Mary Brown, CAAS Executive Director
As first-year “Eaglz” coach Chip Kelley and his gridiron squad were preparing to leave Philadelphia for their anabatic week-6 contest with Tampa Bay, presiders, presenters, and participants in the 2013 CAAS Annual Fall Meeting were taking their places and settling in at the University of Pennsylvania’s Hilton International Inn at Penn.
The continual rain from Thursday to Friday did not dampen the spirits of the over one hundred and fifty anticipated participants in this perennial match up of philologists, pedagogues, and “reception” theorists, flanked by ancient historians and archaeologists.
Schedules visible on big-screen TV’s, complemented by a full printed program, tinted pink in honor of October as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” greeted each arrival in the lobby.
Check-in was managed by Lynn Smith, recently the head docent of the Penn Museum’s Mediterranean Sections, and first-year Latin teacher at Gateway High School, New Jersey, Kerry Horleman, 2013 summa cum laude graduate of Saint Joseph’s University.
Closely monitoring the Meeting’s proceedings were the following exhibitors stationed, with time-outs, in Saint Marks Ballroom for the duration: Nicole Love and Katherine Panagakos of ETA SIGMA PHI; Adam Blistein, Executive Director of the American Philological Association [recently re-monickered The Society For Classical Studies]; Penn Docent and retired military officer, Joe Balmos, founder and director of the non-profit “A Day With Ancient Greece and Rome;” and veteran Donald “Bolchazy-ed” Sprague of Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers.
In the early minutes, memorial tribute was paid to the longtime stalwart defender of the utility of the Classics, Lou Bolchazy, with his energetic wife Marie and son Allan in attendance prior to a scheduled engagement in Manhattan.
The “cascade” of marvelous talks and congenial panel presentations was interrupted only by time-out refreshment breaks and key mealtimes. Ovationes, much like half-time honorifics, highlighted the professional careers of Andrew Miller, University of Pittsburgh; Paul Properzio, Boston Latin Academy and CAAS past President; and Martha Davis, Temple University.
During Saturday’s lunchtime break, the entire Classical World team, led by Matthew Santirocco, was recognized for past and present efforts. In addition, retiring CW Managing Editor of nearly twenty years, Sally Sanderlin, came out of retirement to receive a rarely-intoned gratulatio, most ably delivered by incoming CAAS President, Janet Martin, Princeton University, Emerita.
All told, the packed schedule included seven panels and a dozen paper sessions sporting over seventy presenters, supported by a roster of twenty-two members of the Program Committee with hometown favorite Judy Hallett at the helm.
The Inn’s Head Chef, Eileen Moran, and her crew created intriguingly delicious meals, one after another, consisting of on-site bakery items, farm-to-table proteins and organic fruits and vegetables, again and again offering versatile delights to the palate.
Of special note was Friday evening’s lead-up Jerry Clack Reception “venue-d” in the Mosaic Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Attendees were shuttled back-and-forth by Philadelphia Trolley Works, although several courageous fans made their way on foot from The Inn at Penn to the Museum.
Flying in on Thursday from Kings College, London was Homeric expert and diva, Edith Hall, who won the crowd with her rousing talk titled “The Greeks and the Sea,” fulfilling all pre-talk predictions of a thoroughly entertaining and academically relevant forecast of her upcoming book, Introducing The Ancient Greeks.
Unlike over-lubricated Eagles fans making their way into Lincoln Financial Field after tailgating in the adjacent parking lot, the Clack Lecture’s guests who “packed into” Penn Museum’s Rainey Auditorium were far from rowdy, asking pertinent and compelling questions of Professor Hall.
It is worth noting, however, that there was an enjoyable pre-talk warm-up catered by Jenn Mikos of Restaurant Associates and buttressed by Wendy Domurat of Dogfish Head Brewery. The backstory on that combination begins with Patrick McGovern, molecular biologist with Penn Museum, who consulted with Sam Calagione of Dogfish to create two very potable beers, Etrusca and Midas’ Touch, both of which have, in recent years, competed and fared well in The Great American Beer Festival held in mid-October.
Special thanks for this remarkably successful venture, despite an occasional IT fumble or game-delay, go to John Monteverde and The Inn at Penn staff, Julian Siggers of Penn Museum, Tena Thomason of Penn Museum Events, Brian Rose and Penn Classics, beermeister illuminatus Patrick Mc Govern, Judy Hallett and the journeyman Program Committee, CAAS Board Members, and, most especially, all in attendance and those present in spirit, for the CAAS 2013 Annual Fall Meeting.
Nota Bene: Next year’s Annual Meeting will be held in Washington at the Marriott at the Metro Center, October 9-11. Please join us. Stay tuned for updates regarding the specs and logistics for CAAS 2014 on the CAAS-CW website.
Executive Director’s Note: The Birds, as a result of creative defense and a nimble #9 quarterback keeper play, defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-20, to boost Philadelphia’s record to 3-3, in advance of an anticipated grueling kata-based* match with Dallas on October 20 in Philadelphia.
*(kata: [Japanese] a series of basic exercises or postures and movements used to teach and improve the execution of techniques in judo and other martial arts. OED, 2002)