The WCC UK conference graduate mentoring scheme will run for the third time at this year’s Classical Association Conference in Swansea, 8th-11th April 2022 (postponed from 2020). This scheme matches mentors and mentees for a one-off mentoring meeting during the conference. Mentees should be enrolled on an MA or PhD course at any stage from registration to post-viva final submission; mentors should consider themselves mid-late career. We would particularly like to encourage senior staff members (Senior Lecturers/Readers/Associate Professors/Professors) to sign up as mentors. Both mentors and mentees can sign up using the same form here. Applications close at midnight on Monday 21st March 2022. Pairs will be put in touch by Friday 25th March 2022. People need not be attending the conference in person to participate in this scheme. Virtual meetups can also be facilitated.
To access this, you should be a member of the WCC UK in good standing; please see the Membership Page for details.
We are delighted that the WCC UK will be well-represented at the upcoming Classical Association conference in Swansea and on-line. As well as two panels, we also intend to run our mentoring scheme for members – stay tuned for more details!
Saturday 9th April 11.30am-1pm – Session 2, Panel 5
This workshop has been organised by Victoria Leonard, Anna Judson, Katie Shields and Kate Cook on behalf of the WCC UK, and represents the continuing activity of the #WCCWiki project.
Following the success of #WCCWiki’s workshop at the FIEC/Classical Association in 2019, the Women’s Classical Committee (UK) will hold a Wikipedia editathon at the CA in 2022 to improve the online representation of classicists who identify as women or non-binary. Classicists are broadly conceived, to include archaeologists, ancient historians, religious studies experts, theorists, and art historians, and others who work on the ancient world.
The workshop seeks to improve the representation of classicists who identify as women or non-binary on Wikipedia, with a particular focus on overlooked Welsh women or non-binary classicists, such as Kathleen Freeman, Käthe Bosse-Griffiths, Jacqui Mulville and Juliette Wood, or those whose research focuses on Wales’s culture and history, such as Catherine Clarke. Of those six women historians who are Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales, an important notability criterion for Wikipedia, five need their pages improving and one lacks a page entirely. The workshop will be an important starting point to addressing this imbalance and promoting the online visibility of Welsh classicists (broadly conceived) who identify as women or non-binary.
The workshop welcomes people of all genders, and it is aimed at those who have never edited Wikipedia before, as well as more experienced contributors. Training will be provided for the first 30 minutes, followed by a supported editing session.
This panel has been organised by Ellie Mackin Roberts, Claire Stocks, Penny Coombe and Thea Lawrence on behalf of the WCC UK and in conjunction with Assemblywomen: The Video-Journal of the WCC UK.
This panel seeks to investigate the ways that women and girls (broadly defined) were politicised in the Greek and Roman worlds. Politicisation, whether imposed internally or externally, is a lens through which we can interrogate the lives of women in a world that is patriarchal and socially constructed. Women’s lives are not simply about the production of new generations of citizens, but they are integral to the political, economic, and social fabric of the ancient past. By looking at several cases from Greece and Rome the papers of this panel will trace the lives of distinct women, and then men and societies that frame them as political.
Elena Duce Pastor (Universidad de Zaragoza) – Peisistratos and the politicisation of marriage
Briana King (University of St Andrews)- “Brides of Disaster”: Homeric Heroines and the Ideology of Male Victory
Laura Fontana (Università degli Studi di Milano) – Politicising matrons’ mourning in the early Roman Republic
Caitlin C. Gillespie (Brandeis University) – Death Becomes Her: Poppaea Sabina’s Political Beauty
Applications are now open for the post of Administrator of the WCC UK. The Administrator is responsible for overseeing the administrative aspects of running the WCC UK for the duration of their five year term of service. The current post-holder, Dr. Liz Gloyn, will step down at the next AGM, which will be held on 29th April 2022, and the new Administrator will take up the post then.
According to the WCC UK Rules, “elections are to be held where possible, and nominations by the Steering Committee are to be approved where there is only one candidate” for the Administrator post. To that end, the current WCC UK co-chairs, Dr. Laurence Totelin and Dr. April Pudsey, invite those interested in the post to get in touch by Monday 7th March 2022. Please send a short CV and a one page statement of interest to womensclassicalcommittee @ gmail.com.
Click below the cut to see a detailed role description of what the Administrator currently does. Dr. Gloyn estimates that this work takes about an hour a week, with crunch points of increased workload around the two Steering Committee meetings and the Annual General Meeting. She is happy to discuss the post with interested parties; please e-mail her directly at liz.gloyn at rhul.ac.uk.
We would like to circulate a second callfor nominees to run for election for the Steering Committee of the Women’s Classical Committee UK. The Steering Committee runs the WCC UK, including organizing events, workshops, and future development of the WCC UK. Two new Committee members will be elected by the membership, and will serve for four years, with the option to run for re-election for a further four year term. The Steering Committee wishes to encourage a diverse organization comprised of representatives from any background, location, or career level.
In addition to nominations of others, we also strongly encourage members to nominate themselves if they are interested in the roles. Nominees must be members of the WCC UK in good standing (please check with Christine Plastow at christine.plastow[at]open.ac.uk) if you are unsure of your membership status). Names of nominees should be submitted to Thea Lawrence, the Elections Officer, at TLawrence[at]lincoln.ac.uk, by Friday 21st January 2022.
Nominations are being solicited for joining the Steering Committee of the Women’s Classical Committee UK. The Steering Committee runs the WCC UK, including organizing events, workshops, and future development of the WCC UK. Two new Committee members will be elected by the membership, and will serve for four years, with the option to run for re-election for a further four year term. The Steering Committee wishes to encourage a diverse organization comprised of representatives from any background, location, or career level.
In addition to nominations of others, we also strongly encourage members to nominate themselves if they are interested in the roles. Nominees must be members of the WCC UK in good standing (please check with Christine Plastow at christine.plastow[at]open.ac.uk) if you are unsure of your membership status). Names of nominees should be submitted to Thea Lawrence, the Elections Officer, at TLawrence[at]lincoln.ac.uk, by Friday 14th January 2022.
The Elections Officer will contact nominees for permission to place their candidacy on the ticket. The Elections Officer will require a short CV (1 page) and an election statement from each nominee. These will be made available on the WCC UK website for members to review prior to voting. For previous examples of such materials, see here.
Voting will open on Monday 31st January and run until Monday the 28th February 2022. The elected members will be announced shortly afterwards, and then assume office at the AGM in April. If you have any questions about the Steering Committee or the process of elections, please e-mail us at womensclassicalcommittee[at]gmail.com
The Women’s Classical Committee UK invites proposals for a seminar series aimed at late-stage PhDs and early career academics (self defined), to run online on Tuesdays at 5 pm (GMT) on Zoom throughout October and November 2021.
The theme for this- year’s WCC UK ECR event is ‘Niches’. ‘Niche’ is a versatile and productive concept, which refers to something that is ‘exclusive’ or narrow’; but also the ‘place or position suited or intended for the character, capabilities, status of a person’; ‘a place of retreat or refuge’; and ‘the actual or potential position of an organism within a particular ecosystem’. This seminar series will provide an opportunity for late-stage PhDs and ECRs (self-defined) to develop and celebrate their ‘niche’ – an original research topic, a space, a community – that allows them to be distinctive whilst at the same time fitting into, and influencing, the scholarly ecosystem.
Speakers will have the opportunity to present their work-in-progress research and articulate their ‘“niche’” in the format and length that they prefer (thesis abstract, book proposal overviews, chapter, article) within a friendly, inclusive, and informal environment, where they will receive feedback from fellow postgraduates and ECRs. Discussion will continue on a dedicated Discord channel, which will be moderated by the WCC ECR committee members, and will give speakers and attendees the chance to carry on sharing research ideas and suggestions.
All seminars will be online and papers will be between 20 and 40 minutes; they will commence on 5th October. Those who would like to present a paper should send an anonymised abstract of 300 words by September 3rd to ellie.roberts[a]sas.ac.uk. Acceptances will be sent out by September 17th.
As part of this event, we will have one session dedicated to spotlight talks of roughly 5-10 minutes. We welcome titles and a brief explanation of the material to be presented by interested researchers at master’s level and up to be submitted by September 3rd.
This week’s guest post comes from Hannah Morrish, an actor and screenwriter who has among other things played a number of roles in Shakespeare’s classical plays, about her latest project.
Ceres is a short film, currently in development, that tells the story of a daughter seeking refuge from her abusive relationship at the home of her estranged mother. It follows their attempt to reconnect, and move forward, before the daughter’s inevitable decision to return to what she knows. But now with earth underneath her fingernails.
The film is a modern retelling of the myth of Ceres and Proserpina, a film about mothers, daughters, regrowth, and the complexities of abuse.
I grew attached to the myth while working on it as an actor at the RSC, at a time when I found myself having frequent conversations with friends and colleagues about their experiences with coercive-controlling relationships.
Ceres uses the roots of the myth to look at the everyday shadows of emotional abuse, the far-reaching effects it has on those close to the victim, and the near-impossibility of extricating oneself from its hold.
Set in modern-day suburban Norfolk, this fifteen-minute film is about the subtle psychological movements that can often only take place in safe female spaces.
This section of Ted Hughes’ translation of the Proserpina myth is the essence of the film:
From this day, Proserpina,
The goddess who shares both kingdoms, divides her year
Between her husband in hell, among spectres,
And her mother on earth, among flowers.
Her nature, too, is divided. One moment
Gloomy as hell’s king, but the next
Bright as the sun’s mass, bursting through clouds.
The Rape of Proserpina, Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes
The film will be directed by Amelia Sears and the parts of Ceres and Proserpina will be played by Juliet Stevenson and myself respectively. Due to the subject matter of the film, we aim to assemble an all female, trans, and non-binary crew for the shoot.
Ceres aims to shed light on the nuances and complexities of emotional abuse, the scars left on women that can’t be seen, and the female connections that help to bring women back to themselves.
We are currently in the fundraising stages of production with one week to go to reach our goal. If this film and the subject matter resonate with you, and you felt like supporting in any way, or indeed sharing with others, you can find more information on Kickstarter.
We are thrilled to be opening Assemblywomen: the Video Journal of the Women’s Classical Committee (UK) for the first Call for Pitches. Please find further details about the journal and the types of submissions below. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries you may have.
Assemblywomen is the video journal of the Women’s Classical Committee (UK).The Women’s Classical Committee was founded in 2015 in the United Kingdom with the following aims:
Support women* in classics**
Promote feminist and gender-informed perspectives in classics
Raise the profile of the study of women in antiquity and classical reception
Advance equality and diversity in classics
*By ‘women’ we include all those who self-define as women, including (if they wish) those with complex gender identities which include ‘woman’, and those who experience oppression as women.
**By ‘classics’ we understand the study of the ancient Mediterranean world and its reception, including but not limited to scholarship by students and post-holders in academic departments of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology.
Assemblywomen furthers the general aims of the WCC by providing an innovative platform for the open access publication of research on women and gender in the ancient world. We will accept submissions that focus on women, or take feminist or gender-informed approaches to the ancient Mediterranean world, work that undertakes comparatives studies between the Mediterranean world and global cultures or which examines global cultures in relation to the ancient Mediterranean. While we are actively working to create a platform in which we can accept work that does not have a connection with the Mediterranean world, at this point in time we do not have the sufficient breadth of knowledge in order to do this.
There are three types of submissions currently being accepted.
Video Essays: these are our peer reviewed submissions. These may undergo several stages of peer review depending on the submission, including review of the pitch and the final script. Video essays should present original research and be between ten and twenty minutes in length (around 2000-4000 words, depending on speech patterns).
Work in Progress Shorts: these are not peer reviewed, but undergo the same pitch development process with an editor as video essays. They should present original research, but as the name suggests this will likely be ‘work in progress’ and does not need to present firm conclusions. These should be between 5 and 15 minutes in length (1000-3000 words approximately).
Review or Response videos: These videos will vary in length but should be no longer than 15 minutes. These are videos that either:
Review a body of work (more like a review essay than the review of a single book). These may take the form of ‘state of the field’ type essays, and should make some general observations about the place of each of the books/articles/videos within the (sub)discipline more broadly).
Videos that respond to another Assemblywomen video or to an article or book. The original author will usually be given an opportunity to respond also. Please note: these are not places for criticism, but for constructive critique and/or dialogue. These may take the form of “here is another example that illustrates this point”, “this responds well to X methodology”.
Following the WCC UK 2021 AGM, we have a number of vacancies for liaisons on the steering committee. Liaison posts are voluntary positions with a renewable term of two years.
Each liaison officer is a person whom members can contact as a first port of call when needing information, advice or further direction. Their duties are as follows:
Advocate for the specific group they represent at all WCC UK events and Steering Committee meetings.
Ensure specific issues relevant to their group are foregrounded as appropriate.
Play a role in organising events specifically focused on the interests of that group.
Work proactively rather than reactively to represent the needs of their group.
Work with the support of the co-chairs and the steering committee rather than having sole responsibility for action, particularly on difficult issues like those around race and discrimination.
Encourage others to become active in the WCC UK.
The following positions are vacant as of the 2021 AGM:
Ethnic minorities liaison: This liaison is responsible for making sure issues concerning BAME classicists are heard on the steering committee. Sukanya Rai-Sharma is currently in post; we would welcome a second ethnic minorities liaison to share the load.
LBGT liaison: This liaison is responsible for making sure issues concerning LBGT+ classicists are heard on the steering committee. This position is currently vacant.
Disability liaison: This liaison is responsible for making sure that issues concerning disabled colleagues are heard on the steering committee. Eris Reed-Williams is currently in post; we would welcome a second disability liaison to share the load.
PhD liaison: This liaison is responsible for making sure the voice of PhD students is heard on the steering committee. Kate Caraway is currently in post; we would welcome a second PhD liaison to share the load.
ECR liaison: This liaison is responsible for making sure the voice of ECR colleagues is heard on the steering committee. Rhiannon Easterbrook is currently in post; we would welcome a second ECR liaison to share the load.
Schools liaison: This liaison is responsible for representing the needs and interests of school teachers in steering committee discussions. This position is currently vacant.
Website and social media: To provide content and oversight of the WCC UK’s Facebook and Twitter account, and to help manage the WCC UK website. Supports the Administrator. To help create a larger team handling the WCC UK’s social media presence.
If you are interested in finding out more about being a liaison or in taking up a liaison role, please get in touch via womensclassicalcommittee at gmail.com.
Following this year’s election, we are delighted to announce that Dr Cora Beth Fraser and Dr Emma-Jayne Graham have been elected to the Steering Committee of the Women’s Classical Committee UK.
We would like to extend our thanks to all of the excellent nominees, and to the many members of the WCC who participated in the election. During such a turbulent year, it was wonderful to see so many members enthusiastic to participate in the running of the Committee.
Dr. Fraser and Dr. Graham will officially assume their positions in the Steering Committee at the AGM on Friday 14th of May. We look forward to welcoming them and congratulating them in person!