Category Archives: Classics News

“Why everyone should learn the ancient languages,” Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion, November 2014.

The New Criterion

The Yale classicist Donald Kagan writes about Sir James Headlam-Morley, the man who occupied the position of Historical Adviser to the British Foreign Office in the 1920s. Headlam-Morley was a fount of good advice about all manner of strategic issues, not least the threat of German militarism. Headlam-Morley’s deep acquaintance with the past allowed him to predict the future with a gimlet-eyed clarity that, unfortunately for the world, most of those charged with steering the ship of state in the post-World War I years lacked. Headlam-Morley, Professor Kagan observes, was “a man with the only proper training for an expert in almost any field of human endeavor, but especially for the conduct of foreign policy and diplomacy: I mean, of course, Classical Studies.”

We smiled when we read that, too. The “of course” was especially nice. A more charming example of disciplinary chauvinism would be hard to find. Except that it is more than disciplinary chauvinism. It is also the simple, pragmatic truth.

»» Full article called “The Latin Vote” in The New Criterion

Cliff Robinson, first ECU Alumn to complete a PhD in Classics.

Cliff, shown here as winner of Duke’s 2014 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, successfully defended his dissertation on November 20, 2014 at Duke on “The Longest Transference: Self-Consolation and Politics in Latin Philosophical Literature.” Cliff graduated from ECU in English, Philosophy and Classics in 2007. He is currently a Visiting Instructor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

»» @ Academia.edu

Undergraduate Research Award Winners

JessieRassau2014Jessica Rassau, senior in Classical Studies and the Honors College, has received an Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) award in the amount of $1,120. She is currently studying abroad in Italy and will use her funds to travel to Greece, where she will further her research in ancient Spartan military culture and Spartan participation in the Persian Wars.

Kyle Binaxas, a double major in Russian Studies/Psychology, has also received an Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Award in the amount of $950.00. Dr. Murenina started this undergrad research project with Kyle in Spring 2014 by supervising RUSI 3993 Directed Readings: Aesthetic Choices in Soviet Animation and the Thaw of the 1960s, and recently asked Rick Hernandez (Russian History) to be her mentor for this award competition. We are looking forward to presenting Kyle’s project at The State of NC Undergraduate Research and Creative Symposium (SNCURCS).

The URCA committee received 61 applications, of which they funded 31. Both will be recognized at the URCA awards ceremony on Monday, March 16.

Charles Fantazzi Honored with Festschrift

FantazziDr. Charles E. Fantazzi, Thomas Harriot Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of Classics and Great Books in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, was presented with Neo-Latin and the Humanities. Essays in Honour of Charles E. Fantazzi at the Renaissance Society of America Conference in New York City, March 28.

The collection of essays, contributed by scholars from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe, were co-edited by Dr. Jonathan Reid, ECU associate professor of Renaissance and Reformation History. The essays resulted from a two-day international symposium on Neo-Latin and the Humanities, which was held in honor of Fantazzi at ECU in February 2011.

“The event was a smashing celebration of Charles and the riches of contemporary Neo-Latin and humanities research,” said Reid. “The papers were excellent. So much so that after the conference, although it had not been the original plan, two presenters, Tim Kircher and Luc Deitz, and I solicited these papers and others from Charles’s colleagues who were not able to attend, to form a festschrift. The result is solid contribution to the field of Neo-Latin studies and a durable mark of the esteem of his colleagues at ECU and across North America and Europe.”

Marc Laureys, of the Universität Bonn in Germany, writes, “This volume is a fitting tribute to the scholarship of Charles Fantazzi. Its eleven excellent articles by renowned scholars in the filed of Neo-Latin philosophy, Renaissance humanism and the history of early modern learning are of extraordinary quality and break new ground in a variety of ways.”

Fantazzi came to ECU in 1998 as The David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, after retiring from the University of Windsor in 1995, where he served as chair of the Department of Classics (1973-79), chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages (1979-82) and was honored as University Professor (1994). During his time at ECU, Fantazzi taught courses in Great Books; Greek and Latin literature; Italian; Italian literature of the Renaissance; Latin literature; and Medieval Latin, before retiring in August 2011.

“Charles is a cheery and arrestingly amiable man, who wears his tremendous learning very lightly, has a ready laugh and is ever eager to help colleagues with difficult passage in Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish and more,” said Reid. “His enthusiasm for everything from Dante’s poetics and Renaissance letters to classical music and the ins and outs (and scandals) of modern Italian politics is infectious.”