Classicists in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation

We are cross-posting this statement to amplify the statement and hopefully reach a broader audience. The full statement is available here.

If you are a Classicist living, studying or working in North America and you wish to sign the solidarity statement below, you can still do so via this linkThe group of Classicists behind this initiative thanks the authors of the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Planning Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en statement, on which the following text is based.

North America-based Classicists in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

We, a group of classicists living, studying and working across North America, write in the spirit of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, as they peacefully work to defend their sovereignty over their unceded territories. We express our support as scholars and students of the ancient Mediterranean world, whose work notably pertains to the study of ancient imperialisms and the historical link between modern settler colonialism and a Eurocentric understanding of Greece and Rome as the universally valid and inherently superior ‘Classics’. We understand our roles as educators, researchers and organizers to have specific responsibilities to Indigenous peoples’ efforts to protect their lands, waters, and peoples. continue reading >>

Petition to Condemn Mock Slave Auctions at JCL Classics Events

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.

Sincerely,

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 (president@aclclassics.org), Sherwin Little, Executive Director (littles@aclclassics.org), and Catherine Sturgill, Chair of the JCL (publicrelations@ncjl.org)
  • 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)

Signatories

Dani Bostick
Amy Pistone Gonzaga University
Madelyn Torchin
Aven McMaster
Assistant Professor, Thorneloe University at Laurentian
Kevin M. Perry
David Perry University of Minnesota
Jennifer Lewton-Yates
Asst. Prof. of Classics, Millsaps College
Sarah Teets University of Virginia
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Associate Professor, Classics, Brooklyn College
Jane Sancinito
Visiting Assistant Professor, Oberlin College
Isaac Hoffman Cornell Grad Student
Rebecca Kennedy Denison University
Lindsey Mazurek
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Oregon
Victoria Austen-Perry University of Winnipeg
Graham Butler PhD, UBC
Nancy Rabinowitz
Professor of Literature Hamilton College
Thomas Lecaque Grand View University
Preston Bannard
Classics teacher, Groton School
Natalie Daifotis
Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
Judith P Hallett
Deborah Lyons
Dept of Classics, Miami University
Leah Bernardo-Ciddio
PhD Candidate, IPCAA, University of Michigan
Justin Slocum Bailey
Alex Claman Texas Tech University
Emma Remsberg
Timothy Joseph College of the Holy Cross
Sarah Galatioto-Ruff Teacher
Lillian Sellers Tucker High School
Tom Di Giulio
Danielle Kellogg Brooklyn College
Courtney Monahan
Duke University; Durham Academy (Durham, NC)
Wynter Douglas
Lynnea Kaylor
Student & Mentor, Kaylor Ashuvyahu Center for Classical Learning
Barbara Gold
Hamilton College (emerita)
Rosanna Lauriola
Adjunct Assistant prof. of Classics, Randolph-Macon College (VA)
Patricia Kim
Kassandra Miller
Visiting Assistant Professor, Bard College
Danielle Martin
Middle School Latin/Seattle Academy
David J. Wright
Lecturer, Fordham University
Arum Park
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Arizona
Tori Lee Duke University
Eush Tayco
Melissa Funke
Assistant Professor, University of Winnipeg
Aneirin Pendragon
Allene M. Seet
Jennifer Gerrish College of Charleston
Michael Goyette
Instructor of Classics, Eckerd College
Matt Gibbs
Associate Professor, University of Winnipeg
Erin Moodie
Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Phebe duPont Haverford College
Molly Harris
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brenda Fields
Gregory P. Stringer
Burlington (MA) Public High School
Dimitri Nakassis
University of Colorado Boulder
Samuel Flores College of Charleston
Hannah Culik-Baird
Assistant Professor Boston University
Hayley Barnett
Steven Mondloch UMass Amherst
Brandon Conley
Michigan State University
Jay Fisher
Professor Department of Classics Rutgers University
Heather Galante
Marcia Smith, Ph.D.
Joy Reeber University of Arkansas
Joy Eliot
Former course lead, North Carolina Virtual Public School (disabled). B.A. First Class Cambridge, M.A. Harvard.
Lisa Maurizio Bates College
Stephanie McCarter
The University of the South (Sewanee)
Brittany Johnson The Ursuline School
Grace Gillies
Visiting Lecturer, Bates College
Simon DeSantis
Gray Alexander
Clara Bosak-Schroeder
Assistant Professor, UIUC
Kathryn H. Stutz
Graduate student, Johns Hopkins University
Anatole Mori University of Missouri
Christine Ellis
Amber Kearns
Britta Ager Colorado College
Jacqueline Church
Kathryn Topper University of Washington
Yurie Hong
Gustavus Adolphus College
Marina Haworth
North Hennepin Community College
Jameson Minto
Diane Warne Anderson UMass Boston
Jacquelyn Wilkins
Teacher, EC Glass High School & Former Director, Virginia Governor’s Latin Academy
Sarah E. Bond
Associate Prof. of History, University of Iowa
Neel Smith
Max Rohleder
Sydney Preston
Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
Alice Bradley
Tom Hendrickson
Stanford Online High School
Matt Mitchell
Elijah J. Mears
adam williams
Alicia Matz Boston University
Diana Ng
Forrester Hammer
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
Katherine Wasdin
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland
Alexandra Pappas
San Francisco State University
Christopher Polt Boston College
Liliana Schaefer
Dominic Machado College of the Holy Cross
Ian Nurmi Boston University
Joseph Stern UMass Amherst
Paul Brucia Breitenfeld Boston University
Rachel Hart
Jacqui Bloomberg
Upper School Latin Teacher at Dana Hall in Wellesley, MA
Sarah Stroup
University of Washington, Seattle
Deborah Kamen University of Washington
Kristina Sherburne
Anwar Omeish
2014 Virginia JCL President
Ningyin Zhao
Eli Williams
Joseph Farrell
Emily Damiano
Ruby Blondell
Professor Emerita, University of Washington
Amit Shilo
Assistant Professor of Classics, UCSB
Mary Lou Burke
Woodrow Wilson High School
Boyce Collins
North Carolina A&T State University
Catherine Connors University of Washington
Anthony Corbeill University of Virginia
Jennifer Judge Gonzaga Preparatory
Wayne Miller
Latin Teacher, Garfield HS, Seattle, WA
Molly Stevens UGA
Stephen Hinds
University of Washington, Seattle
Jackie Murray University of Kentucky
Mali Skotheim
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Warburg Institute
Lauren Donovan Ginsberg University of Cincinnati
Jennifer Ebbeler UT Austin
Roberta Stewart
Professor, Dartmouth College
K. Scarlett Kingsley Agnes Scott College
Ellen O’Gorman University of Bristol
Anna Henriques
Francesca Tronchin
Dr. Francesca Tronchin
Addenbrooke Classical Academy
Kendra Eshleman
Boston College; MD JCL 1990-91
Anise K. Strong
Associate Professor, Western Michigan University
Jason Nethercut USF
Julie Hruby Dartmouth College
Peter Meineck New York University
Ruth Scodel
The University of Michigan
Kyler Laycock
David Kaufman
Associate Professor of Classics and Philosophy, Transylvania University
John Hyland
Christopher Newport University
Molly Jones-Lewis
Lecturer Ancient Studies Dept. UMBC; VA JCL student 1995-9
Susann Lusnia
Associate Professor & Chair, Tulane University
Joan Romanosky JCL sponsor
Michael McOsker
Ohio Wesleyan University
Kristen Ehrhardt
Associate Professor of classics, John Carroll University
Marisa Alimento
Latin Teacher/Coordinator@ Crossroads School, Santa Monica
Allison Emmerson Tulane University
Ian Lockey
Friends select school Latin teacher
Ashleigh Fata
Konnor Clark PhD
Tom Hawkins Ohio State
Ulrike Krotscheck
The Evergreen State College
Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld
Graduate Student, University of Washington
Elin Rummel
Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences
Dana Woell
Lisa Mignone
Kira Jones Emory University
Michaela Downing
Kelly P. Dugan University of Georgia
Steven Ellis University of Cincinnati
Sarah Levin-Richardson
Assistant Prof. of Classics, University of Washington
Alexander Beecroft
University of South Carolina
Ruby Blondell University of Washington
Priscilla Scofield
Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Nicolas P. Gross Retired Classicist
Elizabeth Kosmetatou
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
Taz Hinkle
Melanie Subacus
Robert Amstutz
Susan Herder
Jason Albaugh
Laura Hudec
Emily Goetz
Classical Magnet School (former), JCL club advisor (former)
Clayton Schroer
University of Illinois/Colorado College
Arti Mehta
Gina Soter University of Michigan
Ellen Sassenberg Century High School
Sara Myers
Professor of Classics, UVA
Heather Waddell
Chair, Greek & Roman Studies (Concordia College, Moorhead MN)
Lizzy Ten-Hove
PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Catherine Reed
Dulaney High School, Baltimore County
Daniel Bostick Social Sciences Teacher
Lea Cline
Associate Professor, Illinois State University
Leigh Anne Lieberman The Claremont Colleges
Jack Kanoof
Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
Raymon Johnson
Emma Hanley
Tom Elliott
Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar, NYU/ISAW
Jessica Rothwell Arizona State University
Bill Beck
Indiana University, Bloomington
Christina Vester
Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
Mary Gilbert
Birmingham Southern College
Mike de Brauw
Associate Professor of Classics, North Central College (Naperville, IL)
Vincent Price
Stephanie Wong Brown University
Sarah J. Miller Gilman School
Sara Priebe
Shelley Haley Hamilton College
Julia Fink
Geffen Academy at UCLA
Addison Lee
Parker McClary Geffen Academy
Phoebe Fischer Geffen Academy
Lucius Farha Geffen Academy
Arushi Khare Geffen Academy
Bianca Baron
Rachel Goldstein
Ploy Keener
Teacher, Walnut Hills High School
Skye Shirley GrecoLatinoVivo
Laura Manning
Felix Bieneman
Peter Barrios-Lech
University of Massachusetts Boston
Allison Glazebrook Brock University
Jackie Lund Bexley High School
Rachel Sampson
Sidler Davis State Chair

Petition to CAMWS Leadership around the Proposed BYU 2023 Meeting

Dear President Faulkner and members of the Executive Committee,

We write to express our dismay at the CAMWS Executive Committee’s decision to hold the 2023 annual meeting at Brigham Young University. We call on you to reverse this decision.

Many of us are current or former CAMWS members.  But all of us in the profession are united in our conviction that our discipline’s professional meetings must be places where everyone feels welcome and safe.  CAMWS embraces this value, too, stating at the very top of its Code of Conduct that: “We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all who participate in our meetings.”  But BYU, because of its policies and practices, cannot provide a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.

We urge you to do the right thing.  Commit to holding all 2023 conference events at an off-campus venue (as we previously requested) and announce such plans soon, so that all your members can be confident that CAMWS has a place for them.

Sincerely,

Please scroll down to add your name to the petition

Note to signatories: thanks for signing this petition!  We also encourage you to do some or all of the following:

  • Write an individual letter of concern to the CAMWS president, Andrew Faulkner (president@camws.org and executivecommittee@camws.org) — you could use the text of this petition as a model, or talk about how disappointed you are about the direction CAMWS is going based on your past positive CAMWS experiences, etc. If you are a member of CAMWS, please mention that in your letter.
  • Ask your department or chair to write such a letter or issue a public statement
  • Ask your department to cancel its institutional membership in CAMWS
  • Resign your committee membership or other position in CAMWS
  • Read and share this graduate student petition (and sign it, if you are a graduate student)

We appreciate your standing with us in solidarity!

Signatories

Amy Pistone University of Notre Dame
Mark Masterson
Senior Lecture of Classics, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Nancy S. Rabinowitz
Hamilton College, Professor of Comparative Literature
Sarah Levin-Richardson
Assistant Prof. of Classics, U of Washington, LCC Co-chair
Deborah Kamen
Associate Professor of Classics, University of Washington
Dr. Daniel Libatique, Ph.D.
Eric Beckman Indiana University
Brett M. Rogers
Associate Professor of Classics, Board Member in Gender & Queer Studies, University of Puget Sound
Jeremy Swist University of Iowa
Jerise Fogel
Classics and Humanities Dept, Montclair State University
Joy E. Reeber University of Arkansas
Chatles Platter
Professor of Classics, University of Georgia
Arum Park
Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
Rebecca Karl Professor NYU
Alicia Matz Boston University
Diane Arnson Svarlien Independent
Nathan S. Dennis
Assistant Professor of Art History and Museum Studies, University of San Francisco
Kathryn Topper University of Washington
Darcy Krasne Columbia University
Marina Haworth
North Hennepin Community College
Jeffrey A. Becker
Binghamton University – SUNY
Cassandra Casias
Rhodora G. Vennarucci University of Arkansas
Sarah Culpepper Stroup
Associate Professor, Classics, University of Washington Seattle
Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld
Graduate student at the University of Washington
Preston Bannard
Sally Winchester retired classicist
Evan Jewell Columbia University
Jacquelyn Clements Getty Research Institute
Richard Thomas Harvard University
Jorge J Bravo III
Associate Professor of Classics, University of Maryland
Aaron Poochigian
Donna Zuckerberg
Ruby Blondell University of Washington
Seth L. Schein
Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis
Jonathan W Miller
Erika Weiberg Florida State University
Judith P Hallett
University of Maryland, College Park
Bruce M. King Gallatin/NYU
Alexander Kirichenko
Humboldt University, Berlin
Zoé Elise Thomas
University of Texas at Austin
Joel P. Christensen Brandeis University
James Uden
Associate Professor, Boston University
Hannah Culik-Baird
Danielle La Londe
Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, Centre College
Emily Jusino
Kristina Killgrove, PhD, RPA
Dept of Anthropology, UNC Chapel Hill
Rachel Lesser
Assistant Professor, Gettysburg College
Rebecca Kennedy—CAMWS member since 2002
Zachary Herz
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Colorado Boulder
Kristen Ehrhardt
Associate Professor, John Carroll University
Alex Dressler
Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Angela Ziskowski
Associate Professor of History
John Dugan University at Buffalo
Lauri Reitzammer
Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder
Katherine R. De Boer Xavier University
Sara Ahbel-Rappe
Professor of Greek and Latin University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Evelyn Adkins
Joseph Burkhart St. Olaf College
Diana
Alison Traweek
Ian Nurmi Boston University
Prudence Jones
Professor, Montclair State University
Catherine Chase
Graduate Student, University of Washington
Lauren Curtis Bard College
Clara Bosak-Schroeder
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Janet Mowat
Tara Mulder Vassar College
Justin G
Joseph Sowerby Thomas
MA Classics University of Manchester
Christopher Polt
Assistant Professor, Boston College
Sharon L. James UNC Chapel Hill
Kira Jones Emory University
Lauren Ginsberg
Associate Professor of Classics, University of Cincinnati
T. H. M. Gellar-Goad
Assistant Professor of Classics and Zachary T. Smith Fellow, Wake Forest University
Sheena Finnigan UW-Madison
Danielle Kellogg
Associate Professor of Classics, Brooklyn College CUNY
Jeanne M. Neumann
Davidson College, Professor of Classics
Rachel Hart, Ph.D.
Michael Spires
Jake Sawyer
Graduate Student, University of Colorado, Boulder
Emily Goetz
Stephanie Larson Bucknell University
Jason Nethercut
University of South Florida
Ellen O’Gorman University of Bristol
Jason Nethercut
Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of South Florida
Danielle Martin
Latin Teacher, Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences
Mathias Hanses Penn State University
Luke Madson
Rutgers (Graduate Student)
Ian Fielding
Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Ginny Lindzey
Dripping Springs High School
Heather Waddell, Assistant Professor of Greek & Roman Studies
Concordia College – Moorhead, MN
Lucy McInerney
Graduate Student, Brown University
Lisl Walsh
Associate Professor and Chair of Classics, Beloit College, WCC co-chair
Chiara Sulprizio
Senior Lecturer in Classical and Mediterranean Studies, Vanderbilt University
Sarah Blake York University
Sierra Schiano
MA student, University of Colorado, Boulder
Dora Gao
University of British Columbia
Robert Groves
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Arizona
John M. Oksanish
Assoc. Professor of Classics, Wake Forest
Dr. Debby Sneed
Melissa Bailey Kutner
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Gina Soter University of Michigan
Daniel P. Diffendale University of Missouri
Kendra Eshleman Boston College
Carol Atack University of Oxford
Ana Maria Guay Graduate Student, UCLA
Shannon DuBois
Matthew Scarborough
Research Associate, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Anna Simas
Thomas L. Salisbury
Nathalie Roy
Glasgow Middle School, Baton Rouge, LA
Julie Levy Boston University
Meghan Kelly
Dani Bostick
Maxwell Paule Earlham College
Barbara Gold
Edward North Professor of Classics Emerita, Hamilton College (and CAMWS member)
Joshua Reno
PhD Candidate, University of Minnesota
Jenn Galczenski
Caitlin Hines Wake Forest University
Lauri Dabbieri Sidwell Friends School
Mark Alonge
Boston University Academy
David J. Wright Fordham University
Stephanie McCarter
Associate Professor of Classics, University of the South, Sewanee
Diana Ng
Jennifer Gerrish College of Charleston
Ronnie Ancona
Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center
William Duffu Alamo Colleges
Ulrike Krotscheck
The Evergreen State College
Jennifer Luongo
Latin Teacher, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Barbara A. Olsen
Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies, Vassar College
James J. O’Hara UNC Chapel Hill
Andrew Rist
Norman Sandridge Howard University
Katherine Dennis Princeton University
Leah Himmelhoch
Associate Professor, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Mark Thatcher Boston College
Jeffrey Henderson Boston University
Hanne Eisenfeld
Assistant Professor, Boston College
Lisa Maurizio Bates College
Caroline Bishop
Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University, member of CAMWS and COGSIP
Deborah Lyons Miami University (Oh)
Derek Counts
Univeristy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Rachel Mazzara
Graduate Student, University of Toronto
Leah Himmelhoch
Associate Professor, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Michael Goyette
Jackie Murray
Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky
Molly Jones-Lewis
Lecturer, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Sarah E. Bond University of Iowa
Leah Kronenberg Boston University
Tom Hawkins Ohio State University
Katherine Wasdin
Lucy Grinnan
Student, Middlebury College
Rebecca Gaimari undergraduate student
Gregory Hays University of Virginia
John Finamore University of Iowa
Debra Trusty
Lecturer (University of Iowa)
Amy Russell Durham University
Curtis Dozier Vassar College
Jeremy Weiss
Melissa Harl Sellew
Faculty member, University of Minnesota
Diane Rayor
Professor, Grand Valley State University
Caleb Dance
Washington and Lee University
Selena Ross Rutgers University
Lindsey Mazurek
Assistant Professor, University of Oregon
Katherine Harrington
Postdoctoral Fellow, Florida State University
Dan Curley Skidmore College
Lydia Herring-Harrington Tufts University
Kelly P. Dugan University of Georgia
Diana Molkova University of Washington
Peter J. Miller
University of Winnipeg; CAMWS member
Sarah Teets
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
Shelley P. Haley Hamilton College
Jonathan MacLellan
Andrew Carroll
Melanie Racette-Campbell
Craig Gibson University of Iowa
Katharine Huemoeller
Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Laura Gawlinski
Associate Professor and Chair, Loyola University Chicago / CAMWS member
Elizabeth Neely Ohio State
Jessica Blum
University of San Francisco
Lana Radloff Bishop’s University
Anna Krohn
Janet M. Martin
Associate Professor Emerita, Princeton University
Marcia Lindgren University of Iowa
Jessica Nowlin
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Sheila Dickisono University of Florida
Mik Larsen
California State University, Long Beach
Noah Segal
Graduate Student – UC Santa Barbara
Sasha-Mae Eccleston Brown University
Jeremy LaBuff
Northern Arizona University
Joseph Groves
Laurie Porstner
Graduate Student, Rutgers University
Erin Briggs Agnes Scott College
Erin Moodie
Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Jonathan Young University of Iowa
Andrew Reeber
Samuel Cooper, PhD
Bard High School Early College Queens
Brenda Longfellow University of Iowa
Steven Brandwood Rutgers University
Michael Leese
University of New Hampshire
Hunter Gardner
University of South Carolina
Kathryn Gutzwiller University of Cincinnati
ann suter univ. of rhode island
Alice Gaber
The Ohio State University
Sasha-Mae Eccleston Brown University
Tessa Cavagnero Northwestern University
Michael Arnush Chair, Classics, Skidmore
Robert C. Ketterer
David Malamud
PhD student, Boston University
Anne E. Haeckl
Senior Instructor and Co-Chair, Classics Dept., Kalamazoo College
Charlie
Victoria University of Wellington
Sinead Brennan-McMahon
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Emily Hauser
Dominic Machado Holy Cross

Some Concrete Suggestions post-SCS by Yurie Hong

The racist incidents at the SCS in San Diego prompted many strong reactions ranging from shock and surprise to anger and despair as well as skepticism and dismissiveness. Many have already written statements and responses to the incidents (there’s a great roundup on the SCS blog here.) Outrage at the outrageous is appropriate and ‘hard conversations’ are good, but for any of this to matter, feelings must be funnelled into concrete action. The question that, I hope, is on everyone’s mind is, “What can we actually do to change things?”

The following is an excerpt of an email that I sent a few days after the conference to panel members and SCS leadership. I was heartened by their immediate and positive responses, and my impression from the SCS leaders who contacted me was that they were eager to hear more suggestions about what else they could do in both the short and long term. What follows has been lightly revised in response to feedback from members of the Classics and Social Justice group and recent announcements from the SCS. I’m sharing here with the hope that it can spur us all to continue to think creatively and proactively about what we can do — as individuals, department members, and members of professional organizations — to make the structural and cultural changes necessary for our field to be as inclusive, just, and intellectually vibrant as it can be.


As the major professional organization in North America, the SCS has tremendous power to shape the field – its mission, its makeup, and its practices – going forward. The SCS website could be a repository for or gateway to resources for all individuals and departments who would like to shift our field away from white supremacist and colonialist discourses.

The following is not a comprehensive list, but here are some examples of things that I would like to see:

  1. A clarifying statement about our field – what it has been and what it would like its role in the world to be. It would be great to include some language about how the field of Classics is enriched by the perspectives of people who have not always been part of the scholarly discourse – people of color, women, gender/sexual minorities, first-generation scholars, etc. – *because of* and not in spite of these backgrounds and identities, as Dan-el states so powerfully in his piece in the Medium: “my black being-in-the-world makes it possible for me to ask new and different questions within the field, to inhabit new and different approaches to answering them, and to forge alliances with other scholars past and present whose black being-in-the-world has cleared the way for my leap into the breach.”
  1. A statement on diversity and hiring
    On the above point, I don’t know how/where/if it could be stated but, in this era where seemingly all institutions expect professors to care about teaching as well as research, I would love to get the idea out there that diversity in the field should be valued and taken seriously as a factor in hiring, whether for visiting or tenure track positions.
    A hiring rubric, for example, could be boiled down to 3 more or less equally weighted components: 1. Teaching (quality/methods, experience, and potential), 2. Research, 3. Contribution to/Support for Diversity (e.g. in/out of the classroom, via research, and/or simply being a member of a non-majority group). Not only is this the right thing to do for all the pedagogical and intellectual value-added, it’s also a practical consideration given the demographic shifts in this country and increasing demands from students for a more diverse faculty.
    Best practices for mentoring and supporting junior faculty of color, who often face many structural barriers, such as carrying a heavier service and mentoring load, would also be welcome. In particular, departments and institutions could commit to counting this type of service more in tenure and promotion decisions or offer teaching relief or fellowship opportunities so as to assist in publication.
  1. Easy to find links to affiliated groups and committees that focus on diversity, such as the WCC, LCC, EOS, Classics and Social Justice, COGSIP, Mountain Top, etc. on the SCS website. Given that these groups are officially affiliated with the SCS and are already listed in the program, acknowledging them on the website would not only send a message about what the SCS is about; it would make it easier for undergrad/grad students, junior faculty, etc. to find those groups. (I think they’re on the website somewhere, but I can only find them by googling.) Affiliated group webpages could also house tips and guidelines of interest to their membership (see below).
  1. Guidelines for revising departmental webpages and course descriptions so as not to perpetuate harmful messages about ‘Western civilization’ and ‘The Canon’. This document could be housed under the Resources menu on the website and listed much like the “Tips for Teaching and Classics Research.”
    Maybe something akin to this style guide. I’m sure there are a number of blogposts that could be used as the basis for these guidelines. Here’s a link to Rebecca Kennedy’s handout for the ‘Centering the Margins’ panel, which contains comparisons of old and new versions of her course description.
  1. Some kind of diversity training/guidelines for journal editors and editorial boards? I don’t have much to add here but it’s obviously, as Dan-el demonstrated in his talk, something that should be addressed in a structural way.

Some of these things are more difficult and time-consuming than others, but I suspect that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit here. We’ll never win over some people, but I have to believe that there’s a decent chunk of people at various stages of their careers who, for a lot of different reasons, just honestly don’t know that some of the go-to arguments about the value of our field can also contribute to white supremacist and colonialist discourse but would be willing to make some changes if they knew how to go about it.

I’m not under any illusion that such guidelines or statements will by themselves fix anything, but they can normalize a set of shared values and establish institutional protocols that can be useful. Case in point: the woman at the meeting was kicked out for violating SCS standards of behavior. Would that have happened if we didn’t have a code of conduct? I’m not really sure.

Anyway, all this to say that, for all the awfulness that occurred at the conference, I find it heartening that there are people who are working wholeheartedly and publicly for change. I’ve learned a lot from social media and these public conversations, much of which has made it into my own classes, departmental webpage/curriculum revisions, hiring committee meetings, etc. Information and resource-sharing so that people can make the structural and cultural changes where they can is how we change the way classics is done and what it will be in future. Thanks for reading.


While the SCS is mulling over those suggestions, here are some other things that individuals can do to make change:

  1. Support The Sportula – donate, tell students and faculty about The Sportula, encourage especially young classicists of color to participate in the Naked Soul conference in June.
  2. Get informed. If you haven’t already, check out Mathura Umachandran, Yung In Chae Helen Wong, and Stefani Echeverría-Fenn and Djesika Bèl Watson on the experience of being a classicist of color as well as this podcast with Jackie Murray; Sarah Derbew and Sarah Bond’s work on race, racism, and ancient art, Rebecca Kennedy’s very thorough website complete with teaching resources, and Donna Zuckerberg’s essay on what the role of classicists in a world that is still awash with racism and sexism and how to support scholars who are being harassed here and here.
  3. Look at the course descriptions and messaging in your own classes. A good place to start is Rebecca Kennedy’s Resources for Teaching Race, Ethnicity, Immigration, and Marginality in Classical Antiquity and materials from the Centering the Margins panel. It’s okay to start small but start somewhere and commit to building on those efforts as an ongoing project.
  4. Contact conference organizers and ask them to contact hotels in advance and tell them that you expect their staff to not racially profile people – not only potential conference attendees but everyone. Feel free to use/adapt this script:

“Dear X,

I’m sure you have plenty to do in planning/preparing Y conference. I was hoping, though, that you could contact the conference hotel and ask them to ensure that their staff have received appropriate diversity/implicit bias training. There have been a number of incidents where scholars of color have been racially profiled at professional conferences. We need to let hotels know that this is unacceptable and that we expect them to have protocols in place to ensure that such incidents do not occur.”

  1. When inviting speakers to campus, actively seek out speakers from historically underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds.
  2. Encourage your department to put out a statement, such as the one put out by University of Washington Department of Classics.
  3. Make it a priority in your department to revise departmental descriptions that give the impression that ancient cultures were inherently better than all others or that Greece and Rome were the first and best sources for all this is good in the world.
  4. Have your department convene a workshop or discussion series for faculty and students to talk about what classics means in the world and how we should talk about our field those outside it. We shouldn’t shy away from talking openly with our students about the history of our field and how various groups have used it for just and unjust ends. They are a part of our field and they deserve to be given the knowledge and opportunity to engage seriously with

This not at all a comprehensive list by any stretch but just some ideas to get started. Big changes are the result of lots of smaller individual acts. So if professional equity and justice matter to you (and I hope it does), pick a thing to do and just start doing it. There will always be more to do and not a single one of us will get all the things right all the time, but we have to start somewhere.

Co-Signatories

(scroll down to add your name!)

Nancy S. Rabinowitz
Hannah Culik-Baird
Amy Pistone, University of Notre Dame
Lindsey Mazurek, Assistant Professor of History, University of Oregon
Erin Walcek Averett, Creighton University
Alicia Matz
Danielle L Kellogg, Brooklyn College
Valerie M WIlhite
Melissa Funke, University of Winnipeg
Jacquelyn H. Clements
Dimitri Nakassis
Karen Carr, Portland State University
Dr. Tamara L. Siuda
Arum Park, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Arizona
Casey Haughin, Johns Hopkins University
Joel P. Christensen
Bethany Hucks, Heidelberg University
Rebecca Futo Kennedy
Dr. Alexis Castor, Classics Chair (7/19), Franklin & Marshall College
Alex Claman
Elizabeth Heintges (PhD Candidate, Columbia University)
Andrew Tharler
Aven McMaster, Thorneloe University at Laurentian
Darby Vickers
Evelyn Adkins
Sharon L. James, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Thomas Rover
Vanessa Stovall, Classical Studies at Columbia, MA
Simone Oppen
Mali Skotheim
Molly Jones-Lewis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Dept. of Ancient Studies
Clara Bosak-Schroeder, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Verity Platt
Maxine Lewis
Ruby Blondell
Seth L. Schein
Kathryn Topper
Christine Johnston, Western Washington University
Helen King, The Open University, UK
Tom Sapsford
Judith P Hallett
Sara Ahbel-Rappe
Kristen Ehrhardt, John Carroll University
Serena S. Witzke, Wesleyan University
Darcy Krasne
Caitlin Hines
Amy R. Cohen, Randolph College, Center for Ancient Drama
Lillian Doherty
Elizabeth Manwell
Emily Baragwanath
Bonnie Rock-McCutcheon, Wilson College
Heather Vincent, Eckerd College
Naomi Campa
Laurie O’Higgins, Classical and Medieval Studies, Bates College
Marilyn B. Skinner, University of Arizona
K. Scarlett Kingsley, Agnes Scott College
Elizabeth M. Greene, Western Ontario
Sabrina Higgins, Simon Fraser University
David J. Wright
Kelly P. Dugan, University of Georgia
Professor Janet M. Martin, Emerita, Princeton University
Charlotte Hunt
Jeremy LaBuff
Kaitlyn Boulding
Chelsea Gardner, University of Hawaii
Adriana Cásarez
Stephen Hinds, University of Washington
Kassandra Miller
Rosa Andújar
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, Macquarie University, NSW Australia
David Fredrick, University of Arkansas
Amy Norgard
Laurel Fulkerson
Scott A. Lepisto
Clayton Schroer
Daniel Libatique
James Newhard
Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Cincinnati
Elizabeth Hunter
Konnor Clark
Lauri Reitzammer, University of Colorado, Boulder
Luke Parker, University of Chicago
Nina Papathanasopoulou, Connecticut College
Susann Lusnia, Chair, Classical Studies, Tulane University
Deborah Kamen
Seán Easton
Catherine Connors, University of Washington
Susan Crane
Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Cincinnati
Sarah E. Hafner
Heather Waddell, Concordia College (Moorhead, MN)
Harriet Fertik
Andrew Carroll, Latin Teacher
Christopher Nappa, University of Minnesota
Elizabeth Bobrick
Brooke Holmes
Christina Salowey, Hollins University
Sierra Schiano
Allison Glazebrook
Elizabeth Bevis, Johns Hopkins University
Katherine R. De Boer