Leadership Initiative Grants

CAAS Leadership Initiative Grants (formerly the Presidential Initiative Awards) are designed to encourage committed members of CAAS to increase their involvement in the organization by generating leadership in order to advance the mission of CAAS      to promote better teaching, encourage research, and foster public support of the Classics.

Eligibility: All members of CAAS are eligible to apply for a Leadership Initiative Grant.

Application Process: To apply for funding, click on the link below for the application. Complete the form in as much detail as possible, explaining how your project fulfills the mission of CAAS, including your anticipated budget, your plans for publicity and assessment, and your pledge to submit a full report (see link below) at the completion of the project. Send the completed form to Barbara Gold, Chair of the LIG Committee (bgold@hamilton.edu).

Leadership Initiative Grants

Teaching Latin Better

Bill Clausen, Head of Classics Department

Washington Latin Public Charter School

The advances in understanding how second language acquisition works and the particular challenges of teaching Latin to students today have produced much conversation about the goals and methods of Latin pedagogy. While still committed to the good of explicit grammatical instruction, Washington Latin PCS believes that teachers must always be thinking about how and why we teach what we teach. To this end, and in the hopes of bringing together Latin teachers from across the DC area, WLPCS will host Justin Bailey, a linguist and leader in the field of Latin instruction, for a presentation and workshop focused on teaching Latin well, using spoken Latin and both intensive and extensive reading methods.

Gathering Stories at the Edge of the World: Classics and Social Justice 

A performance by Rhodessa Jones and members of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women

Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, Professor of Comparative Literature, Hamilton College

The grant will fund a special public CAAS performance by Rhodessa Jones and performers from The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women. The Medea Project uses narratives of mythic figures (e.g., Medea, Pandora, Persephone) as the starting-point for collaborative, public performances by women who are or who have been incarcerated, women living with HIV and artists. Thus their performances highlight the contemporary relevance of both the study of the classical world and the reuse of the “classics.” A following discussion session, hosted by a classicist in partnership with Rhodessa Jones, will seek to extend conversation beyond the performance itself to conceptual and pragmatic questions about appropriation of the classical world outside of the academy.  This event will encourage dialogue between Jones, her performers and attendees of the CAAS meeting, as well as people from the larger community whom we will try to attract.

This event will interest those who are invested in the performance history of tragedy, the role of classics in social justice initiatives, and innovative or creative approaches to pedagogy. It will also attract those who are attentive to how classics can be used as a tool of empowerment by those who have historically been, and in some cases continue to be, denied accessed to education, namely women, people of color and incarcerated populations. Thus it will build on relationships already fostered by CAAS’ commitment to school education.

Narcissus: An Ancient Roman Pantomime

Santino DeAngelo, MFA Playwright, Columbia University

Narcissus: An Ancient Roman Pantomime is an original theatrical production reconstructing the lost art form of Ancient Roman Pantomime, made for television in partnership with WSKG/PBS and Tri-Cities Opera Company. Featuring Broadway star Ryan Breslin (Disney’s Newsies, Book of Mormon) as the Pantomime Artist, the production retells the well-known myth of Narcissus as he descends into self-obsession.  As the pantomime artist dances the tale, performing all roles in hand-crafted leather masks custom-made for the production by professional mask-maker Wendy Drolma, behind him performs the esteemed chorus members and soloists of Tri-Cities Opera (a company that once housed Placido Domingo) all under the baton of world-renown conductor and pianist, John Covelli (New York City Opera, Boston Pops).

Heading up this collaboration is composer/producer Santino DeAngelo, who has taken his “gift for engaging melodies” (New York Times) and turned his attention once again to the Classical World, following two previous CAAS-supported performances: Pygmalion, A Lyrical Ballet (2010) and The Ghoul Next Door, a new musical setting of Plautus’ Mostellaria with John Starks (2012). Teaming up once again with Professor John H Starks, jr (Chair of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, Binghamton University), the production team’s primary task is to explore and better understand the different ways ancient pantomime may have been executed and attempt to recreate the effect this popular form may have had on ancient audiences. In the absence of existing music and librettos, all of which appear to be lost to time, DeAngelo has composed an original libretto and musical score. The piece has been structured on Aristotelian principals of drama and features leitmotifs and arias, an homage to opera’s connection with, and in many ways continuation of, the pantomime tradition.

The 35-minute piece will be taped in front of a live studio audience on January 16th and televised on PBS affiliate WSKG in Upstate New York/Northern Pennsylvania in early February (a station with an approximate viewership of 350,000 – 500,000 households). The performance will be presented with an accompanying 25-minute documentary, showing a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of our production as well as teaching audiences about ancient pantomime performance. The creators believe this to be the first comprehensive reconstruction of Ancient Roman Pantomime for television and this initial broadcast is the first step in the process for national syndication on PBS. The CAAS LIG grant is contributing to the taping of “Narcissus”.

Marrying cutting-edge scholarship with superior creativity, Narcissus: An Ancient Roman Pantomime is an exciting exploration of how passionate cross-disciplinary collaborations can foster public support for the Classics and keep the past alive in the heart of our modern culture.

2016   Living Latin in New York City (LLiNYC)

 

Dr. Jason Pedicone, President, The Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study

This grant will help to support the Paideia Institute’s Living Latin in New York City (LLiNYC) conference, an international Classics conference held in New York City every February since 2012. LLiNYC brings together expert Latin and Greek speakers from across the country and all over the world and consists of presentations in Latin and Greek, as well as in English, on various aspects of active language pedagogy, and workshops that enable participants to practice spoken Latin and Greek in small groups with world experts.

 

Historically, an antagonism has existed between camps of “traditional philologists” on the one hand and a Latin and Greek speaking “fringe” on the other. This opposition has its roots in a false dichotomy that goes back centuries to the founding of our discipline during the Enlightenment.  LLiNYC provides a laboratory in which professors and teachers can explore how to most profitably apply the active approach to teaching “dead languages” in the classroom.

 

In 2015, with 133 registered attendees, LLiNYC is estimated to have been the largest active Latin gathering in the world. In 2016, with the help of CAAS funding, the Paideia Institute will bring more speakers, accommodate more participants, and record all talks and make them available online.  The conference will be held on February 13-14, 2016 at the Skaden Conference Center at Fordham University’s Law School, located in Lincoln Center in central Manhattan.

2016-17  Classicizing Philadelphia:  Digital Resources for a City’s Dialogue with Greece and Rome

Dr. Lee T. Pearcy, Research Associate in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College

Classicizing Philadelphia, a digital humanities project inspired by the Classicizing Chicago project at Northwestern University, seeks to document and continue Philadelphia’s long, deep dialogue with Greece and Rome. The project has these goals:

  • To be a focal point for research on classical receptions in Philadelphia
  • To be a gateway to documents of classical reception in Philadelphia collections
  • To inform the citizens of Philadelphia about and engage them in our city’s long conversation with Greece and Rome

In 2014–2015, with the aid of a generous Leadership Initiative Grant from CAAS, Classicizing Philadelphia developed a prototype smartphone tour of classicizing sites in central Philadelphia and increased its database of digital objects and associated data.  A second LIG for 2015–2016 is allowing the project to refine the prototype tour, develop additional tour modules, expand the interactive map that forms the basis of the tours, and add additional items to its data set.  The mobile tour phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.  A third and final grant, for 2016-2017, will let Classicizing Philadelphia consolidate the gains made during 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 and identify the next Project Director.  Activity will focus on developing an independent web hosting environment, reconfiguring the current three digital aspects (resources, mobile tours, and blog) to make them accessible through classicizingphiladelphia.org, and improving the “look and feel” of all three as well as the root site.

Classicizing Philadelphia is directed by Dr. Lee T. Pearcy, Research Associate in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College.  For further information, see http://www.classicizingphiladelphia.org.

2015-2018: The Washington Ancient Mediterranean Seminar: An Inter-Institutional Forum for Scholarly Mentoring and Exchange

Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics at University of Maryland, College Park and Sarah B. Ferrario, Associate Professor of Greek and Latin at The Catholic University of America

This grant will support the re-launch, in a newly conceived format, of a Washington, DC-area seminar for professional scholars and advanced students of the ancient Mediterranean world. Meeting twice per academic year, the Washington Ancient Mediterranean Seminar (WAMS) will bring together members of local classics departments and practitioners from related fields to discuss precirculated presentations (many of which will be given by emerging researchers) and detailed responses offered by scholars hailing from outside the immediate region. By fostering supportive discussion among professionals who do not ordinarily encounter one another in their daily work, WAMS will aspire to serve simultaneously as an incubator for new research, a mentoring opportunity for junior scholars, and an impetus to encourage intellectual and administrative collaboration across area institutions.

2015-16:  Summer Institute for the Collaboration of Liberal Arts Colleges to Broaden and Strengthen the Contribution of Classics to a Diverse Student Audience

Barbara K. Gold, Edward North Professor of Classics, Hamilton College; Michael Arnush, Associate Professor of Classics, Skidmore College; Jane Chaplin, James I. Armstrong Professor of Classics, Middlebury College

This grant will help the three organizers bring together colleagues from 27 different liberal arts colleges across the country, many of whom have met annually at the Society for Classical Studies meetings, to articulate for one another what works at our home institutions and to generate fresh thinking about how we can continue to broaden and strengthen our contribution to the education of increasingly diverse student audiences. We will assemble in Saratoga Springs in Summer 2016 for three days with the aim of producing a handbook of data, best practices, and ideas for the future. We believe that the range and mix of participants will enrich and demonstrate the collaboration among colleagues from institutions across the United States. The support of CAAS for this project will help us achieve these goals and will provide the opportunity for CAAS to supply national leadership among regional Classics associations. We believe that our goals mesh well with the mission of CAAS to promote better teaching and foster public support of the Classics.  We will also run a panel at a future CAAS meeting on our discussions at the workshop, the ideas that arose, and the changes that were implemented as a result of our workshop.

2014-2015: Classicizing Philadelphia:  Digital Resources for a City’s Dialogue with Greece and Rome

Dr. Lee T. Pearcy, Research Associate in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College

Classicizing Philadelphia, a digital humanities project inspired by the Classicizing Chicago project at Northwestern University, seeks to document and continue Philadelphia’s long, deep dialogue with Greece and Rome. The project has these goals:

  • To be a focal point for research on classical receptions in Philadelphia

  • To be a gateway to documents of classical reception in Philadelphia collections

  • To inform the citizens of Philadelphia about and engage them in our city’s long conversation with Greece and Rome

In 2014–2015, with the aid of a generous Leadership Initiative Grant from CAAS, Classicizing Philadelphia is developing a prototype smartphone tour of classicizing sites in central Philadelphia and increasing its database of digital objects and associated data.  A second LIG for 2015–2016 is allowing the project to refine the prototype tour, develop additional tour modules, expand the interactive map that forms the basis of the tours, and add additional items to its data set.  The mobile tour phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

Classicizing Philadelphia is directed by Dr. Lee T. Pearcy, Research Associate in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College.  For further information, see http://www.classicizingphiladelphia.org.

 

2013-2016: CAAS Leadership Initiative Partners: Support and Outreach to Latin Teachers in the Classical Association of the Atlantic States Region

Ronnie Ancona, Professor of Classics, Hunter College

The purpose of this project is to have a CAAS leader be a partner with pre-collegiate level Latin teachers and programs in the CAAS region in order to (1) strengthen the base that sparks and keeps early classics interest alive; (2) lend support to Latin programs at the pre-collegiate level; (3) increase awareness of CAAS’s existence and its value to Latin teachers. The project will entail five visits a year for three years to various Latin teachers/programs in each of the eleven regional areas of CAAS (Delaware, The District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, with NJ, NY, and PA being sub-divided). Ronnie Ancona will serve as an itinerant CAAS officer / college Latin teacher, interested in Latin at all levels, traveling to learn about Latin in our region’s schools and offering collegial professional support. Each visit will involve at least one (typically more) of the following: attending class, a conference with the teacher about the Latin program and about CAAS, a meeting with the Latin or Foreign Language Department, a short presentation to a class. Each teacher visited will be designated a “CAAS Leadership Initiative Grant Partner.” Ronnie Ancona will organize a panel about the project for the CAAS Annual Meeting near the end of the grant period.  This panel, which will include some of the teachers with whom Ronnie partnered, will serve both to inform the CAAS membership and to assess the success of the project. Click here to see pictures from the schools Ronnie has visited.

Presidential Initiative Awards (2008-2012):

Spring 2012
Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park, for “Gendered Perspectives on Classical Greek and Roman Language, Literature and Culture: Reading, Interpretation, Reception and Pedagogy,” an international conference. Requested $10,000. Awarded $8,500. Additional University funding: $27,500.

2011-2012
John H. Starks, Jr., Assistant Professor of Classics, Binghamton University, SUNY, for The Ghoul Next Door: An Original Musical Production of Plautus’ Roman Comedy Mostellaria and The Ghoul Next Door Colloquium. The music was composed by Santino DeAngelo, BA Classical Civilization/Theatre, 2012. Requested $10,000. Awarded $8,500. Other grants: $8,700.

2009-2010
Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park, for three public programs in support of an initiative in classical reception studies: “The Personal and Professional Challenges of Illuminating the Greek and Roman Past: A Conversation with Anna Julia Cooper of the M Street School (1858-1964) and Grace Harriet Macurdy of Vassar College,” “Latin Pedagogy Workshops (7) for present and prospective teachers K-12 and college,” “Colloquium on the Novels of Thornton Wilder.” Requested $10,000. Awarded $10,000.

Spring 2009
John H. Starks, Jr., Assistant Professor of Classics, Binghamton University, SUNY, for his musical adaptation of Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazousai entitled Femme Phantasmagoria, given public presentation by his Classics/Theater class “Ancient Comedy in Performance.” Requested $1,250. Awarded $1,250.

Summer 2008
Barbara McManus, Professor of Classics Emerita, The College of New Rochelle, for “Translating a Latin Package for VRoma,” a weeklong project workshop during which six high school and college classicists produced a Classical Latin alternative to the English system messages on VRoma. Requested $10,000. Awarded $10,000