Weekend Reading: Welcoming New Friends

This week I featured (that’s a fancy way of saying ‘popped up very briefly’) in a video celebrating the OU’s graduating Class of 2020, along with many fabulous OU-connected people including Lenny Henry, Prue Leith and the wonderful Mary Beard. Here’s the full video if you want to take a look – it’s rather lovely.

I did do a whole little speech, but they cut that out!

I can’t say I enjoy videoing myself (I have no idea how do to it without feeling – and looking – self-conscious, and my son always laughs at me!), but when they asked me, it seemed like a nice thing to do. The students graduating in 2020 won’t be able to have a graduation ceremony (something which I’m sad about too, since I love OU graduations!), so it’s only right to mark their achievement somehow. And if that involves me looking silly, so be it! At least I didn’t have to wear robes for it: I look impressively ridiculous in robes!

Another initiative in which I was honoured to take part this week was the Twitter CripAntiquity Profile series.

CripAntiquity is a group which represents, amplifies and advocates for disabled people involved with the study of the ancient world. Their Twitter profile series features scholars and students with disabilities (43 so far!), and showcases the real lives and challenges of people in academia. This week they’ve also produced a powerful document about ableism in academia, setting out recommendations for making postgraduate study more accessible. Its focus is on the US, but there’s much food for thought more generally here. More on this another time, perhaps: I’m still pondering it!

I’ve been working, too, on my bookplate commission for the WCC-SCS auction, which altogether raised nearly $30,000 for Classics students and teachers affected by the pandemic. (I bought tickets but didn’t win the raffle, which will come as no surprise to anybody who knows me…!) If I get permission I’ll tell you all about it next week.

Finally – and most importantly – this week I’d like to give a big virtual wave to all my new visitors and followers! It’s been a week of new student groups, introductory emails and the fun of seeing old friends and finding out more about people I haven’t met yet, from all over the world. Chaos, but in a good way! And for perhaps the first time, I’ve been finding that quite a few of my new students are regular readers of this blog, which is lovely!

So hello all! Feel free to leave comments – everybody’s nice here! I won’t give you the full guided tour of the website yet (because I’m still intending to tidy it up one of these days!), but in brief: you can find several years of archived weekly rambles here; module-specific resources here; general articles, audio stuff etc here; and various other things scattered around the place. If you choose to ‘follow’ the blog you’ll get these posts emailed to you directly; or you can just check in every week for new content! Every Friday I put together this Weekend Reading post to give you links to all the interesting classical stuff that’s popped up on the internet during the week – although it’s really just an excuse for me to spend far more time on the internet than I ought to! And please do spread the word, on OU forums or Facebook groups: the more readers I can attract, the more easily I can justify spending my time on developing this website!

This week from around the Classical Internet


Partying like the last days of Rome – Metro

Gordon Brown mocks Boris’ Latin – Indy100

Roman temple in Norfolk – BBC

Search for new custodian of Pompeii – The Times

Newsletter – Cambridge Schools Classics Project

Comment and opinion

On responding to anger – Classically Inclined

Centring Africa in Greek and Roman literature – Cambridge Schools Classics Project Blog

A Latin lexicon – The History Girls

Classical Studies in Scotland – ACE Classics

The Forum Romanum – Smart History

Medea’s picnic basket – From Trowels to Togas

The classical elements – Kiwi Hellenist

Hades and gentlemen – Xenia

Seneca and the world – Classically Inclined

What plagues can teach – Medium

From Classical Studies Memes For Hellenistic Teens

Podcasts, video and other media

Dionysus: Stranger Danger – Myths and Legends

Spindles and the City – Peopling the Past (new podcast series)

Disability in Ancient Greece – Peopling the Past

Pericles – In Our Time (this one’s been causing some controversy on social media, particularly over its presentation of Aspasia…)

Weekly roundup of videos – Rogue Classicism

Classical Stickers to buy – Redbubble [this month the artist is donating 50% of profits to Sportula Europe for their microgrants]

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