WCC-UK |

WCC UK Call for Blog Posts

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The Women’s Classical Committee (UK) is pleased to issue an open-ended call for members to contribute to the WCC UK blog. This aim is two-fold: to increase the use and readership of the blog, and to promote the work of our membership.

We welcome submissions on a range of topics including (but not limited to):

  • your research
  • pedagogy
  • current topics in academia / schools / other fields related to Classics, Ancient History, and Archaeology broadly defined
  • issues relevant to the aims of the WCC UK
  • personal stories or experiences
  • book reviews
  • public engagement or outreach activities
  • any other topic you wish to write about

Blog posts should be in a range of 800-1500 words. Light touch editing may be carried out by members of the social media team. Posts can be anonymised. If you are interested in contributing to the blog on any topic, please contact womensclassicalcommittee@gmail.com with a brief description of the topic you wish to write about and a time frame for when you expect to complete the post.

#WCCWiki Colloquium 2020

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The first #WCCWiki Colloquium will be held on 29 July 2020 from 10.00am to 3.15pm. #WCCWiki is a crowd-sourced initiative that aims to increase the representation of women classicists (very broadly conceived) on Wikipedia. Since we began in 2016, we have edited or created more than 450 Wikipedia pages for women classicists. For more information, please visit our Project Page.

The event is an opportunity to bring the #WCCWiki community together, and to reach out to those interested in learning more about women classicists online and why that’s important. We will share experiences and resources for editing, and develop future objectives for #WCCWiki.

The colloquium will be hosted online by the Institute of Classical Studies. This event is free and open to all but places are limited and booking is essential. Booking information can be found on the ICS website.

#WCCWiki Colloquium Schedule
Emma Bridges: moderator
Adam Parker: moderator
Valerie James: technical assistance on Zoom

10-10.15: Introduction, Victoria Leonard: what is #WCCWiki, why is it important, how you can get involved (15 minutes)
10.15-10.25: Emma Bridges, technical introduction to the event (10 minutes)
10.25-10.30: Talk 1, Richard Nevell: data and statistics (5 minutes)
10.30-10.45: Discussion (15 minutes)
10.45-10.50: BREAK (5 minutes)
10.50-11.05: Talk 2, Kelly Foster: Race and Wikipedia (15 minutes)
11.05-11.25: Discussion (20 mins)
11.25-11.40: Break (15 minutes)
11.40-12.15 Discussion: technical Wikipedia editing how-to and skills share – bring your queries! Ie., how do I make an infobox? How do I get images online?
12.15-1.15: LUNCH
1.15-1.25: Talk 3, Adam Parker: Notability (10 minutes)
1.25-1.35: Talk 4, Kate Cook: Achieving good article status (10 minutes)
1.45-2.05: Discussion (20 mins)
2.05-2.10: Break (5 minutes)
2.10.2.25: Talk 5, Miller Power: LGBTQ+ (15 minutes)
2.25-2.45: Discussion (20 minutes)
2.45-2.50: Break (5 minutes)
2.50-3.10: Final discussion: round-up and future directions (20 mins)

Organised by Richard Nevell, Emma Bridges, Katie Shields, Anna Judson, Victoria Leonard, Kate Cook, and Adam Parker

Additional nominations to the REF sub-panel by the Women’s Classical Committee UK – new deadline

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We note that the the Research Excellence Framework 2021 has invited nominating bodies to make further nominations to REF sub-panels, and that a new deadline for making such nominations has now been set. We ask candidates who seek nomination to the REF Classics sub-panel by the Women’s Classical Committee UK to provide answers to the questions below (in brief bullet points) by Friday 31st July 2020, and to send them to the WCC UK’s Administrator, Liz Gloyn, at womensclassicalcommittee at gmail.com. The questions mirror those asked in the HEFCE nomination form, with the addition of Q6 which is specific to the WCC UK.

The sub-panel seek nominations in the following areas:

  • Subpanel member (practicing researcher) with expertise in ancient philosophy
  • Subpanel member (practicing researcher) with expertise in Language, Linguistics and Literature (with particular expertise in the early Aegean)
  • Impact assessor from the heritage sector with a focus on classical antiquity
  • Impact assessor from the museums sector with a focus on classical antiquity
  • A specialist advisor in the Ancient Near East: language & textual sources
  • A specialist advisor in Ancient (Pharaonic) Egypt: language & textual sources –
  • A specialist advisor in Modern Greek: history and culture

Candidates may familiarize themselves with the role and duties of sub-panel members, including the workload and provisional timetable, available at https://www.ref.ac.uk/panels/nominating-panel-members/ and https://www.ref.ac.uk/publications/roles-and-recruitment-of-the-expert-panels-ref-201703/. The announcement about the revised REF timetable at https://ref.ac.uk/publications/revised-submission-deadline-and-the-assessment-period-for-impact/ may also be of interest.

We will be making nomination decisions based on the published HEFCE criteria (captured in these questions), with the additional criterion that your nomination should further the WCC UK’s aims (for which see question 6). We will evaluate candidates of all genders according to the same criteria. We note that at present, of the 14 current members of sub-panel 29, 10 are women; we will be taking this gender imbalance and its implications for unequal distribution of the service workload into consideration in our nominations. The WCC UK will avoid nominating from institutions already represented on the sub-panel wherever possible.

Forms will be circulated to our Steering Committee for comment, before a final nomination decision is made by a small sub-committee formed from current SC members. A full list of SC members and liaisons can be found on our website. We do not intend to publish the list of those nominated by WCC UK.

Questions For Nominees

1. Do you have previous REF panel experience? Give details.

2. What modern languages are you able to assess in?

3. Would you have any major conflicts of interest in regard to your current or former employment, substantial collaborations, family and friends, and, financial interests? See Annex D for further details.

4. What are your areas of expertise, including (if applicable) experience in wider use and benefits of research?

5.  Outline which specific role you are nominating yourself for and provide evidence in support of your nomination (e.g. key achievements and academic appointments; esteem indicators such as editorial posts; experience of research management, commissioning, using or benefitting from research; experience of leading/managing/practising interdisciplinary research; experience of peer review, research quality standards, or of evaluating impact, benefits, or quality of research).

6. How will your appointment to the sub-panel help to advance WCC UK’s published aims? Our aims are:

  • 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.

WCC UK emergency grants Round 2 June 2020

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Following the first round of emergency grants offered in April 2020, the Women’s Classical Committee UK can offer a further round of emergency grants, thanks to support from our members and from the Classical Association. In this round we can offer emergency grants of up to £100 per applicant to UK-based applicants; we hope to make an initial distribution at the end of June 2020.

We encourage applications from early-career researchers and unfunded or partially funded graduate students in financial need due to the pandemic crisis and lock-down, including those whose fixed-term employment or funding expires at the end of this academic year. We also encourage any classicist in need to apply, including those working in classics-related creative arts and performance. This scheme is available to all classicists regardless of gender or affiliation with the WCC UK.

We are also keen to support unfunded and unsalaried student applicants who have lost paid work (both academic and non-academic) on which they relied for living expenses as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, especially those who are falling through gaps in government schemes or who have not been given emergency funding by their institutions.

To apply for this funding, please email carolatack@gmail.com by 30 June 2020 with the following information:

  • Your current course, including year (eg 2nd year doctoral student in Classical Archaeology), or job title (eg Teaching Fellow).
  • Your current or most recent institutional affiliation.
  • Brief details of your situation: please tell us something about your situation along the following lines (these notes are not exhaustive):
    – ‘had departmental funding for MA fees, self-funding for living expenses, no income now from zero-hours coffee shop job at xxx, applied for universal credit/government support programme xxx’;
    – ‘in final unfunded year of PhD and now no hourly-paid teaching work for final term of year’;
    – ‘recent PhD graduate; working with theatre company but now all performances cancelled, laid off from paid work and hourly-paid teaching cancelled’.
  • If you have applied for or received emergency funding from other schemes, or from your department or institution, please let us know; this will not affect your application for this scheme, but will help us gain a better understanding of the varying support offered by different institutions.
  • If you are able to email from your institutional email account (ie. @xxx.ac.uk address), please do so, though if this is likely to expire soon please include your personal email address too.

Applications will be reviewed quickly, by a small team of WCC UK committee members; all details will be treated as confidential. Payments will be made by bank transfer to UK bank accounts. Applicants who have received funding in the previous WCC UK round, as well as from schemes offered by other organisations including New Classicists and Sportula Europe, are welcome to apply to this round of WCC UK grants as well.

WCC UK ECR Research Dissemination Workshop

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The Women’s Classical Committee UK is pleased to announce the full programme for its online ECR event on Friday 10 July. Designed for early-career and postgraduate researchers in Classics, Archaeology, Ancient History, and other fields relating to the study of the ancient Mediterranean world and its reception, the aim of this online workshop is to provide
information and opportunities for discussion on both traditional and non-traditional forms of reaching out with research.

The majority of presentations will be pre-recorded, and will be available to watch on the WCC UK’s YouTube channel from a week in advance of the live event; they can also be watched on the day during the breaks between live sessions. Two other presentations will be given live, immediately before their respective Q&A sessions, all of which will take place over Zoom. Live events will not be recorded but a written summary of the information and
resources shared will be published after the event.

We also plan to offer 5-minute prerecorded “spotlight” talks, in order to provide a chance for delegates to share projects, experiences or research connected to the WCC UK’s aims. We would especially like to hear from delegates who have been involved in innovative or unusual activities related to outreach, widening participation, knowledge exchange or public
engagement. If you would like more information or to volunteer to give one of these talks, please email Rhiannon Easterbrook (rhiannon.easterbrook@sas.ac.uk). The deadline for expressing interest is 5pm on Monday 22 June, and videos should be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 30 June.

People of any gender expression or identity who support the WCC’s aims are welcome to attend this event; registration is free for both WCC members and non-members (if the event reaches capacity, WCC members will be given priority). The link for registration is here.

Registration closes at 12 noon on Thursday 9 July.

Schedule:

Pre-recorded presentations
Publishing journal articles – Carol Atack
Publishing academic monographs – Michael Sharp
Research plans for job/funding applications – James Clackson
BBC New Generation Thinkers’ programme – John Gallagher
Knowledge exchange projects – Emma Cole
Research plans for job/funding applications – Naoise MacSweeney

Live sessions, Friday 10 July (all times are UK = GMT+1)
10.00-10.15 – welcome remarks
10.15-10.45 – Q&A on journal articles – Carol Atack
10.45.11-15 – break 
11.15-11.30 – live presentation on trade publishing – Issy Wilkinson
11.30-12.15 – Q&A on publishing (academic and trade) – Michael Sharp & Issy Wilkinson 
12.15-1.30 – break
1.30-2.15 – Q&A on research plans in job/funding applications – James Clackson & Naoise MacSweeney 
2.15-2.30 – break
2.30-3.15 – breakout groups to discuss participants’ research plans
3.15-4.15 – break
4.15-4.45 – Q&A on the New Generation Thinkers programme – John Gallagher
4.45-5.15 – Q&A on knowledge exchange projects – Emma Cole 
5.15-5.30 – Closing remarks

WCC UK Statement on Racism and Equality

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One of the principles on which the Women’s Classical Committee UK was founded was to advance equality and diversity in the study of the ancient Mediterranean world and its reception. As an organisation, we abhor the ongoing brutality of the state sanctioned murder of black people of all ages and identities, the institutionalised racism that is condoned and continued by systems of government, healthcare, and academia, and the inequality inherent in both American and European cultures. As individuals, some of us from or educated in the United States, we watch in horror as those standing up for the fundamental right to live are beaten and gassed in the streets.

We stand with Black Lives Matter. We stand with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others on both sides of the Atlantic who have suffered and continue to suffer from the violence of institutional racism. We demand justice. We demand change. We reject racism. We reject the use and abuse of Classics by white supremacists. We reject the idea that Western Civilisation is superior.

The WCC UK will continue to advocate for equality and justice within an intersectional framework. As an organisation, we will support all Classicists of colour, whether our members, colleagues, or students.  We will continue to encourage and support white Classicists to learn to be better allies, and to decolonise our classrooms, museums, and field as a whole. We will, as individuals and as a group, use the power we have to hold others accountable for their action and dis-action, including institutions of higher learning, museums, and associated organisations. Following Cornel West’s call to action, we are committed to trying again, failing again, and failing better in the hope of fostering the equality and justice we want to see in the world.

Sign petitions:
Justice for George Floyd
Justice for Breonna Taylor
Justice for David McAtee
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Re-open Sandra Bland’s Case

Donate:
George Floyd Funeral Fund
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Black Lives Matter
Color of Change
Sportula (US)
Sportula (Europe)

Further Resources:
Black-Centered Resources for Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Race in Britain: the best books to help understand
NY Times Antiracist Reading List
10 Books About Race
Black British Female Authors you should read
Additional reading suggestions can be found here and here.

WCC UK ECR Research Dissemination Workshop

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The Women’s Classical Committee UK is pleased to announce its 2020 ECR event on Friday 10 July. Designed for early-career and postgraduate researchers in Classics, Archaeology, Ancient History, and other fields relating to the study of the ancient Mediterranean world and its reception, the aim of this online workshop is to provide information and opportunities for discussion on both traditional and non-traditional forms of reaching out with research. It will include presentations and Q&As on topics including publishing journal articles and monographs; writing research plans for job and funding applications; the BBC New Generation Thinkers programme; and knowledge exchange projects.

Presentations will mostly be pre-recorded, and available to watch from a week in advance of the event, with live Q&As with the presenters taking place on the 10th; there will also be time to watch the videos in between each Q&A session. Following the Q&A on research plans, a breakout group session is planned for attendees to discuss their own plans. The full schedule and details of speakers will be available shortly.

We also plan to offer online “spotlight” talks, in order to provide a chance for delegates to share projects, experiences or research connected to the WCC’s aims. We would especially like to hear from delegates who have been involved in innovative or unusual activities related to outreach, widening participation, knowledge exchange or public engagement. Given the current situation, we plan to make 5-minute videos of the talk available on YouTube from seven days prior to the event and to encourage discussion on them via the YouTube comments or during breaks between sessions on the day. We are happy to make videos unlisted/ private and to make them available for a duration of your choosing. If you would like more information or to volunteer to give one of these talks, please email Rhiannon Easterbrook (rhiannon.easterbrook@sas.ac.uk). The deadline for expressing interest is 5pm on Friday 19th June, and videos should be submitted by 5pm on 30th June.

Registration is free for both WCC members and non-members (if the event reaches capacity, WCC members will be given priority). The link for registration is here.

Registration closes at 12 noon on Thursday July 9th.

WCC UK Resolution on the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The WCC UK passed the following resolution at its April 2020 AGM. We will be sending a copy of the resolution to the relevant learned societies and other Classics organisations, and encourage members and supporters to keep in touch with us about what is happening at their institutions. A PDF copy of the resolution is available for download.

The Women’s Classical Committee UK notes the extraordinary impact of the Coronavirus crisis on the education sector, both the direct impact of the pandemic itself and the social and economic consequences of the response to it. In the short-term, during the current lockdown:

  • We note that disproportionate burdens have fallen upon those with significant caring responsibilities and those managing existing illnesses, and that the distribution of these burdens tends to be gendered; while some departments have acknowledged this, others continue to place unrealistic demands on academics working from home.
  • We call upon departments and institutions to be explicit in recognising the additional work and emotional labour (also often gendered) undertaken by so many academics at a time when all were facing intense disruption in their own lives.
  • We encourage departments to be mindful and realistic of the very different working conditions that staff and students will be under in terms of their access to technology, space and security.

We note the economic consequences of the shutdown and their disproportionate impact on the already precarious, the hourly-paid workers in higher education and those supporting their studies and/or their academic employment through part-time and hourly-paid work in other sectors. We note the likely consequences for employment in the sector and the probable reduction in opportunities for those already in precarious employment or hoping to enter the job market. 

  • We also note the particular stress faced by those approaching the end of fixed-term studentships and fixed-term contracts at this time, as well as those who have recently been made redundant, and would urge institutions to explore the government’s Job Retention Scheme and all other available possibilities to extend those contracts. 
  • We urge all Classics departments to find ways to support colleagues and students through the release of any discretionary funds for travel and research expenses that cannot now be spent as intended, as we have done with our own funds.
  • We encourage our members to advocate these policies within their own departments as far as possible, particularly those in permanent employment and senior management roles.
  • We commit to continuing to arrange events on-line, and when it becomes possible again, in-person, to enable our members at all levels of study and career to develop.
  • We urge all Classics organisations and learned societies to consider what steps they can take to support doctoral students and early-career scholars over the coming years, through funding schemes, affiliation and access to library and on-line resources.
  • We also urge all Classics departments and institutions to begin a realistic, transparent, consultative and humane process of contingency planning for the autumn 2020 teaching semester and beyond.

We thank those departments, organisations and individuals who have stepped forward to provide support to students and to staff.

Approved at the WCC UK 2020 AGM, held electronically via Zoom on Friday 24th April 2020.

For further queries or to share examples of best or worst practice, please contact us via womensclassicalcommittee at gmail.com.

WCC AGM schedule, April 24th 2020

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The AGM will be held via Zoom: please register for the event on Eventbrite and you will be sent details of how to join the meeting.

Spotlight talks will be available on our YouTube channel from Tuesday 21st April – we will circulate a link to access the videos. Please watch these in advance of the AGM if possible, and leave questions or comments to begin the discussion! (You will need a Google/Gmail account in order to comment on videos).

Schedule

10-10.30: Keynote: Judith Mossman, ‘Grass roots, Green shoots . . . is everything in the garden lovely?’ (live talk, to be recorded for later sharing on YouTube)

Abstract: This is a hard time for all minority subjects, and even for some we do not think of as such. Classics has the advantage of having had to fight for its survival for the best part of a hundred years – we are old hands. There are reasons for optimism in the growth of classical subjects in non-traditional institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary level, and in the continuing interest our subject, including new areas of its study, holds for the public. Complacency, however, would be fatal in the current climate. This talk will briefly survey some upsides – and some potential pitfalls, and invites further discussion on how to preserve and enhance the glory of the garden.

10.30-11: Keynote Q&A (questions to be submitted via the Zoom chat)

11-11.30: Discussions of spotlight talks

11.30-12: Breakout groups:
* Carers
* Early career researchers
* Remote working and mental health

12-1: lunch break

1-1.45: Consult the experts on shifting teaching online: Magdalena Öhrman and Ursula Rothe (live talks and discussion)

1.45-2.15: tea break

2.15-4.15: business meeting

WCC UK Emergency Grants April 2020

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The Women’s Classical Committee UK has, like many organisations, transitioned to online meetings for the foreseeable future. This means thatfunds earmarked for travel bursaries for postgraduate and early career researchers, and event catering will not be spent as planned.

We propose to make this funding available as emergency grants to precarious members and colleagues. At the moment, we have a limited pot from which we can offer up to 10 emergency grants of up to £100 per applicant to UK-based applicants. We are aware that what we can offer is unlikely to match the needs arising from the crisis, but believe that this is the best way to disburse funds intended to support students and precarious colleagues.

We will prioritise unfunded and unsalaried applicants who have lost paid work (both academic and non-academic) on which they relied for living expenses as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, especially those who are falling through gaps in government schemes. Early-career researchers, WCC UK members and those who have contributed to our work will be given priority in this initial round of grants, but we encourage any classicist in need to apply, including those working in classics-related creative arts and performance.

We will aim to run a further round of this scheme in the year, targeted at those whose employment or funding has ceased at the end of the 2019/20 academic year.

To apply for this funding, please email carolatack at gmail.com by April 13th 2020 with the following information (although we hope to make some initial allocations at the end of this week):

  • Your current or most recent institutional affiliation or course (if you are a WCC UK member, we may well have this information already).
  • Brief details of your situation: please tell us something about your situation along the following lines (these notes are not exhaustive):
    • ‘had departmental funding for MA fees, self-funding for living expenses, no income now from zero-hours coffee shop job at xxx, applied for universal credit/government support programme xxx’;
    • ‘in final unfunded year of PhD and now no hourly-paid teaching work for final term of year’;
    • ‘recent PhD graduate; working with theatre company but now all performances cancelled, laid off from paid work and hourly-paid teaching cancelled’.

Applications will be reviewed quickly, by a small team of WCC UK committee members; all details will be treated as confidential. Payments will be made by bank transfer to UK bank accounts. You are welcome to apply to this scheme as well as to that run by New Classicists, although we are likely to prioritise those not covered by that scheme (i.e. those who aren’t graduate students).

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