Congratulations to Professor Alison Keith for winning the Ranjini (Rini) Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award at the Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU) Awards Ceremony on March 22, 2017. Co-nominators Willem Crispin-Frei, Samantha Mazzilli, and Laura Harris from the undergraduate CLASSU Senate were on hand to present Professor Keith with this award alongside ASSU President Ondiek Odour.
CLASSU President Willem Crispin-Frei also received the Katharine Ball Graduating Award for Course Unions for his four years of service on the CLASSU Senate.
More information about the awards available for undergraduate students and about nominations for the teaching and service awards is available on the ASSU website, and more photos from the event are on Facebook.
Left: ASSU President Ondiek Odour, Professor Alison Keith, Classics Students Willem Crispin-Frei, Samantha Mazzilli, and Laura Harris (Photo Credit: ASSU)
Right: ASSU Executive Assistant Jane Seto, Co-Recipients Indigenous Studies Students’ Union President Jennifer Sylvester and CLASSU President Willem Crispin-Frei, ASSU Student Advisor Gavin Nowlan (Photo Credit: ASSU)
11th Biennial Bryn Mawr College Graduate Group Symposium
Nothing in Moderation: Ancient to Contemporary Perspectives on Excess
November 3-4, 2017
Featuring keynote speaker and respondent Kenneth Lapatin, Curator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum
Modern conversations about consumerism and materialism, production and pollution, the growth of the archive and the surge in technology, often centre on or radiate from the idea of excess. What is it to be excessive? When, how, why is something thought to be “too much?” Who defines decadence and extravagance? How do ideas of excess change over time and across political, social, and cultural climates?
This interdisciplinary symposium invites graduate students in Archaeology, Classics, History of Art, and related fields to present papers that address aspects of excess ranging from ancient to modern. Potential topics may involve, but are not limited to, the following:
- Material excess, luxury, and extravagance
- Literary effluences of style and content
- Aesthetic excess and the sublime
- Divine and religious indulgence
- Communal entities of excess: social, cultural, and political
- Individual transcendence and transgression: excellence, malfeasance, diffidence
- Physical and corporeal overabundance
- Psychological states of excess: madness, trauma, libido
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Friday, April 21, 2017. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by emailing a PDF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any questions can be directed to the BMC Graduate Group Symposium Committee at email@example.com.
2017-2018 Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellows in the Humanities
Graduate Fellowships are open to PhD candidates in the humanities at the University of Toronto who will be in the final year of writing their dissertation and beyond the final year of the University of Toronto graduate funding package during the year when they hold the fellowship. The recipients of this fellowship hold an office at the JHI and participate in weekly luncheon seminars, presenting their own work to the other Fellows at some point during the year. Graduate Fellows do not work as Teaching Assistants or course instructors during the year of their appointment in order to concentrate on completing their dissertations. Applicants for Graduate Fellowships are nominated by their departments, and must have completed at least two full chapters of their thesis at the time of application. They are selected by the incoming Faculty Research Fellows on the basis of scholarship and scholarly promise, as well as the relationship of their topic to the Annual Theme.
Applications (nominations) are currently being solicited. Classics PhD students who are eligible and interested, please get in touch with Classics Graduate Coordinator by Monday March 20, 2017. More details can be found here.
The selection process is completed by May. Approximately three Graduate Fellows are appointed each year.
Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place
Saturday, March 11, 2017
9:00AM – 5:30PM
Our colleagues at the Book History & Print Culture Collaborative Program invite you attend the upcoming graduate organized colloquium, “Form, Function, Intent: Materiality and the Codification of Knowledge”.
If you are interested in attending, you are asked to please RSVP at: https://bhpccolloquium2017.wordpress.com/registration/
The application deadline for this year’s Desmond Conacher Scholarship is Saturday, April 1, 2017.
Applicants must be Canadian students (citizens or permanent residents) intending to enter the first year of graduate studies in a classics or similar programme at a Canadian university. Applicants must be less than 28 years of age on January 1st of the year of application. For more details, please link to the CAC webpage (see below).
I am deeply saddened to inform the Department that Joan M. Bigwood, emerita Associate Professor of Classics at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, died on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at the age of 80.
Born in Scotland in 1937 into a musical family, Joan was the third of four children of a Presbytarian minister, and grew up in Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire). An accomplished cellist, she played in the Scottish National Youth Orchestra in her youth. She received her MA (1st Class Honours) in Latin & Greek in 1958 from the University of St. Andrews. After a year at the Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh (1958-1959), she went to Cambridge, MA on a full scholarship from Radcliffe College to pursue doctoral studies in Classics (Latin & Greek) at Harvard University. She completed her PhD there in 1964 with a dissertation entitled “Ctesias of Cnidus (a study in Ionian historiography),” under the supervision of Herbert Bloch. She was hired forthwith by Victoria College, at the University of Toronto, where she spent her long career as successively Lecturer (1964-1966) and Don, Victoria University Women’s Residence (1964-1967); Assistant Professor (1966-1975); Associate Professor (1975-2001); Associate (1982-1990) and Continuing Member of SGS (1990-2001). She retired from the Department of Classics in the University of Toronto one year early, on June 30, 2001.
Professor Bigwood’s area of research specialization was Greek history of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, to which she joined an interest in the history and antiquities of Achaemenid Persia. She published a series of lengthy articles in this area dealing with a wide range of subjects, from Ctesias as a historian of the Persian Wars (Phoenix 32  19-41) and of India (Phoenix 43  302-16), to his description of the city of Babylon and its monuments (AJAH 3  32-52, and his understanding of North West India in Achaemenid times (JHS 115  135-40). The larger questions driving her research were how ancient authors worked, how Greeks perceived non-Greek peoples and cultures, and questions of trade and cultural exchange. After her retirement in 2001, she turned her attention, with particular tenacity, to the investigation of the representation of Persian women in Greek historiography, with articles on incestuous marriage in Achaemenid Iran, the Parthian queen Mousa, the queen-mother Sisygambis, and women in the ancient accounts of Alexander.
Professor Bigwood was a much-admired teacher of ancient Greek and the history of ancient Greece, especially of the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, whom she taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her exacting standards made her a demanding instructor, but in turn she gave unstintingly to her students and her wealth of knowledge enriched not only their classes but also a series of doctoral theses on which she served as a committee member throughout the 1990s.
Over her long career at Victoria College, she served in a variety of capacities, from her initial service as a Don in the women’s residence to her long-running service as Discipline Group Representative in Classics. To the Department of Classics, she contributed to a term as Undergraduate Coordinator (1992-1995) and participated regularly in the annual “High School Classics Day” which brought so many local high school students to the University of Toronto campus. a term on the Editorial Board of Phoenix, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada (1981-1984), in addition She was a kind and patient teacher, and a staunch friend to generations of students and colleagues at Victoria College.
Outside of the classroom and library, Joan was always good company and a generous friend and mentor to her junior female colleagues. She imparted wise advice about teaching and publishing over lunches that lacked nothing in the way of wit and kindly gossip too. She was an avid runner and a keen tennis player, who never ceased to regret the loss of the Victoria College tennis courts. She continued to play chamber music for quite a while during her time in Toronto, but gave it up eventually because of difficulties over practising in her apartment building. She retained her love for classical music, however, and enjoyed attending concerts with friends.
Joan Bigwood is survived by her siblings Frank, Kitty, and Louise, and is sadly missed by them and her nieces and nephews.
The Department of Classics at the University of Toronto deeply regrets the loss of our valued colleague.
Alison Keith FRSC, Professor and Acting Chair
Department of Classics
University of Toronto
Dear Colleagues and Friends –
Daniel J. Thornton, who died unexpectedly on Sunday, February 12, 2017 was a highly respected teacher who taught generations of CLA students at UTM and UTSG.
Hailing from the United States, Daniel received his BA magna cum laude in Classical and Medieval Studies and History from Cleveland State University. A broadly trained Classicist and a very gifted linguist, Daniel had many academic interests and talents, which his academic presentations and publications amply document. The Greek novelistic literature of the 2nd century CE was one interest of his. Daniel worked on Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe since the late 1990s and returned to this text as recently as 2016. For most of the time, however, Daniel’s research focused on the late antique world, starting with his Cleveland Senior Honors Thesis on the Pervigilium Veneris, a Latin poem probably written in the 4th century CE. Late antique literature also figured prominently in Daniel’s research while he was completing his MA, which he received from the Department of Classics in Toronto in 2000. Increasingly, however, Daniel turned to the political history of the later 4th and 5th centuries, and Theodosius I became a particular focus of Daniel’s attention during the early stages of his PhD research. More recently, Daniel conducted extensive research on magical practices and imperial legislation in late antiquity and was making good progress towards the completion of his doctoral thesis on this topic.
Daniel will also be fondly remembered as an excellent teacher, whose enthusiasm and commitment inspired a wide range of undergraduate students at several Ontario Universities: Trent, Guelph, and most prominently the University of Toronto. From 2000-2008, Daniel taught in the Department of Classics at UTSG. From 2004-2017, he served in the same capacity in Historical Studies at UTM, where he was promoted to Sessional Lecturer II. During his career as Classics instructor at UTM, Daniel could be relied upon to teach almost anything, from the most introductory to the most advanced undergraduate courses in Classical Civilization. Teaching was very important to Daniel, and it was through his inimitable teaching that he made an immeasurable contribution to his discipline and to the departments in which he worked. In fact, Daniel must have inspired literally thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have credited him with introducing them to the ancient world more generally and to late antiquity in particular. Several of those Daniel taught have decided to pursue an MA or a PhD in the field and fondly remember his unwavering support and guidance.
Daniel is survived by his partner, Chris Thornton-White of Toronto, and by his mother.
A death notice appeared appeared in The Star on Thursday, February 16, 2017.
Andreas Bendlin, Associate Professor of Classics
Department of Historical Studies (UTM)
Department of Classics (UTSG)
University of Toronto