Classical act coming to town
by Leslie Vryenhoek
Over 130 classics scholars are gathering in St. John’s from May 21-23 for the Classical Association of Canada’s annual general meeting. From Aristophanes to architecture, from ancient poetics to modern film and gaming, the event’s program will highlight the ubiquitous influence of classical culture in today’s world.
Conference organizer and head of Memorial’s Classics Department, Dr. Tana Allen, said its the first time in a decade that the national association has met in this province.
“Scholars are coming from across the country, but we’ve also had a lot of international interest,” she noted. “We’re billing it as a Newfoundland experience, and a chance to showcase both our revitalized department, our university and the city of St. John’s. Quite a number of people are combining this with a holiday here.”
Others are returning to the city. The program includes graduates of Memorial’s Classics program who have gone on to great success in doctoral programs and other pursuits, such as Geoff Bowe, who now teaches at Bilkent University in Turkey.
The conference’s keynote speaker, Dr. Marilyn Skinner from the University of Arizona, will give a special presentation on Latin poetry and literature called Catallus 64: Through a Myth Darkly. The talk takes place Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. in the Fairmont Newfoundland Hotel, and is open to the public.
According to Dr. Allen, Dr. Skinner was chosen as the keynote speaker both because she’s an eminent scholar, and in honour of Dr. Jim Butrica, a Memorial faculty member who died last year. Dr. Skinner and Dr. Butrica worked in similar areas, and had been collaborating on a project.
Support from the conference has come from the Dean of Arts, the School of Graduate Studies, the Vice-President Academic, and the Department of Classics.
Dr. Allen believes it’s student support that will make the conference a success. “A small but dedicated army of students have volunteered to help with whatever needs doing. They are so excited just to be a part of this. They’re going to be the backbone of the event.”
For more information or to register, visit www.arts.mun.ca/cac2007/ or contact the Dr. Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.