Postdoc opportunity at University of Michigan aimed at promoting diversity

A message from Profs. Sara Ahbel-Rappe and Sara Forsdyke of the University of Michigan on their upcoming opportunity in the LSA collegiate fellowship program. This is a postdoc that can lead to a tenure track position in Classical Studies, aimed at recruiting candidates interested in promoting diversity.

Dear all,

I would appreciate it if you would advertise the following position on the CSJ Blog and listserve.

https://lsa.umich.edu/ncid/fellowships-awards/lsa-collegiate-postdoctoral-fellowship.html

The deadline is Oct. 1 for our LSA collegiate fellowship program that is designed to recruit diverse junior faculty and ultimately lead them to a tenure-track job.

Ideally, interested applicants would be able to look on the UM Classical Studies website, identify a potential Departmental mentor and make contact with that person. Also Sara Ahbel-Rappe or Sara Forsdyke would be very pleased to look at letters of application ahead of time or to explain the DEI component and narrative in more detail.

For more information please write to rappe@umich.edu or forsdyke@umich.edu.

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Call for papers for publication: Humanities in Prison

The following call for papers for publication for the special issue of the journal Humanities, edited by Prof. Susan Derwin, will be of interest to those involved in Classics and social justice. Cross-posted from the Humanities journal call for contributors.

 

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of the journal Humanities, “Humanities in Prison,” will bring together essays about the teaching and study of the humanities in juvenile detention centers and state and federal prisons. If we understand the disciplines of the humanities as dedicated to studying the manifold forms and meanings of human experience, and the teaching of the humanities as effectively participating in the cultivation of human capacities and social potentialities, what challenges do educators and incarcerated students face when the humanities are introduced into institutions predicated on a culture of dehumanization and deindividuation? How can the humanities be taught in carceral spaces in which agentive social bonds and community formations are deemed transgressive and in need of suppression? With these questions in mind, we invite submissions for essays about humanities courses, on-site or through correspondence programs, from educators and students who have participated in such programs.  Essays that discuss the value of teaching and studying humanities in prison are welcome, as are submissions that address issues arising while developing curriculum and pedagogical strategies and navigating institutional and administrative requirements; that make explicit the educational outlook informing course design and implementation; that explore the potential dissonance between the socially transformative objectives of critical pedagogies and the exercise of penal power, and strategies for managing that dissonance; and that reflect upon the ways in which the necessary compliance with the dictates of prison administrations may create unintended alignments between educators and administrators that complicate pedagogies committed to restorative justice or to the abolition of prisons.

Prof. Susan Derwin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges(APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are fully funded by institutions through the Knowledge Unlatched initiative, resulting in no direct charge to authors. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • prison education
  • humanities teaching
  • restorative justice
  • humanities and social justice
  • public humanities

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.

JOB POSTING: Ancient Greek Literature at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of Classical Studies

The following job advertisement, cross-posted from the University of Michigan, will be of interest to those involved in Classics and social justice:

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of Classical Studies has been authorized to make an appointment in Ancient Greek language and literature at the tenure track (assistant) or tenured (associate or full) level, beginning in September 2019.

We invite applications from candidates qualified to teach Ancient Greek literature with active research interests that complement those of the present faculty and that will contribute to building a strong program in literary studies. Tragedy, lyric, and Hellenistic poetry are especially welcome. While strengths in the traditional areas of classical philology are important, this position also requires someone whose research and teaching reveal a commitment to literature, literary approaches both theoretical and reception-based, and a broad appreciation of related topics in, for example, gender and sexuality studies, post-colonial theory, discourse analysis, critical race theory, psychoanalytic approaches, etc.

The successful candidate will be involved in all levels of teaching and curriculum development in addition to training of graduate students, including teaching specialized seminars and survey courses, and supervising dissertations. Our full-time teaching load is 4 courses per year (2 courses per semester). As a public institution, the University of Michigan seeks candidates committed to working with diverse student and community populations; therefore, we encourage all applicants to describe in their letter of application how their scholarship, teaching, and service contribute to diverse communities.

Qualifications: A Ph.D. in Classics or relevant discipline and publication and teaching records of academic excellence consistent with the level of the appointment at a research university. This is a university-year appointment with an expected start date of September 1, 2019.

Candidates should submit a digital application dossier via email attachments to lsa-clas-search@umich.edu. Please include the following components (each submitted as a separate PDF file):

• Cover letter addressed to the Chair, Ancient Greek Literature Search Committee

• Curriculum Vitae

• Statement of current and future research plans

• Article or chapter-length writing sample (maximum 30 pages)

• Statement of teaching philosophy and experience

• Evidence of teaching excellence (i.e., student evaluations of teaching, course syllabi, teaching awards)

• Three letters of reference (for assistant professor) or names and contact information of suggested reviewers (for associate or full professor).

The deadline for full consideration for this position is October 1, 2018. Applicant review will begin after October 1. We plan telecommunication interviews for the first round in October and on-campus visits for finalists in November and December of 2018.T

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of Classical Studies has been authorized to make an appointment in Ancient Greek language and literature at the tenure track (assistant) or tenured (associate or full) level, beginning in September 2019.

We invite applications from candidates qualified to teach Ancient Greek literature with active research interests that complement those of the present faculty and that will contribute to building a strong program in literary studies. Tragedy, lyric, and Hellenistic poetry are especially welcome. While strengths in the traditional areas of classical philology are important, this position also requires someone whose research and teaching reveal a commitment to literature, literary approaches both theoretical and reception-based, and a broad appreciation of related topics in, for example, gender and sexuality studies, post-colonial theory, discourse analysis, critical race theory, psychoanalytic approaches, etc.

The successful candidate will be involved in all levels of teaching and curriculum development in addition to training of graduate students, including teaching specialized seminars and survey courses, and supervising dissertations. Our full-time teaching load is 4 courses per year (2 courses per semester). As a public institution, the University of Michigan seeks candidates committed to working with diverse student and community populations; therefore, we encourage all applicants to describe in their letter of application how their scholarship, teaching, and service contribute to diverse communities.

Qualifications: A Ph.D. in Classics or relevant discipline and publication and teaching records of academic excellence consistent with the level of the appointment at a research university. This is a university-year appointment with an expected start date of September 1, 2019.

Candidates should submit a digital application dossier via email attachments to lsa-clas-search@umich.edu. Please include the following components (each submitted as a separate PDF file):

• Cover letter addressed to the Chair, Ancient Greek Literature Search Committee

• Curriculum Vitae

• Statement of current and future research plans

• Article or chapter-length writing sample (maximum 30 pages)

• Statement of teaching philosophy and experience

• Evidence of teaching excellence (i.e., student evaluations of teaching, course syllabi, teaching awards)

• Three letters of reference (for assistant professor) or names and contact information of suggested reviewers (for associate or full professor).

The deadline for full consideration for this position is October 1, 2018. Applicant review will begin after October 1. We plan telecommunication interviews for the first round in October and on-campus visits for finalists in November and December of 2018.

Write-up: Classics and Social Justice roundtable at CAWMS 2018 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

By Amy Pistone.

This is a long-overdue write-up of a roundtable that deserved more timely treatment, so let me start with that apology, as well as heartfelt thanks to Mik Larsen for taking wonderful minutes from our discussion.

Attendance was very good (15-20 all told, though people were coming in and out, as their schedules allowed) and attendees ranged from graduate students to high school teachers to non-tenure track faculty, as well as people who don’t fit into any of those categories. I should note that while our roundtable was fairly diverse by the standards of our field, this was still an overwhelmingly white group, which was one of the topics discussed at the workshop.

We began with introductions (as so many roundtables do), but I mention these introductions because we all talked about why specifically we were at the roundtable. It was very encouraging to see the range of answers to that question. People mentioned concerns about disabilities and accessibility, about serving particular racial/ethnic demographics, and about addressing field-wide problems of representation. These concerns fit into two general categories: concerns about how to promote diversity as educators (i.e., within the classroom) and concerns about how to promote diversity within the field.

What resources and tools would help teachers at all levels promote diversity better? (this is how we ended the roundtable, but I think these are the most important points to think about, going forward, so I’m leading with them)

  • A collection of visual representations that aren’t—as was raised in the CAMWS CPL (Committee for the Promotion of Latin) panel – just a bunch of pink faces. The BBC cartoon controversy was mentioned in this context.
  • Materials to promote comparative philosophy, mythology, etc. to broaden the scope of what we frame as “classics” to include the classics of other civilizations.
  • Opportunities for team teaching – as trained academics, we often feel (with good cause) uncomfortable teaching about topics and texts that are not in our academic field. Team teaching would help with this.
    • Several people noted that (in practice) this often ends up putting more work on junior faculty and needs higher-level support in order for team teaching to be a viable option. Senior people need to talk to administrators because the junior people can’t.

Teaching foreign languages:

  • How can we best teach Greek and Latin to students who are non-native English speakers? What about students who are native English speakers but have not had any rigorous grammatical education before they enter our classrooms? How can we lower the barriers to entry for languages?
  • If you are trying to acquire a new (modern or ancient) language, that experience can help cultivate empathy/sympathy and give you insight into the struggles your students may be having with language learning.
  • Recognize that non-native English speakers often have a more thorough knowledge of English grammar, since they likely learned it in school. They also have the experience of thoroughly learning a second language (which native English speakers don’t necessarily have), which can be a real strength for them in the classroom.
  • Be selective about which grammatical terminology (or jargon) we use in the class. Using accessible language when we teach can make the languages themselves seem more accessible – unless the formal terminology is useful for understanding the language, consider avoiding it (with the caveat that commentaries will expect students to know these terms, so they do need to be exposed to those terms at some point).
  • Etymology, linguistic history, and comparative grammar can all be really useful tools in the classroom. These things can help students remember vocabulary, but they can also be very helpful for non-native speakers who can see how and why English works the way it does if they understand where certain constructions come from. As one roundtable member said, English is a bastard language with chaotic layered complexity and interrelationships with other languages. We can help our students better understand English and Latin at the same time!
  • Teaching international students involves understanding the educational background that they come from, which may be radically different from the educational system(s) here.
  • English Grammar for Students of Latin

Teaching classical civilization courses:

  • How do we decenter the West in our teaching? How do we talk about why Classics matters if it’s not the foundational material of all civilization? Many students come to our classes because rhetoric about “civilization” and “The West” – can/should we as educators do about that?
  • There was a lot of discussion from people who have taught in non-western countries or who teach at institutions with a high population of non-western students. This segued into discussions of how best to teach when your students don’t have preexisting conceptions about the topic. Or if they come to your class specifically wanting to know about the narrative of The West. In some ways, this can be an easier task, because you don’t need to deconstruct any narratives – you can start from scratch and present the ancient world and the concept of “western civilization” as something that is complicated and constantly being renegotiated. Outsiders can often analyze a culture better and more objectively than the people who are immersed in it.
  • A helpful way to open up this conversation is to look at when The Western Canon and The West as concepts start to emerge, particularly as a product of the Cold War. This can segue nicely into a discussion about what “the West” and “the East” would have meant to Greeks and Romans at different times in their histories – these definitions are shifting and fluid!
  • A valuable starting point for discussions is to solicit opinions about what “the classics” are from students and encourage them to draw on their own cultural texts.
  • Using films (recent, popular ones) can be a good entry point for students who feel more confident talking about a movie than an unfamiliar text. Engaging with popular movies can also make classics seem more accessible, rather than an elite pursuit.

Bigger, structural (and field-wide) issues:

  • One attendee asked how many people have gotten the memo that some of this language is problematic. Departments still generally use this rhetoric to sell their classes and major textbooks (e.g., the books that come up when you search “Roman history” on Amazon) still use this narrative. This makes our job harder, especially for people working in high schools and middle schools.

CFP: ‘Claiming the Classical’ (deadline 1st July 2018)

NETWORK: Claiming the Classical 21st century political rhetoric and the Greco-Roman past

‘Claiming the Classical’ (CTC) is an international network of academics, researchers and other interested parties. Together, we work to understand and engage with politicised appropriations of classical antiquity in the twenty-first century.

The network was launched in early 2018, with the aim of understanding and engaging with current political appropriations of the classical past. What impact do such appropriations have the on the wider public understanding of antiquity? Should academics and researchers engage with such appropriations, in what contexts, and how?

We hope you will join us. Sign up to the email list at: http://www.claiming-the-classical.org

Workshop: 9th November 2018

Friday 9th November 2018, 10:00-17:00
Room G22/26, Institute for Classical Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London

The aim of this day-long workshop is to chart how Greco-Roman antiquity has been deployed in political rhetoric in the 21st century, exploring differences over national and continental borders as well as across the political spectrum.

Call for papers:

We are inviting proposals for brief papers focusing on a specific country or other defined area (15 mins), as well as for spotlight talks on particular cases (5 mins). Funds are available to support travel and accommodation for early career researchers and international participants.
Deadline: 1st July 2018

Summary paper:

Following the workshop, we will draft a short paper, offering a ‘snapshot’ of how classics is currently being used in political discourse globally. This will be made available freely online.

 

CONTACT:

Naoíse Mac Sweeney (nm241@le.ac.uk)
Helen Roche (hber2@cam.ac.uk)

CTC network info