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Women’s Classical Committee AGM, April 20 2017 – registration now open!

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Registration is now open for the Women’s Classical Committee 2017 AGM, to be held on Thursday 20th April at the Ioannou Centre, Oxford.

Programme as at 23/2:

10.00am – Arrival/coffee
10.15 – Welcome and WCC report – Dr Elena Theodorakopoulos (University of Birmingham).
10.30 – Panel session: diversity in Classics
Speakers: Prof Helen Lovatt, University of Nottingham, Latin literature; Dr Rachel Mairs, University of Reading, papyrology; Dr Ellie Mackin, University of Leicester, ancient history
11.45 – Spotlight talks I: three short talks on current research relevant to the AGM’s theme. Speakers to be confirmed.
12.15 – Keynote speaker: Professor Dame Averil Cameron

12.45  – Lunch

13.45 – Dr Anna Bull, 1752 Group (University of Portsmouth), followed by discussion.
14.15 – Discussion sessions – a variety of break-out panels to choose from. Please sign up at registration. The groups will be facilitated by WCC committee members and liaisons.
14.45 – Feedback
15.15 – Spotlight talks II: three short talks on current research relevant to the AGM’s theme. Speakers to be confirmed.
15.35 – Keynote speaker: Dr Jo Quinn (University of Oxford)
16.30 – Official business meeting of the Women’s Classical Committee and tea
17.30 – Close

We’re very excited about this AGM and are looking forward to sharing what we’ve done over the past year and discussing our plans for the year ahead.

You can find more details about the AGM on its dedicated webpage; booking is being handled through Eventbrite. Don’t forget that paid-up members are entitled to a complimentary ticket – instructions have already been sent out to current members, so if you need to renew your membership, now is a good time to do it!

The 2017 AGM of the Women’s Classical Committee is generously supported by the Classical Association, the Craven Committee at Oxford University and the Faculty of Classics, Oxford.

Wikipedia Editathon – update

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On Monday 23rd January 2017 the Women’s Classical Committee held a Wikipedia training/editing event at the Institute of Classical Studies in London. This event was designed to begin redressing the gender imbalance in Wikipedia’s representation of classical scholars. Supported by expert trainers from Wikimedia UK, participants (both those in the room and others joining by Skype from as far away as Argentina) learned the basics of creating and editing Wikipedia pages as well as hearing more about some of the initiatives run by Wikimedia to promote gender equality on the site (take a look, for example, at Wikipedia’s Women in Red project or 100 Women, run in conjunction with the BBC). We were then able to begin creating new pages for scholars who had so far been overlooked in the online encyclopaedia, and to expand on those which were lacking in detail.

At the start of the day it was estimated that only 10 per cent of Wikipedia’s approximately 200 biographies of classical scholars were focused on women; as a direct result of the event around fifteen more women scholars are now represented on the site. These include Miriam Griffin (who was until now mentioned only in a dead link on her husband’s page), Jenny Strauss Clay and Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood. Since then participants have been continuing with their editing work, and we plan to keep up the momentum with future face-to-face training events as well as a monthly remote editing session, to be held from 1-3pm on the 22nd of every month. If you’re interested in participating in future sessions please see the project page for further details and some tips on getting started, and follow #WCCWiki on Twitter.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Wikipedia Editathon! If you missed it, please take a look at the Storify of the day, which includes links to some of the new Wikipedia articles. Participant Leen Van Broeck has also blogged about the event here.

You can also watch a video from Wikimedia UK about our Editathon:

Participant Ellie Mackin has also made a video about the Editathon, which you can watch below.

The organisers would like to thank Wikimedia UK and the Institute of Classical Studies for their generous support of the event.

WCC AGM “Diversity in Classics” – Call for Papers

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The Women’s Classical Committee UK is pleased to announce its 2017 Annual General Meeting, “Diversity in Classics”, on Thursday 20th April 2017 at the Ioannou Centre, Oxford.

The AGM seeks to highlight current feminist and gender-informed research in classical studies, and to discuss issues facing women in Classics. Through a series of talks and discussions we will address the question of diversity in Classics, present new research, and report back on the activities of the WCC UK during its first year.   

We are also reserving time during the day’s schedule for a series of short (five-minute) spotlight talks by delegates. Through this session, we hope to provide a chance for delegates to share projects, experiences or research connected to the WCC’s aims. We are particularly interested in talks that address the AGM’s theme of diversity in Classics; that highlight new, feminist, intersectional and gender-informed work in Classics, ancient history, classical reception or pedagogy (inside and outside the university sector); and that feature new work by postgraduate students and early-career researchers. If you would like more information or to volunteer to give one of these talks, please e-mail Carol Atack (carol.atack@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk). The deadline for expressing interest is 5pm on Friday 10th March.

People of any gender expression or identity who support the WCC’s aims are welcome to attend this event. For further details, see our website at http://wcc-uk.blogs.sas.ac.uk/about-us/.

For more information on the Women’s Classical Committee, including our aims and activities and how to join, please see our website http://wcc-uk.blogs.sas.ac.uk/about-us/join-us/

 

Child-friendly policy

The Women’s Classical Committee is committed to making our events as inclusive as possible, and recognises that the financial and practical challenges of childcare often impede people from participating in workshops and conferences. Anyone who needs to bring a dependent child or children with them in order to participate in one of our events is usually welcome to do so, but we ask you to inform us of this in advance so that we can take them into account in our event planning and risk assessment. The safety and well-being of any children brought to our events remain at all times the responsibility of the parent or carer. While we do our best to ensure that rest and changing facilities are available for those who may need them, this will depend on the individual venue we are using. Again, please contact us in advance to discuss your needs, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Managing academic workloads

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After our successful mid-career event in December 2016, Prof. Helen Lovatt (University of Nottingham) reflects on managing academic workloads, avoiding burn-out and saying no.

Managing academic workloads: Reasonable duties to take on

We are all asked to do extra work around the core activities of our jobs, much of it unpaid citizenship duties, such as refereeing articles and reviewing books. I have recently tried to set limits on what I will agree to do in any period of time. Everyone has their own circumstances that will affect what they can manage, and it is important to tailor your limits to your situation. Having a limit set for yourself in advance can make it easier to say no, since you have already in effect made the decision. It is important to do some refereeing, or the system will cease to work (we all know how dispiriting it is to have an article refereed by someone who knows nothing about the subject or has no time to give a proper report or helpful, constructive criticism). Some things (keynote address at conference, major named lecture) are important sources of prestige and recognition, but many only have a small cumulative impact.

Book reviews: reading a whole book thoroughly takes me a very long time nowadays with my sight problems. I would not do more than one a year, and struggle with that.

Refereeing book manuscripts for publishers: again I would not do more than one a year of these, and for edited collections of articles which tend to be longer and have more problems, I am reluctant to do that again. (Think fourteen refereed articles…) This is normally paid, but not nearly enough.

Refereeing articles: two a year. Another colleague suggests that one should referee two articles for every one journal article that you submit to a journal, so that you contribute to the system as much as you take.

Editing books: one every five years or only one volume on the go at any one time. This job takes me a huge amount of time. I have a friend who seems to do dozens, and they must have an efficient system, but I find this a very stressful and difficult job.

PhD externalling: not more than two a year. One would be better. Again, it takes a very long time for me to read a PhD.

External examining: definitely not more than one external examinership at any one time, preferably a gap of three years between stints (but I haven’t managed that). I try to take on roles that don’t involve too much travelling, will be interesting and are not too onerous, and I might agree to a role that fits these criteria to protect myself from taking on something worse.

Membership of committees/national bodies: only one active role (currently CUCD education chair) and I would again aim for a break between stints.

Conferences: I very rarely volunteer to speak at conferences; only when I want to get into a new area and know that no-one would invite me unless I show that I am working in the area. This can lead to being typecast in previous areas of work, but I find it is good to keep my research interests going since I often still have things to say on areas I have previously worked on. I particularly try to avoid conferences during teaching term as it is very stressful to re-schedule teaching. Conferences can be a really useful way of coming up to speed quickly on a new area, particularly for me as it involves listening rather than reading. But they are also tempting distractions from the required work of writing, publishing, teaching and departmental admin.

Organising conferences: not more than one major conference every three years. One day events are much easier to organise, and I can manage one a year of those. For the CA conference, not more than once a life-time would be my recommendation! Again this is a lot of work and best done as an enthusiastic early career researcher, keen to get your name recognised.

Schools talks/INSET days/local CA talks: not more than two a semester, preferably one. These can also take a great deal of work, including days of travel, weeks of writing or preparation.

New teaching: not more than one new module a semester, preferably one new module a year. If I have a new or major admin role I will try to avoid any new teaching.

PhD students: take up an enormous amount of time and emotional energy, although also very rewarding. Be sure that you really want to spend the next four years seeing this person regularly and that it’s a topic you are really committed to and interested in. My university regards number of PhD students as a promotion indicator, but I think it might be a good idea to set a limit on the number I take on at any one time (three, perhaps, as a colleague does?). The problem is that in a competitive funding situation it’s hard to know which students are likely to come through.

Articles in companions etc: These are usually unlikely to be REFable but they will get you known among students and academics. I would not do more than one of these a year.

When I was finishing off my last book to meet the REF deadline I cut back on everything that I could, including pulling out of conferences and edited volumes to which I was not committed enough, and on which I had not already done any real work, or felt I didn’t have anything to say. I don’t like doing this, but circumstances can change. If you let people know as soon as you can, well in advance of any deadlines/events, politely and explain the circumstances, you usually don’t damage relationships too much. But it’s better to think through what you take on in the first place. Better to drop out than to keep putting it off and never actually produce.

Some questions to ask when you are asked to do something:

Am I the only person who could do this? Is this really my job?

Am I the best person to do this? Could someone else do it better? Could someone else benefit from doing it?

Will this job help someone or create a better system?

Will it be fun, interesting or rewarding? Does it fit with my current aims and priorities?

How much time will it take and do I have that time available to fit with the schedule?

Burn-out avoidance

This is essentially my plan to avoid burn-out. ‘Burn-out’ is a condition of stress or mild depression when you lose motivation, concentration and the ability to prioritise and make decisions. It is usually caused when there are far too many things to do, you have lived on last-minute adrenaline for too long, and your long-term aims don’t match with the activities on which you spend the majority of your time. I do sometimes feel that I spend a lot of time doing things that I am not very good at, and I need to try and avoid this feeling.

Academic external tasks are often enjoyable and interesting, but even then, if there are too many of them, you will lose the will to live. It’s important to do something intellectually stimulating towards a long-term goal every day, if only for half an hour. It’s also important to take proper time off when you do other things that you enjoy (in my case, playing the tenor horn in a brass band), to which you have to give your whole attention. Also, take all your annual leave. You will be more productive in the rest of the time!

I do know some successful Professors of Classics who say that they always say yes to everything. They are men.

Ways to say no

Dear friend

Thank you for thinking of me to referee this article/book/participate in this conference. I’m afraid I’m already overcommitted next month/next year and I can’t take anything else on. However, my former PhD student X who is now teaching at Y university might be a very good alternative choice.

All the best and sorry I couldn’t help on this occasion.

Me

 

Dear publisher

I might be interested in writing a book on X, but my current research direction is more Y. Would you be interested in a book on Y? I would only be able to begin writing it after I have completed my current major project, so not for at least three years.

All best

Me

 

Dear school/CA person

Thank you for the invitation to give a talk. I would normally be delighted but unfortunately I have to finish a major project this year and can’t take on anything extra. I’d be very happy to do it next year.

I do hope the event goes well!

All best

Me

 

Prof. Helen Lovatt

WCC UK Steering Committee Elections

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Two positions are currently available on the Steering Committee of the WCC UK. The Steering Committee runs the WCC UK, including organizing events, workshops, and overseeing future development of the WCC UK. Committee members serve for four years, and may stand for a second consecutive term. Three members of the WCC UK have been nominated to serve on the Steering Committee. A short CV and statement have been provided by each candidate for review by members of the WCC UK prior to voting.

Voting will open on the 15th of December and run until the 15th of February. The elected members will be announced in late February, and will assume office at the AGM in April of 2017. If you are a member of the WCC UK in good standing, you will receive an email with a link for voting online. If you do not receive an email or have any questions, please contact the Elections Officer, Virginia L. Campbell, virginialcampbell@gmail.com.

Candidates

Kate Cook (click here to read statement and CV)

Susan Deacy (click here to read statement and CV)

Claire Millington (click here to read statement and CV)

Round-tables at the Leeds International Medieval Congress 2017

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We are pleased to announce the WCC’s organisation and sponsorship, with the History Department at the University of Huddersfield, of two round-tables at the Leeds International Medieval Congress 2017.

The first round-table (Session 406), Feminist Pedagogy from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, brings together experts from across the disciplines of medieval history, classics, archaeology, heritage studies, and English literature. Discussion will focus on gender and women, uniting customarily disparate voices in the productive exchange of experiences and approaches to feminist and inclusive pedagogy. Discussion will be structured by the following themes: i. What is feminist pedagogy, and how do we do it? ii. Finding feminist pedagogy in language and translation teaching; iii. Finding the female voice in primary sources; and iv. The value of teaching and pedagogical research as a gendered issue. The round-table will be chaired by Patricia Cullum, and participants will include Carol Atack, Sarah Bond, Liz Herbert McAvoy, Sharon Marshall, Diane Watt, and Emma Jane Wells. The round-table will take place on Monday 03 July, 19.00-20.00.

The second round-table (Session 914), Crossing Chronological Boundaries, brings together academics whose combined expertise covers a large swathe of history, from classics to the middle ages. The event facilitates a rare dialogue that crosses the barriers of periodisation, and seeks to break them down. With a particular focus on gender and women, discussion will highlight areas of intersection and difference between classics and medieval studies as disciplines and as fields of research, with discrete pedagogical approaches. Discussion will question the value of periodisation, and the segregation of gender within the strictures of a periodised approach to the past, asking how such categorisation can be renegotiated. The round-table will be chaired by Victoria Leonard, and participants will include Conrad Leyser, Jacqueline Murray, Julia M. H. Smith, Rachel Stone, Shaun Tougher, and Robin Whelan. The round-table will take place on Tuesday 04 July, 19.00-20.00.

Wikipedia Editathon

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Wikipedia currently hosts around 200 biographies of classicists, of which only approximately 10% are of women. This WCC initiative is taking steps towards redressing this gender imbalance, by training and encouraging classicists to edit Wikipedia with this focus.

We are offering a free face-to-face training event and editathon, supported by Wikimedia UK, to launch a programme of more informal remote editing sessions. This launch event will take place at the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS), Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, from 10.30-17.30 on 23rd January 2017.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the ICS this event is free to attend, with lunch and coffee provided. Places are, however, limited, and registration is therefore essential. For those unable to travel to London, participation via Skype is also possible. Participants with disabilities are welcome; if you need particular support to enable you to take part, please let us know.

To reserve a place (either to participate in person or via Skype) and for further details please email the organisers, Claire Millington (claire.millington [at] kcl.ac.uk) and Emma Bridges (e.e.bridges [at] open.ac.uk) by 16th January 2017.

 

Child-friendly policy

The Women’s Classical Committee is committed to making our events as inclusive as possible, and recognises that the financial and practical challenges of childcare often impede people from participating in workshops and conferences.  Anyone who needs to bring a dependent child or children with them in order to participate in one of our events is usually welcome to do so, but we ask you to inform of us this in advance so that we can take them into account in our event planning and risk assessment.  The safety and well-being of any children brought to our events remain at all times the responsibility of the parent or carer.  While we do our best to ensure that rest and changing facilities are available for those who may need them, this will depend on the individual venue we are using.  Again, please contact us in advance to discuss your needs, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

WCC Workshop for Mid-Career Women Classicists

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Women’s Classical Committee UK workshop for mid-career women classicists, Monday 12th December 2016, KCL

The Women’s Classical Committee is organising an event aimed at mid-career scholars, to be held on Monday 12th December 2016 at King’s College London (Strand Campus), from 10am – 5pm. This event follows on from feedback received after the WCC UK launch event held at the Institute of Classical Studies in April 2016, which suggested a need for a workshop dedicated to discussion of issues and challenges that face women academics at mid-career. These may include decisions about whether and when to move institutions, questions around disciplinarity/interdisciplinarity and collaboration in research, expectations about international mobility and balancing this with family/caring duties, managing institutional expectations (which may be gendered) around types and levels of administrative service, taking on leadership positions, and strategies to tackle unconscious bias in the workplace. Those who register their interest in participating (registration link below) will be invited to fill in an online questionnaire, the results of which will inform the precise choice of topics for discussion sessions. We envisage that the day’s discussions will help to set priorities for resource development and future campaigns by the Women’s Classical Committee.

The WCC recognises that the term ‘mid-career’ is open to a range of interpretations, but also that different challenges face women in classics in different situations and career stages. This event is aimed primarily at women who have already achieved employment stability and established a publication profile but have not yet, or have only recently, been promoted to Professor. If the event is oversubscribed then we will give priority to women in this situation, but we welcome applications to register from anyone who feels they would benefit from attending.

The workshop is free to WCC UK members; for non-members the cost is £10 per head, to cover provision of lunch and other refreshments. It will take place in a room that is wheelchair-accessible.

To declare your interest in participating in this event please complete the registration form at the following link by Monday 14th November 2016:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womens-classical-committee-uk-workshop-for-mid-career-women-classicists-tickets-29047360437

Upon registering you will asked to complete a short online survey in order to help us structure the event according to your priorities.

For any queries about this event not covered by this announcement, please contact the organisers on womensclassicalcommittee@gmail.com. For more information on the Women’s Classical Committee, including our aims and activities and how to join, please see our website.

– The Women’s Classical Committee.

Child-friendly policy

The Women’s Classical Committee is committed to making our events as inclusive as possible, and recognises that the financial and practical challenges of childcare often impede people from participating in workshops and conferences. Anyone who needs to bring a dependent child or children with them in order to participate in one of our events is usually welcome to do so, but we ask you to inform of us this in advance so that we can take them into account in our event planning and risk assessment. The safety and well-being of any children brought to our events remain at all times the responsibility of the parent or carer. While we do our best to ensure that rest and changing facilities are available for those who may need them, this will depend on the individual venue we are using. Again, please contact us in advance to discuss your needs, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Call for Papers: “Transnationalisms, Transgressions, Translations”

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Our members may be interested in the following call for papers:


Call for Papers: “Transnationalisms, Transgressions, Translations”

The 12th Conference of the International Federation for Research on Women’s History/Federation Internationale Pour la Recherche en Histoire des Femmes  (IFRWH/FIRHF) will be held August 12-15, 2018 at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, the home of the current President, Eileen Boris. This will be the first time that this international gathering of historians of women and gender will assemble in the United States.

The theme, “Transnationalisms, Transgressions, Translations: Conversations and Controversies,” probes the meanings of boundaries and frameworks, narratives and epistemologies, analytic terms and foundational categories, global, national and local understandings, interactions and power relations across time and space. We are open to proposals for complete panels (chair, commentator, three papers) as well as individual papers, roundtables, conversations, workshops, and non-traditional forms of presentation.

 *Transnationalisms:  This sub-theme reflects the international turn in this era of globalization and the commitment of IFRWH/FIRHF to international histories and comparative panels in such areas as women’s and gendered movements, transnational organizations and global governance, state socialist and third world /global South manifestations, settler societies and Empires, imperialisms and colonialisms, anti-imperialism and anti-imperial uprisings, global labor, individual life trajectories, the traveling across space (and time) of ideas and objects, labor and sex trafficking, mobilities and immigration/migration, and related areas.

*Transgressions:  This sub-theme considers the ways various peoples over time and space define the transgressive from dominant and accepted norms of being, identity and behavior as well as the self-conscious transgressions against hegemonic gender in relation to other social factors. Papers might consider outlaws and criminalization, deviancy, rebelliousness, genderqueer and trans*gender identities and practices, witches, “bad” mothers, gender bending dress or labor, crossing race/ethnic or class/caste lines, revolutions and social movements.

*Translations:  How do terms of analysis travel across languages, disciplines, and time and space?  What is lost in translation and how can we forge a transnational praxis when we cannot always speak well to each other? We are especially interested in the place of orality and how national historiographies and cultures of intellectual life (including the place of women’s and gender history and feminist and gender studies/theory) address concepts like gender, race/ethnicity, class, sexualities, agency, identity, power, (post)colonialism, globalization, feminisms, and development.

Founded in 1987, IFRWH is affiliated with the International Congress of Historical Sciences/Comité Internationale des Sciences Historiques and consists of national affiliates from across the globe, which link scholars together in a transnational network. Beginning in 2020, it will award the Ida Bloom-Karen Offen Book Prize in Transnational Women’s and Gender History (named after two of the most active founders of the organization.) Though the language of the conference is English, and the languages of the organization are French and English, we will seek to have plenaries with translation into Spanish and from French and Spanish into English. But we want to problematize this issue and invite suggestions on how to make this component of the conference accessible. In addition, as funding permits, we will plan on having modest subventions for graduate students, and scholars from areas of the world or institutions without resources.

Our submission link will go alive by November 1, 2016; we will accept proposals until March 15, 2017. Send inquiries to: ifrwh18@gmail.com

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