I want to provide an update on the steps we are taking to implement the change in the name of the Association that the members approved this summer. With the help of incoming President Kathryn Gutzwiller, I formed an ad hoc committee consisting of members who represent various communities in our society to consider issues such as communicating with audiences outside the membership and guiding the graphic designer who is creating a new logo for us.
As part of this process we have learned that taking the legal steps required to change our name is the easiest task ahead of us. We are incorporated in Delaware, and that state requires only that we file a simple form and pay a modest fee. Legally we will become the Society for Classical Studies as soon as we make that filing. Before we take that step, we want to have a logo ready and decide how the new name and its “subtitle” (founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association) will appear on our printed and electronic publications. We also want to identify and prepare communications for all the audiences (both internal and external) who need to know about our change.
In the interim, we are making good progress on several initiatives that have the same overall goal as the change in our name and our recent Gateway Campaign: to continue to foster outstanding scholarship and teaching in classics while sharing our knowledge of and appreciation for classical antiquity with the widest possible audience.
- Thanks in large part to grants to the APA from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the online version of L’Année philologique continues to offer more sophisticated search tools and user interface with more features. Citations published in 2012 will soon appear on that site.
- Sam Huskey is in the middle of a valuable overhaul of our web site. By moving the site to a different host, he has made it possible for officers and the new guest bloggers I reported about recently to post materials directly and for members to comment on those postings. Next up: Additions to the site that will make it easier to read on hand-held devices and the implementation of a new domain name that will reflect our new name but allow users of existing URLs to find the content they seek.
- Sam has also submitted a report to the Mellon Foundation on the recently completed feasibility study for a Digital Latin Library project that we are developing along with the Medieval Academy of America and the Renaissance Society of America. Mellon has invited him to submit a proposal for an implementation grant, and he will do so soon. From my point of view, one of the most exciting tools we hope this project will produce is an online workspace where scholars can search, analyze, and even produce born-digital critical editions and commentaries as either individual or group projects.
- At its meeting in September the Board approved recommendations from Kathryn and from Vice President for Education, Ronnie Ancona to create two new categories of membership, one specifically for primary and secondary school teachers and the other for anyone interested in staying current with developments in our field. In both cases we are seeking to serve individuals who do not need our services as a professional organization (presenting at the annual meeting, placement service, voting) but who care about classics and want access to the new guest blogs and the “members only” section of our web site.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming annual meeting. We will still, officially, be the American Philological Association at that point, but, as reported above, we are well on our way to becoming the Society for Classical Studies in both word and deed.