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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Virtue, Skill and Practical Reason
Call for Abstracts

Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Julia Annas (University of Arizona)
Prof. Michael Thompson (University of Pittsburgh)
Prof. Rachel Barney (University of Toronto)

Aristotle drew an analogy between the acquisition of virtue and the acquisition of various skills such as archery and playing the lute. Since that time there has been substantial debate on how seriously one should take that analogy. In Intelligent Virtue (2011) Julia Annas has made a powerful case for taking it very seriously, whereas others are more cautious.

This conference aims to bring together philosophers working in the virtue tradition, in particular those working in ancient and moral philosophy, to discuss the complex relationships between skill and virtue. There appears to be a consensus that the acquisition of virtue is part of the broader acquisition of practical reasonableness, but there the consensus ends.

High quality abstracts are invited in any area of virtue theory, including but not limited to virtue ethics and virtue epistemology. Papers can have a historical focus, or they can be organised thematically. Papers from a non-Western perspective are welcome.

The conference will be held from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August 2017 at the spectacular University of Cape Town, and there will be ample opportunities for sight-seeing.

Invited speakers

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:07am by Erik Shell.

The Art of Praise: Panegyric and Encomium in Late Antiquity

DEADLINE EXTENDED: MARCH 3

Organizer: Paul Kimball, Bilkent University
Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:04am by Erik Shell.

Forthcoming in TAPA 147.1 (Spring 2017)

P. J. Finglass, “Euripides’ Oedipus: A Response to Liapis”
This article examines the hypothesis, recently advanced by Vayos Liapis in this journal (TAPA 144: 307-70), that most of the quotation fragments of Euripides’ Oedipus belong not to that play but to a much later rhetorical exercise. It argues that the overwhelming majority of the faults alleged by Liapis are fully compatible with Euripidean language and style; and that even if the authenticity of one or two fragments can be called into question, there is no evidence to support the view that they come from a work written centuries after Euripides’ death.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/16/2017 - 9:54am by Erik Shell.

Byzantine Studies Symposium: "Rethinking Empire"
April 21–22, 2017

Dumbarton Oaks
The Music Room
1703 32nd Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

Dimiter Angelov and Paul Magdalino, Symposiarchs

What do we mean when we call Byzantium an empire? A flurry of studies in recent years by historians of other hegemonic civilizations have situated empire and imperialism as historical phenomena across different periods and geographical areas. Until now, the involvement of Byzantinists in this reevaluation has been relatively marginal.

This symposium frames the issue of Byzantium’s imperial identity by setting it within wider contexts in the light of new research by Byzantinists as well as the approaches and methods profitably used by historians of other premodern and modern empires. The speakers will tackle fundamental problems of definition and will question Byzantium’s culture and institutions of empire, relations between core and periphery, territoriality, and ethnic diversity.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 02/14/2017 - 8:30am by Erik Shell.

CALL FOR PAPERS
FIRST CIRCULAR
XXVIth International Conference of 2017

The  XXVIth International Conference and the VIIIth International Bilingual Summer Seminar on XENOPHON, organized by the OLYMPIC CENTER FOR PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE (OCPC) , will take place in Ancient Olympia and Neochorion -Zacharo, Greece, July 28-31 , 2017 .

The topics of the Conference (A) and  the Seminar (B)  are:

A. PHILOSOPHY AND THE ARTS WITH AN EMPHASIS

(1) ON A HOLISTIC APPROACH

AND

(2) ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF N. KAZANTZAKIS AND J.P. ANTON TO PHILOSOPHY AND THE ARTS

B. XENOPHON’S VIEWS ON PHILOSOPHY, THE ARTS AND HOLISM

Ι. The Conference will explore  a variety of views on:
     
• Philosophy and The Arts:  Comparative, Evaluative and Holistic Approach
• N. Kazantzakis’s Contribution to Philosophy and the Arts
• J. P. Anton’s Contribution to Philosophy and the Arts

DEADLINES:

April 15, 2017:  Abstract is due (300-500 words)

May 31, 2017: Full Paper is due (2.500 words)

*** In case the abstracts or papers are not acceptable the authors will be promptly informed.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:45pm by Erik Shell.
Triclinium, Excavated in the House of Actaeon, Pompeii

The Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project, directed by Eric Poehler, sets itself lofty goals. PBMP seeks to compile a comprehensive online bibliography and full-text archive of scholarly research on Pompeii, to construct a data-rich, interactive map of the ancient city, and to integrate both into a genre-bending “carto-bibliography” linking scholarly resources with the physical spaces they study. By its own admission (in a 2016 NEH White Paper), PBMP has not yet fully achieved these goals with the project’s first products, a Zotero bibliography and web-map published in late 2014. Some of the stumbling blocks this project faces (such as the scale of its data, legal obstacles, and the inflexibility of available software) will be all too familiar to practitioners of the digital humanities. Yet despite their flaws, these first fruits of the labors of Poehler, et al., provide a valuable digital research tool for students and scholars of ancient Pompeii, and promise to form the basis for improved future iterations.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:00am by Gabriel Moss.

We'd like you to keep in mind upcoming deadlines for a number of different fellowships, awards, and abstracts for the 2018 annual meeting:

Abstracts:

  • Abstracts Submission for Affiliated Group Panels for the Annual Meeting: Varied, but mostly around March 1st.  Submit to email address included in call for abstracts.
  • Abstract Submission for Organizer-Refereed Panels for the Annual Meeting: February 24.  Submit to email address included in call for abstracts.

Awards:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 02/10/2017 - 2:07pm by Erik Shell.

All Classics Departments, including those outside North America, are eligible for Departmental Membership in the SCS.

International departmental members enjoy the same benefits offered to North American Departmental members including select publications, individual SCS memberships for some students, student award certificates and GreekKeys 2015.

Interested departments should visit our webpage on Departmental Membership, and download the requisite form here.

If you have questions about international departmental membership, please contact the Executive Director at helen.cullyer@nyu.edu

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 02/10/2017 - 1:55pm by Erik Shell.

The SCS Program Submission system for the 2018 annual meeting in Boston is now open. You can submit: (a) abstracts for individual papers; (b) proposals for panels, seminars, workshops, roundtables, and committee panels; and (c) reports on affiliated group and organizer-refereed panels for which organizers have already conducted a peer-review process for abstracts.  You can also use the submission system for applications for new or renewed affiliated group charters and proposals for organizer-refereed panels that will take place in 2019.  For the full range of options, click here.

You must be an SCS member to submit, so have your JHUP username and password ready. If you are a member, this is the same login information you use to log in to the main SCS website.  You will also be asked to enter your member number before you can complete your submission.

Please also note if you are submitting a panel, seminar, workshop, or roundtable, you must have all materials for your application ready before you start, as the system does not accept incomplete submissions.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 02/10/2017 - 10:45am by Erik Shell.

International Conference
The Theme of Medea in the Artistic Culture of the World

The Institute of Classical, Byzantineand Modern Greek Studies, established in 1997 in Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University through the unification of the Chair of Classical Philology and the Centre of Mediterranean Studies, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. In connection with the jubilee, the Institute will hold an international conference on The Theme of Medea in the Artistic Culture of the World from September 17 to 21, 2017. Along with researchers, the event will gather representatives of literature and art.

Those willing to participate in the conference are kindly requested to forward the following information to greekstudies@tsu.ge before March 15, 2017:

Personal information (first name, last name), affiliation and position (title), contact details (telephone, mailing address and email); type of presentation (conference paper, performance or exhibition), title and brief summary (no more than 300 words).

The Organizing Committee will provide additional information to shortlisted applicants before April 30, 2017.
The conference welcomes professors, researchers and students from all the three academic levels.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:46pm by Erik Shell.

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