The Future of Ancient History: Teaching the Past in the Modern Curriculum

Just got this circular via the listserve of the Association of Ancient Historians. Looks like an interesting session in the works for the 2016 meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in San Francisco. I don’t really know that history enrollments have declined overall in a macro sense (we’ve discussed this at length in my own department meetings) but I do think that ancient historians have a unique contribution to make within history departments.

The Future of Ancient History: Teaching the Past in the Modern Curriculum

Sponsored by the SCS Committee on Ancient History

Denise Demetriou (Michigan State University), Organizer

Like other humanistic enterprises, the study and teaching of Ancient History faces several challenges in the current historical moment – economic, technological, cultural, and political, among others.  Knowledge of history is seen as impractical, having little public value, and not preparing students sufficiently for today’s vocational marketplace.  Yet, while enrollments in the field of History have declined overall, those in the sub-field of Ancient History have not suffered to the same degree, if at all.  This suggests that Ancient History is particularly well-poised to meet the challenges it faces: it can rearticulate not only its intrinsic value but also how it can contribute to the study and teaching of other fields, such as Political Science, Literary Criticism, Economics, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and even the STEM disciplines.

The Committee on Ancient History invites scholars and students of ancient history to submit abstracts for papers that explore any aspect of the pedagogical contributions Ancient History can make to other disciplines and its unique role in the curricula of public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and high schools.  Questions the papers might address include but are not limited to:

· Distinct interdisciplinary modes of inquiry in ancient history

· Unique contributions to student learning outcomes

· Special vantage points from which to consider contemporary issues

· The place of ancient history in the modern curriculum

· Collaborative or team-taught courses across disciplines

Please submit anonymous abstracts for a talk no longer than 20 minutes as an email attachment to Denise Demetriou ( by March 2, 2015.  Abstracts should follow the SCS guidelines for formatting abstracts (, and will be peer-reviewed anonymously by the SCS Committee on Ancient History.

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