Racism in Classics: A Roundup of Reports, Reactions, and Reflections After the SCS Annual Meeting

Roman era mosaic of a woman looking into a mirror, Musée National de Carthage ().

Please note that this is an updated and cross-posted article. The original can be found on the I will continue to update this list of responses and statements for the foreseeable future.

It has now been nearly two weeks since the SCS-AIA annual meeting in San Diego, and many have written evocative, emotional, and important pieces about the racist events that occurred there. Instead of posting each separately on our social media or blog, I have tried to compile as many as I could in this post.

In their own words:

Dan-el Padilla Peralta, “,” Medium (January 7, 2019).

— — — “,” Future of Classics Panel (January 5, 2019).

Emma Pettit, “‘,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 11, 2019).

Follow on or , learn more about their , and then promote or participate in their new conference: “.”

Other Reports and Reflections:

Seeta Chaganti, “,” Medievalists of Color (January 18, 2019).

Yurie Hong, “,” Classics and Social Justice (January 19, 2019).

Young Richard Kim, “,” SCS Blog (January 10, 2019).

Rebecca Futo Kennedy, “?” Classics at the Intersections (January 11, 2019).

Emma Pettit, “,” The Chronicle of Higher Education

Josephine Quinn, “,” Council of University Classical Departments Bulletin 48 (2019).

Official Statements and Policies:

,” Society for Classical Studies.

Board Statement, “,” Society for Classical Studies (January 6, 2019).

Mary T. Boatwright, “,” Society for Classical Studies.

CAMWS Statement (via email): “President Andrew Faulkner would like you to know that has begun the process of writing a Code of Professional Conduct at CAMWS Meetings which we hope to have in place before our meeting in Lincoln.”

UNC Department of Classics Statement, “UNC Classics.

Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz and Lisl Walsh, WCC co-chairs, “,” The Women’s Classical Caucus (January 13, 2019; January 14, 2019).

Women’s Classical Committee (UK), “Women’s Classical Committee (UK) (January 21, 2019).

Many of you have reached out and asked about the “Future of Classics” video and we assure you that it will be posted on our as soon as we are able to process the videos given to us by the videographer that we hired to film all of the sesquicentennial panels. That should be soon, but we will post an update to this blog and notices on social media as soon as it is posted.

On a more personal level, I will say that while my own reactions and reflections are only ancillary to those made by Prof. Padilla Peralta and The Sportula, I too was incredibly upset by the racist events at the annual meeting. I believe we as a society must commit to sustained engagement in these issues in order to effect change. We must face this head-on and not describe these incidents as anomalous, anecdotal, or due to the mental health of one individual. , “To ascribe racism to an individual pathology is to move the conversation away from where it needs to dwell: the collective pathology of a field that lacks the courage to acknowledge its to value scholars from underrepresented groups.”



Associate Professor of History at the University of Iowa. Ancient History, Digital Humanities, and Public History For All. Thoughts are my own, y'all.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store