We're delighted to report that Prof. Katharina Volk is the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to be held in 2019-20. Katharina will be working on her project "The Politics of Knowledge in Late Republican Rome," a monograph on the intellectual history of the late Republic, which examines the intersections of scholarship, philosophy, and politics in this turbulent period. Katharina is thrilled about the award and looking forward to spending more quality time with her friends Cicero, Varro, and Nigidius Figulus.
Ashley Simone, PhD student in Classics at Columbia, will give the inaugural lecture in the NYU Society of Ancient Studies Graduate Lecture series, Monday, November 12, 6:15, NYU Department of Classics Seminar Room, Silver Center for the Arts and Science (Room 503), 100 Washington Sq. E., New York, NY 10003.
The Department of Classics is very pleased to announce that Gareth Williams, Violin Family Professor, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017-2018 Lionel Trilling Book Award.
Lionel Trilling CC'25, GSAS'38, a faculty member from 1927-1974, was one of the most significant 20th century public intellectuals. He became nationally known for both his scholarship and his literary criticism, which appealed to a wide audience. At Columbia, Trilling was recognized as a gifted and dedicated teacher with a special commitment to undergraduate education.
The Lionel Trilling Book Award is awarded annually to a faculty member who has published, in the previous year, the book that is deemed to best exhibit the standards of intellect and scholarship found in Trilling's work.
In awarding the Lionel Trilling Book Award to Professor Williams for his work entitled Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist, the Committee chairs wrote that the book struck them and other students on the committee "as especially moving, stylistically brilliant and accessible, as well as informative."
Professor Williams will be honored at the Trilling/Van Doren Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 2, 6pm-8pm in Low Library, Faculty Room. RSVP to Jessica Cubas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cicero Conference in honor of James E. G. Zetzel, Anthon Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, on the occasion of his retirement. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean
Professor Robert Kaster (Princeton University), Professor Peter White (University of Chicago), Professor Catherine Steel (University of Glasgow), and Carina de Klerk (Columbia).
Conference Program. Reception to follow.
Alan Cameron, the Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of Latin and Literature at Columbia University, died on July 31st at the age of 79 in New York while receiving treatment for complications arising from ALS. Alan was educated at St. Paul’s School in London, and at New College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first class degree in Literae Humaniores in 1961. Without ever needing to complete a Phd, a point of considerable amusement and pride, Alan took up teaching positions in Glasgow and London before joining the Columbia faculty in 1977; he remained in the department until his retirement in 2008.
Alan had an unrivalled expertise in the history and literature of Hellenistic Greece and Late Antiquity and an infallible command of Greek and Latin philology that included both the canonical and more recondite areas of the corpus. Combining his impeccable knowledge with innovative approaches, an engaging style, and a zest for challenging and upending long-established views, Alan produced scholarship that ranged as broadly as its learning was deep. His publication record runs to many pages (over 200 articles plus more than a dozen books), and his discussions remain ‘must read’ items for those in any number of different areas, religion, social and political history, mythology, and the history of classical scholarship among them. Among his most ground-breaking books are Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (1976), Callimachus and his Critics (winner of the APA Goodwin Prize in 1997), Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004) and The Last Pagans of Rome (2011), and a sampling of only his most recent essays (‘Psyche and her Sisters’, ‘Black and White: A Note on Ancient Nicknames’, ‘On the Date of John of Gaza’ and ‘Notes on the Erotic Art of Rufinus’) stands testament to Alan’s boundless intellectual range and curiosity as well as his facility for eye-catching titles.
In addition to his tireless scholarly activity, his participation in conferences and willingness to deliver lectures in many parts of the world, and the recognition he received in the form of many honors (among them he was made a fellow of the British Academy in 1975 and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978), Alan was an immensely popular and much revered teacher at all levels. Generations of Columbia graduate students, as well as some of Alan’s colleagues, remember with particular fondness and gratitude the classes in Greek and Latin Verse Composition that he used to hold at his New York home. Endlessly hospitable and with friends across the globe, Alan also found time to swim, bike, travel, cultivate a taste for films of sometimes questionable artistic merit, and, as a school boy in company with Martin West, to be one among the three members of the St. Paul’s Astronomy Club.
My colleagues at Columbia and I are deeply saddened by the loss, and extend our deepest condolences to Alan’s wife Carla, his son and daughter and his recently born and much anticipated first grandchild, Silas, whom Alan was able to meet shortly before his death. As more information becomes available about memorial arrangements, we will communicate it here.
John Jay Professor of Greek and Latin
Department of Classics
This powerful bilingual anthology of poetry is a display of resilience and beauty, showcasing the richness and strength of contemporary Greek poetry. According to Kate Kellaway, writing for The Observer, the book provides “an uncommon chance to share Greek experience beyond the headlines—in a way that is fascinating, revelatory and only possible through poetry.”
Karen Van Dyck is the Kimon A. Doukas Professor of Modern Greek Literature in the Classics Department at Columbia University. She writes on modern Greek and Greek diaspora literature, and gender and translation theory.
Read by Karen Van Dyck.
Fri, June 2, 2017, 7-8pm
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd Floor, BBLA Library
321 East 73rd Street
New York, NY 10021
We are very happy to announce that (the newly minted) Dr. Claire Catenaccio will be joining the Department of Classical Studies at Duke University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2017! Claire, who specializes in ancient drama and performance, recently defended her dissertation, entitled "Monody and Dramatic Technique in Late Euripides." Claire has played an active role in the Classics department community, directing several of our annual Greek and Latin plays, including Seneca's Thyestes, Euripides' Alcestis, and an adaptation of Book 9 of Homer's Iliad. While we will miss her presence at Columbia, we wish her all the best in her new position at Duke!
Dr. Charles McNamara, one of our recent graduates, has been working as a SCS/NEH Fellow at the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich, Germany over the course of the past year. Charley's work at the TLL has included writing articles on the words nervosus, remisceo, remollio, remoror, remunerator, ren, and renideo. We can't wait to read Charley's entries!
On May 5-6, a number of Columbia faculty and graduate students flew to Paris to participate in a collaboration with PSL (Paris Sciences et Lettres). The 2-day conference focused on "How to read: objects, images, texts" and put scholars from a number of fields (Classics, Art History & Archaeology, East Asian Studies, and History) in dialogue with one another. The Classics Department is looking forward to welcoming our PSL colleagues when they come to Columbia in September for a parallel event. For a program of the May event, please visit this webpage.
Since the crisis hit in 2008, Greece has played host to a cultural renaissance unlike anything seen in the country for over thirty years. In Austerity Measures, the very best of the writing to emerge from that creative ferment—much of it never before translated into English—is gathered for the first time, featuring poems written by native Greeks, émigrés and migrants alike. Yanis Varoufakis calls it "living proof that the Greek crisis is of global significance." We will be joined by editor Karen Van Dyck and poets Maria Margaronis, Hiva Panahi, Gazmend Kapllani, Stephanos Papadopoulos, and Yusef Komunyakaa. Co-sponsored by Black Sea Networks at Columbia University. More details are available here.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 7:00pm
You are invited to the book launch cocktail party for Professor Marcus Folch's new book, "The City and the Stage" published by Oxford Univeristy Press.
The party will be held on Wednesday April 27th, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Faculty House Ivy Lounge & Coffee Bar, 64 Morningside Drive
THE CITY AND THE STAGE
PERFORMANCE, GENRE, AND GENDER IN PLATO'S LAWS
What role did poetry, music, song, and dance play in the social and political life of the ancient Greek city? How did philosophy respond to, position itself against, and articulate its own ambitions in relation to the poetic tradition? How did ancient philosophers theorize and envision alternatives to fourth-century Athenian democracy? The City and the Stage poses such questions in a study of the Laws, Plato's last, longest, and unfinished philosophical dialogue. Reading the Laws in its literary, historical, and philosophical contexts, this book offers a new interpretation of Plato's final dialogue with the Greek poetic tradition and an exploration of the dialectic between philosophy and mimetic art. Although Plato is often thought hostile to poetry and famously banishes mimetic art from the ideal city of the Republic, The City and the Stage shows that in his final work Plato made a striking about-face, proposing to rehabilitate Athenian performance culture and envisaging a city, Magnesia, in which poetry, music, song, and dance are instrumental in the cultivation of philosophical virtues. Plato's views of the performative properties of music, dance, and poetic language, and the psychological underpinnings of aesthetic experience receive systematic treatment in this book for the first time. The social role of literary criticism, the power of genres to influence a society and lead to specific kinds of constitutions, performance as a mechanism of gender construction, and the position of women in ancient Greek performance culture are central themes throughout this study. A wide-ranging examination of ancient Greek philosophy and fourth-century intellectual culture, The City and the Stage will be of significance to anyone interested in ancient Greek literature, performance, and Platonic philosophy in its historical contexts.
We invite papers from graduate students working across disciplines related to the ancient world for a two-day conference which will explore the issues of refuge and refugees. From representations of refugees and the notions of “refuge” to their physical traces in the archaeological record, we hope to discuss how ancient societies experienced and conceptualized the flight and plight of displaced peoples.
In light of the recent upsurge in work on ancient Mediterranean migration and exile, as well as current events, new questions arise: What heuristic value does the term “refugee” have for our understanding of the ancient equivalent? How do we define refuge and refugees? Where do we look for the voices of refugees among the ancient evidence? What and where are the sites of “refuge” attested across the ancient Mediterranean world?
We welcome papers in any disciplinary field––and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged––pertaining to the ancient Mediterranean world and surrounding regions, including Egypt, the Near East and the expanses of the Roman Empire, and falling within the period spanning from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.
Come and find out about Majoring and concentrating in Classics, Classical Studies, and Ancient Studies! Free food!
Tues. 23 February 4-5:30pm in Hamilton 617b
Co-sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Society of Fellows in the Humanities
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)—ill-fated statesman during the collapse of the Roman Republic, Latin orator extraordinaire, and the author of a wide-ranging and influential corpus of philosophical writings—is unique among premodern individuals in that we possess large parts of his correspondence and are thus unusually well informed about both the minutiae of his life and the developments of his thought. In recent years and months, scholarly interest has increasingly turned to the philosophical aspects of this correspondence, which contains everything from passing references to philosophical jokes, serious disquisitions, and the author's attempts to apply philosophical precepts to his own and his correspondents' lives.
The one-day symposium, "Philosophy in Cicero's Letters" aims to capture this moment in the fast-developing scholarship on Cicero, ancient philosophy, and intellectual history.
Four scholars who are right now working on some aspects of the topic will be presenting papers: Margaret Graver (Dartmouth), Nathan Gilbert (University of Toronto), Katharina Volk (Columbia), and Raphael Woolf (King's College London. These speakers will be paired with responses from four established specialists on Cicero, ancient philosophy, and late Republican culture: Yelena Baraz (Princeton), Brad Inwood (Yale), Wolfgang Mann (Columbia), and James Zetzel (Columbia).
New York Classical Club Contests 2016
Oral Reading of Greek and Latin
Saturday, 9 April 2016, 2:30pm
602 Hamilton Hall, Columbia University
ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND
The New York Classical Club is pleased to announce two prize contests:
I. Prizes for the Oral Reading of Greek: 1st: $300; 2nd: $200; 3rd: $100.
II. Prizes for the Oral Reading of Latin: 1st: $300; 2nd: $200; 3rd: $100.
To encourage students to acquire both facility and enjoyment in the oral performance of works of Greek and Latin literature, all of which were originally created with the intention of their being performed orally and not read silently.
Any student of Greek or Latin (elementary, secondary school, undergraduate, or graduate level). Contestants may compete for both the Greek and Latin prizes, or for either one.
Format of the Contests
1. One set passage for all contestants:
a) Greek: Iliad, Book 3, lines 95-110
b) Latin: Aeneid, Book 4, lines 265-78
2. One passage of ancient Greek/Latin literature chosen by the individual contestant (poetry or prose, ca. 15 lines). Contestants are required to supply three photocopies of this passage for the judges.
Judges of the Contest
Prof. Katharina Volk (Columbia University; Director of the NYCC Oral Reading Contests)
Prof. Sulochana Asirvatham (Montclair State University)
Prof. Joshua Katz (Princeton University)
Criteria for Judgment
1. Contestants will be judged on the consistency of pronunciation, metrical and rhythmic clarity, and literary expressiveness.
2. Memorization of the performed texts is optional and will not be a criterion in the evaluation of the contestants.
(The judges reserve the right not to award one or more of the above prizes.)
Students who wish to enter the contest must e-mail Prof. Katharina Volk at email@example.com by April 2nd.
Assistant Professor of Classics Marcus Folch was selected for a Heyman Center Fellowship for 2016-17.
The fellowship is funded by The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia and provide faculty the opportunity to work on research projects and to participate in the Heyman Center Fellows Seminar.
The project Professor Folch will be working on while on fellowship at the Heyman Center will be the first major study of bondage, incarceration, and the prison in ancient Greece and Rome. This book explores the history of incarceration through the lens of ancient law and philosophy, and it contextualizes the history of the prison alongside forms of bondage that are often overlooked in studies of incarceration in antiquity (e.g., slavery, debt bondage, and execution). It departs from earlier studies of the ancient prison by concentrating not only on the historical reconstruction of the ancient prison, but also on the literature of incarceration; and it traces a literary tradition, which appears as early as Archaic Greek poetry and spans into early Christian hagiography, in which the prison becomes a site of political dissent, a space to critique, and articulate values antithetical to, the dominant cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. Its chief contribution is to propose a new interpretive framework for understanding the political function and sociology of incarceration in antiquity, arguing for the centrality of the prison in ancient notions of sovereignty and restoring a neglected institution to a central place in ancient Greco-Roman literature and history.
What role did poetry, music, song, and dance play in the social and political life of the ancient Greek city? How did philosophy respond to, position itself against, and articulate its own ambitions in relation to the poetic tradition? How did ancient philosophers theorize and envision alternatives to fourth-century Athenian democracy?
The City and the Stage poses such questions in a study of the Laws, Plato's last, longest, and unfinished philosophical dialogue. Reading the Laws in its literary, historical, and philosophical contexts, this book offers a new interpretation of Plato's final dialogue with the Greek poetic tradition and an exploration of the dialectic between philosophy and mimetic art. Although Plato is often thought hostile to poetry and famously banishes mimetic art from the ideal city of the Republic, The City and the Stage shows that in his final work Plato made a striking about-face, proposing to rehabilitate Athenian performance culture and envisaging a city, Magnesia, in which poetry, music, song, and dance are instrumental in the cultivation of philosophical virtues. Plato's views of the performative properties of music, dance, and poetic language, and the psychological underpinnings of aesthetic experience receive systematic treatment in this book for the first time.
The social role of literary criticism, the power of genres to influence a society and lead to specific kinds of constitutions, performance as a mechanism of gender construction, and the position of women in ancient Greek performance culture are central themes throughout this study. A wide-ranging examination of ancient Greek philosophy and fourth-century intellectual culture, The City and the Stage will be of significance to anyone interested in ancient Greek literature, performance, and Platonic philosophy in its historical contexts.
The City and the Stage: Performance, Genre, and Gender in Plato's Laws
Hardcover. 400 pp. Oxford University Press.