Classics@: An Introduction
Classics@ (ISSN: 2327-2996) is designed to bring contemporary classical scholarship to a wide audience online. Each issue will be dedicated to its own topic, often with guest editors, for an in-depth exploration of important current problems in the field of Classics. We hope that Classics@ will appeal not only to professional classicists, but also to the intellectually curious who are willing to enter the conversation in our discipline. We hope that they find that classical scholarship engages issues of great significance to a wide range of cultural and scholarly concerns and does so in a rigorous and challenging way.
Each issue of Classics@ is meant to be not static but dynamic, continuing to evolve with interaction from its readers as participants. New issues will appear when the editors think there is good material to offer. Often it will emphasize work done in and through the Center for Hellenic Studies, but it will also call attention to fresh and interesting work presented elsewhere on the web. It stresses the importance of research-in-progress, encouraging collegial debate (while discouraging polemics for the sake of polemics) as well as the timely sharing of important new information.
The CHS welcomes proposals for future issues of Classics@. Proposal forms should be completed and sent via e-mail to Classics@ Managing Editor Keith DeStone (kdestone(at)chs.harvard.edu). Please see the CHS Prospective Authors page for style guidelines and templates. Download the proposal form here.
For information about FirstDrafts, an effort to disseminate drafts prior to publication, see below.
Executive Editors: Casey Dué and Mary Ebbott
Managing Editor: Keith DeStone
Issue 17: Digital Literacies, 2019 (ed. Paul Dilley). This volume demonstrates the rich spread of digital literacies along a broad spectrum of teaching and research practices, from classroom engagement with contemporary multimedia reception of classical themes; the use of online resources by citizen scientists with little or no classical training, as well as classicists with little or no familiarity with computers; complex editorial structures which attempt to integrate historical patterns of textual transmission with contemporary information structures; and training in coding which adapts human strategies for identifying word structures to produce resources for large-scale philological work available through a basic interface. Digital literacies, as applied to the ancient world, involve a “big tent” of skills and strategies that are best learned through practice, whether in formal instructional settings or individual use.
Issue 16: Seven Essays on Sappho, 2017 (ed. Paul G. Johnston). These seven papers are the product of a graduate seminar led by Gregory Nagy at Harvard in the fall of 2016, entitled ‘Sappho and her Songmaking’. The scope of the seminar was wide-ranging, encompassing philological, linguistic, historical, anthropological, comparative, and reception-based approaches to the great female poet of antiquity. The student participants in the seminar likewise came from a variety of different backgrounds: graduates and undergraduates, classicists and not. This diversity is reflected in the papers gathered in this collection.
Issue 15: A Concise Inventory of Greek Etymology, 2017 (ed. Olga Levaniouk). The goal of CIGE is to provide access to etymologies that are important for the study of Greek culture and that are often not yet referenced in conventional dictionaries. CIGE represents an understanding of Greek—and especially Homeric—etymology as part of the formulaic system of early Greek poetry. The main content is organized in the mode of a dictionary: each entry appears under a heading or lēmma that indicates the basic word to be analyzed. Each entry contains a reference to a fuller analysis, if available, and identifies the author who suggested or advocates the etymology in question. The editors of the individual entries are identified by name-stamp and date-stamp at the end of each entry. Each editor is the owner of his or her own entry as edited.
Issue 14: Singers and Tales in the 21st Century; The Legacies of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, 2016 (ed. David F. Elmer and Peter McMurray). In December, 2010, a conference was convened at Harvard to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Albert Lord’s seminal book, The Singer of Tales, and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the death of Lord’s mentor, Milman Parry. Twenty-nine speakers from around the world presented papers intended to illustrate the wide-ranging impact of the work of Parry and Lord. A collection of these papers will soon appear as a printed volume published by the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature. To facilitate the dissemination of these studies, we present here preliminary versions of a number of the contributions.
Issue 13: Greek Poetry and Sport, 2015 (ed. Thomas Scanlon). Many studies on Pindar, Homer, and other poets have discussed the specific uses of sport in each context, and studies on Greek sport have acknowledged the ways in which agonistic values and practices have been reflected in poetic literature, but there has been no single collection of studies devoted specifically to the intersection of Greek poetry and sport. This volume includes a range of contributions that represent a diversity of genres, periods, and approaches, which cut across strict poetic genres, occasionally even mixing poetry and prose in their approach. Poetry’s interest in sport survived the rise and fall of genres like epinikia and satyr plays, and the rise and fall of myriad political and cultural changes in the Greek Mediterranean. We can only speculate on the many and complex reasons for the grip of poetry on sport and vice-versa, but they no doubt include Homeric intertextuality, the universal appeal of the topic to the elite and the dêmos, the universal presence of gymnasia and agonistic festivals (both blending poetry and sport), and the agonistic resonances between poetry and sport.
Issue 12: Comparative Approaches to India and Greece, 2015 (ed. Douglas Frame). This issue contains papers by four scholars comparing specific literary and cultural traditions in India and Greece. The papers served as the basis of discussion at an event in February 2015 organized by the Center for Hellenic Studies in association with the Embassy of India. The discussion that took place among the scholars and guests on that occasion, which began with summaries of the four papers, is included as it was recorded. This is intended to be a starting point for further discussion of the topics presented and of other topics suggested by the nature and spirit of the event.
Issue 11: The Rhetoric of Abuse in Greek Literature, 2013 (ed. Håkan Tell). This volume grew out of the need for a venue in which to engage collaboratively on the topic of abuse. Abuse has of course been widely studied, and in the last few years there has been a renewed interest in abuse as a broader cultural and literary phenomenon, but there are reasonable restrictions as to how it has been addressed. One goal of this volume is to initiate a scholarly discussion that will allow greater heterogeneity in the material covered and in the theoretical models brought to bear on that material. Another is to encourage experimentation and collaborative exchange among scholars working in seemingly unconnected fields. Most importantly, perhaps, we would like to foster a deeper understanding of the role of abuse in all of Greek literature, across genres and time periods, through the kind of cumulative knowledge that comes from collaborative work in different fields.
Issue 10: Historical Poetics in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Greece: Essays in Honor of Lily Macrakis, 2012 (ed. Stamatia Dova). History needs art to give it form; art needs history to give it resonance. This relationship of history and art is the theme of the essays by distinguished international scholars collected in this volume. Its publication celebrates the career and work of Professor Lily Macrakis. She is an eminent chronicler of modern Greek history whose seminal work, Venizelos: A Study in Cretan Leadership, remains essential to an understanding of the most influential Greek leader of the 20th century. Among her other accomplishments, Professor Macrakis was president of The Modern Greek Studies Association from 1977 to 1979 and has been an influential figure in the organization since its inception. Equally significant has been her role as a devoted teacher of Greek history and culture to multitudes of students. Professor Macrakis thus truly embodies the spirit and significance of the articles presented in this Festschrift so fittingly dedicated to her.
Issue 9: Defense Mechanisms in Interdisciplinary Approaches to Classical Studies and Beyond, 2011 (ed. Carol Gilligan, Leonard Muellner, and Gregory Nagy). Nowadays people speak of “defense mechanisms” as both negative and positive forms of behavior: examples of negative forms are denial, repression, acting out, projection, rationalization, intellectualization, while one of the few positive forms is assertion, a way of responding that takes the middle ground between aggressive and passive. In the spirit of this positive form of assertion and in both technical and non-technical senses of the expression “defense mechanisms,” the present issue of Classics@ has been given its title. The aim is to publish online research papers and essays in Classics and in other disciplines, related or unrelated, that explore strategies where the primary purpose is to defend assertively rather than attack. The justification is straightforward: discoveries and discovery procedures in research require and deserve a reasoned defense.
Issue 8: A Homer commentary in progress, begun in 2011. Founding Editors: Douglas Frame, Leonard Muellner, Gregory Nagy. Editors: Editors: Casey Dué, Mary Ebbott, David Elmer, Olga Levaniouk, Richard Martin, Corinne Pache, John Petropoulos, Laura Slatkin, Thomas Walsh; Associate Editors: Anita Nikkanen, Keith DeStone; Assistant Editors: Daniel Cline, Angelia Hanhardt. This commentary applies a special methodology of linguistics that stems primarily from the research of Antoine Meillet and his teacher, Ferdinand de Saussure, to the formulaic system of Homeric poetry based squarely on the cumulative research of Milman Parry and his student, Albert Lord. The methodology of this research, as inherited by Parry, combines a rigorous study of Indo-European linguistics with two complementary perspectives on language as a system—perspectives that Saussure described as synchronic and diachronic. Our linguistic approach in analyzing both synchronically and diachronically the formulaic system of Homeric poetry provides an empirical foundation for the discoveries and discovery procedures that we assemble and organize in our Homer commentary.
Issue 7: Les femmes, le féminin et le politique après Nicole Loraux, Colloque de Paris (INHA), novembre 2007, 2011 (ed. Nathalie Ernoult and Violaine Sebillotte Cuchet) is the result of a conference held in Paris (INHA, 15–17 November 2007) which was co-organized by the Centre Louis Gernet (CNRS-EHESS), the Équipe Phéacie (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and Université Denis-Diderot Paris VII) and the Réseau National Interuniversitaire sur le Genre (RING, Paris). The aim of the conference was to explore Nicole Loraux’s legacy concerning the feminine and the polis both in Hellenic Studies and in feminist scholarship.
Issue 6: Reflecting on the Greek Epic Cycle, 2010 (ed. Efimia D. Karakantza) is the result of a conference held in Ancient Olympia on 9–10 July 2010, which was co-organized by the Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard University) and the Centre for the Study of Myth and Religion in Greek and Roman Antiquity (University of Patras). The goal of the conference was to explore problems concerning the surviving fragments of the Greek Epic Cycle that have heretofore been neglected. Guest Editor: Efimia D. Karakantza.
Issue 5: Proceedings of the Derveni Papyrus Conference, 2009 (ed. Ioanna Papadopoulou and Leonard Muellner) reflects a three-day symposium on the Derveni Papyrus hosted by the Center for Hellenic Studies in July, 2008, on the occasion of the recent publication of the edition by Theokritos Kouremenos, George M. Parássoglou, and Kyriakos Tsantsanoglou (Florence, Olschki, 2006; the text of the papyrus from that edition is available on this website here). The symposium was an opportunity to gather scholars who in the course of the past decades have been working on this text to address a set of issues relating to the edition and integration of the papyrus, its translation, and its interpretation.
Issue 4: The New Sappho on Old Age: Textual and Philosophical Issues, 2007 (ed. Ellen Greene and Marilyn Skinner) is the online edition of a print volume published by the Center for Hellenic Studies in 2009 (available through Harvard University Press, here). This volume is the first collection of essays in English devoted to discussion of the newly-recovered Sappho poem and two other incomplete texts on the same papyri. Containing eleven new essays by leading scholars, it addresses a wide range of textual and philological issues connected with the find. Using different approaches, the contributions demonstrate how the “New Sappho” can be appreciated as a gracefully spare poetic statement regarding the painful inevitability of death and aging.
Issue 3: The Homerizon: Conceptual Interrogations in Homeric Studies, 2005 (ed. Richard Armstrong and Casey Dué) is the result of a colloquium held at the Center. The colloquium had as its goals the serious interrogation of cherished assumptions about Homeric “culture” and “texuality”; and the exploration of the wider cultural significance of the perennial Homeric Question(s).
Issue 2: Ancient Mediterranean Cultural Informatics, 2004 (ed. Christopher Blackwell and Ross Scaife). The second issue of Classics@ is the first edition of an ongoing project of publication aimed at documenting this emerging sub-discipline of our field, the scholarship of creating, analyzing, and disseminating humanist learning electronically. This issue features articles describing these projects and others like them — new work of high quality that is expanding the depth and breadth of our field. It also looks back at the history of this sub-discipline, and forward toward emerging standards, tools, and potentials.
Issue 1: New Epigrams Attributed to Posidippus of Pella, 2003 (ed. Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Elizabeth Kosmetatou, Martine Cuypers, and Francesca Angiò). The focus of this first issue of Classics@ is the new Posidippus papyrus of some 112 epigrams, first published in 2001 as Posidippo di Pella: Epigrammi (P. Mil. Vogl. VIII 309), Papiri dell’ Univeristà degli Studi di Milano – VIII, by LED – Edizioni Univeritarie di Lettere Economia Diritto (ed. Guido Bastianini and Claudio Gallazzi, with Colin Austin). The guest editors have constructed an in-progress working document of the Posidippus text based ultimately on this editio princeps. From the cumulative evidence of ongoing restorations, it becomes ever more evident that the real challenge in this case is not to distinguish between better and worse poetry, corresponding to the real and the would-be Posidippus, but between better and worse restorations. The better the restorations, the more one can see the consistency of quality in the poetry. Without the ongoing re-examination of the text by way of electronic documentation, the scholarly verdict on the value of the Posidippus papyrus may harden too early into set views that inhibit the kind of rethinking needed as important new evidence and interpretations continue to be brought to light.
Firstdrafts@Classics@ is intended to give early exposure to creative scholarship before its formal publication. Please check regularly for new contributions and updates on ways to provide feedback to authors.