The APA Blog
The APA Blog provides announcements, news, and items of interest for members of the American Philological Association.
From President Denis Feeney: Gateway Campaign’s End is New Beginning for APA
After three weeks, the 144th Annual Meeting in Seattle is receding into history, and it is a good moment to take stock of what a successful meeting it proved to be. The host department from UW-Seattle, led by Ruby Blondell and Alain Gowing, did a superb job, and we thank them all for helping to make the Meeting such a success. Even the Northwest weather cooperated to make Seattle a great venue for us: on my fourth visit to Seattle I finally got to see Mt. Rainier. There was a tremendous program of panels and performances, even if your officers, including the President, were unable to emerge from their seclusion in committee rooms to enjoy more than a small fraction of the riches on offer.
In the Plenary Session, we honored a remarkable group of teachers and scholars for their achievements (see a full list of the APA Awards for 2012 here: From the point of view of our Association’s history and future, the most significant moment in the Plenary Session was the celebration of the triumphant conclusion of the Gateway Campaign, steered to its harbor by President Jeffrey Henderson. It was a delight to see the Campaign Committee members being honored, and to see Distinguished Service Awards presented 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, David H. Porter, and Michael C.J. Putnam.
The Campaign has been such a part of our lives for the last few years that it is important to take stock of what a remarkable achievement it has turned out to be. For a comparatively small society such as ours to raise over $3 million is truly extraordinary. Major sums were contributed by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ($625,000), NEH ($650,000 in matching funds), and by our sister organization in the UK, the Classical Association ($265,000). But of particular note, I think, is that we received contributions from over 1,200 donors, and that more than 1,000 of these donors were members of the APA. This means that more than a third of our individual members contributed to the Campaign—a signal achievement. Not many colleges or universities can claim such a high response to an appeal, and the response of our members is a significant testimony to the loyalty that members of the APA feel towards their organization and towards the cause of Classics overall.
It is, after all, the cause of Classics that this Campaign has been all about, and it is already changing the APA, and what we all do as Classicists, for the better. Thanks to the Gateway Campaign, the future of the American Office of L’Année philologique is now secure right into that indefinite future for which development campaigns have to plan. Every time you read, or write, a work of scholarship you are indebted to L’Année philologique, and it was absolutely right that the foundation of the Campaign should be the goal of securing the future of this indispensable bedrock of what we do. Worth noting also is that, in addition to its generous support of the Campaign, the Mellon Foundation has independently provided a number of other grants that are making the online version of L’Année even more useful.
It was also part of our goal from the start to develop the next generation of inspired, diverse teachers of Classics and Classical Languages. The new awards for teachers are an important commitment to that objective, encouraging and acknowledging outstanding teachers. Every member of the APA is in the field, ultimately, because of at least one inspirational teacher. The importance of these life-changing individuals was attested by the success of the various Friends Funds to which members contributed so generously in honor of the teachers who inspired them: the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund is being dedicated to the Awards for Classics Teachers.
We also made a commitment to increasing support for the Minority Scholarship in Classics, and a gift from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to the Campaign is permitting us to fulfill that promise. Have a look at the list of previous recipients to see what a difference these awards can make to young people at a crucial phase in their development. Read about the impact that digging at Stabiae and attending the Epigraphical Congress in Berlin made on the formation and motivation of Mahmoud Akeen Samori (awardee in 2012); or read about the possibilities opened up to Timothy Castillo (2010) by an award that made it possible for him to take an intensive Greek summer course in preparation for graduate school. Many more young people will be able to have such doors opened for them in the future thanks to APA members’ support.
More broadly, we aim to make the APA website a gateway for anyone classical for anything classical. We are working on this now, aiming to transform our website so as to provide access to research tools and make it possible for individuals to reach the groups or the sites that they need. These individuals will of course include our usual current constituency of graduate students and faculty, but they will also range from the high school student writing a paper on Cleopatra to the former Classics major who wants to check up on what’s happening in the area in which she once wrote a Senior Thesis. Classics was the leader in Digital Humanities from the very beginning, and we will continue in that role. There are plans in place for a Digital Latin Library, for example; read here for a taste of what will be possible for students and scholars once this resource is enabled.
None of this would have been possible without the well-informed and movingly generous support of the members of the APA. Thank you, everyone.
In Memoriam Calvert Watkins
We regret to report the death of Calvert Watkins, winner of the 1998 Goodwin Award of Merit for his book, How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. Prof. Watkins spent his entire teaching career at Harvard, and the University's memorial notice appears here.
CONF: Roman Error: The Reception of Ancient Rome as a Flawed Model
A Conference at the University of Michigan
September 20th–21st, 2013
Angell Hall 3222
The idea of large-scale Roman missteps—whether imperial domination, sexual immorality, political corruption, greed, religious intolerance, cultural insensitivity, or the like—has been a notion “good to think with” since antiquity, and persists in familiar comparisons between the Roman Empire and the present-day United States. This conference seeks to go beyond a merely thematic discussion to re-examine the connections between “Roman error,” broadly conceived, and basic features of the reception of antiquity including: misunderstanding and misprision, repetition and difference, the subject’s relation to a (remembered or unconscious) past, performance and illusion, and links between text and image. If the Romans “erred,” what are the consequences for Rome’s inheritors as they attempt to construct a stable relation to Rome as a flawed “source” or model? We ask not simply, “Are Rome’s errors ours?” but, “How does Roman error figure in the reception of Rome itself?”
FRIDAY, September 20th
Error and Empire
2:15 Phiroze Vasunia (University of Reading), “The Roman Empire and the Error of Civilization”
3:00 Margaret Malamud (New Mexico State University), “Worse than Cato? How to Think about Slavery”
Error and the Body Politic
4:00 Michèle Lowrie (University of Chicago), “Civil War and the Republic to Come in Victor Hugo’s Quatrevingt-treize”
4:45 Joy Connolly (New York University), “Past Sovereignty: Roman Freedom in Modernity”
SATURDAY, September 21st
Error and Affect
9:00 Marc Bizer, (University of Texas at Austin), “Romans into (Elite) Frenchmen: Michel de Montaigne’s Revision of Cicero on the Politics of Friendship”
9:45 Craig Williams (Brooklyn College, CUNY), “False Friends: Moments in the Reception of amicitia”
Error and Assessment
10:45 Caroline Vout (University of Cambridge), “The Error of Roman Aesthetics”
11:30 Serafina Cuomo (Birkbeck, University of London), “Measurement, Error, and Accuracy in the Roman World”
Error, Religion, and Philosophy
2:00 Marco Formisano (Ghent University), “Roman Errors and Religion: Symmachus and Lorenzo Valla”
2:45 Richard Fletcher (The Ohio State University), “The Kristevan Slip: Narcissus, Eros, and Other Errors in Roman Philosophy”
Error, Narrative, and Film
3:45 Catharine Edwards (Birkbeck, University of London), “The Romance of Roman Error: Encounters with Antiquity in Hawthorne's The Marble Faun”
4:30 Maria Wyke (University College, London), “The Pleasures and Punishments of Roman Excess: Elagabalus at the Court of Early Cinema”
This event is co-sponsored by the following sources at the University of Michigan: the Contexts for Classics research consortium, the Department of Classical Studies, the Departments of Comparative Literature, History, Philosophy, English, History of Art, Romance Languages and Literatures, Asian Languages and Cultures, American Culture, and Afroamerican and African Studies, the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute for the Humanities, the International Institute, the LSA Organize an Event Fund, and the Rackham Dean’s Strategic Fund.
For information please contact Basil Dufallo, Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan (email@example.com).
In the News: Back to School, but for the Degree, Not Just the Fun
From the New York Times:
School was out, and Jack Kaufmann, who teaches 8th and 9th grade Latin at the elite Hewitt School in Manhattan, was on his way to catch the train home to Westchester.
That’s hardly surprising, except that Mr. Kaufmann is 71 years old and has been teaching for only the last three years. For much of the last 32 years, the dapper, silver-haired Mr. Kaufmann was a partner at the law firm Dewey Ballantine.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said of his law career, chatting over a quick coffee before heading home. “But at a certain point, I felt that I didn’t need to keep practicing.”
So in 2002 Mr. Kaufmann, who had enough money to retire comfortably, left the firm and began taking college classes. First he took a class on Chaucer, then another on the “Divine Comedy” by Dante and still another called Heresy in the Medieval World. He found the work so fascinating it led to a master’s degree in Classics (Latin and ancient Greek) at the City University of New York — and eventually to teaching jobs, first at the Browning School, then at Trevor Day and then at Hewitt.
2013 Pedagogy Award Winners
Four classics teachers have received the first set of APA Pedagogy Awards. One of the major goals of the APA’s recently and successfully completed capital campaign, Gatekeeper to Gateway: The Campaign for Classics in the Twenty-first Century, was to ensure that an inspiring, well trained teacher would be available for every school and college classics classroom. A subcommittee of the Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education, whose membership is selected from both the APA and the American Classical League, reviewed twenty-one applications requesting funds to support a variety activities that would improve their teaching and their students’ experiences in the classroom. The awards received by the four successful applicants are funded by income derived from the following contributions to the Campaign’s Research and Teaching Endowment: a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund.
Rachel Ash (North Gwinnett High School, Norcross, GA) was awarded $1,000 to pursue an M.A. in Latin through the University of Florida’s distance learning program.
Andrew Carroll (Regis Jesuit High School) was awarded $600 to develop a series of videos about Roman and Etruscan sites as part of a curricular revision introducing a ‘flipped’ or ‘inverted’ classroom.
Catherine Nicastro (East Aurora High School, East Aurora, NY) was awarded $1,000 to participate in the Vergilian Society Summer Tour (‘The Italy of Caesar and Vergil’).
Cynthia White (The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ) was awarded $540 to participate in the Pedagogy Rusticatio, an immersion program studying pedagogical strategies for using oral Latin in the classroom.
We are grateful to the selection committee (Eric Dugdale, Gustavus Adolphus College; Keely Lake, Wayland Academy; and Nigel Nicholson, Reed College) for their careful review of the large number of applications. In late 2013 the APA will publish a call for applications for the 2014 Pedagogy Awards and Zeph Stewart Teacher Training Award. Applications will be due around March 1, 2014.
AAC&U Study on Employer Support of Liberal Education
The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) has released a report, It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, summarizing the findings of a national survey of business and nonprofit leaders. Among other things, the survey reveals that 74 percent of business and nonprofit leaders say they would recommend a twenty-first century liberal education to a young person they know in order to prepare for long-term professional success in today’s global economy.
“While policy leaders have been focused intensely on what college students are choosing as their majors and what salaries they are being paid shortly after they graduate, business leaders who actually hire college graduates are urging us to prioritize the cross-cutting capacities a college education should develop in every student, in every major,” said Mildred García, president of California State University, Fullerton and chair of AAC&U’s board of directors. “No matter what careers students seek, their college education must equip them with intercultural skills, ethical judgment, and a sophisticated understanding of the diversity of our society and of any successful business or organization.”
AAC&U also announced today the launch of a new LEAP Employer-Educator Compact to make quality learning a national priority as employers seek college graduates with a broader set of skills and knowledge to fuel our innovation-driven economy. More than 100 college presidents—all members of the LEAP Presidents’ Trust—and 150 business and nonprofit leaders have signed on to the LEAP Employer-Educator Compact and pledged to work together to ensure that all college students—including those attending two-year and four-year, public and private institutions—have access to a high-quality liberal education that fully prepares them for work, life, and citizenship.
More information about the study appears here.
National Humanities Center Fellowships
The National Humanities Center offers 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities for the period September 2014 through May 2015. Applicants must have doctorate or equivalent scholarly credentials. Young scholars as well as senior scholars are encouraged to apply, but they must have a record of publication, and new PhDs should be aware that the Center does not normally support the revision of a doctoral dissertation. In addition to scholars from all fields of the humanities, the Center accepts individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life who are engaged in humanistic projects. The Center is also international and gladly accepts applications from scholars outside the United States.
Applicants submit the Center's form, supported by a curriculum vitae, a 1000-word project proposal, and three letters of recommendation. A downloadable application form and instructions may be found at the Center's website which contains more information about the Fellowships. Applications and letters of recommendation must be postmarked by October 1, 2013.
Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3)
We are very pleased to announce the creation of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3), a new Digital Classics R&D unit embedded in the Duke University Libraries, whose start-up has been generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Duke University’s Dean of Arts & Sciences and Office of the Provost.
The DC3 goes live 1 July 2013, continuing a long tradition of collaboration between the Duke University Libraries and papyrologists in Duke’s Department of Classical Studies. The late Professors William H. Willis and John F. Oates began the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri (DDbDP) more than 30 years ago, and in 1996 Duke was among the founding members of the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS). In recent years, Duke led the Mellon-funded Integrating Digital Papyrology effort, which brought together the DDbDP, Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der Griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens (HGV), and APIS in a common search and collaborative curation environment (papyri.info), and which collaborates with other partners, including Trismegistos, Bibliographie Papyrologique, Brussels Coptic Database, and the Arabic Papyrology Database.
The DC3 team will see to the maintenance and enhancement of papyri.info data and tooling, cultivate new partnerships in the papyrological domain, experiment in the development of new complementary resources, and engage in teaching and outreach at Duke and beyond.
The team’s first push will be in the area of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, where it plans to leverage its papyrological experience to serve a much larger community. The team brings a wealth of experience in fields like image processing, text engineering, scholarly data modeling, and building scalable web services. It aims to help create a system in which the many worldwide digital epigraphy projects can interoperate by linking into the graph of scholarly relationships while maintaining the full force of their individuality.
The DC3 team is:
- Ryan BAUMANN: Has worked on a wide range of Digital Humanities projects, from applying advanced imaging and visualization techniques to ancient artifacts, to developing systems for scholarly editing and collaboration.
- Hugh CAYLESS: Has over a decade of software engineering expertise in both academic and industrial settings. He also holds a Ph.D. in Classics and a Master’s in Information Science. He is one of the founders of the EpiDoccollaborative and currently serves on the Technical Council of the Text Encoding Initiative.
- Josh SOSIN: Associate Professor of Classical Studies and History, Co-Director of the DDbDP, Associate editor of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies; an epigraphist and papyrologist interested in the intersection of ancient law, religion, and the economy.
In Memoriam Brian Donaher
Bill Kemeza of Boston College High School reports the death of long-time APA member Brian P. Donaher.
CFP: Michel Foucault 2014: Beyond Sexuality
Hofstra University LGBT Studies Program and the Hofstra Cultural Center
Hofstra’s Sixth Annual LGBT Studies Conference
Thursday and Friday, March 27 and 28, 2014
- Dr. Roderick Ferguson, Professor of American Studies; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; and African American and African Studies, University of Minnesota
- Dr. Ladelle McWhorter, James Thomas Professor in Philosophy; Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies, University of Richmond
- Ann Burlein, Associate Professor and Chair of Religion, Hofstra University
- Steven D. Smith, Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Hofstra University
One of the foremost and most widely read French philosophers of the 20th century, Michel Foucault is known especially for his three-volume History of Sexuality. This conference uses the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the publication of the final two volumes of that magnum opus as a jumping-off point for an evaluation of his work and the notion of a history of the present, with an eye toward the future: Where do we go from here, beyond Foucault, post-Foucault, without him?
Foucault died in the middle of a large project, the contours of which are only becoming visible to us now as his lectures are being published – a project that spun out between his critique of neoliberalism (and his own work on discipline) on the one hand and a turn to the ancient practices of the self and truth-telling on the other.
How does Foucault’s project – unfinished, fragmented – look today?
The conference organizers are especially interested in presentations on the following topics, though submissions on a range of other topics are welcome:
- Crisis in the academy – Foucault elaborated his notion of the “specific intellectual” in response to a crisis in the university of his day: What is the role of intellectuals today amid an academy arguably in crisis?
- The turn toward Greco-Roman classics – What was Foucault’s “Greco-Roman journey” about? What has come of it – in classics, philosophy, cultural studies?
- Beyond Sexuality? Post-queer? Identity – subjectivity – an ethics of de-subjectivation: What frameworks seem most promising for thinking sexual practices now?
- Medicine as a way that we are governed – The history of medicine, biopolitics and the future of medicine in light of Foucault’s impact.
- Telling truths and telling stories – What is the role of art and literature, new media and an aesthetics of existence in a politics of the future?
Please email inquiries and proposals of no more than 500 words to Steven D. Smith at Steven.D.Smith@hofstra.edu by September 1, 2013. Decisions will be rendered by November 1, 2013, and participants should expect notification shortly thereafter.