In this last of my presidential letters, I take the opportunity to inform you of a new SCS initiative to establish a wider audience for classics. At last year’s Presidential Panel, Robert Connor made an impassioned plea for our Society to undertake the expansion of classics in institutions of higher learning. While Departments of Classics appear to be holding their own across the country, it is evident that the emphasis on STEM disciplines and support for interdisciplinary education at the expense of traditional departments provide challenges to classics education as we know it. The changing landscape of twenty-first century education can, however, also provide opportunities for broadening education in classics, if we think creatively.
Welcome to the Society for Classical Studies
Founded as the American Philological Association in 1869 by "professors, friends, and patrons of linguistic science," the SCS is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations. While the majority of its members are university and college Classics teachers, members also include scholars in other disciplines, primary and secondary school teachers, and interested lay people.
Follow the APA Blog to stay up to date with announcements, calls for papers, and other news. Here are the latest announcements from the APA:
Letter from the President: Expanding the Audience for Classics
147th Annual Meeting
The joint annual meeting of the SCS and AIA will take place at the San Francisco Hilton in San Francisco, CA, from January 6-9, 2016.
Please note the submission deadlines for proposals and abstracts which are somewhat earlier than they have been in the last few years.
Monday, April 27 is the deadline for the submission of individual abstracts.
Wednesday, April 8 is the deadline for submission of materials for panels, i.e.,
2016 Annual Meeting: Proposals for
- At-Large Panels
- Committee Panels
- Roundtable Discussion Sessions
2016 Annual Meeting: Reports of
- Organizer-Refereed Panels
- Affiliated Group Panels
2017 Annual Meeting and Beyond: Proposals to Receive Charters for
- Organizer-Refereed Panels
- Affiliated Groups
The online submission system is currently being revised and will be ready to accept submissions between February 15 and March 1, 2015. If you intend to make a submission, please make sure that your SCS dues are paid for 2015 at least a week before making your submission. If you are unsure whether you are a member in good standing, check the status of your account using one of the links at the top of this web page maintained for us by the Johns Hopkins University Press, or send an e-mail to the staff of the Journals Department at the Press. You can also call the press at 800-548-1784 (U.S. and Canada only) or 410-516-6987 (other countries).
SCS committees regularly submit panel proposals for review by the Program Committee. In some cases, rather than simply assembling the panel from invited papers, the committee issues a general call for abstracts and includes some of the submissions it receives in response to its call in the proposal it ultimately sends to the Program Committee. Members who respond to calls for abstracts issued by committees other than the Program Committee should understand that their abstract may receive blind review twice: by the committee that issued the call and by the Program Committee itself.
The following SCS committees have issued a call for abstracts for the panel they intend to organize at the 2016 Annual Meeting:
Committee on Ancient History: The Future of Ancient History: Teaching the Past in the Modern Curriculum
The Program Committee has approved seven proposals submitted by members wishing to hold organizer-refereed panels, and twenty-two affiliated groups have charters to review abstracts and hold sessions. The SCS's usual regulations concerning eligibility to submit an abstract apply to these sessions. Note especially that a presenter who is responding to one of these calls for abstracts is not eligible for a waiver of the membership requirement. If a member’s paper is accepted for an Organizer-Refereed Panel or Affiliated Group session, that member may not submit another abstract for consideration by the Program Committee for a regular paper session.
Organizer-Refereed Panels. Click on this link to see the titles of organizer-refereed panels authorized for 2016. Then click on each individual title to read the call for abstracts. Abstracts submitted to organizer-refereed panels should be sent to the SCS Office (email@example.com) and are due no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on Monday, March 2, 2015.
Affiliated Groups. Click on this link to see the list of groups chartered to organize sessions for the 2016 meeting. Then click on the group's name to read its call for abstracts. Each group has different instructions and deadlines for submission.
Last modified on January 26, 2015
The Amphora: A Publication of the Society for Classical Studies
Amphora is currently an annual publication that aims to convey the excitement of classical studies to a broad readership by offering accessible articles written by professional scholars and experts on topics of classical interest that include literature, language, mythology, history, culture, classical tradition and the arts, and by featuring reviews of current books, films, and web sites. Sponsored by the Committee on Outreach and supported by the APA, Amphora will be for everyone interested in the study of ancient Greece and Rome.
On a wintry day in 1996, I was thumbing through catalogues in a deserted corner of the library of Beijing Normal University when my attention was suddenly seized by some titles in a language strangely familiar. I could easily decipher them because of their resemblance to English words, and I knew the names of the authors as I had read them in translations. Latin! My instinct told me. I relayed this discovery to my teacher of Shakespearean plays, a BA in Classics who had just graduated from Oxford. The next morning saw us standing in front of a counter in the most secluded part of the library, after spiraling flights of gloomy stairs. A long silence ensued before the books were fetched from a bank ten stories above and presented before us. In a thrilled voice, my teacher began to read a Latin passage aloud to me.
In September 2012, Joseph Epstein published an essay in the Weekly Standard called Who Killed the Liberal Arts? The piece provoked lively response on the Classics List and at least one rapid, articulate response, by Katie Billotte in Salon.
The Oresteia demands a large canvas. Its trajectory, from the end of the Trojan War to Athena's creation of the first trial by jury, is huge. It is the story of the movement from a tribal cry for blood revenge to a system of justice designed by a god but carried out by men. It addresses the struggle between male and female, chthonic and Olympian gods, tribe and polis, law and tradition, justice and revenge. When we first contemplated the notion of staging the Oresteia at Carleton College we were of course aware of the scale of this undertaking. But even so, the full magnitude of the production that resulted, and its impact on our campus and community, ended up taking us by surprise.
At the entrance of the maximum security prison where I taught Greek tragedy was a wooden plaque in the shape of a shield. It was emblazoned with a motto: Non sum qualis eram. Apart from its incongruity in this place of no Latin and less Greek, the motto struck me as equally a declaration of failure and of hope. The men inside were not what they once were. What were they now?
In this issue of Amphora we are fortunate to have our Executive Director Adam Blistein’s account of his introduction to classics through a particularly gifted high school teacher and coach, Alfred Morro, and Adam’s comments on what that experience has meant to him. It was serendipity that Adam proposed his article to your Amphora staff for this issue, but his essay also fits nicely with another topic that has been under discussion among the APA’s Outreach division: thinking about our origins, about our path to classical studies, and what that tells us.
From Gatekeeper to Gateway: The Campaign for Classics
At the 144th Annual Meeting in January in Seattle, the APA celebrated the triumphant conclusion of the Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign, steered to its harbor by President Jeffrey Henderson. The Association honored the Campaign Committee members responsible for this achievement and presented Distinguished Service Awards to the three visionary and energetic APA members who provided such outstanding leadership from the beginning to the end of the Campaign: Ward W. Briggs, Jr., David H. Porter, and Michael C.J. Putnam. Later that month this year’s President, Denis Feeney, published a letter to members describing the projects that the new endowment is already funding and our ambitious plans for the future.
The APA has raised over $3 million that will enable it to continue to transform the field of Classics and to serve students, teachers, and scholars in the 21st century.
Transactions of the American Philological Association
TAPA, the official research publication of the American Philological Association, reflects the wide range and high quality of research currently undertaken by classicists.
- Craig Gibson Becomes Editor of TAPA Effective January 6, 2014 Note: Professor Gibson will handle new submissions effective immediately. Please send all submissions electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, following TAPA guidelines. Katharina Volk will remain the official Editor through 2013 and in charge of producing this year's issues (143.1 and 2).
- The new TAPA style sheet
- TAPA Guidelines
- TAPA available online to subscribing institutions and APA members in good standing
- APA Presidential Talks delivered at Annual Meetings