Classics is a wide-ranging discipline that examines two distinctive yet interdependent civilizations, those of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as other civilizations that populated the ancient Mediterranean; it is thus a discipline with an enormous chronological and geographical scope.
The field encompasses a variety of sub disciplines and is characterized by a multiplicity of approaches to the vast evidence, both textual and material, for these cultures. Research in the field is often interdisciplinary, in that it transcends the traditional borders of academic disciplines, and international, in that it routinely requires a reading knowledge of four modern languages (English, French, German, and Italian) in which scholarship is published. Scholarship in Classics takes many and diverse forms, and we will discuss these in the light of the five collegiate criteria for scholarly engagement in the Faculty Handbook. This discussion is not intended to be exhaustive; rather it reviews some of the forms that scholarship may take.
Publications in our field often take the form of journal articles and essays in edited volumes. These represent the most common form of scholarly engagement for Kenyon classicists and thus play an important role in faculty reviews, as discussed further below. There are many journals in the field: some are focused and technical, others are general and aim for a broader audience. Classicists at Kenyon also write book reviews and entries in encyclopedias or other reference works. These represent valuable forms of scholarly engagement, but are not as important as the articles and essays just mentioned.
For all these forms of publication (even book reviews) peer review is common, and we encourage faculty to publish in peer-reviewed venues. But peer review in our field happens in different ways: many American publishers employ blind reader-reports, for example, while many European journals rely on direct feedback from one or more eminent scholars on their editorial boards. During reviews, the departmental letter and/or the letters of individual faculty will help to explain the peer review process behind individual publications and assess the reputation of the venues in which they appear.
Less common among Kenyon classicists but no less valuable are publications in the form of books; these may be monographs, translations, edited volumes, excavation reports, editions of ancient texts, commentaries, or exhibition catalogs. Research might also result in digital projects, though it is not easy to predict the forms that publication might take, for digital humanities is an emergent and rapidly evolving field. For scholars engaged in particular subfields, performance and exhibition may also be important; for example, a specialist in ancient drama might help with the staging of a play and an archaeologist might curate a museum exhibit.
Classicists at Kenyon are encouraged to deliver conference papers and invited lectures, for the oral exchange of ideas is essential to research. (Publication in the form of posters has been less common in our field, though this may change in the future.) While research in Classics is not as dependent on grants as in, say, the natural sciences, we recognize that grants may aid classicists with their scholarship by underwriting, e.g., new projects and travel; for many of us, overseas travel for conferences, excavations, or library research plays an important role in our scholarship.
Because Classics is a broad discipline, faculty may find that, should their research head in new directions, they must acquire new skills. They may need, for example, to learn a new ancient or modern language, develop competency in a new subdiscipline, or familiarize themselves with new technology. Some faculty may acquire these skills through individual study; others may find it helpful to attend a program or conference devoted to their acquisition. These endeavors are also forms of scholarly engagement.
Department faculty are encouraged to involve students in their research when it is beneficial to do so. But we do not expect faculty to include students in their research, for it is not the norm in Classics or in the humanities generally.
We concur with the Faculty Handbook that “scholarly or artistic engagement must be ongoing.” Likewise, we recognize that “projects may change, and the pace of activity associated with them may vary.” That said, we expect candidates at all stages of the review process – pretenure, tenure, and promotion to full professor – to have journal articles or essays in edited volumes published, accepted for publication, or under contract. Of secondary importance but still valuable are book reviews and entries in encyclopedias or other reference works. Work done before employment at Kenyon is taken into account. The publication of a book is welcomed but not expected for a successful review. Finally, we reiterate that scholarly engagement in the field of Classics may be evidenced in various ways, and this means that different faculty members are likely to pursue different kinds of scholarship.
Revised February, 2015