It’s that time of year again, when I encourage people to apply for awards, events and opportunities even though extra work is the very last thing they want right now, when the pressure of exams and coursework is piling on and they have no time for eating or sleeping. So here’s some more pressure. Enjoy!
First, the Undergraduate Awards. If you’re an undergraduate or a recent (within the last year) graduate, and you’ve been given a top grade for an essay, you can submit that essay to the Global Undergraduate Awards. It’s free to enter, and your essay will be sent to an international team of experts (known for their tremendous knowledge, wit and personal charm) for judging. The competition is fierce, so winning is a long shot: but if you’re Highly Commended it’s a certificate, a pat on the back and a nice thing to put on your CV, and you might be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony in Dublin (although that isn’t free!). But the deadline this year is the 11th of June, so if you want to enter you need to start thinking about it soon.
I think the Undergraduate Awards is a brilliant competition for Open University students to enter, because it helps people to realise that the work they produce as part-time, mature distance learners is just as good as the essays written in traditional full-time institutions – and sometimes even better. That’s why I’ve agreed to be a Judge on the Classics panel again this year. So if you have any questions about how to enter, just give me a shout – I’m happy to help! And here’s some advice I wrote last year for OU students.
Second, there’s the Kassman Prize (OU students only). If you’re an OU Classical Studies undergraduate, you can write an essay to submit to this competition. You have until September, but you need to register an interest by next month. A lot of my students have won over the last few years; I’d like to say that that’s a reflection of my inspirational teaching, but I suspect it’s just because I get the best students! So give it a go, if you fancy a challenge. Here are some comments from previous winners.
If you’re an aspiring poetry translator, you could check out the Stephen Spender Prize, which is open until July. That does cost a bit to enter: but it’s a cash prize if you win!
Then there are the summer schools: one of the best and most entertaining ways of picking up – or dusting off – some Latin and Greek. I always recommend the Durham one in July, but there are others around the UK. There’s still time to book, but places fill up fast! Don’t be afraid to apply for a bursary if the cost makes it impossible. Here are some comments from OU students who went last year.
It’s also peak conference season: so do try to get to an event of some kind, if you can, just for the experience. Classics conferences are often little niche events (upcoming ones in the North East include one on nineteenth-century classical reception, and one on epigraphy, while the OU has lots of lunchtime seminars on material religion coming up, if you’re ever in Milton Keynes – and of course the Institute of Classical Studies in London has a busy programme of events). A lot of these little conferences and seminars are free to attend and open to anyone with an interest: and they’re great opportunities to meet scholars in person.
That brings me to the big conferences. The biggest in the UK is the FIEC/CA conference in July, held this year in London, which is packed full of classicists talking about their pet projects. Booking for that is still open, if you fancy a few days with like-minded people from around the world.
If you have any suggestions, comments or recommendations for other people, do leave them in the Comments box below.
This week’s links from the Classics Interweb
Retellings in line for Women’s Prize – The Guardian
Women rebooting Classics – The Guardian
Skeletons at the Holiday Inn – Lincolnshire Live
Comment and opinion
Classics Everywhere – Society for Classical Studies
Aristarchos and astronomy – Classical Wisdom Weekly
Ovid and Rome – Minerva’s Pencil Case
Classics as a marker of cultural superiority – Sententiae Antiquae
Athenian tragedy and modern anxiety – New Statesman
Marvel-lous Latin – The Latin Language Blog
Greek gods and game theory – JSTOR Daily
The cursus honorum – Eagles and Dragons
Jews and the Colosseum – History From Below
Reviewing the ‘Homer and Herodotus’ workshop – Institute for Classical Studies
Podcasts, video and other media
Alexander the Molossian – Battles of the Ancient World
Museums and virtual reality – Coffee and Circuses
The Roman calendar – Emperors of Rome
The Ara Pacis – When in Rome
Caesar gets impatient – On Germany
Agrippina the Younger – Queens
Attrition and plague – The History of Ancient Greece
The seriousness of Lego Classics – Lynette Jensen