CAMWS Upper South Region
The Upper South Region, is, as always, in generally good condition. Most university programs remain strong, but there are some signs that all may not be well in one quarter at least.
The state of Kentucky welcomed a new State Vice-President in John Svarlien of Transylvania University. Professor Svarlien received promotion and tenure this year, and is currently hiring a second tenure-track classicist at Transylvania. Both of these facts indicate a strong interest in maintaining and building Classics at Transylvania, a good sign in what some have described as troubled times for our profession.
The University of Kentucky Classics department continues to remain in the forefront of technology in Classics. U of K web-sites receive around 10,000 hits a day, and there is more good news on this front. Professor Ross Scaife was recently named co-pi with Greg Crane of the Perseus Project to develop digital libraries. This project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and includes scholars from various institutions. In addition to the computer activities, the department at U of K has sponsored lectures by such notables as Jonathan Shay, who spoke on how the experience of combat veterans and the Odyssey can be mutually illuminating, and Mary Lefkowitz and Lucius Outlaw, who spoke on "Eurocentrism vs. Afrocentrism: Greece and Africa in Narratives of Genealogy and Identity." The department also hosted a colloquium on the pre-modern novel at which Simon Goldhill, William Hansen, Steve Nimis, and Jennifer Tunberg all presented papers. Terence Tunbergs summer conventicula Latina continue to attract scholars from around the world who want to engage in an intensive experience of spoken Latin. Finally, the Tunbergs marvelous translation of Dr. Seuss Christmas classic has begun a second printing. Congratulations to the Tunbergs!
The news from Arkansas is also encouraging with one or two potential red flags. Professor David Fredrick reports that Latin is on the rise in the secondary schools of Arkansas. Most prominent here is the news that an initiative by Profs. Levine and Fredrick of the University of Arkansas has resulted in the re-introduction of Latin in the public school system in Fayetteville. This accomplishment demanded a "spirited public relations campaign" (in Prof. Fredricks words) which included direct mailings to voters, and contact with the newspapers as well. The result of their hard work is that Fayetteville will soon have at least two new Latin teachers, one at the high school level and one at the junior high level. Prof. Levine is on a task force to study the issue further and draw up a final plan for hiring. This initiative was funded in part by the CPL, and we thank them warmly for providing that funding. Several private schools in Arkansas are also adding Latin to the curriculum. Three schools in Little Rock, and one in Bentonville, now have Latin programs, and three of those four programs are being run by University of Arkansas alumni. This is more evidence of the strength of Classics in Arkansas, strength which is due in large part to the willingness of the faculty to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the growth. In addition to this welcome news, there are three bits of information which CAMWS members will want to be aware of: one private secondary school has adopted the IB program, and enrollments in Latin are, accordingly, down. The teacher, Maureen Riley Stover, has made every effort to save the program, but this is an uphill battle. The other potentially difficult piece of news is that the new chancellor at the University of Arkansas is "extremely business minded." This may well result in the revival of minimum numbers for all classes, a move which could damage Classics.
Prof. David Sigsbee, state vice -resident for Tennessee, reports growth in Classics, and notes that several faculty members at both the university and secondary level have received recognition in the last year. Among them, Prof. Sigsbee himself received the award for service in higher education from the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association (TFLTA) and he also gave the post-prandial address at the banquet for the meeting of the TCA. Prof. David Tandy was named Distinguished Professor of Humanities last spring, and is currently acting chair of the department at Knoxville. Joyce Ward received the 1998-99 Teacher of the Year award from TFLTA Finally, there are not six Latinists on the Board of Directors of TFLTA. It is a real boon to have such fine representation on this board.
As for events, the annual meeting of the Tennessee Classical Association in November drew 45 people from around the state. University of Memphis, Vanderbilt University, and University of Tennessee at Knoxville all hosted Latin days this year. Knoxville had approximately 440 participants, a number which provides a good indication of the health of Latin studies at the secondary level. The state JCL convention will be held in Franklin this year. Organizers expect between 1,100 and 1,200 students to attend.
In terms of growth, I can report the following: the minor at Austin Peay State University finally received formal approval from the Board or Regents, and is now in place. Also Cordova High School in Germantown has begun a Latin program in which two of the courses are taught by an in-house teacher, and a third is taught by long distance learning. The Latin program at North-West High in Clarksville, which was threatened by the lack of a teacher, is once again on its feet thanks to the hiring of Elissa Borland as Latin teacher there. Ed Long has been named the new President of TCA. Thus, it appears that for this year, we have not lost any programs and we have made some gains.