Notes from Fall 2020 Semester Check-In with Faculty

One of SPEAC’s founding principles is that collaboration between students and faculty is invaluable for effecting the changes we’re seeking. We recently held a meeting to update faculty on our projects from this semester, discuss our plans for next semester, and to provide a space for brainstorming potential interdepartmental projects that SPEAC could help implement. SPEAC was represented by a student from each of our four committees: Conference, Curriculum, Colloquium, and Website/Outreach. All interested faculty were invited to attend, from both Classics and CNEA, since we are an interdepartmental group.


SPEAC Fall 2020 Faculty Check-In Meeting 12/15/2020

Topics discussed:

  • A major goal of SPEAC is collaborating with faculty, grad students, and undergrads to make positive change in our classics and archaeology departments
    • This is the first of our semesterly meetings with faculty and students from both departments
  • We’re aiming for our conference to create a space for students to come together and talk about the future of the field
    • We have secured a $700 budget, which will be used to pay for the keynote speaker and logo
    • In future years we will ask for bigger budget to help pay for travel fees of conference participants.
    • Abstract submissions are open until January 1
    • We will take names off the submissions and SPEAC members (except those who submitted) will vote on which to accept
  • SPEAC is partnering with the classics and archaeology departments to host anti-racism reading groups
    • THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2 PM for first session (other details TBD)
    • Inspired by the First Fridays on Anti-Racism organized by Penn’s Department of Classical Studies
  • Curriculum committee is a new committee that came from students at the town halls asking for greater diversity in course offerings
    • We will form a group with Prof. Conybeare to create Ancient North Africa courses–this will happen early next semester
    • Prof. Conybeare has some research funding for up to two research assistants!
  • Different pages of our website: resources, conference CFP, links to departments’ social justice pages, blog posts with resources/activities, events
    • We will have a whole separate conference website soon and we just created SPEAC Instagram and Twitter
  • Colloquium committee has written and implemented a speaker style guide and assembled a diverse list of speaker suggestions for this year
  • Recruitment committee redid the classics recruiting materials for academic fair
  • We also want to reach out to and learn from other groups in the Bi-Co that are working on similar goals
  • We need to talk about intro language classes and the violence of language teaching, c.f. recent conversations on Classics Twitter
  • Olivia is the FGLI mentor, a FGLI grad student who’s a resource for undergrad students.


As always please email us with any questions!