CLASSICS Department of Classics Newsletter SUMMER 2019 | Volume XXVI
IN THIS ISSUE
Summer 2019 Volume XXVI
1. EX CATHEDRA | MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
2. FACULTY NEWS
Faculty in the Field: Seth Bernard, Carrie Fulton, Sarah Murray
Welcome to Our New Faculty: George Boys-Stones, Kenneth Yu
Editor Lorenza Bennardo Assistant Professor Managing Editor Warrena Wilkinson Special Thanks Emelen Leonard PhD Student Front Cover Image Isis and Harpocrates, limestone relief from Theadelphia (Fayum), 1st-2nd century CE, Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
From The Faculty Bookshelf
3. DEPARTMENT NEWS Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Ann-Marie Matti John Lundon Memorial Fellowship in Classics
4. ALUMNI FOCUS Emilia Barbiero, Marion Durand, Timothy Perry, Mariapia Pietropaolo
5. GRADUATE STUDENT NEWS Correspondence Department of Classics University of Toronto email@example.com Publisher Department of Classics University of Toronto 125 Queen’s Park Toronto, ON M5S 2C7 classics.utoronto.ca Department of Classics Newsletter is published once a year by the Department of Classics and is circulated to alumni and friends of the Department of Classics, University of Toronto. The University of Toronto respects your privacy and does not sell, rent or trade mailing lists. If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (416) 978-2139.
Graduate Student Focus: Brad Hald and Chiara Graf
10 10 - 11 11
12 12 - 13
14 14 - 15
Graduate Student Conference: Classics in the Anthropocene
6. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT NEWS CLASSU Report Inaugural Summer Language Bursary Recipient: Rachel Smith
7. IN MEMORIAM Prof. Alexander Dalzell
8. CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS Classics and the World Today 3 Greek Study Day
Past Issues Available online at: classics.utoronto.ca/news/newsletter/
9. UPCOMING EVENTS & NEWS
19 19 20 - 21
22 22 – 23 23
EX CATHEDRA: MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR “Justice at last!” I said to David Cameron, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, when I ran into him in March after a meeting in Simcoe Hall, at which many of the U of T’s leaders had been present. “What’s that?” he said. I explained: “Classics/Ancient History at the U of T is now ranked no. 13 in the world. We work hard and we deserve that place!” I was referring to the latest QS World University Rankings, in which the U of T and the Humanities at the U of T did really well, placing around 20, but Classics/Ancient History came in at no. 13, which was something that our President Meric Gertler had in fact also pointed out at the meeting we were just leaving. (I know well enough that there are several international rankings and that their accuracy varies – and what are they even measuring? But, as President Gertler is in the habit of saying: if the numbers are good, why not mention them?)
In any case, it is my firm belief that our faculty members and our students at the U of T, engaged in so many fields of Classical Studies, can look to the future with much optimism. This issue of the newsletter is full of positive news, and I’ll briefly and somewhat selectively highlight a few things as introduction. Our doctoral program is successfully preparing the next generation of academics and scholars: two of our recent PhDs, Mariapia Pietropaolo (McMaster University) and Emilia Barbiero (New York University) are in new tenure-track positions, while Marion Durand (PhD June 2018) will take up an Associate Professorship at Oxford (Corpus Christi College) and Jeff Easton (PhD December 2018) will hold a six-month Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Washington and Lee University. And in Toronto, it is a pleasure to congratulate both Boris Chrubasik and Kevin Wilkinson on having been granted tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in June! A particular impact on the study of the economy of the Greco-Roman world can be expected from three volumes edited or authored this past year by faculty members Ben Akrigg, Seth Bernard, and Eph Lytle. The co-edited volume on Augustan Rome by Sarah Murray is another welcome addition to the Department’s bookshelf. As if this were not enough, the department conducted two successful searches this winter. We are very pleased to welcome, as Full Professor in Ancient Philosophy, George Boys-Stones, who joins us after a very successful career at Durham University, and, as Assistant Professor in Classical Literature, Kenneth Yu, a specialist on Greek literature of the imperial period. A warm welcome to both! In the spring there were two particular events. As I explain elsewhere in the Neswletter, justice was done once more when our Business Officer, Ann-Marie Matti, was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Distinguished Service Award. Where would we be without the steady and diligent work of Ann-Marie and Coral Gavrilovic in the Department’s office?! Finally, on May 30th, we gathered to pay tribute to an alumnus of the Department, John Lundon, MA 1986 and later PhD (Univ. of Salerno) and Professor at the University of Turin in Italy. He had a remarkable scholarly career as a papyrologist in Europe but passed away much too soon. Thanks to a generous donation from his family, who joined in the reception in John’s honour, the John Lundon Memorial Fellowship in Classics was established, and within a year we hope to be able to distribute the first such travel grant. The Department is very grateful to the Lundon family for this beautiful gift to our graduate students! I will conclude with a few more thanks. First, I combine a thank you with a welcome back to John Magee, who after his period as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science rejoins the Department of Classics (after a well-earned leave). To my knowledge, John is the first Classicist ever to have served in the demanding and important position of Vice-Dean on the St. George Campus – well done! Second, as my own five-year period as Chair of this inspiring, interesting, and successful department is now coming to an end, I wish to thank everyone I’ve interacted with: undergraduate and graduate students, as well as my many colleagues, and especially this year’s Associate Chairs, Erik Gunderson and Eph Lytle, both also at the end of their terms. It’s been a memorable experience, in many ways, and certainly an honour, to be the Chair of U of T Classics! On July 1st, Professor Jonathan Burgess takes over as Interim Chair for 2019-2020 – best of success! - Christer Bruun
FACULTY IN THE FIELD Seth Bernard Our first season at Populonia (Summer 2018) was a success. Working side by side with students from our partner institution, the University of Siena, four U of T students (Sophia Alkhoury, Drew Davis, Laura Harris, and Zoi Samonas) worked to uncover Roman and Etruscan layers on the acropolis of this picturesque coastal site in Tuscany. The project instructed students in the methodologies of open context stratigraphic excavation as applied to an urban site. Populonia was the foremost centre for iron production in Pre-Roman and Republican Italy, and we are investigating how the city’s monumental urban form reflected the rise and fall of this metal industry and the vast wealth generated by it. Our project recovered important information to fill out the long durée history of the settlement from its incorporation into the Roman Republican state in the 3rd century BCE to the later empire, and the city’s abandonment in the 2nd century CE. I was happy this year to receive generous funding from the SSHRC Insight Development Grant. Along with a team of Toronto students, I will return this June and July, when we will be starting excavation of a second-century BCE thermal complex, one of the very earliest in Etruria, with standing vaulted architecture and mosaic floors.
Photos, from the top: The team at work excavating layers related to a monumental terrace called Le Logge. In the background, Laura Harris (kneeling), Drew Davis, and Sophia Alkhoury (with shovel) from Toronto. (Photo by Cynthia Mascione); The acropolis site of Populonia. (Photo by Seth Bernard); The ancient harbour of Baratti and the Tuscan coastline as viewed from the acropolis of Populonia. (Photo by Seth Bernard).
Carrie Fulton For six weeks over the past summer, Prof. Fulton and two students from the University of Toronto â€” Naomi Neufeld (graduate student in Classics) and Erica Armstrong (undergraduate student in Anthropology) â€” conducted two underwater surveys along the south-central coastline of Cyprus. Along with researchers and students from the University of Cyprus and Cornell University, the group worked to conduct a comprehensive survey of both terrestrial and maritime landscapes at a newly discovered anchorage and returned to Maroni-Tsaroukkas to survey the western part of the anchorage. Despite adverse weather conditions, malfunctioning equipment, and long days, it was a productive season. In addition to recording new anchors, the group documented a large ceramics scatter containing both locally produced and imported pottery. These projects were generously funded by SSHRC and National Geographic.
Photos, clockwise from top right: Erica Armstrong excavates and records at LBA pithos; Naomi Neufeld excavates inside the hole of a stone anchor to record it.
Sarah Murray During the summer of 2018, I spent most of June in Athens wrapping up the final study for and writing up material from four seasons of fieldwork with the Mazi Archaeological Project, which completed a survey of an upland plateau in the mountains straddling the border of Attica and Boeotia. I have coauthored an article forthcoming in the journal Hesperia, with the three codirectors of the project, Sylvian Fachard (American School of Classical Studies at Athens), Alex Knodell (Carleton College), and Kalliopi Papangeli (Greek Ephorate of Western Attica) is forthcoming in the journal Hesperia. This article will present the first comprehensive architectural study and a new stone-bystone plan of the fortress of Eleutherai in the historically important Kaza Pass. My other major contributions to the final project publication volume cover the digital methods we used for documenting architecture in the survey, the built environment of the Mazi plain, and the prehistoric sites discovered during fieldwork. I also spent several weeks doing reconnaissance and planning for two new archaeological field projects that will begin active work in 2019 and 2020 (provided all goes to plan with the ever-unpredictable permitting process!). My colleague Phil Sapirstein (U. of Toronto History of Art/Anthro) and I spent a week in the deep Mani where we are developing a digital architectural documentation project of the prehistoric to early modern remains of the Thyrides plateau (near the modern village of Gerolimenas) in collaboration with the Greek Ephorate of Laconia. Another two weeks was devoted to exploratory work in the Bay of Porto Rafti in eastern Attica, just south of the ancient site of Brauron. This bay provides the best natural harbour in the region and served as an important conduit of information between the Attic mesogaia and the Cyclades for millennia, a history of interaction that my team and I will begin to explore with our first field season of the Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS) in June 2019. The project will operate under the aegis of the Canadian Institute in Greece with generous support from the Classics Department, the SSHRC Insight Discovery Grant Program, the Connaught Fund New Researcher program, the Mediterranean Archaeology Collaborative Specialization program, the Archaeology Centre, and the Digital Globe Foundation. Along with my co-director Catherine Pratt (Western Ontario), I will be leading an international team of students and specialists in a survey of the region around and islets within the bay. Representing Toronto Classics will be PhD students Katerina Apokatanidis, Elliott Fuller, and Taylor Stark, and undergraduate students Irum Chorghay and Jennifer MacPherson.
Photos, from the top: Sarah Murray surveying the excavation site at Mani, Greece; An aerial view of the gulf at Mani, in Greece; Obsidian core found during the excavation in Porto Rafti, Greece.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW FACULTY MEMBERS The Department conducted two successful academic searches this year, and we warmly welcome Professor George BoysStones (Ancient Philosophy) and Dr. Kenneth Yu (Classical Literature) to the St. George campus. Two of our PhD students, Matt Watton and Emelen Leonard, had the pleasure of interviewing our new colleagues. A similar line of thought is what originally got me into my work on the ‘post-Hellenistic’ era (the first centuries CE): my doctoral thesis was supposed to be on the Hellenistic Stoics, and Plutarch as a source for them. But (I came to realise) we really cannot make anything of Plutarch’s evidence if we do not understand what he himself thinks the argument is – what he believes to be at stake; and that spun out into a 20-year engagement with ‘Middle’ Platonism, and the philosophy and debates of the first centuries of our era more generally. MW: Favourite philosopher (ancient or modern)? Favourite classicist? Why?
George Boys-Stones DPhil 1995 Oxford, Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Durham University, UK, 19992019, joins the U of T as Full Professor. His most recent monograph is Platonist Philosophy, 80 BC to AD 250 (Cambridge UP 2018). Other recent books include coeditorship of Plotinus: The Enneads (Cambridge UP 2018) and co-authorship of The Circle of Socrates: Readings in the First-Generation Socratics (Hackett 2013).
MW: You have degrees in classics and philosophy, and your appointment is 75% classics, 25% philosophy. How do you “identify”? As a classicist? A philosopher? Both? What are your thoughts on the relationship between the two disciplines? GBS: I appreciate the study of the history of philosophy most when its payoff is philosophical and we learn something about the possibilities for good-quality human thinking. Maybe that makes me a philosopher: I hope it does, really. But philosophical exploration always has a cultural context – a context that frames the questions that people ask, and the way they express their differences. So we cannot learn very much from the philosophy of the past without caring for the history and literature in which it is packaged. It would be true to say, then, that it is Ancient Philosophy that I pursue (rather than Medieval or 18th-Century, or 21st-century, come to that) because of a deep and abiding attraction to the Classical world in the first place – and that must make me at least 75% a Classicist too!
MW: You’ve produced a wide array of research, on texts and thinkers both obscure and well known. Do you think there’s any unifying thread connecting your work (besides maybe ‘Platonism’)? Is there a particular piece of research you’re most proud of? GBS: I like to see how debates work. I don’t think I have ever pursued obscurity for its own sake; but take Plato for example: his work involves obvious, first-order engagement with a lot of people who we would think of as ‘obscure’ (Phaedo, Glaucon, Euclides...). But they weren’t obscure to Plato: and how can we even understand Plato if we don’t understand them, and the debates Plato thinks he is having with them? I think my favourite article by me (!) is a piece on Phaedo of Elis [Phronesis 49.1, 2004] – the man behind Plato’s Phaedo: I tried to show that Plato’s dialogue is coloured by Phaedo’s own views (he was a published philosopher himself). This means that we can learn something about Phaedo from the Phaedo – which you might or might not care about for its own sake; but which, at the same time, you actually need to know if you want to see what Plato himself is doing. (This is what led, ultimately, to The Circle of Socrates, a sourcebook on the Socratics which I wrote with my Durham colleague Christopher Rowe: its purpose was not just to rescue some interesting thinkers from obscurity, but to help with Plato – Xenophon too – by by encouraging greater awareness of their rich dialectical context.)
GBS: Ancient philosopher: Carneades: witty, exquisite, devastating. (Probably.) (OK, there are better writers – in fact Carneades didn’t write at all; but then there are better writers than any philosopher, so that had better not be the criterion. . .) I like Scepticism in general – partly because I am myself much more interested in understanding strategies of justification than in knowing who got the right answer.
Modern philosopher: Kierkegaard – what philosophy would have to look like if we took Christianity seriously. Anyway, a keen historical consciousness makes his thought feel to me more urgent and relevant than that of any other writer on ethics I know, ancient or modern. Classicists: Do people have favourite Classicists? I am in awe of Daniel Wyttenbach, whose 200-year-old edition of Plutarch’s Moralia has just about as much to offer us as we have collectively forgotten about it. And I appreciate Housman’s Wildean forays against dilettantism (“To believe that wherever a best MS gives possible readings it gives true readings, and that only where it gives impossible readings does it give false readings, is to believe that an incompetent editor is the darling of Providence” &c.) But now, maybe, is the golden age of literary and cultural criticism: so the current Classical Academy is my collective favourite (I wouldn’t want to go back more than half a generation anyway). MW: You’ve been managing editor of the journal Phronesis for a while now (7.5 years!). What are your scholarly and disciplinary ideals as a journal editor? And any advice for us folks who are starting to try to publish in general? GBS: There was a spoof call that went around in the early days of the internet for a Classical journal to be known as Phthisis, which would only consider articles engaging with an increasingly narrow range of passages from Wilamowitz. Well: not that. We are looking for articles that expand the exegetical horizons, and don’t simply chart ever more inventive courses through positions that are already ‘out there’. Best advice? Think of the reader, and worry more about being useful than being right. (So also: don’t ruin a great 2,000word insight by minutely rehearsing problems in all the alternatives, and turning it into a 12,000-word endurance test.)
MW: What are your thoughts on teaching? Any particular graduate seminar or undergraduate class you’d like to teach? Are there any teachers of yours who have left a lasting impression, or whose style you aspire to emulate?
GBS: I really appreciate the opportunity that teaching gives for serious discussion without the pressure of being held to a particular view myself. It is a purer intellectual exercise than publicationoriented research in that sense. So what I very much enjoy is to teach things I find interesting and useful to know about (it all still very much connects with my research), but which I don’t feel especially inclined to pronounce on – Early Greek Philosophy (I think I have already said I’ll be doing that next year), Socrates, the Hellenistic schools… I quite like working with small or fragmentary corpora in this context too: the room for the exercise of intellectual imagination – and the challenges that brings – is immediately obvious even to a novice; at the same time they can get familiar with all the material, and not worry unduly that the experts have the drop on them. I was taught mostly by David Sedley at Cambridge and Michael Frede at Oxford: from both I learned to see that there are altogether as many advantages as limitations to approaching the evidence without being steeped in existing scholarship. (Of course, it is a remarkable feature of their own work, and that of others I admire, that a talent for the fresh perspective survives their own tremendous accumulation of learning.)
makes you more self aware about your methods and the types of questions you are asking. The Second Sophistic provides especially rich material for someone who is interested in these three areas. Ancient writers in this period are so self-conscious about their authorial position in relation to their predecessors. They reflect on Ancient Greek religion as Greeks far removed from the period that interests them. In fact, there are startling ways in which Second Sophistic writers are the forerunners of modern scholars, who are interested in recovering cultural and religious aspects of the preHellenistic period. They were nostalgic for it in a way not unfamiliar to some scholars. For them the pre-Hellenistic world is recoverable but always mediated through the exegesis of texts, relics, and monuments. Hence the obsession with thaumata as relics of deep antiquity. What’s really interesting is that Second Sophistic writers are “insider-outsiders” to the Greek tradition. Thinking about that persona can help us to theorize our own personas and epistemic positions (as modern scholars of classics): we’re outsiders, temporally and geographically, but we’ve acquired the methods, the linguistic competencies, and the cultural awareness to say something meaningful about the Ancient Greeks. EL: Can you give any specific examples of how modern scholars are like Second Sophistic writers? KY: Modern commentaries: Especially in Homeric commentaries, when modern scholars quote the readings of ancient scholars indiscriminately alongside the interpretation of modern scholars, they treat ancient scholars like our colleagues – there is a tendency to perceive very little epistemic gap between ancient and modern philologists. Or rather, we see ourselves as continuing the tradition established by Alexandrian scholarship.
Kenneth Yu PhD 2018 University. of Chicago, held a postdoctoral fellowship at U of T Mississauga this past year. Dr. Yu has extensive experience of conducting research at international institutions, such as the Collège de France and the Institute of Classical Studies, KU Leuven (Belgium). He has published a number of articles and reviews and is working on finishing his first book, “After Aristotle and before Theology: The Invention of Religion in Hellenistic and Imperial Greece”.
EL: Your research covers a broad temporal scope (including the Classical, Hellenistic and Imperial Greek worlds, as well as the history of classical scholarship) and touches on a variety of genres (comedy, philosophy, technical literature, travel literature). Moreover, you’ve been associated with different academic disciplines (or sub-disciplines), including literature, history, and religion. What are some of the challenges and rewards of working on such diverse material? What common threads run through your work? KY: My interests in Ancient Greek religion and Greek literature developed pari passu. The more I delved into these subjects, the more I realized how complex their relationship is. Greek literature doesn’t capture ancient religion transparently. In order to understand the way literature mediates religious thought worlds, one needs to be sensitive to the way in which these mediations are historically and culturally conditioned. When looking at a particular text or datum, I find it incredibly useful to juggle philological sensitivity with close attention to the historical context. It seemed natural for a scholar of religion who worked primarily on texts to take on both literary and historical hermeneutics.
More doors are opened in this way of approaching Ancient Greek religion, since you can converse with people in three distinct disciplines. This means that a lot of your work is in fact trying to bridge conversations that span different academic domains, which
Ancient antiquarian literature: There was an attitude in the postclassical Greek world that, the more data you collect, the better access you have to ancient worldviews. This encyclopedic mode is passé now, but from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century, from Farnell’s The Cults of the Greek States to Harrison’s Prolegomena, certain strains of classical scholarship was data gathering, creating compendia and handbooks. This is a replica of the ancient antiquarian mode à la Pausanias or Apollodorus. EL: Before coming to Toronto, you studied at the University of Chicago and held research fellowships at the College de France and the University of Leuven. What inspired you to study in Europe? How has being part of these different academic cultures informed your work? KY: In studying classics with scholars outside of your own country, you really get the sense that the Republic of Letters is still alive and well, but I don’t think it’s being taken advantage of fully. If you really take the time to get to know the kind of classical scholarship that different traditions produce, you begin to see how myopic it could be if you don’t meet and collaborate with scholars from different countries.
I decided to go to the Collège de France because I was interested in French classical historiography and had the opportunity to work with a scholar who studied under Dumézil and Vernant. In Leuven, I was working with a professor running the Jacoby Fragments of Greek Historians, in particular the volumes on paradoxography and antiquarianism. So my experience of France and Belgium were very different, because in France I was mainly talking about theory and historiography, while in Leuven I was talking about the nitty-gritty of Greek historical fragments.
6 KY: Ironically, it all began with a curious instance of censorship: I had written an article on Vergil’s Eclogues and mime, in whose
EL: Do you have any current projects that you are working on?
KY: I’m currently transforming my dissertation into a book. My dissertation looked at several technical genres from the postclassical (Hellenistic and Imperial) period, including paradoxography and the Homeric scholia, that began to take an increasingly systematic view of phenomena of myth and cult. My aim was to uncover the conceptual premises, analytical categories, and driving questions and motivations of this new discourse, this new relationship to Greek religion. One of my conclusions that I was surprised by is that this early history of Greek religion was really dominated by Aristotelian scientific and literary methodologies. So in order to do a history of Greek religion you have to know a bit about philosophy, even though these two domains are often separated in classical scholarship.
Projects in the pipeline include a paper on sacrifice and two papers on various aspects of religion in Plato’s Laws: Bacchic dance and blasphemia. I’m also writing reviews of books about Greek myth as a genre, the representation of gods in Homer, and ancient Greek exegetical traditions. EL: What are your impressions of Toronto so far? EY: I love how the University of Toronto is situated in the heart of the city, which is not something I was used to in Chicago, where the university was sort of siloed.
During my free time, I like picking neighborhoods to walk around. One of my favorite areas so far is the eastern part of Toronto, Leslieville and the Beaches. I adore how you can get on the TTC, then emerge from the subway and feel like you’re in a quaint New England town, removed from the city. Recently my partner and I went bird watching at the Leslie Street Spit. I also love the Toronto Islands, especially in the dead of winter after a heavy snowfall. It’s pristine and there’s no slush.
JHI Faculty Research Fellows Three faculty members of the Department of Classics will hold Fellowships at the Jackman Humanities Institute during the Academic Year 2019-2020. They will contribute reflections on the JHI's annual theme "Strange Weather", exploring the impact of the humanities on current discussions about climate change, energy crises, and the uncertainties, degradation and inequality originating therefrom. Ben Akrigg has been awarded a 12-month fellowship with a project focusing on Energy, Economy, and Environment in Ancient Athens. Katherine Blouin (Living on the Edges: Environmental Orientalism and the Ancient Nile Delta) and Victoria Wohl (The Poetics of the Presocratics) will hold 6-month fellowships.
EL: What do you miss most about Paris? KY: Bookstores and bakeries! It’s not just that there are great bookshops, but one gets the feeling that there’s a deep reading culture. For example, when you watch French TV or listen to French radio, lots of programs revolve around books, both contemporary authors and the classics, that is Greek and Latin texts, as well as the French canon, e.g., Zola, Flaubert, Proust, etc. So you’re never away from the book culture. I also love how books are affordable, and how when you go window-shopping classical texts are often displayed. And if you have any suggestions for good bakeries in Toronto, let me know!
Another thing I miss about Paris is the sunset over the Seine – pink looks beautiful on Paris. EL: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not busy with research and teaching?
FIND US ON FACEBOOK Engage with our latest posts including announcements, public lectures, and photos at: https://www.facebook.com/UofTClassics
KY: I travel a lot, and I especially love visiting historic libraries, where books are treated like incredibly valuable objects (I don’t mean in a material sense). I had the pleasure of spending time in the magnificent Prunksaal at the Austrian National Library over Christmas break. Going to historic libraries is like going to a locus amoenus: time just stops; they’re like sanctuaries in the middle of big cities.
I also watch lots of TV and movies, and I read a lot outside of research and teaching. Recently I’ve been reading biographies: Stefan Zweig’s biographies of Marie Antoinette and Montaigne, a biography by Susan Jaques about Napoleon’s relationship to
FROM THE FACULTY BOOKSHELF
Ben Akrigg: Population and Economy in Classical Athens. This is the first comprehensive account of the population of classical Athens in 85 years. The methodology of earlier scholars has been criticised in general terms, but their conclusions have not been seriously challenged. This is the first attempt to review and assess those methodologies and conclusions thoroughly and to set the historical demography of Athens on a firm footing. The main focus is on the economic implications of that demography, but the new conclusions that are presented are of more general relevance to Athenian society and culture. This account establishes that the Athenian population grew very large in the fifth century B.C. before being reduced dramatically in the final three decades of that century. These dynamics had important immediate consequences, but the city of the fourth century was also shaped in fundamental ways by the demographic upheavals of its past.
Seth Bernard: Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy. My book presents a synthetic history of the creation of the Republican city of Rome during the Mid-Republic, from 396 -168 BCE. During this period, Rome established imperial control over Italy and beyond, while this expansion also remade the city itself, turning Rome from an ambitious central Italian settlement into the capital of the Mediterranean world. I sought to describe this transformation, while I recognized that it encompassed important changes along both architectural and socioeconomic lines. The book brings these two narratives together by asking what the physical creation of Rome entailed in human terms: building Rome was expensive, and meeting such outsized costs had significant implications for the people living and working in the city. More particularly, I related fundamental historical innovations like monetization or the rise of slavery to how Romans organized large-scale urban construction on both technological and institutional levels. Looking at these sorts of topics required me to work with a wide range of evidence, from archaeological remains to historical sources, coins, epigraphic material, and so forth. The result, I hope, is a more holistic narrative of a fundamental moment in the development of one of the great Western cities, while the book also intends to offer a new, interdisciplinary methodology studying Roman urbanism.
Ephraim Lytle: A Cultural History of Work in Antiquity. As part of a Bloomsbury series of six volumes exploring the cultural history of work from Antiquity to the Modern Age, the book edited by Eph Lytle (which includes chapters by himself, by faculty members Ben Akrigg and Seth Bernard, and by Philip Sapirstein from the Department of Art History at U of T) focuses on the developments produced in the world of ancient work by social and economic changes, such as urbanization and the growth in market trade. An introduction and nine chapters consider topics such as the emergence of archaeologically distinct workplaces, the existence of diverse workplace cultures that defied dominant gender and other social norms, the relationship between work and human mobility, and the creation of state-sponsored leisure activities offering respite from toil for all social classes. Overall, the volume offers a reappraisal of ancient work and its relationship to Greek and Roman culture.
Matthew P. Loar, Sarah Murray, and Stefano Rebeggiani: The Cultural History of Augustan Rome: Texts, Monuments, and Topography. The volume wades into the fertile waters of Augustan Rome and the interrelationship of its literature, monuments, and urban landscape. It focused on a pair of questions: how can we productively probe the myriad points of contact between textual and material evidence to write viable cultural histories of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and what are the limits of these kinds of analysis? The studies gathered in the book range from monumental absences to monumental texts, from canonical Roman authors such as Cicero, Livy, and Ovid to iconic Roman monuments such as the Rostra, Pantheon, and Solar Meridian of Augustus. Each chapter examines what the texts in, on, and about the city tell us about how the ancients thought about, interacted with, and responded to their urban-monumental landscape.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT
by Christer Bruun
At the April 24th Awards Ceremony, from the left: Christer Bruun (Chair), Ann-Marie Matti (Business Officer), Chiara Graf (Past President of GCCU, our graduate student association), Erik Gunderson (Associate Chair and Graduate Coordinator).
Ann-Marie Matti She sees everything, she hears everything, she remembers everything. And now she has won the Dean’s Outstanding Distinguished Service Award. Only one is given out every year at the University of Toronto for the Faculty of Arts & Science. During my five years as Chair, I’ve come to realize that, among the many other qualities which Ann-Marie possesses, she is completely discreet. “Who is your all-time favourite student?”, “Did we always hire the job candidate who made the best impression on you?”. Nope, she won’t tell me any of this. But what I can say is that when we close the door, we talk about many things. Ann-Marie is our Business Officer and she took up her position in the Department of Classics thirty-one years ago, in 1988. (Some people in our Department weren’t even born yet!). She informs me about the financial state of the Department, but we discuss many other matters too. I have full confidence in her! – this
is what I wrote in the nomination letter I sent to the Dean. And I added: “When we face challenges in our daily work in the Department and at the U of T, Ann-Marie is the adult in the room, time after time”. When Dean Cameron gave out the Award and praised Ann-Marie in a brief speech, why did he not quote that phrase of mine? It’s so true! When putting together the nomination, it was not surprising, but nevertheless amazing, to witness the ease with which my colleague Jonathan Burgess and our former graduate student President Chiara Graf were able to draw on their own experiences of AnnMarie’s professionalism, understanding, and humour. Where did it all originate? In the end I decided that I would best serve the Newsletter’s readers by asking a few questions which take us outside of the walls of the Department.
AMM: My favourite place for sure is my home in Mississauga, the back yard! And in the whole world? That is Canada!
CB: Where did you grow up? AMM: I was born in the town of May Pen in Jamaica, and I spent some very formative years there. But I came to Toronto as a young teenager.
CB: Do you have some special message to convey to the readers of the Newsletter? AMM: Whatever you do in life, you have to enjoy what you are doing! And give it your very best!
CB: What made you apply for the position at the U of T? AMM: I actually began working in U of T’s Human Resources at 215 Huron Street back in 1986. I moved on to the Department of Geology. While there, Classics advertised their position. My U of T friends encouraged me to apply and said that the place is not too big and the people are nice. I had my job interview with John Grant, C. P. Jones, and Christopher McDonough. And my friends proved to be right about the Department!
CB: When you are not in your office at the Department, which is your favourite place in Canada? In the world?
If I am allowed to conclude with a classical passage, I would refer to Petronius’ Cena Trimalchionis, which I read with ten students this spring in LAT 340/440. In chapter 63.9 there is a reference to special kind of mythical or legendary women, called plussciae, literally, “women who know more”. The male protagonists of Petronius’s story are scared witless by such figures. But Ann-Marie, who knows and understands so much, she is on our side, legendary though she already is!
JOHN LUNDON MEMORIAL FELLOWSHIP IN CLASSICS The John Lundon Memorial Fellowship in Classics honors the memory of Dr. John W. R. Lundon, alumnus of the Department of Classics and formerly Professor at the University of Torino. Established thanks to the generosity of the Lundon family, the fellowship will support graduate students who travel to study primary source material for their research (such as papyri, inscriptions, manuscripts). The fund was launched with a reception on May 30, 2019. John Lundon, BA in Classics at the University of Toronto in 1984, moved to Italy after acquiring his MA in Classical Studies at the U of T in 1986. Integration into the Italian academic system required local degrees; in 1999 he acquired his doctorate in Classical Philology from the Univ. of Salerno. By that time he was already an internationally recognized expert on Greek papyrology (no Canadian-born scholar has to date achieved more in the field. He held a prestigious Alexander von Humboldtfellowship at the Univ. of Cologne (Köln) in 2001-02, the beginning of many years of collaboration and friendship with the renowned team of local papyrologists. He also worked at the universities of Pavia and Florence and in 2004-05 was a Junior Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. He became the author of a vast number of scholarly publications on Greek literature and literary commentaries preserved on papyri, the most substantial of which is his The Scholia Minora in Homerum. An Alphabetical List (Köln and Leuven 2012). In 2013 he was appointed Professore Associato di Papirologia at the Università di Torino (Turin). John Lundon passed away much too early on 21 May 2017. The generous donation of the Lundon family means that his memory lives on and that future generations of graduate students in Classics will have a chance to experience, first-hand, research on primary sources.
Photos, from the top: At the reception, John Lundon was remembered by the Department’s Chair Christer Bruun, by his friend and former colleague Prof. Jürgen Hammerstaedt (University of Cologne), and by his sister Dr. Katie Lundon (Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto).
by Emelen Leonard, PhD Student In general, rare book librarians get to do both the traditional and more recent parts of librarianship. These include: acquisition, where I deal one on one with booksellers (who tend to be interesting people) and work with donors to develop collections; cataloguing, which is a great way to get to know your collection; and reference work, helping researchers and students to access the library. I’m also involved in outreach, both through exhibitions and on social media. Currently, I’m in the early stages of planning an exhibition on medieval manuscripts. EL: Have you had any opportunities to use skills from your Classics PhD as a Medieval Manuscript and Early Book Librarian? TP: Like many North American and European rare books libraries, the Fisher has a European focus (although we are trying to diversify our collections). This means that there is a lot in Latin, which was the language of education and scholarship in the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. So reading Latin and Greek is very useful when it comes to cataloguing books, as well as addressing questions from researchers about the contents of books, including inscriptions and marginalia. Marginalia are often in Latin and are very important when thinking about the history of readership. In fact, because paper was so expensive, all sorts of things get written in books, from accounts to poetry. For example, the Fisher library has the second edition of Vesalius’ On Anatomy (de humani corporis fabrica), which includes Vesalius’ own handwritten notes in preparation for the third edition, which was never published. Scholars were very excited because they hoped that Vesalius’ notes would provide insights into the history of science, but it turns out that they were mostly about Latin grammar.
Dr. Timothy Perry Appointed Medieval Manuscript and Early Book Librarian at U of T’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library EL: What drew you to work with rare books? TP: My background is in classics, and after my PhD, I initially worked as a lecturer at Dartmouth. I didn’t see myself as an academic long term, but I enjoyed research, teaching, and interacting with students. I then went back to library school at the University of Toronto’s “iSchool” (Faculty of Information), where I participated in the collaborative program in Book History and Print Culture. This path appealed to me because it allowed me to apply my classics skills in a different, but still academic, setting.
EL: What does your job involve on a day-to-day basis? What are the most enjoyable and/or exciting parts of your job? TP: There’s a great deal of variety in terms of what I get to do. During term, I spend a lot of time teaching classes that visit the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. I really enjoy this, and not having to mark papers is an added bonus!
EL: Do you have any favorite items in the Fisher Rare Book Library? Anything of particular interest for Classics researchers? TP: There’s great stuff for Classics researchers, and I’m always discovering new things! During my masters, I did work on a 14th century manuscript of a Latin translation of Euclid, which included a very nice portrait and was beautifully produced and illuminated.
Recently, I’ve acquired early, illustrated editions of Virgil and Horace, the latter featuring exquisite hand painted woodcuts. They include all sorts of marginal notes and annotations, so they’re very interesting for studying the early modern reception of Latin poetry. We also have a very good Petronius collection, which was assembled by an old professor in the Classics Department. It includes one of the earliest printed editions of Petronius, from 1499, as well as the first good edition of the Cena Trimalchionis, which was discovered in the 17th century.
A SAMPLING OF CLASSICS-RELATED ITEMS FROM THE FISHER COLLECTION
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ALUMNI Dr. Emilia Barbiero Since completing her Ph.D in Classics at Toronto in 2014, Emilia A. Barbiero has held various academic positions throughout the U.S. and was most recently Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati. She is thrilled to now return to her second home in New York City, where in September 2019 she will take up a tenure-track position at New York University’s Department of Classics. Emilia continues to work on Plautus as well as on letters both Greek and Roman.
Image from Horace. Horatii Flacci Venusini poete lirici opera cum quibusdam annotationibus. Strasbourg: Johann Reinhard, called Grüninger, 1498.
Dr. Marion Durand
Image from Cicero. Here begynneth the prohemye vpon the reducynge, both out of latyn as of frensshe in to our englyssh tongue, of the polytyque book named Tullius de senectute ... Westminster: Enprynted by ... William Caxton, 1481.
After defending her dissertation, Language and Reality: Stoic Semantics Reconstructed, in June 2018 and holding a Lecturer position in our own department this year, Marion is headed to Oxford this fall. She will be taking up a position at the University of Oxford as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy, Tutorial Fellow in Ancient Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, and Associate Lecturer at St John's College. She is glad to be returning to England, where she studied as an undergraduate, and thrilled to be joining a thriving academic community. There she looks forward to continuing work on her book project on the semantics of Stoic propositions.
Dr. Mariapia Pietropaolo
Above two Images from Euclid. Elementa. France, 14th century.
After receiving her PhD in Classics from Toronto, Mariapia spent three years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Missouri. There she taught a variety of courses in Greek and Latin language and literature, while carrying out research on Latin poetry. In July 2018 she returned to Canada to join the Department of Classics at McMaster University as an Assistant Professor. Mariapia is delighted to be a member of such a dynamic and exciting department. Her research interests are focused on the poets of the Augustan age, viewed in the context of modern and ancient aesthetic theory, on which she has published several articles. Her current projects include a book on aspects of grotesque aesthetics in Roman love elegy and a study of the dynamics of reflection and self-refection in Ovid’s poetry. In both projects Mariapia is concerned not only with the rhetoric of composition but also and primarily with the aesthetic experience that poetry was intended to generate.
GRADUATE STUDENT NEWS
GRADUATE STUDENT FOCUS Kat Furtado (PhD Student) and Lorenza Bennardo interviewed Brad Hald and Chiara Graf, the Jackman Humanities Institute’s outgoing and incoming Chancellor Jackman Graduate Student Fellows. dissertation. What appealed to me about looking at emotion in Thucydides is that he’s typically associated with fiercely rational interpretations of history. At least since the 19th Century he’s been cited as the prime example of a ‘scientific’ historian, and was used in arguments that there can be an objective way of examining history. So I like looking at emotion in an author who’s famous for his dispassionate, “scientific,” approach to history (which is obviously a huge fallacy; there’s no objective approach to anything.) I also liked how difficult he was. I took a reading class on Thucydides before grad school, and was drawn, on maybe a superficial level, to the complexity of the prose, especially in the funeral oration. I love puzzles, and it’s like a puzzle, putting every sentence together. KF: I’ve heard you were at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. What was that like?
Brad Hald KF: Could you give a brief account of your research interests? BH: That’s an excellent question — if only I knew. The dissertation is on sense-perception, cognition, and emotion in Thucydides. It tracks the interactions between these three categories and makes an implicit case that Thucydides is thinking about the sorts of psychological processes that are typically associated with Aristotle — but Thucydides had these things in mind a couple generations earlier and in a literary genre that’s usually kept separate from philosophy. I’m looking in particular at fear, the most ubiquitous emotion in Thucydides: it’s the reason for the war starting in the first place, because the Spartans were afraid of the Athenians getting more powerful, ‘getting bigger’, as he phrases it. And it colors episodes of history throughout the whole text.
KF: Why did you pick emotions in Thucydides? BH: I took a seminar that Victoria Wohl gave about emotions in Thucydides, which wound up being the foundation of the
14 in arguments that there can be an objective way of examining history. So I like looking at emotion in an author who’s famous for
BH: The program is basically a set of trips to different regions of Greece, with visits to archaeological sites, ranging from neolithic to Byzantine, even modern sites. Over the year, you learn a lot of basic archaeological approaches, and you hear about the major historical events that occurred at each site. You can read about history until you’re blue in the face, but it takes on a completely different, concrete dimension when you’re confronted with the sites where these things actually happened, what they look like, the full sensory experience of the places. They take on a three-dimensionality, which is exactly what I was hoping to get out of the program. I did the year-long program (there’s also a summer one) just after my major field. It was good to get away from the crush of the major field and exams, and to try and think about the bigger project and what I wanted to accomplish with it; to take the pressure off, and be exposed to different approaches and material. There was some separation, but not far from Classics or even Thucydides, and I was able to get a little perspective and look on my research with fresh eyes.
KF: I know you were watching Game of Thrones this term: what did you think about the ending? BH: I felt like the ending was a joke. I was disappointed in their treatment of Daenerys, and with the gender politics in general. They had an opportunity to do something interesting, but in the end the two most powerful women were a) governed entirely by their emotions, and b) pure evil. We just threw all the nuance away so the Stark men could win, and Bran felt like a twist for twist’s sake. My earlier hot take, even before the end, was that the Night King was the most interesting character on the show. I wanted to know more about the Night King. He was a looming threat that gave the whole show tension, and a deeper significance than human politics alone, and all we got out of him was a smirk. Anyway, Team Daenerys forever.
CG: My dissertation applies an approach informed by critical theory to Seneca’s philosophical, scientific, and literary works. Because it brings together a variety of ancient and modern genres, I think it lends itself well to interdisciplinary environments like the Northrop Frye Centre. This past year, I and the other doctoral fellows each gave a talk at the NFC, and it was fascinating to see the surprising connections between our dissertations! For example, in her talk, Carrie Reese, a doctoral student in Cinema Studies, used Lucretius’ account of Epicurean atomic theory to interpret X-Ray, a piece of performance art by Ana Mendieta. I’m looking forward to making more interdisciplinary connections during the upcoming year, which I will spend as a doctoral fellow at the JHI.
Chiara Graf LB: In 2018, you were awarded the John J. Winkler Memorial prize. Can you talk about the prize and your visit to Oberlin College? What did you take away from the experience? CG: The Winkler Prize is an award for a graduate paper in Classics that takes an unconventional approach to the field. I won the award last year for my Major Field paper, entitled “Seneca’s Ugly Feelings,” which applies the ideas of affect theorist Sianne Ngai to Seneca’s Natural Questions. Every year, the winner of the award is invited to give his or her paper at Oberlin College; I presented my paper there in October. I found the Classics department at Oberlin to be very warm and welcoming! The highlight of my visit was probably getting to co-teach a class on Seneca’s letters with Prof. Christopher Trinacty. I had a great time engaging with students and getting to know the undergraduate culture at an institution so different from U of T.
LB: You were also one of the Northrop Frye Fellows at Victoria College in 2018-2019. How did this fellowship, that encourages interdisciplinary approaches to the Humanities, provide benefits to your research?
LB: Let’s talk more about your upcoming Chancellor Jackman Graduate Student Fellowship, then. What are your wish and expectations for next year, not just in terms of research projects, but also for enhancing your profile as a scholar in a wider sense? CG: The JHI fellowship next year involves working in an office at the Jackman Humanities Institute and engaging with the research of the other fellows--in particular, we will all attend weekly lunches, during which each fellow will give a presentation on his or her research. The JHI’s annual theme this year is “Strange Weather.” The residential fellows will all be pursuing projects that treat unusual natural phenomena and the personal, philosophical, and religious questions that arise therefrom. My own dissertation focuses on Seneca’s treatment of our affective relationship to puzzling natural phenomena such as comets and earthquakes. I am really looking forward to getting to know the other fellows and hearing about their work on this topic! I intend to spend the year finishing my dissertation and beginning work on an article-length project, which will treat Seneca’s discussion of the Nile.
GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE: CLASSICS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE by Joseph Gerbasi, PhD Student This year’s graduate conference was an example of how classical studies can be informed by and speak meaningfully to the problems of the modern world – in this case, the emerging theorizing about anthropogenic and epoch-making climate change. Our forum hosted new and creative research, influenced by this theorizing, in the study of ancient literature, philosophy, history, and archeology, and presented by scholars from all over North America and Europe. Our own Prof. Katherine Blouin set the stage: she introduced us to some of the current discourse about the Anthropocene, cautioning against an overly sensationalist reading of environmental change, and supported this caution with a case study of settlements in the shifting climate of ancient Egypt. Saturday morning began with a rethinking of the traditional dichotomy between nature and culture, in the margins of imaginative representations – first in the Greek satyr play, then in the disruptive rivers of Ovidian poetry. Next was a panel on the sacred, traditional locus of interaction between the human and the natural. We considered the evidence for beliefs about the earth being a source of gender-inflected magic; we were guided through Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, puzzling over the idea that nature may be a kind of theophany; we ended up contemplating the sacralization of certain spaces and objects in Roman Spain -- einai gar kai entautha theous! After lunch, we explored, with a Latourian eye, some late-antique legal literature on animal hunting; then an ancient case study in disaster capitalism, with an analysis of wealth inequality following an earthquake on the insula of Menander. The fourth panel of the day focused on one of the great sources of our thinking about nature, Aristotle: first, with sublime visual aids, we considered Aristotle’s theory of celestial bodies as a response to the retrograde motion that challenged cosmic symmetry; then, grappled with the paradox of Aristotle’s denial of species-extinction, in view of his conception of climate change; the final presentation of this panel continued to push at the boundaries of Aristotle’s climatological thinking, asking how collective memory operates in a world of periodically emerging and collapsing civilizations. While for the most part the presentations so far had considered the ancient in light of the modern, the final panel went in reverse, thinking the modern with the ancient: we began by questioning the possibility (and desirability) of a salutary neo-platonism in the context of neo-liberalism; we concluded by considering whether modern scientific discourse follows the narrative logic of tragedy or of epic, or indeed whether tragedy and epic are really just two sides of the same dialectical coin. The day culminated in Prof. Brooke Holmes’ keynote: a deep-dive into the historical emergence of stoic sympathy, the notion that all of nature is constitutionally interrelated; this was followed by the prospects of the study of antiquity in a post-human future, an exhortation to “stay with the trouble”, and much more to think about...
Joseph Gerbasi giving opening remarks.
Prof. Katherine Blouin (University of Toronto) delivering the opening keynote, “Before the Anthropocene? Social Responses to Environmental Changes in Roman Egypt”.
While it is impossible to convey, in summary form, the plurality, interconnections, and depth of the conversations that took place, let these hints suffice to show: the study of antiquity can be more than antiquarian! Many thanks to everyone who participated! Prof. Brooke Holmes (Princeton University) presenting the closing keynote, “On Sympathy: or, the Concept of Nature”.
Graduate students from the Classics and Art History departments took part in a “virtual 5k” fundraiser this past November called “Greeced Lightning” in support of The Sportula, an initiative that seeks to increase access to Classics by providing microgrants to economically marginalized undergraduates. You can learn more about The Sportula at: https://thesportula.wordpress.com/
Congratulations to our MA graduates this year: Willem CrispinFrei, Sean Kamani-Stewart, Matthew Ludwig, Andrew Mayo, Emily Mohr, and Skylar Oldreive.
From the left: Rachel Dewan, Emily Mohr, Chiara Graf, and Ted Parker.
CONVOCATION Fall Convocation in November 2019 (from the left): Brad Hald, Marion Durand, Prof. Ben Akrigg, Chiara Graf, and Nicole Daniel.
Congratulations to Jeff Easton, who graduated in November 2018 and will be taking up a post as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ancient History in the Department of Classics at Washington and Lee University (in Virginia).
Congratulations to Matt Watton, winner of the Sidney Robinson Prize in Ancient Philosophy
LATIN CROSSWORDS by Matt Watton, PhD Student 1
1. ___ et amo 4. Cognomen in the gens Decia, or what might frighten an elephantus 5. How to turn seeing into seeming 6. Illmatic rapper
1. A sneeze or an eagle on the right, e.g. 2. ___ mater 3. Her cult returned Lucius to his proper form
1. He wanted his magnum opus to be burned (sp.) 7. Home for μέλιττα
8. Philosopher who fell in a well 9. Aeschylean lamenter 10. He was killed by his son
1. Like the Sybil of Cumae 2. Spartan magistrate 3. Sulla’s seas: ma ___ 4. He wrote a book called On My Own Books 5. Shared trait for Achilles and Juno 6. A Platonic dialogue on friendship, or the disintegration of a ruptured cellular membrane
ACROSS 1. Boeotian Bard 7. What is emitted by Philoctetes’ foot
8. What is emitted by everything (according to Epicurus) 10. The 6ix (abr.) 8
11. Meaning of nec, sometimes 12. Head of an ill-fated house
1. Statius or Cinna, e.g. 2. The ___, novel by Dostoevsky or Batuman 3. Even Homer does it 4. Stingless analogue for the idle man in Hesiod W&D, 304-5 5. Linear ___ 6. βρυχᾶται (according to Hesychius, properly used of a lion) 9. Musician Reed
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT NEWS
The Assembly of the Plebs.
Pub Night laughter!
2018-2019 CLASSU Senate
Senators in their shirts.
by Irum Chorghay, BA Student
CLASSU is excited to report another wonderful year for our undergraduate constituents, who continue to show a keen interest in the field of Classics and our department here at the UofT. Foremost, we are thrilled with the successful execution of a fifth volume of our undergraduate journal, Plebeian, featuring engaging papers from seven strong authors. These writers shared talks on their work to the ever-growing audience at our annual conference, the Assembly of the Plebs, on the Ides of March. The journal was launched at our thrilling and heartwarming Spring Elections & Social, featuring democratic competition and followed by cake and farewells to our graduating members. Copies of Plebeian Volume V can now be found catalogued at E.J. Pratt or in our minilibrary in the CLASSU Lounge (Rm LI 009). CLASSU hosted a variety of academic and social initiatives throughout the year including Latin sight-reading practice with graduate students Adam Barker and Drew Davis, pub nights, TEASSUs (tea and a study space), and more! In particular, we are especially pleased with the turn out and support towards our academic seminars, both Queering the Stoic Sage, hosted in the fall by Dr. J Oliver and Chiara Graf, and Underwater Archaeology & Oracles, hosted in the winter by Prof. Carrie Fulton, Naomi Neufeld, and Justin Hamblin-Yule. Currently, CLASSU is compiling our annual Anti-Calendar. As always, many thanks to the ongoing support of the Classics Department and the GCCU. We are looking forward to many more great things in the coming year!
Graduand celebration at the Departmental end-of-semester party.
INAUGURAL SUMMER LANGUAGE BURSARY RECIPIENT With the goal of trying to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in the study of Ancient Greek and Latin, the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto now offers a limited number of summer bursaries to cover tuition and more. This first year we gave out five, and Rachel Smith from Winnipeg tells us about her background and experience. began to pursue certain interests, and abandon others. I was bright, starting school early and jumping ahead a grade in middle school, but academics, much to the chagrin of my family, became lesser in my eyes, vain. And although unicorns are very hard to come by, children in need of safe, parental figures are not. I began spending much of my time in high school and all of my time after graduating (in 2011) with children in my city’s inner core, families in isolated northern communities, and those living in the slums of Caramidar, Romania. Little else felt quite so urgent or worthwhile, including my own education. And so for over ten years I ran day-camps, family visits, Bible studies, music lessons, drama clubs and homework programs. I hugged, loved, cooked for, played with and prayed for every child with whom I was given the opportunity to. Nevertheless, for all of the fun that we had together and all of deep talks we shared with one another, the kids of my city were starving. They were starved of hope, of dignity, of self-discipline, of purpose, and even of innocence, but what they were starving for was vision: dreams. When sitting with a student one-on-one, the question would often come up: “What are you passionate about? What is it that you dream about doing—as a job or not?” The answer, whether given in jest or sobriety, was almost always, some variation of: looking away and saying, “I don’t know,” “I don’t care,” or “Nothing.” Whether “nothing,” meant that they could not see their future or “nothing” was all that they saw for their future, I wondered why these precious, brilliant children, some of whom I’d known since they were small, were perishing.
Rachel Smith I Have A Dream… Dreams are not hard to come by. What is difficult is to remain captured by a dream long enough to see it happen. I would not say that I dreamt of Classics, or even that this particular field of study passed my mind beyond my having glossed it in the academic calendar when planning my courses for the year. Yet here I am, in the summer of 2019, spending my spare moments pouring over Latin prose and poetry, and questioning the content of Cicero and Vergil. Not to say that it hasn’t been a dream: the downtown University of Toronto campus is full of sprawling buildings, breathtaking architecture and poignantly placed plants. The building in which the Classics department resides possesses the kind of class one would expect of its namesake. Students are bright; professors are charming; night life and day life are just that: lively; and the coffee is delicious. However, when, in the fall of 2018, I enrolled not only in one, but in two Classics language courses (Intro Greek and Intro Latin), I had not envisioned this outcome. Nevertheless, I see now that these decisions to pursue Classical languages have changed the trajectory both of my academic studies (that is, my dreams) and of my perspective on academics as a whole. Much of my life I dreamt of the future, imagining myself as an example I’d seen before: the CEO of an important company; an inspiring teacher doting on her students; a passionate preacher moved to action; a tenacious lawyer fighting for justice; the owner of a unicorn (that must have been on TV); that really cool new kid in high school; a safe, motherly figure. It was out of such dreams that I
began to pursue certain interests, and abandon others. I was bright, starting school early and jumping ahead a grade in middle school, but academics, much to the chagrin of my family, became lesser in
In September of 2017, much to the joy of my immediate and extended family, I began my first year of post-secondary education. I needed the skills to help the families and the children I worked with, yes, but I also needed to be an example to them of what education looks like, and why having an education is important. Education is the means by which cycles of poverty are broken. Most recently I began serving on the board of Freedom International School, an emerging, Independent Christian high school for students who find themselves significantly behind their peers academically. This school was founded by a woman by the name of Francine Wiebe, in response to the outcry of parents in the community whom she had been working with for several years and who recently immigrated to Canada. 100% of its current student population came as refugees to Canada from war-torn countries.
Thus the mandate of the school is to equip its students with everything they need to be successful for life here in Canada. The dropout rate of this demographic within the public school system is atrociously high and the literacy rate disturbingly low. Francine emphasizes linguistic and cultural literacy, as well as community and belonging within the classroom, and the results have been, in excess, exceptional. I cannot help but think of the way studying Classical languages, reading Classical literature and learning pieces of Classical history has breathed meaning into my Western experience. This seems like a quaint, perhaps even exaggerative statement, yet I do not make it lightly: as foreign as the subject matter was, as irrelevant as it seemed to me at first (as a black, Christian woman of immigrant parents, from a family of twelve, living in the inner-city of Winnipeg, Manitoba), my recent introduction to Classical literature has taught me that there is a world by which my own world is constantly affected, but one which I had never been given opportunity or cause to accept; it contextualized cultural interactions and increased my command of the English language. Had I not stumbled over the doorframe of the Classical Department at the University of Winnipeg, I would not have sought it out. And that is a shame. While sitting and chatting with my Aunty Annette and my Grandmother Jean (who just turned 104 years old) here in Toronto, I learned that Classical studies were a part of their respective upbringings in the Caribbean, which they looked upon with fondness (especially Latin). Individuals like Dr. King Jr. and Ms. Maya Angelou referred quite knowledgeably to the philosophers and orators of old in their writings, speeches and poems. Nevertheless, I did not see myself in the Rome or Greece I hear about. Not in its pictures, not in its documentaries, not in its stories. Moved as I was by the imagery, stirred as I was by the poetry, it was the heritage of Europeans and White-American prep school attendees; it did not belong to me. Or so I told myself. Thus, there was one more level of other-ness which kept me at bay: I always, subconsciously felt rejected by Classics. Receiving this bursary to explore, with open arms, the rich linguistic history of Vergil and Cicero this summer did much to remove that stigma within me. However, the unprovoked discovery of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena on the shelves of the Classics Library’s basement studio one afternoon this summer moved my heart almost to tears. If there might have been anything that could mark me to feel welcomed and validated in Classical studies, it was that book—that mirror. And so I have a dream: I have a dream that our youth will see examples that cause them to hope again; read stories that stir them wind up introducing them to the English language again. I dream that joy and dignity would swell in their hearts when they hear of discoveries like Martin Bernal’s. I dream that the argument of “White Athena” vs. “Black Athena” would come to its head as new methods and ideas emerge within scholarship. I dream of making a difference, of being an example, and yes, at times of unicorns (although not that often). I guess I still have a lot of dreams, both new and old. Thank you to the faculty and staff of the Classics Department at the University of Toronto for a truly lovely summer. I will look back on this season with great fondness, because it has caused me to look forward with a new perspective. - Rachel Smith
Prof. Alexander Dalzell (1925-2019) The Department of Classics at the University of Toronto mourns the passing of Alexander Dalzell (May 8, 1925 – May 8, 2019), Professor Emeritus of Classics at Trinity College of the University of Toronto. Professor Dalzell was born in Belfast, N. Ireland, where he was educated at Methodist College, while his B.A., M.A., and B.Litt (1956) were from Trinity College Dublin. He held the position of Assistant Lecturer at King’s College London (1951-53) and at the University of Sheffield (1953-1954) before moving to Canada and Trinity College. After being Lecturer 1954-1956, he was appointed Assistant Professor in 1956, held the rank of Associate Professor 1963-1968, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1968. In his college, Professor Dalzell’s presence was great; he was Dean of Arts at Trinity College 1968-1973 and Vice-Provost 1972-1979, and he was Acting Provost on several occasions. In recognition of his service, he later was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College. Alexander Dalzell played an important role also in the life of the Classical Association of Canada, serving as its Treasurer 1958-1960, as its Vice-President in 1978-1980, and as the President of the Association in 1980-1982. He made a large contribution to the journal Phoenix, serving as Review Editor and Associate Editor of Phoenix 1960-1964 and as the Editor of the journal for seven years, 19641971. Later, he was a member of the Publications Committee of the American Philological Association 1981-1984, and he served the APA in other capacities as well. The scholarship of Professor Dalzell focused on Latin literature of the republican period, especially on Lucretius, and he published several articles in Hermathena, Classical World, and two in Phoenix (1956, 1960). He was the author of the chapter on Lucretius in The Cambridge History of Latin Literature (1982), and edited a volume in honour of G.M.A. Grube (70) in 1969. Professor Dalzell became a member of the Editorial Board for the publication of the Collected Works of Erasmus in 1982, and documents preserved in his file in the Department of Classics show his active engagement in this enterprise, including managing grants awarded by SSHRC Dalzell supervised several doctoral dissertations, among them those by C. J. McDonough and B. C. Verstraete. He took early retirement in 1988. Professor Alexander Dalzell passed away in Fredericton, NB, where a memorial service was held in Christ Church Cathedral. An obituary was published in The Globe and Mail on May 11, 2019.
CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS
CLASSICS AND THE WORLD TODAY 3: LOCAL IDENTITIES, MOVEMENT AND GLOBAL CONNECTIONS IN ANTIQUITY by Alison Cleverley, PhD Student
The third edition of “Classics and the World Today” was held on October 25–26, 2018 at the University of Toronto Mississauga. At the opening event, approximately 250 guests from universities within the GTA, local high schools, and members of the public from Peel Region joined speakers Professor Elena Isayev (University of Exeter) and Professor Miguel John Versluys (Leiden University). Prof. Isayev discussed what compels communities to extend hospitality and asylum. By interspersing ideas from modernity and antiquity, she provided insights into several examples of displaced asylum-seekers, and the respective responses by those from whom help was sought. Prof. Versluys’s talk considered how cultural connections produce new cultural forms and identities. He historicized globalization and connectivity, and emphasized that globalization does not necessarily mean standardization, nor is it an inherently valueladen concept. Rather cultures can clash or embed in either productive or problematic ways. After a brief response and an open question period, the discussion continued over a convivial reception. These themes were renewed the following day, when about 30 advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty from the graduate departments of Classics, Near and Middle Eastern Civilization and the Department for the Study of Religion participated in a workshop led by Professors Isayev and Versluys.
This seminar debated the methodology and theorization of globalization, multiculturalism, connectivity and its relevance for the study of Ancient History. Prof. Versluys led a discussion about the possible reinventions of history, the reinterpretations of cultures, and how historians interpret multiculturalism. The group studied the specific example of the building of Nemrud Dağ by the kings of Commagene and their attempts to incorporate different artistic styles and languages, thus presenting themselves as globalized. Prof. Isayev challenged the group to consider modern refugee experiences and stories alongside ancient narratives of resident aliens described by authors such as Plautus, and discussed laws from antiquity which controlled the citizens of a place, not the outsiders, in contrast with today’s laws on immigration and border control. Both events encouraged their audiences to be aware of circumstaces in which tradition is never static despite appearance, how and when refugees can be active agents, and where a multivalency of interpretations exist. The interdisciplinary nature of Prof. Isayev’s and Prof. Versluys’s work enabled a rich discussion that crossed temporal and disciplinary boundaries. As both history and the methods of studying history shed light on modern concerns, and modern concerns in turn impact the ways historians approach history and use ancient evidence, the Classics and the World Today
events attempt to bring forward new ways of realizing the relevance of the past to present-day students. These events also encouraged participants to consider these themes and their impacts outside of the official settings of the seminars by incorporating spaces for informal discussion on walks and over dinner. The organizers are grateful to the office of the Dean of UTM for continued support for these events and look forward to welcoming all those interested in the Ancient Mediterranean World at Classics and the World Today 4 in the Fall of 2019.
GREEK STUDY DAY by Emelen Leonard, PhD Student The first Greek Study Day was convened by Professor Martin Revermann at UTM on March 22, 2019 with the generous support of the Department of Historical Studies and the Dean’s Office. Organized in conjunction with Revermann’s Greek literature seminar but open to all, the Study Day included close readings of two texts from the postclassical Greek world: the Icaromenippus, a tale of lunar travel by the first century CE Syrian satirist Lucian, and the Mimiambi, mimes depicting raunchy scenes of everyday life by the Hellenistic poet Herodas. Professor Ralph Rosen of the University of Pennsylvania and Professor Amy Richlin of UCLA were invited to lead discussions of these texts, offering students a valuable opportunity to experience different teaching styles whilst learning from renowned scholars in the field. However, the Greek Study Day was not only intellectually stimulating (and useful for students preparing for their reading list exams), but also great fun. Under the enthusiastic direction of Richlin, students participated in a flamboyant (and metrical) dramatization of a pimp’s trial, and attendees of the workshop had the opportunity to continue their discussions in a more sympotic setting.
MAKE A DONATION Please consider supporting the Department of Classics and its students through the Universityâ€™s online donation portal: https://donate.utoronto.ca/give/show/70 All donations of $25 or more will receive a tax receipt from the University of Toronto.
WITH YOUR HELP, WE HAVE LAUNCHED A NEW INITIATIVE The Department of Classics has commited funding toward bursaries for undergraduate students interested in studying introductory Ancient Greek and Latin at the University of Toronto this summer. With the goal of trying to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in the study of Ancient Greek and Latin, the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto was able to offer a limited number of bursaries in amounts ranging from as much as $1,500 (one term) to $3,000 (two terms) to cover tuition and more, for deserving students both from the U of T and from other institutions. Students were asked to apply for these bursaries in March by submitting a cover letter which briefly explained their interests in taking introductory Ancient Greek and/or introductory Latin (e.g., academic background, current interests in classical antiquity or related fields, plans for future study). They were also asked to describe ways in which they might contribute to diversity (e.g., on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status). If you have any questions about these new bursaries and how you can support future initiatives like this one, please contact the Departmentâ€™s Interim Chair, Professor Jonathan Burgess, at: email@example.com.
UPCOMING EVENTS & NEWS The 4th annual Classics and the World Today will be held Fall 2019 at the Department of Historical Studies (Classics), University of Toronto Mississauga. Details TBA on the Departmental website and Facebook page.
The next Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of Canada (CAC) will be hosted by University of Victoria, Victoria, BC in May 2020.
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Society of Classical Studies (SCS) Joint Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, DC from January 2-5, 2020. U of T Reception and list of our speakers TBA on the Departmental website and Facebook page.
The annual Undergraduate Student Conference, “The Assembly of the Plebs VI” will be held Spring 2020 at the Department of Classics, University of Toronto.
A list of U speakers TBA on the Departmental website and Facebook page.
Details TBA on the Departmental website and Facebook page.
STAY CONNECTED Classics Alumni & Friends, be sure to get our latest news and event invitations by ensuring we have your current address and e-mail on file. Please update your contact information here: http://alumni.artsci.utoronto.ca/update-your-contact-information
QUESTIONS? For more information regarding the content of this volume of CLASSICS, the Department of Classics newsletter, please contact: Lorenza Bennardo Assistant Professor 125 Queen’s Park Toronto, ON M5S 2C7 firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 946-0312 Comments, suggestions, or news to share for future issues? Please contact us by e-mail at: email@example.com