Pasts Imperfect (8.19.21)
Addressing Pedagogy in a Pandemic
The start of the fall semester looms large or may have already commenced for many of us this week. Whether in-person or online, there is still a high degree of anxiety over the fact we will be teaching in the midst of a pandemic once again. The Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) had a pedagogy workshop led by Amy Pistone and Ellen Lee on Monday of this week. They offer more teaching resources at their new website. Don’t forget that the Association of Ancient Historians has a syllabus archive or that the Ancient World Mapping Center has a cache of free maps to use. As for open access images? You still can’t go wrong with the gigantic linked database at Europeana.eu.
CW: Human Remains photographs below in connection to Pompeii
Seen on the Internet
Over at Hyperallergic, Chiara Sulprizio discusses why Ancient Greece and Rome are having a comeback in the world of animation. Why is there an animated antiquity boom at the moment? It may be the pandemic, but as Sulprizio notes, “A deeper driver of this phenomenon may be the desire to escape from the uncertainty of the present into the familiar and comforting stories of the ancient past.”
Over at Nature, African scientists are addressing the lack of scientific terms in African languages through a project called Decolonise Science, which hopes to translate 180 scientific papers into 6 African languages spoken by over 98 million people: isiZulu and Northern Sotho from southern Africa; Hausa and Yoruba from West Africa; and Luganda and Amharic from East Africa.
They seem to have found more things at Pompeii, y’all.
Unless you have been living under a rock that lacks adequate wifi, you have seen Lizzo and Cardi B become Greek goddesses in the “Rumors” video. Aimee Hinds Scott delves a bit deeper into the video and the broader context of Black classical receptions in this Twitter thread.
As heard on NPR, mummified parrots demonstrate the long distance trade networks of Ancient South America. Scientists studying two dozen scarlet macaws and Amazon parrots discovered at various sites in northern Chile's Atacama Desert reveal an extensive commercial exchange of the birds. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
“During a period between the years 1100 and 1450, Atacama communities used long caravans of llamas to transport the precious cargo, trekking more than 500 miles on a route from the Amazon rainforest, through the craggy Andes mountain range, to the harsh desert terrain.”
Scholar to Know:
Susan Rahyab is a PhD student in the classical studies program at Columbia University. Trained as a historian, she focuses on the administrative, social, and cultural history of Greco-Roman Egypt. Her interdisciplinary research seeks to better understand Ptolemaic and Roman administration, the relationship between writing and power, and public archives in the ancient Mediterranean. She is interested in the use of archives as tools of state legitimation, the censorship of writing, and the placement of provincial elites in municipal offices.
Her current research considers the place of state notaries within the socio-economic elite in Roman Egypt. This study traces important mechanics of empire—record keeping and the use of provincial elites in civic administration—as well as aspects of the lived experience of the individuals vital to this empire of records.
New Journal Issues Online August 12th through 18th curated by @YaleClassicsLib
Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies Vol. 64, No. 1 (June 2021) The Ancient Scholia to Homer’s Iliad: Exegesis and Interpretation
Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada Vol. 17, No. 3 (2020)
Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural Vol. 10, No. 1 (2021) The Supernatural and Uncanny in Classical Antiquity
Also the new #openaccess journal: Old World: Journal of Ancient Africa and Eurasia gets underway from the Research Centre for History and Culture in Beijing and Brill Publishing.
Conferences and Lectures of Interest
The next iteration of the RaceB4Race conference series will be at Rutgers on October 19-22, 2021 and focuses on “Region and Enmity”.
The lineup of speakers is a mix of medievalists and those who study antiquity . Profs. Kelly Nguyen (University of California, Berkeley) and Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton University) are slated to speak, along with Yonatan Binyam (University of California, Los Angeles), Allison Blakely (Boston University), Ireri E. Chávez-Bárcenas (Bowdoin College), Diego Luis (Davidson College), Ruen-chuan Ma (Utah Valley University), Bindu Malieckal (Saint Anselm College), Kristina Richardson (Queens College CUNY), Miguel A. Valerio (Washington University in St. Louis), Cristi Whiskey (University of California, Los Angeles), Shao-yun Yang (Denison University) with a keynote from artist Shahzia Sikander.
Pitches: A reminder that the Public Books section, "Antiquities", is now live and taking pitches for articles to be published in early 2022. You can also pitch to our “Pasts Imperfect” LARB Column by emailing PastsImperfect@gmail.com. Or you can just email us a pitch you want us to help you get published elsewhere.
See you next week!