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.
The study of classics deals with the millennia-old topics, of course. But conference organizer and head of Memorial’s Classics Department, Dr. Tana Allen, says that many of the conference presentations touch on very modern issues, with titles such as:
- Why Read About Rome When You Can Build It? Simulations, Gaming, and Classics (Shawn Graham, Robert Welch University)
- The Gladiator Legacy: Romans on Screen in the Early Twenty-First Century (Max Nelson, University of Windsor)
- The Gracchi and the Kennedys: Political Family Dynamics (Nancie Rideout, Memorial University of Newfoundland)
She notes that this is 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 said. “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 conference 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 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.