CFP: “Res Difficiles: A Conference On Challenges and Pathways for Addressing Inequity” (March 27th 2020, UMW)

CALL FOR PAPERS
Res Difficiles:  A Conference On
Challenges and Pathways for Addressing Inequity 
In the Ancient Greek and Roman World

 

Organizers: Hannah Čulík-Baird (Boston University) and Joseph Romero (University of Mary Washington)
Date: March 27, 2020
Place: Campus of the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, Virginia), HCC 136

 

One of the great benefits of the shift from a pedagogue-centered to a student-aware or student-centered classroom is that we listen more attentively to how our students experience the content of what we read.  A decided strength of Classical Studies is the simultaneous proximity and distance—temporally, geographically, ideologically—of the ancient Greek and Roman world. That distance is felt more keenly when potentially difficult subjects (res difficiles) in our readings—domination, inequity, violence both sexual and otherwise—present themselves for inspection. Often the underlying source of the dissonance or disconnect is the distance in our perceptions of social justice. 

 In a conference held on the campus of the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, Virginia), we examine the challenges presented by this curriculum with students who are increasingly more diverse in gender identity, race, ethnicity, income, family structure, and more. We invite contributions from professors, graduate students, teachers, activists, and any interested in the issues under discussion. And while the society of our conference will examine pedagogical issues, we hope also to dilate outward to broader issues in education and society from (a) the current and future roles of Classics and the humanities in K-12 and higher education to (b) the ultimate goals of education.

 Our keynote speaker will be Dani Bostick (@danibostick) who teaches Latin in Winchester, VA, and who has garnered a national reputation as a writer, teacher, and advocate for victims of sexual violence.  Learn more at danibostick.net.

 We hope the conference will be attended by as many as possible in person, but a number (limited only by our subscription capacity), will be able to attend digitally. With the permission of the individual presenters, the proceedings of the conference will be live-tweeted on the conference hashtag (#resdiff).

 Abstracts of 350 words should be sent electronically to Joseph Romero (jromero@umw.edu) by November 1, 2019.  Papers will be 20-25 minutes long with coordinated discussion at the end of each session.  Any questions regarding abstract submission may be addressed to Professor Romero or Professor Čulík-Baird (culik@bu.edu). For more information see the conference website (http://cas.umw.edu/clpr/resdifficilesconference/).

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CAAS Workshop — Beyond Content Warnings: Sexual Violence in the Secondary and Post-Secondary Classroom Workshop

Saturday, October 12, 8:00am-10am at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States in Silver Spring, MD.

Organized by David Wright and Dani Bostick

Abstract:

As the #MeToo movement has recently shown in an unprecedented way, sexual violence is everywhere in our world. Despite its prevalence, the topic of sexual violence is often rendered invisible in the classroom. The invisibility of sexual violence in the classics classroom is problematic since it obscures a common theme in ancient world and reinforces the cultural dynamics that contribute to the underreporting and normalization of sexual violence. This workshop will gather educators of all levels to address these topics.

 

Sexual violence is omnipresent in ancient literature and history, from the rape of the Thetis to the rape of the Sabine women. Sometimes ancient texts will sidestep discussion of the rape by calling it an “abduction” or by using a euphemism (γάμος can also indicate rape). Other times, instructors will internalize ancient ideas about rape and downplay the significance of this sexual violence: “The rape of the Sabine women wasn’t really rape.” Or instructors will fail to acknowledge the complex power dynamics of situations like sexual relationships between enslavers and the enslaved. Text books and commentaries often fail in this regard as well. Figures like Leda, Europa, and Io are considered Zeus/Jupiter’s “lovers.” Translators often use terms like “ravish” or render rape scenes consensual (McCarter 2018). There is also a lot of victim blaming in antiquity (e.g., Hdt. 1.4) or claiming that women are “liars” (as in the myth of Phaedra); These harmful and untrue narratives are repeated in contemporary rape culture. In reality, only 8% of rape claim are found out to be false. If these topics are not properly addressed, it could lead to students internalizing these regressive ideas about consent.

 

There are many reasons teachers prefer to avoid conversations about sexual violence in the classroom. For starters, sexual violence is a highly-stigmatized, uncomfortable topic. Few other types of trauma are cloaked in such frequent silence. The average age of disclosure for child sexual abuse, for example, is 52. Many survivors of this type of abuse and other forms of sexual violence never disclose. Educators also avoid this topic out of fear. Coverage of trigger warnings invariably includes the message — overt or implied — that discussing traumatic situations can harm students and make them so uncomfortable that they need to leave the classroom. Teachers of secondary students may worry that parents or administrators will complain or that these discussions are outside the bounds of their curriculum.
It is important for educators to be able to navigate this topic effectively since it is so prevalent in ancient history, literature, and art, and sexual violence and the abuse of power at its root are already familiar realities for many students because of personal experience, social media, news, and other modern rape narratives. It is also crucial for educators to be aware of the range of experiences: classrooms will be comprised of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. Instructors need to make sure they do not reinforce harmful narratives of perpetrators and bystanders while simultaneously creating a safe environment for victims. Talking about sexual violence can help provide students a context while providing a deeper understanding of the ancient world.

The purpose of this workshop to equip attendees with tools for teachers of high school and college students to talk about this aspect of ancient art and literature in the classroom safely and effectively.

 

Topics will include: basic considerations & background on trauma/sexual violence (how to keep the conversation safe); inadequacy or harmful nature of materials; comparanda of practices from other disciplines; and the value and effective implementation of content warnings.

 

 

Select Bibliography

Beek, E.A. 2016. “Ovid’s Afterlives: Mythical Rapes and Rape Myths,” Eidolon.

Hong, Y. 2013. “Teaching Rape Texts in Classical Literature,” Classical World 106.4: 669-667.

James, S. 2014. “Talking Rape in the Classics Classroom: Further Thoughts,” From Abortion to

            Pederasty: Addressing Difficult Topics in the Classics Classroom (Ohio State University       Press), 171-182.

McCarter, S. 2018. “Rape, Lost in Translation,” Electric Literature.

Richlin, A. 1992. “Reading Ovid’s Rapes,” in Pornography and Representation in Greece and

Rome (Oxford University Press), 158-179.

Thakur, S. 2014. “Challenges in Teaching Sexual Violence and Rape: A Male Perspective,” in

From Abortion to Pederasty: Addressing Difficult Topics in the Classics Classroom

(Ohio State University Press), 152-170.

 

 

Classics and Social Justice Panels/Workshops for AIA/SCS 2020

Please let me know (amypistone at gmail dot com) if I’ve missed anything organized by our members or of interest to our members. We will update this post with more information as the AIA/SCS gets closer!

If Classics is for Everybody, Why Isn’t Everybody in My Class? Building Bridges and Opening Doors to the Study of Classics

Organizers: Elizabeth Bobrick and Dani Bostick

Classics and Civic Activism Workshop

Organizers: Amit Shilo, Yurie Hong, and Ted Gellar-Goad

Beyond Reception: Addressing Issues of Social Justice in the Classroom with Modern Comparisons

Organizers: Lindsey A. Mazurek and David Wright

Joint Workshop on Bystander Training/Intervention

Co-organized by members of Classics and Social Justice, as well as the WCC, CODIP, and COGSIP

Women in Rage, Women in Protest: Feminist Approaches to Ancient Anger

Organizers: Erika Weiberg and Mary Hamil Gilbert

Spotlight on Social Justice at the 2019 ACL Centennial Institute

The 2019 ACL Centennial Institute featured a wide range of sessions that touched on themes that are important to Classics and Social Justice, from inclusive pedagogy to discussions of disability and sexual assault. Also, several of our members presented, on these topics and many others! Read on to see all the exciting things that happened at the ACL!


Faces in/of Color: Teaching Intercultural Inclusiveness
Presider: Caroline Kelly, Mitchell Community College, Statesville, North Carolina
Anne Haeckl, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Teaching Passages on Ancient Slavery with Educational Linguistics:
The Why and How of Engaging Students in Critical Language Choice Analysis
in the Classics Classroom
Presider: Patty Lister, Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, Virginia
Kelly Dugan, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Orbis Latinus: A Task-based, Collaborative, Participatory,
and Inclusive Methodology for Teaching Latin
Presider: Danielle Martin, Seattle Academy of Arts and Science,
Seattle, Washington
Eduardo Engelsing, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington

Opportunities for Inclusion in the Latin Classroom
Presider: Andrea Weiskopf, Seneca Ridge Middle School, Sterling, Virginia
Ashley Schneider, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, Texas

Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities and Mental Illnesses
in the Latin Classroom
Presider: Stephanie Krause, McLean School, Potomac, Maryland
Meghan Kiernan, Freehold Township High School, Freehold Township, New Jersey

The ‘Tuning the Classics’ Project: Undergraduate Classics Curricular Models
Presider: Ann Raia, The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, New York
Lisl Walsh, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin
John Gruber-Miller, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa

Let’s Diversify: Using African American Fiction to Bring Black
Classicism into Your Classroom
Michele Valerie Ronnick, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Inclusive Latin: Teaching Metacognition and Empathy through Grammar
and Translation
Presider: Jennifer Jordt, NJCL Graphics Arts Chair, Victor J. Andrew High School,
Tinley Park, Illinois
Chris Sheppard, Blair Academy, Blairstown, New Jersey

Teaching Culture in Latin: A Simple Yet Flexible Unit Template for All Levels
Presider: Amy Sommer Rosevear, Cherry Creek High School, Denver, Colorado
Lance Piantaggini, Springfield Honors Academy, Springfield, Massachusetts
John Piazza, Berkeley High School, Berkeley, California
John Bracey, Belchertown High School, Belchertown, Massachusetts

Latin When Everyone Can Do It
Presider: Rachel Ash, Parkview High School, Lilburn, Georgia
Jennifer Jarnagin, Episcopal School of Dallas, Garland, Texas
Robert Patrick, Parkview High School, Lilburn, Georgia
Rachel Ash, Parkview High School, Lilburn, Georgia
John Bracey, Belchertown High School, Belchertown, Massachusetts

From First Century Empire to Twenty-first Century Social Justice
Presider: Benjamin Joffe, The Hewitt School, New York, New York
Andrea Weiskopf, Seneca Ridge Middle School, Sterling, Virginia

Culture Matters: Active Latin in a Culture-based Curriculum
Presider: Micheal Posey, The Episcopal School of Baton Rouge,
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mark Pearsall, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Connecticut

The Warrior Chorus: A Classics-based Veteran’s Public Program
Presider: David Jackson, Oak Hall School, Gainesville, Florida
Peter Meineck, New York University, New York, New York

Ovid in the Age of #MeToo
Sammie Smith, Heschel School, New York, New York

Comprehensible and Culturally Relevant Stories in the Latin II Classroom
Chris Buczek, Mount Mercy Academy, Buffalo, New York

Comprehensible Input Problem-Solving Workshop
Presider: Justin Slocum Bailey, Indwelling Language, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michele Ramahlo, Seven Bridges Middle School, Chappaqua, New York
Lily Hart, Bellows Falls Union High School Westminster, Vermont

Body and Voice Techniques to Boost Engagement, Understanding,
Memory, and Health
Presider: Debra Heaton, National Latin Exam, Lexington, Massachusetts
Justin Slocum Bailey, Indwelling Language, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Quomodo discamus? Tunc et Nunc: A Century of Teaching Latin
Presider: John Gruber-Miller, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa
Ken Kitchell, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Emeritus,
Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Jared Simard, New York University, New York, New York
Robert Patrick, Parkview High School, Lilburn, Georgia
Teresa Ramsby, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts

2019 FIEC/CA: Who “owns” Classics? Redefining Participation and Ownership of the Field

This panel (organized by Classics and Social Justice) focused on the question of who “owns” Classics and explored some of the implicit and explicit ways the field has marginalized specific communities. More importantly, the panel discussed the role that Classics can play in discourses about identity and offered suggestions about how classicists can promote inclusivity in their teaching and in the field more broadly.
Papers in this panel represented a range of marginalized perspectives and voices which are not often heard in discussions about “the field.”

Sonia Sabnis (Reed College, USA), The Metamorphoses in the Maghreb: Owning Apuleius in Algeria

The paper explores an Algerian “reclamation” of Apuleius in the country where his hometown, Madauros (M’Daorouch), is now located. The paper highlights how inhabitants of the Maghreb have begun to invoke Apuleius in the process of defending their own indigenous languages and traditions against outside forces. The paper takes begins with Algerian writer Assia Djebar’s praise of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses as “a picaresque novel whose spirit, freedom, and iconoclastic humor show a surprising modernity…What a revolution it would be to translate it into popular or literary Arabic, no matter, surely as a health-bringing vaccination against all the fundamentalisms of all of today’s borders.” By looking at Algerian receptions of Apuleius, the paper concludes that, by claiming Apuleius as their own, locals not only bolster their defense of their indigenous languages against Arabic and French but they also protect their indigenous traditions against powerful new currents of Islamic fundamentalism.

Clara Bosak-Schroeder (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA), Cripping Classics: Disability Studies and Realities

Available in PowerPoint and PDF formats

Kiran Mansukhani and Nicole Nowbahar (CUNY and Rutgers, USA), “γυμνοὺς κριτέον ἁπάντων τούτων”: A Recap of The Sportula’s Naked Soul Conference 2019

The Sportulageneral information and Go Fund Me donation details and Patreon information for recurring donations. You can also donate via Paypal at s.dixon@berkeley.edu and Venmo with the username @thesportula.

Naked Soul conference website (don’t miss the featured submissions!)

Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus (AAACC)

#nakedsoul2019 on Twitter

Sportula Free (Text)Book Exchange

Amy Pistone’s write-up of the conference

Contact info: nicolenowbahar@gmail.com and kiran.p.man@gmail.com
Sportula email: libertinopatrenatus@gmail.com