In 1842, Washington Globe newspaper editor Francis Preston Blair and his daughter Elizabeth Blair came upon a “mica-flecked” spring just north of the District of Columbia line. They fell in love with the property, so much so that Blair Sr. bought it up, together with a large swath of the land that surrounded it, and there built a large summer home which he called “Silver Spring“. The Blair family’s primary residence would remain the famous Blair House in DC—now part of the complex that forms the US President’s guest house.
Alas, the summer home is gone and the mica stream is nowhere to be seen. However, a bit of the original Blair property can be glimpsed at Acorn Urban Park, a tiny (0.1247-acre) green space in south Silver Spring, that features a 19th-century acorn-shaped gazebo (believed to be from Blair’s property) and an artificial grotto to boot.
About three-quarters of a mile due north of Acorn Park is the Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel on Georgia Avenue—site of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States 2019 Annual Meeting that takes place 10-12 October. There’s too much going on to list all the highlights (see the full program at this link), but here’s a handy list of the Rutgers-related presentations…
Friday 11 October, 800—1000am Panel One (Leadership in Xenophon from Antiquity to Modernity), Henry Bender (PhD 1987, now St. Joseph’s University) co-presiding; Paper Session B (Ethical Considerations by Classical Thinkers), Frederick Booth (PhD 1983, now Seton Hall) co-presiding.
1030—1230pm Paper Session C (Augustan Literature and Its Complications), Rebecca McGinn (current RU Classics PhD student), “Competitive Memory in Vergil’s Fifth Eclogue“; Robert Santucci (BA 2009, now PhD candidate, Michigan), “Putting the “I” into Ovid: Fan Fiction and the Imagination in Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis“.
1230—200 pm Gratulatio to Walter Schwenk, presented by Henry Bender.
330—530 pm Paper Session E (Greek Poets and Their Predilections), Lawrence Kowerski (PhD 2003, now Hunter) co-presiding; Brian Hill (PhD 2019, now Bucknell University), “Angry Goddesses: An Allusion to Callimachus at Aeneid 1.11″
Saturday 12 October, 800—1000am Panel Seven (Beyond Content Warnings: Sexual Violence in the Secondary and Post-Secondary Classroom Workshop), David Wright (PhD 2018, now Fordham University) co-presiding. And in Paper Session H (Ancient History and Epigraphy), Maya Chakravorty (MA 2017, now PhD candidate, Boston Univ.), “The Genius Populi Romani and the Safekeeping of Republican Rome”.
1030 am—100 pm Panel Nine (Undergraduate Research Session, co-sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi), Erin McNulty, Columbia University, mentored by Scott Barnard (PhD 2017, now The Lawrenceville School), “Reconsidering the Stoicism of Seneca’s Medea“. Also Paper Session I (Plautus and Terence on the Roman Stage), Luke Madson (Rutgers Classics PhD candidate), “Plautine Polysemy and Ideology: A Close Reading of Amphitruo Scene 9″.
230—430 pm Paper Session J (Pedagogical Innovation in Teaching Latin and Greek), Aaron Hershkowitz (PhD 2018, now Krateros Project at The Institute for Advanced Study—see video below) and Scott Barnard, “Utilizing New Digital Epigraphic Tools in Teaching Greek”.
Also spotted on the CAAS Program…acknowledged as 2018-2019 CAAS Leadership Initiative Grant Recipients: Rutgers Classics PhD candidate Emmanuel Aprilakis, “Food and Drink in the Ancient World Conference,” 31 May—1 June 2019; and PhD candidates Luke Madson and Molly Mata, Rutgers University Classics Graduate Student Speaker Series, 2019-2020.
As a 2018-2019 Program Grant Recipient: Elizabeth Mellen (MA 2018, now PhD candidate at CUNY Graduate Center), CUNY Graduate Student Conference “Hospitality and Xenophobia” (15 March 2019)
And as Professional Development Grant Recipients: Luke Madson, ASCSA Athenian Agora Excavations (12 June—5 August 2018); also former RU faculty member Katherine Wasdin (now Maryland-College Park), ASCSA Summer Session (10 June—24 July 2019).
Note also on the CAAS Program Committee: Henry V. Bender; Frederick J. Booth; current RU faculty member Corey Brennan; Lawrence Kowerski; and Katherine Wasdin.
In a word, at CAAS 2019 RU Classics will most definitely be present!