The Chicago 2021 AIA/SCS Annual Meetings will be virtual. But prepare for a vortex of great RU Classics presentations

Credit: Hank Cain via Shawn Reynolds

It’s been seven years since the frostiest joint Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies and Archaeological Institute of America in recent memory—January 2014 in Chicago Illinois. An indescribably chilling air mass—technically known as a “polar vortex”—hit the city full force, and set records for the coldest temperatures recorded in two decades. Toward the end of the conference, thermometers never rose aboard zero Fahrenheit—for 37 straight hours. Temperatures eventually dipped to -16 F, with a wind chill of -42 F. Flights were cancelled left and right. Rental cars seemed scarcer than fragments of Corinna’s poetry. Conference participants asked why their professional associations just didn’t call it a day, and book all subsequent meetings in San Diego.

Welcome to the AIA/SCS 2021, which poses different challenges—in this case, thanks to the global public health crisis.  The 2021 joint Annual Meeting was originally scheduled to take place 7-10 January in Chicago. But the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the gathering into a completely virtual academic conference.

“The event will be held over a slightly longer time frame,”, explains the Society for Classical Studies on the official registration page, “Tuesday, January 5th through Sunday, January 10th, so that there are fewer conflicts with concurrently scheduled events and to avoid ZOOM fatigue.” Here’s the good news. “The virtual event will still feature the many academic paper sessions, workshops, colloquia, roundtables, and other events that are part of our in-person meeting. ” Plus there will be creative ways—formal and informal—to echo some of what the SCS describes as “the important social aspect that allows attendees to connect with their colleagues each year.” 

The full program of academic sessions, meetings, and events is available online here for the SCS and here for the AIA. As so often, Rutgers students, alums, faculty and past faculty are all over the schedule. Here is a finding list for your convenience.

Tuesday, January 5: SCS Second Paper Session (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

SCS-9: Law and Society in Late Antiquity: Serena Connolly (Rutgers Classics faculty) presides

SCS-14 = AIA 2A: On Being Calmly Wrong: Learning from Teaching Mistakes (Joint AIA/SCS Colloquium).

RYAN FOWLER (Rutgers Classics PhD ’08, now faculty, Franklin & Marshall College), “Adjusting Assumptions and Reevaluating Opportunities for Students”

Wednesday, January 6: AIA Session Block 3 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

AIA 3G: Investigating Heritage and the Politics of Display in Museums and Public Spaces

Elizabeth S. Greene (former Rutgers Classics faculty, now Brock University) panelist

Wednesday, January 6: AIA Session Block 4 (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

4A: Household Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean

John Bodel (former Rutgers Classics faculty, now Brown University) discussant

4D: Examining the Context of Monuments, Monumentality, and Counter-monuments

Elizabeth S. Greene (former Rutgers Classics faculty, now Brock University) panelist

Thursday, January 7: SCS Fifth Paper Session (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

SCS-30: Philosophical Thought and Language 

Leon Wash (Rutgers BA’07, now PhD candidate, University of Chicago), “On Nietzsche’s “Philology as Ephexis in Interpretation”

Thursday, January 7: SCS Sixth Paper Session (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

SCS-41: Learning the Rules: Games and Education in the Ancient World, co-organized by Del Chrol (Rutgers BA’95, now faculty, Marshall University); he also presents on “Check Your Mate: Ovid, the Game of Love, and Learning to be a Man”

Friday, January 8: SCS Seventh Paper Session (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

SCS-45: Myth and History

LUKE MADSON (PhD candidate, Rutgers Classics) “οὐ κατ᾽ ἀνδραγαυίην σχὼν ἀλλὰ κατὰ γένος: Spartan Kingship, Generational Power, and the Agōgē”

SCS-48: Emotions and the Body in Greco-Roman Medicine 

MOLLY MATA (PhD candidate, Rutgers Classics), “Using Literary Eremetic Space to Prevent Emotional Distress in Galen’s De Indolentia

Friday, January 8: SCS Eighth Paper Session (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

SCS-52: COVID-19 and the Future of Classics Graduate Study 

Alicia Matz (Rutgers Classics MA’17, now PhD candidate, Boston University), “More than Brains in Jars: A Graduate Perspective on the Future of Classics Graduate Studies”

Saturday, January 9: SCS Ninth Paper Session (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

SCS-57 = AIA 9A: Ancient MakerSpaces (Joint AIA/SCS Workshop), co-organized by AARON HERSHKOWITZ, Rutgers PhD’18, now staff, The Institute for Advanced Study, also presenting on “Digital Epigraphy for the Blind”

Molly Kuchler (Rutgers BA’18, now PhD candidate, Bryn Mawr College), “Mapping Victory Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean”

Saturday, January 9: SCS Tenth Paper Session (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

SCS-64: Ovid 

Alicia Matz (Rutgers Classics MA’17, now PhD candidate, Boston University), “Re-presenting Woman: Pandora in Ovid’s Metamorphoses

SCS-69 = AIA 10A: Between Myth and Materiality: The Origins of Rome, 800 – 500 BCE (Joint AIA/SCS Colloquium), co-organized by T. Corey Brennan (Rutgers Classics faculty), also presenting on “The Etruscan Spectacle of Fasces in Regal Rome: Some Unnoticed Implications”

Sunday, January 10: SCS Twelfth Paper Session (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

SCS-79: Republican Latin Poetry: Leah Kronenberg (former Rutgers Classics faculty, now Boston University) presides

SCS-82: The Ancient Novel and Material Culture 

VICTORIA HODGES (PhD candidate, Rutgers Classics), “The Mulier Equitans: Erotic Display in Apuleius’ Metamorphosesand Roman Wall Painting”

Credit: Aaron Firestein

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