This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of weekly (or weekend-ly) posts, rounding up the interesting classical news and comments of the week from around the web. I’ve pinched the idea from one of my favourite blogs, the wonderful Monevator, without which my Saturday mornings would be dull and intellectually lightweight.
So if you’ve subscribed to my website, an email will appear in your inbox each Friday night or Saturday morning with links to interesting, peculiar and occasionally controversial Classics news and views for you to read over your morning coffee.
This is, however, a work in progress: I’ll be learning as I go along, and building up! So please send me suggestions of blogs and sites that I’ve missed, and I’ll add them to my list.
Please, too, make full use of the ‘Comments’ box with responses to any of the stories and features: I’d love to know what you think!
What caught my eye this week
There’s been a lot written over the last week or two in response to the Twitter row over the use of the title of ‘Dr’, particularly in relation to female academics (see The Independent) and historians, generating the tag #ImmodestWomen and prompting the mass change of titles by women with doctorates. Some Twitter users, like Prof Helen King (Why I’m not changing my Twitter ID), have resisted this movement, making the point that:
If you’ve got it, by all means flaunt it, but don’t expect your life as a woman with a PhD to become any easier. It will take more than changing some twitter handles to achieve that. We still live in a sexist society and all of us, women and men, need to go on challenging the assumptions of the academic world.
The whole debate, I think, is demoralising to people (and particularly to women) who aspire to the title of Doctor, and for whom a PhD is the crowning achievement. So I’d like to try, in my small way, to redress that.
I know lots of women who have doctorates, and every single one of them enjoys their title in numerous little ways; from scribbling out ‘Miss’ on a form and replacing it with ‘Dr’, to writing their title on a letter and receiving a suddenly helpful response. Personally, I use it very little; most people around me don’t know that I have a title. For me, as a Doctor Who fan from childhood, becoming a Doctor was the fulfilment of a life’s ambition, whether anybody knew about it or not!
It doesn’t matter whether you decide to use your title, hide it, or keep it in your back pocket for emergencies. However you regard it, as long as you work hard for it, it will be a source of satisfaction, and it will change how you see yourself. Sexism on Twitter, or even in the workplace, doesn’t touch that. Don’t let the current arguments tarnish your ambitions: if becoming a Dr matters to you on a personal or professional level, then it’s a great goal to have.
…Trust me, I’m a Doctor!
From Classical Studies Support
Try your hand at undergraduate publication – Classical Studies Support
From the archives: Becoming a Study Addict – Classical Studies Support
Classics in the News
Nighthawks and the rise of Heritage Crime – Telegraph
Comment and opinion
Oxford and ‘replying’ to the past – Mary Beard at TLS
Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and its remarkable relevance to Brexit – The Edithorial
Etymology and pernicious sexism – Eidolon
Maybe university education is improving? – Sphinx
Wise words from Pliny on holiday reading – Sententiae Antiquae
The do’s and don’t’s of the literature review – Patter
Divine madness or mental instability? – Classical Fix
Podcasts, videos and other media
From the sublime… – The Endless Knot
Pop into the Colosseum for a quick look around – Ancient Rome Live
It’s almost like being there – Herculaneum in Pictures
Off our beat
Are we at the OU emotionally attached to our books? – The Ed Techie