Archive for Site News/Editorial

Call for Abstracts: Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy

Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting, Jan 7–10, 2021

Curtis Dozier, director of Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics, invites the submission of abstracts on any aspect of the relationship of Greco-Roman Antiquity and White Supremacy. Selected abstracts will form a proposal for a panel on the topic to be held at the 2021 Society for Classical Studies annual meeting in Chicago, IL (Jan 7–10, 2021). If the SCS Program committee accepts our proposed panel, the Vassar College Department of Greek and Roman Studies will offer panelists who do not have tenured or tenure-track positions a $500 stipend toward the cost of attending the conference. Pharos is also offering a research service for those interested in preparing abstracts but who prefer not to visit White Supremacist websites (on which see below). Read More→

Report: White Supremacy and the Past and Future of Classics Roundtable

“The heartbeat of racism is denial. The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession.” -Ibram X. Kendi

Twenty classical scholars gathered at the 2020 Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting to brainstorm a list of ways that the discipline of Classics has been and continues to be complicit in white supremacy. Participants included graduate students, high school teachers, and college professors of all ranks. Nearly all were white.

As such, the function of the round table was something like a discipline-specific version (minus the expert facilitator) of the “White Fragility” workshop on the first day of the conference, where Robin DiAngelo invited participants to reflect on how our socialization into white supremacy “renders us racially illiterate” and to take “the first step” of “let[ting] go of our racial certitude and reach[ing] for humility.” One quote from that workshop that encapsulated the motivation and aims for this roundtable came from an essay by Ijeoma Oluo: “Your survival has never depended on your knowledge of white culture. In fact, it’s required your ignorance. The dominant culture does not have to see itself to survive because culture will shift to fit its needs.” Read More→

SCS Roundtable: White Supremacy and the Past and Future of Classics

At this year’s Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., Pharos Director Curtis Dozier will moderate a roundtable discussion entitled “White Supremacy and the History and Future of Classics” from 12:15 to 1:45PM on Saturday, January 3rd in the Marquis Ballroom Salon 1–6. All who are interested in learning more or in sharing their expertise are welcome.

Read More→

Update to the Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars – December 2019

In the year since we announced our “Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars,” it has become one of the most visited pages on Pharos. In this update to the database, we’ve added four new pseudonyms from some of the largest hate sites that Pharos has documented:

Our full discussion of each, along with all the other classicizing names and images we’ve documented so far, can be found in the Onomasticon itself.

The Second Year of Pharos

by Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

Two years ago I launched Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics in order to raise awareness about how hate groups are using Greco-Roman antiquity to legitimize their politics. Within a year it became clear that specialists in the field of Classical Studies and the public at large were interested in learning about these appropriations, and I was honored to be recognized at the beginning of 2019 by the Women’s Classical Caucus, which awarded Pharos the “Public Scholarship” award for work “geared toward non-specialist audiences” that “address[es] feminist concerns or any other concerns related to marginalized groups.” The site continued to receive coverage in the press, including Undark Magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education. For the first time it was noticed by a major right-wing site, when Campus Reform published the response from a homophobic hate group to our documentation of their invocation of the persecution of Christians in ancient Rome in their fundraising materials. 
Read More→

Update to the Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars

Last fall we launched the “Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars” to collect examples of people using classically-themed pen-names and images in support of hatred. This week we’ve added four more examples to our database:

  • A misogynist whose work we’ve documented before but whose choice of name — “Atlas” — we hadn’t commented on
  • A xenophobe masquerading as a stoic philosopher by using the name “Marcus Aurelius”
  • A contributor to a white supremacist website who uses the name “Titus Quintus,” which might either be a garbled version of a famous Roman general or might only be two Roman praenomina thrown together
  • A racist YouTube channel with an illegible Latin name: Verbo Tempestas

Our full discussion of each can be found in the Onomasticon itself along with the other examples we’ve documented so far.

Announcing Pharos’s Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars

This week Pharos is launching a new initiative: the Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars. It’s a list of names and images taken from Greco-Roman antiquity and used by those who espouse hateful politics. Many of these are authors who publish under classical names or use classicizing avatars on the sites Pharos documents. Others are people who leave comments on those sites (these are listed at the bottom of the Onomasticon’s list). Some, like “Lysander” or “Carnifex“, are figures who have attracted broader media attention. All of them are attempting to use the prestige of Greco-Roman antiquity to dignify their regressive views. An “onomasticon” is an index of names related to a particular theme; several ancient and medieval examples survive, such as Eusebius’ index of places mentioned in the gospels, or Pollux’s list of words and phrases in the Attic dialect of ancient Greek.  Read More→

The First Year of Pharos

by Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

The end of this month will be the one-year anniversary of the launch of Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics. I started the site as an experiment to try to raise awareness of what hate groups were saying about Greco-Roman antiquity online and to create a platform for classical scholars to point out the errors, distortions, and sometimes outright lies that underlie those appropriations. And I had a further goal: to try to articulate politically progressive and inclusive ways of talking about the ancient world as an answer Donna Zuckerberg’s call to “seek better reaesons for studying Classics” than the traditional notion of Greco-Roman antiquity as the “foundation of Western Civilization” that all the hate groups Pharos documents rely on as the bedrock of their admiration of the ancient world.

Read More→

Is Pharos Worth It?

by Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

A reader wrote with a question that a few of the specialists we’ve contacted for comment have also raised.  It’s one I wonder about every day that I work on Pharos.

Is it really worth taking seriously, and replying to, posts by such nutcakes? These are nobodies, and nobody cares what they say. Why draw attention to it and thereby gratify them?

My candid answer is that I don’t know whether it’s worth it, I don’t know whether it helps or hurts to make people aware that these sites exist, Read More→

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