Monday, April 13, 2020

Calls for Papers for the January 2021 SCS Meeting

Ariana Traill, the Vice President for Education, Society for Classical Studies (SCS), would like to draw your attention to two Calls for Papers for the Annual SCS meeting in Chicago, January 2021. K-12 teachers are particularly encouraged to submit an abstract. They are due April 21. One is a chance to give a lightning talk about a favorite (or least favorite) textbook. The other is a chance to talk about handling difficult topics in the classroom. 

Under this year’s difficult circumstances, the program committee understands that contributors may not have the time or access to resources to prepare as they would normally and intend to take this into account in evaluating abstracts.

The full text and links are included below.


Topic: Greek and Latin Texts

SCS Committee Panel
Organized by the Committee on College and University Education

Organizer: Ariana Traill

Call for Papers
In this age of textbook proliferation, we are constantly called to decide on the ‘best’ textbook for beginning Latin or Greek – for our own classes, our programs, online teaching, students in other programs, community members, outreach programs, and ever more unusual course configurations, whether print, online, hybrid, or a class that “throws out the textbook” in favor of instructor created materials. We encounter students who have learned from all conceivable methods – not just the old standbys of grammar translation. reading methods, and hybrids of the two), but variations of Rouse’s “direct method”, comprehensible input, videogaming (e.g., Operation Lapis) and even commercial products like Rosetta Stone. This panel offers an opportunity for short, but intensive conversations about the books we rely on to introduce our students to Latin and Greek. The lightning talk format will maximize the number of texts treated, thus facilitating comparison across methodologies and formats. We envision that participants who have had experience with different texts/curricula will be lively contributors to the discussion. Any elementary ‘book’ (print, online, hybrid) is eligible, new or old, but the focus is intended to be on relatively recent options or older texts that have been significantly revised in recent years. We expect these short talks will begin as mini-reviews and personal narratives of working with a specific text and then shift into a larger conversation about what we look for in the materials we are asking students (or districts) to purchase, and what role a set curriculum (print, electronic, hybrid) should play in 21st century classes.

We hope to attract contributions from classicists across a range of institutions: K-12 teachers, graduate instructors, program coordinators, online teachers/tutors, and veteran Latin/Greek 101 instructors from higher education.

Proposals may be submitted to traill@illinois.edu. Deadline: April 21, 2020. Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by the other two organizers.


Topic: Difficult Topics in the Classroom

SCS Committee Panel
Organized by the K-12 Education Committee

Organizers: Ariana Traill, Shelley Haley, Philip Walsh

Have you ever had the experience of being blindsided by a student question or comment on a sensitive topic? These moments are both urgent and challenging, as we struggle to respond through a multitude of lenses: as scholars, seeking to present the ancient world accurately and informatively; as teachers, responsible for creating a safe environment to explore difficult questions; as individuals with our own set of experiences, biases, and fears of making an inadvertently inoffensive remark. Institutions may offer specialized training in some of these areas, through workshops, online courses, web resources, or staff dedicated to helping faculty navigate difficult topics, promote social justice, and improve the school or campus climate. While helpful, these do not always prepare us for the specifics of teaching texts and artifacts from the very different cultures and values of the ancient world.
Recent conversations have begun to address issues such as race, rape and sexual assault, slavery that are deeply embedded in the study of Classics. So too has the academy begun to consider the role it has played in perpetuating these issues, as the vehicle through which the values and institutions of the ancient world are passed down as the often too-unconsidered bedrock of the Western tradition.
As teachers, we are on the frontline of these conversations, our daily experience a testament to the challenges of treating such topics in a sensitive and constructive manner. We are not, however, limited to learning from our failures: there is a wealth of collective knowledge within our field. This panel invites reflections on best practices in responding to challenging moments and anticipating when these issues might arise. Papers may draw on formal research and training, as well on personal experience--the goal is to share knowledge and stimulate discussion.
Proposals may be submitted to traill@illinois.edu. Deadline: April 21, 2020. Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by the other two organizers. We hope to attract contributions from classicists across a range of institutions: K-12 teachers, graduate instructors, and faculty from higher education.