• ROMARCH: Position, Directorship of Glasscock Center for Humanities Research

    Position Announcement

    Glasscock Endowed Directorship, Glasscock Center for Humanities Research

    College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University

    The College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University invites applications for the newly endowed position of Director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, with a concurrent appointment as a tenured full professor in an academic unit within the college. The distinguished scholar and experienced administrator selected as first holder of the endowed Glasscock Directorship will enhance the national and international prominence of this successful and generously funded research center. The ideal candidate should hold a PhD or terminal degree in a humanities or relevant discipline; possess scholarly eminence; exhibit an energetic commitment to the humanities, strong communication skills, and a creative vision for the center; as well as the ability to engage faculty, students, and the public to realize that vision. The director oversees budgets and staff and should have experience managing various research activities, such as fellowships, conferences, lecture series, exhibits, and public outreach. The director typically teaches one course per year and is expected to maintain an active research agenda.

    Growing from the Interdisciplinary Group for Historical Literary Studies founded in 1987, the Center for Humanities Research was approved by the Board of Regents of Texas A&M University in 1999 and received a named endowment in 2002. The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research (http://glasscock.tamu.edu/) offers seminar grants, course development grants, funding for interdisciplinary working groups, publication support, travel grants, and various awards for research in the humanities. In addition, for nearly twenty years, the Glasscock Center has hosted lecture series, symposia, and conferences across a wide range of topics.

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  • ROMARCH: term position in Roman studies at Tulane University

    TULANE UNIVERSITY – NEW ORLEANS, LA

    The Department of Classical Studies at Tulane University has been approved to make a two-year non-tenure-track appointment at the rank of visiting assistant professor to begin July 2014. We are seeking a specialist in Roman history, archaeology, or culture with the ability to teach Latin.

    PhD is required by July 1, 2014. Applicants should send, by e-mail, only a letter of application and a curriculum vitae to Ms. Elizabeth Reyna (ereyna@tulane.edu). The file name of all e-mail attachments should begin with the candidate’s surname.

    The search committee will commence its initial screening of applications on April 7, 2014. We will interview select candidates by Skype. However, the advertising and search process will remain active until the position is filled.

    Please direct any inquiries to Prof. S. Lusnia (slusnia@tulane.edu), Department of Classical Studies, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698; phone: (504) 865-5719; website: http://www.tulane.edu/~classics/. Tulane University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer: women, minorities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

    posted by Susann Lusnia

  • Translating Pliny’s letters about Vesuvius, pt. 5. The Hero Embarks

    Misenum2VesuviusGoogleE2

    Relative location of Vesuvius compared to the naval base at Misenum (inner and outer harbors visible at lower center). Based on GoogleEarth.

    6.16.7-10: The Hero Embarks

    This post belongs to a serialized translation and commentary of Pliny the Younger’s letters (6.16 and 6.20) to the historian Tacitus about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. This is the third installment for letter 6.16.

    The Younger Pliny has just unfolded a detailed description of the volcanic cloud that was first spotted by his mother around noon. (Note that this just provides a terminus ante quem for the initial explosion, but because of the explosive nature of ‘Plinian eruptions’, it is unlikely to have begun too long before Plinia noticed it.) Pliny is working from three sources: his memory, notes he took shortly after the event, and conversations with other people after the eruption (as he says later in section 22 of this letter).

    As the crater of Vesuvius is about 30 km. away from Misenum by direct line of sight, the Elder Pliny, his curiosity alight, decides to have a closer look. It is perhaps 2 or 3 in the afternoon (we don’t know how long Pliny took with his bath, his lunch, and his climb to a vantage point). There was as yet no sense of urgency, but that was about to change. Continue reading

  • Habits in College and the Real World

    DePauw University, East College, photo by Larry Ligget, 1 Oct. 2012

    Last Friday our student newspaper, The DePauw (which has been in operation since 1852) published an opinion piece by a first-year student essentially arguing that professors should not require attendance of their students. Part of the argument said that if students want to waste their tuition dollars, it is up to them; another part suggested that not requiring attendance would elicit positive self-motivation to be in class. In closing, the piece said that the university should have a universal policy that students, not professors, should get to decide about the value of their class attendance. The whole piece is below (note that I am going out of my way not to advertise names). [Note: a few editorial clarifications appear in brackets]. My purpose here is to consider the dialectic that has resulted.
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