For more information and context on this issue, please see Dani Bostick’s detailed post.
Dear Sherwin Little, Mary Pendergraft, & Catherine Sturgill:
We write to express our dismay at the practice of mock slave auctions in the context of Junior Classical League national conventions, state conventions, club meetings, and other topics. We condemn the use of oppression and dehumanization as a source of levity and entertainment in an organization that is often children’s first introduction to Classics.
We agree with the American Classical League’s May 5 statement against racism and, along with the ACL, we reject “racism and white supremacy in all of their manifestations.” We assume that the JCL, as an affiliate of the ACL, shares these sentiments and is equally committed to the ACL’s commitment that their “ resources, workshops, and other events do not inadvertently promote and further racism, sexism, white supremacy, or any other set of ideas that foster systemic inequities.”
However, in condoning, promoting, holding, and failing to condemn mock slave auctions, JCL-affiliated groups and conventions have created an environment that harms many junior classicists and excludes many other potential classicists. This is not the vision of classics that we want to promote at the secondary or post-secondary level. Individual JCL organizations look to the ACL and JCL for leadership, and they both have a large role in shaping the field and establishing the culture of secondary Classics. They must do better.
We are asking ACL and JCL to:
- Apologize for establishing and perpetuating mock slave auctions and acknowledge the harm this has caused generations of students.
- Condemn the practice of mock slave auctions for fundraising, classroom instruction, or any other purpose.
- Disseminate information to ACL members and JCL sponsors about the harm caused by mock slave auctions and, more broadly, using slavery and other forms of oppression as a source of humor.
- Prevent future harm by adding a prohibition against mock slave auctions to the JCL governing documents as soon as possible and releasing immediate guidance that informs stakeholders that they are harmful and inappropriate in any context, including (especially) the classroom.
As students and instructors at the secondary and post-secondary level and other members of the classics community, we ask you to consider making these changes that will make our field a more inclusive place for everyone.
Please scroll down to add your name to the petition
Note to signatories: thank you for signing this petition! We also encourage you to do some or all of the following:
- Write an individual letter of concern to leaders of the ACL and JCL: Mary Pendergraft, President ACL (email@example.com), Sherwin Little, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Catherine Sturgill, Chair of the JCL (email@example.com)
- Write a letter as a JCL chapter
- Ask your department chair / administrator/ equity coordinator or applicable central office leader to write a letter or issue a public statement
- Pass this letter on to like-minded colleagues (even outside of the field)
|Amy Pistone||Gonzaga University|
Assistant Professor, Thorneloe University at Laurentian
|Kevin M. Perry|
|David Perry||University of Minnesota|
Asst. Prof. of Classics, Millsaps College
|Sarah Teets||University of Virginia|
|Liv Mariah Yarrow||
Associate Professor, Classics, Brooklyn College
Visiting Assistant Professor, Oberlin College
|Isaac Hoffman||Cornell Grad Student|
|Rebecca Kennedy||Denison University|
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Oregon
|Victoria Austen-Perry||University of Winnipeg|
|Graham Butler||PhD, UBC|
Professor of Literature Hamilton College
|Thomas Lecaque||Grand View University|
Classics teacher, Groton School
Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
|Judith P Hallett|
Dept of Classics, Miami University
PhD Candidate, IPCAA, University of Michigan
|Justin Slocum Bailey|
|Alex Claman||Texas Tech University|
|Timothy Joseph||College of the Holy Cross|
|Lillian Sellers||Tucker High School|
|Tom Di Giulio|
|Danielle Kellogg||Brooklyn College|
Duke University; Durham Academy (Durham, NC)
Student & Mentor, Kaylor Ashuvyahu Center for Classical Learning
Hamilton College (emerita)
Adjunct Assistant prof. of Classics, Randolph-Macon College (VA)
Visiting Assistant Professor, Bard College
Middle School Latin/Seattle Academy
|David J. Wright||
Lecturer, Fordham University
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Arizona
|Tori Lee||Duke University|
Assistant Professor, University of Winnipeg
|Allene M. Seet|
|Jennifer Gerrish||College of Charleston|
Instructor of Classics, Eckerd College
Associate Professor, University of Winnipeg
Assistant Professor, Purdue University
|Phebe duPont||Haverford College|
University of Wisconsin-Madison
|Gregory P. Stringer||
Burlington (MA) Public High School
University of Colorado Boulder
|Samuel Flores||College of Charleston|
Assistant Professor Boston University
|Steven Mondloch||UMass Amherst|
Michigan State University
Professor Department of Classics Rutgers University
|Marcia Smith, Ph.D.|
|Joy Reeber||University of Arkansas|
Former course lead, North Carolina Virtual Public School (disabled). B.A. First Class Cambridge, M.A. Harvard.
|Lisa Maurizio||Bates College|
The University of the South (Sewanee)
|Brittany Johnson||The Ursuline School|
Visiting Lecturer, Bates College
Assistant Professor, UIUC
|Kathryn H. Stutz||
Graduate student, Johns Hopkins University
|Anatole Mori||University of Missouri|
|Britta Ager||Colorado College|
|Kathryn Topper||University of Washington|
Gustavus Adolphus College
North Hennepin Community College
|Diane Warne Anderson||UMass Boston|
Teacher, EC Glass High School & Former Director, Virginia Governor’s Latin Academy
|Sarah E. Bond||
Associate Prof. of History, University of Iowa
Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
Stanford Online High School
|Elijah J. Mears|
|Alicia Matz||Boston University|
Graduate student, UMass Amherst
|Dr. Liz Gloyn||
Senior Lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London
|Dr Gabriel Bodard||
Reader in Digital Classics, University of London
|Andrew Scott||Villanova University|
|Shannon DuBois||Boston University|
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland
San Francisco State University
|Christopher Polt||Boston College|
|Dominic Machado||College of the Holy Cross|
|Ian Nurmi||Boston University|
|Joseph Stern||UMass Amherst|
|Paul Brucia Breitenfeld||Boston University|
Upper School Latin Teacher at Dana Hall in Wellesley, MA
University of Washington, Seattle
|Deborah Kamen||University of Washington|
2014 Virginia JCL President
Professor Emerita, University of Washington
Assistant Professor of Classics, UCSB
|Mary Lou Burke||
Woodrow Wilson High School
North Carolina A&T State University
|Catherine Connors||University of Washington|
|Anthony Corbeill||University of Virginia|
|Jennifer Judge||Gonzaga Preparatory|
Latin Teacher, Garfield HS, Seattle, WA
University of Washington, Seattle
|Jackie Murray||University of Kentucky|
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Warburg Institute
|Lauren Donovan Ginsberg||University of Cincinnati|
|Jennifer Ebbeler||UT Austin|
Professor, Dartmouth College
|K. Scarlett Kingsley||Agnes Scott College|
|Ellen O’Gorman||University of Bristol|
|Dr. Francesca Tronchin||
Addenbrooke Classical Academy
Boston College; MD JCL 1990-91
|Anise K. Strong||
Associate Professor, Western Michigan University
|Julie Hruby||Dartmouth College|
|Peter Meineck||New York University|
The University of Michigan
Associate Professor of Classics and Philosophy, Transylvania University
Christopher Newport University
Lecturer Ancient Studies Dept. UMBC; VA JCL student 1995-9
Associate Professor & Chair, Tulane University
|Joan Romanosky||JCL sponsor|
Ohio Wesleyan University
Associate Professor of classics, John Carroll University
Latin Teacher/Coordinator@ Crossroads School, Santa Monica
|Allison Emmerson||Tulane University|
Friends select school Latin teacher
|Tom Hawkins||Ohio State|
The Evergreen State College
|Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld||
Graduate Student, University of Washington
Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences
|Kira Jones||Emory University|
|Kelly P. Dugan||University of Georgia|
|Steven Ellis||University of Cincinnati|
Assistant Prof. of Classics, University of Washington
University of South Carolina
|Ruby Blondell||University of Washington|
Roosevelt High School, Seattle
|Nicolas P. Gross||Retired Classicist|
University of Illinois – Springfield
|Erin Walcek Averett||
Associate Professor, Creighton University
|Katherine Blouin||University of Toronto|
|Hallie Franks||New York University|
|T. H. M. Gellar-Goad||Wake Forest University|
|Briana Titus||teacher & JCL sponsor|
|Zoé Elise Thomas||
University of Texas at Austin
|Marian Makins||Temple University|
Classical Magnet School (former), JCL club advisor (former)
University of Illinois/Colorado College
|Gina Soter||University of Michigan|
|Ellen Sassenberg||Century High School|
Professor of Classics, UVA
Chair, Greek & Roman Studies (Concordia College, Moorhead MN)
PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Dulaney High School, Baltimore County
|Daniel Bostick||Social Sciences Teacher|
Associate Professor, Illinois State University
|Leigh Anne Lieberman||The Claremont Colleges|
Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar, NYU/ISAW
|Jessica Rothwell||Arizona State University|
Indiana University, Bloomington
Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
Birmingham Southern College
|Mike de Brauw||
Associate Professor of Classics, North Central College (Naperville, IL)
|Stephanie Wong||Brown University|
|Sarah J. Miller||Gilman School|
|Shelley Haley||Hamilton College|
Geffen Academy at UCLA
|Parker McClary||Geffen Academy|
|Phoebe Fischer||Geffen Academy|
|Lucius Farha||Geffen Academy|
|Arushi Khare||Geffen Academy|
On October 1, 2019, the Sportula Collective published a statement detailing the experiences of many of their members at programs run by the Paideia Institute. The note that:
The Sportula believes that the Paideia Institute and its affiliated programs create an environment that is hostile to people of color, women, students from working-class backgrounds, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups.
The leadership of the Classics and Social Justice group believes these accounts and stands in solidarity with the brave people who came forward to share their stories in an attempt to effect change at Paideia. We also recognize that the factors that contributed to this toxic culture are not unique to the Paideia Institute but are a pervasive issue within the field and we are committed to addressing these more pervasive issues as well as this specific situation.
We do not find that the responses offered by Paideia leadership have been sufficient or that they have adequately acknowledged the harm that their organization has done. Because of that, we heartily second the calls to action recommended by the Sportula:
- Spread the word: Alert other community members, students, and peers to potential discrimination from the Paideia Institute.
- Redirect support: Opt to support organizations in the field that are inclusive, safe spaces, and recommend such organizations to The Sportula and your community members.
- Divest: Encourage your university to reconsider its relationship with Paideia.
In an attempt to amplify the voices of people who have been marginalized, exploited, and otherwise mistreated by people affiliated with the Paideia Institute, we are collecting the different statements that have been issued in response to the original Sportula statement. If we have missed any, please let us know.
An older letter, but one that addresses some of the same fundamental issues, written by instructors affiliated with Paideia, though many have since ended their association
And finally, here is a thread breaking down some of the problems with the statement issued by Paideia:
#Paideia Board has released new statement regarding recent accusations of #discrimination. Full of manipulative language and #gaslighting. This thread is breaking it all down. First read it for yourself. /1
— (((Irina G.))) (@AnimaIrenea) October 15, 2019
Good news! The volume growing out of CSJ panels and workshops, Teaching Classics in US Prison Settings (co-edited by Emilio Capetinni [UCSB] and Nancy Rabinowitz [Hamilton College]) has been accepted by Routledge.
It will appear in the series co-edited by Rabinowitz and Fiona McHardy, Classics In and Out of the Academy: Classical Pedagogy in the Twenty-First Century. Please consider submitting a proposal for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Here is a description of the series:
This series explores the ways in which the study of antiquity can enrich the lives of diverse populations in the twenty-first century. The series covers two distinct, but interrelated topics: 1) ways in which classicists can engage new audiences within the academy by embedding inclusivity and diversity in university teaching practices, curricula, and assessments, and 2) the relevance of Classics to learners from the most marginalized social strata (i.e. the incarcerated, refugees, those suffering from mental illness).
Conference: Cathartic History
The aim of this conference and the edited collection that will result is to propose Aristotelian catharsis as a new lens for historical inquiry. The project aims to do so, specifically, through the study of cathartic history as a phenomenon in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and in the field of Classical history today. In the process, the project will serve as an example of the productive application of catharsis to the study of the past, and thus a model for other fields of historical research.
While the study of the past as a healing experience is not entirely new, no uniform vocabulary exists at this time for talking about cathartic history. Rather, scholars who have written to elicit an emotional response from their audiences about the past, or who have chosen to consider their own emotional response to the past, have largely done so in passing or in popularly oriented publications, rather than using that emotional response as a bona fide category of historical analysis in and of itself. And yet, the historian’s selection of topics of research, both in the ancient world and in the historical profession today, is often motivated by personal experiences, broadly defined. This project aims to show that thinking about the past as a cathartic experience whether for us as historians, and/or for the ancient historians we study, and/or for our modern audiences, provides a new bridge for a productive academic dialogue of the past with the present.
Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers that consider (but are not limited to) the following questions:
- How might we apply the Aristotelian theory of catharsis to Greek and Roman historians?
- In what ways might the lens of catharsis enrich our reading of narratives of trauma (whether personal or literary or national) in the ancient sources?
- Are we pursuing catharsis in our own research whenever we focus on topics of personal relevance?
- Is historical research a cathartic experience? Should it be?
- In what ways could thinking about history through the lens of catharsis intersect with the increased interest in social justice within the field of Classics?
Please submit abstracts of 300-500 words by November 12, 2019 to Nadya Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidates whose scholarship, teaching, and service will contribute to the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of LSA are encouraged to apply. Applicants in Classical Studies are encouraged to identify potential mentors on the faculty and contact them before the deadline for advice on preparation of materials.
Applicants are encouraged to write either to Basil Dufallo (email@example.com) or to Artemis Leontis, Chair of the Department (firstname.lastname@example.org), for any advice regarding the application letter, diversity statement, and narrative on the application.
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 (email@example.com) by January 10, 2020. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information see the conference website (http://cas.umw.edu/clpr/resdifficilesconference/).