memoriam: Garrett G. Fagan

(Submitted by Stephen Wheeler, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University)

The untimely death two months ago of Garrett George Fagan (January 15, 1963 -- March 11, 2017), the Irish-American ancient historian best known for his social histories of Roman bathing and the spectacles of the Roman arena, is a great loss to the community of classical studies. A long-time member of the SCS and AIA, Garrett contributed unstintingly to the programs of the joint annual meetings and promoted a wider public understanding and appreciation of the ancient world. Fellow ancient historians have been deprived of a resourceful collaborator in research projects; students and lifelong learners, of an inspiring teacher.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:40am by Erik Shell.

Conversational Ancient Greek

The Polis Institute for Classical Languages, under the sponsorship of the Classical Association of Massachusetts and the Department of Classical and Religious Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will conduct, for the first time, an intensive, three-week course in active ancient Greek this summer.  The lead instructor will be Prof. Christophe Rico of the Polis Institute.

The course will take place at Bridgewater State University (June 11th to the 30th), entailing 90 hours of instruction for $1,400 in tuition.  On-campus housing and meals are available.

Prof. James Dobreff (james.dobreff@umb.edu) should be contacted for more information about the program.

For more, see:  sites.google.com/view/activegreek/

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

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 05/16/2017 - 3:09pm by Erik Shell.
"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

CALL FOR ACTORS, DESIGNERS AND OTHER CREATIVE TYPES!

for

The Arsonists (a morality play without a moral)

by Max Frisch

Translated by Alistair Beaton

Fri, Jan 5th, 2018

SCS Annual Meeting, Boston

Directed by Laura & Mike Lippman

This year we will continue the tradition of CAMP sponsored productions with a staged reading of The Arsonists (a morality play without a moral) by Max Frisch, translated by Alistair Beaton.

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Tue, 05/16/2017 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

Call for Papers:

Wilderness, Frontiers, and New Worlds in Antiquity

Biennial Classics Graduate Student Conference

New York University

November 4, 2017

Keynote: Prof. Andrew Laird (Brown University)

Unfamiliar, unexplored, and unsettled places captivated the ancient imagination and were of pressing importance not only to poets and prose writers of every genre, but also to merchants, militaries, and governing bodies enticed by the prospects of new sites for trading, settling, and conquering. There has been a swell of critical interest recently in the topics of borders and boundaries in the ancient world, as part of the increased scholarly attention to space over the past few decades. Our conference is interested in spaces beyond borders, and we aim to explore ancient encounters with wilderness, frontiers, and unknown lands.

Possible topics include:

•   Visual representations of wilderness and extreme environments

•   Representations in ancient texts of the landscape, weather, and human adaptation in unexplored lands

•   Narrations and theorizations of journeys undersea, into the sky, or below the earth

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 05/15/2017 - 9:33am by Erik Shell.

Podcast listening is more popular than ever. Data from the large Infinite Dial survey shows steady yearly growth in the share of adults over 12 who have listened to at least one podcast. In 2016, 36% reported having done so, for an estimated 96 million people nationwide. The time is therefore right for classicists to embrace this medium for public engagement.

While podcasting takes time and preparation and may have a steep learning curve, it is very rewarding. Research interests come alive in a new way when you create and share your ideas via podcasting. Listener responses will help you develop your ideas in new directions. Podcasting also breaks down academia’s walls, creating a wider audience and inviting the public to see what scholars do and why it matters.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:00am by Alison Innes.

Call for Papers
Deadline for Submissions is April 1st 2018

KOINON: The International Journal of Classical Numismatic Studies

A New Annual Journal Published by the Societatis De Tauro Cum Facie Humana

General Editor:
Nicholas J. Molinari, US
njmolinari@gmail.com

Editorial Board

Shawn Caza, CA
Alberto Campana, IT
Victor Clark, US
Curtis Clay, US
Phil Davis, US
Tjaart de Beer, CH
Mark Fox, US
József Géza Kiss, HU
David MacDonald, US
Gavin Richardson, US
Martin Rowe, SE
David Sear, US
Andrew Short, CA
Nicola Sisci, IT
Lloyd W. H. Taylor, AU
Joseph Uphoff, US
John Zielinski, US

Papers concerning virtually any topic of ancient coinage are welcome, including papers on non-western coinages.  Reviews and short notes are also encouraged, as are translations of important excerpts from antiquarian works. Special preference will be given to papers that are engaging to a fairly wide audience (Art Historians, Classicists, Archaeologists, Historians, etc.). 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 11:38am by Erik Shell.

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