Introducing Pasts Imperfect: New Spaces for Public Scholarship

Theseus escapes King Minos’ labyrinth on Crete (it is a metaphor), opus vermiculatum mosaic, Roman, 200-250 CE, Carthage (Image taken by Sarah E. Bond at the Penn Museum; CC0).

Pasts Imperfect is a weekly newsletter amplifying and supporting public writing focused on a global antiquity.

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For our first newsletter, we wanted to signal boost the creation of a number of new spaces welcoming public writing focused on ancient pasts from a global perspective. These spaces underscore scholarship from diverse scholars as well as those not on the tenure track—and welcome submissions.

The Launch of “Pasts Imperfect” within the Los Angeles Review of Books

“Pasts Imperfect” is a column at the Los Angeles Review of Books that explores the impact of pasts on the present. Begun by Sarah E. BondJoel Christensen, and Nandini Pandey, “Pasts Imperfect” is a space for addressing forgotten, manipulated, or misunderstood global histories within the ancient world from South America to the Indus Valley and the ancient Mediterranean. We also hope to highlight how narratives about the past influence the world we live in today, from books and movies to executive orders.  

The first edition of the monthly column is now published and explores whether we should question the “hero’s journey” (i.e. the Monomyth) popularized by Joseph Campbell in his The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).

Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, and Bill Moyers at Skywalker Ranch filming Campbell’s interview series “The Power of Myth” in 1985 (Image via Twitter)

The Launch of “Antiquities” within Public Books

Over at Public Booksa new section called “Antiquities” edited by Stephanie Wong & Sarah E. Bond welcomes pitches for a special issue to be published in January of 2022 and other articles to appear in 2022. As they note, “‘Antiquities’ seeks punchy writing about the ancient world and its global legacies. Our primary aim is to highlight marginalized voices, so if you aren’t That Classics Guy (you know who we’re talking about) and you have an original, relevant, and/or weird take, please pitch us here for a ~2500-word piece. Tenured writers are encouraged to write collaboratively, e.g. with graduate students or contingent faculty members.”

Use the pitch form to submit your article idea.

Scholar to Know:

Vivian A. Laughlin, Dr Laughlin is currently an Andrew W. Mellon & Humanities in Leadership Learning Series (HILLS) Postdoctoral Scholar in the Classics Department at Case Western Reserve University. After receiving her Ph.D. in 2019, she became a U.S. Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar (2019-2021) hosted in the Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology Department at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Her specific research and interests are within the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Her current research explores ancient polytheistic religions; and the ruler’s political ploys, which appropriated and, in some instances, created erasure of ancient Egyptian deities east and west of the Mediterranean. The scope of her research showcases material culture used as forms of media that became dynamic tools within the political propaganda of ancient rulers. Her research ultimately exhibits various aspects of how ancient religion helped shape ancient cultures and societies.

New journal issues online July 1st through August 11 curated by @YaleClassicsLib

Antiquity Vol. 95, Iss. 382 (August 2021)
Classics@ Vol. 18 (2021) #openaccess Ancient Manuscripts and Virtual Research Environment
Journal of Classics Teaching Vol. 22. Iss. 44 (Autumn 2021)
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies Vol. 9, No. 3 (2021) Imperial Architecture and Identity
Ancient Philosophy Vol. 41, No. 2 (Fall 2021)
Religion in the Roman Empire (RRE)Vol. 7, No. 1 (2021) Curses in Context, 2 Curses in the Eastern and North African Provinces of the Roman Empire
Classica Cracoviensia Vol. 23 (2020)
Classical Receptions Journal Vol. 13, No. 2 (April 2021)
Greek, Roman & Byzantine Studies Vol. 61, No. 3 (2021)  #openaccess
Anuari de Filologia. Antiqua et Mediaeualia Vol. 1, No. 11 (2021) #openaccess
Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology Vol 8, No 2 (2021) #openaccess
Journal of Roman Archaeology Vol. 34, No.1 (June 2021)
BABESCH Vol. 96 (2021)
Chronique d’Egypte Vol. 95, Iss. 190 (2020)
Journal of Coptic Studies Vol. 23 (2021)
Mnemosyne Vol. 74 No. 4 (2021)
Byzantinische Zeitschrift Vol. 114, No. 2 ( June 2021) Bibliographische Notizen und Mitteilungen
The Classical Quarterly Vol. 71, No. 1 (2021)
Klio Vol. 103, No. 1 (2021)
Apeiron Vol. 54, No.3 (2021)
Journal of Ancient History Vol. 9, No. 1 (2021)
Journal of Latin Linguistics Vol. 20, no. 1 (2021)
Early Medieval Europe Vol 29, No. 3 (August 2021)
Le Muséon Vol. 134, No. 1-2 (2021)
Arethusa: Vol. 53, No. 3 (Fall 2020) Ovid, Rhetoric & Freedom of Speech in the Augustan Age
Revue de l’histoire des religions Vol. 238, No. 2 (2021)La sacralisation de figures païennes à la fin de l’Antiquité (IIe-VIe s.) : poètes, philosophes, hiérophantes et prophètes
Ciceroniana on line Vol. 5, No. 1 (2021) #openaccess

News Stories of Note:

The ancient thermopolium (“snack bar”) of Pompeii reopens to the public on August 12, 2021.

Articles of Interest:

Over at Ancient Jew Review,Catherine Bonesho discusses how she uses travel brochures made by her students to teach the broader Second Temple context of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Simeon D. Ehrlich, “The Health of the Classics Job Market during the Pandemic: A Long-Term Perspective, Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada, Advance Online – Vol.17, no. 3 (Open Access Article).

Hao ZhaoXiangping GaoYuchao JiangYi LinJin ZhuSicong DingLijun Deng and Ji Zhang, “Radiocarbon-dating an early minting site: the emergence of standardised coinage in China,” AntiquityFirst View (2021): 1 – 18. Does the discovery of a bronze foundry at Guanzhuang in Henan Province (China) set a new date for the earliest known mint? Will Lydian mints lose their title as the oldest known to date?

Anonymous, “Just a Girl: Being Briseis,” Sententiae Antiquae (August 7, 2021). Can we recover how Briseis felt? “a powerful reminder that who you are fundamentally changes what the Iliad means and that the loudest voices are often the abusive ones. CW: Sexual Assault.”

Online Classics Social Calendar of Lectures, Events, and Workshops maintained by Amy Pistone.

See you next week!

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