Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond

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Acknowledgments Especially since this monograph focuses on contentious topics, it goes without saying that I alone am responsible for any errors of fact or judgment. In fact, I imagine that no one will agree with all the arguments advanced in these pages. Even so, this project was a collaborative enterprise, and my efforts benefited from the aid of many. I must thank my interviewees, who kindly agreed to discuss the controversies I analyzed: Lloyd Armstrong, Jr., George Bass, Lewis Bateman, Charles Rowan Beye, Josine Blok, Joseph Bottum, Glen Bowersock, Stanley Burstein, Diskin Clay, Eric Cline, Joy Connolly, Jerrold Cooper, Phyllis Culham, John Dillon, Page duBois, George Dunkel, Lowell Edmunds, Frank J. Frost, Barbara Gold, Herbert Golder, Peter Green, Erich Gruen, Jonathan Hall, Judith Hallett, Victor Davis Hanson, John Heath, Jay Jasanoff, Donald Kagan, George Kennedy, David Konstan, Mary Lefkowitz, Molly Levine, John V. Lombardi, Georg Luck, Charles Martindale, Barbara McManus, John Najemy, Alan Nussbaum, David I. Owen, Thomas Palaima, John Pollini, Jeremy Rabkin, Rhoda Rabkin, Gary Rendsburg, Seth Schein, Ruth Scodel, Marilyn Skinner, Jenny Strauss Clay, Bruce Thornton, Kate Toll, and Steven J. Willett. A few among this group deserve special commendation. The late Georg Luck generously consented to an interview with me about an unpleasant episode in his career, and his detailed responses to my countless e-mails helped me piece together the AJP affair with greater accuracy. Mary Lefkowitz merits some sort of medal for enduring long interviews on all the classics-based controversies discussed in this book. Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath were generous to agree to interviews, though they did not know me and, given the brouhaha surrounding Who Killed Homer?, they had reason to be skeptical of my intentions. In general, I hope that my interviewees conclude that I have tried hard to be fair to all involved. A number of people read earlier portions of the manuscript: Teresa Bejan, Ward Briggs, Arthur Eckstein, Herbert Golder, Calvert Jones, Mary Lefkowitz, Molly Levine, Jeremy Pienik, Christopher Stray, Katherine Wasdin, and CarolinePage x → Winterer. Their feedback helped improve the manuscript immeasurably. An earlier portion of chapter 3 appeared in Classical World (“The вЂAJP Today’ Controversy Revisited,” 108.2 [2014]: 67–95). I would like to thank Lee Pearcy and Robin Mitchell-Boyask for allowing me to reprint an altered and expanded version of that article. The same thanks are due to Herbert Golder, since very small portions of chapters 1, 2, and 6 appeared in different form in Arion (“Allan Bloom on the Value of the Ancients, or The Closing of the American Classics Department,” 24.1 [2016]: 151–60). I must not leave out the efforts of my colleagues, who offered so much help and guidance. This project began when I was a member of the classics department at Connecticut College. Those who aided me there include John Coats, Michael Dreimiller, David Greven, Christopher Hammond, Janet Hayes, Dirk Held, Jim MacDonald, Sharon Moody, Richard Moorton, Robert Proctor, and Joan Silverberg. By the time I completed the book, I was a member of the classics department at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am delighted to thank my colleagues Francisco Barrenechea, Jorge Bravo, Lillian Doherty, Arthur Eckstein, Judith Hallett, and Gregory Staley. In addition to all her support and good cheer, Judith Hallett donated the funds necessary for my Web survey of contemporary American classical scholars. Although she knew that my book would not necessarily reflect her own take on affairs, Judith remained a tireless advocate on my behalf. I could never thank her enough for her assistance. Various others supplied different sorts of help. Eric Cline sent unpublished materials to me on the Black Athena controversy. Lowell Edmunds shared an unpublished lecture he wrote, and both Ward Briggs and Christopher Stray sent advanced copies of forthcoming articles. Mary-Kay Gamel and Matthew Roller offered advice regarding chapter 3. Allison Glazebrook helped me contact the appropriate WCC staffers to handle my requests; Janet Martin, the WCC archivist, mailed a number of WCC newsletters to me. Jack Langer, previously an editor at Regnery Publishing, offered the sales figures for Charles Sykes’s two monographs from the culture wars. Eleanor Leach and Jane Phillips sent me materials regarding a controversy tangentially related to the narrative presented in chapter 3. Molly Levine allowed me to examine her correspondence with Martin Bernal. Fouad Makki, Bernal’s literary executor, gave me official authorization to quote from this correspondence, and Leslie Miller-Bernal supported my efforts and got me in touch with Makki. Andrea Purvis sent Diskin Clay’s

unpublished memoirs to me. Patrick T. Rourke tracked down the archives of the Classics-L. Benjamin M. Schmidt helped me find data regarding the current state of classical studies in the United States. Eric Schmidt of the University of California Press supplied information related to the paperback version of Who Page xi →Killed Homer? Marilyn Skinner forwarded along to me a detailed letter on the AJP affair, which she wrote during the heat of the controversy. This proved to be an extraordinarily important source of information. James Stimpert, the Senior Reference Archivist at Johns Hopkins University, helped me navigate the relevant documents in the Ferdinand Hamburger Archives. Calvert Jones and Patricia Wallace helped me analyze the survey data. Peter Wayner facilitated a meeting with two former students of Martin Bernal (Jeremy and Rhoda Rabkin), and their recollections of Bernal aided my investigations a good deal. The excellent staff members at the University of Michigan Press who worked on the book deserve praise: Ellen Bauerle, Susan Cronin, and Kevin Rennells. Ellen was a careful reader, helpful inquisitor, and steadfast advocate throughout the laborious publication process; her attention and feedback have substantially improved this book. I also thank the anonymous readers. I would also like to acknowledge friends who offered me support: Leah Ammon, James Barondess, Alex Beecroft, Matthew Diamond, David Greven, Alex Loney, Daniel Mathews, Jeremy Pienik, Jelle Stoop, Katherine Wasdin, and Akira Yatsuhashi. Most of all, I would like to thank my family: Amy Adler, Joel Adler, Nancy Adler, Mike Donahue, Calvert Jones, and Lili Katz-Jones. I cannot thank them enough for their love and encouragement. Accordingly, I dedicate this book to them.

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Introduction “In the controversy between neoconservatives and postmodernists, teachers of Greek and Latin have found themselves in a curious position.” —George A. Kennedy, “Classics and Canons” (1992)

“What Color Was Jesus?” and Other Queries from the Culture Wars In the fall of 1998, as a master’s student in classics at the State University of New York at Buffalo, I enrolled in a graduate course called Ancient African Civilizations. Offered under the auspices of the African and African American Studies Department, the class was recommended to me by my adviser, who presumed—as I did—that it would be devoted chiefly to archaeology, since literary evidence for many parts of ancient Africa is wanting. The course proved to be a very different experience. Its professor was a genial scholar with a doctorate in sociology and expertise in modern Nigerian history. But it was not the professor who made the class so memorable. The majority of my fellow students appeared to be veterans of previous coursework with an Afrocentric outlook. This became clear in the second half of the semester, which was devoted to student presentations. One young man, the most outspoken and charismatic among us, delivered an enthusiastic report on the color of Jesus. Tipping his hand, in front of the class he removed his jacket to reveal a “Jesus Was a Black Man” T-shirt. To the delight of many of his classmates, he acquainted us with various Afrocentric discussions of the New Testament, which stressed Jesus’s “Negroid” features. In such moments, the course, without the professor’s encouragement, turned distinctly and passionately political, as ancient history intertwined with contemporary activism. The class prompted in me a sense of bewilderment. Elsewhere on the SUNY Buffalo campus, it appeared, professors and students were engaged in a very different sort of analysis of the ancient Mediterranean world from that offered Page 2 →in the classics department, with vastly different approaches to evidence. How had this happened? Did these incongruities signal an alarming lack of standards? Or were they merely signs of a promising young discipline’s early development? Although these questions still resonate with me many years later, seeming to elude definitive answers, one thing appears crystal clear: the course served as my personal introduction to the academic culture wars.

Toward Ending the Crisis for Classics Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond pertains to contestations over what Americans should learn in colleges and universities, about who we are as Westerners, as Americans. This book examines the role of classical studies in the turbulent academic environment of the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. Its discussions of various classical controversies of the period offer insight into the place of ancient Greece and Rome in contemporary higher education. Through an appreciation of this role, we can suggest ways for the field of classics—and, more broadly, for the humanities—to move forward. The book addresses how American classical scholars can help shift their discipline away from its current crisis mode—a mode that the field has helped promote by disengaging from the wider context of American intellectual life. Classical studies in the US must make important changes—not least, to develop a fuller sense of public spirit—to survive and thrive in the world of contemporary higher education. There are umpteen polemics on the academic culture wars. This is not one of them. Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond endeavors neither to adjudicate the quarrels of the 1980s and 1990s nor to score points against opponents. Rather, the book presents a fair-minded and historically grounded analysis of the controversies it assesses. It provides the first full-scale examination of the relationship between these contretemps and the broader

contestations that roiled academia in the US at the time. Understanding these disputes can help us both get a better grasp on an important period in the history of American higher education and plot a way forward for the discipline of classics. To achieve these goals, the book will proceed as follows. Chapter 1 sets the intellectual scene for the investigation by describing and assessing the basics of the American academic culture wars. The clashes of the period—surrounding such popular books as Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987), Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals (1990), and Dinesh D’Souza’s Illiberal EducationPage 3 → (1991)—focused chiefly on the study of English literature. Classics departments played an odd role in such disputes: although part of the supposedly radical and politicized world of the contemporary humanities, participants with various outlooks in the quarrels over American academia often deemed the departments oldfashioned and elitist. Chapter 2 explains the strange place of classical studies in the debates. By presenting a brief history of the role of Greco-Roman studies in US higher education from the founding of Harvard College to the 1980s, it elucidates the widespread perceptions of the classics as conservative and hidebound. Most important, the chapter offers the study a historical foundation. Only in the light of the history of classics in American colleges and universities can one understand the curious position of classical studies in the era of the culture wars. Well before these intellectual skirmishes commenced, classical studies played a much-diminished part in the life of American colleges and universities. The book then turns to a discussion of the most (in)famous controversies in classics from the period. Such controversies offer us a valuable opportunity to take stock of American classical studies in the late twentieth century. Like similar intellectual quarrels, they forced various scholars to pronounce on topics of great importance to the field’s self-identification—topics that in less fractious times often remain unexamined. These disputes laid bare the underlying tensions in classics, clarifying deep-rooted contestations over the discipline’s identity and its role in American higher education.1 The examination of such quarrels commences with chapter 3, which sheds light on the so-called AJP affair. Just as the academic culture wars heated up, Georg Luck, a classics professor at Johns Hopkins University and the editor of the prestigious American Journal of Philology (AJP), published a pugnacious editorial statement that belittled innovative theoretical approaches to classical scholarship. A formal protest campaign ensued—a campaign spearheaded by feminist classicists that is widely believed to have precipitated Luck’s dismissal as AJP’s editor. The chapter demonstrates that this popular assumption is incorrect, highlighting the ways in which the wider debates of the academic culture wars could warp perceptions of disputes among classical scholars. Chapter 4 examines the most prominent classical quarrel of the twentieth century: the heated debates—in scholarly journals, the popular press, and even on television talk shows—over Martin Bernal’s threevolume work, Black Page 4 →Athena. This chapter reveals the ways in which the political rows over American higher education shaped the Black Athena controversy, transforming it into a catalyst of African American identity politics. The next chapter focuses on the last major classical controversy during the culture wars. In 1998, classical scholars Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath published Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom. This polemic amounted to a full-scale assault on the classics establishment and blamed “politically correct” careerist classical scholars for the withering of classics departments across the nation. The chapter examines the disconnect between populists such as Hanson and Heath and philological traditionalists such as Luck. It also demonstrates the ways in which the rhetoric of the culture wars derailed substantive conversations about Who Killed Homer?, ensuring that classical scholars never came to terms with the crucial topics the book addresses. Chapter 6 surveys American classical studies in the aftermath of the culture wars and assesses the relationship between the controversies examined and the broader academic disputes of which they were a part. The chapter

also recommends a path forward for the discipline, contending that its practitioners are often too cautious and thus fail to engage in more expansive dialogues on the nature of the humanities. Rather than revel in intramural methodological divisions, classical scholars should embrace a “big tent” philosophy, since the heterogeneous nature of the field is among its core strengths. Classical scholars (especially the more distinguished among them) need to foster a greater sense of public-spiritedness to ensure the discipline’s survival by promoting increased visibility for the classics in the US and reminding Americans of the importance of GrecoRoman antiquity in shaping our culture—for better and worse.

Unearthing the Academic Culture Wars Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond engages with different sorts of evidence. The book presents a traditional analytical approach to texts, both scholarly and journalistic. In the chapters devoted to particular controversies in classics, the study also benefits from numerous in-depth interviews with key contributors to these events. I selected a broad sample of participants on multiple sides of the controversies to ensure that the book would provide the most balanced examinations possible. The interviews—often more than an hour long and in many cases requiring follow-up discussions—help delineate these disputes with greater accuracy and allow important contributors to reflectPage 5 → on their potential impact with the benefit of hindsight. When possible, furthermore, relevant archives have been consulted. The final chapter also includes the findings from a Web survey of contemporary American classical scholars, which aids the book’s reflections on the current state of the discipline and informs its suggestions for the most effective ways to address current pedagogical and intellectual pressures.2 The title of this book introduces obvious—and important—questions: What were the “culture wars”? How should they be defined? Although we shall return to this topic in chapter 1, some preliminary discussion is necessary. Cultural contestations in the US are hardly a phenomenon unique to the late twentieth century. Thus the notion of an easily defined period of “culture wars” with strict chronological boundaries is a chimera. These days, conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly intermittently devotes a portion of his popular television program to a “Culture Warriors” segment, in which guests debate various matters associated with the current state of American society. Accordingly, one could argue that our nation remains wracked by “culture wars.” Moreover, public quarrels over the state of higher education have been a constant in America and even predate the founding of the US. The nation has endured many curricular battles and many broadsides on the sorry state of US higher education. The methodological disagreements and ideological tensions among classical scholars highlighted in this book are by no means exclusive to the period under consideration. Long before the 1980s, American classical scholars disagreed—sometimes profoundly—on such matters. Despite these caveats, there remain reasons to confine our investigation to the 1980s and 1990s. This era witnessed an especially prominent public battle over cultural attitudes in the US. Scholarly and journalistic books and articles regularly refer to this period as the age of the American “culture wars.”3 Among these struggles was an exceptionally noisy and attention-grabbing debate concerning higher education. Insofar as this public quarrel chiefly surrounded the state of the humanities in the US, it remains a key period for those attempting Page 6 →to discern the future of classical studies in American colleges and universities. Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond attempts to keep professional terminology and jargon to a minimum. But in at least one circumstance, the book requires the use of labels that necessitate explanation. Many disputants in the academic culture wars are deemed traditionalists or antitraditionalists. Like many labels, these possess shortcomings. As we shall see in chapter 2, they are misleading, especially since the liberal arts tradition is itself variegated, and each side in the academic culture wars could conceivably lay claim to a link with some part of it—and each can be seen as a break from another. Yet for all their problems, these labels for the disputants seem the least fraught. James Davison Hunter, a prominent historian of the period, prefers the adjectives orthodox and progressive.4 Yet the former possesses

religious associations that are inapt, and the latter causes confusion because it overlaps with a particular American political movement. Still other writers on the culture wars favor conservatives and liberals or progressives,5 but, again, these call to mind political divisions that are not always appropriate. Some traditionalists in the academic culture wars were actually political liberals or leftists; some antitraditionalists would not self-identify as politically liberal or progressive. The labels used in the book, though reductive, cause the fewest problems. Readers may wonder about the decision to include the classical controversies the book examines rather than others.6 Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond focuses on these particular disputes because they were arguably the most well known, and, given the comparatively plentiful written records documenting them, they remain the easiest to reconstruct. Taken together, these three controversies also allow us to home in on issues of paramount concern to many academics during the culture wars: as we shall see, the AJP affair highlighted the topic of gender; the Black Athena controversy emphasized matters of race and ethnicity; and the row over Who Killed Homer? touched on these subjects but focused on class.7 Race, gender, and class—for many American academics in the late twentieth century, these issues amounted to a Capitoline Triad of Page 7 →sorts, and humanists’ supposed obsession with them encouraged much handwringing from their critics. By no means does the book aim to offer a comprehensive account of American classical studies in the 1980s and 1990s. The controversies examined both broaden our understanding of these years and allow us to comment on the likely future for the discipline. To a greater degree than most works of classical scholarship—or even examinations of the discipline’s history—Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond analyzes conflicts with glaring ideological resonances. Since the book endeavors to provide dispassionate assessments of these disputes, it seems necessary to offer a brief word on my political views. I do not mention this topic out of a misguided impression that readers care about my biography, and I hope that my few words on the matter will not appear self-indulgent. But I think it is only fair for me to come clean on the subject, since it may help readers judge the degree to which my outlook affects my analysis. In fact, I hope that my varied political background suggests that I am a good candidate to write this book. My inclinations have shifted over the years, from garden-variety American liberalism, a short-lived flirtation with radicalism, a center-right phase (during which time I worked briefly as an editor for the New Criterion, a journal discussed in chapters 1, 2, and 4), and most recently a push toward moderation. These days, I consider myself a centrist. Although I do not believe that this personal history allows me to write objectively about the contentious topics discussed in this book, I hope that it helps me give a sympathetic hearing to various opposing arguments. Let us turn our attention to many of these arguments, as we examine the general contours of the American academic culture wars of the late twentieth century.

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1 Attack of the Killer Bs “At Duke, there is also, as the media tend to forget, a whole university beyond the English department.” —Duke University English professor Cathy N. Davidson (1991)

Fighting Words from Chicago In 1973, Harper and Row published Fellow Teachers by sociologist Philip Rieff (1922–2006). Rieff had become a major name in intellectual circles for his work The Triumph of the Therapeutic (1966), a meditation on the ways in which Freudian psychology had altered the character of modern life. Its author, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Chicago, the home of Robert Maynard Hutchins’s famed Great Books program. All Rieff’s work betrays a pessimistic, conservative sensibility; a recurring theme in his books, for example, is the tragic nature of contemporary Western life, given the demise of religious convictions. Fellow Teachers ably demonstrates Rieff’s intellectual temperament. The volume mounts a sustained attack on professors who use their classrooms as bully pulpits. In characteristically dense, puzzling prose, Rieff laments the Nietzschean dismissal of objective truth and its pernicious effects on university life. “If Nietzsche ever acted out,” he wrote in a typically cryptic sentence, “then at least he did truth—which is repression successfully, though never finally, achieved—the honor of going mad.”8 Among other recommendations, Fellow Teachers counsels college professors to distance their courses from the hurly-burly of politics so that institutions of higher learning can maintain their Page 10 →intellectual integrity.9 “Let position-taking be the discipline of parties, not of universities,” Rieff asserts.10 The book pulls no punches. Fellow Teachers includes excoriations of the American counterculture (“collegetrained primitives,” in Rieff’s polemical parlance),11 popular antinomian academics (“gurus of experimental Life”),12 research universities (“knowledge factories”),13 and rock and roll (“crude, sensual music”).14 Rieff criticizes numerous touchy subjects, including black separatism and American society’s ahistorical “barbarism.”15 Although pessimistic about the future health of American intellectual life, he advocates a university curriculum made up of transcendent authors and artists of the past: “Plato, Haydn, Beethoven, Freud, Weber: all our greatest teachers are always dead.”16 Despite its author’s fame, Fellow Teachers appears not to have registered much of an impact either on the academy or with the public at large. To this day, it is not among Rieff’s better-known works. The volume, its spirited rhetoric and provocative ideas notwithstanding, never seems to have attracted significant attention. In 1987, Allan Bloom (1930–92), a political philosopher at the University of Chicago, published a book that bears striking similarities to Rieff’s Fellow Teachers. Like Rieff, Bloom had earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Chicago. Like Rieff, Bloom possessed the sensibilities of a brooding traditionalist. And again like Rieff, Bloom had a penchant for writing abstruse prose. In comparison with Rieff, however, Bloom was an obscure figure; he was chiefly known as a charismatic teacher. His previously published works—translations of Plato and Rousseau and a volume on Shakespeare’s politics—had not made the sort of splash associated with Rieff’s The Triumph of the Therapeutic. Yet Bloom’s tome, The Closing of the American Mind, created a firestorm. It became a surprise smash in the publishing world, earning its author fame and fortune, praise and infamy. In addition to garnering sundry reviews in the popular press, the book, a mainstay on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list in 1987 and 1988, turned Bloom into an instant celebrity—the subject of numerous biographical essays and a featured guest on television talk shows.17 Page 11 →The Closing of the American Mind, despite its likenesses to Rieff’s Fellow

Teachers, was one of the most influential and attacked books of its decade. What explains the disparate fates of these similar works? The Closing of the American Mind, unlike Rieff’s opus, hit bookshelves toward the commencement of the American culture wars and amounted to a seminal text in this prolonged conflict. This, as it turned out, made all the difference. This chapter presents a brief intellectual history of the American academic culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, situating these quarrels in the wider ideological conflicts of the period and assessing their strengths and weaknesses. This history provides some of the requisite background for our further discussion of debates that roiled classical studies in the US at the time. Most important, it delineates the oddly marginal role of the classics in the disputes over the character of American colleges and universities. Although one might presume that GrecoRoman antiquity—given its historic importance to Western higher education—would have played a major part in such struggles, in reality the classics were an afterthought, a subject of pressing concern to neither side of the debate.

The Casus Belli To this day, scholars disagree on the origins of the American culture wars. According to James Davison Hunter, a formative and helpful writer on the topic, these struggles earned their name on the basis of their connections with the late-nineteenth-century German Kulturkampf.18 Though we lack precise dates for the American culture wars, they arguably heated up in the early 1980s and subsided, though never definitively concluded, with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The culture wars were a period in US history when domestic concerns came to the fore. In essence, they pertained to conflicting visions of America among the populace at large. What sort of moral universe did Americans seek to inhabit? What was good and bad about American culture? What was the correct approach to the ordering of society? In what ways did Americans want to live? These were among the grand questions that animated the culture Page 12 →wars’ impassioned debates.19 Though such concerns are by no means unique to the 1980s and 1990s, the tensions of the McCarthy era and the upheavals associated with the Vietnam War rendered them especially salient during this period. Although this chapter tracks the late-twentieth-century clashes over American colleges and universities, these academic feuds took place within the context of a broader US culture war. This larger conflict pertained to numerous heated topics: affirmative action, abortion, gay rights, multiculturalism, school prayer, public funding for the arts, inter alia. Its combatants—whom Hunter labels the orthodox and the progressives—were predominantly elites with polarizing views on the issues up for debate.20 Though it appears as if most Americans found themselves somewhere in the ideological middle of these struggles, the more partisan combatants, with ready access to mass media, drove the conflict.21 What explains the prominence of cultural skirmishes in late-twentieth-century America? Different scholars suggest disparate reasons. According to journalist and sociologist Todd Gitlin, himself a participant in the struggles, these battles dominated American politics as a result of the failures of communism and the Soviet Union’s demise.22 In such a context, the lack of major external threats to US hegemony compelled Americans to turn inward and occupy themselves with various domestic matters. Although the culture wars flourished during a period of American unipolar dominance, one can note problems with Gitlin’s thesis. The germination of these debates, for example, predates the fall of the Berlin Wall. Arguably, moreover, the American reaction to communism amounted to one element of the culture wars themselves.23 We need not surmise that these struggles were disconnected from international affairs. Hunter asserts that the rows were of domestic origin. In the past, he maintains, America was wracked by interreligious disputes—clashes between Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. By the early 1980s, however, these old fault lines gave way, in part as a result of American society’s increasing religious tolerance. Page 13 →In their place appeared intrareligious disputes: competing moral visions from within the religious traditions

themselves. Thus, Hunter avers, the culture wars pitted intellectually and morally “orthodox” Protestants, Catholics, and Jews against their intellectually and morally “progressive” coreligionists. The debates therefore surrounded rival—and irreconcilable—worldviews.24 Though Hunter’s thesis has much to recommend it, one can point to some problems. As a religious studies scholar, he may have overplayed the spiritual origins and nature of the conflict. The debates surrounding American higher education during the culture wars, for example, seem overwhelmingly secular in character. One can imagine people of disparate religious commitments siding with various positions advanced in the academic disputes. Political scientist Ronald Inglehart presents a different explanation for the culture wars’ rise—and, more expansively, for similar societal struggles in numerous postindustrial nations. Through recourse to the World Values Survey, Inglehart’s book Modernization and Postmodernization (1997) tracks changing worldviews in forty-three countries from the 1980s to the 1990s. Its author contends that the increasing safety and security of post–World War II life in advanced societies led to “a gradual shift from вЂMaterialist’ values (emphasizing economic and physical security above all) toward вЂPostmaterialist’ priorities (emphasizing self-expression and quality of life).”25 This shift, which Inglehart labels postmodernization, seems to fit with the prominence of moral concerns in the national dialogue during the American culture wars. These conflicts, then, may be part of wider changes that occurred in numerous postindustrial societies. Although Inglehart musters much evidence to support his contentions, his thesis is not unassailable. When the culture wars first brewed in the early 1980s, the Soviet Union remained a serious threat to American security.

En Garde, Professor! One might presume that the battle over American higher education would have been a comparatively minor skirmish in the culture wars. After all, in the US, attending colleges and universities is not mandatory. In regard to the battles over the university, moreover, differing worldviews did not necessarily lie at the root of the disagreements. The rifts between sides on the topic of, say, abortion Page 14 →were likely deeper than those pertaining to the literary canon. Few among the academic “orthodox,” moreover, appear to have been evangelical Christians;26 some in fact were self-professed political moderates, liberals, or leftists. Surely, then, disputes over high school curricula would have dwarfed those associated with American higher education. And yet the fight over the university, though transcending firm labels such as orthodox and progressive, generated much acrimony. The academic feuds, which pitted scores of intellectual and pedagogical traditionalists against their antitraditionalist foes, amounted to some of the most publicized and raucous battles in the culture wars.

Return of the Purple Decade The heat surrounding the academic culture wars in large part stemmed from the fact that these conflicts compelled antagonists to take stock of the changes in American higher education and intellectual life that resulted from the turbulence of the late 1960s and 1970s. These years had witnessed numerous student revolts, demands for more “relevant” coursework, and the creation of new disciplines associated with the politics of the New Left: women’s studies, black studies, Latino/a studies, and so forth.27 Combatants in the academic culture wars tended to look back on these years with great emotion: to such participants, that era amounted either to a welcome broadening of American academia or to a disgraceful capitulation to politicization and intellectual debasement. Much of the tumultuousness of the academic culture wars pertained to the rise of postmodern thought in the West.28 One can detect some important changes in many humanities and social science disciplines since the 1960s, in part as a consequence of the influence of the postmodern movement on numerous academics and intellectuals. Postmodern thought has its origins in the political, social, technological, and military upheavals of the 1960s. The horrors of the Vietnam War, the failure of the protests of 1968, and the rise of new social movements influenced many thinkers associated with the political Left at this time to reconsider their Page 15 →faith in progress, reason, and science.29 To such figures, the evils of Western involvement in Vietnam and the saliency of the feminist, civil

rights, and Black Power movements demonstrated that modern industrialized nations were hardly beacons of beneficent change. Rather, these thinkers supposed that the modern West was brutal in its treatment of nonWesterners and that faith in rationality and objectivity had led not to progress but to misery.30 Such conclusions helped spawn the popularity of postmodern thought throughout portions of Western academia. Many intellectuals associated with postmodernism criticize Enlightenment reason, narratives that stress continual societal progress, and individual freedom.31 Much postmodern thought has firmly embraced relativism. A number of postmodern theorists, mostly associated with literary criticism, have questioned the distinction between fact and fiction.32 They tend to suppose that pretensions to objectivity mask issues of power.33 Academics may pretend that their investigations are “scientific,” but many postmodern thinkers believe that these academics are merely plumping for their own perspectives. This movement has naturally proved critical of the ideal of scholarly objectivity associated with the professionalization of Western academia in the nineteenth century.34 Its followers often disparaged the dominance of the Western literary canon in general education courses required for undergraduates at many American colleges and universities prior to the late 1960s. Although such classes supposedly introduced students to the most profound and aesthetically rewarding works in human history, many postmodernists saw such courses’ almost unvarying focus on dead, white, male authors as marginalizing women and minorities.35 Throughout the American academy, the popularity of postmodern thought thus contributed to the demise of the Great Books approach to general education.36 It also influenced many professors of the humanities to reenvision their Page 16 →role as scholars and to focus their concerns on issues pertaining to identity politics. By the mid1980s, in numerous humanistic disciplines, scholarly work devoted to the study of race, class, gender, and sexuality was notably popular. Deconstruction, cultural studies, poststructuralism, reader response theory, postcolonial studies—these and other elements associated with the postmodern movement seemed to become all the rage.37 Insofar as the academic culture wars allowed Americans to come to terms with these profound alterations in US intellectual life, it should not prove surprising that they generated much acrimony.

“The Flagship of the Humanistic Fleet” As is the case with the culture wars generally, it remains impossible to suggest a definitive date for the commencement of the battle over American academia. Jeremiads about the sorry state of the academy have a long history in the United States, and one can find precursors to many of the broadsides that featured prominently in the debates.38 William F. Buckley Jr.’s God and Man at Yale (1951), a polemic that helped turn its author into arguably the most influential conservative intellectual of the late twentieth century, seems to have been an especially important forerunner. One could argue, however, that the academic culture wars first began to brew in 1982. In September of that year, Harvard Magazine published Walter Jackson Bate’s “The Crisis in English Studies.” Although a university’s alumni magazine seems an unlikely forum for an article of seminal importance to the feuds over American higher education, Bate (1918–99), a literary critic at Harvard, touched a nerve with his piece, the impact of which reverberated throughout the conflict.39 The article contains many features typical of tracts in the academic culture wars. For example, though Bate contended that a debilitating catastrophe plagued the humanities, his piece concentrates solely on the discipline of English literature. He justified this focus partly on the basis of the dominant role of the English department in the contemporary university; to Bate, the study of English literature was “the flagship of the humanistic fleet.”40 Page 17 →This echoes a theme detectable throughout the conflict: when many spoke of a crisis of the humanities, they often meant a crisis in English departments. Scores of contributions to the battle over the university from a variety of ideological angles home in on English and, to a lesser extent, comparative literature.41 Though some polemics touched on other disciplines as well,42 English studies remained the touchstone. Bate’s article amounts to a plea to return to the old spirit of litterae humaniores and opposes the specialization and professionalization associated with the German-influenced research university. Although Bate found literary

scholars’ preoccupations with gender, ethnic, and sexual matters deleterious, he viewed the spread of gay studies and other fashionable approaches to literature as symptoms of broader problems associated with the professionalization of the discipline.43

Reclaiming the Great Books Two years after Bate’s article appeared, the Reagan administration involved itself in the struggle over the American university. In 1984, William J. Bennett, then the chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, published a report entitled To Reclaim a Legacy. Bennett, who holds a doctorate in political philosophy, was aided by a “study group” of thirty-six academics and intellectuals, among whom was one classicist, scholar and translator William Arrowsmith (1924–92). According to Bennett, educators “too often have given up the great task of transmitting a culture to its rightful heirs.”44 He argued that humanistic education in the US was in dire straits: few American colleges required the study of foreign languages, American history and literature, and “the civilizations of classical Greece and Rome.”45 The report also stresses the precipitous decline in the number of humanities majors since the early 1970s, blaming it in part on “a failure of nerve and faith on the part of many college faculties and administrators.”46 Page 18 →Bennett suggests some remedies for the pitiful state of the collegiate humanities in America. In addition to invoking Victorian education reformer Matthew Arnold, he proposed that “the study of the humanities and Western civilization must take its place at the heart of the college curriculum”47 and must grapple with “life’s enduring, fundamental questions.”48 Bennett supported a Great Books approach to humanistic study: college courses should expose students to the masterworks of Western thought.49 The report also argued in favor of student proficiency in a foreign language, though it did not stress which one.50 Although Bennett anchored his vision of the humanities in Western intellectual history, he presented a more capacious conception of higher education. In addition to a focus on the West, he maintained, the report’s “study group members recommended that undergraduates have some familiarity with the history, literature, religion, and philosophy of at least one non-Western culture or civilization.”51 Nevertheless, Bennett’s critics often charged him with an ethnocentric dismissal of other cultures.52 In addition, Bennett did not favor a fixed core curriculum, but stressed that an institution’s “syllabi should change from time to time to take into account the expertise of available faculty and the result of continuing scrutiny and refinement.”53 Though it complains about ideological instruction and the perniciousness of relativism, the report, as befits a government study, comes across as a mild addition to the academic culture wars.54 On the whole, To Reclaim a Legacy seems concerned with providing a Great Books–inspired rationale in favor of humanistic studies to combat technical and vocational education.

Page 19 →Education, Democracy, and Allan Bloom Bennett’s report remained an important text throughout the culture wars—much cited and much maligned. But its influence paled in comparison with Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, which first appeared in bookstores in February 1987. By this time, the academic feuds were heating up. In 1985, the conservative group Accuracy in Academia was founded to monitor ideological imbalance and radical hijinks on American campuses. During the same year, prominent and controversial poststructuralist literary scholar Stanley Fish began a stint in Duke University’s English department and commenced with a much-discussed plan to recruit modish professors there.55 Around this time, demonstrations popped up on campuses throughout the nation, as many students urged their institutions to divest from apartheid South Africa. In the month prior to the release of Bloom’s polemic, much-ballyhooed protests regarding Stanford University’s Western Culture program came to a head, thanks to a rally led by Jesse Jackson against the perceived racism of this yearlong, mandatory Great Books sequence.56 For the first time since the anti-Vietnam agitations on American campuses during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the American media and the American people in great numbers were turning their attention toward the nation’s colleges and universities, and the time was ripe for a spirited work on the plight

of higher education in the United States. All the same, The Closing of the American Mind must be considered one of the most improbable best-selling books in American history. Bloom deemed his dense and lengthy tract, with a supportive preface by novelist Saul Bellow, “a meditation on the state of our souls, particularly those of the young, and their education.”57 The work explicitly focuses on students attending the most prestigiousPage 20 → American universities.58 It diagnoses their supposed soullessness and details the philosophical and historical roots of their malaise. Inspired by Plato’s views on education,59 Bloom contends that the university in a democratic society must be a space where one can challenge the prevailing nostrums of democracy itself. By encouraging tendencies alien to democracy, higher education can balance students’ souls and strengthen their societies. Thus, according to Bloom, the university must encourage elitist philosophical contemplation anathema to the pragmatic leveling of American democracy. Unfortunately, argued Bloom, American colleges since the late 1960s had failed in this regard. Instead of serving as a check on the potential excesses of American life, these institutions encouraged democratic leveling and had become hostages of a specific, radical political movement.60 In the book’s lengthiest section, Bloom details the largely German ideas responsible for this catastrophe.61 He asserts that a Nietzschean American Left infected society with a toxic relativism and mounted a politicized assault on American higher education. With great vitriol, Bloom likened this attack to the Nazis’ destruction of the German university in the 1930s.62 American institutions of higher learning, Bloom believed, now encouraged unbalanced souls in the young, thereby threatening the health and vibrancy of the nation’s democracy. To remedy this, Bloom advocated a return to the Great Books tradition—a core curriculum based on the masterworks of Western culture.63 The Closing of the American Mind is hardly easy reading. Various features of the work render it difficult to assimilate. Bloom, a Straussian academic who never previously sought the limelight,64 possessed a cryptic, occasionally indecipherable prose style. His book, moreover, presents long disquisitions on the thought of Locke, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Weber, Heidegger, and various other intellectual luminaries, often without offering sufficient context and explanation for the general reader. It is hard to imagine that Bloom aimed to court massive publicity with chapter titles such as “The Nietzscheanization of the Left or Vice Versa,” and “From Socrates’ Apology to Heidegger’s Rektoratsrede.” With an eye toward potential sales, Robert Asahina, Bloom’s editor at Simon and Schuster, decided to place the author’s curmudgeonly estimations of Page 21 →contemporary college students—with their nihilistic relativism, their libidinal rock music, and their lax sexual habits—at the book’s front.65 This strategy undoubtedly contributed to the work’s financial success, but rendered it a more difficult read. After all, The Closing of the American Mind details the supposed effects of the New Left’s takeover of the university before it discusses the history and intellectual pedigree of the takeover itself. For this reason, it should not prove surprising that many reactions to the book ignored or misunderstood its thesis and fixated on Bloom’s sporadically intemperate and overwrought rhetoric.66 Bloom peppered The Closing of the American Mind, especially its first chapters, with candid and crabby assessments of black culture, rock music, feminism, and affirmative action. It comes across as a deeply personal book: a summation of the author’s teaching career that demonstrates the grave impact the radical student assaults on Cornell University in 1969 had on Bloom, then a young faculty member.67 After some initially supportive reviews, the book became the object of numerous, sometimes savage, attacks.68 Many reviewers (especially those within the academy) pilloried Bloom as authoritarian, racist, sexist, elitist, and homophobic.69 In an especially bellicose response to the work, David Rieff linked Bloom to Oliver North and declared that “men like Professor Bloom, their paychecks assured by right-wing foundations that have also been active in supporting the Contras, publish books decent people would be ashamed of having written.”70 This seems an interesting reaction, since Rieff’s father, Philip Rieff, previously composed a book that offers many similar arguments.

There is much to criticize in The Closing of the American Mind. Bloom had Page 22 →a penchant for making cavalier generalizations. Though such pronouncements (about, for example, the depths of student relativism) lent the book a sense of boldness, they occasionally veer toward caricature. The same can be said about overstatements Bloom offered throughout the book: for example, the problems of the American university, however serious, surely did not rise to the level of the Nazi destruction of German higher education. One can also criticize the work’s failure to ground its assessments in the history of American higher education. The Closing of the American Mind’s bursts of curmudgeonly elitism and ill-advised overgeneralizations are unfortunate, because they rendered the book easier for critics to dismiss. And this is a mistake because Bloom’s opus, for all its flaws, amounts to a powerful indictment of American higher education and its impact on the young.71 In the fuss over The Closing of the American Mind, few if any critics appeared to notice the pragmatic elements lying behind Bloom’s vision of a suitable approach to American higher education. By arguing in favor of the Great Books, Bloom promoted his subdiscipline to a privileged place in the academic firmament. Political theory arguably relies more on a canon of heralded authors than does any other field in contemporary academia. Teaching political theory is impossible without mention of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, and other canonical thinkers. Some peculiarities associated with Bloom’s approach to the Great Books—its fundamental ahistoricism, for example—can be seen as related to the vicissitudes of Bloom’s discipline. His monograph not only plumps for the Great Books, but also provides a vision of higher education that grants political philosophy pride of place.72

Radicals with Benefits The wild success of Bloom’s book launched a veritable cottage industry; numerous traditionalistic scholars and journalists tried their hands at jeremiads aimed at the American university. Among the most popular additions to the genre was Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals, which Harper and Row published in 1990. By this time, the academic culture wars had witnessed a variety of well-publicizedPage 23 → controversies. In the summer of 1987, for example, Ortwin de Graef, a graduate student, discovered that late Yale English professor Paul de Man (1919–83), an eminent proponent of deconstructionist approaches to literary criticism, had contributed a slew of dubious columns to two collaborationist newspapers in Nazi-occupied Belgium during World War II. Traditionalistic critics pounced on this discovery, attempting to use de Man’s unsavory—and at times anti-Semitic—early writings to highlight the purported dangers of deconstructionist nihilism.73 On February 9, 1988, the Harvard Crimson, Harvard University’s daily newspaper, printed a student article charging history professor Stephan Thernstrom with racial prejudice, in part because Thernstrom had read from the journals of slave owners to his Peopling of America class. To critics of higher education, this episode amounted to a witch hunt that demonstrated the appalling intellectual conformity at American institutions of higher learning.74 In spring 1988, Stanford’s Faculty Senate, bowing to student pressure, voted to replace the university’s Western Culture sequence with Cultures, Ideas, and Values (CIV), a program to some degree more amenable to antitraditionalists’ educational designs.75 By the fall of 1990, the national debate over “political correctness” (PC) on campus commenced with a New York Times article explaining—and ridiculing—the phenomenon.76 The piece, which offered a report on the recently concluded annual conference of the Modern Language Association (MLA), bears a title that sums up its flippant attitude toward its subject: “Literary Critics Find Politics Everywhere.” Kimball, a former doctoral candidate in philosophy at Yale University then serving as the managing editor of the conservative culture journal the New Criterion, covered some of these controversies and numerous others in Tenured Radicals. A work of polemical journalism, Tenured Radicals asserts that “the academic study of the humanities is in a state of crisis.”77 Despite this broad indictment of the humanities, the book focuses the brunt of its author’s scorn on departments of English, French, and comparative literature.Page 24 → Although Kimball also expends some energy excoriating professors of women’s studies, architectural studies, and art history, he includes no disparagement of classical studies.78

Like Bloom, Kimball highlighted what he took to be the wretched condition of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. He argued that erstwhile 1960s radicals were destroying humanistic education in the US by refusing to transmit Western cultural heritage to their students.79 Instead, these “tenured radicals,” Kimball believed, were engaged in tendentious political posturing and hermetic word games. Such professors routinely used their classrooms to proselytize for their political views, thereby assaulting the traditions of Western high culture. Tenured Radicals shares some themes with The Closing of the American Mind but is a different sort of book. Whereas Bloom was given to airy philosophical musings, Kimball comes across as more grounded. Tenured Radicals features, inter alia, Kimball’s appraisals of colloquies on the state of the humanities that took place on various campuses. The book also ridicules the voguish published work of postmodernist academic eminences. In some sense the blueprint for later assaults on the university, Tenured Radicals—as even some of its stalwart critics recognized—was, along with Bloom’s work, the best of the traditionalistic broadsides.80 Kimball seems particularly adept at exposing a species of groupthink on university campuses; this renders his reporting on various panel discussions on the humanities especially entertaining.81 Further, Page 25 →Kimball, unlike other traditionalist critics, was well read in the work of leftist professors from different disciplines. Although his detractors asserted that he offered tendentious impressions of this scholarship, Kimball had at least experienced it firsthand. Despite its strengths, Tenured Radicals also possesses shortcomings, some of which also mar the work of less compelling journalistic accounts. Throughout the book, Kimball’s grasp of the history of American higher education appears weak. As John Searle, an insightful critic of the work, argues, “Kimball offers no coherent alternative vision of what higher education in the humanities should consist in. He simply takes it for granted that there is a single, unified, coherent tradition, just as his opponents do, and he differs from them in supposing that all we need to do is to return to the standards of that tradition.”82 But this, as Searle points out, is impossible. The canon was never set in stone, and higher learning in the US was not one long exercise in exposing students to the Great Books. One also wonders about the prospect of overstatement on Kimball’s part. Tenured Radicals offers readers the impression that virtually all humanities professors at prestigious American institutions were busy deconstructing the heteronormativity and phallologism of Bugs Bunny cartoons. What percentage of humanities scholars were “tenured radicals”? How typical were the sorts of intellectual approaches detailed in the book, and what effects did they have on the teaching of students? Kimball never explicitly answers these questions, and he has no trouble citing academics who agree with his traditionalistic take on the academy’s woes.83 This suggests that humanities departments at various American colleges and universities were not solely the preserve of leftists. The book’s heavy focus on departments of English and comparative literature, furthermore, leaves us in the dark about the state of other fields in the humanities.84

Page 26 →A Shed Full of Axes to Grind Critics of the academic culture wars’ traditionalist tracts had a tendency to paint them all with the same broad brush: one frequently reads their authors’ names offered like a laundry list, as if their contentions were identical.85 Mary Louise Pratt, then a professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University, for example, labeled Bennett, Bloom, and Bellow the “Killer B’s.”86 In reality, the traditionalists’ attacks, though similar in some respects, varied in both their emphases and quality. Take, for example, Dinesh D’Souza’s 1991 offering, Illiberal Education, which, like Bloom’s book, spent time on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.87 In his broadside, D’Souza, a former editor at the Dartmouth Review, a right-wing student newspaper, who was then serving as a research fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, focused almost exclusively on racial and ethnic matters. Although in places touching on such topics as academic feminism and poststructuralist literary criticism, the book demonstrates an overriding concern with the effects of affirmative action and multiculturalism on American higher education.88

The volume seems inferior to Bloom’s and Kimball’s efforts. Illiberal Education in places relies on quotations culled from undergraduate students the author met during his research. These students say some silly things. But why does D’Souza take these remarks so seriously, when he proves willing to overlook the sophomoric pugnacity of his own Dartmouth Review?89 In addition, D’Souza proves capable of misleading his readers: the author’s discussion of the demise of Stanford’s Western Culture sequence, for example, appears especially deceitful.90 As was not the case with Kimball and Bloom, moreover, D’Souza’s Page 27 →discussions of the work of academic radicals leave one with the impression of a writer who is in over his head.91 One can point to many other sorts of traditionalist broadsides on higher education. Although conservative journalist Charles Sykes’s two book-length contributions to the academic culture wars—ProfScam (1988) and The Hollow Men (1990)—seem like more frivolous and slapdash efforts, they are notable for their author’s disesteem for the natural and social sciences, in addition to the humanities.92 In fact, Sykes comes across as more disturbed by the advent of the German-influenced research institution than by the political inclinations of leftist faculty members.93 Such books demonstrate—as do numerous other traditionalist jeremiads—that the attacks on higher education during the culture wars were hardly uniform.94

The “Cultural Left” Weighs In Despite later grumblings about their belated retorts, some antitraditionalist academics soon responded to the attacks on the humanities.95 In 1989, a group of humanists contributed Speaking for the Humanities, a report sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies. Its authors—George Levine, Peter Brooks, Jonathan Culler, Marjorie Garber, E. Ann Kaplan, and Catharine R. Stimpson—were established professors of English, French, or comparative literature, the disciplines that bore the brunt of traditionalists’ criticisms. Speaking for the Humanities seldom discusses the classical world and offers no mention Page 28 →of classical studies.96 The pamphlet remains tied to an explanation of recent trends in the study of English literature, and, to a lesser degree, modern history. Speaking for the Humanities presents a convincing rejoinder to traditionalists’ assumptions about the decline in humanities enrollments. Although critics such as Bennett believed that ineffective teaching, radical politics, and recondite literary theory were largely to blame for recent decreases in the numbers of humanities majors, the authors of Speaking for the Humanities countered this thesis.97 During the past few decades, they contended, economic conditions as well as demographic changes had pushed students toward business and other preprofessional majors. Were we to believe that teaching in these disciplines had improved by leaps and bounds since the 1970s?98 Although student flight from the humanities likely had multiple causes, the traditionalists’ failure to highlight economic matters rendered their conclusions dubious. Other responses to the critics do not seem as potent, however. Speaking for the Humanities in places possesses a supercilious tone that some readers likely found off-putting. The pamphlet’s defense of academic specialization offers a pertinent example. “It is precisely because teachers of the humanities take their subject seriously,” its authors opined, “that they become specialists, allow themselves to be professionals rather than amateurs—belle lettrists who unselfconsciously sustain traditional hierarchies, traditional social and cultural exclusions, assuming that their audience is both universal and homogenous.”99 The report also declares that “professionalization makes thought possible by developing sets of questions, imposing norms which have then to be questioned and thereby promoting debate on key problems.”100 This seems like an ineffective way for the authors to win converts to their cause. Were nonacademics really incapable of thought?101 Speaking for the Humanities, however, was not the only early response to Page 29 →the attacks on the university. In 1990, the leftist academic journal South Atlantic Quarterly dedicated an issue to the “politics of liberal education.”102 This special number owed its origins to a 1988 conference at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that attracted various prominent humanities professors. Among the contributions to the resulting issue of South Atlantic Quarterly were Henry A. Giroux’s call for using the university to promote “the principles of social justice to all spheres of economic, political, and cultural life”103 and Alexander Nehamas’s argument in favor of adding television-watching to the humanities

curriculum.104 Although some of its essays present substantive and illuminating critiques of positions staked out by Bennett and Bloom, overall the volume has a preaching-to-the-converted feel. Philosopher Richard Rorty, in a less enthusiastic contribution to the symposium, labeled the conference “a rally of [the] cultural left.”105 If nothing else, the issue’s authors demonstrate that antitraditionalist academics were just as capable of composing rollicking polemics as were their traditionalist opponents. A few contributions to the volume come across quite differently, however.106 One essay in the special issue was written by George A. Kennedy, a distinguished professor of classics at the University of North Carolina. Although supportive of poststructuralist ideas on the arbitrary nature of language,107 Kennedy’s piece seems markedly unlike the volume’s other articles. Its author recognizes the uncomfortable position of classical studies in the conflict, given the heavy representation of ancient Greek and Roman authors in the established literary canon.108 Kennedy’s tone differs sharply from that of the other contributions: his essay contains no harsh rejoinders to Bloom. In fact, Kennedy eschews rhetorical excesses, grounding his contribution in a discussion of classical studies. Despite its role in promoting a “scientific” and “objective” approach to literary interpretation, he argues, the discipline “in the twentieth century has been more вЂconservationist’ than вЂconservative.’”109

Page 30 →Savior or Spin Doctor? Special issues of South Atlantic Quarterly may have allowed like-minded academics to criticize traditionalistic opinions on the culture wars but were unlikely to reach the public at large. The antitraditionalists required a writer who would take their case to the people. One contributor to the conference papers in South Atlantic Quarterly made such attempts, becoming the most prominent defender of the academic Left in the fight over American higher education. In a number of articles and one oft-cited book, Gerald Graff, a distinguished professor of English literature and education at the University of Chicago, argued in favor of a novel thesis that would supposedly end the partisan bickering that plagued the humanities during the academic culture wars.110 Rather than allow the intellectual disagreements to fester, Graff supported “teaching the conflicts”—turning the feuds over the curriculum into the substance of college students’ educations. He counseled “that the best solution to today’s conflicts over the culture is to teach the conflicts themselves, making them part of our object of study and using them as a new kind of organizing principle to give the curriculum the clarity and focus that almost all sides now agree it lacks.”111 To do so, Graff favored team-teaching—a combination of traditionalists and antitraditionalists in the classroom to demonstrate the saliency of their agonistic opinions. Beyond the Culture Wars (1992), Graff’s book-length explication of his thesis, also contains ripostes to traditionalist criticisms of the contemporary academic humanities. Its author points out, for example, that these tracts contain much “exaggeration,” “falsehood,” and “hysteria.”112 Although he admits the existence of regrettable lapses in judgment among a few zealous professors, Graff on the whole contends that conservative alarmism about “tenured radicals” is misplaced. Graff’s discussion of the academic culture wars demonstrates its author’s grasp of the history of American higher education. This rare trait allowed Graff the opportunity to place the contemporary struggle over the university in context.113 The idea of “teaching the conflicts,” moreover, has the benefit of compelling disputants to engage in genuine dialogue. In a conflict that featured much partisan soapboxing, this seemed a refreshing change of pace. Despite these assets, Graff’s contentions largely met with disapproval—especially,Page 31 → though not exclusively, from traditionalists.114 According to James Tuttleton, an English professor at New York University, Graff’s book is nothing more than an exercise in left-wing damage control. Tuttleton further asserts that Graff’s pedagogical innovation lacks substance: “One’s primary task,” according to Tuttleton,

“is that of teaching the student a subject, not staging a counterculture debate with colleagues.”115 There were reasons on occasion to question Graff’s sincerity. In Beyond the Culture Wars, a book aimed at general readers, Graff portrays professorial proselytizing as a rare and disturbing misuse of the classroom: “Good teachers want their students to talk back. Good students for their part appreciate teachers who take strong positions on controversial questions—they do not appreciate brainwashing.”116 In his contribution to South Atlantic Quarterly, however, Graff expressed a discordant attitude toward the use of the classroom as a bully pulpit. “Speaking as a leftist,” he asserted, “I too find it tempting to try to turn the curriculum into an instrument of social transformation. But I doubt whether the curriculum (as opposed to my particular courses) can or should become extensions of the politics of the left.”117 In his mass-market book, Graff advertised himself as a moderate;118 in the small-circulation South Atlantic Quarterly, he professed to be a member of the cultural Left.119

Troubles on All Sides This examination of major voices in the academic culture wars suggests a number of criticisms for all sides of the debate. Salvoes in the struggles often seem Page 32 →disconnected from an understanding of the history of Western higher education. Some traditionalists appear to have believed that the Great Books tradition was the foundational core of liberal education in the United States; some of their adversaries seem similarly unacquainted with Renaissance humanism and its centuries-long effects on the academy.120 Virtually no disputants in the culture wars connected the fate of American colleges and universities to the erstwhile prominence of classical studies.121 This may have resulted from the fact that many of the combatants focused more on censuring their opponents than on presenting expositions of Western higher education. Journalists who touched on the academic culture wars may have been particularly susceptible to creating ahistorical responses to the debates, since articles replete with anecdotal evidence of PC excesses would appeal to more readers than would careful lucubrations on the history of American colleges and universities. The lack of historical knowledge occasionally created confusion. Much traditionalist criticism of higher education targeted the professionalization of academic disciplines and increased scholarly specialization. Though some polemicists imagined that the history of American colleges and universities prior to the 1960s was a sustained golden age, this professionalism predates the Great Books tradition in the United States. Overall, antitraditionalists often demonstrated greater historical knowledge of previous curricular feuds than did their opponents.122 Even so, the antitraditionalists occasionally appear to offer the impression that the existence of earlier academic disputes nullified contemporary criticism of the humanities. Some used the history of higher education—however tenuously understood—to collapse distinctions among crises.123 If disapproval of the academy was age-old, then the current critics’ points were deemed a priori illegitimate. But not all feuds are the same. For example, according to David Yamane, a proponent of multicultural education, the addition of Shakespeare to the curriculum in the nineteenth century amounted to a political act.124 And indeed it did. But did such an inclusion have the same effect on students’ political views as more Page 33 →recent curricular changes? Would reading Shakespeare influence students to favor a certain political outlook or to vote for particular political candidates? One may reasonably doubt the possibility. Just because everything possesses a political dimension, it does not follow that everything is equally political. After all, the Great Books curriculum allowed the cultivation of radical political sensibilities in students.125 Thus, in one of his contributions to the academic culture wars, critic Irving Howe (1920–93), founder and editor of the democratic socialist quarterly Dissent, attempted to “show that in fact the socialist and Marxist traditions have been close to traditionalist views of culture” and therefore fit well with the Great Books.126 Can the contemporary multicultural curriculum allow the cultivation of conservative political sensibilities—except unintentionally—among its dissenters? The common perception among antitraditionalists that the Great Books tradition is thoroughly political hints at another peculiarity of the debate. As Reed Way Dasenbrock notes, combatants in the academic culture wars tended to promote a vision of Western culture as monolithic, the result of a grand narrative from Greek antiquity

to the present.127 Few authors stressed that the Western tradition is itself multicultural—hardly the product of generations of all-knowing WASPs. “Our current models of culture,” Dasenbrock contends, “all seem to be either/or (Eurocentric vs. Afrocentric, Western vs. non-Western, monocultural vs. multicultural), but culture itself is both/and, not either/or. Multiculturalism is simply the standard human condition.”128 The failure to recognize this reality speaks to a simplified impression of Western intellectual history on the part of many polemicists. We can detect other problems with arguments advanced in the fight over the university. Although some critics contended that American colleges had been denuded of traditionalists and conservatives, many scholars advanced the traditionalist line from within the purlieus of academe. To be sure, numerous traditionalist critics, unlike their opponents, had careers as journalists or political appointees.129 Yet several academics remained among the traditionalist ranks.130 This does not presume ideological balance in the academy. But if the Page 34 →humanities were supposedly as monolithically leftist as critics charged, what accounts for so much apostasy? Regardless of our response to this question, the apparent dominance of antitraditionalists in the humanities suggests that the traditionalist critiques of American academia did not chiefly seek to reform higher education in the US, since doing so would prove a daunting prospect.131 Rather, the traditionalists may have been interested in informing the general public about “tenured radicals” and their biases, thereby warning American parents and allowing their college-aged progeny to remain skeptical of the professoriate’s ideas. If so, in this sense the traditionalist jeremiads have proven effective: contemporary Americans seem aware of academia’s leftward tilt, and students often appear cynical about their professors’ motives.132

Free-Market Radicals and Dirigiste Conservatives A tour through the literature on the academic culture wars presents some apparent ironies. Many conservative voices opposed (explicitly or tacitly) aspects of American higher education influenced by the free market: for example, the free elective system, the spread of popular culture studies, and vocational education.133 Their critics seemed correct to point out the reticence of some conservatives to acknowledge this fact. D’Souza, for example, hailed American universities as “tributes to the largesse of democratic capitalism,”134 but disdained the application of free-market principles to the curriculum. In regard to Bloom’s work, however, this critique misses the mark. Bloom—a thinker who demonstrates occasional opposition to capitalism and other conservative sacred cows—hoped that the American university would serve as a bulwark against the excesses of democratic capitalism and thus aimed for the university to be neither democratic nor capitalistic.135 Page 35 →The cultural Left could be equally implicated in dissembling. Its proponents tended toward captiousness about the free market, but supported an elective-based curriculum defined by it. Even so, this criticism of leftist critics may occasionally miss its mark. Many such thinkers favored compulsory classes on multicultural topics; they were not, then, stalwart opponents of all curricular requirements.136 Still, supporters of mandatory multicultural courses tended to favor a system of distribution requirements, rather than a fixed core curriculum.137 We can suggest more criticisms of the debate. Numerous contributions to the academic culture wars from all sides demonstrate a tendency to ignore substantive points made by opponents in favor of harping on weaker ones.138 Thus, for example, many disparaged Bloom for his grouchy denunciations of modern university students,139 but failed to take seriously (or even, in some cases, to address) the challenge he presented to multicultural visions of education. Detractors fumed about art critic Hilton Kramer’s polemical denunciations of academic faddishness, but did not discuss his more substantial charges regarding the humanities’ capitulation to categories of analysis supposedly more appropriate to the social sciences.140 Similarly, some traditionalists regurgitated colorful anecdotes but kept silent about perceptive attacks on their positions. Kimball, for example, did not offer a sufficient defense of his conception of a proper university education, even after Searle criticized Kimball’s failure to do so.141 Such features gave the debate a parochial quality. Academics who contributed to the conflicts were overwhelmingly distinguished, tenured professors, whose job

security, previous scholarship, and current status allowed them to enter the fray as “public intellectuals.” The public nature of the debate—its adjudication in books from popular presses and in major magazines and newspapers—led to the adoption of less rigorous standards of evidence than one often finds in peer-reviewed academic publications. Hence, culture warriors of various stripes often seemed content to score points, humiliate opponents, and paint their side as moderate and reasonable.

Page 36 →Common Complaints Although the combatants in the academic culture wars often disagreed profoundly on seminal matters, a few substantive points of agreement existed. Both traditionalists and their opponents, for example, tended to view preprofessionalism in higher education as a threat. To both sides, the liberal arts were integral to American education, and short-changing them in favor of undergraduate instruction in, say, business administration would prove disastrous. Conservative pundits may have been shy to link the increasing demand for vocational approaches in higher education to free-market capitalism, and radicals may have failed to link it to demographic changes in American colleges and universities, but they still agreed on the nature of the problem. In recent years, some conservative thinkers have presented positions more favorable to pragmatic higher education.142 Yet such was not the case at the peak of the academic culture wars, when all sides expressed faith in the importance of the humanities. One can see this in Bloom’s dismissive gibes about preprofessional education and Kimball’s censure of the University of Chicago for endeavoring to water down its curriculum to court more business majors and, therefore, alumni dollars.143 Contributions to the academic culture wars also occasionally express unease with the German research university tradition as a whole.144 In this respect, conservative journalist Charles Sykes saw eye to eye with Tom Hayden, a founder of the prominent New Left organization Students for a Democratic Society. This speaks to unexpected overlap between traditionalist criticisms and radical student complaints during the protests of the late 1960s about the impersonality of the contemporary American “multiversity” and its disregard for student needs.145 Even Bloom, who chronicled his abiding disdain for the student revolts in The Closing of the American Mind, related that “the first university disruptions at Berkeley were explicitly directed against the university smorgasbord and, I must confess, momentarily and partially engaged my sympathies.”146 Some traditionalists’ criticisms of the research culture of American academia echoed the sentiments of 1960s student radicals. Page 37 →Widespread agreement also existed about the impossibility of implementing a fixed canon. Even enthusiastic supporters of the Great Books recognized that the curriculum should not be set in stone. Furthermore, traditionalists such as Bennett, Sykes, and Page Smith criticized the university’s overreliance on graduate student and adjunct labor, a point that has become common among a more recent wave of leftist assessments of contemporary American academia.147 Despite the fact that many observers and participants were loath to admit it, some important common ground existed in the debate.

Necessity, the Mother of Invention Although critics often focused on the ideological nature of the disputes over Great Books courses, profound professional reasons contributed to their demise. Teaching such classes remains time-consuming, especially in an academic environment that requires scholarly productivity and trains future professors as specialists. In such circumstances, distribution requirements were likely to replace a Great Books curriculum, since the former require less work from the faculty. Antitraditionalists could offer critiques of the Great Books on political grounds, but the movement away from such broad courses may also have been partly—if not primarily—pragmatic in motivation.148 In a perceptive addition to the culture wars debate, sociologist Alan Wolfe offered similarly hardheaded explanations for other antitraditionalist academic victories.149 As Wolfe explains, antitraditionalists wooed college presidents and other senior administrators to their causes because they aimed to add new programs to the

existing university. It remains easier to fundraise for such initiatives and easier for presidents to use them to make their mark as an institution’s leader. Traditionalists, conversely, sought to restore the Great Books programs, to limit grade inflation, and to reestablish core curricula. Such goals were both difficult to implement and unlikely to appeal to the vanity of senior administrators. Even before the first shots in the academic culture wars were fired, there were pragmatic reasons to suppose that the traditionalist cause was doomed.150

Page 38 →Accentuating the Positive For all the potential clouds of the academic culture wars, there were numerous rays of sunshine. As critics noticed at the time, the feuds engaged a broad swath of the American reading public in a topic—higher education—typically deemed too dull to generate much interest. Despite the drawbacks associated with partisan polemics, many authors composed compelling, highly readable tracts that engrossed large numbers of Americans. In retrospect, the major incidents that spurred on the conflicts—the Paul de Man affair, Stanford’s curricular changes, the brouhaha surrounding controversial Afrocentrist Leonard Jeffries, and the Sokal hoax, inter alia—seem interchangeable.151 Different events could have taken their place, with no substantial effects on the issues at stake. In short, the fights over the university were propelled by ideas. Although it was fashionable to lament the rabble-rousing character of culture wars jeremiads,152 the conflicts made clear why the battle over the university was such a crucial struggle for American culture. These clashes presented an opportunity for professors—along with journalists, political figures, and other intellectuals—to address the public on matters of deep importance to the nation’s future. In the midst of their pugnacious rhetoric, some culture warriors offered thoughtful considerations of the state of American higher education and presented interesting ideas.153 Despite the rancor and oversimplifications, the tracts from the academic culture wars give the sense that ideas really matter.

Where Have All the Classicists Gone? If nothing else, the academic quarrels of the 1980s and 1990s demonstrate the Page 39 →centrality of the English department to the humanities. Professors of English literature played an extraordinarily prominent role in the conflict, a phenomenon that had much to do with the fact that the English department was now the home of many of the Great Books and that the subject of English literature had witnessed profound disciplinary shifts. Although critics demonstrated concerns about other fields of study (e.g., women’s studies, black studies, and film studies),154 English was at the heart of the struggles. In comparison with the heavy focus on departments of English literature, the discipline of classics hardly made a mark on the academic culture wars. Even traditionalistic critics of higher education yearned for college students to read the non-English Great Books in translation, rather than in their original languages. Conservatives such as Bennett and Sykes shuddered at the thought of a return to the classical curriculum of the antebellum American colleges.155 Polemicists in search of material headed to MLA meetings for culture wars fodder;156 they did not take in the colloquies of the American Philological Association (APA), the chief professional organization for classical scholars in the US and Canada.157 Critics piled on the MLA’s attempt to demonstrate that its ranks were not infested with radicals;158 the APA felt no need to offer such a report. One might have supposed that classical scholars and classical studies would play a substantive role in the academic culture wars. Many of the disputes pertained to classical antiquity. The relativism adopted by some poststructuralist literary theorists, for example, owed its origins to the sophists of fifth-century BC Greece; criticism of such perspectives blossomed in the works of ancient Greek philosophers. Hellenistic Greeks working at the library in Alexandria produced the West’s first literary canon.159 The term humanities has a Roman pedigree.160 One can also detect the ways in which the cultural conflagrations of the late 1960s had affected classical scholarship: pessimism about the Vietnam War, for example, had helped usher in both the so-called Harvard School of Page 40 →Vergilian criticism and more faultfinding appraisals of Roman imperialism.161 Many of the Great Books fell under the purview of classics departments. Classical studies had played an outsized role in Western higher education for centuries, and one might have thought that culture wars combatants would

have emphasized this erstwhile prominence. But this was not the case. In fact, many participants in the academic culture wars used the word classics to define any time-tested works of high culture, rather than to denote the study of Greco-Roman antiquity.162 The Great Books—all of them—were “classics.” By now the discipline of classical studies was thoroughly marginalized within the academy. Culture warriors proclaimed or denied a “crisis in the humanities,” but seldom mentioned the field of classics—the wellspring of the humanities. Antitraditionalists used the classics as the quintessential example of American higher education’s prior exclusivity. Both traditionalists and antitraditionalists who mentioned the discipline tended to portray the field and its subject matter as stodgy and elitist.163 By likening postmodern literary theorists to Socrates, for example, Graff attempted to convince readers that these thinkers were as old-fashioned in their proclivities as the most traditionalistic field in the academy.164 Yet such mentions amounted to quick detours from arguments that chiefly pertained to departments of English and comparative literature. According to critics, proponents of multicultural education demonstrate little concern for language instruction;165 such a perspective appears inhospitable to a discipline that centers on the translation of Latin and ancient Greek. In short, the field of classics found itself in a peculiar position: part of the division of the university so “radical” that it was in crisis, but a discipline so outmoded that it failed to win even the traditionalists’ assent. Given the marginalization of Greco-Roman studies in the academic culture wars, it is not shocking to discover that classical scholars played a peripheral Page 41 →role in the conflicts. In comparison with professors of English or modern history, very few classicists offered wide-ranging assessments of the curricular battles writ large.166 The few classical scholars who contributed to the general debates tended to shy away from polemics in favor of more detached perspectives, as if to say that they had no dog in this fight.167 Only in regard to the Black Athena controversy, furthermore, did a classics-based disagreement register a substantive impact on the culture wars. Why was this the case? What explains the negligible role of classical studies in the academic culture wars? The next chapter presents a brief history of the role of classics in American higher education and suggests some answers.

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2 The Evolution of a Paper Tiger “So why study Greek books? This question remains unanswered in classics departments. There are all sorts of dodges, ranging from pure philological analysis to using these books to show the relation between thought and economic conditions. But practically no one even tries to read them as they were once read—for the sake of finding out whether they are true.” —Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (1987) “I do not suggest that learning the languages or the grammar in which the ancient classics were written is necessary to general education. Excellent translations of almost all of them now exist.” —Robert Maynard Hutchins, The Higher Learning in America (1936) “The case of our American classical departments is about the reverse of that of the lion’s den in the fable: all tracks lead away from them.” —Irving Babbitt, Literature and the American Humanities (1908)

Taking Heed of the Past Whatever their strengths, the academic culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s possessed one undeniable shortcoming: their general disconnect from the history of American higher education. Polemicists taking part in these debates typically paid little attention to the past and thus failed to anchor their contentions in a broader historical context.168 Even authors who demonstrated some awareness of the history of American colleges and universities tended to present cursory discussions of that history and essentially used it to score points against opponents, rather than to engage in more meaningful analyses of the feuds.169 Participants in the academic culture wars are not the only writers guilty of ignoring the past: as Meyer Reinhold and William Calder III, two expertsPage 44 → on the history of classical scholarship, have observed, American classical scholars often understand little about their discipline’s history.170 A brief intellectual history of higher learning in the US and the role of classical studies in American colleges and universities thus helps to situate the debates in a wider historical setting and to shed light on the academic culture wars themselves.

Unity and Disunity In his influential history of American higher education, Frederick Rudolph suggests that colonial colleges possessed a unity of purpose, since their founders all hailed from England and the first among them were schooled at either Cambridge or Oxford.171 Although these colonial institutions—and, more broadly, virtually all American colleges prior to the Civil War—boasted a far greater sense of mission and curricular cohesion than did their research-oriented successors, they were not paragons of concord. This should not surprise students of the liberal arts tradition: since their foundation in classical antiquity,172 the artes liberales have a complex history, and thinkers throughout the ages have proffered radically different rationales for studying the liberal arts.173 This complicated history is evident in America’s first institution of higher learning. Harvard College, founded in 1636 as New College,174 possessed a colonial-era curriculum that betrays disparate intellectual influences. Since the colonial institutions of higher learning boasted strikingly uniform curricula, these influences are evident not only at Harvard, but also at all the early American colleges.175 Of these intellectual inspirations—which emanated directly from Page 45 →the Oxbridge colleges that served as the models for early American higher education—Renaissance humanism had the greatest hold on the colonial institutions.176 But it was not alone. Examining their curricula illustrates the effects of medieval scholasticism and the Protestant Reformation.177

Standard histories of American higher education tend to treat intellectual matters sparingly,178 leading scholars to harbor misimpressions about the role of classical studies in the antebellum American colleges. Such misimpressions chiefly surround the cardinal influence of Renaissance humanism. Originating in fourteenthcentury Italy, this movement defined itself in opposition to the scholasticism then regnant in European universities. In laying out their educational programs, Italian humanists such as Coluccio Salutati (1331–1406), Pietro Paolo Vergerio (1349–1420), Leonardi Bruni (1370–1444), Guarino da Verona (1370–1460), and Vittorino da Feltre (1378–1446) looked to Greek and (especially) Roman antiquity as a means to shape the character of students.179 By examining the writings of the ancients, they thought, pupils could be transformed into good human beings—education’s proper goal. Eschewing the study of later authors, Renaissance humanists argued that classical Latin, unlike the supposedly desiccated Latin of the medieval period, was the key to the proper molding of individuals. Learning to write like the ancients would enable one to absorb their thoughts on moral philosophy. Cicero, Vergil, Homer, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, and Caesar—the study of such authors, thought Bruni, could perfect the human being.180 During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Renaissance humanism spread to institutions of higher learning throughout Europe.181 It would thus have a major influence on the American colonial colleges. As a result of the inroads made by Renaissance humanism at Cambridge and Oxford by the late sixteenth century, the British-educated founders of Harvard College crafted a curriculum in which that philosophy amounted to the dominantPage 46 → element.182 Latin—and, to a lesser extent, ancient Greek—hence played an outsized role in the prescribed curricula of the colonial colleges. Prior to 1745, for example, Latin and Greek were the lone subjects required of incoming students entering these institutions.183 Although rationales other than those the Italian humanists advanced were adduced in support of the classics,184 the goal of shaping students’ character primarily through an engagement with classical Latin loomed large in the pedagogical mission of the antebellum American colleges. Regardless of the shortcomings of Renaissance humanism as an intellectual program, the dominance of classical studies in early American higher education cannot be dismissed merely as an exercise in medieval obscurity or antiquated elitism.185 The humanists, living at a time when a renewed engagement with ancient writings had a profound impact on their world, saw the study of authors from classical antiquity as requisite for salutary character formation. Although Renaissance humanism had the largest imprint on the curriculum of the early American colleges, it was not alone. As was the case in contemporary European universities, the American colonial colleges never fully distanced themselves from medieval scholasticism.186 This movement originated in the eleventh century and reached its peak in the thirteenth century with the work of Thomas Aquinas (1224–74).187 Unlike the Renaissance humanists, with their emphasis on rhetoric, the scholastics preferred a philosophical and deeply religious approach to the artes liberales. Thinkers associated with scholasticism deemed logic—not rhetoric or poetry—the key to their pedagogy. For this reason, they emphasized the mathematical portions of the liberal arts (the quadrivium).188 Whereas Italian humanists such as Bruni considered arithmetic unworthy of study (because it supposedly could not lead to knowledge of the Page 47 →good life),189 the scholastics deemphasized the moral and rhetorical character of the liberal arts. Without the influence of scholasticism, early American college curricula would have been quite different. Thus, for example, one notes in the course of studies of the incipient Harvard College a regard for logic, metaphysics, and mathematics.190 Disputations—a primary pedagogical tool of medieval scholasticism—also played a large role in the colonial colleges.191 Nor were scholasticism and Renaissance humanism the only influences on the curriculum. Puritans founded Harvard, and competition among Protestant sects had a great impact on the spread of American colleges, most of which were founded by religious groups.192 Although the colonial institutions of higher learning were far from solely (or even chiefly) dedicated to providing America with an educated ministry,193 the religious character of colonial life significantly influenced the colleges. As a result, until 1723 Hebrew was a compulsory subject for Harvard students, and the early prescribed curricula also devoted time to Syriac and Aramaic.194 The spirit of the Protestant Reformation can also be detected in the antebellum colleges’ obligatory capstone courses in moral philosophy, in which an instructor (typically the college president) attempted to reconcile the institution’s

secular studies with Christian doctrine.195 It is unsurprising that such varied inspirations, although all directly stemming from Oxbridge models, made for a curriculum without complete ideological coherence. Yet in comparison with their successors—the American universities and colleges after the Civil War—the classical colleges in some regards served as beacons of intellectual and pedagogical consensus. Prior to the advent of the free elective system in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the courses of study at American institutions of higher learning were almost entirely prescribed. This speaks to the financial vicissitudes of the early American colleges: a prescribed curriculum required few instructors and thus fit these institutions, which were seldom far from teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Page 48 →But it also speaks to a general pedagogical mind-set. Certain subjects—and only those subjects—could properly educate young men and thus were appropriate for all students. The curriculum also possessed pragmatic benefits for students, even if it was not often justified in this manner. At their inception, the colonial colleges predominantly trained their enrollees for one of the learned professions (ministry, medicine, or law), all of which required grounding in the classical languages. As a result, various disciplines that play a large role in contemporary American higher education were surprising latecomers to academic life. Harvard, for example, founded its first professorship in modern languages only in 1816.196 In 1857, Lafayette College appointed Francis A. March its first professor of English language and comparative philology; this appointment influenced other American institutions to make English a formal part of their curricula following the Civil War.197 Yale introduced the nation’s first university program in fine arts in 1869.198 More generally, the social sciences would have to wait until the late nineteenth century for their full inclusion in the American college curriculum.

A Portrait of Continuing Decline Ancient Greek and especially Latin played a dominant role in the antebellum colleges. This is to be expected, given the intellectual influence of Renaissance humanism on incipient American higher education and the classical pedigree of learning in the West.199 Though the classical languages remained the central subjects of study prior to the Civil War, this does not imply that American colleges were static institutions. Far from it. In fact, classical studies—which had more than their share of detractors throughout early American history—experienced a series of changes that commenced soon after the founding of Harvard College.200 Although some of the colonial colleges originally instituted Latin as the requiredPage 49 → language for conversation on campus, this rule proved difficult to enforce and was abandoned by the early eighteenth century.201 Throughout the antebellum period, moreover, various subjects vied for greater attention in the collegiate curriculum. Since most—if not all—courses were prescribed, the addition of new disciplines threatened the curricular prominence of the classical languages. During the eighteenth century, for example, mathematics—deemed unnecessary by Italian humanists—began to play a more vital role in the colleges.202 As early as 1711, the College of William and Mary established the first chair of mathematics and natural philosophy.203 Mathematics became a more integral part of studies at Yale in 1714, when the institution received a large collection of books on the subject.204 Four years later Yale began to require its students to study algebra.205 The modern languages were later arrivals on college campuses, and at first their study was chiefly relegated to the extracurriculum. Yet there was a movement afoot to include them. Thus, for example, Harvard made French a semiofficial course in 1720.206 Yale added English grammar and oratory to its curriculum in 1767.207 By the early nineteenth century, such subjects were poised to play an official role. But the natural sciences surely amounted to the chief threat to the centering of the college curriculum around the classical languages. Italian humanist Bruni shunned the natural sciences because their study supposedly did not contribute to the perfection of the human being.208 As the Enlightenment wore on, however, the exclusion of the hard sciences became increasingly difficult to defend, especially in light of the modest rises in the size of the college-going population over the antebellum period. The growth of the natural sciences hinted that the college-

bound could ponder career paths other than the learned professions. Moreover, studying these subjects implicitly attacked the educational rationale associated with Renaissance humanism: rather than concerning themselves with the shaping of character, the natural sciences first and foremost aimed to produce new knowledge.209 As early as the late eighteenth century, proponents of the natural sciences clamored for their inclusion in the collegiate curriculum, and many defenders of classical studies deemed them a threat.210 Page 50 →The threat was real. Starting in the early nineteenth century, a few American institutions offered their students an approach to higher learning that eschewed classical studies altogether. Established by the US Congress in 1802, West Point opened in 1804 and boasted the nation’s first technologically oriented curriculum. Though it retained the traditional capstone course in moral philosophy, the institution lacked the standard emphasis on the ancient languages.211 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824 as an institution focused on secondary education, had success that inspired the growth of vocational, science-based approaches to higher learning.212 By 1850, the institute had transformed itself from a high school to a scientific college,213 thereby becoming a model for other institutions aiming to provide a more scientific and pragmatic approach to education.

B.A.s, B.S.s, B.Phil.s, etc. Educational reform in the nineteenth century was not confined to newly founded institutions. Numerous American educational leaders attempted to remedy the difficulties associated with adding new subjects to the antebellum colleges’ prescribed course of study. Up until the Civil War, however, most met with at best limited success. In 1827, for example, Amherst College inaugurated a parallel course of studies, without Latin and ancient Greek. It failed two years later.214 The founders of the University of the City of New York (which eventually became New York University) hoped that their institution would offer a more practical education. By 1838, only six years after its founding, the university faced serious financial difficulties that led to the abandonment of the reforms.215 In 1850, Francis Wayland, the president of Brown University, inaugurated an ambitious series of curricular alterations. This included the establishment of the bachelor of philosophy degree (B.Phil.). Five years later, these reforms failed.216 Undoubtedly many of these attempts to broaden the American college curriculum collapsed because of the greater prestige accorded to the traditional course of studies emphasizing the classical languages. The study of ancient Greek and Page 51 →Latin possessed tremendous social value in polite society.217 Proponents of classical studies jealously guarded the bachelor of arts (B.A. or A.B.) degree; students who bypassed Greek and Latin might have graduated, but did so under different auspices. Thus American colleges invented new nomenclature for students who had finished their undergraduate studies without taking the full classical course. The nineteenth century witnessed the proliferation of a veritable alphabet soup of new degrees, many of which did not prove lasting: e.g., the B.S. (first granted in 1838 at Wesleyan),218 the B.Phil., the B.Litt., and the B.Mus. These designations conferred de facto second-class status on their recipients. Without Latin and Greek, students supposedly received inferior educations. Some reforms succeeded despite meeting intense resistance. In the early nineteenth century, Eliphalet Nott (1773–1866), the long-serving president of Union College, instituted a series of curricular changes that proved both successful and modestly influential. In 1802, under Nott’s stewardship, Union developed a course of study that allowed students to pick a portion of their academic program.219 Union also inaugurated a parallel course in 1815;220 in 1828, the college established a parallel scientific course.221 Though similar efforts floundered at many other institutions, Union’s attempt was a triumph. Although such modifications did not prove infectious prior to the Civil War,222 they hinted at trouble for the continued dominance of classical studies in American higher education. Even the most storied institutions had to take heed of the natural sciences. In 1847, Harvard established its Lawrence Scientific School, which allowed students to devote themselves to a parallel scientific course.223 In the same year, Yale—the foremost beacon of pedagogical traditionalism in the United States—inaugurated its own such program, housed in what was eventually called the Sheffield Scientific School.224

From English-Style College to German-Style University The nineteenth century witnessed other changes in American academia. US higher education slowly turned away from the English colleges of CambridgePage 52 → and Oxford as its primary models and began to emulate German universities. The German professionalization of academia had such a profound influence on higher education in the US that many of the realities of the early American colleges seem unfathomable today. Prior to this professionalization, teaching at American colleges appears largely to have been a temporary job, rather than a career.225 Even at the oldest institutions, instruction was chiefly in the hands of the college president and a number of tutors—typically recent college graduates waiting to earn their M.A. degrees.226 Not until 1755, for example, did Yale College hire its first professor; the entire academic staff previously had consisted of the president and a group of tutors.227 These tutors originally were responsible for the whole college curriculum. Only in 1767 did Harvard begin to assign tutors to specific subject areas rather than to a given class.228 Prior to German influence, even professors at American colleges had little advanced training in their subjects of expertise. Most often their presumed moral strengths recommended them for their jobs; many would continue on to careers in the ministry.229 Such a background fit educational institutions modeled after English boarding schools and concerned with the molding of character. It also fit an intellectual milieu that prided itself on the examination of the received wisdom of authors from classical antiquity, rather than on the creation of new knowledge. In part as a consequence of their English influences, American antebellum colleges maintained paramount interest in acting in loco parentis. Harvard College, for example, made no distinction between a student’s scholarly attainments and his personal conduct prior to 1869, when the school removed disciplinary considerations from the calculation of grades.230 These traditions and practices slowly evolved in American higher education as increasing numbers of educators turned their attention toward innovations in Germany. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, German universities Page 53 →experienced profound changes as they underwent professionalization.231 Not surprisingly, given their influence on European universities prior to this time, the classical languages played a major role in this transformation. In the last few decades of the eighteenth century, German classical scholars, inspired in part by the successes of researchers in the natural sciences, pioneered modern philological practices.232 These entailed the “scientific” investigation of classical texts and a systematic approach to the publication of research. Among the developers of these novel methods was Christian Gottlob Heyne (1729–1812), a professor of eloquence and classical philology at the University of GГ¶ttingen from 1763 until his death.233 Students flocked to Heyne’s philological seminars, which offered an introduction to modern textual analysis and the exacting standards associated with the production of classical scholarship. Among these students was Friedrich August Wolf (1759–1824), whose matriculation at GГ¶ttingen in 1777 has been deemed the start of the modern history of classical scholarship.234 In 1787, Wolf, like Heyne deeply influenced by art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–68),235 established his own philological seminar at the University of Halle.236 Wolf’s efforts bore their most conspicuous fruit in 1795, when he published his Prolegomena ad Homerum, the first great work of German classical philology. By the third decade of the nineteenth century, classical studies in Germany were fully professionalized. Prospective classics professors had to possess rigorous, specialized training in philological methods that culminated in the earning of a Ph.D. degree. Inspired by advances in the natural sciences and Winckelmann’s comprehensive approach to the ancients, such classical scholars attached Wolf’s label Altertumswissenschaft (the science of antiquity) to their discipline.237 This Page 54 →outlook mandated, in the words of Christopher Stray, “the systematic study of the classical world as an integrated whole.”238 As its name suggests, the Altertumswissenschaft ideal also encouraged an exacting, scientific approach to classical philology. Although classical studies were among the first disciplines to professionalize, this process soon metastasized to other areas, leading to the creation of the German research university.239 These German innovations slowly began to have an impact on American institutions of higher education during the nineteenth century. On September 17, 1817, Harvard’s Edward Everett (1794–1865) became the first

American classicist to complete German philological training.240 He and a Harvard colleague, George Ticknor (1791–1871), had traveled to GГ¶ttingen for advanced study in classics.241 In the fall of 1819, Everett commenced his duties as Harvard’s inaugural professor of Greek literature.242 He was the first systematically trained classical scholar in the US.243 Everett, Ticknor, and other Americans who completed graduate work in Germany returned to their home country with many ideas for academic reforms.244 With limited success, such men pushed for change, replacing the old pedagogical methods of grammar-drilling recitations with lectures and seminars.245 They also produced the first American works of what might pass as classical scholarship, though they remained in the business of producing textbooks for students as their main form of “scholarly publication.” Page 55 →After decades of effort and much resistance, American colleges slowly oriented themselves toward Germany. Professionalization, specialization, and research ultimately became watchwords of American academic life.246 Early in the twentieth century, the Ph.D. degree—first obtained in Germany and then at US institutions—would become de rigueur for aspirants to the American professoriate. By this time, American colleges and universities had established a regularized hierarchy for faculty members (e.g., assistant professor, associate professor, full professor) and had separated its instructors into discipline-specific departments.247

A Change in Focus Professionalization offered numerous benefits to professors. Greater respectability, higher pay, and eventually academic freedom stemmed in large part from this process.248 But the German philologists who touted its benefits did not do so solely on pragmatic grounds. Lenore O’Boyle informs us that these men “justified their teaching with the argument that classical culture exerted a desirable influence on character through examples of the great men of antiquity, and provided the best kind of mental training through the study of the formal structure of language—in short, an aim not far removed from the ideal of Bildung.”249 This rationale resembled pronouncements about the goals of higher education popular in early America. Like the Italian humanists, German philologists focused on the shaping of character. Their concerns for the training of the mind, although more in line with the spirit of scholasticism, echo calls in favor of mental discipline from proponents of classical education in nineteenth-century America.250 Page 56 →Along with the professionalization of higher education in Germany, however, came a change in intellectual and pedagogical orientation. Specialized scholarship would now produce new knowledge and encourage an academic ideal of knowledge for its own sake.251 This marked a profound shift from the spirit of Renaissance humanism, with its focus on transmitting the received wisdom of the ancients. More important, this regard for Bildung, however practically applied in German universities, did not translate well to American institutions, given the innate pragmatism of US culture.252 American public high schools, still at an early stage in their development, were also markedly inferior to German gymnasia and thus could not provide the intellectual well-roundedness requisite for such specialized training at the collegiate level.253

The Classical Curriculum’s Last Stand For these and other reasons, the alteration in orientation toward the German research model met with stiff resistance in American colleges during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These efforts—which many historians of education have mischaracterized—slowed institutional change in America for decades.254 The so-called Yale Reports of 1828 amounted to the nineteenth century’s most influential defense of the classical curriculum and the pedagogical status quo.255 The Reports owed their germination to many factors. According to historian David Potts, the advertisement of curricular changes at Amherst College led some observers to criticize Yale’s traditionalistic and impractical course of studies.256 The Yale Corporation responded in 1827 by appointing a committeePage 57 → to examine the possibility of altering the institution’s curriculum. In the resulting three-part report, Yale president Jeremiah Day (1773–1867) defended the college’s current course of studies;257 classics professor James L. Kingsley (1778–1852)

presented an apologia for the study of the ancient languages;258 and Connecticut governor Gideon Tomlinson (1780–1854) offered a rousing call in favor of retaining the classical curriculum.259 Historians of American higher education have routinely pilloried the Yale Reports as an elitist, reactionary screed.260 Critics have focused particular attention on Day’s defense of classical learning on the basis of “mental discipline,” a concept that was worlds away from the tenets of Renaissance humanism and that psychologists ultimately deemed unsound.261 The Reports, although more appropriate to the climate of eighteenth-century classicism and unfortunately eclipsing more persuasive defenses of classical studies of the period,262 halted major curricular change in American higher education through the end of the Civil War. Yale’s outsized influence on US colleges ensured that few institutions would abandon the classical orientation of undergraduate studies in the next few decades.

Antebellum and Postbellum Education It is simplifying to split American higher education into its antebellum and postbellum phases and deem the former the age of the classical college and the latter the era of the research university. What some have characterized as a quick shift in orientation really amounted to a longer, more gradual process.263 Regardless, profound alterations in American higher education commenced during the Civil War and ultimately directed colleges away from classical studies.Page 58 → By the start of the twentieth century, the role of classical antiquity in American higher education was greatly diminished. The first major part of this transformation occurred in July 1862, with the US Congress’s passage of the Morrill Land Grant Act.264 Congressman Justin S. Morrill (1810–98) of Vermont sponsored the act, which donated public lands to several US states and territories to establish colleges that would provide training in agriculture and the mechanical arts.265 These new institutions did not abandon classical studies (in fact, the Morrill Act mandated them)266 but added an array of technical subjects to the curricula. At the land grant universities, Latin and ancient Greek competed with a panoply of vocational disciplines, many of them new to American academia.267 This fit the spirit of an ongoing wave of US populism. Since the 1829 election of Andrew Jackson—the first American president after George Washington not to attend college—the antebellum college’s classical curriculum seemed increasingly out of step with the pragmatic, populist nature of American society.268 As the nation industrialized, the land grant universities developed into institutions dedicated chiefly to what was seen as practical instruction in an urbanizing society. An educational tradition formerly aimed at young men who hoped to work in the learned professions now expanded its reach to the exponentially growing population of young men and women destined for many other careers. Americans with all manner of occupational aspirations could now find training at the land grant institutions.

America’s First University The Morrill Act was just the first in a series of major changes that commenced with the Civil War. In 1865, the same year the war ended, the act led to the chartering of Cornell University.269 In his report the following year to the trustees of this newly envisioned institution, Andrew D. White (1832–1918), who would serve as Cornell’s first president, outlined significant differences between its Page 59 →curriculum and those of the classical colleges.270 Opened in 1868, Cornell lays claim to consideration as America’s first university.271 Under the auspices of the reform-minded White, this nonsectarian institution aimed to be all things to all people. Rather than confine itself to the classical curriculum, Cornell allowed students to study agriculture, civil engineering, mining, law, commerce, and kindred vocational subjects without being banished to a scientific college.272 Though White saw a place for the older disciplines at Cornell, he recognized that all students at this sort of institution could not complete the same prescribed curriculum. As reformers such as White looked beyond the classical colleges for guidance, the educational ideals of Renaissance humanism were being set aside. White hoped to unite liberal and practical education without treating the latter as inferior in status. No longer were classical studies (or any other discipline) deemed indispensable for an educated person. Cornell, the first Eastern

institution to become coeducational,273 soon proved an unparalleled success. The university quickly attracted comparatively large numbers of students.

The Birth of the American Research Imperative Despite the fact that White’s Cornell amounted to the nation’s first university, it differed from its German models in one fundamental respect: unlike institutions such as GГ¶ttingen and the University of Berlin, Cornell did not especially encourage its faculty members to engage in original scholarly research. Other educational trailblazers thus established the first American research university. In 1876, Johns Hopkins University was founded in Baltimore.274 Under the guidance of its first president, Daniel Coit Gilman (1831–1908), a reformer who applauded White’s work at Cornell, Hopkins was established as a German-style institution promoting advanced academic research and graduate study.275 Soon imitated by other new American institutions (e.g., Clark University, Bryn Mawr, and Catholic University) and traditional colleges hoping to keep up with Page 60 →the times (e.g., Harvard, Yale, and Princeton), Hopkins helped reorient higher education in the US around the research imperative. Not surprisingly, given the institution’s intellectual orientation, Johns Hopkins’s Register for the Second Year 1877–78 offers the first official mention in American higher education of the terms major and minor to mean nonpreparatory specializations.276 As a university dedicated to the production of new knowledge in a variety of academic disciplines, Hopkins and its successors eschewed the prescribed curricula of the antebellum colleges in favor of a pedagogical model more conducive to academic research.

Darwin Meets the Curriculum Though Cornell and Johns Hopkins helped inaugurate major alterations in US higher education, no figure is more associated with curricular change in American academia in the second half of the nineteenth century than Charles W. Eliot (1834–1926).277 Although not the founder of the free elective system,278 Eliot, as Harvard’s president from 1869 to 1909, became the system’s most tireless and prominent advocate. As early as 1835, Harvard flirted with an increasingly elective-based curriculum.279 The recent growth of a variety of new disciplines in American academia, combined with the withering of the Renaissance humanist pedagogical ideal in favor of an ideology of knowledge creation and the notion that many different kinds of knowledge could be valuable, rendered the prescribed classical course obsolete and unworkable. From the start of his presidency, Eliot, a chemist who had graduated from Harvard in 1853, made the establishment of the free elective system—and the concomitant pedagogical modernization of Harvard—his chief goal. In his October 19, 1869, inaugural address, Eliot stressed the foolishness of limiting Harvard students to the study of a few core subjects. Echoing the sentiments Page 61 →of Cornell’s White, he said, “We would have them all, and at their best.”280 The speech, which focuses attention on a college education as an introduction to certain discipline-based skills,281 anticipates many of the changes to come in American higher education. “The elective system,” Eliot pronounced, “fosters scholarship, because it gives free play to natural preferences and inborn aptitudes, makes possible enthusiasm for a chosen work, relieves the professor and the ardent disciple of the presence of a body of students who are compelled to an unwelcome task, and enlarges the instruction by substituting many and various lessons given to small, lively classes.”282 Implicit in the support for a system of elected courses was the notion of the university as a free market—a space in which Darwinian and Spencerian competition would occur between the disciplines, purportedly benefiting both the students and the disciplines themselves.283 Eliot’s proposals met with much resistance, both inside and outside the walls of Harvard.284 The new president would have garnered much less success in implementing them if he had not raised the requisite funds. A prescribed curriculum required fewer professors than the free elective system, which needed a greatly expanded faculty capable of introducing students to a gamut of academic disciplines. The influx of capital to Harvard and the spectacular growth of its faculty helped drive Eliot’s reforms. In 1872 Harvard abolished all subject requirements for seniors.285 Seven years later, such requirements disappeared for Harvard’s juniors.286

Sophomore requirements were next to depart, in 1884.287 By 1897, Harvard had eliminated all required courses, save one English composition class, thus bringing to fruition Eliot’s quest for a fully elective curriculum.288 In pushing for these changes, Eliot did not present himself as an opponent of classical studies.289 But his free-forall curriculum obviously removed Latin and ancient Greek from their central position in American higher education. Thus, for example, during Eliot’s tenure Harvard ended compulsory study in Page 62 →the classical languages.290 In 1886, Eliot convinced the Harvard faculty to drop ancient Greek as an admissions requirement for prospective undergraduates; the college would now allow advanced mathematics and physics as substitutes.291 Some decades later, Harvard also abandoned the Latin requirement for prospective students.292 Although Eliot did not originally stress the importance of faculty research to his institution’s mission, competition with Johns Hopkins led him to organize and professionalize graduate study at Harvard.293 Eliot’s curricular innovations proved vastly influential, ultimately ensuring the obsolescence of the old prescribed classical curriculum.294

Humanism, Old and New Supporters of classical studies in American higher education deplored these changes. The 1880s and 1890s witnessed the so-called Battle of the Classics, in which educators—primarily at well-established eastern institutions—argued over the centrality of Latin and Greek to a college education.295 Various American periodicals devoted attention to this subject, which often generated more heat than light.296 Classical scholars took part in these debates. Ancient philosopher Paul Shorey (1857–1934), for example, penned a series of essays for The Atlantic that attacked the positions of Eliot, among others.297 Although Latin and Greek yielded their dominant position in the undergraduate curriculum, their defenders continued their apologias into the early Page 63 →twentieth century, most prominently under the auspices of an informal movement labeled New Humanism.298 Irving Babbitt (1865–1933), a professor of French at Harvard and the most influential thinker associated with the New Humanists, condemned the professionalization, specialization, and vocationalism of contemporary American higher education. Lamenting the degeneration of humanism into Baconian and Rousseauvian “humanitarianism,” Babbitt’s Literature and the American College (1908) pilloried Eliot’s scheme. In Eliot’s free election system, Babbitt wrote, “There is no general norm, no law for man, as the humanist believed, with reference to which the individual should select; he should make his selection entirely with reference to his own temperament and its (supposedly) unique requirements. The wisdom of the ages is to be naught as compared with the inclination of a sophomore.”299 Babbitt—like the Renaissance humanists before him—stressed the importance of classical authors to the education of the young.300 His defense of the classics was out of touch with the academic zeitgeist. Babbitt disliked the professionalization of the discipline. “The uncritical adoption of German methods,” he contended, “is one of the chief obstacles to a humanistic revival. The Germanizing of our classical study in particular has been a disaster not only to the classics themselves, but to the whole of our higher culture.”301 Babbitt pined for the classics, but not in their recent scientific guise. He appealed to Renaissance humanists’ ideals, not to the German philologists touting their commitment to Altertumswissenschaft. Some American classical scholars offered compatible arguments. Shorey, who had earned his Ph.D. in Munich,302 disdained the “over-specialized erudition” of German culture,303 which led its classicists to engage in a “parody of scientific research which consists in the вЂpyramiding’ of unverifiable hypotheses.”304 In the decades prior to Babbitt’s and Shorey’s defense of the humanities, however, the term itself was undergoing a transformation. As Caroline Winterer has ably demonstrated, some time around the 1850s educators began to reconceptualize the humanities.305 Thanks to the Italian humanists, the “humanities”Page 64 → (i.e., the studia humanitatis) for centuries referred to the study of authors from Greek and Roman antiquity. As the nineteenth century wore on, however, opponents of academic vocationalism began to shift their arguments in favor of liberal studies more generally. Recognizing the sorry future for compulsory collegiate Greek and Latin, these thinkers (the first among whom were classicists) widened the popular conception of the humanities to

encompass, in Winterer’s words, “a kind of elevating, holistic study of literature, music, and art.”306 This marked a seismic shift in the arguments advanced by proponents of liberal education. They now imbued a variety of academic disciplines—English, French, philosophy, German, art history, and so forth—with a power previously accorded to the classics alone. From a conception that privileged the study of Greco-Roman antiquity, the humanities began to take on their current, more capacious meaning. As much as anything else, this shift signaled the end of classics’ dominance in American higher education. In 1880, the United States had only eleven professors of nonclassical history.307 One year later, Cornell University founded the first department of American history in the US.308 As college after college abandoned its Greek and Latin requirements and shifted to the free election system,309 other disciplines grew in prominence at the expense of the classics. By the turn of the century, Frederick Rudolph informs us, English had replaced classics as the bedrock of the humanities at institutions across the nation—even at tradition-minded Yale.310

Professionalization and Alterations The decline in the role of ancient Greek and Latin authors as the foundation of American higher education coincided with the professionalization of classics as a scholarly discipline in the United States.311 William Calder III considers 1853 the commencement of the first period of German influence on American Page 65 →classical studies and the origins of scientific classical philology in the United States.312 At this time Basil L. Gildersleeve (1831–1924), the seminal figure in the early history of American classical scholarship, received his Ph.D. at GГ¶ttingen. During his long tenure at Johns Hopkins University, Gildersleeve reconfigured postcollegiate classical study along Germanic lines.313 Prior to this period, despite the cardinal importance of authors from Greco-Roman antiquity to US education, America had failed to produce one significant work of original philological scholarship.314 Even at the elite colleges, professors had lacked sufficient research libraries and time away from teaching.315 Many of the trappings of professionalized classical studies in the US originated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1869, the American Philological Association (APA), the first in a new wave of learned societies, was founded.316 Originally intended to encompass philological work in a variety of language traditions, the APA soon narrowed its scope and became the chief professional organization for North American classical scholars.317 A year after its foundation, the APA established the Transactions of the American Philological Association, the first classical journal in the United States. Thereafter followed the American Journal of Philology (1880),318 Cornell Studies in Classical Philology (1887), Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (1890), and Classical Philology (1906), among other scholarly publications.319 Classical archaeology showed signs of its professionalization around the same time. In 1879 the Archaeological Institute of America was born. Six years later, specialists in the field had their first American scholarly publication, the American Journal of Archaeology. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens was founded in 1881, with the American School of Classical Studies in Rome following in 1895.320 Earlier than most disciplines in the American academic universe, classical studies were now set to contribute to the culture of the modern German-inspired research institution. The specialization that had made classical scholarship possible, however, also helped dethrone the study of ancient Greek and Page 66 →Latin authors from its former privileged position in American higher education. As US colleges and universities looked to Germany for their inspiration, they cast aside the Italian humanists and their conception of classical antiquity as the quintessential subject for the educated person.

Curricular Confusion Despite its rapid spread to institutions across the nation, the newly arrived free elective system soon garnered its fair share of complaints. Although it greatly expanded the intellectual breadth of American undergraduate education, free election also ushered in curricular confusion. Eliot and his supporters had faith in undergraduates to chart their own course, but many merely hunted for the least taxing classes.321 As Eliot’s critics feared, the

free election system led to a general lowering of academic standards, as students fled rigorous courses—such as ancient Greek and Latin—in favor of less onerous options.322 Even worse, it promoted what some considered intellectual incoherence: its boosters had altered the classical curriculum of the antebellum American college, but had not replaced it with any specific, uniform content. Free election dramatically broadened the scope of undergraduate education, but it also signaled to students that no subject was more important than any other. As countless undergraduates flocked to “gut” courses and directed their attention chiefly to the blossoming extracurriculum, some educators felt the need for further innovations. The changes took different forms. Already in the late 1870s, Johns Hopkins had experimented with requiring students to concentrate their studies in a few areas, thus inaugurating the major and minor in American education.323 This idea spread to Indiana University by 1885.324 By 1910 the major had become a routine part of undergraduate education at most American colleges and universities.325 In hindsight, the development of student concentrations seems natural, since they fit well with the desiderata of research-oriented institutions. The addition of majors and minors allowed professors to offer a series of narrow courses in their disciplines, and many of those courses could suit their publicationPage 67 → goals. A satisfactory system of general education, however, proved more difficult to establish. In many ways, general education goes against the grain of the modern research university, because the perceived need for intellectual breadth clashes with the training of the professoriate.326 Thus, efforts in this direction have seldom—if ever—met with widespread enthusiasm. The earliest (and, to this day, most widely adopted) attempt to provide American undergraduates with some form of general education is the distribution model. In place at Cornell University by 1905,327 this system purportedly owes its continuing popularity to Harvard’s adoption of it in 1909, when Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1856–1943) succeeded Eliot as the institution’s president.328 Disappointed with the perceived excesses of his predecessor’s free elective system, Lowell inaugurated the concentration (i.e., major) and distribution requirements model at Harvard. This system provides a skills- and discipline-based approach to general education. It compels students to experience a variety of academic disciplines, typically by choosing, say, a few courses each from the social sciences, the natural sciences, the fine arts, and the humanities. Such an approach has shortcomings: it signals to undergraduates that, with the exception of disciplinary skills, they must possess no essential information to deem themselves educated. But the distribution requirements model has numerous pragmatic benefits. It causes fewer problems for research-oriented faculty members, potentially minimizes disciplinary turf wars, and affords students great freedom of choice. The model also fit the intellectual and cultural parameters of a changing America. In an industrialized country whose population flocked to higher education in greater numbers, the old belief in a unity of knowledge no longer sufficed. Thus, the distribution requirements system remains popular—even dominant—in colleges and universities across the nation to this day.329

The Best That Has Been Thought and Said—in English Some observers looked upon the distribution model as unsatisfying and hungered for different approaches to collegiate general education. In 1919, ColumbiaPage 68 → University’s “War Issues” course transformed into “Introduction to Contemporary Civilization,” the class that inaugurated Columbia’s influential general education program.330 This amounted to the birth of the Western civilization course and jumpstarted the so-called Great Books approach to general education.331 Eventually expanding to a two-year sequence, the Columbia program aimed to introduce students to canonical authors from the Western tradition in small seminar classes. Recently founded Reed College in Oregon began offering a similar set of courses in 1921.332 More famously, in 1931 Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899–1977), the young president of the University of Chicago, along with Mortimer J. Adler (1902–2001), a veteran of the Columbia courses, established a Great Books program at the University of Chicago.333 With different emphases from those of its Columbia forebear, the Chicago program employed a seminar format to familiarize its undergraduates with the West’s most

important writers. Although this approach to general education never became as pervasive in American institutions as the distribution model, in its heyday between the wars it sired many Western civilization courses, which were required of undergraduate students at numerous American colleges and universities.334 Classical scholars had some reason to applaud these disparate versions of the Great Books tradition. Unlike the distribution model, this approach typically focuses on numerous authors from Greco-Roman antiquity—for example, Homer, Sophocles, Thucydides, and Vergil. The classics thus played some role—however reduced from the days of the classical colleges—in the Great Books model of general education. The Great Books courses also placed ancient Greece—not Egypt, not Persia, not Carthage—at the inception of what was now called “Western Civilization.”335 This was a major intellectual achievement:Page 69 → Western civilization classes convinced huge numbers of American college graduates that the core of their civilization lay in Greek antiquity. But classicists also had rationales for criticizing the Great Books.336 Compared to the Renaissance humanists’ educational program, the Great Books offered a diminished place for classical antiquity. Previously the heart of the liberal arts, the ancient Greeks and Romans now became consequential chiefly insofar as they were the progenitors of Western civilization. They took the first steps in a broader process; their significance was underscored as a result of their impact on later inhabitants of the West. This Whig conception of history—what historian David Gress has called a grand narrative “from Plato to NATO”—still signaled the importance of ancient Greece and Rome but removed the classics from their former primacy.337 In addition, promoters of the Great Books tended to dismiss the importance of language study in Western civilization courses. In defense of his general education program at the University of Chicago, for example, Hutchins declared, “I do not suggest that learning the languages or the grammar in which the ancient classics were written is necessary to general education. Excellent translations of almost all of them now exist.”338 Adler never learned any foreign languages.339 When he and Hutchins edited the Great Books of the Western World, a giant collection that aimed to bring the best authors from the Western tradition to the masses, they chose some outdated and problematic translations.340 Study of the Latin and Greek languages served as the bedrock of classical studies for both the Renaissance humanists and classical scholars engaging in professionalized philological research. In comparison with this approach, the Great Books seemed watered down. This model fell afoul of the modern professionalized professoriate, with its concern for specialization and scholarly publication, for other reasons as well. Unlike the major/minor system, it asked faculty members to teach broad courses at least partly outside their areas of expertise. Like any other professors, Page 70 →classical scholars in the US now received comparatively narrow (albeit rigorous) training in one discipline, which allowed them to publish and thus earn prestige and advancement in American higher education. Such experts were likely to feel uncomfortable with intellectually capacious Great Books courses, which could promote superficiality and dilettantism. The heavy preparation requisite for these classes could also keep professors away from their narrower research goals.341 Thus, the Great Books approach withered, as did the status accorded to the study of classical antiquity in American colleges and universities in the latter part of the twentieth century. The 1944 passage of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (popularly called the GI Bill) massively expanded the college-bound population and led to increased concern for pragmatism and vocationalism in US higher education.342 In 1945, a Harvard faculty committee published a report, General Education in a Free Society (better known as the Harvard Redbook),343 which disparaged the notion that Latin was superior for the development of the intellect and thus discredited the notion of “mental discipline.”344 The Soviets’ 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite prompted heightened concern for science and vocationalism in the US at the expense of general education.345 The late 1960s turned out to be even less amenable to the Great Books. Student radicals demonstrated in favor of curricular freedom and leniency, typically favoring more “relevant” coursework. Strangely enough, their educational desiderata fit well with the contours of Eliot’s free elective system—a model crafted along freemarket and Darwinian lines. As chapter 1 shows, student radicals often played a pronounced role in shaping the

curriculum at various institutions. In 1969, for example, the Harvard faculty gave students unprecedented power in curricular and staffing matters pertaining to its new Afro-AmericanPage 71 → studies department.346 As a consequence of student pressure, Amherst College scrapped all its general education requirements in 1971.347 In such an atmosphere, institutions of higher learning across the nation dropped their obligatory Western civilization and Great Books courses.348 Much of the energy and enthusiasm in US colleges and universities was directed toward women’s studies, black studies, and kindred topics. This intellectual environment portended serious problems for classical studies: the discipline’s erstwhile role as the foundation of American higher education and its perceived irrelevance to the highly charged political climate of the time appeared to be grave liabilities. Mandatory Western civilization sequences may have indirectly aided collegiate Latin enrollments in the US: the early 1960s witnessed the largest numbers of American undergraduates ever to take Latin.349 This fact may obscure the curricular marginality of the classical languages on campuses, since the passage of the GI Bill led to massive increases in the number of US undergraduates. But though a far lower percentage of American students took Latin after the demise of the prescribed classical curricula that required its study, the intellectual climate of the early 1960s still provided pragmatic benefits for classics departments. The conflagrations later in the decade quickly changed all that. Now freed from the burden of required coursework in Western civilization, large numbers of undergraduates were unlikely to enroll in Latin and Greek courses. Around the same time and for similar reasons, fewer prospective American college students had any prior experience with Latin. As Edward Phinney reported, “Public high-school enrollments in Latin decreased, between 1962 and 1976, by 78.6% from 702,135 students to 150,470.”350 This precipitous drop signaled major difficulties for collegiate Latin and Greek. To carry on in this environment, classics departments nationwide pioneered new courses in English translation—classical mythology, Greek tragedy, and the like—to reach populations of students unwilling to sign up for the classical languages.351 Formerly a discipline defined by philology, classical studies in the US expanded their purview. This remedy ensured their survival, but caused traditionalists to fret about the relaxing of standards. The 1970s provided a slightly more fruitful atmosphere for classical studies. The decade witnessed the “back to basics” movement, which sought to reassertPage 72 → curricular coherence and to limit student choice. High school Latin enrollments in the US experienced modest increases,352 and volatile college campuses returned to their formerly irenic state. This reaction to the unrest of the late 1960s seems to have been the first inkling of the academic culture wars.

Passing the Torch If nothing else, our foray into the history of American higher education clarifies the peculiarly slight position of classical studies in the academic culture wars. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the classics ceased to serve as the foundation of the liberal arts. Effectively passing the torch to an array of other disciplines, American classicists began to promote a broader definition of the humanities. Departments of English—which did not require undergraduates to complete rigorous coursework in the classical languages—soon started to eclipse classics departments and became the standard-bearers for the humanities. Shorn of their former role as the core of liberal studies, the classics came to seem almost uniquely arcane, recondite, and useless. By the onset of the academic culture wars in the early 1980s, the humanities were overwhelmingly the preserve of English departments. Culture wars traditionalists, wistful about the Great Books courses, either proved unaware of earlier models of higher education or knowingly discarded them. Thus, for example, Charles Sykes, a conservative polemicist who contributed two books on American higher education during the period,353 dismissed the antebellum classical curriculum as “a mummification of education” that was both “unedifying and uninspiring.”354 Winterer has astutely noted that many historians of higher education have assimilated the views of opponents of the old classical curriculum and thus present unreliable characterizations of it that are influenced by the original jeremiads directed against the antebellum colleges.355 This is not to suggest that the American classical colleges

possessed unproblematic curricula. But our understanding of them is colored by polemical—and in many cases, unfair—descriptions. Perhaps because these educational historians lacked a classical education, their works appear hostile to the study of ancient Greek and Latin, failing to note the intellectual rationales in favor of such an approach. Thus, instead of connecting the classical curriculum to the ideals of Renaissance Page 73 →humanism, they tend to cast it as an exercise in antiquated snobbery and its defenders as reactionary elitists.356 It is peculiar that historians of higher education do not offer similar conclusions about other subjects featured in the curricula of the classical colleges—for example, mathematics, Hebrew, and moral philosophy. All the same, this widespread denigration of the classical curriculum speaks to societal skepticism of the study of the ancient languages—a skepticism that could also account for the culture wars traditionalists’ disregard of the antebellum college as a model, in favor of the Great Books tradition. The demise of the curriculum associated with the American classical colleges marked a profound diminution of classical studies’ role in US higher education—a diminution with which the curricular conflagrations of the 1960s cannot compare.357 The Renaissance humanists supported a vision of education based on only one period in the history of Western culture—Greco-Roman antiquity. The Great Books focused on all Western high culture. Renaissance humanists promoted the study of classical Latin and Greek as aesthetic and moral models for students; the Great Books studied texts in English translation. In comparison with the waning of the classical curriculum in the late nineteenth century, feuds between promoters of the Great Books and those who favor a system of distribution requirements seem like small potatoes. Thus, the traditionalists in the academic culture wars would have been correct to view the ’60s as witnessing the greatest threat to the classics’ position in American higher education. But this occurred in the 1860s, not the 1960s. This conclusion suggests that traditionalists in the academic culture wars supported an odd assortment of notions. Such thinkers often favored the ideal of scholarly objectivity that is properly associated with the German-style research university.358 Thus, for instance, Dinesh D’Souza lamented that much modish humanities scholarship seeks to demonstrate that “objectivity and critical detachment” are facades.359 But culture wars traditionalists also proved critical of the minute scholarly work that became a typical product of Page 74 →the research universities. Sykes’s “bill of indictment for the professors’ crimes against higher education” thus includes the charge that “too many—maybe even a vast majority—[of professors] spend their time belaboring tiny slivers of knowledge, utterly without redeeming social value except as items on their resumes.”360 Their regard for a more fixed curriculum calls to mind the classical course of study at the antebellum American colleges, but culture wars traditionalists either demonstrated no interest in such a curriculum or loathed it for its supposed elitism and irrelevance. Further, some traditionalists in the academic culture wars presented this peculiar hodgepodge of views as if it were the standard approach to Western higher education prior to the turbulence of the late 1960s. Their antitraditionalist opponents offered a similarly jumbled series of views about American academia. These culture warriors often denounced the pretensions to scholarly objectivity associated with the research university and the professionalization of higher education but lauded the minute scholarly investigations that resulted from them. Thus, for example, as discussed in chapter 1, the authors of Speaking for the Humanities simultaneously defended the antifoundationalism of postmodern literary theory361 and argued that scholarly “professionalization makes thought possible.”362 Antitraditionalists, like their intellectual sparring partners in the academic culture wars, tended to bemoan the increasing preprofessionalism in American higher education363 but largely supported curricular models (Eliot’s free elective system or the distribution requirements scheme that sought to reform it) that had introduced preprofessionalism into the colleges and universities.364 Many antitraditionalists labeled their opponents’ views reactionary. Thus Henry Louis Gates, Jr. vituperatively (and inaccurately) suggested that Bloom and Bennett promoted the “antebellum aesthetic position.”365 But the antitraditionalist culture warriors themselves often criticized the long-standing preprofessionalismPage 75 → and corporatism of the American university.366 The cultural Left’s embrace of Eliot’s curricular ideas during the course of the academic culture wars appears especially strange, given his theories’ free-market and even Darwinian bona fides.

Although traditionalists in the academic culture wars were often deemed reactionaries, the antitraditionalists in reality tended to yearn for an older curricular model for higher education than did their adversaries. The antitraditionalists esteemed primarily variations on Eliot’s system (which was pioneered in the late 1860s), whereas the traditionalists venerated the Great Books—a later reaction to Eliot’s reforms. Insofar as some antitraditionalists supported a distribution requirements model, they favored a curriculum, like the Great Books, that itself amounted to a reform of Eliot’s system.367 In supporting the Great Books approach, the traditionalists looked no further back than did their antitraditionalist foes.

Humanism versus the Science of Antiquity Our survey of the history of classical studies in American higher education leads us to other conclusions. For reasons previously discussed, the ideals of Renaissance humanism—even if presented in diluted form via the Great Books—were more likely to appeal to traditionalists during the academic culture wars than to classics professors. As chapter 1 demonstrates, many (though by no means all) critics of American academia during the period had careers outside the university, chiefly in conservative think tanks or journalism. Such figures, who themselves wrote for general readers, were more skeptical of the hyperspecialization associated with the research imperative. Classical scholars in the academy, regardless of their methodological and ideological attachments, had strong professional reasons to remain less enchanted with such an outlook. Opposition to minute academic research may have been particularly unlikely to blossom among classical scholars as a result of the defining influence of the Altertumswissenschaft ideal on the field as a whole.368 Page 76 →Many traditionalists in the academic culture wars possessed a very different pedigree. Irving Babbitt, a defender of Renaissance humanism and an opponent of the research imperative, had a formative influence on T. S. Eliot, who studied under Babbitt at Harvard. Eliot, the founder of the British literary journal The Criterion, served as the chief inspiration for Hilton Kramer and Samuel Lipman’s New Criterion, which was a major source for traditionalist ruminations in the academic culture wars. In addition to the pedagogical musings of Kramer, the New Criterion featured traditionalist polemics from the likes of Roger Kimball (then the journal’s managing editor), Christopher Ricks, and James Tuttleton.369 Links thus existed among Renaissance humanism, the New Humanism, and traditionalist arguments in the academic culture wars. The traditionalists consequently esteemed Matthew Arnold, whose views also speak to a connection with humanism and a rhetorical approach to the liberal arts ideal.370 Since their views on higher education came refracted through the Great Books, however, the traditionalists in the academic culture wars dismissed, or demonstrated no knowledge of, the importance of the classical languages to the liberal arts. Their brand of neohumanism, steeped in Hutchins’s support for reading the masterworks of Western literature in English translation, remained disconnected from the pedagogical ideals of Renaissance humanism they otherwise championed. This helps explain the near irrelevance of classical studies to the feuds that took place during the academic culture wars. But how did classics fare in this period? How were its disputes characterized? The next few chapters examine major controversies in American classical studies, to determine the relationship between them and the broader intellectual disputes of the culture wars.

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3 Out of Luck “Whether, then, it be for the historical unity of the race, whether it be for the human sanity of classical literature, whether it be for the influence on form either as example or precept, there is no danger that the ancient classics will be displaced from the list of studies necessary for the highest and truest culture.” —Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Professor of Greek at Johns Hopkins University (1886) “Nobody ever dies of English.” —Steven Muller, President of Johns Hopkins University, describing the reasons for the budgetary woes at the institution’s School of Arts and Sciences (1988)

Correcting the Record As far as the New York Times was concerned, it was the opening salvo in the classical culture wars.371 In 1987, Georg Luck (1926–2013), a classics professor at Johns Hopkins University and the editor of the prestigious American Journal of Philology (AJP), along with his editorial board, published “AJP Today,” a brief statement outlining the sorts of articles he hoped to receive from potential contributors.372 This document, which supported a traditionalistic philological approach to classical studies and criticized innovative theoretical scholarship, gave rise to numerous and heated objections. The Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC), a group devoted to promoting feminist-inspired research on Greco-Roman antiquity and combating sexism in the field, organized an open session at the 1987 American Philological Association (APA) annual meeting in New York City to discuss the statement.373 Page 78 →Later accounts of this controversy have led classicists to believe that the APA’s open forum amounted to just the start of a concerted campaign against Luck’s editorship. According to Lowell Edmunds, the chair of the classics department at Johns Hopkins when the “AJP Today” statement was published, “The controversy did not end with this meeting. Intense private discussion continued, as did telephone calls and letters to various persons at The Johns Hopkins University.”374 In her book Classics and Feminism, Barbara F. McManus presented the purported fruits of this campaign: “By the following year, the journal had named a new editor and had reconstituted its editorial board to include several women, among them feminists.”375 McManus presumes that the WCC’s efforts cost Luck his editorship. As McManus notes, soon after the “AJP Today” statement appeared in print, the journal departed Johns Hopkins, AJP’s home since Basil Gildersleeve founded it in 1880.376 Readers of the terse accounts of the controversy likely surmised that Luck had been ignominiously sacked when the University of North Carolina’s George Kennedy took his place.377 Traditional philologists such as E. Christian Kopff deplored “the treatment of Professor Luck.”378 Criticism of new approaches to classical scholarship purportedly forced Gildersleeve’s journal to depart Gildersleeve’s university. Even in classics, it appeared, the old guard was on the losing end of the academic culture wars. But this commonly believed story is wrong in practically all its details. Earlier accounts of the AJP affair are so brief as to mislead their readers—undoubtedly because their authors (understandably) aimed to avoid miring their reports in gossip. This chapter reexamines the “AJP Today” controversy and offers a fresh look at its history through an examination of archival material and interviews with its major participants.379 Although the dispute undeniably possessed ideological Page 79 →and methodological dimensions, it was grounded in more practical concerns. Far from a defeat for traditional philologists in classics, the dispute surrounding “AJP Today” demonstrates the

tenuousness of classical studies in contemporary American higher education. The controversy’s setting seems especially noteworthy: Johns Hopkins was America’s first institution of higher education explicitly modeled on the German research university. From its start, Hopkins eschewed the prescribed classical curriculum of antebellum American colleges in favor of granting greater intellectual freedom to its students.380 What, one might wonder, would be the fate of classics in such an academic environment? In the case of Hopkins, the answer is not rosy. The chapter also highlights the ways in which the broader academic culture wars warped perceptions of the “AJP Today” controversy. This controversy is instructive for a number of reasons. Occurring toward the start of the US culture wars, the quarrel, unlike other rows among classical scholars, received attention in the popular press. As Matthew Roller noted, the AJP affair possibly marked “the one and only time that a scholarly classics journal made front-page news in The New York Times.”381 The controversy also compelled numerous classical scholars to reflect on the health of their discipline, serving as the impetus for Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis?, an important edited volume that takes stock of the state of American classical studies.382 Further, the matter marked a key moment in AJP’s history, when this prominent and storied journal transformed from a Hopkins organ into its current incarnation.

“The Perpetual Ball and Chain” In 1875, Daniel Coit Gilman (1831–1908), the president of the nascent Johns Hopkins University, hired Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve as the fledgling institution’sPage 80 → first professor.383 Gildersleeve, who had received his Ph.D. at GГ¶ttingen in 1853, was a natural choice for Gilman. As a southerner with professional training in Germany, two decades of experience as a professor at the University of Virginia, and prodigious philological acumen, Gildersleeve matched Hopkins’s needs. Gilman’s choice of Gildersleeve also gives us a sense of classical studies’ status in the academic firmament of the nineteenth century. Largely as a result of the enduring influence of Renaissance humanism on Western higher education, the classics were perceived to be the sine qua non for a college—or even for a university devoted to the production of scholarship. Advances in classical philology had played an important role in the professionalization of German institutions of higher learning in the nineteenth century, so it was only natural for Gilman and like-minded presidents to commit resources to the study of Greek and Latin.384 Yet the early history of Johns Hopkins also demonstrates the challenges that the age of universities would bring to the former primacy of classical antiquity in US higher education. Gilman’s other initial hires at Hopkins were professors of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.385 Classical literature would not be the centerpiece of a Johns Hopkins undergraduate education. Nevertheless, over his long career, Gildersleeve helped put both Johns Hopkins and American classical studies on the map, serving as the de facto US pater philologiae. A major part of Gildersleeve’s influence in this sphere was his proprietorship of AJP, which he founded in 1880 with Gilman’s aid and encouragement.386 AJP, America’s second-oldest classical journal,387 helped professionalize classical studies in the US. At the heart of this enterprise was Gildersleeve himself, who served as AJP’s editor until his retirement in 1920.388 In addition to his editorial oversight, Gildersleeve was a frequent contributor to the journal; his Page 81 →entertaining and exacting “Brief Mention” columns, for example, have earned an honored place in the annals of American classical scholarship.389 Gildersleeve enjoyed an enviable academic position. AJP became a journal of great prestige, and Gildersleeve’s editorial work, in addition to his various publications, helped earn him numerous honorary degrees. Yet he occasionally complained about the trials and tribulations associated with his stewardship of AJP. In an 1887 letter to Benjamin Lawton Wiggins of Sewanee, Gildersleeve lamented “the perpetual ball and chain of the Journal.”390 A 1907 missive to Charles William Kent of the University of Virginia offers a similar sentiment: Gildersleeve grumbled about his inability to pursue his own scholarship as a consequence of “the Sisyphus stone of the Journal.”391 This lament reared its head again generations in the future, when a later group of classics professors at Hopkins hoped to escape “the perpetual ball and chain” of AJP.

Life at Johns Hopkins: Rich Man, Poor Man When his name began appearing on AJP’s masthead in 1987, Georg Luck was undeniably well versed in his job. Luck, a Swiss-born Latinist with a Ph.D. from the University of Bern, had previously served as the journal’s editor from 1972 until 1981. Although many in the field would view the task of editing AJP as a mark of honor, Luck had hoped to avoid doing it again, and for understandable reasons. Earlier service to the journal had cost him much time, and Luck sought to complete a variety of his own scholarly endeavors.392 Despite his wishes, in 1986 Luck found himself forced into a second stint as AJP’s editor. Hopkins has always possessed what journalist Patricia Meisol referred to as an “unusual internal governmental structure.”393 Each of the university’s academic divisions must balance its own budget: Hopkins’s president and trustees have very limited ability to move funds from one division to another. By the mid-1980s, business was booming for portions of the university. In a 1989 column in the Wall Street Journal, Charles Sykes, a traditionalist critic of American academia, noted that “Johns Hopkins receives more federal research supportPage 82 → than any other university in the country. In 1987, federal research and development grants totaled $476.3 million.”394 Such funds, however, went overwhelmingly to Hopkins’s medical school and various other profitable divisions. The institution’s School of Arts and Sciences found itself in markedly different financial circumstances. According to Jerrold S. Cooper, an emeritus professor of Near Eastern studies and acting chair of the classics department from 1988 to 1991, the School of Arts and Sciences survived on a small endowment, indirect cost recovery, and tuition, supplemented by limited income from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.395 In the 1980s, when other divisions at Hopkins seemed awash in funds (the medical school constructed a new eighty-five-million-dollar research facility), the School of Arts and Sciences, which formed the university’s liberal arts core, was cash-strapped.396 Given these structural constraints, it seems no surprise that the classics department at Johns Hopkins, like many of the university’s humanities departments, was never particularly large. When Luck arrived at Hopkins in the 1970–71 academic year, for example, the department was home to only four faculty members—a small group for a program that granted a Ph.D. By the late 1980s, however, the financial circumstances of the School of Arts and Sciences attained crisis proportions. Although the details of these troubles did not reach the media until 1988, signs of the school’s looming collapse were evident in previous years. The Hopkins administration’s treatment of its classics department makes this clear. In the 1983–84 academic year, Cooper and classics department chair Lowell Edmunds pushed to hire a promising assistant professor from Harvard University. But George W. Fisher, the dean of Arts and Sciences at Hopkins, took no action. In 1986–87, the department searched for a junior archaeologist to replace the departing John Pollini. Although its members found an acceptable candidate, Fisher froze the slot.397 Matters became more difficult for classics at Hopkins as a consequence of other departures from its ranks. Frank Romer, the classics department’s ancient historian, joined Pollini in leaving the university by the end of the 1986–87 academic year. At the end of the spring 1988 semester, eighty-year-old emeritus professor of linguistics James W. Poultney (1908–93) retired from teaching. Page 83 →By 1988, the School of Arts and Sciences found itself in crisis mode. The Hopkins administration announced a projected four-million-dollar deficit, compelling the school’s trustees to advertise a 10 percent cut in the Arts and Sciences faculty.398 An April 22 Baltimore Sun article related the sentiments of Hopkins president Steven Muller about the thorny situation: “Whether or not Hopkins has a classics department five years from now, Mr. Muller said, Hopkins will continue to teach Greco-Roman history.”399 Though this statement apparently was intended to be reassuring, the state of affairs understandably disturbed the classics faculty at Hopkins. By this time, both Diskin Clay (1938–2014), the Francis White Professor of Greek, and Lowell Edmunds, the department’s chair, were on the market for new positions. The recent history of the Hopkins classics department did not help win the administration’s affection. By the

time the AJP affair commenced, the department had been experiencing more than its share of internal turmoil for well over a decade.400 Although former members of the department harbor different views on the topic, various rivalries, tensions, and animosities plagued classics at Hopkins. According to Cooper, “the department was a shambles and not a pleasant place.”401 The situation apparently improved from its nadir in the early and mid1970s, when serious infighting and misconduct is rumored to have occurred. But this history—no matter how remedied by the late 1980s—must have influenced the Hopkins administration’s treatment of the classics department. Internal difficulties cannot completely account for the fate of classical studies at Hopkins in the 1980s, however. As traditionalist critic Sykes noted with dismay, the university, despite its serious budgetary concerns, was home to “a relatively well-funded Humanities Center,” which had “a special emphasis on deconstructionism, post-structuralism and other forms of fashionable jargoned academic nihilism.”402 According to John Pollini, the Hopkins administration saw the center as the lodestar of exciting research in the humanities Page 84 →at the institution.403 The classics department looked quite behind the times by comparison. Especially in the midst of a fiscal calamity, it was not likely to earn the administration’s favor. A department with a grand tradition of providing first-rate graduate education and producing top-notch scholarship found itself in a sorry position. For decades after Gildersleeve’s death, Hopkins possessed an exceptionally rigorous and traditionalistic program in classical philology, ancient history, and archaeology. Apparently part and parcel of this traditionalistic spirit was a devotion to scholarly publication above all else. In his 1979 book, Confessions of a Conservative, Garry Wills, a member of the Johns Hopkins classics department during the 1960s, relates that Henry T. Rowell (1904–74), the department chair and longtime editor of AJP, fired Wills for deigning to contribute regularly to journalistic publications.404 The program at Hopkins was home to such renowned teacher-scholars as Poultney, Roman historian and philologist Tenney Frank (1876–1939), archaeologist and epigrapher David M. Robinson (1880–1958), and epigrapher James H. Oliver (1905–81).405 These and other classicists at Hopkins remained conscious of the Gildersleeve legacy and attempted to maintain a program in keeping with its heritage. The department’s more recent troubles must have caused consternation among faculty members well aware of the program’s storied history.406

Desperately Seeking an Editor Luck’s reluctant second editorship of AJP, then, occurred in this context. On January 1, 1986, Clay wrote a letter to Provost Richard P. Longaker; Jack Goellner, who served as the director of the Johns Hopkins University Press; and Lowell Edmunds.407 Longaker had originally appointed Clay to a five-year term Page 85 →as AJP’s editor in August 1981, when Luck retired from the journal.408 Now, a few months before the completion of his term, Clay officially announced that he aimed to step down from his post.409 By July’s end, he said, he would like his work at AJP to be finished. “My reasons for wanting to step down as editor,” Clay wrote, “have only to do with my own sense that my own career has been drastically slowed down by my obligations here at Johns Hopkins over the last ten years and that doing better in this career is one of my obligations to this university as to myself.”410 Clay’s retirement from the journal led to much difficulty.411 Because AJP had remained a Hopkins organ since Gildersleeve’s days, it seemed necessary to find another faculty member at the university to preside over it. But the department’s small size, combined with the School of Arts and Sciences’s increasing financial exigencies, left the administration with few options. Immediately after hearing of Clay’s impending retirement from AJP, Luck became concerned about the possibility of being roped into more service. And with good reason: with the exception of Clay and Edmunds, who remained as chair, Luck was the only tenured member of the Hopkins classics department. The situation led to much tension between Luck and Clay, who were on very friendly terms by the end of Luck’s life. When Clay declared that he wished to step down as AJP’s editor, Luck announced his disinclination to take over: “I

can only say that I can under no circumstances resume the editorship of AJP before 1988,” Luck wrote in a note to Clay on January 27, 1986, “and even after that only with great reluctance and only if no other successor is found.”412 Luck, like Clay, hoped to carry on with his own research, and the tasks associated with the editorship would surely waylay his progress. “This means that you will have to look for another successor—or continue as editor,” Luck wrote. “I am sorry, but my decision is made.”413 Luck also wondered why Clay would resign after only a five-year term. Page 86 →Despite Luck’s entreaties, Clay refused to serve another term at AJP. Wary of the department’s future, Clay would soon test the market—that is, if he had not already begun to do so. On December 4, 1987, he informed Edmunds that he had “at long last” secured an appointment as a distinguished professor at the City University of New York and would be leaving Johns Hopkins effective June 30, 1988.414 Though Luck had no intention of returning as AJP’s editor, the Hopkins administration soon attempted to change his mind. At Longaker’s behest, Goellner had lunch with Luck in early February 1986 and reported that he and the provost were concerned about AJP’s future. Luck declined to step in and suggested Michael McCormick for the editorship.415 McCormick, a specialist in late antiquity and the medieval world in the Hopkins history department, already served with the classics faculty on AJP’s editorial board. Luck informed Goellner that McCormick would be a great choice.416 But this was a dead end. Fisher offered McCormick the position in late June or July,417 but he declined.418 The administration found itself back at square one. July 31, 1986, marked Diskin Clay’s final day as editor of AJP, even though his name would appear on the masthead in this capacity through the summer 1987 issue. On this date, both he and Goellner sent letters of concern to Longaker.419 By midnight, AJP—long one of the most prestigious journals in American classical scholarship—would be without an editor. Goellner fretted that the journal might depart Hopkins and suggested that the best strategy remained to attempt to persuade Luck to serve. Although Luck had previously declined, perhaps a personal meeting with the provost would compel him to change his mind. Goellner also informed Longaker that Clay had suggested two non-Hopkins classical scholars who could take over the editorship—George Kennedy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michael Putnam of Page 87 →Brown University.420 This matter, both Goellner and Clay stressed, required the administration’s prompt attention. By mid-October 1986, the Hopkins administration had successfully compelled Luck to reconsider.421 In a later letter to Clay, Luck suggested, “As you know, I was not anxious to take on the editorship of the Journal once more, but after several approaches by the Provost, the Dean and the Director of the Press, I felt that I had no choice.”422 Luck, who would have been content to allow AJP to depart Hopkins and considered Kennedy an excellent choice for the editorship, received a modest financial incentive to serve another term as the journal’s editor.423 He did so without enthusiasm. In fact, Luck agreed to edit AJP only for a short, fixed term: by the end of September 1989, his duties would be completed, regardless of the effects on the journal’s future.424

Cobbling Together the New Board Among Luck’s first tasks as AJP’s reluctant editor was to appoint a new editorial board. This had not previously amounted to a complicated undertaking: almost since its foundation, the journal’s editorial board consisted of Hopkins faculty members. Though Luck departed from this practice for a few years during his previous editorship,425 Clay resumed the tradition of maintaining a Hopkins board. But this proved unworkable for Luck’s second stint. The departures of Romer and Pollini—and the administration’s failure to replace them with tenure-track faculty—had whittled down the classics department. Edmunds, who would Page 88 →soon be on the lookout for a position elsewhere and was occupied by jockeying with the administration, did not want to remain on the board.426 Thus Luck decided to select members chiefly from outside the university. He chose friends and colleagues whose work he respected: D. R. Shackleton Bailey of Harvard University;427 Glen Bowersock of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton;

John Dillon of Trinity College, Dublin; George Dunkel of the University of Zürich; George Kennedy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Mary R. Lefkowitz of Wellesley College; Michael H. McCormick of Johns Hopkins University; and Robert Renehan of the University of California at Santa Barbara. James Daly of Loyola College, Baltimore would serve as the journal’s book review editor. These board members mostly shared Luck’s traditionalistic outlook on classical scholarship. Their selection—and Luck’s decision to write the “AJP Today” editorial statement—would never have occurred if the Hopkins classics department were not in such dire straits.

The Wages of “Dis-Acceptance” Troubles beset Luck’s second term from the start, as he immediately discovered that the transition to a new regime would prove difficult. An October letter from Edmunds to Luck clarifies some of the problems.428 Along with the note Edmunds enclosed an article in Italian that Clay had previously accepted for publication in AJP. At the bottom of the letter, Luck handwrote a response: “Dear Lowell,” it begins, “We do not publish articles written in Italian. It should be translated into English, and I cannot arrange this at the present time—there is too much else. Also, Diskin did not pass on to me any correspondence. Finally, the backlog is enormous, and we have to be very selective. But I will see what I can do.”429 Page 89 →The state of AJP’s backlog irked Luck.430 Clay’s refusal to remain as editor had forced Luck into a second term, and he now discovered that the first year or so of his tenure would be occupied with printing contributions Clay had previously accepted—a number of which Luck did not like.431 In some cases, furthermore, Luck had difficulty determining which authors Clay had contacted with official notification of AJP’s intent to publish, and to which authors Clay had merely offered encouraging—but not binding—words. Luck’s attempt to sort out this situation became the chief impetus behind the protest against his editorship. On January 3, 1987, Clay sent a letter to Luck.432 The erstwhile editor had just returned from the APA annual meeting in San Antonio and was concerned about rumors circulating at the convention “about disappointed contributors to AJP.”433 Ten days later, Clay composed another note to Luck and forwarded it along to Goellner.434 According to Clay, “In three cases I know of, not from rumor, but from conversations with contributors, you have either sent papers that I accepted long ago as editor to second readers or (in one case) left the final and seemingly doubtful decision to your new editorial board with a discouraging suggestion that our contributor try another journal.” He continued, “As the new editor of AJP I honored all the many commitments of my predecessor”—Luck himself.435 The Hopkins archives confirm Clay’s contentions, though the exact status of each contribution may not have been perfectly clear to Luck at the time. In some cases, Luck informed authors that their works would again undergo peer review.436 In at least one other, he sent along a letter of rejection.437 One scholar, Page 90 →a recent Ph.D. from the Hopkins classics department, complained about Luck’s editorial practices and threatened a lawsuit.438 The archives offer details pertaining to only a few submissions from the backlog that Luck either rejected or attempted to submit to a second round of peer review. From these, however, one gets the sense that Luck’s dislike for the contributions was neither ideological nor methodological in inspiration. Ruth Scodel, a recently tenured professor at the University of Michigan, received a note from Luck informing her that he did not want to print her submission. “What’s interesting,” she recalled, “is that I was hardly a radical. I was not a deconstructivist, ever, and not a feminist either—totally mainstream.”439 In editorial matters, Luck appears to have had idiosyncratic tastes.

A Philologist’s Manifesto While Luck was attending to the journal’s backlog, he also took the time to write a brief editorial statement to appear in the first issue under his new editorship. He would present guidelines for potential contributors and

highlight the sorts of articles that would be of interest to the journal. The rationale behind composing the statement is clear: in the past, the Hopkins classics department had served as the editorial board and there already existed among its members consensus on AJP’s purview. Now that the board consisted chiefly of classical scholars unaffiliated with Hopkins, Luck felt the need to reach an agreement on these matters and to advertise the journal’s policies to readers and prospective authors.440 Given its timing and contents, the hurly-burly of the academic culture wars might be assumed to have influenced the creation of “AJP Today.” After all, the statement touches on issues related to these battles. Luck was no fan of deconstruction and kindred theoretical novelties: during Luck’s first term as AJP’s editor,Page 91 → according to Clay, “structuralism, which made its American beachhead in Baltimore, passed the journal by, as if it were a vague.”441 In his Wall Street Journal editorial about the plight of the liberal arts at Johns Hopkins, furthermore, Sykes quotes Luck’s disparaging assessment of trendiness in his university’s Humanities Center.442 The editorial statement appeared following the publication of Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, when this popular polemic still found a place on the New York Times best-seller list. Although naturally a product of its times, “AJP Today” does not seem to have been much inspired by Bloom’s diatribe. Luck had composed a rough draft of the statement by early April 1987, a month before The Closing of the American Mind became a much-ballyhooed best seller.443 In any case, though he eventually read excerpts of Bloom’s book and much commentary on it, Luck informed me that “I didn’t think it applied to classics as much as it applied to other fields.”444 Although Bloom’s work was part of the mental furniture of the era, Luck stressed that it could not have had a direct impact on a statement that was, at heart, concerned with practical matters. Luck was the principal author of “AJP Today,” but he received some help from a few others. On April 1, 1987, Luck had his assistant at the journal, Adrianne Pierce, a Hopkins graduate student, send copies of the statement to his entire editorial board.445 By that time, the document already reflected suggestions from some of its members.446 Edmunds had also contributed to it, although his input was likely minor.447 Signed by AJP’s new editorial board, the statement appeared in the journal’s fall 1987 issue. Page 92 →It remains difficult definitively to characterize the “AJP Today” statement because different classical scholars maintain such disparate and conflicting views about it. “The transition to a new Editorial Board,” it commences, “provides a good opportunity to stop for a moment and think about the aims of classical scholarship and scholarly publishing in general and about the traditional role of AJP in particular, too good an opportunity, in fact, to be wasted on a few vague remarks.”448 Revealing that it “reflects the consensus of the new Editorial Board,”449 the statement presents a traditionalistic take on classical scholarship. For example, it announces, “While AJP will always have an interest in certain kinds of literary and philosophical interpretation, the emphasis is still on rigorous scholarly methods, and special attention will be paid to linguistics, epigraphy, papyrology, textual criticism, and other disciplines.”450 Although the statement does not explicitly address political subjects, it presents a skeptical take on critical theory and scholarly novelty. “AJP will be as receptive as possible to new approaches,” it contends, “but the use of innovative methods is, in itself, not sufficient reason for publication. Mere speculations, or the application of new methods to old problems are not enough.”451 According to the statement, “The Editors will be looking for work that moves the subject forward; they will not settle for the fashionable and outrГ©, because it is likely to be ephemeral.”452 Luck quotes an anonymous member of the editorial board to hammer home the statement’s message: “There is a kind of article which presents a plausible thesis and seems reasonably well documented. These articles are worthy—they would do perhaps as seminar papers—but I do not want to see them published because they are more like legal briefs than articles, attempts to make a point rather than to get at the truth (or to establish ignorance).”453 The statement maintains a positivistic outlook throughout and links its conception of good work in classical philology to the journal’s founder: “Two kinds of pursuits highly recommended by Gildersleeve, lexicographical and syntactical studies, do not receive the attention they deserve in our day and age.

But what could be more important than to define the exact meaning of a word in a given context? And is not the ultimate purpose of syntactical studies an aesthetic one: to lay Page 93 →bare the mind and soul of an author as they are reflected in two of the most sophisticated languages developed by mankind?”454 In addition to presenting such opinions on methodological matters, the statement briefly touches on pragmatic concerns. Although all submissions would undergo anonymous peer review,455 the board would reach out to those whom it believed to be doing especially strong work.456 When he delivered the statement to his new editorial board, Luck did not know how it would be received. He was delighted, he told me, to discover consensus among its members.457 In reality, “AJP Today” inspired different reactions from the board. According to Dunkel, an Indo-European linguist who had served as a visiting professor at Hopkins from 1976 to 1978, the editorial seems like “a very reasonable effort to state what the AJP had always stood for.”458 Dillon, like Dunkel a European member of the board, said that he would have had no quarrels with the statement: “I don’t feel [Luck’s] policy statement covers the whole spectrum of classical scholarship, but I do feel he had a right to specify what was acceptable in the journal that he was editing.”459 In Dillon’s view, “There were a lot of other journals at the time which were sympathetic to more literary approaches,” so Luck was not attempting to dictate policy for the field as a whole.460 Overall, according to Dillon, “I think that it was a fine manifesto, and if it ruffled some feathers, what is the harm in that?”461 Other board members proved less enthusiastic. Lefkowitz, a scholar of Greek poetry who had also contributed to the burgeoning subfield of women in antiquity, believes that the statement’s views corresponded fairly closely with her own at the time.462 She, too, was skeptical of work that commenced with a theory and attempted to fit the facts to it. All the same, given the negative reaction the statement engendered, Lefkowitz believed that Luck would have been better off not saying anything at all. An identical editorial policy could have been followed without courting any trouble if the statement had expressed the policy in a terser and more welcoming manner. “Now I realize that less is more,” she said.463 Page 94 →Kennedy had stronger reservations. Given his expertise in Greco-Roman rhetoric, Kennedy possessed “strong theoretical interests.”464 He later expressed dismay at the statement’s dismissal of novel approaches to classical scholarship. Kennedy also found the statement “very stuffy” and noted that “its rhetoric wasn’t very good. It was almost seemingly intended to discourage people from submitting to the journal.”465 Despite his misgivings, however, Kennedy went along with the statement. After all, it was what Luck wanted, and Luck was AJP’s editor. Luck himself stressed that he would have liked to receive admonitions about the backlash the editorial statement could stimulate.466 He had not been itching for a fight, and had he recognized the ruckus the statement would have helped to cause, he never would have written it. Kennedy, too, was shocked by the heated reaction to “AJP Today.” Although he considered the statement unwelcoming, he figured that most people would not take the trouble to read it.467

Alarm Bells at the WCC “AJP Today” appeared alongside a brief appreciation of Clay’s editorship that Luck also composed.468 On January 15, 1988, classical scholar and WCC member Marilyn Skinner composed a detailed letter to fellow feminist Suzanne Dixon outlining the response to “AJP Today” through the open session at the December 1987 APA annual meeting. This document, combined with brief accounts found elsewhere469 and evidence from my interviews with participants, helps to provide an understanding of what transpired. When “AJP Today” appeared, classical scholars immediately began contacting WCC officers with complaints.470 Why did the WCC, rather than any other organization, play such an outsized role in the ensuing controversy? Luck’s editorial statement had neither explicitly addressed feminist approaches to classicalPage 95 → scholarship nor discussed the position of women in the field. Although feminists may have disliked the fact

that Luck’s editorial board had only one female member, theoretically inclined scholars had numerous other reasons to quarrel with the statement. But the WCC took a key part in the dispute. In essence, the WCC was well suited to respond to the editorial statement. Founded in 1972 as the APA Women’s Caucus, the WCC had an impressive history of successful activism by 1987.471 Regardless of one’s views on the “AJP Today” controversy, the WCC has unquestionably pushed for welcome changes in the field of classical studies in the United States, allowing for a more equitable state of affairs in the profession. One of its first accomplishments was helping to win the anonymous submission of abstracts and papers at APA meetings.472 Its annual questionnaire for candidates seeking APA offices led to more informed voting among APA members.473 More generally, in addition to encouraging scholarship on women, the family, and sexuality, the WCC has shone a spotlight on unfair treatment of women in the field—a more obvious problem in 1987 than today.474 The group was not without its detractors. In various reactions to the state of American classical studies, some scholars associated with the WCC seemed content to ruffle feathers. Judith Hallett, for example, hoped that the organization would play the Socratic role of gadfly to the classics establishment.475 In a contentious assessment of the field, Marilyn Skinner argued that the study of Greco-Roman antiquity appealed chiefly to pretentious social climbers: “An ancient value system that justifies modern intellectual and social snobbery,” she wrote, “that in effect heroizes the academic striver while dismissing the concerns of the less educationally advantaged or less competitive, has always proved irresistibly appealing to many undergraduate and graduate students, particularly those upwardly mobile individuals whose self-esteem is vested in their scholastic track record.”476 “To become a classicist,” Skinner further averred, “is to enter a tightly integrated world whose manners are modeled, quite consciously, Page 96 →upon those of nineteenth-century Anglo-American gentry.”477 Such arguments were likely to garner both champions and critics. A few years after the AJP affair, resistance to the WCC became manifest: a 1991 APA elections scandal led some observers to suggest that the group had packed the ballot with like-minded feminist scholars in an attempt at a power grab—a contention WCC members vehemently denied. When the APA Nominating Committee selected Marilyn Arthur Katz of Wesleyan University and Helene P. Foley of Barnard College as presidential candidates, Richard Thomas, dissatisfied in part with the choice between what he perceived as two similar scholars, helped organize a write-in campaign in favor of Ludwig Koenen of the University of Michigan. Other APA members must have shared Thomas’s perspective, because Koenen won the election.478 In any case, since it possessed the pedigree of a successful activist group, the WCC seemed like a natural place to start for those with complaints about AJP’s practices.479 This undeniably had an effect on later estimations of the controversy.480 It made the debate seem like a confrontation between Luck—who never explicitly mentioned the study of women in the statement—and his feminist detractors.481 To be sure, advocates of feminist scholarship had reason to take issue with Luck’s estimation of good work in classical philology.482 As Luck recognized in retrospect, the controversy also appeared to become an outlet for protest against the general maltreatment of women in the field.483 But the differences of opinion concerning the editorial statement were broader, both methodologically and ideologically, than this state of affairs could lead one to believe. Regardless, as Skinner explains in her letter, “Scarcely a month before the APA meeting [in New York City], all the WCC officers were getting phone calls urging them to Do Something. (Which means that the Caucus has now taken on the function of a collective ombudsman.)” Accordingly, WCC cochair and Page 97 →elections officer Amy Richlin took the lead in organizing an open forum at the APA to discuss the “AJP Today” statement and the issues surrounding it. As Valerie French’s wrap-up makes clear, the APA Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups (CSWMG), the International Plutarch Society, the Society for Ancient Medicine, and the Task Force on Ancient History cosponsored the event.484 Jeffrey Henderson, Erich Gruen (the chair of the APA’s program committee), and Skinner were chosen to moderate the session. According to Skinner, numerous classical scholars had telephoned her with their complaints, “each call a вЂwar story’ from a contributor who believed s/he’d been shafted.” This helps clarify something

important about the controversy: it appears to have been driven principally by Luck’s decision to “disaccept” submissions to the journal—a decision about which his editorial board had not been informed. Though the impetus for debate on many grounds, the “AJP Today” statement on its own did not spur on the open session. Skinner explained, “As someone who had recently gone through [promotion and tenure], I was very conscious of the need for a straightforward and reasonably prompt editorial process, particularly when junior faculty were involved. This was the chief reason I supported the protest against Luck’s editorship.”485

The Open Forum Due to illness Luck did not attend the 1987 APA annual meeting and thus did not appear at the open session on December 28. Since the organizers hoped to have at least one AJP board member in attendance at the forum, Luck had originally suggested Lefkowitz for the task.486 Lefkowitz, however, learned via a telephone call from Skinner about the matter of “dis-accepted” contributions and refused to appear.487 This presented the possibility that no representative from Luck’s editorial board would be present—a prospect that troubled the Page 98 →WCC organizers. Kennedy then decided to attend.488According to Luck, Kennedy was an even-tempered elder statesman who Luck believed would do an excellent job speaking on behalf of AJP and would have a calming effect on the proceedings.489 Gruen also helped to soothe tensions at the session. According to Skinner’s letter to Dixon, Gruen “wisely suggested that we try to defuse heated tempers, to frame the meeting not as a protest against Georg LuckВ .В .В . but as a demonstration of concern for the future of AJP and a theoretical discussion of best editorial practice within the discipline.” This approach ensured that the open session would amount to a conversation, rather than an attack on either Luck or AJP. But Kennedy deserves the most praise for turning a potentially caustic session into what was (according to numerous participants interviewed) a constructive event.490 Roughly one hundred attendees listened as he read aloud a letter in which Luck promised to uphold the commitments of his predecessor, provided that the authors earnestly believed that Clay had promised publication. According to Skinner, this “defused quite a lot of the tension.” Kennedy also listened intently to those who criticized the editorial statement. Despite the purported unanimity of the editorial board on methodological matters, attendees realized that he was far more supportive of the application of poststructuralist theory to classical studies than was Luck. The editorial board, Kennedy explained, was not really much of a board—it had no meetings at which any consensus could be reached.491 Aware that Luck hoped to leave his post, Kennedy informed the audience that AJP was in a period of transition and that things would soon change.492 Skinner wrote to Dixon, “Kennedy himself listened very carefully to the concerns of the audience.” After the session’s conclusion, he composed a report to Luck that he shared with Skinner. Her letter to Dixon tells us that this report “explicitly addressed the changing face of scholarship within the profession” and “noted that вЂthe modern epistemic field has been decentered.’”493 The protesters seemed delighted by his performance. Page 99 →In all, “AJP Today” inaugurated a fruitful discussion about important methodological issues facing classical scholarship.494

No More Luck Despite the success of the open forum, the WCC did not completely end its protest against Luck’s editorship. In her notes from the WCC business meeting on the day after the session, McManus wrote that Richlin “moved a vote of thanks to Marilyn Skinner for the very successful open forum on the new AJP policy, and the meeting was discussed. The Steering Committee will send a letter of thanks to George Kennedy for his participation in the forum. Members are also encouraged to write individual letters to the Johns Hopkins University Press with copies to Provost John Lombardi. The Steering Committee will continue to monitor the situation.”495 Determining the precise rationale for this proposed writing campaign remains difficult. Since Lombardi had

ultimate control over AJP, the WCC steering committee might have sought to depose Luck from his editorship—something Luck would have welcomed. But the committee members might merely have aimed to urge Luck to uphold the commitments to contributors that he had Kennedy announce during the session.496 McManus suggested that the “WCC encouraged individual letters in order to show the Press that the negative reaction was broad based, not just the whim of a few WCC leaders (who could be dismissed as вЂFeminazis’).”497 It is unclear what the WCC wanted Lombardi or the press to do with this information. In any case, this proposal apparently had few if any results. No one with whom I spoke recalls sending a letter to anyone at Hopkins or remembers anyone who did.498 McManus believed that the WCC dispatched an official complaint to Hopkins and that the CSWMG may have done so as well;499 other WCC members had no such recollection. Luck also did not remember any Page 100 →letter-writing campaign and believed that the open forum marked the conclusion of the protest.500 Lombardi did not even recall playing a role in deliberations about AJP’s future.501 If such a letter-writing campaign ever got off the ground, it did not prove memorable and likely did not amount to much.502 Accordingly, Luck served his full second term at AJP’s helm, stepping down at the conclusion of September 1989, as he had originally agreed. He was neither fired nor pressured to resign. By this time, the Hopkins classics department was a shambles. Both Clay and Edmunds had departed, leaving Luck the department’s only tenured faculty member. Jerrold Cooper from Near Eastern studies was enlisted to step in as acting chair of classics. Department members and concerned alumni fretted about the possible effects of the school’s dire financial straits on classics.503 After the Baltimore Sun published President Muller’s underwhelming thoughts about the future of classical studies at the university, some feared the department’s dissolution.504 Poultney, who had retired, wrote to Muller to plead on behalf of the classics: “I hope and believe that some way can be found to avoid the termination of a department founded by Basil L. Gildersleeve, the foremost Greek scholar who ever taught in the United States.”505 During his later years as chair, Edmunds had tried to convince the university’s administration to allow AJP to remain on campus.506 But this would now prove impossible. The Hopkins administration, previously interested in keeping the prestigious journal at the university, had to attend to the urgent budgetary problems besetting the School of Arts and Sciences. If AJP were to continue, it would have to leave Page 101 →Hopkins. The journal headed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where Kennedy became its next steward.507 This state of affairs suited Luck. From the start of his second term, Luck had informed Kennedy that he could likely take over the editorship. Now, with the blessing of the Hopkins administration and Luck himself, this was about to come true. In the summer of 1988, Kennedy traveled to Baltimore to meet Goellner and Luck.508 Goellner explained the basics of editing AJP and officially offered him the position. Kennedy enthusiastically accepted.509 He was a choice seemingly acceptable to all: Luck esteemed Kennedy’s commitment to the Gildersleeve legacy, and the protesters appreciated the new editor’s openness to contemporary literary theory. The dispute created by the “AJP Today” editorial statement, then, never had any adverse effects on Luck’s career. Although his departure from the journal’s editorship soon after the controversy led observers to believe otherwise, Luck neither was sacked nor resigned.

Transitions and Misimpressions In the summer 1989 issue of AJP (the final installment under Luck’s second editorship) Kennedy named his new editorial board, which would commence work with the journal’s next number.510 In addition to Kennedy, Bowersock, Luck, and Renehan were holdovers from the previous board. Daly would remain as book editor. Kennedy also added fellow UNC faculty, whose presence on campus would help streamline the editorial process (Edwin L. Brown, Kenneth J. Reckford, Philip A. Stadter, and Laurence D. Stephens) as well as other scholars unaffiliated with UNC (Elaine Fantham of Princeton University; G. R. F. Ferrari of the University of California at Berkeley; Barbara K. Gold of Santa Clara University; Eleanor Winsor Leach of Indiana University; Sheila Murnaghan of Yale University; Gregory Nagy of Harvard University; Martha C. Nussbaum of Brown University; and Sarah B. Pomeroy of Hunter College and the City University of New York Graduate School).

Kennedy had clearly gone out of his way to choose female members for Page 102 →his editorial board, appointing six women compared to Luck’s one. This, together with the removal of Luck’s sole female representative—Lefkowitz, whose views on academic feminism rendered her a controversial figure among WCC members at the time511—has led to some conjecture that the protesters played a direct role in shaping Kennedy’s editorial board, an idea Kennedy strenuously denied.512 He said that he alone came up with the list, and it was his idea to include more UNC faculty and more women. Kennedy ran his list by Goellner, who readily agreed with the choices.513 There were some grounds for suspicion: Kennedy’s editorial board contained a few of the protesters against the “AJP Today” editorial statement. The prior dispute likely had an indirect impact on Kennedy’s choices, but they also reflected the predilections of a methodological moderate who aimed to create an editorial board with broad tastes.514 McManus’s brief assessment of the AJP controversy may lead readers to believe that the WCC leadership strong-armed Kennedy into packing the board with women.515 There is no truth in this.

Kennedy’s Big Tent Although the prospects for the Johns Hopkins University classics department did not seem especially rosy, 1989 turned out to be a banner year. On September 21, just a few weeks after Sykes’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal advertised the catastrophic budgetary crisis in the School of Arts and Sciences516—the Hopkins administration announced that it would be receiving a $1.5 million gift from a trust established in 1948 by Basil Gildersleeve’s daughter, so that its classics department could search for a senior scholar who would possess an endowed chair.517 The Baltimore Sun noted that Hopkins’s classics and Near Eastern studies departments would also share a recent $1.7 million bequest from a local resident with ties to both departments.518 With these large gifts, Page 103 →the classics department at Hopkins—formerly feared to be on the chopping block—could rebuild. For his part, Kennedy began his AJP editorship with the autumn 1989 issue. Signs of his “big tent” approach manifested themselves immediately.519 Alert to AJP’s traditions, he inaugurated the Gildersleeve Prize, awarded annually to the year’s best contribution to the journal. Kennedy also reintroduced the “Brief Mention” column—Gildersleeve’s long-standing practice,520 which Charles William Emil Miller (1863–1934) had discontinued.521 Whereas the “Brief Mention” section had formerly been Gildersleeve’s personal preserve, Kennedy opened it up to a variety of contributors. The first installment of the revived column, written by the editor himself, demonstrates the journal’s new conciliatory approach to scholarly novelty. In “Ancient Antecedents of Modern Literary Theory,” Kennedy attempted to render various poststructuralist approaches to texts palatable to classical scholars by demonstrating their ancient bona fides.522 “Graduate students in classics,” he announced, “need an understanding of twentieth-century literary theory.”523 Kennedy noted, for example, the important role of reader reception in ancient criticism.524 And he stressed that “there is even a small amount of ancient вЂfeminist’ literary criticism, though mostly written by men from a woman’s point of view.”525 In a later issue of the journal, Kennedy gave space to Pomeroy—a pioneer of the study of women in the classical world—for some brief thoughts on the history of this subdiscipline.526 In addition to an uptick in articles discussing issues pertaining to women,527 some offerings during Kennedy’s tenure seem more traditional in their approach.528 Under Kennedy’s editorship, AJP did not become a hotbed of feminist scholarship.529 No one would mistake it for the Page 104 →more theoretically inclined classics journal Helios, let alone the neoMarxist quarterly Social Text. But Kennedy’s tenure signaled a partial departure from the sentiments expressed in “AJP Today.”

Culture Wars Traditionalism versus Philological Traditionalism The AJP affair tells us much about the state of classical studies in American higher education during the late 1980s and the role of classics in the broader academic culture wars. For example, great differences in outlook

existed between traditionalist voices in the overarching debates on the canon and the traditionalistic philologists supportive of the “AJP Today” editorial statement. Whereas Walter Jackson Bate, William Bennett, Allan Bloom, Lynne Cheney, Page Smith, and Charles Sykes had criticized American academia’s heavy emphasis on recondite scholarly research,530 Luck—and the traditionalistic department of which he was a member—championed such work. In fact, he contended that the “AJP Today” statement sprang in part from his concern about the uncertain future of highly specialized scholarship (in epigraphy and linguistics, for example) that he particularly prized.531 Traditionalists in the broader academic culture wars such as Sykes and Cheney voiced their suspicions of esoteric scholarship;532 Luck embraced it. The conservative Sykes derided the German research institution;533 Gildersleeve, the guiding light for AJP’s philological traditionalism, was the happy product of this system.534 He even delivered an address on “The Spiritual Rights of Minute Research.”535 Most traditionalistic philologists have been at home with the research imperative. In a response to a WCC questionnaire about the future of classical studies, for example, philological traditionalist William Calder III noted, “I have always preferred вЂclassical philology’ to вЂclassics.’ The first is Germanic, Page 105 →serious, scientific. The latter is dilettantism and associated with boys’ finishing schools on the English model. One suggests Wilamowitz, the other Dr. Arnold.”536 Calder disesteems the pedagogical model of Thomas Arnold—whose son, Matthew, served as the chief inspiration for Roger Kimball and many other traditionalist voices in the broader academic culture wars.537 If anything, their glaring ideological differences notwithstanding, feminist classical scholars presented some views on academic work more in tune with culture wars traditionalists. Thus, both Skinner and Richlin hoped that classicists would write for general readers.538 Similarly, some proponents of poststructuralist theory expressed greater enthusiasm about teaching broader populations of students in classics courses in English.539 All this suggests that many classical scholars either misread or misunderstood the role of Greek and Roman antiquity in the pedagogical conceptions of the culture wars traditionalists. According to some, traditionalists such as Bennett and Bloom placed classical studies at the heart of Western higher education.540 But this was not the case: the academic traditionalists chiefly pined for the Great Books—an educational model that offered only partial prominence to classical antiquity. Although Bennett’s and Bloom’s contributions to the culture wars contained regard for the study of foreign languages, on the whole the traditionalists were content to allow American university students to learn about classical antiquity from translations.541 This is a far cry from Luck’s championing of epigraphy and papyrology in “AJP Today.”

Page 106 →The Ideological versus the Pragmatic Earlier published accounts of the controversy surrounding the “AJP Today” editorial statement highlighted certain aspects associated with the dispute but neglected to mention others. To some degree, this must be the result of conscious (and understandable) efforts to eschew gossip-mongering. Previous reports seem especially notable for their exclusion of the controversy’s practical underpinnings, focusing solely on methodological and ideological matters. Although the controversy possessed both methodological and ideological dimensions, it can only be properly understood in the context of a host of more practical matters (for example, Johns Hopkins’s fiscal woes, the classics department’s scandal-plagued history, and the “dis-acceptance” of submissions). Omission of the dispute’s pragmatic underpinnings is not the only interesting feature of the stories surrounding the AJP affair. The broader academic culture wars shaped perceptions of the controversy. Earlier discussions of the dispute make it seem like an ideological struggle typical of that time.542 Thus, in later retellings, one side of the quarrel features Luck, the purported conservative, and the other showcases the supposedly radical feminists from the WCC. Yet this agonistic conception fails to assimilate the controversy’s complexities.543 It is unfortunate that many observers have likely believed that Luck was sacked as AJP’s editor; it remains equally unfortunate that they may have wrongly cast WCC members in the unflattering role of witch-hunters.

Such inaccurate assumptions undoubtedly benefited from the shoehorning of the “AJP Today” controversy into a culture wars narrative. The story cannot be so easily pigeonholed. For one thing, philological traditionalists such as Luck cannot serve as stand-ins for Bennett, Bloom, and kindred critics of the American academy. Despite the “back-to-basics” pedagogical views of the academic traditionalists, classical studies did not earn pride of place in their curricular visions. Instead, as the AJP affair helps demonstrate, by the late 1980s classics was an increasingly marginal and underfunded field in American academia. Although some observers duly noted this reality at the time,544 it seemed not to affect descriptions of the controversy itself. This is peculiar, especially because the “AJP Today” controversy was immortalized by Classics: A Discipline and Page 107 →Profession in Crisis?, a book that dilates on the position of classical studies in contemporary higher education.545

The Seeds of Mutual Distrust Did the AJP controversy compel American classical scholars to become more methodologically self-aware? More broadly, did it have any influence on classical scholarship or pedagogy in the United States? The participants in the dispute whom I interviewed differed greatly in their responses to these questions. Their recollections—like all recollections of events long past—are imperfect, but nevertheless offer insights into the perceived effects of the AJP affair and the persistence of some of the issues surrounding it. Kennedy stressed that the journal changed under his stewardship, but said that it would have done so without the publication of “AJP Today.”546 Edmunds agreed: “Things were happening anyway, and the field would have loosened up as it has done even without the challenge to the Luck editorial statement.”547 He related this phenomenon to the broader transformations taking place in the humanities during the 1980s. According to Dillon, when Luck crafted the statement, he was likely aware “that he was embarked on a losing battle.”548 In the aftermath of the open forum at the APA, Skinner proved far more enthusiastic about the controversy’s potential impact on the field. Toward the end of her January 1988 letter to Dixon, she wrote, “Something happened at the APA this winter beyond a simple controversy over the editorial policy of one journal. It’s hard to identify, since I was caught up in it, but what grew out of that meeting was a sense of accountability—those who directly shape our disciplinary culture and serve as вЂgatekeepers’ for the profession must recognize their obligations to the great mass of their colleagues; they cannot be allowed to follow their own idiosyncratic whims, much less act on their prejudices.” Skinner concluded, “I can’t tell you how exciting it was to observe a paradigm shift in the process of happening—rather like watching the eruptions of Mount St. Helens.” In hindsight, however, Skinner scaled back this impression: she saw the controversy’s impact on the publication of Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis? as its chief effect on the field, insofar as the collection compelled Page 108 →some classical scholars to become more reflective about their methods and presumptions. “If that volume had not been published,” she averred, “I’m not sure the вЂAJP Today’ controversy would now be perceived as the defining moment it was. The same changes would have taken place, but might have been attributed to other factors.”549 Phyllis Culham, an ancient historian, WCC member, and the co-editor of Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis?, suggested that the AJP affair had a larger influence because it empowered feminist classical scholars and affirmed their professionalism.550 Power brokers in the field, Culham maintained, could no longer dismiss these scholars as “wild-eyed barbarians.” The grand success of the APA open session (and the fact that it was marked by “amity and professionalism in discussion”) demonstrated the utility of the methodological selfexaminations that feminist scholars promoted. “It had the positive effect of encouraging more conversation, ” she suggested. But did the controversy help smooth tensions between traditionalistic and theoretically inclined classical scholars? This does not seem to have been the case. In my interviews, I noted a sense of distrust among some classicists of disparate methodological outlooks. Such suspicion occasionally reared its head in the responses to questions I addressed to multiple participants in the controversy. In his introduction to Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis?, Edmunds suggests that Luck’s critics “feared that, given the prestige of the AJP, [his] ideology would be used against dissenters in book reviews and in promotion cases.”551 Most members of Luck’s editorial board did not find this a realistic possibility, and Luck asserted that he never harbored such an

intention.552 In his response, Dillon argued, “I would have thought that the tendencies for discrimination would have been the other way around, if anything.”553 Lefkowitz offered a similar impression.554 Although Edmunds understood why some scholars could fear this, he suggested that traditionalistic classics departments would not have required Luck’s editorial to deny tenure to scholars with more novel approaches.555 The “AJP Today” statement, he maintained, was irrelevant for that purpose. A number of the editorial statement’s critics saw things differently, however.Page 109 → To Hallett, this anxiety was legitimate. “People such as myself,” she said, “did not get tenure in our first jobs because we were doing innovative feminist work.”556 In the WCC’s early days, according to Hallett, numerous members of the organization, despite their impressive record of publication, found themselves shut out of elite institutions, as a consequence of hostility to their methodologies. Skinner likewise considered this “a reasonable concern” in light of “the number of well-publicized promotion and tenure cases involving classicists during that decade and the kinds of arguments marshaled against” them.557 According to Culham, though such apprehension was “overblown,” it was “a very strong concern” among some at the time.558 Interviewees agreed that Luck had not crafted the statement for such untoward purposes, but some dreaded its impact nonetheless. This sense of suspicion worked both ways: although critics of the statement tended to believe that the protest against the “AJP Today” editorial sought to broaden the definition of acceptable scholarship in classical studies,559 a few members of Luck’s editorial board proved skeptical on this count. Dillon, Kennedy, and Lefkowitz believed that some critics preferred to replace Luck’s philologically traditionalistic conception of classical scholarship with their own theoretical and feminist framework. Reaction to a later editorial manifesto helps underscore the feeling of mistrust among camps. In 1990, upon being named editor of Transactions of the American Philological Association (TAPA), another prominent US classical journal, Sander M. Goldberg published a guide for potential contributors in the APA Newsletter.560 Goldberg clearly intended this editorial statement as a counterpoise to “AJP Today”: in many ways it reads as the opposite of Luck’s creation. According to Ian Morris, a classical archaeologist and historian at Stanford University who found the “AJP Today” statement “narrow,” Goldberg’s riposte “provides a much broader view of classics and illustrates the strength of the resistance to the conservative position.”561 To a certain extent, Goldberg’s vision of classical scholarship seems more Page 110 →welcoming than Luck’s: “I would like TAPA to reflect more accurately the wide range of American Classical Studies. Its contents should be as varied as our interests. While the study of ancient texts and ancient history will doubtless remain mainstays, other subjects have an equal claim to attention: theoretical and methodological discussions, the history of classical scholarship, ancient science, technology and medicine, philosophy, art and archaeology. All these—and more—should find a place in TAPA. Research may be experimental as well as definitive. Progressive, speculative, and controversial submissions will receive sympathetic, though not indulgent treatment.”562 This appears to foster a more inclusive approach to classical scholarship. But Goldberg’s statement also announces that “submissions should be of inherent interest to more than a few specimens of the gens philologica. Assure yourself that the world needs to hear your point, and then make that point as tidily and comprehensibly as you can.”563 Under Goldberg’s direction, TAPA was not open to everything: although Morris perceived that the statement was broad-minded, it is dismissive of the minute philological work Luck especially esteemed.

Looking Back More than twenty-five years have passed since the “AJP Today” editorial statement appeared in print. By the time he sat for an interview with me in 2012, Luck harbored different views on the dispute he unwittingly created. “At the time,” he said, the statement “seemed necessary” to encourage the highly technical work that he feared was in danger of disappearing, but “in retrospect, we shouldn’t have said

anything.”564 The result, he told me, was a manifesto that was unappealingly narrow and idiosyncratic. He said that he erred in crafting a statement that was too limiting—too constrained by a specific vision of scholarship. Although editors naturally gravitate toward publishing work that conforms to their tastes, Luck maintained that it was also important to allow AJP to reflect broad trends in the field. If he could write the statement over again, he said, “Today I would probably be more open-minded than at that time.” But Luck hoped that there was a bright side to the controversy—that it helped make classical scholars more self-aware. Even after so many years, it remains unclear whether it had this effect. Page 111 →The AJP affair, although in some respects an unpleasant and seemingly avoidable conflict, is a microcosm of larger changes in the field of classical studies. Luck did not intend to antagonize feminist classical scholars, but the controversy’s resolution highlights how much has changed in a short period. This does not suggest that the goal of gender equity in the field has been fulfilled. But we have obviously come a long way since the late 1980s, and the WCC’s victories (which helped it blossom from a small and shadowy group to an integral fixture in the classics establishment) demonstrate the great leaps classical scholars in the US have made. With its focus on feminist scholarship and, more generally, postmodern literary theory, the fracas surrounding Luck’s editorial manifesto was in tune with the spirit of the academic culture wars. But how did the culture wars connect with classical scholars’ discussions of race and ethnicity? We shall turn to this subject in the next chapter.

Page 112 → Page 113 →

4 Multicultural Athena “All scholarly disciplines need a Bernal or two—but no more than that.” —Jacques Berlinerblau (1999)

The Fur Flies Of all the artifacts from the classical culture wars, this may be the most telling. YouTube preserves a video recording of a lengthy debate originally held on March 29, 1996, in New York City.565 Hosted by listenersupported progressive radio station WBAI, the event features classicists Mary Lefkowitz and Guy MacLean Rogers, at the time both professors at Wellesley College, squaring off against the Cornell Sinologist Martin Bernal (1937–2013) and John Henrik Clarke (1915–98), an autodidact then on the faculty of Hunter College.566 Their disagreements chiefly surround the purported Egyptian patrimony of ancient Greek civilization. Although the uninitiated might presume that such a topic would not allow for much in the way of fireworks, this debate was far from a typical academic exercise. In front of a packed hall at P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village, the participants trade various barbs and rejoinders, while a rowdy audience cheers, jeers, and applauds. It is not viewing for the faint of heart. Clarke, a founding father of the Afrocentric movement, maintains by far the most polemical stance.567 In his opening remarks, he asserts, “I am not here to debate with anyone. I have devoted all my adult life to this subject. I only debate with my equals; all others I teach.” Page 114 →The listeners—as they would many times during the course of the evening—erupt in applause. At another point in the discussion, Clarke refers to Frank Snowden, Jr. and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—two African American professors critical of Afrocentrism—as “cop-outs and runaways and professional white ass-kissers.” The audience responds to these remarks with whoops of delight. Lefkowitz and Rogers, facing the wrath of the crowd and a showboating moderator clearly siding with their detractors, try to maintain their composure, as their remarks incite scattered hisses and boos.568 How did this happen? How did two professors of Greek antiquity find themselves in such a heated environment, at a gigantic gathering deeply invested in this less-than-mannered discussion of Mediterranean prehistory? The field of classical studies had largely been relegated to the periphery of the academic culture wars—a discipline too fusty to warrant much attention. But Bernal, a provocateur par excellence, changed all that. His Black Athena project—ultimately encompassing three fat volumes published in 1987, 1991, and 2006—triggered a major controversy during the peak of the culture wars, the only such classical dispute to reach a broad variety of nonclassicists and an interested general public.569 For a brief period, Greek antiquity, increasingly viewed in the US since the fall of the antebellum college as a subject both recondite and irrelevant, was featured in popular American magazines, major daily newspapers, and on television talk shows. This chapter reexamines this important intellectual struggle, demonstrating the ways in which the broader public debates over American higher education shaped the Black Athena controversy and transformed it into a forum for African American identity politics. Raising the stakes of the disagreements, the struggle over Black Athena turned amiable classical scholars into culture wars combatants. The chapter, which benefits from numerous in-depth interviews with participants in the controversy, shows how the debate—although putting Greek antiquity at the center stage of the culture wars—reinforced preexisting prejudices about the field of classics.570

Page 115 →The Early Years of an Instigator

Bernal was the unlikely catalyst of such classical contretemps. The British-born Bernal was essentially self-taught in all the many areas discussed in his Black Athena volumes. As both an undergraduate and a graduate student at Cambridge University, he studied modern Sinology, earning his Ph.D. in the spring of 1966 with a thesis on anarchism in China.571 Bernal then became a research fellow at Cambridge until 1972, when he landed a job as an associate professor in the government department at Cornell University. He remained there for the rest of his academic career.572 No examination of Bernal’s scholarly work would be complete without a discussion of his (storied) ancestry. Bernal was the illegitimate son of Irish-born Marxist crystallographer John Desmond (J. D.) Bernal (1901–71) and British artist and radical activist Margaret Gardiner (1904–2005). Gardiner, in turn, was the daughter of Sir Alan Gardiner (1879–1963), among the most distinguished Egyptologists of his generation. Despite their radical bona fides, Bernal’s family was wealthy and well connected. According to Martin Bernal’s selfpublished autobiography, Geography of a Life (2012), “My great-grandfather, John Henry Gardiner, was a Victorian businessman, who made enough money to support the next three generations of his descendants.”573 Both of Bernal’s parents were educated at Cambridge, and his father served on the faculty there for some time, before receiving an appointment at the University of London. Politics played a formative role in Bernal’s life. His father was a committed communist, earning the Stalin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1953, ostensibly for his scientific efforts to promote peace.574 In some of his writings, J. D. Bernal connected his academic work to his political allegiances: his oeuvre includes popularizing efforts that aim to reconcile the natural sciences and Marxism.575 As his autobiography makes clear, Martin inherited his parents’ political fervor. Although his views neither replicated those of his mother or father nor remained stagnant over time, Bernal was a proud adherent of the political Page 116 →Left throughout his life. In fact, Bernal’s autobiography is filled with a concern for politics. The book’s pages are chockablock with political assessments and asides, tracking his views on such matters from his early childhood to his contemporary reflections. In its short summations of various people who played a part (both prominent and minor) in Bernal’s life, the autobiography tends to include details of their political commitments. Although Geography of a Life makes its author seem charming and self-effacing at times, it does not present a portrait of political broad-mindedness: Bernal most often dismisses—if not outright pillories—people more conservative than he.576 This marked regard for political matters colors much—if not all—of Bernal’s writing, from his dissertation on Chinese anarchism to his work on the Black Athena volumes. In fact, prior to the publication of Black Athena, Bernal’s most attention-grabbing work appeared in the left-leaning New York Review of Books, to which he contributed a series of travel essays and political reflections from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s.577 In these pieces, which detail, inter alia, their author’s visits to China and North Vietnam, Bernal demonstrates antipathy for contemporary US foreign policy as well as varying degrees of political sympathy for Mao’s China and the North Vietnamese communists. In a reflection from 1971, for example, Bernal asserts, “China and Vietnam have been, are, and will be different. However, both are tackling in a heroic way huge problems, most of which have been created by the West, and in this process they have much to teach us.”578

A Radical’s Departure After continued work on modern China and Vietnam (his monograph Chinese Socialism to 1907 appeared in print in 1976), Bernal’s intellectual interests shifted dramatically.579 From the modern Far East, Bernal now turned his attention to the far past—the ancient Mediterranean world. In later writings, Bernal attributed this change to “a mid-life crisis” that, somewhat cryptically, Page 117 →prompted an interest in exploring his Jewish “roots.”580 The first volume of Black Athena also alludes to the Vietnam War’s conclusion and the end of Mao’s rule in China as influences.581 Bernal’s sudden concern for Judaism may seem peculiar: Bernal was only partly Jewish—his mother’s grandfather was a Jew, and his father, though Catholic, descended from Spanish Jews.582 Bernal also claimed that Allan Bloom unwittingly played a role in the creation of Black Athena. After arriving at

Cornell University in the fall of 1972, Bernal resided at Telluride, a student housing collective that he portrays in his autobiography as a bastion of undergraduate intellectual conservatism.583 Although Bloom had already left the Cornell faculty for the University of Toronto after the turbulent campus riots in Ithaca in 1969, Bernal claims that Bloom’s influence remained manifest at Telluride in the early 1970s. The conservative political inclinations on the part of the Telluride students amazed and appalled him.584 Bernal asserts that their myopic cult of the ancient Greeks—a supposed product of Bloom’s Straussianism—triggered Bernal to fight against this reactionary approach to Western civilization.585 Thus Bernal (at least with the benefit of hindsight) connected his Black Athena project to arguably the most important figure in the academic culture wars.586 Though Bernal undoubtedly had many rationales for his unusual scholarly turn,587 some who knew him at the time stressed an alternative motivation for his departure from Sinology. According to Jeremy and Rhoda Rabkin, who studied with Bernal as undergraduates at Cornell in the early 1970s, Bernal in his classes was at this point advancing a sophisticated defense of Mao’s CulturalPage 118 → Revolution.588 By late 1975, when Bernal apparently began work on his Black Athena project, Mao Zedong was gravely ill, and the disasters of his rule seemed impossible to avoid acknowledging.589 Bernal’s change of focus likely allowed him the opportunity to back away from his support for Mao.590 Jeremy Rabkin, later Bernal’s colleague in the government department at Cornell, suggested another reason for the switch. Bernal had previously gained his greatest exposure from his essays in the New York Review of Books. These writings were based on Bernal’s privileged access to Communist China and North Vietnam. Thanks to his father’s political connections, Bernal could travel to these countries at a time when Western scholars had great difficulty gaining admittance. Once China opened up to the West (President Nixon traveled there in 1972) and the Vietnam War came to a close, Bernal’s visits to these lands no longer appeared so special.591 In 1973, in fact, the New York Review of Books dropped Bernal as a contributor, a move that appears still to have bothered him when he composed his autobiography later in his life.592 Never one to shy away from the limelight, Bernal would now need to find a new way to make a splash.593 At the same time, the field of Sinology was moving in a direction that Bernal did not esteem. In his autobiography, he writes that one attractive feature of the subject in his student days at Cambridge was its comparative lack of Page 119 →disciplinary professionalism: unlike more established fields, it lacked many of the qualities associated with scholarly specialization.594 By the mid-1970s, however, Bernal noted with displeasure that this situation was changing, as younger scholars began to produce heavily quantitative studies on modern China.595 Bernal, who never felt at home in a political science department,596 wanted nothing to do with this shift. Thus, somewhat incongruously, he decided to direct his scholarly energies to the heavily professionalized world of ancient Mediterranean studies.

Jews, Phoenicians, and Greeks Bernal’s Herculean efforts on this project appear to have commenced in late 1975. He began with a scholarly paper focused on the linguistic and cultural connections among the ancient Israelites and Phoenicians. Intrigued by the similarities between the Phoenician and Hebrew languages, Bernal explored “the disappearance of the Phoenicians and the appearance of the Jews.”597 As was typical of his efforts, Bernal did not proceed halfheartedly: he began studying biblical Hebrew both formally and informally at Cornell.598 Although he supposed that other scholars who worked on ancient topics would dismiss the piece, Bernal reports that it received positive feedback from, among others, esteemed ancient historian Moses Finley and David I. Owen, the chair of Near Eastern studies at Cornell. In fact, with their support, Bernal earned a fellowship from the Cornell Society of Humanities for the 1977–78 academic year, allowing him to work on his project without any teaching responsibilities.599 While at the Society of Humanities, Bernal shifted the focus of his research “from Phoenicians and Jews, into West Semitic speakers and Greeks.”600 This new approach pleased Bernal, since he previously fretted that his earlier topic, with its implicit critique of Jewish claims of ethnic exclusivity, had an anti-Semitic aspect.601 He now contended against assertions of ancient Greek culturalPage 120 → exclusivity, a subject that he believed fit

better with his political commitments. The new topic, after all, connected with his disdain for Eurocentrism.602 Bernal credited the work of Semitists Cyrus Gordon (1908–2001) and Michael Astour (1916–2004)—to which Owen had introduced him—with this change in direction.603 Both Gordon and Astour had argued in favor of deep Near Eastern influence on ancient Greek society, and both had been largely dismissed by mainstream scholars of ancient Hellenism.604 Another personal breakthrough took place in 1979, while Bernal was examining a copy of Jaroslav Černý’s Coptic Etymological Dictionary (1976) in Heffers bookshop in Cambridge.605 This perusal suggested to Bernal that a great portion of the ancient Greek lexicon owed its origin to the Egyptian language. Expanding beyond the theses of Gordon and Astour, Bernal set out to prove that the ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians had profoundly influenced ancient Greece. The seed of the Black Athena project had been planted.

A Controversy in Search of a Publisher Bernal immersed himself in the numerous recondite fields and subfields requisite for his massive undertaking. This included developing at least passing familiarity with ancient Greek, Egyptian, and West Semitic, along with forays into historical linguistics, prehistoric Mediterranean archaeology, Greek literature, and, for good measure, the history of classical scholarship. By the early 1980s, following what must have been years of intense and laborious research, Bernal had at last produced a lengthy manuscript and was ready to shop it to academic publishers.606 Numerous rejections followed. The manuscript, the product of a deeply learned but self-taught controversialist, could not pass peer review. For one thing, it was out of step with contemporary classical scholarship: intellectually sprawling, deliberately polemical and politically engaged, in places reliant on outdated research, and containing a mordant attack on the classics establishment, Bernal’s work seemed like a curious blend of nineteenthcentury Page 121 →scholarly tracts and the fashionable postmodern research that emanated from elsewhere in the humanities.607 Such an unusual work did not pass muster with scholarly specialists. According to Bernal, the manuscript, though esteemed by numerous editors, had no chance to see light of day under the imprimatur of a university press.608 The well-connected Bernal had other options, however. In London during the summer of 1983, Bernal saw his friend Robert M. Young, a psychologist, historian of science, and editor who ran a small British press, Free Association Books.609 When Bernal described his daring project and the woeful reception it had received from academic presses, an enthusiastic Young agreed to publish the manuscript without sending it on to reviewers. Advertised as a bold attack on Eurocentrism and scholarly pretentions to conduct research objectively, Bernal’s undertaking appealed to Young, a radical thinker who had long argued against the purported neutrality of work in the hard sciences.610 Bernal and Young agreed that Bernal’s project would appear in three volumes, to which Bernal had attached the title Black Athena.611

A Contentious Title Bernal’s choice of title remains one of the most contested elements associated with the Black Athena project. Ultimately agreeing with critics about its inappropriateness, Bernal advanced a somewhat convoluted rationale for the title’s adoption.612 Since his undertaking aimed, inter alia, to establish the heavily Egyptian influence on early Greece, Bernal originally supposed that Black Athena had a catchy ring.613 He reported that he then got cold feet: the title Page 122 →implied that the ancient Egyptians were black—an acutely controversial claim that introduced all manner of objections from critics.614 Young, however, liked the title, presuming (correctly, it appears) that it would help sell books. Thus Bernal was stuck with an explosive moniker for his project—one that would attract critics but also, as it turned out, help draw unanticipated audiences. Bernal’s story about his disavowal of the title does not fit perfectly with the evidence: Bernal called the first published version of his undertaking, an encapsulation that appeared in Ivan Van Sertima’s collection, African Presence in Early Europe (1985), “Black Athena: The African and Levantine Roots of Greece.”615 At the start, at least, he did not harbor the reservations about the

title that he later articulated.

Models: Ancient, Revised, Broad, Extreme—and Aryan The title was not the lone confrontational element in Bernal’s first volume. On the contrary: Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, vol. 1, The Fabrication of Ancient Greece, 1785–1985 (1987) contains all manner of provocations. After a dedication to his father and a brief preface that suggests his rationale for writing the book,616 Bernal offers an epigraph from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) by philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn: “Almost always the men who achieve these fundamental inventions of a new paradigm have either been very young or very new to the field whose paradigm they change.”617 The use of the quotation suggests that Bernal, as an outsider to classical studies, is in the prime position to advance a “paradigm shift”—a fundamental break with previous scholarship in favor of a new model for the future.618 Linking himself to Heinrich Schliemann and Michael Ventris (two nonclassicists who helped revolutionize our understanding of the Bronze Age Mediterranean),619 Bernal signaled that his project had major ambitions—nothing less than a complete reassessment of our picture of early Greek civilization. Page 123 →This reassessment had explicit political ramifications. From at least the fifth century BC until the eighteenth century AD, Bernal asserted, Westerners maintained a view on the foundation of ancient Greek civilization that he termed the “Ancient Model.”620 According to this appraisal, the birth of Greek civilization owed its origins to Aegean colonization by the Egyptians and Phoenicians in prehistory. In the early nineteenth century, however, European classical scholars began to attack the Ancient Model of Greek origins.621 They did so, Bernal averred, for strictly “externalist” reasons: various intellectual and social trends of the time—including the origins of quasi-scientific racism, ethnocentric anti-Semitism, the rise of romanticism, the myth of progress, and Christianity—rendered the Ancient Model unpalatable.622 According to Bernal, European scholars naturally linked the Phoenicians, who spoke a Semitic language, to Jews.623 And thus they found impermissible the notion that ancient Egyptians (read: Africans) and ancient Phoenicians (read: Jews) were chiefly responsible for the flourishing of the ancient Greeks—the fathers of Western civilization. The demise of the Ancient Model, Bernal contended, occurred prior to the general acceptance of Jean-FranГ§ois Champollion’s decipherment of hieroglyphics and thus was unrelated to the ways in which scholars’ newfound access to the Egyptian language could have altered scholarly assessments of the relationship between ancient Egypt and Greece.624 In Bernal’s view, the vast amounts of new primary source information about the Egyptians that resulted from the decipherment could not be responsible for the Ancient Model’s demise. The fall of the Ancient Model ultimately led the way to what Bernal terms—with typically polemical panache—the “Aryan Model,” an assessment of Greek Page 124 →origins first introduced in the 1830s and 1840s.625 European scholars now advanced the notion that Caucasian invaders from the North—not Semites or Egyptians—were the true fathers of Greek civilization. Bernal contended that the rise of the Aryan Model had one important “internalist” rationale: adherents of the newly burgeoning field of historical linguistics discovered in the nineteenth century that Greek was an Indo-European language and thus from a different language family than Egyptian (an Afroasiatic language) and Phoenician (a Semitic language, and therefore from the Semitic branch of Afroasiatic).626 The adoption of the Aryan Model, as far as Bernal was concerned, resulted not purely from external prejudices, but partly from genuine discoveries about the ancient Greek language. At first, Bernal suggests, classical scholars were content to remove the Egyptians from the picture. This view corresponds to what Bernal termed the “Broad Aryan Model.” By the late nineteenth century, however, a sudden access of European anti-Semitism caused scholars to eliminate the Phoenicians as well, and thus replace the Broad Aryan Model with what Bernal called the “Extreme Aryan Model.”627 During the 1960s, the diminution of anti-Semitism, thanks in part to reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust and the successes of Israel, helped reinstate the Broad Aryan Model.628 When Bernal published the first volume of Black Athena, scholars were beginning to reassert the Phoenician influence on early Greek civilization.629

But this was not far enough for Bernal, who championed a return of sorts to the Ancient Model—something he termed the “Revised Ancient Model.” His Black Athena project aimed to reassert the earlier paradigm of ancient Greek origins, with its support for Egyptian and Phoenician colonization of the Aegean in prehistory, albeit with a few important modifications. Bernal altered the Ancient Model’s chronology to allow it to conform more easily to modern research on the early Mediterranean. He also accepted one prime conclusion associated with the Aryan Model’s architects: ancient Greek was, he recognized, an Indo-European language and thus not from the same language family as Page 125 →Egyptian and Phoenician.630 But Bernal asserted that he could demonstrate ancient Greek’s massive lexical borrowing from Egyptian and Phoenician—a pattern of borrowing so pervasive that it likely indicated Egypto-Semitic “suzerainty” in Greece during the second millennium BC.631

A New Standard of Proof? The volumes of Black Athena, then, were devoted to supporting Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model of Greek origins, which demonstrated the unfairly denied Egyptian and Semitic influence on early Greece. Bernal insisted, however, that he did not seek to “prove” the correctness of his Revised Ancient Model. On the contrary: he adopted a different standard of evidence. In a partial nod to postmodernist historiographical epistemologies, Bernal informed readers that the study of Mediterranean prehistory should be based on “competitive plausibility”: each researcher needed to demonstrate that his or her model of Greek origins was more likely to have occurred than its rivals.632 Although this suggests that Bernal’s approach skirted close to the sort of New Historicist skepticism fashionable at the time, in reality his methodology was in a kind of limbo. Bernal remained critical of positivism,633 but clung to the notion that such a thing as truth existed and that scholars could advance conclusions closer or farther away from it.634 Bernal never completely spelled out the rationale according to which a given model would be deemed “competitively plausible.” Although one had grounds to suppose otherwise, Bernal’s highlighting of the ideological undesirabilityPage 126 → of the Aryan Model led one to wonder whether this played a role in his conclusions on the matter.635 If not, what precisely rendered a thesis superior to its opponents? Did it merely require more evidentiary support? Or did such evidence need to be more persuasive—and, if so, on what grounds? Bernal’s silence on these matters helped reinforce misimpressions about his methodology; in the ensuing debate, Bernal was charged with everything from postmodern nihilism to Rankean positivism.636 Perhaps the backdrop of the academic culture wars—in which matters of truth and objectivity were the source of great contention—led reviewers astray: Bernal’s nuanced views on this score (which were not related with exceptional clarity) did not satisfy culture wars combatants, who sought to pigeonhole Bernal as either an oldfashioned fuddy-duddy or a theory-laden nihilist.637

Culture Wars Connections In any case, Bernal made clear that Black Athena, although engulfed in the minutiae of Mediterranean prehistory, spoke to many contentious topics up for debate during the academic culture wars. At the conclusion of the first volume’s introduction, Bernal candidly informed readers that the “political purpose of Black Athena is, of course, to lessen European cultural arrogance.”638 It would do so by demonstrating the multicultural bona fides of ancient Greek civilization and, by implication, of Western civilization.639 Thus, while academic culture warriors were battling over the value of Western civilization courses in college and university curricula, Bernal attempted to demonstrate that Western civilization itself—at least at its point of origins—was deeply multicultural.640 By vouching for the supposed African and Semitic patrimony of Greek civilization, Bernal also battled the notion that civilization and high culture were Page 127 →the preserves of white Europeans. If Bernal was correct, Africans and Semites had been Europe’s teachers. Black Athena would also help demonstrate that the notion of “Western civilization” had always been ideologically charged. In contrast to traditionalists such as Allan Bloom and Roger Kimball, 1960s radicals had not politicized university curricula;641 rather, those curricula had

been political at their core from the start. Bernal argued, then, that his project should have a major impact on scholarly and general views of Western civilization. “If I am right in urging the overthrow of the Aryan Model and its replacement by the Revised Ancient one,” he contended in italics, “it will be necessary not only to rethink the fundamental bases of вЂWestern Civilization’ but also to recognize the penetration of racism and вЂcontinental chauvinism’ into all our historiography, or philosophy of writing history.”642 This helps account for the broad public interest in the Black Athena volumes; general readers were not drawn to discussions of ancient Greek origins alone.643 Black Athena’s conclusions could, however, have had a different impact on the culture wars from those Bernal intended. If, as he argued, ancient Greek civilization was the product of Egyptian and Phoenician colonization during the second millennium BC, Western civilization was at its roots more appealingly multicultural. This might mean that educators could continue to offer Great Books courses, undaunted by their supposed cultural chauvinism. After all, if Africans and Semites were the progenitors of the West, students could stick to the old Western civilization courses and still learn plenty about cultural diversity. There would be no need for them to take courses in African American studies or other contemporary markers of cultural broadmindedness. As some critics noted, Bernal’s vision of the West in some sense conformed closely to those of culture wars traditionalists; he merely added the Egyptians and Phoenicians at the beginning. In an interesting critique of Black Athena’s first volume, black studies professor E. Frances White averred, “The belief that successful civilizations move from the simple to the complex, following natural laws, is not challenged by adding Egypt to the chain of successive civilizations that culminates in Western capitalist societies.”644 Bernal’s conception of Western civilization called to mind the views of Great Books enthusiasts more than Page 128 →those of academic antitraditionalists.645 Although some critics censured Bernal for his purported antiWesternism,646 the reverse apparently was true.

Taking Aim at the “Classics Establishment” The great public interest in Black Athena pertained in large part to its numerous connections with the academic culture wars. Western civilization, multiculturalism, racism, scholarly politicization, objectivity: all of these topics were grist for the culture warriors’ mill, and all played a role in Black Athena. But the first volume also narrowed its focus on the discipline of classical studies. On this subject, Bernal provided a stinging critique. Bernal insisted that outsiders such as he were particularly likely to make breakthroughs in the field of classics. The myopia of individual disciplines was especially marked in ancient history, partly as a consequence of the requisite training in Latin and ancient Greek: the study of such “difficult languages,” he wrote, is “inevitably authoritarian” and breeds “intellectual passivity” in students.647 Added to these pragmatic causes, according to Bernal, were ideological factors: “the near, or actual, religious awe felt in approaching Classical or Jewish cultures, which are held to be the founts of вЂWestern’ civilization.”648 Furthermore, in the first volume’s discussion of the history of classical scholarship, Bernal contended that the professionalization of classical studies in nineteenth-century Germany was a kind of intellectual and moral disaster. Although scholars associated with this movement considered themselves the first producers of objective, scientific scholarship on the subject of Greco-Roman antiquity (as the term Altertumswissenschaft implies), their work had in fact ushered in all manner of prejudices.649 Bernal’s characterization of modern classical studies fit with his broader indictment of the highly specialized nature of contemporary academic work. In a rather categorical, unspecific manner, Black Athena also reinforced perceptions of classical studies as hidebound and traditionalistic. This portrait, which Bernal would soon admit was a caricature,650 Page 129 →helped underscore the value of his undertaking. As a brazen iconoclast, he believed that the field was the perfect discipline for him to shake up.

Putting His Best Foot Forward Although it offered numerous hints at the scope and conclusions of the entire project, the first volume of Black Athena was chiefly devoted to what Bernal termed an investigation into the sociology of knowledge.651 More specifically, Bernal attempted to track the differing Western views on Greek origins from antiquity to the present and to highlight the ways in which (largely objectionable) external factors were responsible for the Ancient Model’s demise. The first installment of Black Athena thus allowed Bernal to present a fascinating excursus into the world of Western intellectual history, endeavoring to demonstrate the ways in which various prejudices distorted disparate conceptions of classical antiquity. In many ways, this volume—which, as it turned out, was by far the most popular and influential of the three—calls to mind Edward Said’s pioneering book, Orientalism (1978).652 In Orientalism, a foundational text of postcolonial theory, Said charged Westerners with harboring similarly derogatory and distorted perceptions of the Near East from Greek antiquity to the present (more specifically, from Aeschylus’s Persae to the speeches of Henry Kissinger).653 Although Said’s polemic chiefly condemns Western scholars who studied the Near East (i.e., the Orientalists) for contributing to Western imperial expansion, the book ranges widely, castigating a variety of travel writers, novelists, and other Western authors disconnected from academic orientalism. Like Said’s book, the first volume of Black Athena presents a sociology of Page 130 →knowledge that fluctuates between all manner of sources: poems, lay writings, novels, and the work of European academics in a variety of disciplines. It does not home in on racism, ethnocentrism, romanticism, and the like in the work of classical philologists alone. This, combined with Bernal’s penchant for explaining broad intellectual phenomena through discussions of a small number of individual personalities, could lead some to believe that Bernal was simplifying—that he was “cherry-picking.”654 At the same time, as was the case with Said’s book, some quotations Bernal includes in his sociology of knowledge demonstrate such palpable and unpleasant bias that it is difficult to dismiss his contentions entirely. Even if he was simplifying, a case seemingly could be made.655 Bernal’s decision to offer his sociology of knowledge at the start of his project demonstrates that Black Athena possessed similarities with Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, despite Bernal’s well-documented antipathy for Bloom’s brand of Straussianism. Like Bloom’s jeremiad, Bernal’s project benefited from the ordering of its argument: just as Bloom’s initial crabby assessments of contemporary college students helped ensure sales for a book loaded with abstruse philosophical analysis,656 Bernal’s decision to make his critique of biased Western scholarship his project’s first volume was key to its success. The discussion of racist European writings proved more attractive and more assimilable to general readers than did the detailed etymological speculations and rehashing of archaeological minutiae to follow.657 Bernal also cleverly chose to offer potted summaries of his volumes at their start, allowing nonspecialists—or, for that matter, scholars of any sort—to learn the basics of Bernal’s arguments without having to pore over the evidence.658

Page 131 →Black Athena Reaches America On March 13, 1987, the Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper, carried the first published review of Black Athena’s first volume.659 Written by Perry Anderson, a prominent British historian of modern European intellectual history, this response is not entirely laudatory, but demonstrates enthusiasm for Bernal’s venture. “The force of the main account is what matters; and it is irresistible,” Anderson wrote.660 The imprimatur of the Guardian, accompanied by a short excerpt from the book that appeared in its pages, helped encourage brisk sales in the United Kingdom—at least by the standards of works of its type. In the UK the first volume of Black Athena sold sufficiently well, in fact, to earn republishing from mass-market giant Vintage.661 This was a coup for a long-winded work originally appearing under the auspices of a minor press. The success of Black Athena in Britain attracted the attention of Leslie Mitchner, a general editor at Rutgers

University Press.662 Having read Anderson’s Guardian review, Mitchner pitched the book to her boss, Kenneth Arnold. Since they were aware of the difficulties the work would have encountered in the peer-review process, Arnold decided to publish Black Athena without undergoing the typical academic filter.663 In this way, all three volumes of Black Athena were published in the US by an academic press without having passed through the standard review process.664 Black Athena ultimately caused far more of a stir in America than in Bernal’s homeland. Despite Bernal’s Britishness, Black Athena is in many ways an American undertaking.665 Although Bernal began work on the topic prior to the eruption of the US culture wars, Black Athena was in tune with those conflicts (and, in a sense, given its Telluride connection, was a project linked to the Page 132 →culture wars avant la lettre). It at least obliquely contributed to many of these battles and touches on numerous themes dear to American culture warriors. In later interviews, Bernal expressed pride that his volumes were a thorn in the side of critics of political correctness.666 The work focuses on matters of race and ethnicity, and its discussion of ancient Egypt both connected the volumes to crucial concerns in American identity politics and proved acutely important to its reception in the US.

In the Belly of the Beast The first volume of Black Athena began to sell well in the US; Bernal had thus far proved successful in reaching general readers.667 He did not expect to win the attention of experts,668 especially because of the work’s derogatory assessment of the discipline of classics as well as its portrayal of professionalized classical scholarship as the source of much that was wrong with the contemporary university. But this would soon change. Molly Levine, a classicist on the faculty of Howard University, the premier historically black college in the US, found Bernal’s work both compelling and troubling.669 Levine asserted that she wanted to know if Bernal’s arguments about the origins of Greek civilization and the biases of mainstream classical scholars were true. Had the explanations of Greek origins she had advanced in her classes been wrong—the product of unconscious bias? Levine thought it was crucial to discover an answer to this question.670 Levine wrote to Bernal about his book in part to arrange a meeting between Bernal and Frank Snowden, Jr. (1911–2007), Levine’s colleague in the classics department at Howard.671 Bernal, in the first volume of Black Athena, had heavily criticized Snowden—who was among the few African American classicists in the country and an expert on blacks in antiquity—suggesting that his work conformed to the desiderata of the white classics establishment and was insufficientlyPage 133 → sensitive to the pervasiveness of antiblack racism.672 Snowden, irked by Bernal’s implicit labeling of him as an Uncle Tom, in turn dismissed Bernal as a charlatan.673 Levine had hoped to reconcile the men, but to no avail. Rebuffed in her attempt, she tried a second approach: organizing a panel on Black Athena at the American Philological Association’s January 1989 annual meeting in Baltimore. Bernal would be invited to respond to the papers; the Sinologist could now plead his case before an audience of classical scholars.674 Although Snowden refused to share the stage with Bernal, Levine arranged for Snowden to speak first at the accompanying questionand-answer session to ensure that he could present his criticisms of Bernal’s approach to race in antiquity.675 The session, which turned out to be the year’s prestigious presidential panel and ultimately appeared in modified and expanded form in the pages of the theoretically inclined classics journal Arethusa, proved to be an important event in the Black Athena controversy.676 Bernal, who was delighted by the attention his work was drawing,677 contended that the classics establishment’s response to Black Athena demonstrated the crudity of his sociology of knowledge: classical scholars were hardly the ideological monolith Bernal had argued in his project’s first volume.678 Although the panel featured a variety of reactions to Bernal’s work, a few scholars went so far as to express great enthusiasm for Black Athena. During the question-and-answer period that followed the panel, archaeologist

George Bass told Bernal, “I loved your book, of course. I’m glad to finally see what Page 134 →you look like.”679 Sarah Morris, an archaeologist affiliated with Yale University, remained skeptical of Bernal’s linguistic claims, but asserted that the archaeological record supported his assertions about Near Eastern influence on Greece even more than he recognized.680 Though others in attendance proved warier of Bernal’s claims,681 this was far from the chilly response Bernal might have anticipated.682 To this day, most scholars have remained more enthusiastic about the first installment of Black Athena than its companion volumes. Although it was not without its critics, many consider Bernal’s sociology of knowledge the most valuable part of his project. Classicist David Konstan, who wrote a favorable review of the volume, considered it a shock: “Believe it or not, Black Athena was a revelation to me. It shouldn’t have been, since I knew that scholars had noted such prejudices in the profession before, and someВ .В .В . had taken account of Near Eastern and other influences on Greece, but seeing the larger story, as Bernal presented it, struck me forcefully, and I was grateful for it.”683 Although in places careless, misleading, and overly reliant on secondary sources, Bernal’s investigation of classical scholarship offered compelling criticism of nineteenthand early twentieth-century research. In all, Bernal must have considered the reaction to his first volume quite a coup.

The Tide Turns? The same could not be said for Black Athena’s second installment, which, though written alongside its forerunner, appeared in 1991.684 Interest in the second volume must have been intense. Bernal had previously made a number of striking preliminary claims about the origins of the ancient Greeks, and Page 135 →now he would present his first full-scale attempt to offer the evidence to support those claims. His project still had buzz: in 1990, the first volume of Black Athena won an American Book Award685 and continued to serve as the subject of scholarly colloquia.686 Bernal’s sociology of knowledge had grabbed the attention of a surprisingly large number of scholars and general readers; it was now time for Bernal to present his account of Greek prehistory. Though subtitled The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence, the second volume of Black Athena seems oddly light on the topics ostensibly in its purview.687 Bernal claimed that volume 2 differed from its predecessor because he had now “given up the mask of impartiality between the two models.”688 But from the start Bernal had appeared unapologetically partisan in his approach.689 The early pages of the second volume also took up a task that ultimately occupied much of Bernal’s time: his responses to some negative appraisals of Black Athena. Bernal suggested that hostility to his undertaking stemmed from either political or disciplinary conservatism. He highlighted David Gress’s strident attack on Bernal in the New Criterion and an unserious squib from National Review that incorrectly presumed that Bernal was black.690 With such retorts, Bernal aimed to extend his sociology of knowledge to the present: negative reactions to Black Athena must have possessed ideological underpinnings. In this regard, Bernal seemed very much in tune with those who participated in the wider debates of the academic culture wars: he was quick to foreground his critics’ ideological motives, real or imagined. Although the dispute surrounded competing visions of early Greece, Bernal seemed most comfortable casting the disagreements in political terms. This allowed Bernal to present himself as a champion of the Left. Despite the fact that he had begun his work on Black Athena prior to the germination of the academic culture wars, Bernal debated like a consummate participant in such struggles. Regardless, in the remainder of volume 2, Bernal laid out his case for his Revised Ancient Model’s “competitive plausibility,” ostensibly focusing on evidence from material culture and epigraphy. The second volume, like its predecessor, offers a number of radical claims. Bernal discusses the supposed historicity of various invasions of the Mediterranean in the early second millennium Page 136 →BC by the Egyptian pharaohs Senwosre I and Amenemhe II, whose martial adventures the ancient Greeks supposedly attributed to Sesostris.691 Bernal also supports the notion that the Hyksos, an Egyptianized group of largely Semitic origins, created settlements in the Aegean circa 1730 to 1600 BC, soon after their conquest of Egypt.692 Bernal further stresses the

purported Egyptian and Levantine “suzerainty” in Greece that resulted from the Hyksos invasion.693 By the middle of the second millennium BC, Bernal claimed, a pax Aegyptica enveloped much of the Mediterranean, leading to trade and prosperity for all concerned.694 Although Bernal refers to various archaeological findings, the volume contains a surprising amount of etymological speculation.695 It is as if Bernal, who commenced his project with linguistic arguments about Hebrew and Phoenician, did not really have his heart set on delving into the material evidence.696 Archaeologists—formerly among the most enthusiastic scholarly audience for the Black Athena project697—now often turned against Bernal, some almost violently so. In the New York Review of Books, for example, classical archaeologist Emily Vermeule (1928–2001) contended that “Black Athena II is a whirling confusion of half-digested reading, bold linguistic supposition, and preconceived dogma.”698 “Bernal’s argument,” she suggested, “reminds one of a gigantic chess game without an opponent: the author places his pieces on the board where he wishes, not constrained by any rules.”699

Afrocentrism Takes Center Stage Such assessments were part and parcel of a largely negative scholarly response to Bernal’s second volume. Although Black Athena had won many adherents in other disciplines, most classicists appeared less enthusiastic about Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model than about his sociology of knowledge. Some sharply Page 137 →criticized volume 2.700 By this time, however, the debate over Black Athena had been enveloped by the academic culture wars. Surely to Bernal’s delight, his work, hardly of interest only to classical scholars and ancient historians, became part of these wider ideological struggles.701 The culture wars’ shaping of the controversy over Black Athena pertained in large measure to a formerly obscure academic movement called Afrocentrism.702 In the first volume of Black Athena, Bernal made a few passing references to black intellectuals who had stressed the Egyptian patrimony of Greek civilization. For example, Bernal described George G. M. James’s Stolen Legacy (1954) as a “fascinating little book” that “makes a plausible case for Greek science and philosophy having borrowed massively from Egypt.”703 Bernal also briefly alluded to the work of Senegalese scientist and historian Cheikh Anta Diop (1923–86), who saw the ancient Egyptians—to Diop, a black people—as the progenitors of civilization.704 These are nearly the only hints that Bernal offers in his first volume of what amounted to a long preexisting tradition among African and (especially) African American intellectuals championing the Egyptian provenance of Greek civilization.705 Such thought owes its origins to early nineteenth-century America,Page 138 → when ideas of ancient Egyptian greatness served to counter white racists who justified slavery and/or segregation on the grounds that only Caucasians had contributed to civilization.706 Thinkers linked to this movement—often called “black vindicationists” by later writers—emphasized the glories of ancient Egypt, typically relying on the works of authors such as Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus (most often in English translation) in an attempt to prove profound Egyptian influence on the Greeks.707 The blacks of ancient Egypt, they averred, had made peerless contributions to world civilization. Major figures such as Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois contributed to this tradition, and Du Bois appears to have coined the term “Afro-centric” in the early 1960s.708 According to Stephen Howe, an intellectual historian and critic of Afrocentrism, the contemporary Afrocentric movement, though based in part on this earlier tradition, originated in 1969.709 At this time, John Henrik Clarke, a self-taught professor in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, troubled by the white-dominated African Studies Association, established a black caucus within the group. This led to the formation of the all-black African Heritage Studies Association, which promoted a Pan-African agenda in support of black-nationalist ideology. Others, however, believe that the Afrocentric movement commenced in 1980, with the publication of Molefi Kete Asante’s Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change.710 Asante, who possesses a Ph.D. in communications from the University of California at Los Angeles, has long served as the chair of African American studies at Temple University and as the editor of the Journal of Black Studies, both of which have been key conduits for

Afrocentric scholarship.711 Asante deems himself a follower of Diop.712 Like Diop, Asante views ancient Egypt as a black civilization and believes that it was chiefly responsible for many of the advances typically—and wrongly—attributed to the ancient Greeks.713 Page 139 →Asante’s writings on Afrocentricity have a psychological—one might even say New Age—cast to them. In his conception, Afrocentricity is as much a self-help movement for American blacks as an approach to history. To Asante, American blacks are an African people, and as such they must embrace the wisdom of African culture to thrive in contemporary society. Essential to this goal is Asante’s (and Afrocentricity’s) idealized vision of ancient Africa, which relies heavily on Egypt as a black civilization that taught the Greeks—and therefore white Europeans—in their infancy. Like the nineteenth-century black vindicationists, Asante and his followers are engaged in a form of history as identity politics, describing ancient Egypt in a manner that redounds to the credit of contemporary blacks. But, according to historian Mia Bay, “the chauvinism in nineteenth-century black thought was always tempered by its emphasis on the unity of the races.”714 This, she argues, is not the case with Afrocentrism, which, influenced by the Pan-Africanist NГ©gritude movement of African scholars and the Black Power politics of America in the late 1960s and 1970s, remains separatist in its outlook. In Asante’s conception, Afrocentrism—portrayed as a counterpoise to whites’ inevitable Eurocentrism—insists on the superiority of black civilizations and the derivative nature of Western culture. By the time the first volume of Black Athena was published in the United States, a range of African American scholars, either trained by Asante’s department at Temple University or sympathetic to his outlook, held appointments at various institutions and produced Afrocentric scholarship.715 While classicists, Near Eastern historians, and Egyptologists were busy assessing the perceived strengths and weaknesses of Bernal’s project, some Afrocentric scholars heralded Black Athena as the work of a learned white author affiliated with an elite institution who offered a thesis compatible with Afrocentric perspectives on ancient Egypt.716 In 1991, for example, Leonard Jeffries, a black studies professor at the City College of New York associated with the Afrocentric movement, left a copy of Black Athena for former New York Page 140 →City mayor Ed Koch after a debate between the two over the Jewish role in the American slave trade.717 Soon enough, the controversy surrounding Bernal’s work was dominated by concerns associated with Afrocentrism. A September 1991 issue of Newsweek magazine, for example, offered a largely sympathetic profile of Black Athena, but focused the brunt of its attention on themes dear to the Afrocentric movement.718 Its cover clarified the importance of the movement to the debate, bearing the provocative title, “Was Cleopatra Black? ” The magazine seemed more interested in discussing the influence of Afrocentric curricula on American schools than the thesis Bernal advanced. As was the case with many discussions of Black Athena in the popular press, Bernal’s attention to the potential Phoenician influence on ancient Greece all but vanished.719 The Semites no longer mattered; public concern about Afrocentrism put the Egyptians—and only the Egyptians—at center stage.

Afrocentrism as Black Studies Tout Court Those aware of the history of the academic culture wars should not be surprised by this turn of events. Afrocentrism was a topic ripe for culture wars jeremiads. The traditionalist voices in these disputes often placed great emphasis on the 1960s as ushering in the supposed politicization of American higher education. Although such critiques often focused primarily on the changes detectable in departments of English and comparative literature, they also tended to expand their critique to the new disciplines that owed their origins to the decade’s student counterculture: principally women’s studies, black studies, and (to a lesser extent) Latino/a and Chicano/a studies. Traditionalist critics such as Allan Bloom, Roger Kimball, and Dinesh D’Souza deemed the emergence of these nascent fields proof of the ways in which radical politics had trumped scholarly regard for truth and objectivity. This appraisal resonated throughout much of the American popular media, even earning favorable reviews from such moderately left-of-center outlets as the New York Times, the New Republic, and the New York Review of Books.720

Page 141 →Afrocentrism must have seemed like manna from heaven for traditionalist critics of American academia. Here was a movement tied to nascent African American studies departments721 that was steeped in the spirit of black nationalism and that featured some practitioners from untraditional academic backgrounds722 who tended to produce polemical writings lacking many of the merits of professionalized scholarship. Some Afrocentric research, moreover, was arguably antiwhite in its tenor, some antihomosexual,723 and some antiSemitic.724 A more attractive target of traditionalist opprobrium can hardly be imagined. Various events that took place during the culture wars helped solidify Afrocentrism as a divisive academic movement. On July 20, 1991, at the Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival in Albany, Leonard Jeffries delivered a speech littered with antiwhite and anti-Semitic rhetoric.725 A few years earlier, Thomas Sobol, the education commissioner of New York State, had included Jeffries on a task force that supported emphasizing multiculturalism in the public schools’ social studies curriculum. The group’s spirited recommendations, which appeared in A Curriculum of Inclusion (1989), received scorn from some conservative intellectuals and policy wonks.726 In his Albany oration (a long-winded address preserved on YouTube), Jeffries defended the task force’s findings and engaged in some anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. “For years,” Jeffries asserted, “I grew up as a youngster just like you did, going to movies where the African peoples were completely denigrated. That was a conspiracy, planned and plotted and programmed out of Hollywood, with people called Greenberg and Weisberg and Trigliani and whatnot. It’s not being anti-Semitic to mention who developed Hollywood.В .В .В . Russian Jewry had a particular control over Page 142 →the movies, and their financial partners, the mafia, put together a system of destruction of black people.”727 When the conservative New York Post ran an August 5 story about the oration, Jeffries was catapulted into culture wars infamy.728 It was quickly discovered that Jeffries had arrived at City College in the early 1970s as a tenured full professor and department chair despite the fact that he had only recently earned a doctorate and had published nothing.729 Jeffries’s unsavory theories about Caucasians as “ice people” (cold, calculating, unfriendly) and black people as “sun people” (caring, xenophilic, warm) soon became standard culture wars fodder.730 City College’s failed attempt to remove Jeffries from his post as chair for his anti-Semitic outbursts remains one of the most memorable academic episodes of the period.731 Soon after Jeffries’s notorious harangue, black-Jewish frictions—possibly fueled in part by Afrocentric rhetoric—reached a new level. On August 19, 1991, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, a car driven by an Orthodox Jew accidentally hit and killed a black child. During the ensuing riot, a young Jewish man, Yankel Rosenbaum, was murdered.732 News coverage of this tragic Page 143 →episode was intense. By this time, some Afrocentrists’ attempts to reshape primary and secondary school curricula in portions of the US had received much media scrutiny.733 As the American press dedicated increasing attention to it, the Afrocentric movement came to play a large role in the academic culture wars, and its reaction to Black Athena came to dominate the coverage of the debate surrounding Bernal’s work. A 1991 documentary film on the controversy, simply titled Black Athena, provides a case in point.734 Although it offers plenty of airtime to both Bernal and a varied cast of scholarly critics, the documentary seems primarily enthralled by the dramatic Jeffries, whose classroom antics at City College hijack the film. After a soundtrack of Afrocentric rap music sets the scene,735 Jeffries is first seen clutching a copy of Black Athena in front of an allblack class at City College, singing Bernal’s praises. At another point in the documentary, he informs his class that “we have to go beyond Bernal. See, whiteness limitates [sic] you. It limits you, even when you get into something serious like this.” Supportive of Bernal’s work up to a point, Jeffries disagrees with Bernal’s characterization of the ancient Egyptians as racially mixed and even presents pseudoscientific claims about “African genes” being “dominant” and “European genes” as “recessive.” In all, it is a captivating performance. Like so many portrayals of the Black Athena controversy, the film chiefly amounts to an investigation of African American identity politics. As Dan Georgakas noted in a perceptive review of the movie, “The videomakers make it obvious that they are more interested in the Black than Athena.”736 The Black Athena controversy gained widespread exposure in the American media because the Afrocentric reaction to Bernal’s work underscored traditionalist criticisms of African American studies and introduced uncomfortable questions about America’s fraught racial history. The Afrocentrists—with their bombastic

rhetoric, their bellicose writings, and their unconventional academic backgrounds737—served as a perfect media foil for classical studies, which could be portrayed as the traditionalistic discipline par excellence. In Page 144 →some of the voluminous criticism of the Afrocentric movement, Afrocentrism was made to stand for black studies more generally, and its unsavory elements supposedly delegitimized the new discipline as a whole.738 According to Dinesh D’Souza, for example, Jeffries was a typical presence in the politically correct university. “Jeffries,” D’Souza claimed in Illiberal Education, “is no academic eccentric; he is chairman of the Afro-American Studies department at City College of New York (CCNY), and co-author of a controversial multicultural curriculum outline for all public schools in New York State. Moreover, such extreme views are now frequently expressed by black scholars and activists.”739 D’Souza’s discussion of black studies in Illiberal Education focuses on Afrocentrism alone, as the relevant chapter’s title—“In Search of Black Pharaohs”—attests.740 Jeffries, of course, had earned notoriety in the American media—and had received invitations to appear on popular television talk shows such as Donahue and Geraldo741—precisely because he was an academic eccentric. Although he possessed a following of some sort,742 Jeffries remained a marginal figure, as even Terry Teachout, a critic of black studies, noted.743 Given Jeffries’s dubiousness, however, he (and, more generally, a handful of Afrocentrists) personified African American studies for some detractors.744 There was a reason for this. For many academic observers, Afrocentrism exemplified what was most troubling about the discipline of black studies and underscored concerns about the field’s origins. From its start in 1965, the black student movement’s quest to inaugurate black studies departments and programs at American colleges and universities had proved a surprisingly quick Page 145 →success.745 In response to student protest, San Francisco State University established the first degree-granting black studies program in the fall of 1969.746 Student unrest at other campuses swiftly spawned numerous such departments. Historian Ibram Rogers, an expert on the discipline’s early years, notes that “during the apex academic year of 1968–1969 alone, more than 650 colleges instituted Black Studies courses, programs, or departments. By 1970, after the three most scorching academic years of the movement, nearly 1,000 colleges had organized Black Studies courses, programs, or departments.”747 By 1972, this fledgling discipline was a standard part of the higher education curriculum in the US.748 Such rapid growth could cause problems. Where would colleges and universities recruit scholars to teach in all these programs? This seemed an especially apt concern given the comparative dearth of African American Ph.D.s and the novelty of the field. How could one determine the appropriate qualifications for a professor of black studies when the discipline had not existed only a few years earlier? The origins of black studies in the student protests of the 1960s and 1970s raised other key questions: What was the proper relationship between black studies and black nationalism? Would such departments maintain a traditional stance in regard to their subject matter, or would they prove more activist in their orientation?749 Afrocentrism received great attention in part because the movement seemed implicitly to offer answers to these queries that traditionalists found most troubling. A number of Afrocentrism’s original adherents landed jobs in academia despite their lack of formal qualifications. Yosef ben-Jochannan, for example, affectionately referred to by supporters as “Dr. Ben,” has worked as a part-time or visiting instructor at numerous American institutions and has written extensively on ancient Greece’s debt to Egypt, though he has no formal training in Egyptology.750 John Henrik Clarke, another oft-cited first-generation Afrocentrist, was a professor in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College without having finished high school.751 Even Afrocentrists with Page 146 →more typical academic pedigrees earned positions that raised eyebrows. Thus, Jeffries became a full professor and department chair at City College almost immediately after earning his doctorate. When asked about this unusual appointment by a New York Times reporter, City College president Robert E. Marshak said that at the time it was difficult to attract promising candidates in black studies.752 In its early days in American academia, the Afrocentric movement had ties to autodidact, black nationalist orators popular among segments of the African American population. Although critics of academic specialization such as Bernal may have championed such thinkers, traditionalists were likely to see these academic appointments as betraying a troubling lack of standards.753

Added to these concerns was the hint of anti-Semitism in some Afrocentric precincts.754 As political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg noted, the 1980s and 1990s witnessed a significant increase in anti-Semitism among US blacks.755 According to Ginsberg, tensions between blacks and Jews at colleges and universities were hardly surprising: since the early 1960s, when American academia fully opened up to them, Jews have played an outsized role on university faculties and in administrative positions.756 Ginsberg notes that “efforts by African Americans and their allies to gain a larger share of university budgets and faculty positions inevitably create conflicts between blacks and Jews who, despite their historic support for black causes, are now often the most vigorous defenders of the existing disciplinary structure of the university—a structure from which they derive numerous benefits.”757 Some undoubtedly worried that the anti-Semitic sentiments of Jeffries or benJochannan758 would increase such tensions and hinted at troubles associated with the black nationalist elements of African American studies. For more mainstream supporters of African American studies, critics’ heavy focus on perceived Afrocentric excesses amounted to a threat to the fledgling discipline. In part for this reason, one surmises, Gates, a well-known literary Page 147 →scholar and a key architect of Harvard’s storied Department of African and African American Studies, took to the pages of the New York Times to criticize Afrocentrism in bold terms. In “Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars,” Gates denounced some objectionable writings and statements by Clarke and Jeffries as well as the Nation of Islam’s The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews (1991), a popular text among certain Afrocentrists.759 “The strategy of these apostles of hate,” Gates concluded, “is best understood as ethnic isolationism—they know that the more isolated black America becomes, the greater their power.”760 In addition to airing his concerns about the rising tide of black anti-Semitism, the article allowed Gates the opportunity to demonstrate Afrocentrism’s marginal place in black studies. Such concerns earned the most ink in the controversy over Black Athena. To the American media, the debate surrounding Bernal’s work involved African American studies as an example of what was new about US higher education far more than it connected with classical studies.

Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, an Afrocentrist? The dominance of Afrocentrism in the Black Athena debate was reinforced by a review of Bernal’s work and a number of (proto-)Afrocentric books that appeared in the New Republic in 1992. The piece, given the incendiary title “Not Out of Africa” (and accompanied by a cover illustration of a Greek bust clad in a Malcolm X cap), was the work of Mary Lefkowitz, who soon became Bernal’s chief intellectual antagonist.761 In the review—which she followed up with further articles criticizing Afrocentrism in the popular press762—Lefkowitz connected Bernal’s Black Athena project with the earlier writings of George G. M. James, Cheikh Anta Diop, Yosef ben-Jochannan, and John G. Jackson. Although impressed by the hard work Bernal had devoted to his undertaking, Lefkowitz proved dubious about its results. She criticized Bernal’s use of Page 148 →Herodotus and the supposedly cavalier cast of Bernal’s sociology of knowledge, and contended that he possessed “an exuberance that is more characteristic of the amateur than the professional.”763 Regarding the moral ramifications of Black Athena, Lefkowitz pulled no punches: “To the extent that Bernal has helped provide an apparently respectable underpinning for Afrocentric fantasies,” she wrote, “he must be held culpable, even if his intensions are honorable and his motives are sincere. His intellectual standards are higher than most of his fellow Afrocentrists (and much, much higher than the вЂstandards’ of вЂscholars’ like Leonard Jeffries), but not even he has dealt with the racial issue squarely.”764 The article inaugurated a fierce intellectual back-and-forth between Bernal and Lefkowitz, as Bernal—an expertly trained debater—took issue with nearly all of her substantive claims.765 In a letter to the editor responding to Lefkowitz’s review, for example, Bernal wrote, “I hate racism of any sort and I am sorry if my work has given encouragement to black racists. However, I should be far more concerned if I were an orthodox classicist, maintaining the Aryan Model and supplying aid to the infinitely greater menace of white racism.”766 Their dispute, which grew only more intense after Lefkowitz published an expanded version of her thesis in book form a few years later, became the quintessential feud of the controversy. In Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism

Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History (1996), Lefkowitz touched on her disagreements with Bernal’s work, but homed in on the less scholarly claims of some proto-Afrocentric works, especially those found in James’s conspiratorial tract, Stolen Legacy: The Greeks Were Not the Authors of Greek Philosophy, but the People of North Africa, Commonly Called the Egyptians (1954).767 In addition to presenting a fuller account of the deciphering of hieroglyphics and its role in the scholarly abandonment of Bernal’s Ancient Model, Lefkowitz’s book makes quick work of a number of poorly substantiated Afrocentric contentions, for example, that Socrates and Cleopatra were black and that Aristotle pilfered works of Egyptian philosophy from the Library of Alexandria.768 Lefkowitz also describes—in terms some critics deemed alarmist—thePage 149 → potential dangers of identity politics and postmodern epistemologies for the writing of history.769 In both her memoir about her experiences as a participant in the Black Athena controversy and in an interview with me,770 Lefkowitz mentioned one important shortcoming of Not Out of Africa: the book explains why many Afrocentric contentions are untenable, but offers only a cursory description of the movement’s origins.771 Although she saw Marcus Garvey as a chief intellectual inspiration for Afrocentrism, Lefkowitz did not expend much effort connecting its worldview to America’s disgraceful racial past.772 Why might James, a black man who taught at a historically black college in the segregated Arkansas of the 1950s, have found the “stolen legacy” theme attractive? Lefkowitz’s text does little to link the movement she criticizes to the “black vindicationists” or more generally to the African American experience.773 Not Out of Africa features an implicit tension between two ideas its author expresses. Lefkowitz—properly—insists that the achievements of the ancient Greeks are the legacy of us all: one need not be of Greek or European extraction to see oneself as their inheritors. Elsewhere, however, she maintains that Afrocentric ideas are a calumny against the ancient Greeks because those ideas give the Egyptians “credit” for advances properly attributed to the Greeks.774 Why must we all, as heirs of the ancients, trouble ourselves with the matter of credit? Naturally, one hopes to gain the most accurate understanding of the past, but the notion of credit seems antithetical to Lefkowitz’s broad-minded realization that we are all inheritors of Greek—and Egyptian—wisdom. In any case, in Lefkowitz Bernal found an interlocutor who felt as passionately about the implications of the controversy, was as uncompromising in her Page 150 →approach to the evidence, and proved as talented at writing for a popular audience. As Bernal noted with irritation in his autobiography, Lefkowitz’s responses to Black Athena and Afrocentrism transformed her into a well-known public intellectual.775 The character of their disagreements tells us much about the broader debates over Black Athena. In addition to offering many counters to her arguments, Bernal had a tendency to attribute Lefkowitz’s conclusions to her political conservatism. His assessment of Not Out of Africa, published in the leftist London Review of Books, not only maintained that the book was riddled with errors,776 but also detailed the ways in which Lefkowitz was “intimately connected” with American conservatives. Bernal noted the grants she received from the rightwing Bradley and Olin Foundations, her association with the National Association of Scholars, and even the fact that conservative columnist George Will esteemed the book.777 Bernal, himself pulling no punches, linked Not Out of Africa to the nefarious right-wing goal of destroying multiculturalism.778 No matter how pugnacious the tone of Bernal’s responses to Lefkowitz’s work, they appeared positively irenic in comparison with the drubbing she received in other quarters. According to Asante, for example, Lefkowitz’s criticism of Afrocentricity amounted to an attack on the African people.779 Wilson Jeremiah Moses contemptuously referred to Lefkowitz as an “obscure drudge in the academic backwaters of a classics department.”780 More alarmingly, in a speech condemning her views on Afrocentrism at San Diego State University in April 1997, Khalid Muhammad of the Nation of Islam slammed Lefkowitz as “Dikeda Left-owitch,” a “homosexual,” a “hook-nosed, lox-eating, bagel-eatingВ .В .В . somethingВ .В .В . somethingВ .В .В . so-called Jew.”781 Page 151 →Lefkowitz appears to have taken such abuse in stride. But Bernal’s insinuations about her political outlook irked her because she does not see herself as a conservative. Yet Lefkowitz and numerous other

scholarly critics of Black Athena did not respond in kind. Few academic reviews of Bernal’s project expatiated on—or even mentioned—Bernal’s Marxist background.782 This does not imply that ad hominem attacks on Bernal’s leftism would have been illuminating. But Bernal made much of the ideological motivations of others, and it appears strange that scholars typically did not present a picture of Bernal’s work that was informed by its author’s political views—despite the fact that Bernal went out of his way to present himself as politically engaged.783 Further, Bernal had asserted that ideological factors largely accounted for the nineteenth-century dismissal of the Ancient Model and the adoption of its Aryan replacement. Was it not reasonable to contend that ideology also played a part in Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model? What explains the scholarly disinclination to elaborate on Bernal’s political proclivities?784 Did examinations of his erstwhile Maoism smack of red-baiting? Did they open up his critics to charges of political conservatism—a potentially damning accusation in the hyperpolitical milieu of American academia during the culture wars? Did classical scholars, as a result of their training, feel uncomfortable with this line of argument, preferring to address the content of Bernal’s claims, rather than the ideological motivations lying behind them? Was there something, as Lefkowitz proposed in an interview with me, “un-American” about suggesting that people’s ideas are fundamentally the product of their backgrounds?785 Whatever the reason, scholars’ general hesitance to address Bernal’s political motivations offered him a leg up on his critics: he could attribute his detractors’ arguments to political impulses (real or imagined), safe in the assumption that they would not respond in kind. But this should not Page 152 →imply that Bernal’s ideas were always interpreted with great care. Many critics tended to equate Bernal and the Afrocentric movement; some even labeled him an Afrocentrist.786 Connections unquestionably existed between Bernal’s ideas and Afrocentric claims about the role of ancient Egypt in the Mediterranean world. Bernal, after all, supported the notion of an Egyptian-Hyksos colonization of Greece in prehistory and demonstrated enthusiasm for proto-Afrocentric contentions surrounding the supposed Egyptian provenance of Greek philosophy and science.787 In the first volume of Black Athena, Bernal had also asserted “that many of the most powerful Egyptian dynasties which were based on Upper Egypt—the 1st, 11th, 12th and 18th—were made up of pharaohs whom one can usefully call black.”788 Black Athena, moreover, had associations with Afrocentrism even before the first volume reached bookstores. Bernal’s first publication pertaining to his venture (essentially an early prГ©cis of its arguments) appeared in a special issue of the Journal of African Civilizations, a non-peer-reviewed Afrocentric periodical edited by Ivan Van Sertima (1935–2009), a key figure in the movement.789 Bernal, an iconoclast who seems to have had a shine for conspiracy theories (provided they fit with his political inclinations),790 also possessed a tendency to defend some outlandish claims associated with Afrocentrism. Thus, when the scholarly journal Current Anthropology dedicated a forum to criticizing Van Sertima’s popular book about the supposed African origins of Olmec culture, Bernal wrote a letter of protest.791 In his autobiography, Bernal includes a partial apologia for the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitic polemic The Secret RelationshipPage 153 → between Blacks and Jews, deeming the tract—a favorite text among some Afrocentrists—“a scholarly work.”792 To this one might add an interesting instance of omission. Bernal was almost obsessive in his responses to detractors—except Afrocentrists. Given his penchant for defending his thesis—a penchant that clearly delayed the publication of the third volume of Black Athena by numerous years—his silence in the face of considerable Afrocentric criticism of his work is peculiar.793 Bernal may well have given the Afrocentrists a pass because he saw them as political allies.794 But this could lead followers of the controversy to suppose that the Afrocentrists were not worth Bernal’s time: they were not intellectual sparring partners of the caliber of his other detractors.795 Though one can point to affinities and associations between Bernal and Afrocentric scholarship, these pale in comparison with their differences. Black Athena supports a Semitic provenance for ancient Greek civilization just as much as it asserts an Egyptian one.796 The debate associated with Bernal’s project indeed homed in on the Egyptian portion of his thesis, but it did so as a consequence of the culture wars reception of Black Athena, rather than the substance of Bernal’s arguments.

Further, when Snowden and other critics censured Bernal for insinuating that the ancient Egyptians were black, Bernal retreated from this position, contending that they were of mixed ethnic origin.797 To Manu Ampim, this rendered Bernal a danger to the Afrocentric movement.798 Bernal may have proved too willing to downplay the anti-Semitic tenor of some Afrocentric scholarship Page 154 →but clearly did not share these prejudices.799 Most important, Bernal disassociated himself from the movement. In a response to Lefkowitz’s review article in the New Republic, for example, Bernal was unequivocal: “I am not an Afrocentrist,” he wrote. “I have never been an Afrocentrist. I do not believe that all good things come from any one continent.”800 Critics who continued to connect Bernal unproblematically to Afrocentrism in the face of such denials obviously believed that there was much to be gained from the assertion.801

Black Athena Reviled? Criticism of Black Athena by no means centered exclusively on its intellectual overlaps with Afrocentrism. Although disparaging assessments of Bernal’s work appeared in sundry academic and popular venues802—along, of course, with more positive estimations803—one effort to collect largely faultfinding responses to Black Athena launched a key episode in the controversy. Soon after reading Lefkowitz’s review of the first two volumes of Bernal’s project and the works of various Afrocentric writers in the New Republic, Lewis Bateman of the University of North Carolina Press contacted her about editing a collection of reactions to Black Athena.804 Lefkowitz then enlisted Page 155 →Guy Rogers, her colleague in ancient history at Wellesley, to help her with the task. “The book,” according to Bateman, “was designed to be a critical discussion of Black Athena.”805 Lefkowitz and Rogers thus set about finding appropriate reviews. They wanted to include contributions that were not overtly political, but had been critical of Black Athena in a smart way; ad hominem arguments would not be acceptable. The editors attempted to be reasonably comprehensive: the ensuing collection would contain discussions covering a broad range of topics Bernal had addressed in his first two volumes.806 Although Lefkowitz stressed that the editors did not intend to present any particular point of view toward Black Athena, the resulting volume, Black Athena Revisited (1996), offers an overwhelmingly unfavorable take on Bernal’s work.807 Disagreements still surround the editors’ motives in cobbling together the collection. According to classical archaeologist Eric Cline, then a faculty member at Xavier University, Lefkowitz and Rogers dropped his submission to the book, “Black Athena II: Hypothesis, Hyperbole and Hysteria,” because they found it insufficiently hostile to Bernal’s work.808 Cline sees Black Athena Revisited as “an unjustified hatchet job.”809 Lefkowitz maintains, however, that Cline submitted his piece too late to be considered and that she and Rogers had no ideological stake in cutting it.810 Whatever the case, Cline’s subsequent review of Black Athena Revisited, along with his unpublished submission to the book, demonstrates that Cline’s response to Bernal’s work, though far from hagiographical, was more positive than those of other contributions.811 Nor was Cline the only potential contributor to Lefkowitz and Rogers’s Page 156 →collection whose work ultimately did not appear in the book. Molly Levine withdrew her chapter, fearing that the volume was an attempt to pan Bernal. When she originally contacted Bernal about the possibility of a 1987 American Philological Association panel, Levine wrote, “I mean this to be a wedding and not a lynch.”812 Though Levine saw no impropriety in creating such a negative collection, she did not want to take part in it.813 In both his subsequent review of Black Athena Revisited and in other writings, Bernal expressed frustration with Lefkowitz and Rogers’s refusal to allow him to take part in the collection and respond to his critics in its pages.814 “The most plausible explanation for my exclusion,” he wrote, “is that this volume was compiled in the same spirit as Not Out of Africa, to close down discussion rather than open it up.”815 This was especially the case, Bernal surmised, because he had already published rebuttals to some of the contributions chosen for the collection, yet Lefkowitz and Rogers failed to include them.816 According to Jacques Berlinerblau, whose book-length discussion of Black Athena was published by Rutgers University Press, Lefkowitz and Rogers’s decision not to include these rebuttals amounted to “a seeming violation of an unwritten academic code of ethics.”817

Although Berlinerblau’s analysis of the Black Athena controversy possesses merits, it is difficult to understand his rationale here. Black Athena Revisited, to be sure, is not evenhanded. If the book had included more positive assessments of Bernal’s work, it could have provided a more helpful introduction to the debate.818 Though the collection may indeed bear a misleadingly neutral title,819 charging the editors with academic impropriety is another matter entirely. If a group of scholars dislikes an influential book, what is unacceptable about offeringPage 157 → a collection with a distinctly negative take on it? When Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray published their highly controversial work The Bell Curve (1994), a group of wellknown scholars responded with The Bell Curve Wars (1995), an overwhelmingly faultfinding response to the book.820 They did not grant Murray the opportunity to respond to his critics in their pages.821 What is inappropriate or unethical about this?822 Among the most important contributions to Black Athena Revisited was a chapter written by Jay Jasanoff and Alan Nussbaum, two Indo-European linguists who were Bernal’s colleagues at Cornell.823 “Word Games: The Linguistic Evidence in Black Athena” briefly introduces the principles of historical linguistics and argues that Bernal’s etymologies both failed to live up to these principles and were utterly unscientific. Jasanoff and Nussbaum conclude that “Bernal’s claim to have uncovered вЂhundreds’ of viable Greek-Egyptian and Greek-Semitic etymologies is simply false. We doubt that he has discovered even one such etymology that is wholly new.”824 Of all the many disciplines and subdisciplines on which Black Athena depended, historical linguistics is arguably the most rarified and is the one on which other scholars were most hesitant—if not outright unwilling—to pass judgment. Semitist Gary Rendsburg had previously provided a more positive reaction to Bernal’s etymologies, but he was not an Indo-Europeanist, and Jasanoff and Nussbaum disqualified Rendsburg’s assessment based in part on his own disclaimer that Bernal was his “dear friend.”825 Bernal, who had stressed the vital role of linguistic evidence to Page 158 →his Revised Ancient Model, recognized the importance of Jasanoff’s and Nussbaum’s critique.826 He expended much energy responding to their assessment; volume 3 of Black Athena, in fact, reads chiefly as a retort to Jasanoff and Nussbaum, who, in addition to Lefkowitz, became Bernal’s bГЄtes noires.

Black Athena Writes and Writes and Writes and Writes Back Some time would pass, however, before Bernal turned to work on the third and final volume of Black Athena. One peculiarity of the Black Athena controversy surrounds Bernal’s inclination to respond in print to nearly all of his critics.827 And one can see why: as a masterful debater who enjoyed the limelight, such intellectual contretemps were among his strong suits. Soon after critical reviews of Black Athena began to appear in print, Bernal embarked on a series of retorts, in the form of letters to editors, replies to special issues of journals, and even stand-alone articles.828 Distraught at Lefkowitz and Rogers’s refusal to allow him to rebut his critics in the pages of Black Athena Revisited, Bernal before long hit on another way to respond: some colleagues at a conference in Quebec convinced him that he should publish a collection of his replies.829 David Chioni Moore, an English professor at Macalester College, agreed to edit the book, along with another proposed volume that would present numerous positive scholarly reactions to Black Athena, and thus serve as a rejoinder to Black Athena Revisited. Although Reynolds Smith of Duke University Press showed interest in both books, in his autobiography Bernal tells readers that “at a certain point, Reynolds and I lost contact with David. As a result, the second volume has not appeared, and it is unlikely to do so now.”830 Page 159 →Bernal’s Black Athena Writes Back, edited by Moore, appeared in print in 2001. In addition to providing rejoinders to many contributions to Black Athena Revisited, the book collects some responses to critics that originally appeared elsewhere, certain other republished reviews germane to the debate, and Bernal’s article on the origins of Western science. The longest riposte in the book, as one might have expected, is directed at Jasanoff and Nussbaum.831 Recognizing that the linguistic evidence formed the core of his Revised Ancient Model,832 Bernal took great pains to vouch for his unconventional approach to etymology. To do so, he cast their disagreement in both ideological and methodological terms. Advancing an argument he later expanded in the third volume of Black Athena, Bernal deemed Jasanoff and Nussbaum “hopelessly out of touch with twentiethcentury linguistics.”833 He criticized their “positivist” and “scientific” approach to linguistics and

implied that contemporary work in Indo-European studies is the product of the field’s racist and chauvinistic past.834 The reception accorded to Black Athena Writes Back gives a sense that the controversy was beginning to flag: although reviewed by a respectable number of scholarly outlets,835 the book failed to generate anywhere near the heat and attention directed at Bernal’s previous work. Perhaps no scholarly project on the ancient Mediterranean—no matter how controversial—could remain in the public’s eye for so long; perhaps the attacks of September 11, 2001 (which occurred soon after Black Athena Writes Back hit bookshelves) rendered Bernal’s culture wars struggle less relevant.836

The Legal Onslaught Black Athena Writes Back was far from the last book published on the controversy. In 2008, for example, Lefkowitz, now an emerita professor, contributed a memoir, History Lesson: A Race Odyssey, that in part chronicled her travails as Bernal’s most well-known intellectual adversary. The book offers Lefkowitz Page 160 →another opportunity to criticize Bernal’s work and ties the Black Athena controversy to a related academic quarrel that spiraled out of control at her home institution, Wellesley College. Lefkowitz’s 1992 review for the New Republic introduced her to the world of Afrocentrism, with its sometimes-spirited claims about the ancient Greek theft of Egyptian knowledge. To her distress, Lefkowitz soon recognized that a faculty member at Wellesley was teaching these ideas. Anthony Martin (1942–2013) was a long-serving professor of Africana studies with a Ph.D. in African history from Michigan State University. An Afrocentrist linked to the Nation of Islam, Martin assigned the polemical tract The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews in one of his courses.837 Deeming this book—which attempts to show the outsized influence of Jews in the North American slave trade and is clearly intended to foment anti-Semitism in the black community838—an example of pernicious pseudohistory, Lefkowitz openly criticized Martin for including it on his syllabus as a fair-minded work of scholarship.839 An intellectual battle royal ensued on Wellesley’s campus. On April 5, 1993, four Jewish organizations sent out a press release charging Martin with spreading antiSemitism in his classes.840 By this time, according to Lefkowitz, Martin had already delivered a formal antiSemitic statement directed against Lefkowitz and the Wellesley Academic Council.841 He labeled The Secret Relationship “an excellent study of Jewish involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and African slavery” and highlighted the “primarily Jewish sources” consulted by its authors. Martin also suggested that Jews supported black causes only insofar as they aligned with Jewish “self-interest” and criticized Lefkowitz’s review of Afrocentric scholarship in “the conservative Jewish-owned New Republic.”842 In December 1993, Martin sued Lefkowitz for libel, claiming that she had unfairly and maliciously labeled him an anti-Semite.843 Around the same time, Martin released a self-published book documenting his reaction to the feud. Given the nature of his lawsuit against Lefkowitz, it is curious that he chose the title The Jewish Onslaught: Dispatches from the WellesleyPage 161 → Battlefront. The slim volume is replete with anti-Semitism.844 In May 1999, Martin’s lawsuit against Lefkowitz was dismissed.845 This quarrel seems like an encapsulation of the disconnect between traditionalistic academics and the more contentious Afrocentrists. For traditionalists wary of the changes in American academic life as a result of the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, Martin’s actions could highlight potential problems with African American studies as a discipline. Why was Martin, an expert on Marcus Garvey and his circle, teaching a course on “Africans in Antiquity” at Wellesley?846 How had Martin’s department determined that he was competent to offer a class on this subject? Martin’s full-throated endorsement of The Secret Relationship also cast doubt on his scholarly judgment and raised the possibility that in the classroom he was encouraging his students to endorse black separatism and anti-Semitism. Although Selwyn Cudjoe, then the school’s chair of Africana studies, had criticized Martin’s use of The Secret Relationship as an undergraduate text,847 it is not surprising that the quarrel received attention from the local Boston press,848 since it reinforced traditionalists’ worries about black studies. Martin, like Leonard Jeffries, appears to have been a fringe figure, but his antics still

drew unwanted attention to the field as a whole. This episode may have affected Lefkowitz’s responses to Bernal’s work, especially since Bernal had partially linked himself with some Afrocentric scholars and had a habit of defending the movement from Lefkowitz’s criticisms.849 Oddly, Martin condemned both Lefkowitz and Bernal, conceiving them as part of the same Jewish conspiracy. In The Jewish Onslaught, he writes, “Bernal, a Jew, was precipitously and prematurely adopted by many Afrocentrists, for his exposГ© of the European de-Africanization of Egypt.”850 Minimizing the conflict over Black Athena to the point of distortion, Martin continued, “Despite some polite acknowledgement of difference, Lefkowitz and Bernal actually ended up Page 162 →endorsing white supremacy, making a pitch for possible вЂSemitic’/Jewish origins of Western civilization and denouncing Afrocentrism.”851

The Thrill Is Gone Two years before Lefkowitz’s memoir appeared, the final installment of the Black Athena trilogy was published. The volume commences with a kind of sociology of knowledge dedicated to historical linguistics that attempts to demonstrate the racist and prejudiced trappings of Indo-European studies.852 It expands on Bernal’s criticisms of Jasanoff and Nussbaum in Black Athena Writes Back and presents an apologia of sorts for Bernal’s eccentric approach to historical linguistics, in which he essentially eschews morphological parallels in favor of perceived lexical ones. He devotes most of the remainder of the lengthy tome to a series of proposed etymologies that seek to reveal the major influence of the Egyptian and Phoenician languages on ancient Greek. The book registered surprisingly little impact. Barely reviewed,853 volume 3 of Black Athena seems to have passed by virtually unnoticed. Many classical scholars have no idea that Bernal even wrote a third installment. To be sure, this was mainly the result of timing: fifteen years had elapsed between volumes 2 and 3, far too long a span to keep the public—or even scholars, it seems—engaged with an intellectual project, no matter how divisive. The third volume, moreover, focused on the element in the Black Athena project least appealing to a popular audience. Even by the standards of Bernal’s ponderous volume 2, the last installment seems well nigh readerproof. But other reasons also exist for the vastly different reception accorded to Bernal’s final volume. By 2006, many classical scholars—perhaps partly incited by Bernal’s example—had been working on topics pertaining to ancient multiculturalism. Although Bernal’s contentions about Egypto-Semitic colonization and “suzerainty” in early Greece never won widespread acceptance, the notion of interplay between various cultures in the Mediterranean Bronze Age is now far from controversial. Most important, by the time volume 3 appeared, the culture wars were over. The scandal attached to Black Athena revolved around culture wars disputes over the canon, multiculturalism, and especially black studies. Although these remain contested topics, the attacks of 9/11 forced them to the intellectual sidelines.Page 163 → These days, traditionalist jeremiads about the supposed politicization of American higher education still make their way into print,854 but they now have a dated feel, as if they are ghostly retreads of Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind and Kimball’s Tenured Radicals. In such an environment, and without the public’s obsessive focus on black-white and black-Jewish relations, the wind disappeared from the sails of the Black Athena controversy. Ultimately, classical scholars and the general public had moved on.

Black Athena as Culture Wars Polemic It is impossible to come to grips with the Black Athena volumes and the storm they created without grounding the books in their culture wars context. In fact, Bernal’s undertaking had much in common with the polemics of the period. Although Black Athena obviously delves into scholarly detail in a way alien to such tracts, both Bernal and the culture warriors had a tendency to discuss intellectual issues in a theatrical and combative manner.

Furthermore, many of the themes running through Black Athena bore a close relationship to contentious topics in contemporary arguments over the state of higher education in the US. This is most obviously the case in regard to the subjects of multiculturalism and black identity politics. But the points of contact do not end there. Bernal’s notion of competitive plausibility—even if comfortably confined to the thorny subject of prehistoric Greece—surely drew favor from scholars outside of classics because it overlapped with popular postmodern dismissals of objectivity that were articulated during the academic culture wars.855 Even in its methodological aspects, Bernal’s work had a link to disputes prevalent at the time. The broader context of the academic culture wars also allows us to appreciate the ways in which the Black Athena dispute potentially caused problems for American classicists hoping to join the fray. Given the explicit political purpose of Black Athena, classical scholars who criticized Bernal ran the risk of being characterized (accurately or inaccurately) as politically conservative or even ethnocentric.856 By claiming that his work was above all opposed to the notion of “purity,” Bernal cast his views as a kind of multiculturalism for the Page 164 →ancient Mediterranean.857 Opponents of his ideas could thus be attacked as discomfited by cultural pluralism. Although American classicists as a whole have a wide range of political sympathies, many liberals and leftists among them may have felt torn about Bernal’s work. It might not look good for the field of classics—already under assault in some quarters as the study of dead white European males—if it condemned Black Athena. Bernal’s project was very much in sympathy with some of the intellectual currents of antitraditionalism in the academic culture wars, and the antitraditionalists were on the winning side of these disputes. It thus would seem to have been a pragmatic liability for classicists to align their discipline with academic traditionalism, especially since the traditionalists did not prove notably supportive of classical philology or the centrality of Latin and ancient Greek to American higher education. Some scholars expressed disappointment about the nature of the Black Athena debate: combatants seemed to be shouting past one another, and even though Bernal demonstrated great interest in replying to his critics, few opportunities existed for genuine dialogue.858 In this regard, however, the debate mirrored the struggles of the academic culture wars. The arguments surrounding the canon, affirmative action, and other relevant matters often seemed like exercises in preaching to the converted. James Davison Hunter demonstrated that this made them in tune with the wider ideological disputes of the 1980s and 1990s.859 Moreover, the heat surrounding the Black Athena debate was a major reason the dispute attracted public interest. Had disagreements only been pleasantly expressed in the pages of scholarly journals, no Black Athena controversy would have arisen. Bernal drew so much attention to both classical studies and Afrocentrism at the peak of the culture wars in part because of the decidedly rhetorical and bellicose nature of the debate. All the same, stripped of its connection to African American studies, Black Athena would have been unlikely to attract notice from American news outlets, television programs, or opinion magazines. Despite the ideologically charged nature of the quarrels, moreover, many contributions to the controversy are notable for their high quality. Whatever one’s thoughts about the overall value of his work, Bernal was masterful in his ability to galvanize much of the American media on a topic unlikely to prove of general interest. Lefkowitz demonstrated an ability to write for a popular audiencePage 165 → in a manner all too uncommon among academics. Berlinerblau’s Heresy in the University provides a helpful analysis of Bernal’s sociology of knowledge.860 Josine Blok’s article on Bernal’s misuse of Karl Ottfried MГјller in the creation of his “Aryan Model” may be one of the most powerful criticisms produced during the entire debate.861 Stanley Burstein and Molly Levine thoughtfully addressed connections between Bernal’s ideas and the academic politics of the period.862 Jasanoff and Nussbaum laid out the principles of historical linguistics for a general audience with impressive clarity.863 Especially given the fact that many of these scholars directed their work at general readers just as much as at classicists, the Black Athena debate inspired a striking amount of quality work.

The Simplification of Martin Bernal This is not to say that the culture wars reception of Black Athena had only positive aspects. This framing both simplified and distorted Bernal’s volumes. Most obviously, the Semitic component of Bernal’s thesis

was cast aside, as Black Athena became enmeshed in the era’s concern for African American identity politics.864 Moreover, many critics failed to differentiate—or differentiate sufficiently—between Bernal and the Afrocentrist champions of Black Athena whose views incited so much hand-wringing. Some, including supporters such as Berlinerblau, appear to have overemphasized Bernal’s affinity for postmodernist epistemologies.865 Still others presumed that he had an animus toward the West—undoubtedly because the “tenured radicals” of the culture wars purportedly displayed such antipathy.866 To a degree, then, many observers cast Bernal as the personification of the American academic radicalism of the period. In reality, his views—although overlapping in many cases with antitraditionalist perspectives in the culture wars—were more variegated than some suggested. One prominent example of Bernal’s failure to conform perfectly to the antitraditionalist line pertained to his assessment of the professionalization of classicsPage 166 → as a discipline and more broadly of Western academia as a whole.867 In fact, Bernal’s condemnation of such professionalization might have been expected to delight traditionalist critics of the research culture of American higher education. This is especially the case because many traditionalist critics in the academic culture wars were journalists skeptical of the value of much contemporary scholarship. But Bernal’s opinions on this score also did not conform to those of the traditionalists. For all his loathing of academic specialization and professionalization, Bernal did not look back to humanism, the New Humanism, or the Great Books as a way forward. In fact, he explicitly supported the curricular innovations associated with the research university, despite his distaste for professionalization.868 Although this seems to have gone unnoticed by his critics, Bernal’s stance on these matters left him in a kind of limbo: a decrier of narrow scholarly research who had no interest in the tenets of Renaissance humanism. As iconoclastic as Bernal portrayed himself in regard to his views on Western higher education, he was not so through and through. For someone who saw great value in the spirit of amateurism, Bernal proved mindful and supportive of traditional academic hierarchies. In a response to Lawrence Tritle’s criticism of his work, Bernal wrote, “I have had what would normally be judged to be superb historical training,” mentioning his Cambridge, Harvard, and Berkeley pedigree.869 In a review of a book by Martin West, Bernal noted that West “trained at Oxford and thereby received the best possible Classical education.”870 This unexpected deference to elite research institutions may result from the fact that Bernal fared rather well on such a metric—anyone who considers Cornell University the hinterland must demonstrate a degree of academic selfconfidence.871 But if professionalization was, as Bernal contended, more a curse than a gift, why would highprestige institutions—home overwhelmingly to scholars markedly successful in publishing traditional professionalized scholarship—be worthy of their stature? A scholar affiliated with, say, Harvard University is likely more accomplished in the production of professionalizedPage 167 → scholarship than a colleague at a much less eminent college. But why should this academic pedigree matter to Bernal? Bernal’s approach to the history of higher education has other peculiarities. Bernal’s sociology of knowledge of classical studies is unmoored from a history of the liberal arts in the West and thus incorrectly connects Altertumswissenschaft with the origins of the drive to push a moral agenda on students.872 Black Athena’s description of Humboldt’s favoring of classical antiquity in education comes without a discussion of the liberal arts tradition;873 this makes the dominance of the classics in nineteenth-century Germany seem more dramatic than was in fact the case. In reality, the professionalization of the discipline of classics coincided with the deemphasis on ancient Greece and Rome as conduits for moral instruction. The mania for Egypt that Bernal detected in pre-nineteenth-century Europe, furthermore, must be seen in the context of Renaissance humanism, which privileged literature from Greco-Roman antiquity as the guide to the good life far before Humboldt’s reforms or the demise of Bernal’s “Ancient Model.” In an odd and likely unintended way, Bernal’s work ended up glorifying the academic professionalization he decried. After all, the minute and specialized nature of the Black Athena debate compelled almost all participants to appeal to authority. Detractors of Black Athena without expertise in historical linguistics, for example, could point to the work of Jasanoff and Nussbaum to claim that Bernal’s linguistic arguments were flawed, while Bernal’s supporters could point to the contribution of Rendsburg to argue the reverse. Bernal engaged in Herculean labors to prove at least conversant in a large number of specialized subfields. Others were not going to

trouble themselves with such efforts, which would still not ensure that they would possess the training requisite to make genuine contributions. Thus, participants in the debate often appealed to archaeologists, linguists, and ancient historians to validate their preconceptions of Bernal’s work.874 Bernal’s attempt to dethrone the professionals arguably reinforced the value of their specialized knowledge. The Afrocentric approach to the ancient Mediterranean on display during Page 168 →the controversy must have reinforced many observers’ assessments of the value of professionalization. Afrocentric intellectuals who touched on the supposed Greek theft of Egyptian culture were perfect examples of the spirit of amateurism: deficient in formal training in the relevant languages, ancient history, and source criticism, they produced pugnacious writings that lacked the strengths of much professional scholarship. Although Bernal halfheartedly championed some of these efforts—seemingly out of regard for the Afrocentrists as underdogs—even he did not engage much with this tradition, refusing to respond to Afrocentric criticisms of his work.

A Paradigm Shift for Classics? As was noted at the time, Black Athena amounted to one of the most discussed works of classical studies in the twentieth century.875 It ignited a debate with a popular reach previously unheard of for a project of its kind. So what sort of impact do classical scholars perceive it has had on their field? I asked a variety of classicists who participated in the debate to comment on the establishment’s response to Black Athena. Their assessments varied. David Konstan, who reviewed Bernal’s first volume for Research in African Literature, stressed its positive aspects: “The profession,” he told me, “was open to debate.”876 Stanley Burstein, who contributed numerous articles and reviews on the controversy, was similarly pleased by the fact that Bernal received many invitations to discuss his work. But Burstein also thought that classical scholars too often offered empirical critiques of Bernal’s facts without paying attention to the important questions his work raised.877 Jonathan Hall, who as a graduate student wrote an appraisal of Bernal’s notion of a “paradigm shift” in the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, proved more negative. “There is an unappealing tendency,” he wrote to me, “when one disagrees with a work of scholarship, to discredit the proponent’s entire oeuvre and sometimes, just for good measure, engage in a little character assassination to boot.”878 Although Molly Levine had a more enthusiastic assessment of the field’s response to Black Athena, she Page 169 →expressed discomfort with the ways in which Mary Lefkowitz was demonized for expressing perfectly acceptable views on the controversy.879 Lefkowitz herself suggested that too many classical scholars refused to take part in such an important debate.880 The rows over Black Athena compel us to ponder other questions. Bernal’s project incited markedly dissimilar responses from classical scholars. Some considered the work pathbreaking; others dismissed it as charlatanry. Does this suggest that the field lacks a consensus about the nature of good scholarship? Not according to Alan Nussbuam, who stressed that the wildly disparate reactions to Bernal’s undertaking resulted from the fact that scholars responded to different aspects of Black Athena.881 Positive assessments tended to focus on Bernal’s sociology of knowledge, which was by far the most well-regarded portion of the volumes.882 Josine Blok offered a view in keeping with Nussbaum’s. Since Bernal’s work possessed both merits and demerits, “it depended on one’s viewpoint or particular academic niche whether valuing the one or the other side prevailed,” she contended.883 Eric Cline believed that other factors contributed to these incongruent evaluations: “I’m afraid that for many it was more of a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived вЂoutsider’ stepping on the toes within classical disciplines than it was about good scholarship.”884 Whereas Burstein argued that classics is not a unified discipline and that a unified response to such a controversial work should not be expected,885 Lefkowitz maintained that the methodological chasm between more positivistic and postmodern approaches to classical scholarship accounted for this lack of consensus.886 The scholars I interviewed had similarly varied thoughts on the most important question of all—Black Athena’s impact on American classical studies. On this score, a number of classicists downplayed its influence. “I don’t think it changed the field much,” Lefkowitz said, arguing that Bernal presented a useful challenge to classical studies, but that his ideas were not original.887 Blok noted a Page 170 →variety of

ways in which Black Athena influenced classical studies and included the insight “that debates about origins are among the most disastrous and unproductive one can have.”888 Konstan stressed the positive: “I think that all of us are more sensitive to possible prejudices that implicitly inform research, that of others and of our own.”889 Levine was more emphatic: “It changed the field.” In her view, Black Athena jump-started a multicultural approach to the classics, the move toward ancient Mediterranean studies, and even had an impact on the burgeoning subfield of reception studies, insofar as it led scholars to explore the topic of Classica Africana.890 Yet the Black Athena controversy also had worrisome effects on the American public’s impressions of classical studies. Burstein credited Bernal with drawing attention to more careful work discussing the Near Eastern influence on early Greece, but lamented that Black Athena likely reinforced the classics’ “unfortunate reputation” as reactionary.891 This astute observation brings us back to P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village, the site of the contentious 1996 debate involving Martin Bernal, John Henrik Clarke, Mary Lefkowitz, and Guy Rogers. For all the careful scholarly attention directed toward various aspects of Bernal’s project, such a heated discussion demonstrated that, in some precincts, the ink spilled on Black Athena scarcely mattered. To some in the African American community, the ancient Greek theft of Egyptian civilization apparently was an emotional matter, tied up in understandable resentment over America’s disgraceful racial past. Such passionate responses to scholarly disagreements demonstrated that Black Athena, for all its interest in multiculturalism, could divide rather than unite. To many academic traditionalists, this emotionalism likely proved that Afrocentrism was impervious to reasoned debate and the appropriate use of evidence; to many of Afrocentrism’s supporters, scholarly quibbling over Greece’s debt to Egypt likely underlined white hostility to black achievement. As classicalPage 171 → studies—a field that has thus far failed to attract sizable numbers of African American practitioners—hobble along in an age of preprofessional education, this chasm does not bode well for the future. Nor is this the only potential concern for the discipline. As the next chapter shows, a dispute focused on the field’s classism and elitism generated much heat toward the conclusion of the academic culture wars.

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5 Homer’s Autopsy “In the form in which it has existed up to the present philology is dying out; the ground has been swept under its feet. Whether philologists may still hope to maintain their status is doubtful; in any case they are a dying race.” —Friedrich Nietzsche, We Philologists (1874) “Our professors and graduate students now compete only for professional plums, even fatter professorships and fellowships. When it comes to their lives, they live as unclassically, as untouched by the humanities, as any barbarian.” —William Arrowsmith, “The Shame of the Graduate Schools” (1966)

A Derridean Dinosaur One day in mid-March 1998, Joy Connolly, then an assistant professor at New York University, arrived at her campus office to discover an unusual sight: a cartoon drawing of a dinosaur pinned to the door. Its appearance confused her; Connolly is a classicist, not a paleontologist. All became clear, however, when she took in a response to a book review she had written. A few days earlier, the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, a pioneering online scholarly journal in the humanities, had published Connolly’s negative evaluation of Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (1998), a polemic cowritten by classicists Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath.892 Like studied practitioners of the academic culture wars, Hanson and Heath favored a take-no-prisoners approach. In a response to Connolly’s faultfinding review of their book, the authors wrote a flippant rebuttal. Lampooning the theoretical lingo in which Connolly had couched her review, they asked, “What 1980s Page 174 →tar pit did this postmodern stegosaurus lumber out from? ”893 A graduate student at New York University, after reading Hanson and Heath’s retort, affixed a scribbled dinosaur to Connolly’s door as a humorous gesture of support.894 Although some could chuckle at the controversy it sparked, for many Who Killed Homer? is no laughing matter. A fire-breathing jeremiad on the disintegration of American classical studies,895 the book made arguably the strongest connections between the academic culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s and the discipline of classics.896 To this day, mention of Who Killed Homer? and its authors still gets some people’s dander up. This seems especially true of Victor Davis Hanson, whose work on the book helped transition him from a highly regarded scholar of ancient Greek military history to a prominent neoconservative pundit and public intellectual. As Diana Wright expressed in 2006 on the Classics-L, an Internet discussion board for classical scholars, “It is very strange that almost any other scholar’s background [and] influences can be discussed here without vituperation, but [Hanson] brings out the worst in people. Every single time he is mentioned.”897 Even many years later, Who Killed Homer? still packs a punch. This chapter examines Hanson and Heath’s book, investigating its relationship with the academic culture wars and analyzing the reaction it engendered in both the field of classics and the popular press. Who Killed Homer? presents a vital—and still timely—challenge to American classicists and raises issues of cardinal importance to the discipline’s survival in contemporary US higher education. Benefiting from interviews with numerous participants in the controversy surrounding the book,898 the chapter also demonstrates the ways Page 175 →in which the rhetoric of the culture wars helped to win a wide audience for Who Killed Homer? but derailed substantive conversations about the issues it addresses. Many years later, classical scholars still lack definitive answers to the challenge that Hanson and Heath posed. This is a sign of the discipline’s aimlessness in the period following the demise of Renaissance humanism and the Great Books tradition.

The Hesiod of Selma? In many respects, Victor Davis Hanson is an atypical classical scholar.899 A native of California’s San Joaquin Valley, Hanson, born in 1953, grew up on a raisin farm in Selma, a tiny town twenty-five miles outside Fresno. To this day residing in his childhood home, Hanson is the fifth generation in his family to work the land there.900 The trials and tribulations of family farming shaped Hanson’s worldview; as he details in numerous autobiographical writings, Hanson was raised with the plainspoken, no-nonsense, traditionalistic values of many rural Americans.901 In Fields without Dreams (1996), a bitter memoir lamenting the demise of the yeoman farmer in the US, Hanson describes the outlook of the typical American agrarian: “His political views—nearly exclusively Republican—are incidental to his conservatism. He expresses more a knee-jerk and blanket distaste for fashion, affluence, and leisure—the current cradle of criminality for the urban rich and poor alike. In other words, his own world is an island of absolutes in a sea of relativism.”902 Not for nothing did one classics professor characterize Hanson as “a reincarnation of Hesiod.”903 After graduating from a rural public high school in central California, Hanson not surprisingly experienced culture shock as an undergraduate at the UniversityPage 176 → of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).904 Matriculating in 1971, Hanson perceived that life on campus was anathema to the cultural conservatism of his upbringing. Seeking refuge from the drugs and radical politics that enveloped him, Hanson found his way to UCSC’s classics department, where he “took almost every classical language course offered from the small, but excellent UCSC classics staff.”905 Having earned a B.A. in classics in 1975, Hanson enrolled in the classics Ph.D. program at Stanford University. As he has related in various writings, Hanson’s years in graduate school do not appear to have been happy ones. Already alienated from the values dominant on many college campuses, Hanson found the culture of Stanford’s classics department and aspects of graduate education in the US unappealing. The field seemed to be awash in snobbery. In his telling, many of his acquaintances at Stanford expressed disdain for his agrarian background.906 Although he excelled at the ancient languages, Hanson discovered that he failed certain cultural litmus tests: the hardscrabble farm boy lacked the elite pedigree prized by many of his contemporaries.907 A year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens in the late 1970s proved especially trying. Hanson and his wife felt estranged from the East Coast, Ivy League elitism then prevalent at the institution. Hanson revered Colin Edmonson, a legendary professor at the American School, and despised many of his fellow students, who with their pedantry dismissed Edmonson’s gruff demeanor and boundless enthusiasm for the ancient Greeks.908 Graduate study in classics, Hanson surmised, was designed to produce plodding quibblers rather than intellectually capacious philhellenes. In June 1980, Hanson earned his Ph.D. from Stanford, having completed a dissertation under the direction of Michael Jameson.909 Hanson’s dissertation, published as his first monograph in 1983, ably demonstrates the value of the author’s atypical background to classical studies. Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece argues that “agricultural devastation during the classical age of ancient Greece was more a tactic designed to instigate decisive infantry battle than a comprehensive mechanism for economic warfare.”910 Previous ancient historians, lacking experience on the farm, misunderstood the role of agriculturalPage 177 → devastation in Greek antiquity. Although narrower than Hanson’s later works of classical scholarship, the book is marked by the author’s inclination to draw parallels between the ancient and modern worlds.911 By the time his first monograph appeared in print, Hanson had abandoned an academic career. After completing his graduate work, disillusioned with the nature of professionalized classical studies, he returned to the farm in Selma, aiming to help his family with their grape crop.912 These turned out to be the dying days of the American small-time agrarian. What Hanson later called “the raisin cataclysm of 1983” destroyed his family’s already ailing finances.913 Recognizing the farm’s untenable economic future, he hatched a plan to rustle up a job at the nearby campus of the California State University at Fresno, and he was hired as an adjunct professor of classics in 1984.914 In this regard he proved a great success. By all accounts an extraordinary talent in the classroom, Hanson painstakingly built a classics program at Cal State Fresno, soon earning a tenure-track appointment while teaching

ten or more courses per year.915 His efforts to attract many minority and first-generation college students to classics did not go unnoticed: in 1991 Hanson received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Philological Association (APA). In addition to his teaching and farming responsibilities, Hanson somehow found time to publish. Encouraged by the positive reaction to his first monograph,916 he contributed articles on Greek military history to scholarly journals.917 Hanson also tried his hand at new book projects. In these efforts, he acted on his criticisms of both his graduate program and the nature of contemporary scholarship in the humanities. Hanson sought to write broad, readable books that appealed to both classicists and general readers. His second monograph appeared in print in 1989, published by the trade giant Alfred A. Knopf. An application of John Keegan’s face-of-battle scholarship to Greek antiquity, Hanson’s The Western Way of War is a triumph, a riveting account of the ordinary Greek soldier’s experiences in hoplite warfare.918 The book also inaugurated a controversial thesis prevalent in much of Hanson’sPage 178 → later work on military history: the ancient Greeks pioneered a manner of warfare that has remained the dominant paradigm for Western fighting forces, ensuring the superior lethality of the West.919 More trade books followed. In 1995, the Free Press (then the most prominent conservative publishing outfit in America) released Hanson’s The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization.920 As the title intimates, Hanson connected his personal background to his subject matter, contending that “agrarian pragmatism, not intellectual contemplation, farmers not philosophers, вЂother’ Greeks, not the small cadre of refined minds who have always comprised the stuff of Classics, were responsible for the creation of Western civilization.”921 Peppered with autobiographical asides and unfashionable reflections on the nature of contemporary classical scholarship, the book, though overargued in places, is perhaps Hanson’s finest achievement, a testament to his contention that serious writing on the ancients need not be narrow. In The Other Greeks, Hanson, ever eager to connect classical antiquity to the present, adopts a populist stance.922 Toward its conclusion he writes, “I no longer entirely believe in the traditional scope and presentation of much academic research in the humanities, at least as it is practiced now in the country. Nor do I have much confidence in the methods accompanying that inquiry, nor even in the present environment in which such work takes place. In their present evolved forms, these scholarly practices at times deliberately limit, rather than encourage, access to literature and history.”923 His work had found an audience, and Hanson’s editor at the Free Press, Adam Bellow, encouraged other projects.924 In 1996 the Free Press published Page 179 →Hanson’s Fields without Dreams, an angry threnody for the American agrarian, who had all but disappeared as a consequence of the ravages of corporate farming. Although not a work of classical scholarship, the book allowed Hanson to offer further biting assessments of the field. “True, classics and family farming,” he writes, “have now both become dying, unsustainable professions. But at least there is an element of tragedy in the doomed industriousness of the latter. There is really none in the former’s elite and calculated sloth.”925 By the time Fields without Dreams arrived in bookstores, Hanson and his coauthor were at work on Who Killed Homer?, the jeremiad that gave full expression to Hanson’s disparaging assessment of contemporary classical studies in America.

“Genitives and Genitals” Traces of Hanson’s biography are apparent in Who Killed Homer? The same can scarcely be said of his coauthor, John Heath. In fact, Heath suggests that “there is no obvious connection” between his background and the polemic he wrote with Hanson.926 Born in 1955, Heath, a product of the Los Angeles suburbs, received a B.A. in classics from Pomona College in 1977. Like Hanson, Heath adored the classics department at his undergraduate alma mater. A newcomer to the subject in college, Heath enrolled in numerous Latin, Greek, and German courses. After graduation, he headed to Palo Alto to do graduate work at Stanford, where he focused on Greek and Latin poetry.927

Heath apparently did not find graduate school as trying as did Hanson. Page 180 →He praises his dissertation adviser, John Winkler, and generally believes that his career in classics ran “abnormally smoothly.”928 But from his early days at Stanford, Heath harbored some doubts about the field. He and Hanson found themselves together in a course on Panhellenic sanctuaries, and Heath discovered that Hanson “and a couple of his peers shared my growing skepticism about the quality of the class, some of our professors, and the profession as a whole.”929 Hanson said of their Stanford years: “We were both sort of dissidents that objected to the culture of graduate school, especially the narrowness of the curriculum and the snobbishness of the culture, at least as we in our wisdom of our twenties saw it.”930 Although in the spring of that year the two men played together on a pickup baseball team, when Hanson left California for the American School in Athens, he and Heath lost touch.931 In 1982 Heath completed his Ph.D. and worked for a couple of years as a visiting lecturer at the University of California at San Diego. He then transitioned to a tenure-track job at Rollins College in Florida, where he would restart a lapsed program in classics. A masterful and engaging teacher, Heath won the APA’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1989. By this time, having also contributed a series of solid articles on Greek and Latin literature,932 he had earned tenure at Rollins. In 1991 Heath landed a tenured job in the classics department at Santa Clara University, which allowed him to return to his beloved California. Having published his first book, Actaeon, the Unmannerly Intruder, in 1992, Heath was by all measures a happy, productive, and successful scholar.933 His early published research gives little if any sense of dissatisfaction with the state of classics and classical scholarship.934 All of Heath’s writing tends to be straightforward and lucid, comparatively bereft of buzzwords, although his first monograph seems too narrow in focus to appeal to a broad audience. Yet Heath soon began work on a project strikingly different from his earlier scholarship. Inspired by the contributions to an edited volume, Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis?, he decided to voice his objections to the debates then prevalent in the field:935 “I just came to see my profession had what I thought were inverted priorities—the folks doing the most to keep the Greeks Page 181 →and Romans alive were never heard from, and the folks doing the most to promote themselves (and in the process demote the place of the classical world in both the university and the public) wouldn’t shut up.”936 In January 1993 Heath submitted to the scholarly journal Classical World an essay offering his perspective on the state of classical studies in the US.937 Advancing a novel and interesting thesis, the submission possessed an engaging and combative tone unusual for works of contemporary classical scholarship. Its original title gives a sense of its punchiness: “Genitives and Genitals: Self-Promotion and the вЂCrisis’ in Classics.” Matthew Santirocco, then the editor of Classical World, sent the piece along to Judith Hallett, one of the journal’s associate editors, who was tasked with helping Heath revise it for publication. The resulting essay contended that disputes between old-school philologists and fashionable theorists were a distraction from the real troubles plaguing classics.938 Such rows (the AJP affair presumably among them) ignored the fact that classical studies in the US were home to a de facto two-tiered system that allowed the philological and theoretical heavy hitters to hog the spoils. Heath wrote, “The present theory/philology wrangling among elites must cease to dominate the discussion. As long as what I would call working classicists—the vast majority of the profession—allow a minority of optimates to direct this debate, we are doomed.”939 Heath detected a species of careerism in the battles between philologists and theorists: “So, the division as it now dominates the headlines is left versus right, but the real dichotomy in the profession is between on the one hand the elites, both left and right, whose primary concern is with self-promotion (grounded in ideological posturing and research вЂagendas’), and on the other the vast majority of classicists whose careers depend upon quality teaching, successful program development, institutional service, and research.”940 Fastening on his thesis, Heath was not inclined to tread lightly. The article contains candid criticism of “grandees” in classics and their deleterious effects on the field.941

The editors of Classical World devoted much of an issue to Heath’s piece, publishing it alongside responses from various scholars as well as Heath’s retort Page 182 →to his critics.942 But the article was published only after a grueling editorial process that lasted more than two years.943 The chief participants in that process disagree markedly on the rationale behind it. Hallett informed me that she found elements of Heath’s piece valuable and worthy of expression. She suggested that Heath’s criticisms of elitism in the field—of classism in classics, if you will—were especially compelling. “There was a lot I sympathized with in the paper,” she said.944 But Hallett also believed that the submission was replete with factual errors and “completely unprovable opinions,” especially in its estimation of other scholars’ motivations.945 Heath, for his part, contended that the editors of Classical World sought to defang criticism of Hallett’s feminist allies. It was all fine and good to lament elitism, but it was another matter entirely for Heath to assert that feminist classical scholars were partly responsible for the problems afflicting classics.946 Heath was especially troubled by the fact that the editors of Classical World showed his rebuttal to his critics, offering them a chance to alter their remarks in light of his response.947 Hallett believed that this step was necessary to ensure that Heath’s claims received the scrutiny they required.948 Under the more delicate, truncated title “Self-Promotion and the вЂCrisis’ in Classics,” Heath’s article appeared in the September–October 1995 issue of Classical World. The accompanying responses to it varied from largely supportive to largely faultfinding. David H. Porter, then a distinguished professor of classics at Skidmore College, suggested that it was imperative that the field close the divide between the two tiers in the profession.949 He further advised that scholars should respond helpfully to Heath’s criticisms, rather than act defensively.950 Barbara Gold, who had hired Heath as her replacement at Santa Clara University prior to departing for Hamilton College, also agreed with many of Heath’s points, though she disliked his inclination to paint all feminist classicists with Page 183 →the same broad brush.951 David Konstan supplied a more combative response. Defending professionalized classical scholarship, he dismissed Heath’s piece as “a jumble of complaints dressed up in journalistic prose.”952

Gearing up to Be Gadflies By the time Heath’s article was published, he and Hanson had decided to collaborate on a book-length project that expanded on many of the ideas they had articulated in their earlier discussions of the field.953 Heath’s move to Santa Clara in 1991 had rekindled their friendship, and Hanson had expressed bewilderment regarding the rough editorial process Heath had endured with Classical World.954 Adam Bellow asked Hanson what he planned to work on next. Hanson “decided to take a brief break from writing about modern agrarianism and military history, and mentioned [to Bellow] something like вЂa call for academic populism to save classics.’” Bellow, Hanson said, “was oddly intrigued and took a gamble.” Hanson then suggested Heath as his coauthor.955 The two friends thus set about the task of composing their cri de coeur. The resulting manuscript was the product of numerous false starts and rewrites. According to Heath, “Our first efforts were either too dry or too personal, and our agent and publisher kept pushing us to find a more original and persuasive tone. So we would dump huge chunks and take what was working and turn that into a new section, ad nauseam. Eventually the chapters as they now exist came into view, and by then we had written over the other one several times, so it’s hard to tell exactly who wrote what first.”956 Cognizant of the controversy they would court, Hanson and Heath agreed to an important pact. Hanson said, Page 184 →“We had a general rule that if either of us found something unfair, then we both would agree to cut it. That way, when the storm broke, we were united in standing behind everything we co-authored.”957 They approached their polemic with foresight about the consequences: Hanson told me, “Of course, we both knew that we would be despised in classics.”958

In Praise of Populism The spirit of the academic culture wars can be detected throughout Who Killed Homer?959 The book’s prologue commences dramatically, lamenting the many job applicants at a typical APA annual meeting, desperate to land one of the shrinking number of professorial gigs.960 Announcing from the start their desire to engage with a nonacademic audience, Hanson and Heath write, “You the public will never know who they are, read what

they write, or listen to what they say.”961 Such pitiable aspirants to the professoriate, along with their more established mentors, have presided over the decay of classical studies in the university, thanks to their perverse priorities. “If only,” they exclaim, “we who teach the classical worlds had as many undergraduates—or just interested Americans—as there are professors and graduate students! But then we would need people who think and act like Greeks, not Classicists, to teach us about Greece.”962 Their aim, they tell us, is to investigate “why the Greeks are so important and why they are so little known.”963 The book traces the demise of the ancient Greek vision of the world—what the authors in their shorthand term “Homer”—and implicates the current crop of classics professors in its murder. Hanson and Heath sum up three core arguments in their work. First, taking a page from the Great Books tradition, they assert that the “core values of Page 185 →classical Greece are unique, unchanging, and nonmulticultural” and are responsible for “the duration and dynamism of Western culture.”964 They further contend that “the demise of Classical learning is both real and quantifiable.”965 And finally they stress that the “present generation of Classicists” bears much of the responsibility for the death of classical education in the United States.966 The careerism and fashionable anti-Western politics of these professors, hungry for perquisites and professional advancement, have destroyed the spirit of the Greeks. Moreover, this has all taken place at a perverse point in history: just as the world embraces Western values, America has forgotten the Greeks, the fathers of the West.967 The book’s first chapter attempts to demonstrate that classical studies in the US are moribund. It does so by citing some alarming statistics. “Of over one million B.A.’s awarded in 1994,” the authors announce, “only six hundred were granted in Classics.”968 Emphasizing the dramatic drop in recent high school and collegiate Latin enrollments, Hanson and Heath argue that the field, in good health prior to the conflagrations of the late 1960s, has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.969 And this quantifiable demise has occurred in the face of a glut of narrow research produced by classical scholars. Surveying the immense number of recent monographs and journal articles, Hanson and Heath assert, “We are a very busy profession in our eleventh hour.”970 Like many traditionalists in the academic culture wars, they bemoan the arcane narrowness of much professionalized scholarship. Hanson and Heath conclude the chapter with a potted history of classical studies in the West.971 The Greeks have always had their share of detractors, they stress, but only in the past three decades have classicists failed to defend them. This survey seems misleading in places, crafted to give readers the impression that all was fine and good for classical studies prior to the 1960s.972 For example, Page 186 →they write, “Classics remained the core of all education throughout the nineteenth century, a time when our knowledge of Classical antiquity itself grew in quantum leaps.”973 This is incorrect: the end of the Civil War signaled the demise of Renaissance humanism in the US and the concomitant removal of the classics from the heart of the liberal arts.974 In fact, this change has amounted to the most profound challenge in the history of American classical studies. The impetus to produce highly specialized scholarship, furthermore, commenced in the nineteenth century, a period that Hanson and Heath here laud.975 Their desire to foist the blame on the current generation of classicists, of course, conforms to ideas promoted in the traditionalistic tracts of the academic culture wars, which viewed the late 1960s as the death knell for American higher education.976 In their second chapter, Hanson and Heath elucidate what they suggest are the quintessential values of the ancient Greeks—a collection of ideas foundational to the West that the authors call “Greek wisdom.”977 Defending their unfashionably broad characterization, the authors reduce ancient Greek history to several core ideals: the disconnection of science and research from religious and political power; civilian control of the military; support for consensual and constitutional government; the separation of church and state; the dominance of middle-class values; private property and laissez-faire economics; and societal self-criticism.978 They assert that these principles resulted from “the self-reliant way of the agrarian demos, which rested on (1) seeing the world in more absolute terms; (2) understanding the bleak, tragic nature of human existence; (3) seeking harmony between word and deed; and (4) having no illusions about the role culture plays in human history.”979 The chapter offers strikingly specific lessons to be learned from the ancient Greeks, including disdain for political

correctness,980 moral relativism,981 and Page 187 →the social sciences.982 Interestingly, given Hanson’s later career as a hawkish foreign policy pundit, the authors write, “No ancient Greek would believe that the Islamic world, with a bit more patience, will learn the advantages of our democracy.”983 The failure of contemporary American classical scholars to explain and plump for this Hellenic legacy and to live according to its precepts accounts for the dilapidated state of the field. Hanson and Heath’s notion of Greek wisdom overlaps with ideals associated with Renaissance humanism. The authors of Who Killed Homer?, like Salutati and Bruni before them, stress that students must take in the sagacity of the ancients.984 Hanson and Heath also focus on moral issues: education should be a guide to life, and professors thus must practice what they preach.985 But Hanson and Heath offer a Great Books twist: to them, “Greek wisdom” is crucial because it informs modern Westerners about their roots and thus explains how to deal with the vicissitudes of the present. Whereas the Renaissance humanists connected ancient authors to individual self-improvement, Hanson and Heath’s approach is more historically informed, the product of a grand narrative espoused in many of the old Western civilization courses.986 Their desire to have classical scholars stress “Greek wisdom” in their classes may sit awkwardly with criticisms Hanson and Heath offer of politicized, “therapeutic” disciplines.987 Elsewhere in his oeuvre, for example, Hanson has lambasted ethnic studies professors for presenting rosy views of their subjects.988 Would gender studies courses stressing “women’s wisdom” not draw ire for presenting too sanguine an approach to their subject? Although Hanson and Heath note the downsides of Greek culture,989 they suggest that classicists should focus on the positive, which will demonstrate the importance of the ancient Greeks and appeal to more students. How does this differ from an “ethnic pride” approach to Chicano studies, which Hanson’s later work criticizes as simplistic ego stroking?990 Page 188 →The authors’ appeal to classicists to live like Greeks could have similar pitfalls. Should other specialists in the contemporary academy embody the ideals of the subjects they study? Should African historians live like Africans? Should biologists live like biologists? If this approach is reserved for classical scholars, it naturally betrays a connection with pedagogical ideals in early America. But one wonders how, pragmatically speaking, this could be accomplished in an institutional environment at odds with Hanson and Heath’s recommendations for the field.

Tenured Radicals—and Tenured Philologists Although such notions were unlikely to win much approbation among contemporary classicists, the authors pulled out all the stops and kicked up the book’s most tremendous fuss in the third chapter. Seemingly channeling Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals, Hanson and Heath excoriate a variety of recent works in classical studies, suggesting that their authors are responsible for murdering the ancient Greeks.991 The chapter includes a merciless whirlwind tour of purported excesses, quoting and ridiculing snatches of writings on Homer. The authors perceive that such work is indicative of the academy’s abandonment of “Greek wisdom” in favor of selfpromoting obscurantism. Some of the authors’ barbs are directed at philological traditionalists, scholars producing the sort of narrow, technical work that Georg Luck esteemed. Such professors, Hanson and Heath contend, seldom had much interest in teaching992 and in the face of new institutional and ideological pressures “sadly became even more reactionary,” refusing to produce work accessible to the public.993 Quoting dense passages from the scholarship of David Shive, Ahuvia Kahane, and Stephen Timothy Kelly, Hanson and Heath conclude, “It is a fair generalization that even Classicists find their own philologists as obscure as their theorists.”994 But the chapter reserves the lion’s share of its scorn for classicists influenced by the multicultural movement and postmodern literary theory. Such modish types, the authors aver, have sold out the Greeks by aping the radical anti-Western politics regnant in the academy. These classicists have done so, Hanson and Heath contend, in search of professional privileges. Although these professorsPage 189 → trumpet their left-wing egalitarianism, their writing exposes them as self-obsessed elitists. The authors pillory examples from a range of such works, produced

by scholars such as David Halperin,995 Marilyn Katz,996 and Charles Martindale.997 In conformity with traditionalist tracts from the academic culture wars, Hanson and Heath complain that “Classicists now вЂprivilege,’ вЂuncover,’ вЂconstruct,’ вЂcruise,’ вЂqueer,’ вЂsubvert,’ and вЂdeconstruct’ the вЂtext.’”998 Despite acknowledging that the ancient Greeks had their faults—slavery and the subjugation of women most obvious among them—the authors contend that voguish classical scholars have overplayed these sins and thus undermined the Greeks’ accomplishments. Hanson and Heath assert that these professors are walking down a well-trodden path: “The most important legacy of the Greeks and Romans,” they write, “is this uniquely Western urge to pick apart everything—every institution, tradition, and individual.”999 This point may cause problems for their broader thesis. After all, if societal self-criticism remains such a fundamental aspect of the Greek legacy, in what way are the radical scholars Hanson and Heath criticize failing to hold true to the spirit of “Greek wisdom”?1000 The tone of the book then alters dramatically in chapter 4, in which the authors provide a heartfelt description of the trials and tribulations associated with the teaching of the ancient Greek language.1001 Given its rigors, Greek remains countercultural in the contemporary university setting, especially at the introductory level.1002 Fastening on to the ideal of education as character development,Page 190 → the authors suggest that the goal for a contemporary classics professor is “in figuring out how to convince today’s eighteen-year-olds to undertake grueling memorization, to read Plato, to understand Socrates, to alter the way they think and act—to become the good citizen of a good community.”1003 The chapter includes an appreciation of the careers of Colin Edmonson and Eugene Vanderpool, whose infectious enthusiasm for the Greeks lives up to the authors’ model for classical scholars.1004 It also presents reflections on Homer’s Iliad, which the authors, taking a detour from their populism, deem superior to the Odyssey.1005

Utopian Reforms Hanson and Heath’s final chapter presents a list of proposed reforms.1006 Despite its title, “What We Could Do,” the chapter offers suggestions that are obviously utopian, and the authors inform their readers that they do not expect these ideas to be adopted.1007 In regard to the undergraduate curriculum, many revolve around a supercharged approach to the Great Books that would require students to enroll in numerous core courses in Western history and culture,1008 along with two years of obligatory Latin or ancient Greek.1009 Skeptical of vocationalism1010 and condemning of the social sciences,1011 the authors tout an ideal undergraduate curriculum that fits reasonably well with traditionalistic perspectives from the academic culture wars, although Hanson and Heath’s focus on the classical languages connects with an antebellum Page 191 →educational tradition missing from the work of traditionalists such as Bennett, Kimball, and Sykes.1012 The advice that Who Killed Homer? offers to professors of classical studies seems more dramatic and controversial. Stressing the misplaced priorities of many in the field, the authors recommend a minimum of a sixcourse teaching load per year1013 and a concomitant diminution of scholarly publication. Such published work, they further suggest, should be broad and accessible to the public.1014 Teaching, not esoteric research, should be the chief criterion for advancement.1015 As for graduate study in classics, Hanson and Heath argue in favor of major alterations: a dramatic shortening of time to degree and the scrapping of dissertations, inter alia.1016 Given the unlikelihood of the adoption of these reforms, the chapter closes on a pessimistic note, foreseeing a Dark Age for Greek wisdom.1017 More hopefully, the book ends with an appendix in which Hanson and Heath present an ancient and modern reading list that will enable nonclassicists to gain familiarity with the Hellenic legacy.1018

Ready for a Brawl Unlike most books written by classical scholars, Who Killed Homer? arrived in bookstores only after some attention-grabbing advanced publicity. Herbert Golder, the editor of Arion, found out about the forthcoming book from Bruce Thornton, Hanson’s colleague at Cal State Fresno, and asked Hanson and Heath if he could publish an advanced extract in his journal.1019 Arion, a classics journal linked to the legacy of William

Arrowsmith and devoted to publishing broad and accessible work, seemed like the perfect outlet for Hanson and Heath’s bold jeremiad. In keeping with the spirit of the journal, Golder was hunting for material that would challenge the status quo of classics. Although he agreed only with some of Hanson and Heath’s arguments, he considered Page 192 →their work a valuable addition to a crucial debate.1020 Thus the fall 1997 issue of Arion carried a truncated foretaste of Hanson and Heath’s thesis, titled simply “Who Killed Homer?”1021 This article assisted in spreading the word about the book in academic circles. But broader publicity helped announce Hanson and Heath’s work to the general public. In early March 1998 the New York Times devoted column space to the forthcoming book. The piece casts recent disagreements among classical scholars as struggles between philological traditionalists (such as Georg Luck, whose “AJP Today” manifesto is mentioned) and innovative theoreticians.1022 The author of the Times piece, Paul Lewis, also quotes a gloomy John Heath: “The dumbing down of the classics is under way,” he complains. “There will be nothing left in a generation.”1023 The archives of the Classics-L suggest that some were keenly anticipating the publication of Who Killed Homer? Steven J. Willett, for example, asserted that the book “should explode quite nicely in the midst of Classics’ afternoon tea.”1024

A Divided Reaction Who Killed Homer? hit bookshelves later in March and soon received a spate of reviews in the popular press. As Hanson and Heath noted,1025 most newspapers and general-interest magazines provided positive—though in many cases not entirely praiseworthy—estimations of the book.1026 In the Washington Post, Camille Paglia, whose own fearsome prose seems like a model for Hanson and Heath’s, lauded Who Killed Homer? as “the most substantive by far of the academic critiques that have appeared in the past 15 years.”1027 Although many favorablePage 193 → reviews appeared in right-of-center outlets,1028 George Scialabba’s fawning write-up in the democratic-socialist quarterly Dissent demonstrated that the book had potentially wider appeal.1029 Reviews in academic journals were, on the whole, more condemning.1030 Connolly, for example, considered the book’s approach to the Greeks “unscholarly” and “inexcusable.”1031 Classical archaeologist Margaret Miles asserted that “the presumed moribundity in the university is largely owed to attitudes like those of the authors, who dismiss archaeology as merely peripheral and ancillary.”1032 The book’s detractors offered a number of reasonable criticisms. Many noted that Who Killed Homer? directs the brunt of its wrath at the moral failings of individual classical scholars and devotes insufficient attention to American academia as a system.1033 In contemporary American higher education, many classics professors place great emphasis on narrow scholarly research because the professionalized university has since the late nineteenth century incentivized this aspect of their jobs. College administrators, ever on the hunt for institutional prestige, recognize that peer-reviewed scholarship—along with research grants and healthy endowments—is the coin of the realm. If most professors want to keep their jobs, have an opportunity to move to other institutions, or raise their salaries, producing scholarly research is the key. This hyperfocus on publication is in many ways regrettable, and Who Killed Page 194 →Homer? is correct to bemoan this pervasiveness. But American academia has been moving in this direction for well over a century, and individual classical scholars can do little on their own to change course. Classical studies, moreover, do not seem to be a primary offender in these matters. Especially given the fragility of enrollments in the classical languages at most colleges and universities, classicists are often more concerned about effective instruction than are their colleagues in other departments.1034 In some ways Who Killed Homer? reads like an extended ad hominem argument: it blames careerist classical scholars for blights in academia that are broader in nature. How were classical scholars to eschew narrow research if its creation remains the most crucial prerequisite for job security in the contemporary university? How would the field survive if its practitioners cut themselves off from the research culture of American academia? Given the bleak vision of human nature offered in Who Killed Homer?, it is odd that its authors put so much stock in what is,

in essence, a moral appeal. Professors of all stripes have long been incentivized to prioritize scholarly research at the expense of other aspects of their jobs. Thus they often devote great attention to that area. Without far-reaching structural changes, this is precisely what pessimists such as Hanson and Heath should expect. This hints at another potential shortcoming: numerous problematic features of contemporary American academic culture justly criticized in Who Killed Homer? have a longer pedigree than Hanson and Heath allow. Like many critiques of higher education from the academic culture wars, their polemic objects to the workings of the German-style research university. German influence on American academia owes its origins to the nineteenth century. Thus a number of Hanson and Heath’s criticisms of professionalized classical study can be found in the writings of earlier authors. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), who resigned from his post as the chair of classical philology at the University of Basel in 1879, for example, excoriated the lifelessness and trivialization of the field. His work We Philologists, unpublished during his lifetime, disdains the abandonment of humanistic ideals in favor of the pseudoscientific quibbling of Altertumswissenschaft.1035 According to a 1966 article by William Arrowsmith, Page 195 →academic humanists “have betrayed the humanities” in a lame attempt to ape the sciences.1036 These laments seem similar in spirit to Who Killed Homer?, and their existence demonstrates that one cannot consider 1968 the first annus horribilis for classical studies in America.1037 The further American higher education retreated from the curricular traditions of the antebellum colleges, the more problems would brew for the classics. Both narrow philological work and poststructuralist approaches may prove unpopular with contemporary undergraduates, but this is not necessarily a primary cause for a decline that would be expected without them.1038 Hanson and Heath’s critique of narrow philology seems open to the same charge, as a glance at a mainstream scholarly classics journal produced prior to the late 1960s illustrates. Readers of a 1935 issue of the American Journal of Philology will find Aubrey Diller’s “Codex B of Strabo,” W. H. Worrell’s “An Early Boharic Letter,” Herbert C. Youtie’s “Note on О‘ОЎО§О™О›О›О‘Оќ,” and J. E. Harry’s “Sophocles, Electra, 363–64.”1039 They will happen upon oodles of untranslated Latin and Greek throughout these articles, which were obviously intended for a scholarly audience. This does not suggest that Hanson and Heath’s critique of professionalized classical scholarship lacks merit. Indeed, their bold and unflinching criticisms offer a vital opportunity for classicists to take stock of the direction of their field. But there are problems with Hanson and Heath’s timeline. American scholarly classics journals from their inception in the late nineteenth century courted a readership of professionals alone.1040 Both Hanson and Heath responded candidly to this point. “Well,” Hanson said, “the Free Press was not going to publish an account of flawed nineteenth-century classical education.”1041 Heath elaborated: “We wanted to write a book Page 196 →that would be of interest to non-academics, and we felt that there was no need to rehash that story. What was interesting to us was what was killing classics in the 80s and 90s, and why nonacademics should care.” The book’s focus on the late 1960s as the turning point for classics in American higher education also had the benefit of conforming to the portrait of decline promoted in other manifestos from the era of the culture wars.

A Spirit of High Dudgeon Nor was this the only overlap between the academic culture wars and the debate surrounding Who Killed Homer? Unsurprisingly, given the book’s acerbic tone and message, some reviews took issue with Hanson and Heath’s arguments in bellicose fashion. Peter Green, a distinguished historian of Greek antiquity, offered two strong-worded replies to the book.1042 In one he concluded that “the cumulative impression made by Hanson and Heath in this manifesto is of two muddled, romantic, but power-hungry would-be Guardians, raiding antiquity indiscriminately for ammunition, irritated by the need to вЂentice’ students, and jealous of their more apparently successful colleagues, against whom they level repeated charges of arrogant and destructive elitism.”1043 Karl Galinsky, Green’s former colleague at the University of Texas at Austin, despaired of Hanson and Heath’s “blowhard rhetoric.”1044 In a trenchant review in the Times Literary Supplement, James Davidson dubbed Hanson “Mr. Angry” and contended that his “true vocation” was “seething.”1045

Hanson and Heath’s replies to such tough-worded criticisms helped grant the debate the trappings of a culture wars vendetta. In 2003, Hanson explained to journalist Laura Secor, “When someone attacks me, I reply with twice that.”1046 This was clearly Hanson and Heath’s modus operandi in their responses to negative estimations of their book. Like Martin Bernal, whose umpteen published replies helped drive the debate over Black Athena, Hanson and Heath became Page 197 →prolific responders to their critics.1047 In these retorts they demonstrated their flair for bruising polemic. A response to Charles Martindale’s largely faultfinding estimation of Who Killed Homer? labeled him a charlatan.1048 In response to comments in the Classical Bulletin, Hanson and Heath ridiculed Thomas Palaima’s “wrong-headed pomposity” and called him “a Europe-trotting careerist.”1049 But surely they were toughest on Green, whose disparaging review in the pages of Arion earned him castigation as a self-serving hypocrite.1050 This was the rhetoric of the academic culture wars, and its use lent an attention-grabbing but dispiriting character to the debate over Who Killed Homer? All the qualities of culture wars disputes appeared in the fracas: the spirit of high dudgeon, the sledgehammer prose, the harping on weaker arguments and the ignoring of more substantive charges, and the penchant for preaching to the converted. In Martindale’s view, Hanson and Heath’s aggressive retort “did not engage with what I had to say.”1051 Martindale agreed with many points in Who Killed Homer?—for example, he believes that the contemporary academy overemphasizes research at the expense of teaching. But Hanson and Heath’s acerbic riposte, Martindale said, turned him into a caricature, “the hated postmodernist.”1052 Palaima had a similar impression: Hanson and Heath seemed content to disregard substantial criticisms of their positions in favor of “scoring points.”1053 Green offered an even stronger reaction to the debate: “With the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have touched the debate with the proverbial bargepole. It became very clear that [Hanson and Heath’s] main objective was to get publicity through provocation, something at which they showed themselves past masters. The wisest thing would have been to ignore their book entirely.”1054 Hanson and Heath had combed the polemics from the academic culture wars and followed that style to a T.1055 As was the case with Bloom’s and Kimball’s Page 198 →work, this combative tone drew the attention of nonacademics, but also gave the debates surrounding Who Killed Homer? a highly partisan character. By proving so bruising to their critics, Hanson and Heath paradoxically reduced the likelihood that classical scholars would join the fray and engage in a topic of both paramount concern and general importance. The authors’ trenchant replies suggested to those without the stomach for fierce rhetorical combat that it remains better for classical scholars (especially early in their careers) to stay out of the fray, to write comfortably arcane scholarship that will not cause hullabaloos. Such a reaction is regrettable, especially since Who Killed Homer? lucidly articulates many faults of the contemporary academic universe. Even scholars at odds with Hanson and Heath’s vision of classical studies should come to terms with the book’s potent challenge to the profession.

Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Republican? Ideological factors undoubtedly contributed to the combative quality of the debate surrounding Who Killed Homer? Many academic reviewers highlighted the political character of the book, explicitly or implicitly labeling Hanson and Heath (neo)conservatives. Green, for example, likened them to Newt Gingrich.1056 Connolly asserted that the book was couched in a “thick layer of familiar neo-conservative slogans.”1057 Martindale argued that Who Killed Homer? at times lapses “into that more mindless form of conservatism which projects as timeless whatever it regards as вЂtraditional.’”1058 The inclination of numerous scholars to emphasize the authors’ political leanings marks an interesting difference between the field’s reactions to Who Killed Homer? and to Black Athena. Despite the deliberate emphasis Bernal granted to the political character of his work, classicists responding to Black Page 199 →Athena by and large shied away from discussions of Bernal’s Marxism. The reaction to Hanson and Heath’s book was markedly dissimilar. To journalist John Allemang, Who Killed Homer? “naturally attracted charges of elitism and right-wing intellectual jingoism, especially since Hanson and Heath placed their arguments for rescuing Homer and company in a context that was defiantly pro-Western.”1059

This is not to suggest that critics of Who Killed Homer? were incorrect to note numerous parallels between arguments appearing in the book and the conservative polemics of the academic culture wars. Hanson and Heath, for example, refer to Kimball’s Tenured Radicals as a “classic”1060 and more generally demonstrate their affinity for traditionalistic critiques of American higher education.1061 Who Killed Homer? also largely condemns feminist classical scholarship as well as research on sexuality.1062 Further, Hanson and Heath broadcast throughout their book the superiority of Western civilization,1063 and this position, though perhaps unremarkable in American intellectual history prior to the late 1960s, these days betrays conservative affinities.1064 But the desire of critics to foreground the conservative political character of Who Killed Homer? is intriguing also because Hanson and Heath took pains to suggest that they were not typical American right-wingers. They stressed, for example, that neither had ever voted for a Republican.1065 The book also criticizes economic inequality1066 and contemporary corporatism1067 and appears unenthusiasticPage 200 → about American attempts to promote democracy abroad.1068 Hanson’s post-9/11 transformation into a hawkish political pundit may lead readers to presume that his views were more reliably conservative when he cowrote the book than was in fact the case.1069 To this day, Heath does not self-identify as conservative: “With the publication of Who Killed Homer? I found myself an atheistic, vegetarian, pro-choice, gun-control advocating, never-voted-for-a-Republican conservative. This could only happen in the academy.”1070

Political Suspects The conservative character of Who Killed Homer? played a prominent role in many scholarly reactions to Hanson and Heath’s opus. Even before it appeared in print, the book was the focus of heated debates on the ClassicsL. This included very critical assessments. James O’Donnell, then a professor at the University of Pennsylvania,1071 wrote, “The basic argument contradicts itself with a degree of unselfconsciousness not often seen outside Washington DC. The study of the classics has a good effect on those who pursue it. But the people who have studied classics the most are a bunch of hypocrites and have thus ruined the study of classics for others.”1072 Some were less mannered in their response. One labeled Hanson and Heath “fucking assholes” and “bitter, envious pricks.”1073 Still others clamored to defend the book, suggesting that those whose hackles it raised were out of touch with the serious troubles plaguing the field. All this online hand-wringing—which suggested that Who Killed Homer? had touched a nerve with many classicists—led to a much-discussed episode. On May 11, 1999, more than a year after the book had been published, Mark F. Williams, a classics professor at Calvin College, noting a martial metaphor in Hanson and Heath’s jeremiad, asked on the Classics-L (in jest, one presumes), Page 201 →“Have H&H ever been shot at?”1074 This led to a response on the forum from Judith Hallett: “Their names were given to the FBI during the nationwide effort to find the Unabomber, at a time when he was thought to be in his early 40’s and based in northern California.”1075 Asked on the Classics-L how she could conceivably know this information, Hallett spilled the beans: “It was I who phoned the FBI hot line, to say that while I didn’t suspect either of any bombings, I thought that both might have leads as to the bomber’s identity since they shared views and a similar mode of exposition.В .В .В . At the time I was working on Heath’s contribution to that 1995 [Classical World] issue we kindly agreed to center on his prequel-to-WKH?-essay, and I was struck by many similarities between his and VH’s message and style, and those of the Unabomber’s manifesto (as well as a physical resemblance: the drawing of what he was supposed to look like depicted as a handsome blonde male in a hooded sweatshirt with a strikingly sculpted chin).”1076 Hallett’s message was met with an avalanche of replies, mostly from outraged classical scholars. “I cannot conceive of anyone taking the initiative in giving names to the FBI,” wrote Diana Wright.1077 Debra Hamel asked, “Having discovered you were incorrect in associating H&H with the Unabomber, did it really strike you as a wise choice to sully their reputations by mentioning them in this public forum in connection with him?”1078 Hallett was greatly distressed by the heated responses to her confession. Although she told me that for some time she had wrestled with the appropriateness of contacting the FBI about Hanson and Heath, she maintains to this day that she did the right thing.1079

The scandal soon caught the attention of Joseph Bottum, the literary editor of the Weekly Standard, a conservative political and cultural magazine. Amused by the contretemps, Bottum decided to pen a column on the topic, which he sent on to the Wall Street Journal.1080 On May 28, the Journal ran Bottum’s piece, which ridicules Hallett for her actions. According to Bottum, Hallett had “inventedPage 202 → the first new technique in years for answering one’s academic critics.”1081 Bottum suggested that Hallett’s timeline of events was problematic: though she claimed to have contacted the FBI in 1994, Hanson and Heath had not published anything in tandem until their Arion snippet from Who Killed Homer? appeared in 1997. How could she have deemed both men suspects prior to the appearance of their coauthored work?1082 Bottum found the brouhaha delicious: “All academic comedy runs on the irony of the gap between professors’ dreary lives and petty ambitions, on the one hand, and the elevated nobility of the humanities they study,” he said. “But the discipline of classics, in particular, expands that comic irony into the broadest of slapstick—for surely the Greeks and Romans ought to have taught their professors something through the long years.”1083 In a full-scale 2001 examination of the fiasco, Heath supplied a sober take, viewing the episode as indicative of the academy’s ideological imbalance.1084 He doubted that Hallett had contacted the FBI. Rather, he suggested that she invented the story as revenge for Hanson’s brutal 1998 review of a book she coedited.1085 The field’s failure to ostracize Hallett for her actions, Heath declared, demonstrated its political tilt. If Hanson and Heath, the “conservatives” in the conflict, had called the FBI on Hallett, classicists would have treated this matter very differently.1086

An Explosive Paperback Nor was this the only kerfuffle associated with Who Killed Homer? Another volatile episode surrounded the book’s paperback edition.1087 Soon after the Page 203 →hardcover version appeared in print, James H. Clark (1931–2013), the director of the University of California Press, contacted Hanson and Heath, hoping to win the rights to the paperback.1088 Erich Gruen, an ancient historian at the University of California at Berkeley and Clark’s friend, explained that the press was experiencing “some financial strains, and the prospect of a book that might actually make money had its attractions.”1089 Clark, who had been a formative figure at the press and a staunch supporter of the classics, also enjoyed publishing books that pushed the envelope, and this helped attract him to Who Killed Homer?1090 For the book to appear under the auspices of a university press, it would now have to pass through at least a perfunctory peer review and earn the favor of the University of California Press’s editorial committee. Given the waves Who Killed Homer? had caused in scholarly circles, this could prove a tall order. Luckily for Clark, the representative for classics on the committee at that time was John Lynch, Hanson’s undergraduate mentor from UCSC.1091 On June 19, 1998, Lynch reported on the book to the committee, which officially approved publication.1092 All seemed to be going smoothly. But complications soon developed. Kate Toll, then the classics editor at the press, informed me that she opposed the book’s publication “from the outset.” She thought that Hanson and Heath presented tendentious assessments of valuable research in the field and feared that the press’s publication of the paperback would signal to scholars that she had given it her imprimatur.1093 Seth Schein, who soon took Lynch’s place as the classics representative on the committee, also disapproved of publication. When Clark informally asked for feedback, Schein declared that Who Killed Homer? “wasn’t a scholarly book, and it wasn’t the sort of book that a scholarly press should publish.” Much material in the polemic, Schein thought, was “intellectually irresponsible and unscholarly.”1094 Such responses appear to have given Clark misgivings about Page 204 →the book—misgivings that were only strengthened by negative feedback he received from other scholars.1095 Both Toll and Schein surmised that Clark had not read Who Killed Homer? prior to contacting Hanson and Heath about the paperback version; rather, he likely got the idea from some early positive reviews in the popular press.1096 Clark found himself in a bind: he had agreed to publish a book that he suddenly recognized was polarizing and widely scorned. As Hanson and Heath later related, the press started to drag its feet, seemingly in an attempt to compel the authors to withdraw their book. Although they were originally told that the paperback

edition would appear in the spring 1999 catalog,1097 this soon changed. Hanson and Heath added a spirited afterword that replied to the book’s critics. The authors explained the University of California Press’s response to the new material: “Quite mysteriously we heard literally nothing from UC Press for several months—aside from a few anguished e-mails from Kate Toll, the Classics editor, informing us that a few Classicists had requested that UC change sections of the text they did not like.”1098 Following further delays and demands to cut—or greatly condense—the acerbic afterword, Hanson and Heath withdrew the book.1099 They then sought out a trade publisher, and Encounter Books, a small conservative outfit, produced the paperback in 2001. This version contains a preface in which Hanson and Heath detail their run-in with University of California Press. With characteristic forcefulness, they excoriate the press, asserting that it preferred to cater to academic orthodoxy, rather than to engage in open debate about important issues facing classics.1100

Page 205 →Points of Agreement The rancorous debates inspired by Who Killed Homer? are a testament to the bellicose spirit of the culture wars that informed it. But they also can obscure important examples of consensus among the authors and their critics. Despite the condemning assessments of the book from many in the field, numerous scholars suggested—both in their original print reviews and later interviews with me—vital points of agreement between their positions and those articulated by Hanson and Heath. Although admitting as much may have been unpopular, this intimated that Who Killed Homer? presented a provocative and compelling challenge to the status quo. When the book was first published, some observers agreed that classical studies were experiencing a crisis.1101 The conversations spurred on by the publication of Culham and Edmunds’s Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis? undoubtedly contributed to a feeling of alarm, but many American classical scholars in the late twentieth century believed that something was amiss in their field.1102 In interviews with me, numerous scholars demonstrated that they continue to agree with points that Hanson and Heath articulated. Many perceived that contemporary classical studies place too much emphasis on the creation of peer-reviewed scholarship for advancement. Some were outspoken about the problem. According to Charles Rowan Beye, whose critical estimation of Who Killed Homer? appeared in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review,1103 “Research is in many, many ways a waste of time.” Not much is new in classics, he said, so scholarship in the field often mulls over the same topics, most often advancing some small new point.1104 Connolly worries “about the pressure on young Page 206 →scholars to produce a book within six or seven years of getting the doctorate; not every dissertation makes a good book, so there are a lot of mediocre books out there that exist primarily for the purpose of job security.”1105 Green agreed, stressing that “the pressure on young scholars to publish, especially to publish books, is excessive.”1106 Golder criticized the peer review process. Although some peer review is necessary, he contended, “it is antithetical to originality.”1107 In a similar spirit, some critics expressed sympathy for Hanson and Heath’s portrait of the field’s elitism.1108 Others esteemed the Great Books.1109 Still others supported a focus on broader, more accessible scholarship.1110 In a further example of consensus, Martindale stressed that Hanson and Heath were correct to center classical studies on the successful teaching of undergraduate students.1111 Palaima agreed. He benefited from a fabulous undergraduate education in classics at Boston College. If his mentor had been as tied to the research imperative as is essential nowadays, Palaima suggested, he might not have been such an inspiring teacher.1112 We should not overstate such points of agreement. Many critics opposed Hanson and Heath’s contentions and often did so spiritedly. The authors’ views on “Greek wisdom” proved especially unpopular.1113 Some scholars deemed Hanson and Heath’s approach to the ancients simplistic, reductive, and even jingoistic. Their proposed reforms also met with strong objections, even from those who esteemed the book.1114 But the bellicose rows inaugurated by Who Killed Page 207 →Homer? must not lead us to overlook the fact that classical scholars of disparate outlooks have harbored similar reservations about the field and its relationship to the culture of the

contemporary American multiversity. It remains unfashionable to say so, but Hanson and Heath’s book has a lot to recommend it.

Contacts with the Culture Wars Who Killed Homer? is almost a paradigmatic example of a culture wars polemic. If anything, Hanson and Heath’s tome was even more designed to irk professorial sensibilities than the work of Bloom, D’Souza, and kindred traditionalistic critics. Books such as Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals, for example, inadvertently flattered leftist scholars. Kimball viewed them as earnest threats to the tradition of Western high culture and perceived their attempts to indoctrinate students as dangerous. Kimball, in short, contended that the efforts of “tenured radicals” in print and in the classroom were important, albeit pernicious.1115 Hanson and Heath, conversely, though similarly critical of the postmodern academic Left, undercut such pretensions to its importance. In their view, these pseudoradicals were engaged in a careerist parlor game—one that involved padding their CV’s rather than cramming radical politics down the throats of unsuspecting students. Who Killed Homer? portrays academic leftism as a self-delusional joke, a hypocritical stance from those itching to climb the totem pole of American academia.1116 Such an assessment was likely to incite heated reactions. Page 208 →In part for this reason, the field’s response to Who Killed Homer? differed notably from its reaction to Black Athena, despite the fact that both were polemical works in tune with the spirit of the culture wars.1117 For example, fewer classical scholars chose to discuss Hanson and Heath’s work than Bernal’s opus.1118 To some degree, this must be related to the fact that Hanson and Heath’s book did not generate the same sort of buzz as Black Athena did. In many respects, Who Killed Homer? reads like a classically inspired version of Kimball’s Tenured Radicals. By the time Hanson and Heath’s book was published, Kimball’s book was already eight years old and provided the blueprint for many other traditionalistic attacks on American academia.1119 If classical studies had been such a conspicuous offender in the realm of politicized, reader-repellent scholarship, surely the well-read Kimball would have mentioned it.1120 Yet neither Kimball nor his fellow traditionalists included classical scholars in their rogue’s gallery of radical humanists. But the disinclination of many in the field to respond in print to Who Killed Homer? must be related to the nature of its topic. Bernal, for all his unconventional academic derring-do, offered an argument in Black Athena about the nature of Greek prehistory. Many scholars were experts on this topic and thus were qualified to respond. Hanson and Heath, however, attempted to connect classical studies to the contemporary world. As Golder noted in an interview with me, most classical scholars—lacking formal training in this area—do not possess the background and vocabulary necessary to make such connections. Although it was easy to dismiss the idea of “Greek wisdom” as simplistic, it proved far more difficult to suggest an alternative rationale for the study and teaching of classics in the late twentieth century—and beyond. Whatever one’s views on Who Killed Homer?, Hanson and Heath possessed the courage to supply their own vision. Especially in the wake of the demise of the Great Books and obligatory Western civilization courses on the large majority of American campuses, few could articulate a compelling raison d’être for study of the classics.Page 209 → This remains a major problem, insofar as Hanson and Heath’s appeal to the relevance of classics appears as timely as ever, in an era uncongenial to the humanities.

Long-Standing Dissatisfaction Some of Hanson and Heath’s criticisms have resonance because they point to serious shortcomings associated with the research culture of the contemporary German-inspired university. One can quibble with aspects of their analysis. The teaching and advising of graduate students can be toilsome, for example, and it seems myopic to push the blame for the demise of classics on a small assortment of “grandees.” But American academia does fetishize scholarly research productivity at the expense of good teaching, does rely on exploited adjunct labor,1121 and does encourage minute specialization rather than broad thinking. And it does these things in an effort to compel the humanities to fit a model of scholarship more appropriate for the natural sciences. Although

classical studies are not a primary offender in these regards, Hanson and Heath’s plea for a less researchobsessed approach to higher education has great merit. Their book connects with a long tradition of criticism that knowingly or unknowingly bemoans the demise of the old spirit of Renaissance humanism. Who Killed Homer? also points to serious pitfalls for classical studies in the future. The field’s survival in American academia assuredly relates to its former primacy and as a result to the prestige it accords to colleges and universities that house classics departments. In many cases, this may well remain the chief argument in the classicist’s arsenal when faced with an administrator who aims to put the department on the chopping block. If classicists are unwilling to vouch for the cardinal importance of Greco-Roman studies—whether in the manner of Hanson and Heath or through some other intellectual means—how will the field thrive? Despite the timeliness of such questions, classical scholars remain divided on the impact of Who Killed Homer? Many perceived it as having minimal influence. According to Page duBois, a professor of classics and comparative literature at the University of California at San Diego, Hanson and Heath’s tome had “no impact, as far as I can see.”1122 Donald Kagan, a Greek historian far more amenable to the book’s thesis, agreed, lamenting that it had “no effectPage 210 → at all.”1123 Even Heath doubted that Who Killed Homer? made much of a lasting impression, though he suggested that its publication could be related to the lesser prestige the field currently accords to “postmodern theoretical publication.”1124 To some observers, the book’s minimal influence is troubling. Connolly asserted, “I regret that nothing more substantive occurred as a result of the book” especially because the questions Hanson and Heath “raised at the end of the book are important. It is both good and bad news that many classicists are still asking them.”1125 Others, however, believe that Who Killed Homer? had important repercussions. Frank Frost, who reviewed the book for New England Classical Journal, said that “For all the distaste for [the book’s] tone, it made people look a little more carefully at how much teaching they were doing.”1126 Palaima, though critical of Who Killed Homer?, asserted that it was useful insofar as it made clear to holdouts that they could no longer get by teaching nothing but tiny advanced courses in Latin and ancient Greek. “It couldn’t have hurt to have a wake-up call,” he stressed.1127 Bruce Thornton supposed that Hanson and Heath’s book “at least gave heart to many in the profession who were equally disturbed by what was happening and grateful to have the issues articulated and brought into the open.”1128

In Praise of a Big Tent Though almost two decades have passed since the publication of Who Killed Homer? and the raucous debate that ensued, the most crucial questions implicitly posed by the book remain unanswered. What sort of ideological rationale can best defend the study of the classics in contemporary academia? Can the field blossom—or survive—without it? Hanson and Heath’s book did not provide definitive answers to these queries, but their continued pertinence seems like cause for worry. In the meantime, life has continued for most classics departments across the country. And Hanson and Heath have gone on to different sorts of careers. Heath, now a full professor at Santa Clara University, has continued to write Page 211 →mostly conventional classical scholarship.1129 He recalled, “For the next five years or so after publication [of Who Killed Homer?], I didn’t bother to send any prospective article to an American journal.В .В .В . I didn’t trust American editors to be impartial.” When he perceived that the storm had passed, Heath resumed contributing to such outlets.1130 Hanson, now retired from Cal State Fresno and a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, used his expertise in ancient military history to transition to a notably successful career as a pundit and political analyst. A prominent defender of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, Hanson writes at a feverish pace, penning a variety of nonfiction books and columns and even a novel.1131 He has remained true to his populist vision for the classics, writing, for example, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and the Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War (2005) for the trade publisher Random House. Surely to his critics’ chagrin, Hanson has emerged as among the most famous classical scholars in America and an influential writer in conservative circles.1132

Many in the field disagree with Hanson’s politics.1133 Some may decry his high profile, since it could offer Americans outside academia the misimpression that classical studies are the preserve of conservatives. But benefits can accrue from his prominence, especially given the profile of his audience. On November 1, 2011, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was busy lambasting the Occupy Wall Street movement on his nationally syndicated program.1134 He began his excoriation with a description of a photograph taken by a college student linked to the movement. In the photo, a young woman holds a sign that reads in part, “I graduate in seven months with a useless degree in Classical Studies.” Warming up to his subject, Limbaugh revels in disdain for the field. “Tell me, any of you at random listening all across the fruited plain, ” he implores, “what the hell is Classical Studies? What classics are studied? Or, is it learning how to study in a classical way? Or is it learning how to study in a classy as opposed to an un-classy way?” This leads Limbaugh to trot out a conspiracy theory. “Socialists” and “liberals” have knowingly diluted American higher education so that students are unqualified for jobs and must turn to the government for aid. Reveling in utilitarianPage 212 → contempt for the liberal arts, he barks, “If you go to college, do not do Classical Studies.” After a commercial break, however, Limbaugh began backpedaling. It seems a number of his listeners wrote to him with their objections. He announced, “Well, you know, it’s obvious as I look into this Classical Studies business it is obvious at one time it was something of great esteem, something of tremendous import and value.В .В .В . Victor Davis Hanson, he actually created the classics program at California State University Fresno in 1984, and he was a professor there until recently.”1135 Although reluctant fully to admit his error, Limbaugh informs a caller whose children attend a “classical Christian school” and learn Latin that such studies are inherently valuable. Once Limbaugh discovered that Hanson was a classics scholar, he changed his mind about the field. Whether or not one agrees with him, Hanson has done a great deal to make classical studies appeal to many in the general public—chiefly among adherents of a political movement that has grown increasingly vocational and antihumanistic in its views on education. From his perch as a columnist for National Review Online, for example, Hanson has defended the humanities from what he calls the “utilitarian right.” “America has lots of problems,” he wrote. “A population immersed in and informed by literature, history, art, and music is not one of them.”1136 On their own, such pieces cannot turn dyed-in-the-wool pragmatists into devotees of classical studies. But they are a step in the right direction and an important ingredient in the defense of the study of the ancient Greeks and Romans in America.1137 Ostracizing Hanson and Heath repeats their mistake: in our current intellectual and pedagogical climate, the field needs to attract all sorts of supporters, from conservative traditionalists to idol-smashing radicals. Who Killed Homer?, by virtue of its culture wars rhetoric, became the source of fearsome feuds and angry recriminations. It seems unfortunate that the fuss kicked up by the book, understandable as it was, left the field incapable of coming to terms with the serious—even existential—issues discussed in its pages. For the field to thrive in the decades to come, we should drop the defensiveness and begin the search for answers. But how do we do that? The final chapter aims to chart a course ahead.

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6 Toward Ending the Crisis for Classics “Here and there some exceptionally gifted classical teacher, mostly by sheer attractiveness of general temperament, enlists in his classes larger numbers than the average for his subject, but even if every classical instructor possessed the erudition and charm of the Admirable Crichton and the horse-power drive of a Ford trimotor plane, the struggle would still be an unequal one as between the classics and most other subjects.” —William Alexander Hardy, “The Amiable Tyranny of Peisistratus” (1937) “Without a clear statement of why the ancients are worth studying, classical education loses its purpose.” —Robert E. Proctor, “The Studia Humanitatis: Contemporary Scholarship and Renaissance Ideals” (1990)

Where Are We Coming From? The academic culture wars reinforced the marginality of classical studies in American higher education. Although observers have noted—and bemoaned—the humble standing of the classics at US colleges and universities, 1138 this marginality is even more severe than many have supposed. The public debates over the canon that took place in the 1980s and 1990s demonstrated that neither side perceived the classical languages as an integral element of the proper education of young Americans. In a prolonged dispute regarding the role of the humanities that piqued the public’s interest, classical studies remained on the periphery. This must amount to one of the most regrettable missed opportunities in the field’s history. Classics departments were largely irrelevant to the well-publicized struggles of the period. Even the Black Athena controversy—the one classically based Page 214 →row in the culture wars that received wide exposure—did not really highlight the classics, but instead focused on African American studies and their relation to the United States’ fraught racial history. The AJP affair, though interpreted as a struggle typical of its time, hinged far more on pragmatic than on ideological concerns. Although Who Killed Homer? had pronounced links with the traditionalistic tracts from the academic culture wars, the book launched a replay of earlier struggles, and this, combined with its late appearance in the skirmishes, ensured that it would attract more debate among classical scholars than the populace at large. The connection between Who Killed Homer? and a wider audience, moreover, centered on its mimicry of culture wars contestations over the study of English literature in America. Classics professors, Hanson and Heath implicitly contended, were producing scholarship as opaque and politically tainted as their colleagues in English departments. Given the discipline’s outsized role in the earlier history of American colleges and universities, classical studies should have played a pivotal part in a struggle centered on teaching and research in the humanities. But they did not. Instead, the classical controversies analyzed in this book often underscored the irrelevance of GrecoRoman studies to US higher education. Estimations of these controversies in the popular press either reinforced preconceptions of American classicists as elitist and reactionary (the Black Athena debate) or modish leftists, like other humanities scholars (the Who Killed Homer? controversy). In short, during the culture wars, the classics were always an afterthought. Scholars underestimated the insignificance of classical studies in the era of the culture wars in part as a consequence of misunderstandings about the place of the ancient Greeks and Romans in the pedagogical conceptions of academic traditionalists. Amy Richlin and Karl Galinsky, for example, presumed that critics such as William Bennett and Allan Bloom supported a vision of educated Americans that placed the classics in a central position.1139 Yet this was not the case: most culture wars traditionalists, although slightly more amenable to classical studies than some of their opponents, did not stress language study and proved hostile to the minute

philological analysis that is the hallmark of much classical scholarship. In reality, neither side in the wider debates focused on the classics. The failure of classical scholars to promote the significance of the ancient Greeks and Romans to contemporary Americans must have reinforced impressionsPage 215 → of the discipline’s irrelevance. At least since the late twentieth century, classics professors in the US have said little about the importance of their subject to the general education of Americans. The decreased popularity of Western civilization sequences (or required world civilization courses) and the concomitant dominance of the smorgasbord approach to undergraduate curricula has left the field incapable of articulating a broadly supported vision of Greco-Roman studies as crucial to an educated person. Undoubtedly, the pervasiveness of the Altertumswissenschaft ideal in the discipline has helped leave American classical scholars in the dark about earlier traditions connecting ancient authors to salutary character formation. The shock surrounding Who Killed Homer? partly pertained to Hanson and Heath’s bold insistence that the Greeks and Romans were indispensable subjects of study for all educated Americans.1140 Such pronouncements appear unpopular in an intellectual environment dominated by a free-market approach to general education. Accordingly, classicists nowadays have no more to say for their subject’s significance than do biologists, political scientists, or engineers about their own. And unlike many other specialists, classical scholars cannot rest on their laurels, content to presume that students will flock to their classrooms in search of either vocational advantages or easy As. Classical studies played a minor role in the academic culture wars in large measure because most classical scholars allowed this to happen. Although a number of American classicists took part in these debates, the large majority shied away. As raucous and unpleasant as these skirmishes could be, refusing to engage proved to be a mistake, especially for such a small and embattled field in the increasingly embattled humanities. There are many reasons why classical scholars declined to participate in the academic culture wars, and some of them are not specific to their discipline. For example, the nature of academic advancement—the cardinal importance of peer-reviewed scholarship to the cursus honorum—is by no means a feature of higher education unique to classicists. But other issues that helped keep classics on the sidelines are likely more influential on the field than on others. The defining influence of Altertumswissenschaft puts a premium on minute, specialized research and encourages classical scholars to eschew broader topics and themes. The dominance of this approach in the discipline has also disconnected classics from the ideals of Renaissance humanism and from the Great Books tradition. And this leaves classics professors increasingly unwilling—or even Page 216 →unable—to vouch for the value of their subject to undergraduate education. In their own ways, both the Italian humanists and the Great Books enthusiasts stressed the significance of classical antiquity for people living in the contemporary world, either through the development of good character or by gaining an understanding of the grand narrative of the West. Without such ingredients, classical studies present no greater claim to our attention than any other subject in the university buffet. This is not a recipe for success.

Continuity and Change This should not lead us to believe that the 1980s and 1990s were decades of abject failure for American classical studies. In fact, the controversies examined in this book allow us to take stock of changes—both for better and worse—in the field since the dawn of the culture wars. To help us with our conclusions on this and other topics, this chapter includes the relevant results from a survey I conducted of members of the Society for Classical Studies with American mailing addresses.1141 These results—from the first broadly representative survey of its kind—give us a better sense of what American classicists think about their discipline, its current place in US higher education, and its prospects for the future. American classical studies now appear markedly more equitable for female scholars than was the case in the 1980s.1142 The AJP editorial board currently boasts more female than male members, and it is hard to imagine the journal returning to the state of affairs during Luck’s second editorship, when it had only one female

representative. The journey of the Women’s Classical Caucus from maverick outsider to established insider in the world of American classicalPage 217 → studies helps demonstrate its successes in establishing a fairer discipline. For younger scholars, some of the field’s former practices—the nonanonymous review of scholarly papers, the widespread relegation of female classics professors to women’s colleges—must now seem unfathomable. In regard to the participation of underrepresented minorities, however, the field does not appear to have been anywhere near as successful. The Web survey demonstrated the paucity of minority professors among American classicists. Of the SCS members with US addresses surveyed, 88.6 percent self-identified as white, 2.3 percent as Asian, 2.3 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 1.3 percent as black. No respondents self-identified as a native Hawaiian or from another Pacific Island. Thus the profession remains notably short of minority professors, despite the fact that Bernal’s Black Athena helped inaugurate a wellspring of scholarly interest in the topics of race and ethnicity in antiquity. Bernal’s work and the reaction it engendered in the popular press reinforced perceptions of classical studies’ conservatism.1143 Although this impression predates Bernal’s project, the publicity surrounding debates between Afrocentrists and classical scholars did not help matters. In that sense, Black Athena, with its faultfinding generalizations about contemporary classical scholars, caused problems for the discipline. Such misperceptions not only contribute to a dearth of ethnic minorities in classics, but also underscore (incorrectly, I think) the presumption that the field is hidebound, at odds with other disciplines in the contemporary academy. Indeed, Bernal offered a strikingly different view of classical studies from that promoted by Hanson and Heath. To some degree, this must have been the result of the elite education Bernal experienced in Britain during his youth, but he soon recognized that his portrait of the field was a caricature. Nevertheless, by the time he did so, the damage was done. Issues of class also continue to plague the discipline. The star system that Hanson and Heath scorned in Who Killed Homer? is still very much with us. Its effects, however, seem more noticeable in other (less marginal) fields, which lavish comparatively large salaries, light teaching loads, and other perquisites on a few academic optimates. None of this should be surprising, since major structural changes in American academia would have to take place for this class system to disappear. Thus the field—like so many others in the contemporary academic universe—remains afflicted by the prevalence of poorly paid visiting professors, lecturers, and adjuncts.1144 Despite the increase in attention to the topic in recent years, the effects of a large professorial underclass on instruction Page 218 →in colleges and universities seems slow to resonate with the American public.1145 Academic elitism, though by no means confined to the discipline, could cause more problems for classical studies than for healthier fields. It can hinder crucial reforms. Those in the profession’s top tier are, by dint of their institutional affiliations, most likely to be shielded from the existential dangers facing other classics departments. And classics professors at prestigious, Ph.D.-granting institutions play an outsized leadership role in the field.

Are the Classics in Crisis? Despite the problems we have catalogued, classical studies continue to limp along on many American campuses. Some departments seem notably successful in attracting student interest, others less so. One could hardly characterize the field as vibrant. If anything, the classics remain a “boutique” discipline, a status marker for elite state and private institutions.1146 Does this state of affairs suggest that American classical studies have been experiencing a prolonged period of crisis? The language of crisis dogged the discipline throughout the culture wars.1147 Thus Luck’s AJP editorial statement led to the publication of Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis? and the WCC’s report “Is Classics Dead?”1148 Hanson and Heath’s dire prognostications for the field demonstrate that a sense of gloominess prevailed more than a decade after the AJP affair. Classicists on various sides of disputes spoke of crisis: to some, the field’s failure to heed changes detectable in other humanities disciplines signaled classics’ imminent demise; to others, the jettisoning of the Great Books approach meant doom. Undoubtedly reinforcing this sense of crisis has been a spate of more recent pieces in the popular press lamenting

the deterioration of the humanities in American higher education.1149 As administrators chase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) dollars and increasing percentages of students adopt a vocational approach to their studies, the humanities have been left behind, the sick man of US colleges and universities. Page 219 →Recent work on trends in American institutions of higher learning has attempted to question this narrative of the humanities’ decline.1150 What the media report as a steady, inexorable drop in humanities students really amounts to a more complicated pattern. Doom and gloom about the humanities in America, furthermore, rely heavily on figures relating to the percentages of humanities majors in the past fifty years or so. As critics suggest, this is a problematic metric: the great expansion in preprofessional concentrations at most American colleges and universities since the 1960s suggests that the percentage of humanities majors would flag during this period. Figures on the percentages of majors also cannot give us a sense of how many students take classes in the humanities—as part of their concentrations, general-education requirements, and electives. Before the late nineteenth century, there were no classics majors—because the major and minor system did not yet exist. Yet one could not argue from this fact that the classics played an inconsequential role in early American collegiate education. Despite this more complex picture, there are indeed reasons to fret about the place of classical studies in the US. Employment prospects for classics Ph.D.s remain grim.1151 According to statistics gleaned from recent editions of the APA Newsletter (see table 1), the total number of nontenured jobs filled through the placement service operated by the American Philological Association (APA) (which was never robust to begin with) has tanked in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. In the 2006–7 academic year, for example, 117 candidates landed nontenured jobs. By 2008–9, that number had dropped to forty-nine. In 2010–11, US universities awarded eighty-five Ph.D.s in classics (see table 2). Yet only fifty-nine pre-tenure positions were filled during that year. Prospects for gainful employment become bleaker in light of the fact that many who received Ph.D.s in prior years remain on the market, in search of permanent positions, and because some people earn non-American doctorates but find academic jobs at US institutions.1152 Under the circumstances, as table 2 shows, it is striking—even alarming—that recent years have witnessed a gradual uptick in the number of classics Ph.D.s earned at US universities. To make matters worse, an increasing percentage of available jobs in classics are visiting positions (i.e., off the tenure track). As table 1 illustrates, in 2007–8, almost twice as many positions filled through the APA placement service were for tenure-track professors as for visitors and postdocs. By 2010–11, however, Page 220 →the total number of visiting positions had nearly equaled those for tenure-track professors. America’s economic recovery may lead to improved employment opportunities for prospective classics professors, but the increasing pace of the adjunctification of instruction in US higher education is not cause for optimism. Though these days only around 40 percent of students entering classics Ph.D. programs complete their studies,1153 those who earn degrees face a slim chance of landing tenure-track positions. These problematic job prospects continue, as Latin enrollments in American higher education have risen and fallen in recent years. Since 1958, the MLA has collected data on foreign-language enrollment in US colleges and universities. Prior to 2009, those numbers grew slightly for Latin.1154 In 1980, for example,Page 222 → 25,035 students took Latin classes at US institutions. By 2009, that number was up to 32,606. The MLA’s most recent figures, however, demonstrate an alarming plunge: Latin enrollments in 2013 dropped to 27,192—a 16.2 percent dip since 2009. And there are other grounds for worry. Small percentages of collegiate Latin students enroll in upper-level courses,1155 and this leaves many of these classes precariously small. Table 1. Pre-Tenured University and College Appointments Filled through the APA Placement Service Number of Academic Number of Visiting Assistant Professor, Assistant Total Pre-Tenure Positions Filled Year Lecturer, and Postdoctoral Positions Filled Professor (i.e.,

Number of Assistant Professor Academic (i.e., Year TenureTrack) Positions Filled 2010–11 2009–10 2008–09

Number of Visiting Assistant Professor, Lecturer, and Postdoctoral Positions Filled

30 (51%) 29 (49%) 21 (38%) 34 (62%) 24 (49%) 25 (51%)

2007–08 60 (65%) 2006–07 78 (67%) 2005–06 59 (63%) 2004–05 51 (63%) 2003–04 71 (59%) 2002–03 52 (68%) 2001–02 87 (63%) 2000–01 77 (55%) 1999–2000 52 (64%) 1998–99 67 (60%)

32 (35%) 39 (33%) 35 (37%) 31 (37%) 50 (41%) 25 (32%) 51 (37%) 63 (45%) 29 (36%) 44 (40%)

Total Pre-Tenure Positions Filled

59 55 49 92 117 94 81 121 77 138 140 81 111

Source: Data from APA Newsletters, Note: I counted the number of the relevant positions advertised as filled in the respective issues of the APA Newsletter. Some issues of the newsletter are not available online, so the data are incomplete. In addition, some institutions may not advertise their hires, and some classics Ph.D.s may land academic jobs through other avenues. Despite these limitations, the data present an idea of the job market for recent classics Ph.D.s. Page 221 →Table 2. Number of Ph.D.s Awarded in Classics in the US Academic Year [Digest Table #] Ph.D.s Awarded in Classics 2012–13 [318.30] 92 (48 men; 44 women) 2011–12 [318.30] 99 (52 men; 47 women) 2010–11 [317] 2009–10 [290] 2008–09 [286] 2007–08 [275] 2006–07 [275] 2005–06 [265] 2004–05 [258] 2003–04 [252] 2002–03 [253] 2001–02 [255] 2000–01 [255]

85 (47 men; 37 women) 77 (48 men; 29 women) 79 (40 men; 39 women) 75 (49 men; 26 women) 68 (46 men; 22 women) 72 (44 men; 28 women) 63 (30 men; 33 women) 70 (39 men; 31 women) 76 (45 men; 31 women) 56 (32 men; 24 women) 51 (31 men; 20 women)

Academic Year [Digest Table #] Ph.D.s Awarded in Classics 1999–2000 [258] 1998–99 [258] 1997–98 [257] 1996–97 [258]

56 (32 men; 23 women) 66 (39 men; 27 women) 75 (42 men; 33 women) 51 (29 men; 22 women)

1995–96 [253] 1994–95 [253] 1993–94 [244]

63 (39 men; 24 women) 54 (28 men; 26 women) 77 (43 men; 34 women)

1992–93 [241] 1991–92 [242]

60 (34 men; 24 women) 58 (36 men; 22 women)

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Note: Although the table numbers differ among issues of the Digest, the table titles remain largely the same: “Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctor’s Degrees Conferred by Degree-Granting Institution, by Sex of Student and Discipline Division [Field of Study].” Prior to 2004, the categories for classics concentrations (listed under “Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics”) included “Classics,” “Greek (Ancient and Medieval),” and “Latin (Ancient and Medieval).” Beginning with the 2004 Digest of Education Statistics (which reports on the 2002–3 academic year), different categories were used for classics concentrations: “Classics and Classical Languages, Lit., and Linguistics, General”; “Ancient/Classical Greek Language and Literature”; “Latin Language and Literature”; and “Classics and Classical Languages, Lit. and Linguistics, Other.” Ancient Greek has charted an even more perilous course, with enrollment figures remaining low. For example, in 1980, 22,111 students took ancient Greek courses. By 2009, that number had diminished to 21,476.1156 The figures for 2013 are even more depressing: 17,014—a 20.8 percent decrease over the preceding four years.1157 Such figures can scarcely be deemed healthy. Courses in English—typically less taxing on students than classes in the ancient languages—now undoubtedly constitute the bread and butter for most US classics departments, but no systematic data have been collected on enrollments in such courses.1158 Without popular classes in classical mythology, Greco-Roman history, and literature in translation, however, many departments likely would have folded years ago. The field’s successful transition to teaching these courses must be considered a triumph. Without demonstrating such adaptability, American classical scholars would likely have found their subject as marginal in today’s academy as Egyptology or Sanskrit. Increases in the number of classics majors over the past few decades are also somewhat encouraging. Hanson and Heath noted that a frightfully small group of American college students graduated with classics majors in the mid1990s.1159 Table 3 shows that these numbers have risen steadily. Whereas only 714 American undergraduates earned B.A.s in classics in 1991–92, by 2012–13, this figure had nearly doubled to 1,333. Table 3 also demonstrates that the percentage of classics B.A.s in US higher education has also gradually increased. Whereas .06282 percent of recipients of bachelor’s degrees from American colleges and universities majored in classics in 1991–92, that percentage rose to .0848 percent in 2009–10.1160 Page 223 →Table 3. Number and Percentage of Undergraduate Classics Degrees Granted by Four-Year Institutions in the US Academic Year Number of B.A.s Awarded in Total Number of B.A.s Awarded Percentage of Classics B.A.s [Digest Table Classics #]

Academic Year Number of B.A.s Awarded in Total Number of B.A.s Awarded Percentage of Classics B.A.s [Digest Table Classics #] 2012–13 1,333 1,840,164 .07243% [318.30] 2011–12 [318.30] 2010–11 [317] 2009–10 [290]














































2008–09 1,290 [286] 2007–08 1,303 [275] 2006–07 1,303 [275] 2005–06 1,181 [265] 2004–05 1,036 [258] 2003–04 1,097 [252] 2002–03 1,014 [253] 2001–02 999 [255] 2000–01 915 [255] 1999–2000 843 [258] 1998–99 800 [259] 1997–98 814 [257] 1996–97 714 [258] 1995–96 735 [253] 1994–95 722 [253] 1993–94 756 [244] 1992–93 741 [241] 1991–92 714 [242]

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Note: Although the table numbers differ among issues of the Digest, the table titles remain largely the same: “Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctor’s Degrees Conferred by Degree-Granting Institution, by Sex of Student and Discipline Division [Field of Study].” Prior to 2004, the categories for classics concentrations (listed under “Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics”) included “Classics,” “Greek (Ancient and Medieval),” and “Latin (Ancient and Medieval).” Beginning with the 2004 Digest of Education Statistics (which reports on the 2002–3 academic year), different categories were used for classics concentrations: “Classics and Classical Languages, Lit., and Linguistics, General”; “Ancient/Classical Greek Language and Literature”; “Latin Language and Literature”; and “Classics and Classical Languages, Lit. and Linguistics, Other.” Degree recipients in classics do not include the more diffuse categories “Classical, Ancient Mediterranean/Near Eastern Studies/Archaeology” and “Ancient Studies /Civilization.” They also do not include education majors specializing in Latin Teacher Education or history majors focusing on Greco-Roman history. Thus, the table may undercount the number of “classics majors” receiving degrees each year. Page 224 →Such gains are remarkable, given the challenges facing the contemporary humanities. But they should not be cause for celebration. According to classicist and higher education expert Robert Connor, the US is currently home to around four hundred classics departments.1161 This means that in 2010–11 (when 1,287 students graduated with B.A.s in classics) departments averaged slightly more than three graduating classics majors.1162 Despite a recent pattern of increases, this average remains dangerously low. Although counting the number of majors may seem like a problematic way to determine the health of a given discipline, such figures can play a crucial role in decisions that university administrators make—about the possibility of replacing retiring faculty members and the retention of various disciplines on campus.1163 It also seems unlikely that US classics professors would be happy to learn that their subject amounts to a service discipline on campus, offering a taste of belle lettrism to students who choose to focus their studies on, say, business, communications, or criminal justice. In addition, strong enrollment figures in classics courses in English can mask the fact that the enrollments in Latin and ancient Greek classes, especially at the advanced level, are often miniscule and at many institutions are either canceled or routinely taught as overloads.1164 It is no secret that the study of the ancient languages has for centuries formed the heart of the classics. Without healthy enrollments in Latin and ancient Greek, it is unclear whether the discipline can retain its philological core in an administrative environment that watches enrollment figures for individual courses more closely than in the past.1165 Further, discontent about the direction of American classical studies festers among some in the early stages of their prospective careers. A quick gander at the blog FamaeVolent (a website devoted to the job market for classics Ph.D.s) should lead even optimistic scholars to worry. FamaeVolent allows anonymous commenters to vent about the indignities associated with hunting for a much-coveted position in the field. Posts on the site include many bitter recriminations and dejected laments. One commenter from 2013, for example, wrote, “I poured so much of my life, of myself, into a career in Classics, and have so hopelessly failed, that I no longer have any fears or concerns in life. Death, for Page 225 →instance, seems trivial by comparison.” Another contributor noted, “Classics is not a career. It’s a gamble. Bad economy or not, the chances of meaningfulВ .В .В . employment in Classics will always be much lower than in most other fields which require a similar degree of education. Anyone who decides to give it a shot should be aware that he or she is taking a huge professional risk. This doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking, but trying to be a Classics professor is just as hard as trying to make a living as a concert pianist.” Yet another ridiculed the APA, which recently recast itself as the Society for Classical Studies (SCS): “Let it be known that when Classics PHDs were struggling to get even part-time jobs; when Classics programs were folding; and when the place of the humanities in American culture was being undermined, the discipline’s professional organization successfully took the singular visionary initiative to change its name. (Take that, Nero and fiddle.)”1166 Such anonymous commentary may not be indicative of young classicists’ attitudes about the discipline’s future. It may not even signal what classics job seekers as a whole feel about their personal prospects. But kindred

opinions—strewn throughout FamaeVolent or gleaned from conversations with graduate students on the job market—create the sense that all is not well for American classical studies. Not surprisingly, therefore, pessimism about the field’s future was manifest among respondents to my survey (see figure 1). In the sample, 61.1 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “The field of classics in the US is currently in a state of crisis.” Only 18.2 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed with this sentiment, and 20.8 percent professed neutrality about it. A majority of American classical scholars, then, appears to believe that the discipline currently finds itself in the midst of a calamity. In a recent opinion piece, Mary Beard, a distinguished classicist at Cambridge University, cleverly observed that the language of crisis and decline has consistently hounded those studying the Greeks and Romans, even during antiquity.1167 Inherent in examinations of the “classical” period of human existence is a sense of worry about later societal degeneration. Beard correctly notes that the West has a long history of fretting about the erosion of Greek and Latin studies. But this should not lead to the conclusion that such lamentation is merely a cultural artifact. In the context of American higher education, such anxiety is not misplaced. For many American classics professors, in fact, these apprehensions are all too real.

Fig. 1. Responses to the survey question, “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: The field of classics in the US is currently in a state of crisis.”

Page 226 →Fighting against the Free-Market Curriculum The term crisis may or may not be the mot juste to describe the current state of classical studies in US institutions of higher learning, but the discipline undoubtedly has played an inconsequential role at most American colleges and universities for some time. In many respects, the current intellectual climate on campuses—averse to language study, resolutely presentist,1168 and increasingly preprofessional in its orientation1169—has left classics departments dwindling and in danger of termination.1170 The field did not fare well during the culture wars, despite the fact that the public debate about the place of the humanities in American higher education could

have proved a boon for classical scholars eager to advertise their discipline’s relevance. Under the circumstances, it seems Page 227 →imperative for classical studies to reform so that the field can survive and thrive in an uncongenial intellectual and pedagogical atmosphere. The recommendations included here deliberately steer clear of the theoretical and abstract sorts of solutions Lee Pearcy articulated in The Grammar of Our Civility, as well as of the unapologetically utopian ideas of Hanson and Heath.1171 Instead, I offer concrete steps to limit problems for classical studies in American higher education, focusing particularly on reforms that classics professors can enact on their own, with limited support from their home institutions. Such suggestions may lack the appeal of more dramatic proposals but have the merit of presenting serviceable first steps for a field that has too long spun its wheels while mired in the mud of longstanding troubles. We must never lose sight of the fact that many of the most serious challenges for the discipline of classics in the US stem from broader structural issues regarding American higher learning and its democratization. For this reason, unless they find themselves in the role of university presidents or senior administrators, classical scholars cannot radically alter the nature of their institutions. No individual professor, for example, can abolish large lecture courses nationwide, reintroduce a prescribed curriculum, end the reliance on exploited adjunct labor, or dramatically alter the nature of the contemporary corporate “multiversity.” This places unfortunate but undeniable constraints on possible reforms. We must also come to terms with the fact that classicists at research universities and at many liberal arts colleges cannot significantly reduce their scholarly output without jeopardizing their careers and alienating their departments from their home institutions. Even scholars at colleges and universities with a paramount focus on teaching are not immune to the research imperative, especially if they hope to move on to other institutions. On their own, classical scholars lack the power to reshape general education curricula, let alone to alter Americans’ rationales for attending colleges and universities. In addition, all institutions of higher learning in the US are not the same, and proposals that fit one college may not work at another. Classicists must ponder localized solutions that are most likely to succeed in their specific environments. Given these limitations, the courses of action I recommend may be insufficient on their own to curb the crisis for American classical studies. All the same, they do provide some concrete steps for reform that will help increase Page 228 →interest in Greco-Roman antiquity among students and the general populace without alienating the discipline from the contours of contemporary US higher education. Without a change of course, the marginality of classics in American higher learning is, if anything, likely to become more severe. Much of this sorry state of affairs pertains to the nature of general education curricula for undergraduates at most American colleges and universities.1172 Whatever its faults, the Great Books approach to general education possesses pragmatic boons for classics: although less robustly than Renaissance humanism, it foregrounds the importance of classical civilization to the modern world. Undergraduates of various intellectual interests receive the message that the Greeks and Romans are important—a crucial message that can fight presentism and preprofessionalism. Thanks to the withering of the Great Books tradition in the second half of the twentieth century, American academia is now run by a generation that for the most part did not experience this approach to education. Contemporary administrators and faculty members thus are less likely to perceive classical antiquity as deserving a special place—or even any place at all—in the collegiate curriculum. All this has occurred, furthermore, in an environment increasingly hostile to the humanities as a whole. It is difficult to imagine that a general education system based on distribution requirements (now the dominant model in the US) could ever lead to the flourishing of American classical studies. Such a system implicitly informs students that no subject is more worthy of attention than any other. How will this message—a dubious message, in any case—induce large numbers of students to enroll in taxing courses in ancient Greek and Latin? Both the prescribed curriculum of the antebellum colleges and the core curricula of the interwar universities provided an intellectual rationale for the study of classics. The distribution model offers no such rationale, and this, combined with the countercultural nature of classical studies in contemporary American society, spells disaster for the field.

To prosper in such an inhospitable environment, the classics—and the humanities—need more help than this system of general education can offer. Simply put, the cafeteria-style curriculum of undergraduate studies at most American institutions of higher learning is a major part of the problem.1173 Page 229 →The lack of a core curriculum at American colleges and universities also signals specific challenges for classical scholars. American classicists have often recoiled from broad discussions that highlight connections between classical antiquity and the present. Mostly the products of the pick-and-choose undergraduate curriculum, classical scholars are typically unschooled in the systematic influences of the Greeks and Romans on later peoples. Especially since graduate education in classics must remain tied to rigorous language study, most professional classicists are unable to articulate compelling defenses of their discipline. Hence, many of these academics shied away from the debate over Who Killed Homer?; it was easier to criticize Hanson and Heath’s notion of “Greek wisdom” than to express a convincing rationale for classical studies. Such rationales are sorely needed. The simplistic notion that Greco-Roman antiquity is “interesting” will not suffice. While true, this is thin gruel. Lots of subjects have intrinsic interest, and many of them do not require onerous language study. Some disciplines also offer perceived pragmatic benefits that Americans do not associate with an undergraduate degree in classics. BlasГ© assurances about the field’s importance will not cut the mustard, either. Classical studies in the US have never rebounded from the demise of Renaissance humanism in the late nineteenth century. We need to formulate new ideals of similar heft to survive in the university of today. For these reasons, despite the obvious difficulties involved, American classical scholars (as faculty members, department chairs, and administrators) must fight against the distribution requirements system and support alternatives that offer greater guidance to students and a more concrete picture of what it means to be an educated person. This ought not entail—indeed, it cannot entail—a wistful return to the Great Books as Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler envisioned them. But it does suggest that classical scholars should be at work on approaches to the undergraduate curriculum that present a particular vision of higher education’s goals. They would not be alone in this attempt: scholars in many other fields (especially in the humanities) find themselves in similar predicaments. Recent years, in fact, have witnessed a groundswell of criticism for the cafeteria-style curriculum favored at most American colleges and universities.1174 This suggests much dissatisfaction with the pedagogical status quo. To many observers—and undoubtedly to many students—the smorgasbord approach to general education rings hollow. Page 230 →Professors have reason to esteem the distribution requirements system: it minimizes disciplinary turf wars and requires little deviation from specialized teaching on the part of faculty members. For antitraditionalists, the great amount of student choice afforded by such schemes also has its appeals. But far more profound reasons exist for both traditionalists and antitraditionalists disapprove of this model of general education. Some unexpected consensus among educators of rival outlooks can help drive opposition to the university buffet. Nor are the objections only pragmatic in their inspiration. A system of distribution requirements feeds antiintellectualism on campus insofar as it implicitly presumes that uniform content is unimportant and suggests that certain disciplinary ways of thinking are the sole attainments of an educated person. That is to say, distribution requirements signal that the content of an education is immaterial, or, to put it another way, that all content is equally important—which is merely another way to say the same thing. The distribution system also reinforces a consumer model of education, according to which students determine an institution’s curriculum by voting with their feet. Many academics bemoan the increasing sense of entitlement they have detected among undergraduates in recent years.1175 The lack of core curricula on campuses nourishes this impulse. Disesteem for the neoliberal university ought to direct attention to the distribution requirements system, which amounts to the curricular embodiment of free-market principles. Although some libertarian thinkers might support such an approach, they too seem discomfited by the lowbrow offerings and grade inflation that are part and parcel of the consumer approach to higher education.1176 Antitraditionalists may hail the cafeteria curriculum as a victory for antiauthoritarian, progressive education, but in reality, it is a victory for the neoliberal university—which will soon see no need for classical studies.1177

It is, of course, quixotic to suppose that localized movements against distribution requirements could lead to the overturning of such a dominant system in American higher education. But why not propose the addition of a novel approach to a core curriculum as an option for incoming undergraduates? Yale University, for example, boasts a popular—and optional—version of a core Page 231 →curriculum, Directed Studies.1178 At Connecticut College, students once had the choice of signing up for the Freshman Focus program—a variant on the Great Books approach to general education that was well known to be home to many of the most intellectually engaged students on campus. The cultivation of such optional core curricula for undergraduates amounts to a fruitful way to signal to some students the foundational importance of classical antiquity to the liberal arts and the educated person. Such programs compel professors to teach more broadly than they may be accustomed to doing, but many classicists, especially given the recent popularity of classical tradition studies, seem like ideal candidates to offer these sorts of classes. The more involved in the general education of undergraduates classicists on campus become, the more likely classics departments will be a destination for students. Some American college students, to be sure, approve of the distribution requirements model, most likely because it maximizes student choice and allows them to hunt for the easiest options. But for plenty of undergraduates—and plenty of the best undergraduates—this system is unsatisfying. Why should classicists not spearhead a reaction against this system—a reaction that will not perfectly resemble Allan Bloom’s desiderata, but will highlight, inter alia, the importance of classical antiquity to the West? Classical scholars should take advantage of this rare example of ideological consensus between traditionalists and antitraditionalists to promote optional core curricular programs that highlight the value of classical antiquity and language study. In such efforts, classicists should seek out the help of other humanists on campus along with sympathetic representatives from the arts, social sciences, and natural sciences. To some, this insistence on the cardinal importance of Greco-Roman antiquity to educated Americans may seem problematic. Yet if classical scholars are uncomfortable with making such wide-ranging pronouncements on the classical pedigree of life in the modern West, how will they advertise the importance of the Greeks and Romans to contemporary American college students? This sort of Grand Narrative of Western history fostered in Great Books courses is open to criticism—criticism that can and should be voiced in such classes. But without such a Grand Narrative or the more robust vision of the classics offered by the Renaissance humanists, how will classical scholars insist on the necessity of studying the Greeks and Romans? This is a particularly urgent question in the current academic and cultural environment. Many contemporary American college students appear to have a dim sense that ancient Greece and Rome are fitting topics for study—these are the sorts of quintessential elements of the Page 232 →undergraduate curriculum. This notion among students, by now disconnected from its historical rationale, amounts to the last gasp of Renaissance humanism. If undergraduates lose this impression, what will remain of our classical heritage? If classical scholars are unwilling to vouch for the fundamental importance of the classics, who will study them—and why? Such underscoring need not take the form of Hanson and Heath’s controversial trumpeting of “Greek wisdom.” As Pearcy has addressed, the long-standing engagement of the postclassical world with the ancient Greeks and Romans also demonstrates the paramount importance of classical civilization to later world history.1179 This suggests the potential value of classical reception studies to proselytizing for the classics. But scholars must also routinely and unashamedly broadcast this importance, both in their classrooms and to the general public, instead of presuming that American culture already values the study of antiquity. For this, minute scholarship on a given author’s use of the classics will not do: we need to advertise sustained reflection on the legacy of Greco-Roman antiquity in the later world. At a time when many Americans fear their country’s decline and agonize over potential global shifts in power, it is especially appropriate to reinvigorate interest in the history of the West, what the West means, and in what direction it might be heading, by examining its past and what made it great (as well as what made it problematic).

Connecting Ancient and Modern Classics departments also can do much. A department’s curriculum should advertise the prominent role of classical antiquity in shaping the modern world. A focus on the legacy of the classics ought to be a major feature of a department’s courses in translation, especially at the introductory level. My colleague Gregory Staley, for

example, has pioneered a class at the University of Maryland called Are We Rome? It highlights the classical educations of the Founding Fathers, the Roman pedigree of the US Constitution, and the fixation on the fall of Rome in American popular culture, among other topics. This sort of course not only appeals to a large student population, but also signals to undergraduates that the classics are foundational for an educated person—a point unexpressed by the dominant approach to general education on college and university campuses. The liberal arts tradition is itself of Roman origin. Why do classics courses throughout the country not broadcast this fact? Page 233 →It is also a mistake for classical scholars to divorce their courses from fundamental questions associated with the living of a good life.1180 The infusion of morals and ethics in the classics classroom will always be a tricky matter: teachers should not prove heavy-handed in this regard, and there is always a danger that classical studies will become mired in presentism.1181 But if classicists aim to attract sizable populations to their courses, distancing them from life’s animating questions seems like a serious blunder.1182 Some subjects practically call out for such an approach. At Connecticut College, my late mentor, Dirk Held, taught a phenomenally successful first-year seminar on Socrates. It produced scores of classics majors. And no wonder: in it, Held skillfully introduced undergraduates to the ways in which Socrates’s questioning (as relayed in the writings of Plato) could lead students to ponder their own goals, desires, and philosophies of life. This is the sort of course that can make the classics wildly popular. As one survey respondent put it, “Classical studies in America will be vital to the extent that it emphasizes questions of character and value and addresses the everyday lives and concerns of students and the public at large. It will lose vitality to the degree that it focuses mainly on narrow philological issues.” In contrast to Allan Bloom’s arguments, classical studies should not mutate into a branch of moral philosophy. And unlike the Italian humanists, we must not treat ancient authors as infallible prophets or purveyors of timeless wisdom. But classicists ought not discard hundreds of years of humanism in their approach to classical antiquity. In an astute 1971 article, Robert Connor worried that the high percentage of classics majors who choose to attend graduate school in the discipline signaled that classics departments in the US are better at training future professionals than broadly educated human beings.1183 The same concern still haunts us. If anything, this suggests that departments must develop their curricula more in the spirit of the liberal arts college than the research university.1184 Many problems plaguing the classics cataloged in this book stem from the fact that American higher education has tilted too far in the direction of the German-style research university and too far away from Page 234 →the classical colleges.1185 Since the late nineteenth century, liberal arts colleges in the US (especially but not exclusively the most prestigious among them) have engaged in great efforts to mimic many of the workings and priorities of research institutions. It is high time for a reversal: scholars can learn much from the comparative intellectual breadth, curricular cohesion, and focus on the classroom associated with the old colleges. Coursework in classical studies that connects with earlier traditions of humanism can do a small part to rebalance higher learning in the US. The ancient languages can play a role in this rebalancing. It is obviously essential for American classics professors to fight to retain, reintroduce, or even bulk up undergraduate language requirements at their home institutions. To do so, they need to muster a broad array of arguments in favor of the languages. The defense of the foreign languages on campus cannot be merely pragmatic in inspiration. Rather, classicists should also present a historically informed case. From its foundation in colonial America, the liberal arts tradition in the US—like its forebears in Europe—has been uniquely intertwined with the study of Greek and Latin, among other ancient tongues. The curricula of the antebellum colleges placed paramount emphasis on language learning. Accordingly, a college or university that drops its undergraduate language requirement may call itself many things, but it no longer justly lays claim to the banner of the liberal arts. Classical scholars should be unapologetic about saying so. To make the classical languages appealing to a wider assortment of students, it would also help to fight against the culture of machismo (for lack of a better word) that can surround their study. Many newcomers to the classics must find unbecoming the competitive environment associated with philological abilities that is cultivated in some precincts. To be sure, students of classical studies must learn their languages as well as other skills. But teachers ought to treat this as a unique opportunity for students to gain direct access to the ancients, rather than as an exercise in linguistic one-upmanship.

Pitching a Big Tent The previous chapters allow us the opportunity to reflect on intellectual disagreements that have troubled classical studies in the recent past. Intramural squabbling about methodological matters and the proper ideological bearings Page 235 →of classical studies departments are potentially harmful to a field that needs to appeal to as many students as possible. Classics programs must attract the linguistically gifted who see Latin and Greek as antidotes to the prevailing currents in the contemporary humanities; feminists intrigued by ancient gender relations; devotees of the History Channel enraptured with Greco-Roman military matters; incipient critical theorists who are taking a shine to the ideas of Barthes and Foucault; and fans of the Great Books who yearn to learn about the glories of Greece and Rome. As a result of its comparative heterogeneity, the field of classical studies in the US has the wherewithal to appeal to all such students and more. The discipline’s failure to agree on its self-presentation, although troublesome on other fronts, in one respect amounts to a core strength, and departments should cultivate this asset by hiring scholars of disparate interests, outlooks, and temperaments. One additional benefit of this approach is that, as this book demonstrates, the American public has proven curious about different conceptions of teaching and scholarship and, provided the disagreements are presented fairly, ruminations on this topic allow the field to connect with nonacademic audiences.1186 Scholars must take advantage of this core strength because various liabilities plague the discipline. In comparison with many other humanities fields, classical studies remain an unlikely conduit for scholarly trailblazers. The necessity for aspiring practitioners to master two difficult ancient languages (and to learn at least a few modern ones) does not leave much time in graduate school for those who seek to come up with the Next Big Thing in scholarship. The rigors of language training mean that incipient classicists can leave their graduate programs cut off from the intellectual milieu of other disciplines. Hence, ancient historians trained in classical studies departments may never have experienced a seminar on historical methods, and philologists may never have read Butler, Lacan, Latour, and their critics. It is no wonder that modish classical scholars typically apply advances from other disciplines, rather than create these advances themselves. This arrangement undoubtedly offers some benefits: by the time scholarly novelties creep into classical studies, most—if not all—of the overreaction to their newness has faded, and more levelheaded applications of such ideas thus tend to prevail. But this state of affairs also guarantees that classical studies will seldom earn a reputation in the academy as a lodestar of innovative research. This is likely to become more pronounced in the years to Page 236 →come, as students commence their study of the classical languages increasingly later in their academic careers. This is yet one more reason that classical scholars must play a more noticeable role in American intellectual life.

Developing a Sense of Public Spirit An insufficient number of classics professors involved themselves in the wider struggles of the academic culture wars.1187 For professors in a small field such as classics, staking positions on contentious topics can be perilous; scholars adopting unpopular stances undoubtedly risk harm to their professional reputations. But the discipline’s failure to embrace the intellectual skirmishes of the 1980s and 1990s amounted to a squandered opportunity. Nor is this the only example of such squandering. In response to the Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, the popular press was abuzz about the possibility that the United States was a new Roman Empire. Magazines and newspapers devoted much ink to this topic, in some cases with articles accompanied by portraits of President George W. Bush clad in a laurel crown and toga.1188 This supplied a perfect occasion for classical scholars to enter the fray and offer pronouncements on a subject of popular importance. By in large, though, these scholars did not take the bait: whereas many journalists examined the topic, few Romanists contributed op-eds, articles, or books. General readers thus learned about America’s debt to Roman antiquity from The Atlantic’s Cullen Murphy, whose book-length explication demonstrates only passing familiarity with ancient history.1189 All this speaks to a discipline especially at home with the professionalization and specialization of the present-day

academy. While such features have their value, overadherence to them is hazardous. One undeniable benefit of postmodern theory (whatever one’s thoughts about its merits and demerits) is that it tends to encourage its practitioners to engage in political topics of great Page 237 →relevance to contemporary life. Such engagements may not be written in the clearest prose and may lack the rigor of investigations of social scientists, but at least they speak to topics of current concern. This theoretical orientation arguably freed many professors of English literature to take part in the academic culture wars. Classical scholars need not transform into devotees of critical theory. But they should replicate the inclination of professors from other disciplines to engage in popular debates. It may seem more comfortable for classicists to remain in their specialized worlds of, say, Mycenaean archaeology or late antique social history. But American classics professors no longer have this luxury. When subjects pertaining to Greco-Roman antiquity connect with the general public, scholars must take this opportunity to address a wide audience. To make the most of such occasions, the field needs to encourage a greater sense of public spiritedness—a commitment to promoting the discipline in everyday American intellectual life. Cultivating this impulse appears especially urgent among established senior scholars. Senior scholars are often at a career stage where they are unencumbered by many of the constraints associated with the research imperative. Hanson and Heath’s appeal to all classicists failed in part because their recommendations—useful as many of them are—did not address the systematic tensions facing classics professors in the American university setting. Early and mid-career scholars cannot abandon their specialized research profiles in favor of taking up heavier teaching loads and composing essays for the popular press. Doing so, sad to say, would be career suicide for professors at many American colleges and universities—and following this path would lead not only to numerous tenure denials, but also to the alienation of classics programs from their institutional settings. Full professors, however, possess a degree of autonomy not granted to those still working their way up the academic totem pole. Many such scholars (understandably) no longer contribute to peer-reviewed journals: they have already proved their specialized mettle and thus can avoid the indignities and inconsistencies of peer review.1190 But what sorts of scholarly avenues should senior researchers pursue? Instead of contributing to umpteen edited collections and companions, why not choose to engage with a wider readership? Freed from the shackles of peer review, established professors could write books, articles, Page 238 →and blogs that help increase the visibility of Greco-Roman antiquity among the American populace. Such work could fuel a sense of public-spiritedness in the field and prolong the classical tradition. To promote this approach, the discipline must cultivate a radically different perspective on public intellectual work from that currently prevalent among its practitioners. It would be a mistake for scholarly reviewers of such work to see it as an opportunity to sharpen their knives: monographs and articles for general readers necessitate a degree of simplification, and this might compel some critics to pounce. This is a misstep. Classicists should be able to evaluate the merits of public intellectual work without holding it to a standard appropriate for specialized scholarship. One would not presume that a book on Greek metrical analysis must live up to the stylistic felicities of popular novels, so why must monographs addressed to general readers require standards of proof appropriate for research aimed at fellow experts? Such public intellectual writing on the part of American classical scholars is urgently required. Two of the most attention-grabbing books on the classics from the 1980s and 1990s did not go through peer review. Black Athena proved too capacious, daring, and inconsistent with the norms of contemporary classical scholarship to pass muster with academic referees.1191 Who Killed Homer? was too incendiary to appear under the auspices of a university press. Yet both works, despite their faults, touched a nerve with the American public and compelled classicists to take stock of their field. The discipline’s limited visibility in intellectual life strongly suggests that many more efforts of this sort are desirable. This is not to say that all American classical scholars have failed to try their hands at more accessible approaches. Eric Cline, Page duBois, Donald Kagan, Eva Keuls, Daniel Mendelsohn, and Barry Strauss, for example, have all

produced laudable examples of this sort of writing. Yet in such matters, Americans seem to take a backseat to the British.1192 Why has no American classicist produced a blog as entertaining and popular as Mary Beard’s “A Don’s Life”? Why do no American magazines carry a feature akin to Peter Jones’s “Ancient and Modern,” which graces the pages of The Spectator each week? The APA/SCS and the field in general must do a better job of encouraging Page 239 →public intellectual work.1193 This seems especially true in the case of blogs, since an increasing percentage of Americans aiming to learn more about classical antiquity surely will do so through the auspices of the Internet. Although the SCS currently offers an outreach prize, this is insufficient for the considerable tasks at hand. As small steps in this direction, the organization should sponsor a series of well-publicized and well-remunerated annual awards for writing aimed at general readers: best classics book from a trade press; best classically themed magazine article; best classically themed op-ed; best blog devoted to Greco-Roman antiquity. These awards must not only be the purview of the few eminent classical scholars whose contributions to specialized research and elite institutional affiliations allow them access to prestigious national and international outlets. Rather, they should encourage all classical scholars—regardless of their academic pedigree and the status of their publishing venues—to receive official praise for work of cardinal importance to the discipline’s survival. American classical studies need more Mary Lefkowitzes, more Eva Keulses, more Peter Greens, more Bernard Knoxes, and more Victor Davis Hansons. Other steps on the part of the discipline’s professional organizations could be helpful. Since 1982, the putative commencement of the academic culture wars,1194 only three presidents of the APA/SCS have been affiliated with non-Ph.D.-granting departments, and even these three had pedagogical links to such programs.1195 This narrow record of leadership is a mistake. I do not mean to slight the contributions of past APA presidents or to criticize my colleagues at research universities. But such colleagues are most likely to work at the wealthiest and most prestigious institutions in the country and thereby to be least accustomed to the pressures facing the large majority of American classical scholars. With classics departments across the nation encountering serious—even existential—challenges,1196 the dominance of elite leadership in the discipline appears problematic. It would prove more useful to the field’s survival if only professors from non-Ph.D.-granting departments were eligible to serve as SCS presidents in alternatingPage 240 → years. This would help connect the discipline more strongly to the field as a whole and would signal to members that a strong research profile is not the sole mark of a successful classicist. If classical studies played a more robust role in American higher education, this step might seem unnecessary. With numerous departments concerned about their future, the leadership of American classical studies cannot be formed from one elite class alone. A mix of SCS presidents from nonPh.D.-granting (and preferably non-M.A.-granting) institutions would help the field confront the serious challenges of the present. Nor is this the lone instance in which the field must become more inclusive. Classics professors remain cut off from secondary school teachers at their peril. The more students who enjoy Latin in high school, the larger collegiate enrollments in the classical languages will be. Participation in talks at high schools; outreach to local primary and secondary schools; writing textbooks—all these activities should play a weightier role in tenure and promotion cases at American colleges and universities.1197 Departments must fight to make such vital service to the profession count far more for the professional advancement of classical scholars.1198 For many years now, jobs for aspiring high school Latin teachers have abounded.1199 Why are classics departments across the nation not prominently broadcasting this fact on their websites, especially in an economic and cultural environment so conducive to preprofessionalism? If undergraduates desire to major in a subject chiefly because of its strong career prospects, they would be well served to focus their studies on Latin. Outreach remains a key to many needed reforms. This includes appealing to as broad a swath of Americans as possible. Conservative visions of higher education have altered dramatically since the conclusion of the academic culture wars. Traditionalists such as Bennett, Bloom, and Kimball perceived the humanities as of paramount

significance to the education of young Americans and to the future health and vibrancy of the United States. Although some traditionalists still voice such views, the past two decades have witnessed an increasingly libertarian bent in conservative critiques of higher education. Charles Murray, for example, has supported the scrapping of the B.A. degree altogether in favor of a vocational and applied approach to education.1200 Many Page 241 →contributors to Phi Beta Cons, National Review’s blog on higher education, support for-profit universities, MOOCs (massive open online courses), and other elements that they hope will lead to the demise of the humanities, at least as they are currently taught.1201 In such a climate, classical scholars need to attract as many Americans as is feasible. In part as a consequence of its long-standing role in Western higher education, the classics have earned the esteem of many political centrists and conservatives.1202 Some observers see a focus on ancient Greek and Latin as a natural antidote to the modishness of much of the contemporary humanities. Although it would be an error to redirect classical studies to appeal solely to conservatives or moderates, alienating any potentially sympathetic constituency remains counterproductive. Thus the MLA may pass political proclamations about all and sundry, but the SCS must not follow suit with such grandstanding. This does not intimate, of course, that individual scholars should ensure that their published work is anodyne and inoffensive. The previous pages have demonstrated that daring and ideologically charged scholarship tends to attract more interest among the general public. But the SCS and other organizations should avoid turning off disparate constituencies. Official declarations from professional organizations on topics outside their purview lead the public to believe that the organizations are politically imbalanced and that their members engage in political hectoring in the classroom. Especially given the increasing popularity of classical Christian education in the US, such maneuvers possess no advantages. Such a warning appears crucial in light of the dominance of left-of-center views among American classical scholars (see figure 2). Fewer than 8 percent of SCS members I surveyed characterized their political views as either conservative (7.1 percent) or far right (.7 percent), and only 18.9 percent professed to be centrists. Selfdescribed liberals dominated (57.8 percent), whereas a smaller coterie (15.5 percent) considered themselves far left. In such an imbalanced ideological environment, classicists must remain vigilant about eschewing groupthink, in part to ensure that the field will be as inclusive as possible.1203 These reforms all represent small steps, but together they will help revivify Page 242 →classics’ public voice and provide much-needed increases in the profession’s sense of public-spiritedness.

Rejoining the Conversation “Who do you think is right, Bernal or Lefkowitz?” It was 1996, and the question was asked by my coworker at a record store. The questioner, a middle-aged man who was living paycheck to paycheck, was not a traditionally educated person: he had never been to college, and I am not certain that he had finished high school. Having read about the Black Athena controversy in the local newspaper, he asked me, an aspiring classics graduate student, what I thought. Was Bernal a quack? Was his lack of formal training in linguistics his downfall? Or had he demonstrated that racial bias pervaded much classical scholarship? At the time, I did not have terribly convincing answers to these questions. But I enjoyed our conversation nonetheless. After the conclusion of my shift, inspired by our back-and-forth, I rushed to the nearest bookstore and bought Page 243 →a copy of Mary Lefkowitz’s just-released Not Out of Africa. It was exciting, I thought, that intellectually curious Americans displayed great interest in a topic pertaining to classical civilization. Such opportunities do not regularly present themselves. When the next one comes along, it will be high time for American classical scholars of all dispositions to capitalize. The future of the profession—and, more important, the continuation of the classical tradition—may very well depend on it.

Footnotes 1. On the importance of crises and controversies to an academic discipline, see Bourdieu 1988: esp. 180–86; Harloe 2013: xxiii. Cf. Becher and Trowler 2001: 126–27. 2. Richlin (1989: 58) noted the potential of such a survey: “It would be of great interest to see how classicists self-identify—to poll the whole field and see what its real shape is. Besides letting us know where the lines are drawn, such a poll could be enormously useful to us: tell us what graduate students want and what they’re getting, how to balance the panels at the APA [American Philological Association], how better to serve the readers of our journals.” Approval for the survey was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Maryland, College Park. For the interviews I conducted, I received an exemption from the IRB at Connecticut College and approval from the IRB at the University of Maryland, College Park. 3. E.g., Graff and Cain 1989; Hunter 1991; Henry Louis Gates 1992b; Graff 1992a; Jay 1992; Jacoby 1994; Gitlin 1995; Goodheart 1997; Stimpson 2002; Bruce L. R. Smith, Mayer, and Fritschler 2008: 8–23; Hartman 2015: 285. This title for the period, as Smith, Mayer, and Fritschler discuss (11), comes from the work of Hunter (1991). 4. Hunter 1991. See chapter 1. 5. E.g., DePalma 1991: A1; Atlas 1992: 14; Epstein 1992: 153; Graff 1992a: 97; Kennedy 1992: 224; Pollitt 1992: 202–3; Sedgwick 1992: 143; Clausen 1993: 15; Brustein 1994: 32; Jacoby 1994: xii; Hartman 2015. Cf. C. Vann Woodward 1994; Stimpson (2002: 37) (who criticizes the labels conservative and progressive). 6. E.g., the 1991 American Philological Association elections scandal, which is briefly mentioned in chapter 3, and the 1988 removal of E. Christian Kopff as the book review editor of Classical Journal, which pertains to Thomas Fleming’s (1986) polemical piece in the publication. For a response to Fleming, see Skinner (1987b). 7. See Hanson and Heath (1998b: 258), who stress the primacy of class: “University affiliation—like class in the real world—not skin color or gender, will usually provide or relinquish financial dividends.” 8. Rieff 1985: 7; see also 33. 9. See ibid., esp. 1–5, 52–53, 175. 10. Ibid., 175. 11. Ibid., 8. 12. Ibid., 97. 13. Ibid., 124. 14. Ibid., 174. 15. Ibid., 101–2 (black separatism), 39 (“barbarism”). 16. Ibid., 10. 17. For numerous reviews and discussions of The Closing of the American Mind, see below. On the book’s sales figures, see Piereson 2007: 7–8. In 1987 and 1988, the book spent a combined fortyfive weeks on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, including numerous weeks as the top-selling nonfiction title in the country. 18. Hunter 1991: xii. Bruce L. R. Smith, Mayer, and Fritschler (2008: 11) assert that Hunter’s book is responsible for the label culture wars typically applied to America in the 1980s and 1990s. 19. For a thorough discussion of the nature and stakes of the American culture wars, see Hunter 1991. 20. On the labels, see ibid., 43–45. 21. On the dominance of elites in the debates, see ibid., 59, 159–60. 22. Gitlin 1995: 3, 186. Gitlin offered this thesis in part as a means to criticize conservatives: the American Right, lacking the bugbear of communism, searched for a domestic common enemy. For similar contentions, see Barbara Ehrenreich 1992: 333; Gitlin 1992: 185. This view gains credence from Will’s (1992b: 25) view that Lynne Cheney, chair of the National Endowment of the Humanities during the George H. W. Bush administration, was “secretary of domestic defense” in the battle over the university.

23. As Hunter (1991: 116–17) contends. 24. Ibid., 35–47. 25. Inglehart 1997: 4. Cf. Hunter (1991: 62), who discusses the importance of America’s transformation from an industrial to an information-based economy as a major factor in the culture wars’ germination. 26. Evangelical leaders played a prominent role in other aspects of the culture war debates: e.g., Gary Bauer, Rev. Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson. 27. See chapter 2. 28. General discussions of postmodernism are legion. Attempts to define such a broad movement are perhaps doomed to failure, especially given its antifoundationalist bona fides. For helpful explications of postmodernism, see Docherty 1993; Eagleton 2008: 200–204. 29. See Lucy 1997: esp. 20. For an influential theory of postmodernity from a major figure in the movement, see Lyotard 1984. On the importance of the student movement of 1968 to the influence of postmodernism, see Windschuttle (1996: 11), a polemical critic of postmodern approaches to historiography. 30. See Iggers 1997: 98. 31. See, e.g., Eagleton 2008: 200: “Postmodernity means the end of modernity, in the sense of those grand narratives of truth, reason, science, progress and universal emancipation which are taken to characterize modern thought from the Enlightenment onward.” See also Iggers 1997: 9–10, 13–14, 145–47. 32. For a discussion of some such thinkers, see, e.g., Iggers 1997: 9–14, 100. 33. See Eagleton 2008: 201. 34. See chapter 2. 35. For extended discussion of this topic and its influence on classics, see Knox 1993: 25–67. 36. On the history of the Great Books tradition, see chapter 2. 37. For a useful explanation of these ideas and their development, see Eagleton 2008. 38. From just the mid-twentieth century, e.g., Buckley 1951; Nisbet 1971; Wilson 1973: 154–202; Rieff 1985. For a discussion of some early twentieth-century polemics on the topic, see Jacoby 1994: 6–8. 39. Bate 1982. Numerous contributions to the academic culture wars cited this article: e.g., William J. Bennett 1984: 18–19; Cheney 1988: 5; George Levine 1989: 123; Atlas 1992: 28–29; Kramer 1995: 75. 40. Bate 1982: 46. 41. E.g., Berger 1988; Cheney 1988; Abowitz 1989; George Levine et al. 1989; Lehman 1991; Atlas 1992; Bromwich 1992 (though not entirely); Graff 1992a; Searle 1994; Ellis 1997; Kermode 1997; Menand 1997. 42. E.g., Sommers 1994; Patai 1998 (on women’s studies); Teachout 1995 (on African American studies). 43. Bate 1982: 48–53. 44. William J. Bennett 1984: 1. 45. Ibid., 1–2. 46. Ibid., 2. For a discussion of the decline in the number of humanities majors since the 1970s, see chapter 6. 47. Ibid. 48. Ibid., 3. 49. On the Great Books tradition, see chapter 2. Bennett explicitly rejects the old classical curriculum: “The solution is not a return to an earlier time when the classical curriculum was the only curriculum and college was available to only a privileged few” (ibid., 29). 50. Ibid., 9. 51. Ibid. 52. For criticism of Bennett’s report, see Hirsch 1986: 118–19; George Levine 1989: 121–22, 128; Hardin 1990: 2; Bromwich 1992: 83–97; Dasenbrock 1992: 207; Franklin 1992: 209–10; Henry Louis Gates 1992c: 89, 103, 111; Pratt 1992: 9; Scott 1992: 213; Baker 1993: 272; Edmundson 1993a: 4. Cf. Hartman 2015: 226–27. For criticism of Bennett’s detractors, see Barchas 1989–90: 29; Roger Kimball 1990: 4–8.

53. William J. Bennett 1984: 9. 54. This is certainly the case in comparison with some of the responses to the report. E.g., Henry Louis Gates (1992c) asserts that Bennett and Bloom represent the “antebellum aesthetic position” (89) and contends that Bennett believes “black people can have no canon, no masterpieces” (103). According to Baker (1993: 274), pedagogical traditionalists such as Bennett sanction campus violence against minorities. 55. Commentaries on Duke’s English and literature departments were legion. See, e.g., Berger 1988; Sykes 1988: 191–95; Adler et al. 1990; Roger Kimball 1990: xiii–xiv, 142–65; Cathy N. Davidson 1991; D’Souza 1991: 157–93; Atlas 1992: 54. Cf. Bartlett 1992: 122–23; Hartman 2015: 224. For discussions of Duke’s Black Faculty Initiative, see Himmelfarb (1988); C. Vann Woodward (1992: 37–38). 56. The brouhaha surrounding Stanford’s dropping of its Western Culture sequence in favor of a new program called Cultures, Ideas, and Values (CIV) earned a great deal of attention. For (often highly partisan) discussions of this change, see, e.g., anonymous 1998a, b; William J. Bennett 1988; Cheney 1988: 13; David Gates and Clifton 1988; Himmelfarb 1988; Workman 1988; Bloom 1989, 1990: 26, 31; Hook 1989: 31–32; Barchas 1989–90; Roger Kimball 1990: xii, 2–3, 27–32; Lindenberger 1990: 148–62; Searle 1990: 38–39; Sykes 1990: 61–65; D’Souza 1991: 59–93; Hunter 1991: 215–16; Martin Anderson 1992: 148; Atlas 1992: 32–35; Graff 1992a: 22; Mowatt 1992; Pratt 1992; Frank 1993: 148; Jacoby 1994: 104; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 68–73. Cf. Hartman 2015: 227–30. 57. Bloom 1987: 19. For Bloom’s earlier thoughts on the troubles plaguing liberal education in contemporary American universities, see Bloom 1982; 1990: 348–87. Many ideas in these essays recur in The Closing of the American Mind. 58. Bloom 1987: 22. 59. See Wake 1991. 60. Cf. Bloom 1990: 237, where he suggests that his teacher, Leo Strauss, harbored similar views. 61. Bloom 1987: 141–240. Cf. Bloom 1990: 379–80. 62. Bloom 1987: 221, 314. 63. Ibid., 343–44. Cf. Bloom 1990: 359–60. 64. For Strauss and his influence, see, e.g., Bloom 1990: 11–12, 235–55. 65. Piereson 2007: 8. See also Bloom 1993: 7. For discussions of Bloom’s biography, the origins of the book, and its sales figures, see London 1993; James Miller 1997; Piereson 2007; Hartman 2015: 230–38. For a useful nonpartisan summary of its theses, see Wake 1991. 66. See Butterworth 1989. 67. For his discussion of the disruptions at Cornell, see Bloom 1987: 347–56. Cf. Bloom 1990: 368–69. 68. Assessments of The Closing of the American Mind are legion. For starters, see the contributions to Stone 1989, which contains a useful mix of reactions. See also Nussbaum 1987; Rieff 1987; Hayden 1988; Butterworth 1989; George Levine et al. 1989: 2–3; Christensen 1990: 453; Henry Louis Gates 1992c: 89, 111 and 1992: xvi; Giroux 1992: 117–19; Hardin 1990: 2; Sizemore 1990: 77, 79–80; Page Smith 1990: 148; Atlas 1992: 26–32, 111–13; Bérubé 1992: 129–30; Bromwich 1992: 214–20; Diamond 1992: 93–94; Graff 1992a: 72–74; Lanham 1992: 32, 45; Pratt 1992: 9–10; Sedgwick 1992; Baker 1993: 272, 276; London 1993; Jones 1994: 386–89; Dickstein 1994: 45; Jacoby 1994: 24–25, 35, 46, 111–12; Gitlin 1995: 40, 185–86; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 6, 19; James Miller 1997; Yamane 2001: ix, 132–36; Piereson 2007. For Bloom’s response to the reviews of his work, see Bloom 1990: 13–31. 69. In retrospect, this last charge seems peculiar, given that Bloom was himself gay. After Bloom’s death, Saul Bellow (2000) composed a novel loosely based on Bloom’s life that discusses Bloom’s sexual proclivities. On Bellow’s novel, see Hartman 2015: 235–36. 70. Rieff 1987: 960. For Bloom’s response to this review, see Bloom 1990: 16. 71. As James Miller (1997) and Yamane (2001: 135–36), opponents of Bloom’s views, noted. 72. See Bloom 1987: 377. Cf. Bloom 1990: 352, 377, 379. 73. See esp. Lehman 1991. For other reactions to and discussions of the controversy, see Sykes 1988: 182; Christensen 1990: 438–55; Roger Kimball 1990: 12–13, 96–115; D’Souza 1991: 191–92;

Atlas 1992: 35; Paul Berman 1992b: 16–17; Edmundson 1993a: 20; Jacoby 1994: 165–66; Ellis 1997: 130–31; Hartman 2015: 238–41. 74. See Short 1988: 46–47; Finn 1989: 19; Sykes 1990: 56; D’Souza 1991: 194–97, 1992: 13–14; Rosa Ehrenreich 1991: 57–58; John Taylor 1991: 32–34; Martin Anderson 1992: 147; Wiener 1992. 75. On this topic, see above. 76. Bernstein 1990. For other journalistic discussions of political correctness, see Adler et al. 1990; Mabry 1990; DePalma 1991; John Taylor 1991; Abramowitz 1992; Paul Berman 1992a. For discussions of the journalistic coverage of the topic, see Alter 1994: 8; Delbanco 1994: 35; Dickstein 1994: 42–43; Jones 1994; Kramer 1994: 74; Sidorsky 1994: 253. Cf. Hartman 2015: 242–48. 77. Roger Kimball 1990: xi. 78. The closest Kimball comes to condemnation of classical studies is his negative appraisal of the opening remarks Sheila Murnaghan, an associate professor of classics at Yale University, offered at a May 1987 symposium on literary theory and the university curriculum at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center (1990: 10–11). As Kimball related them, however, Murnaghan’s sentiments did not pertain to the study of classical antiquity. 79. The academic culture wars saw much discussion of the supposition, associated primarily though not exclusively with Roger Kimball 1990, that current radical professors in the United States were former 1960s student protesters. For examples and appraisals of this contention, see Ericson 1975; Balch and London 1986: 42–43; Short 1988: 49; Searle 1990: 38; Page Smith 1990: 282; Sykes 1990: 21; D’Souza 1991: 17–18; Lehman 1991: 73–74; John Taylor 1991: 36; Atlas 1992: 57; Bérubé 1992: 133; Bromwich 1992: 118–19; Brustein 1994: 26; Jacoby 1994: 162; Wolfe 1994: 283; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 7–8; Ellis 1997: 207; Goodheart 1997: 166. For discussion of the prominence of Marxists and Marxist approaches to scholarship on American campuses since the 1970s, see Ollman and Vernoff 1982. According to Jacoby (1987: 266), academic life tamped down former radical enthusiasms among the professoriate. Menand (1991: 54) argues that the spirit of the 1960s does not live on in PC academic departments. 80. See esp. Bérubé 1992, a detractor of Kimball’s who nevertheless asserts that he “is a witty and capable writer” (131) and concludes that he and Bloom were “the most intelligent” of the academic traditionalists (134). Cf. Gray 2012: 103 n. 22. 81. Roger Kimball (1990) criticizes various speakers at symposia such as “The Humanities and the Public Interest,” hosted in spring 1986 by the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale (57–75) and a panel discussion held in September 1989 at Williams College, “Crisis in the Humanities?” (167–89). 82. Searle 1990: 37. 83. Roger Kimball (1990): e.g., Jacques Barzun (186), Walter Jackson Bate (159–60), Brigitte Berger (15), Allan Bloom, David Bromwich (74), Frederick Crews (xiii, 32–32, 80, 116, 148), Gertrude Himmelfarb (177–80, 181–84), Sidney Hook (69–70), Alan Charles Kors (69–70), Edward Shils (186), and Thomas Short (19, 42). 84. For criticisms of Roger Kimball 1990, see, e.g., Bérubé 1992: 131–34; Edmundson 1993a: 8; Fraiman 1993: 223, 227, 234–35; Kerrigan 1993: 169; Jones 1994: 388–89; Gitlin 1995: 173, 177; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 23–24; Oakley 1997: 64–65; Hartman 2015: 249. Rosenblatt (1990) and Searle (1990: 37–40) prove largely sympathetic to the book. Roger Kimball 1991b attempts to answer some of the book’s critics; he (1996b) also criticizes Gitlin 1995. 85. For examples of critics lumping together various traditionalist polemics, see Sizemore 1990: 77; Giroux 1992: 117; Pratt 1992: 9; Said 1992: 182–83; Baker 1993; Dickstein 1994: 45; Jacoby 1994: xiii; Jones 1994: 388–89; Gitlin 1995: 173; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 3–4; Yamane 2001: 135–36. 86. Pratt 1992: 9. 87. See also D’Souza 1992; D’Souza and MacNeil 1992. 88. Discussions and criticisms of university affirmative action programs (for both student admissions and faculty hiring) abound in the literature on the academic culture wars: e.g., Bloom 1987: 92–97, 351; Himmelfarb 1988; Short 1988; Damon 1989; Finn 1989: 20–21; Hook 1989: 31; Thernstrom 1989; Kramer 1990: 8, 1994: 72–73; Page Smith 1990: 121; Sykes 1990: 46–51, 56; D’Souza 1991, 1992: 17–18; Carby 1992: 9, 16; Henry Louis Gates 1992b: 89–90; Perry 1992: 78; C. Vann

Woodward 1992: 32–33; Jones 1994: 386; Searle 1994: 240; Ellis 1997: 216, 226–27. 89. D’Souza 1991: 19. 90. See ibid., 59–93. D’Souza’s discussion of the CIV program focuses exclusively on one of its numerous tracks, which makes it appear as if CIV was more radical than was in fact the case. Of CIV’s effects on students, D’Souza writes, “Their curricular diet now consists of little more than crude Western political slogans masquerading as the vanguard of Third World thought” (92). As even Barchas (1989–90), an opponent of the CIV change, noted, this is misleading. On this point, see also C. Vann Woodward 1992: 34–35; Jacoby 1994: 104; Gitlin 1995: 173–75. 91. For criticisms and assessments of D’Souza’s work, see Cathy N. Davidson 1991: 10–11; Beers 1992: 111; Bérubé 1992: 139–43; Wiener 1992; Patricia J. Williams 1992: 194; C. Vann Woodward 1992; Edmundson 1993a: 8–9; Fraiman 1993: 234–35; Jacoby 1994: 33–42, 47–52; Jones 1994: 387–89; Gitlin 1995: 173–75; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 7, 22. Short (1988) presents a very similar argument about race on campus. 92. See esp. Sykes 1988: 202–40. 93. For criticism of Sykes, see Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 22. 94. For other such traditionalistic critiques, see, e.g., Hirsh 1987; Cheney 1988; Kramer 1990, 1995; Lehman 1991; Martin Anderson 1992; Ellis 1997; Himmelfarb 1997. For a critique written by an author who did not share the conservative politics of some of his fellow traditionalists, see Page Smith 1990. 95. Jacoby (1994: xv) complained that leftist professors have presented “very little” in the way of a defense against the traditionalist objections. He further asserted, “Many critical reviews and essays have appeared, but for years nothing more. No leftist stepped forward with a book as sweeping and compelling as those by conservatives” (xvi). 96. For a brief mention of classical antiquity, see George Levine et al. 1989: 14. 97. William J. Bennett 1984: 2–3, 5–11, 13–24. Other traditionalist critics present similar theses about the decline in humanities enrollments: e.g., Lehman 1991: 29; Kramer 1995: 74; Tuttleton 1995: 82; Ellis 1997: 86. For figures on this decline, see Hunt 1997. 98. George Levine et al. 1989: 4–5, 21–23. Many others blamed vocationalism for the decline: e.g., Crews 1982: 65; George Levine 1989: 122; Bromwich 1992: 85–86; Franklin 1992: 209–10; Jacoby 1994: 3–4; Yamane 2001: 137–38; Stimpson 2002: 40. See also Cheney (1988: 4), who blames both preprofessionalism and the changes in the humanities themselves. Roger Kimball (1990: 35–36) found Speaking for the Humanities’s defense of the humanities for the drop in student enrollments convoluted. Oakley (1997: 66) claims that no such drop occurred at elite institutions. 99. George Levine et al. 1989: 6. 100. Ibid., 8. 101. For further criticisms of George Levine et al. 1989, see Roger Kimball 1990: 34–45; Searle 1990: 39–40. 102. Gless and Smith 1990. 103. Giroux 1992: 121. 104. Nehamas 1992. 105. Rorty 1992: 227. 106. See, e.g., Sedgwick 1992, a touching tribute to Bloom, her former teacher at Cornell. This demonstrates Searle’s overly broad generalizations in his review of the issue (1990: 36–37). 107. Kennedy 1992: 225. 108. Ibid., 217. 109. Ibid., 218. 110. See, e.g., Graff 1992a, b; Graff and Cain 1989. 111. Graff 1992a: 12. 112. Ibid., 3. 113. Cf. Graff 1987, a history of the academic study of English literature. 114. E.g., Roger Kimball 1990: 21–22; Searle 1990: 35; Bromwich 1992: 127–28; Iannone 1993: 44–47; Jacoby 1994: xvi, 14, 184–88; Phillips 1994: 196; Radosh 1994: 204–5; Tuttleton 1995; Ellis 1997: 222–26; Goodheart 1997: 155; Menand 1997: 214–15; James Miller 1997: 66. Both George Levine et al. (1989: 17–18, 20) and Paul Berman (1992b: 26) support Graff’s idea of

“teaching the conflicts.” Bloom (1987: 380) presents sentiments that sound a bit like Graff’s avant la lettre. 115. Tuttleton 1995: 88. 116. Graff 1992a: 9; emphasis in the original. 117. Graff 1992b: 64. Searle (1990: 35) denounced this position as implicitly supporting the indoctrination of students. This sort of discrepancy in Graff’s writings perhaps lends some credence to Jerry L. Martin’s (1994: 168) charge that pedagogical “transformationists” cannot be frank about their pedagogical goals when addressing the public. 118. E.g., Graff 1992a: 147–48. 119. The academic culture wars were not merely a two-sided affair. For some examples of “moderate” stances on the academic culture wars, see Hayden 1988; Atlas 1992; Bromwich 1992, 1997; Fernández 1992; Gitlin 1992, 1995; Harvey 1992; Pollitt 1992; Rorty 1992, 1993; C. Vann Woodward 1992, 1994; Kerrigan 1993; Alter 1994; Dickstein 1994; Goodheart 1994, 1997; Jacoby 1994; Sabin 1997. But the traditionalist and antitraditionalist polemics generated the most publicity in the debate. According to Roger Kimball (1990: 185), Boyte (1992: 178–79), and Phillips (1994: 195–96), there are no moderates in the debate. 120. See chapter 2; Bruce A. Kimball 1995; Proctor 1998. 121. From the traditionalist side, Bloom (1987: 304) comes closest to highlighting the former role of classical studies in Western education. See also Douglas (1992: esp. 9–18), who, unlike his fellow critics of the university, made some effort to connect its current state to its history. 122. Sykes (1988: 14–18, 1990: 79–90) was an exception to this conclusion: he was a traditionalist more in tune with this history, explicitly blaming the German research model for many of academia’s purported woes. Graff (1992a), who perhaps showed the greatest sense of history in the debate, focused solely on his subject, English literature. Cf. Graff 1987. 123. E.g., George Levine et al. 1989: 14–15; Graff 1992a; Edmundson 1993a: 15 (“Whatever critics of the academy may say, the humanities have always been politicized from their beginnings”); Jacoby 1994: 6–8; Lawrence W. Levine 1996. 124. Yamane 2001: 129–31. 125. As Hook (1989: 31), a former Marxist and supporter of traditionalist pedagogical positions, noted. 126. Irving Howe 1991: 41. 127. Dasenbrock 1992. 128. Ibid., 206. For a dissenting take on this approach to multiculturalism, see Hanson and Heath 1998b: 55–57. 129. Political figures: e.g., William J. Bennett 1984; Cheney 1988. Even President George H. W. Bush (1991) contributed an attack on political correctness. Journalists: e.g., Sykes 1988 and 1990; Roger Kimball 1990; Will 1992a, b. 130. E.g., Bate 1982; Bloom 1987; Himmelfarb 1988, 1997; Short 1988; Hook 1989; Ricks 1989, 1997; Clausen 1993; Alter 1994; Tuttleton 1995; Ellis 1997. 131. Bloom (1987: 342, 380) and Roger Kimball (2008: 7–8) demonstrated little faith in the prospects for reform. 132. See Menand 1991: 48–49; Hartman 2015: 222. 133. E.g., Roger Kimball (1990: xii–xiii, 39–45), Sykes (1990: 3), and Kramer (1995: 76, 78) opposed the study of popular culture, at least in humanities courses. 134. D’Souza 1991: 1. 135. See Bruce L. R. Smith, Mayer, and Fritschler 2008: 10. According to Werner Dannhauser (1995: 7), Bloom’s good friend, “Allan had many right-wing views but was not really a conservative and refused to call himself one.” Bloom himself wrote (1990: 17), “I am not a conservative—neo- or paleo-.” 136. E.g., Damon 1989; Ted Gordon and Lubiano 1992: esp. 257. 137. Yamane (2001: 142–43), a proponent of multicultural education, however, favors a core curriculum. 138. There were however, some exceptions to this rule: e.g., Epstein 1992; Harvey 1992. 139. E.g., Hayden 1988: 20; Jacoby 1994: 46; Lawrence W. Levine 1996: 6, 13–14, 23. Cf. Butterworth 1989: 56, 58–59; James Miller 1997: 59.

140. Kramer 1995: 75. Cf. Will 1992b: 23. Sabin (1997: 90–91) notes the influence of social science methodologies on the courses taught in the English department at Amherst College. 141. See Roger Kimball 1991b: 11 for his response to Searle’s criticisms (1990: 37). 142. E.g., Murray 2008. 143. Bloom 1982: 1544, 1987: 81, 369–71; Roger Kimball 1999. For this reason, Donoghue (2008: xv) was correct to separate Arnoldian critics such as Kimball from the threats to the academy posed by the business-model approach to higher education. Cf. Newfield 2008. 144. E.g., Cheney 1988: 8; Sykes 1988: 14–18, 1990: 61, 79–90; Hayden 1990; Page Smith 1990. Cf. Rieff 1985: 124. 145. For the notion of the American university as a “multiversity,” see Kerr 1963. 146. Bloom 1987: 338. 147. William J. Bennett 1988: 15–16; Sykes 1988: 41–47; Page Smith 1990: 119. George Levine et al. (1989: 26) defend the use of adjunct labor. For more recent criticisms of the “neoliberal” university, see Kirp 2003; Bousquet 2008; Donoghue 2008; Newfield 2008. 148. For criticisms of the Great Books, see, e.g., Nussbaum 1987: 26; Lanham 1992: 46; Pratt 1992: 12–14; Frank 1993: 147; Jacoby 1994: 114–19. Bloom (1987: 344) offers his own criticisms of the Great Books but still suggests that it is superior to other approaches. Ogbu (1992) concludes that neither a Great Books program nor a multicultural curriculum will help minority students. 149. Wolfe 1994. 150. Hence the possibility that traditionalists sought to score political points rather than to reform the academy. 151. On Paul de Man and the Stanford CIV change, see above. On Jeffries, see chapter 4; e.g., Berger 1990; D’Souza 1991: 7; Steinberg 1991; John Taylor 1991: 39–40; Henry Louis Gates 1992b: xvi; Graff 1992a: 34; West 1992: 327–28; Mirsky 1994: 189–92; Radosh 1994: 202; Sidorsky 1994: 253–54; Gitlin 1995: 175–76. On the Sokal hoax, see esp. Editors of Lingua Franca 2000. Cf. Hartman 2015: 250–51. 152. E.g., Brodie and Banner 1990: 3; Bromwich 1992; Baker 1993; Said 1993b: 119; Sedgwick 1993: 260–61; Jacoby 1994: xii–xvi; Searle 1994: 227; Goodheart 1997: 155; Kermode 1997: 170; Stimpson 2002: 39. Henry Louis Gates (1992b: xiii), however, appreciated the attention paid to literary studies as a consequence of the debate. 153. E.g., Epstein (1992: 153), who discussed the ways in which political correctness harmed the causes of the Left; Carby (1992: esp. 16–17), who contended that the multicultural curriculum assuaged white guilt without helping minorities; Ellis (1997: 138–39), who pointed out that if literary critics truly believed that politics was so important, they would be appropriating models from political science. For some lesserknown but compelling pieces from the period, see Hook 1989; Dasenbrock 1992; Jerry L. Martin 1994; Wolfe 1994. 154. For a well-known attack on women’s studies from this period, see Sommers 1994. On the supposedly outsized role of academic feminism on the university in general, see Yllö 1989. 155. William J. Bennett 1984: 29; Sykes 1990: 82–83. 156. Critical appraisals of MLA meetings during the culture wars include Bernstein 1990; Roger Kimball 1991a; Jay 1992. 157. In 2013, members of the APA voted to change the name of the organization to the Society for Classical Studies. Because this book deals primarily with the history of American classics in the 1980s and 1990s, it refers to the APA except in chapter 6, which includes recommendations for the future. 158. For the MLA study itself, see anonymous 1991b. For appraisals of it, see, e.g., Shaw 1991; Morrisey, Fruman, and Short 1993; Oakley 1997: 72–75. 159. See Kennedy 1992: 219. 160. See, e.g., Proctor 1998: xxvi, 14–21. 161. On the Harvard School, see, e.g., Martindale 1997: 8; Richard F. Thomas 2001: 224. For examples of this scholarly approach to Vergil, see, e.g., Commager 1966. For an important critical estimation of Roman imperialism from a post-Vietnam intellectual milieu, see Harris 1979. 162. E.g., Sizemore 1990: 77; Sykes 1990: 64; Irving Howe 1991: 47; Martin Anderson 1992: 150; Atlas 1992: 134; Bromwich 1992: 192; D’Souza 1992: 19; Graff 1992b: 54; Jay 1992: B2.

163. E.g., William J. Bennett 1984: 29; Minnich 1992: 183, who disparages the ancient Greeks; Pratt 1992: 10, who suggests that it is especially notable when a classicist supports a nonhierarchical approach to the study of culture; Wolfe 1994: 287. D’Souza (1991: 62) quotes Stanford history professor Clayborne Carson scoffing at the notion of people reading the works of Vergil and Cicero. 164. Graff 1992a: 15, 55. 165. E.g., Bloom 1987: 320, 352, 376; Fox-Genovese 1991: 48; Bromwich 1992: 173–74; Lilla 1994: 130. Oakley (1997: 68) sees language training as unfriendly to ideological posturing and cites classics as an example. 166. One exception to this rule: Thornton 1999. Yet this book was published by a small conservative press and did not receive much attention. Even in a contribution to a symposium on political correctness, Lefkowitz (1994a) chose to focus the brunt of her attention on classical antiquity. Many classical scholars during the culture wars contributed to debates on the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. 167. E.g., Kennedy 1992; D’Arms 1997, who discusses funding trends in the humanities as a whole. 168. Proctor 1998 makes this point. In its first printing, in fact, the book was titled Education’s Great Amnesia. 169. See, e.g., Lawrence W. Levine 1996. 170. Reinhold 1984: 17; Calder 1994: xx. The same holds true for German classicists, argues Grafton 1979. 171. Rudolph 1962: 12–13. Elsewhere (23–25), however, Rudolph notes the manifold influences on the antebellum college curriculum. See also Rudolph 1978: esp. 30–31. For the influence of Cambridge—and especially Emmanuel College—on the curriculum of Harvard and (indirectly) on all the colonial colleges, see Rudolph 1962: 4, 23–26; Calder 1966: 216; Cowley and Williams 1991: 68, 73; Lucas 1994: 104; Cremin 1997; Winterer 2002: 11–12. 172. The conception of the liberal arts appears to owe its origin to ancient Rome, not Greece, despite Hellenic influence on them. See Bruce A. Kimball 1995: esp. 12–42; Proctor 1998. Cf. Bloomer 2011. In keeping with previous conventional assumptions, Rudolph 1978: 29–30 traces their origin back to the ancient Greeks. 173. See esp. Bruce A. Kimball 1995; Proctor 1998. See also Pearcy 2005. 174. Cremin (1997: 44) informs us that the General Court of Massachusetts renamed New College Harvard College on March 13, 1639, as a consequence of gifts from the late Rev. John Harvard. 175. By the end of the colonial period, America was home to nine colleges: Harvard (founded in 1636), William and Mary (1693), Yale College (1701), the College of Philadelphia (later the University of Pennsylvania; 1740), the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University; 1746), King’s College (later Columbia; 1754), the College of Rhode Island (later Brown University; 1764), Queen’s College (later Rutgers; 1766), and Dartmouth College (1769). On the curriculum of the American classical colleges, see Meriwether 1907; Earnest 1953: 19–47; Rudy 1960: 1–5; Kraus 1961; Rudolph 1962: 23–43, 110–35, 221–40, 1978: 25–98; Cowley and Williams 1991: 85–88; Lucas 1994: 109–10, 131–32. Cf. Vine 1976, who discusses the social function of American colleges in the eighteenth century. 176. See Reinhold 1984: 23; Winterer 2002: 10. See also Cowley and Williams 1991: 50–56; Lucas 1994: 71–100; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 74–113. Cf. Meriwether (1907: 13–21), who views medieval scholasticism as the chief influence. 177. See, e.g., Rudolph 1962: 23–25, 1978: 30. 178. E.g., Earnest 1953; Rudolph 1962. 179. See, e.g., Bolgar 1973; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 71–100; Proctor 1990, 1998; Pearcy 2005: 7–11. The Italian humanists especially favored the study of Latin literature in part because it contains so many discussions of patriotism and duty. 180. Proctor 1998: 10–11. 181. See, e.g., Lucas 1994: 76, 80–81. 182. See Cremin 1997. 183. Rudolph (1962: 25, 1978: 52) notes that in 1745 Yale added arithmetic to the list of subjects required of students at entry. 184. On the pragmatic benefits of a classical curriculum for students hoping to be employed in one of the so-called learned professions, see below. 185. Such charges—and, more broadly, disparaging assessments of the antebellum colleges—are rife in

the literature. See, e.g., Meriwether 1907: 286; Earnest 1953: 19–47; Rudy 1960: 4–5; Rudolph 1962: 76, 124, 127, 130, 135, 207, 245–45, 1978: 68, 75, 99–101, 120; Pusey in Eliot 1969: vi; O’Boyle 1983: 17–18; Beam 2008: 9–10; Delbanco 2012: 69–73. Winterer (2002: 3, 185 n. 3, 77) correctly views these denigrations as misleading. Cf. Babbitt 1986: 114–15, who applauds the old curriculum. Douglas 1992: 14, although largely positive about the antebellum college, offers a negative view of its curriculum. 186. See, e.g., Cowley and Williams 1991: 45–49; Lucas 1994: 35–69; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 43–73; Pearcy 2005: 7–9. 187. See Lucas 1994: 38; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 56–57. 188. Martianus Capella’s De nuptiis philologiae et Mercurii, written in the early fifth century AD, is our first source to flesh out the quadrivium (arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, and music) and trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) of the seven liberal arts. See Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 30–31. 189. Proctor 1998: 8–9. 190. Meriwether 1907: 51–59; Kraus 1961: 65; Cremin 1997: 44. 191. See Meriwether 1907: 225–83. 192. According to Cowley and Williams (1991: 71), the original nine colonial colleges “were direct or indirect products of the Calvinist sector of the Reformation.” 193. As numerous studies of American higher education make clear: e.g., Wriston 1939: 303; Wright 1940: 110; Cowley and Williams 1991: 88–89; Brubacher and Rudy 1997: 379; Cremin 1997: 48. 194. Kraus 1961: 65, 71. As of 1723, Hebrew became required only of students aiming for ministerial careers. Rudolph (1978: 38) informs us that Harvard consigned Hebrew to fully elective status in 1782, and its popularity withered. 195. See, e.g., Earnest 1953: 28–29; Kraus 1961: 74; Rudolph 1962: 140–41, 1978: 39–42, 90–94, 139, 150; Ben-David 1972: 52; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 168. 196. Rudolph 1978: 64. 197. Ibid., 140. 198. Ibid., 143. 199. Although it possessed different pedagogical and intellectual rationales, medieval scholasticism was itself highly classical in its orientation. One notes, for example, its Aristotelian pedigree. Thus, e.g., Bruce A. Kimball (1995: 43–73) views scholasticism as rooted in the Socratic and Platonic approach to learning. 200. For a discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century critics of the classical curriculum in American colleges, see Reinhold 1984: 36, 69–80, 116–41; Winterer 2002: 42–43; Pearcy 2005: 47–50, 53–55. Reinhold (1984: 118) informs us that the first revolt against the classical curriculum in America about which we know took place at the Boston Latin School and occurred in 1711. 201. Meriwether 1907: 92–94; Kraus 1961: 71–72; Winterer 2002: 26. Cf. Rudolph 1978: 36–37. 202. See Rudolph 1978: 33–35. 203. Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 133–34. 204. Rudolph 1978: 33. 205. Ibid., 34. 206. Kraus 1961: 71. 207. Rudolph 1978: 38–39. 208. Proctor 1998: 11. 209. See Bruce A. Kimball 1995: esp. 114–56. 210. E.g., Harvard added chemistry in 1782. See Kraus 1961: 73. 211. See Rudolph 1962: 229, 1978: 62–63. 212. See Rudolph 1962: 229–31, 1978: 62–63. 213. Rudolph 1978: 106. 214. See Rudolph 1962: 124, 1978: 83–84. 215. See Rudolph 1962: 128–30. 216. See Rudolph 1962: 237–39, 1978: 109–12; Pearcy 2005: 72–73. 217. See, e.g., O’Brien (2014: 322–27), who focuses on the cachet of Latin and Greek learning in the South.

218. Rudolph 1978: 138. 219. See Rudolph 1962: 113, 1978: 85–87. 220. Rudolph 1978: 86. 221. Ibid. 222. Wayland at Brown tried essentially what Nott had achieved at Union. 223. See Rudolph 1978: 104. 224. Ibid. 225. See, e.g., Lucas 1994: 123; Martin Finkelstein 1997: esp. 85. 226. Martin Finkelstein (1997: 85) writes that tutors “would hold short-term appointments and then largely head to other careers (mostly in ministry).” On the M.A. degree at early Harvard College, see, e.g., Kraus 1961: 66. 227. Rudolph 1978: 43. 228. Rudolph 1962: 163, 1978: 44. Kraus (1961: 69) says that this change occurred in 1766. Yale did not take up this reform until 1830 (Rudolph 1962: 163). 229. Similarly, early American college presidents were ministers. Yale did not elect its first nonclergyman president until 1899 (Rudolph 1962: 419). 230. Rudolph 1962: 348, 1978: 147; Ben-David 1972: 74. Rudolph (1978: 146–47) writes that in 1857, Harvard eliminated oral examinations for courses in favor of written ones, which the instructors graded; Yale followed suit in 1865, as did other American institutions soon thereafter. In 1883, Harvard inaugurated a grading system based on five letter grades, A through E (Rudolph 1978: 147). 231. See, e.g., R. Steven Turner 1974, 1980, 1981; O’Boyle 1983; Leventhal 1986; Cowley and Williams 1991: 133–34; Pearcy 2005: 15–22. 232. See Leventhal 1986: 247. On modern professionalized German classical philology, see R. Steven Turner 1980, 1981; Grafton 1981, 1983; Herzog 1983; Leventhal 1986; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 176; Marchand 1996; Winterer 2002: 50–51; Pearcy 2005: 15–22. For criticism of its approach to antiquity, see Arrowsmith 1963; Selden 1990; Proctor 1998: 92–95; Simmons 2002: 22–23. On Goethe’s encouragement of this professionalization, see Trevelyan 1981 (along with Lloyd-Jones’s foreword to the book: vii–xxxviii). 233. Contemporary scholars disagree about the originality—or lack of originality—of Heyne and his student F. A. Wolf. On Heyne and Wolf, see R. Steven Turner 1974: 504–5, 510–11; Pfeiffer 1976: 171, 173–77; Grafton 1981, and 1983: 161, 166–67; Herzog 1983: 283; Leventhal 1986: 244–45; Funke 1990; Schindel 1990; Selden 1990: 158–60; Winterer 2002: 51, 155; Pearcy 2005: 16; Harloe 2013: 137–202. 234. See Calder 1981: 4. See also, e.g., Pfeiffer 1976: 173–77; Grafton 1981; Funke 1990. 235. See esp. Harloe 2013. See also Pfeiffer 1976: 167–72; Grafton 1983: 161; Kunze 2014. Pfeiffer (1976: 173) calls Wolf the “last and greatest of Winckelmann’s followers.” 236. On Halle, founded in 1694 as the first modern university, see Lucas 1994: 94. Wolf became a professor there in 1783. See Grafton 1981: 102. 237. See Pfeiffer 1976: 175–76; Grafton 1981; Harloe 2013: 196; James Turner 2014: esp. 168–70. Fornaro (2014: 669) highlights the influence of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Goethe on Wolf’s conception of Altertumswissenschaft. Harloe (2013: 166, 171) suggests that Heyne was first to use the term Wissenschaft des Altertums, an obvious precursor to Wolf’s Altertumswissenschaft. 238. Stray 2007: 10. 239. On this topic, see above. Philology played an outsized role in the creation of the German university. See, e.g., R. Steven Turner 1980: 86–87, 1981: 109; Grafton 1983: 160, 182; O’Boyle 1983: 4; Leventhal 1986; Pearcy 2005: 22. 240. Reinhold 1984: 204. 241. Harvard had appointed Everett its Eliot Professor of Greek in 1815, when he was twenty-one years old. It then sent him, Ticknor, and others to Germany so that Harvard could lead the nation in the number of Ph.D.s on its faculty, since at that time doctorates were granted only in Germany. See Calder 1966: 217; Reinhold 1984: 182, 189, 204–13. 242. Reinhold 1984: 209. 243. Ibid., 204.

244. But see O’Brien 2004: 126: “Most early American students at German universities sampled the intellectual wares with some casualness and much incomprehension; they proclaimed the advances of German scholarship more than they understood them.” 245. On the first generation of American students to earn Ph.D.s in Germany, see Agard 1953: 147–48; Rudy 1960: 15; Rudolph 1962: 118–21, 1978: 76–77; Calder 1966: 217–21; Reinhold 1984: 182–83, 204–13, 217; Leventhal 1986: 259; Cowley and Williams 1991: 116; Winterer 2002: 49–57; Pearcy 2005: 75–77. Cf. O’Brien 2004: 126–45. Delbanco (2012: 60–64) incorrectly claims that the early American colleges made heavy use of classroom lectures. See Rudolph 1978: 31–32, 69, 79, 89, 144; O’Boyle 1983: 14; Reinhold 1984: 204; Cowley and Williams 1991: 143–44; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 138–39; Winterer 2002: 36, 78–79. Cf. Kraus 1961: 65; Cremin 1997: 44, 46. On lectures and seminars as the primary mode of classics instruction in Germany during the period of its professionalization, see Grafton 1983: 162. 246. On American reactions to the German research university, see Eliot 1969: 6–7; Rudolph 1978: 113–14; O’Boyle 1983: 13; Cowley and Williams 1991: 148–50; Lucas 1994: 142, 170–74; Winterer 2002: 3. 247. See Martin Finkelstein 1997: 87–88. 248. For a discussion of the pragmatic benefits for faculty members that resulted from the creation of the German research university, see O’Boyle 1983: 5–10 (in Germany), 21–23 (in the US). On the 1915 founding of the American Association of University Professors and its role in protecting academic freedom and tenure, see Rudolph 1962: 415; Lucas 1994: 197–98. 249. O’Boyle 1983: 4. Cf. R. Steven Turner 1980: 79–80; Grafton 1981: 103, 1983: 169, 183–84 (who demonstrates that the research imperative soon clouded Wilhelm von Humboldt’s ideas of research as Bildung); Proctor 1998: 103–5 (who links Humboldt to the idea of using the ancient Greeks as a model to shape the character of students). Winterer (2001) points out that great women from classical antiquity also played a role in the formation of character, especially since American women began to experience classical education in greater numbers during the late nineteenth century. 250. E.g., in the Yale Reports of 1828. On this topic, see below. 251. See O’Boyle 1983: 5–6. 252. See O’Boyle (1983: 23), who stresses that the importation of the German model of higher education to America occurred without the ideal of Bildung. Cf. Pearcy 2005, who offers a compatible argument about the sort of German philological practices that influenced the American approach to classical antiquity. 253. See Shorey (1911: 466): “The superiority of the foreign university rests almost wholly on the severer discipline of the German gymnasium and the English public schools.” The first American public high school was not established until 1821. See Rudolph 1978: 158. 254. Winterer (2002 esp. 3, 185 n. 3, 77) convincingly contends that historians of American higher education often unfairly denigrate antebellum colleges by taking up their opponents’ arguments. On such disparaging assessments of the American classical colleges, see above. 255. On the Yale Reports, see, e.g., Rudy 1960: 1–5; Rudolph 1962: 130–35, 1978: 65–75; Lucas 1994: 131–34; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 150–53; Winterer 2002: 48–49; Pearcy 2005: 65–71; Potts 2010 (which contains the full text of the Reports). The document’s original title was Reports on the Course of Instruction in Yale College; by a Committee of the Corporation and the Academic Faculty. 256. Potts 2010: 20, 30. For the role of State Senator Noyes Darling in this matter, see Winterer (2002: 49); Potts (2010: 25–26). 257. In Potts 2010: 5–30. Day does suggest (5), however, that Yale’s “present plan of education admits improvement.” 258. In ibid., 30–49. 259. In ibid., 49–56. 260. See Winterer 2002: 48–49. See also the other sources on the Yale Reports mentioned above. Potts (2010: xvi–xvii) asserts that many falsities pervade discussions of the Reports (including their title), since their text was not readily available until he reprinted it in his book. 261. For a discussion of the ways in which the tenets of Renaissance humanism degenerated into concern for mental discipline, see Proctor (1998: 100–101, 111–12). For a classical scholar’s defense of

the idea of the ancient languages as mental discipline, see Shorey 1910: 607, 1917: 18, 24–25, 46–50. 262. See Winterer 2002: 49–50. 263. See, e.g., O’Boyle 1983: 17 n. 42; Martin Finkelstein 1997: 84. See also Wriston (1939), who believed that many observers possessed a simplified and distorted understanding of the American classical college. For the traditional view of the changes, cf. Rudolph 1962: 241–63; Lucas 1994: 139–40. 264. See Rudolph 1962: 244, 247–55; Cowley and Williams 1991: 118–22; Lucas 1994: 147–48; Eldon L. Johnson 1997; Proctor 1998: 204. 265. Not all funds went to new institutions; some older American colleges benefited financially from the First Morrill Act. 266. Rudolph 1962: 252. 267. Eldon L. Johnson (1997: 224–26) demonstrates that at first there was little public demand for these utilitarian subjects. 268. See Rudolph 1962: 201–20; Winterer 2002: 46–48; Pearcy 2005: 60–61, 74. 269. Rudolph 1962: 266–67. On the establishment of Cornell, see Rudolph 1978: 115–29. 270. See Rudolph 1978: 117–18. On White, see, e.g., Rudolph 1978: 115–29; Ben-David 1972: 56. 271. As Rudolph (1978: 116) suggests. 272. See Rudolph 1978: 118–19. 273. In 1872. See Rudolph 1962: 316, 1978: 124. 274. See Shorey 1919: 40; John C. French 1946; Hawkins 1960; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 161. See also chapter 3. 275. Its founders envisioned Johns Hopkins as a graduate institution that would produce homegrown Ph.D.s. But criticism of this arrangement from Baltimore residents led to the creation of undergraduate studies at Hopkins. See Hawkins 1960: 13–26. 276. Payton 1961: 58. Hopkins classics professor Charles D’Urban Morris appears to have offered the first public use of the terms (59–60). Cf. Rudolph 1978: 131, 198, 227; Cowley and Williams 1991: 146. 277. See, e.g., Rudy 1960: 8, 15–17, 42; Rudolph 1962: 244–45, 291–95; 1978: 18, 135–38, 191–96; Ben-David 1972: 56; Cowley and Williams 1991: 138–41, 145, 148–49; Carnochan 1993: 3–21, 51–53; Lucas 1994: 165–67; Winterer 2002: 106–7; Pearcy 2005: 77–78; Beam 2008: 11, 30–31. Babbitt (1986: 95–99, 106) and Hutchins (1995: 70–71) were critical of his reforms. Shorey (1917: esp. 11–12) criticizes Eliot’s disdain for the classical curriculum. 278. See, e.g., Rudolph 1962: 287–306, 1978: 191–96; Ben-David 1972: 56–59; Allardyce 1982: 697; Cowley and Williams 1991: 145; Carnochan 1993: 9–21, 51–67. 279. Rudolph 1978: 77. As Rudolph notes (78–79), Harvard faculty members pushed back against the electives and restored the prescribed course in 1843. 280. Eliot 1969: 1. 281. Ibid., 2. 282. Ibid., 11. 283. Carnochan 1993: 13–14. 284. E.g., see discussions of the debate over the elective system in 1885 between Eliot and Princeton president James McCosh (1811–94): e.g., Rudolph 1962: 297–300, 1978: 194–95; Carnochan 1993: 9–21 (esp. 18, which notes McCosh’s antipathy for the notion that a university should be a free market); Delbanco 2012: 82–90. 285. Rudolph 1978: 132. 286. Rudolph 1962: 294. 287. Ibid. 288. Ibid., 294; Rudolph 1978: 194. 289. His opponents characterized him in this fashion, however. See, e.g., Shorey 1917: 11–12. 290. In 1883, says Winterer (2002: 101); see also Winterer 2002: 107: “In 1912 a survey of 155 public and private colleges and universities showed that 66 required neither Greek nor Latin for the bachelor of arts and only 27 demanded both.” 291. Rudolph 1978: 181, 186. 292. Carnochan 1993: 62: “The last traces of Harvard’s Latin requirement as a condition of entrance did not disappear until the mid-twentieth century.” Yale ended the Latin entrance requirement

in 1919 (Rudolph 1962: 214). The push to drop Latin and Greek entrance requirements at institutions across the country lasted decades. As early as 1826, James Marsh, the president of the University of Vermont, attempted to unburden students who did not aim to take the classical languages of such requirements. He did not succeed, however. See, e.g., Rudolph 1962: 121–22. 293. Harvard established its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1890 (Rudolph 1962: 335). On Eliot’s turn to support academic research, see Rudolph 1978: 154–55. 294. Understandably, the reforms spread first to wealthy universities and state institutions, which could afford the rapid expansion requisite to launch free election, and then elsewhere. See Rudolph 1978: 191. 295. See Rudolph 1978: 180–88. For examples of the arguments offered in the dispute, see Beman 1921. 296. E.g., Shorey 1917. On Charles Adams Jr.’s attack on Latin and Greek in his 1883 Phi Beta Kappa address at Harvard, see also Rudolph (1978: 183–84); Carnochan (1993: 56–57). 297. These essays were later published as a book: Shorey 1917. Cf. Shorey 1910, 1911. On Shorey, see Agard 1953: 153–54; Calder 1966: 222; Winterer 2002: 112–13, 116–17. 298. See, e.g., Babbitt 1986; Rudy 1960: 132–33; Rudolph 1978: 239–40; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 173–75; Carnochan 1993: 63–66; Winterer 2002: 113, 177. 299. Babbitt 1986: 96. 300. E.g., ibid., 129–30. Babbitt had received a classical education. Significantly, perhaps, he did not earn a Ph.D. 301. Ibid., 143; for similar sentiments, see also 129–30, 135–36, 147–49, 151–67. For a classical scholar’s negative assessment of the New Humanism, see Shorey 1919: 44. 302. Kopff 1990: 447–48. 303. Shorey 1911: 466. For Shorey’s attitude toward Germany, see Kopff 1990: 450. 304. Shorey 1911: 468. Cf. Shorey’s (1928: 177–78) criticisms of the pseudoscientific approach to the study of literature. 305. Winterer 2002: 117. Proctor (1998: 7) dates this change to the 1860s. 306. Winterer 2002: 117. 307. Rudolph 1978: 177–78. 308. Ibid., 125. 309. In 1902, for example, Dartmouth and New York University abandoned Greek as a requirement for their undergraduates (Rudolph 1978: 213–14); Yale followed suit soon thereafter (213–14). Most American colleges no longer required Greek for admission by 1905, says Winterer (2002: 102). By 1915, fewer than fifteen major American colleges required bachelor of arts candidates to take four years of Latin (Rudolph 1978: 214). 310. Rudolph 1978: 140. Cf. Pearcy 2005: 82. 311. Correlation, of course, is not causation, and there are a number of reasons for this decline. On the history of American classical philology, see, e.g., Shorey 1919; Agard 1953; Calder 1966, 1994; Reinhold 1984; Winterer 2002. 312. Calder 1966: 213. 313. Before being hired as Hopkins’s first professor, Gildersleeve had taught at the University of Virginia. For more on Gildersleeve, see chapter 3. 314. Reinhold 1984: 23; Calder 1994: xxiv. 315. See James Turner 2014: 179. 316. See Shero 1964: 5. 317. See ibid. 318. On the history of the American Journal of Philology, see chapter 3. 319. See Calder 1966: 223–24. 320. Agard 1953: 150. The American School of Classical Studies in Rome is now called the American Academy in Rome. 321. See, e.g., Rudolph 1962: 306. 322. Ibid. For a classical scholar’s criticisms of free election, see, e.g., Shorey 1910: 588, 605–6, 615. 323. Payton 1961. 324. Rudolph 1978: 227. Cf. Rudy 1960: 45 n. 10.

325. Rudolph 1978: 229. 326. As increasing numbers of American scholars developed research agendas over the twentieth century, general education clashed even more with the goals of the professoriate. 327. Rudolph 1978: 228–29. Rudolph also claims that Yale was moving in this direction by 1901. 328. Ibid., 229. Cf. Rudy 1960: 62. On Lowell, see Rudolph 1978: 227–29; Cowley and Williams 1991: 145–46; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 192–93. 329. On the continued popularity of this model, see Arum and Roksa (2011: 73–74). 330. Rudolph 1962: 455, 1978: 237; Ben-David 1972: 61; Allardyce 1982: esp. 703–9; Lucas 1994: 213. 331. Allardyce 1982: 698. For discussions of the history of Great Books programs, see Boucher 1935; Rudy 1960: 132–33; Rudolph 1962: 455–56, 479–81, 1978: 237–39, 254–64, 278–80; BenDavid 1972: 61–73; Allardyce 1982; Cowley and Williams 1991: 179; Carnochan 1993: 68–87; Lucas 1994: 212–19; Beam 2008 (a flippant and biased account). Cf. Hutchins 1995: esp. 59–87. 332. Rudolph 1978: 241. 333. On Hutchins, Adler, and the Great Books at the University of Chicago, see Rudy 1960: 132–33; Rudolph 1962: 479–81, 1978: 278–79; Ben-David 1972: 70; Allardyce 1982: 709–16; Carnochan 1993: 85–86, 88–90; Lucas 1994: 215–19; Hutchins 1995; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 179–80; Beam 2008. Cf. Wriston (1939: 320–21), who believes, contrary to Hutchins, that one cannot standardize general education. 334. See Allardyce 1982. 335. On the broader view of antiquity among Americans in the eighteenth century, especially in regard to Carthage, see Winterer 2008. 336. See Shorey 1910: 590; Calder 1966: 238; Beam 2008: 47, who notes Shorey’s objections; Kopff 1999: 16–19. According to Winterer (2002: 133–34), classicists were the intellectual progenitors of the Great Books. She notes (130–31), however, that some nineteenth-century scholars criticized the study of the classics in translation. See also Beam 2008: 16–17. 337. Gress 1998. 338. Hutchins 1995: 82. 339. Beam 2008: 54. 340. Bloom (1987: 54, 344) was critical of this aspect of the Great Books tradition and was more amenable to language study. But Bloom still subordinated language study to political theory, believing that the former was important only insofar as it afforded students more accurate understandings of great texts for their inquiries. 341. It is perhaps unsurprising that the Great Books continue to thrive at Columbia, a wealthy institution that can afford to offer its faculty sabbaticals in recompense for teaching in the program and can hire its current and former graduate students to lead small seminar courses. Humbler colleges and universities likely have more difficulty maintaining such programs without relying on an academic underclass of adjuncts. These programs still exist, however, especially (but not exclusively) at conservative Christian institutions. Many colleges and universities that have retained Great Books programs are members of the Association of Core Texts and Courses. As of the 2013–14 academic year, this organization had sixty institutional contributors, not all of which are American. See 342. See, e.g., Rudolph 1978: 282–83; Cowley and Williams 1991: 188; Lucas 1994: xv, 232. 343. See Rudy 1960: 133–34; Ben-David 1972: 71; Rudolph 1978: 257–63; Allardyce 1982: 716–17; Cowley and Williams 1991: 190–91; Carnochan 1993: 89–95; Lucas 1994: 250–51; Bruce A. Kimball 1995: 233–34; Winterer 2002: 181. Harvard president James B. Conant appointed the committee in 1943 to examine general education at the institution. 344. See Winterer 2002: 181. 345. See Ben-David 1972: 81–82; Rudolph 1978: 265; Allardyce 1982: 716; Cowley and Williams 1991: 192; Lucas 1994: 253. 346. Rudolph 1978: 272. 347. Ibid. 348. See Allardyce 1982. 349. See, e.g., Kitchell 1998: 1; LaFleur 2000. 350. Phinney 1989: 77.

351. See Connor 1971. 352. Phinney 1989: 79. 353. Sykes 1988, 1990. 354. Sykes 1990: 82–83. For a similar view, see William J. Bennett 1984: 29. 355. Winterer 2002: 3, 77, 185 n. 3. 356. On this topic, see above. 357. See Proctor 1998: 144–45; Winterer 2002: 1, 80–81, 101. Cf. Rudolph (1978: 56), who contends that the first half of the nineteenth century amounted to the first period of major problems for Latin and Greek in American higher education. Rudolph (1962: 306) believes that the free elective system heralded the demise of classics as the mark of an educated person. 358. Bruce A. Kimball (1995) would connect this with the “philosophical” tradition of the liberal arts. 359. D’Souza 1991: 157. For other defenses of objectivity from culture wars traditionalists, see, e.g., Sykes 1988: 139–40; Clausen 1993: 16; Jerry L. Martin 1994; Goodheart 1997; Himmelfarb 1997: 145–46; Roger Kimball 2008: 4. See also Page Smith (1990: 18–19), who criticizes the (traditionalistic) National Association of Scholars’s plea for a return to objectivity. In a book that anticipates many traditionalistic arguments from the culture wars, Rieff (1985: 1–4) wholeheartedly supports scholarly objectivity. 360. Sykes 1988: 5–6; cf. 14–18, 101–30. For compatible views from culture wars traditionalists, see, e.g., Bloom 1987: 331; Cheney 1988: 8–9, 11, 32; Page Smith 1990: 1, 6–7, 20, 130, 179, 194–95; Sykes 1990: 61. 361. George Levine et al. 1989: esp. 13 (“Theory has been the pre-condition of the re-emergence of the humanities.”) 362. Ibid., 6. For a fuller discussion of this pamphlet, see chapter 1. 363. E.g., Yamane 2001: 137–41. Cf. Jacoby 1994: 17: “The invasion of the liberal arts by vocational and preprofessional studies constitutes the real illiberal education.” Yamane (2001: 139–40) correctly noted the “common ground” between the two sides of the academic culture wars in their opposition to preprofessionalism in education. 364. As noted by Jacoby (1994: 94). 365. Henry Louis Gates 1992c: 89. For other examples of tough-worded criticisms from antitraditionalist culture warriors, see chapter 1. 366. See, e.g., Veblen 1918; Douglas 1992: 24. 367. Or, if one prefers, an internal change to the elective system by its proponents. Cf. Rudolph 1962: 304; Ben-David 1972: 64. The distribution requirements model was actually of earlier provenance than the Great Books: ca. 1905 versus 1917. 368. A group of classical scholars’ responses to a question Richlin (1989: 61–62) posed to them in a survey of attitudes about the field underscores this point. Richlin asked, “Do you think studying the classics makes one a better person?” (61). Her respondents did not even take the question seriously. This helps demonstrate the disconnection between the ideals of the Renaissance humanists and those of contemporary American classics professors. 369. For traditionalist contributions to the academic culture wars in the New Criterion, see, e.g., Abowitz 1989; Ricks 1989; Kramer 1990, 1995; Roger Kimball 1991a, b, 1996b; Teachout 1995; Tuttleton 1995. 370. See, e.g., Proctor 1998: 104–8. 371. Paul Lewis 1998. 372. Luck et al. 1987. For an appreciation of Luck’s career, see Macksey 2013. 373. On the history of the WCC, see Hallett 1989; McManus 1997: 35–44. 374. Edmunds 1989: ix. In his March 20, 2012, interview with me, Edmunds suggested that there was no coordinated campaign. Though he recalled telephone calls to Hopkins, he stressed that they did not amount to much. This assessment fits with the portrait of the affair offered here. 375. McManus 1997: 44. 376. On the founding of AJP, see Hawkins 1960: 180; Briggs 2015. 377. For published discussions of the “AJP Today” controversy, see Valerie French 1988; Richlin 1988a: 2; Edmunds 1989: ix–x; Skinner 1989: 203–4; Damrosch 1995: 63; McManus 1997: 44. See

also McManus 1988: 10; Bernal 1989b: 68–71; Richlin 1989: 51–52; Rabinowitz 1993: 4; Ian Morris 1994: 44; Paul Lewis 1998; Edmunds 2011: 27. Luck never wrote about the controversy, and Edmunds, the only Hopkins insider to mention it in print (1989), provided a brief account that did not clear up matters. 378. Kopff 1989: 319. 379. As part of my research for this chapter, I conducted interviews—in person, by telephone, or via email—with Lloyd Armstrong, Jr., Glen Bowersock, Diskin Clay, Jerrold Cooper, Phyllis Culham, John Dillon, George Dunkel, Lowell Edmunds, Barbara Gold, Erich Gruen, Judith Hallett, George Kennedy, Mary Lefkowitz, John Lombardi, Georg Luck, Barbara McManus, John Pollini, Ruth Scodel, Marilyn Skinner, and Jenny Strauss Clay. Citing concerns about confidentiality, Johns Hopkins University Press refused to grant me access to its archives or provide contact information for its former director. This chapter has benefited, however, from an examination of relevant materials in the Ferdinand Hamburger Archives (FHA) at the Johns Hopkins University Milton S. Eisenhower Library (Record Group 04.040). There are gaps in the files’ coverage: the archives lack some documents associated with the running of AJP from the relevant years. Although this renders our picture of the controversy less than complete, it does not cause serious problems for presenting an account of what transpired. 380. See Hawkins 1960: 90–92. 381. Roller 2013: 693. A later scandal surrounding the Vergilian Society was reported on the front page of the Wall Street Journal (Golden 2004), but the Journal offered the story as one of its “A-hed” columns—a daily feature focused on a light story meant to divert. 382. Culham and Edmunds 1989. 383. On Gildersleeve’s life and career, see Kennedy 1984: 336, 1986; Newmyer 1986; Briggs 1990; Calder 1994: xxvi–xxviii; O’Brien 2004: 142–45. As Hawkins (1960: 49–50) and Briggs (2015) note, Gildersleeve was not Gilman’s first choice for the Greek chair at Hopkins. 384. See, e.g., R. Steven Turner 1980, esp. 86–88, 1981; O’Boyle 1983; Leventhal 1986. 385. James Joseph Sylvester (mathematics), Henry Newell Martin (biology), Ira Remsen (chemistry), and Henry A. Rowland (physics; at first as an associate but quickly promoted to a professorship). Soon after Gildersleeve, Gilman also hired an underling in classics, Charles D’Urban Morris, who first served as an associate professor of Greek and Latin and then became a “collegiate” professor. Morris’s appointment allowed Gildersleeve to focus on teaching advanced courses. On these and other early faculty hires at Hopkins, see John C. French 1946: 33–45; Hawkins 1960: 38–62; Cordasco 1973: 73–78. 386. Hopkins, since it was modeled on the German research university, required the creation of such academic journals, along with graduate seminars, the conferral of doctorates, and a university press. 387. Transactions of the American Philological Association was established in 1869. 388. Briggs (1990: 108) notes that Gildersleeve originally intended to serve as AJP’s editor for ten years but remained in the role for forty because of his inability to find a successor. 389. For a sample of these columns, see Gildersleeve 1930. 390. Gildersleeve 1987: 171. In an 1892 letter to Wiggins, Gildersleeve again refers to AJP as “an ever present ball and chain” (191–92). 391. Ibid., 279. 392. On January 27, 1986, Luck wrote to Diskin Clay, “I have several projects which I could not possibly finish within the next few years if I were to be responsible for AJP once more” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 393. Meisol 1988. 394. Sykes 1989. 395. E-mail interview with Cooper, May 5, 2012. 396. Sykes 1989. 397. See Edmunds to Lloyd Armstrong, Jr., Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, February 22, 1988 (FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 31, “Dean of Arts and Sciences, Armstrong, Correspondence, 1987–1988”). 398. Meisol 1988. According to Sykes (1989), the projected 1989 budget shortfall in the School of Arts and Sciences was seven million dollars. 399. Meisol 1988.

400. Clay’s unpublished memoirs offer a rare, albeit brief, discussion of the troubles in the Hopkins classics department in the 1970s. Hired as the department chair, Clay (2014: 199) writes, “When I arrived at Johns Hopkins my immediate assignment was not teaching, but stabilizing and rebuilding a small department that had once been distinguished (I think of Henry T. Rowell, who had interviewed me at an APA meeting, James Wilson Poultney, and James Henry Oliver). I had to fight a mean administration led by a refugee from Cornell, Stephen Muller. In the fall of 1976, the West or Homewood Campus was facing a financial crisis, the solution for which was to trim the faculty, but there was no fat to trim.” I thank Andrea Purvis for sending Clay’s memoirs to me. 401. E-mail interview with Cooper, May 5, 2012. 402. Sykes 1989. 403. Telephone interview with Pollini, July 30, 2012. 404. Wills 1979: 67–68. Wills does not mention Rowell by name, referring merely to the “chairman of my department” (68), but Poultney (1974: 361) points out that Rowell was chair of classics at the time in question. Wills demonstrates that Rowell’s distaste for Wills’s journalistic work was partly political in nature. On Rowell, see Luck 1972; Poultney 1974. I thank Ward Briggs for pointing me to Wills’s discussion of his run-in with Rowell. 405. On Frank, see Broughton 1990; Briggs 1994: 196–97. On Robinson, see Agard 1953: 156–57; Briggs 1994: 528–31. On Oliver, see Briggs 1994: 461–63. On Poultney, see Clack 1993. For disturbing revelations about Robinson’s scholarly ethics, see Kaiser 2015. 406. The department’s small size, however, was likely to cause problems for its reputation. On the relationship between the number of faculty members a program possesses and its perceived quality, see Coggeshall 1989. 407. FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 26, “Clay, Diskin—Correspondence, 1975–1988.” 408. The provost was in charge of appointing AJP’s editor. For the early history of the Johns Hopkins University Press and its relationship with the university, see John C. French 1946: 219–27. 409. The letter makes clear that Clay had spoken to Longaker about these arrangements in May 1985. 410. FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 26, “Clay, Diskin—Correspondence, 1975–1988.” 411. Earlier editors of AJP, such as C. W. E. Miller (1920–36) and Henry Rowell (1946–61), like Gildersleeve, had served for long terms, despite the professional sacrifices that such lengthy tenures entailed. On Miller’s term, see Rowell 1954: 354–55; on Rowell’s term, see Luck 1972. Clay, however, did not want to remain editor after five years, and no one else in the department wanted to do it either. 412. FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials Miscellaneous, 1983–1987.” 413. Ibid. 414. FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 26, “Clay, Diskin—Correspondence, 1975–1988.” 415. Luck to Clay, February 10, 1986 (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 416. Ibid. 417. In an April 30, 1986, letter to Diskin Clay, Fisher mentions his plan to offer the editorship to McCormick (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). In a June 17, 1986, missive to Clay found in the same place in the archives, Lowell Edmunds mentions that Fisher had said that he had yet to hear back from McCormick about his offer. 418. Goellner to Longaker, July 31, 1986, mentions that McCormick had declined the position (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 419. FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987.” 420. Goellner wrote, “I asked Diskin to suggest the names of people who might be qualified to take over

the editorship and who might be willing to do so. He offered the names of George Kennedy of the University of North Carolina, whose involvement and association with AJP is longstanding, and Michael Putnam at Brown. Obviously, neither has been approached, so their willingness is unknown.” 421. Clay to Luck, October 16, 1986, accompanied a cache of materials for the journal. By this time, then, Luck had agreed to become the next editor of AJP (04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 422. FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987.” 423. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 424. Lowell Edmunds to Lloyd Armstrong, Jr., Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, July 7, 1987: Luck “has stated that he will not continue after Sept. 1989” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 31, “Dean of Arts and Sciences, Armstrong, Correspondence, 1987–1988”). 425. Luck’s non-Hopkins board served from the spring 1976 (97.1) through the winter 1981 (102.4) issues. Luck (1975) announced this new board in an editorial note in the winter 1975 (96.4) issue. Although his announcement suggests otherwise, this move may have been related to difficulties plaguing the Hopkins classics department at the time. 426. Luck’s May 1987 note to Clay makes this clear: “Lowell and I discussed the question whether our Department should continue as part of the Editorial Board. He made it quite clear that neither he nor Bob Wallace, our new colleague [in the classics department], are interested in serving on the new Board. We agreed that it might be best to form a new Board on which only I would actively represent the Department” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 427. Shackelton Bailey was himself no stranger to scholarly controversy. For an earlier feud between Shackelton Bailey and W. S. Watt, see Stray (2015). 428. FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 49, “Edmunds, Lowell, Faculty Correspondence, 1986–1988.” 429. Ibid.; emphasis in the original. During the period in question, AJP did not advertise that it only published work in English, nor does it do so today. David Larmour, AJP’s current editor, however, informed me that for practical reasons, the journal is English-only. This was seemingly an informal policy during Luck’s editorships, too. But a review in French by Jean-Marc Moret (1983) appeared during Clay’s tenure as editor. This hints at Clay’s less strict editorial policies, which likely contributed to Luck’s decision to compose “AJP Today.” 430. Clay to Longaker, January 1, 1986, notes this backlog and seems to view it as a plus for the next editor: “I would like to finish my work as editor by the end of July of this year; by then I will have completed the four issues for 1986 and have a fair amount of material for the issues of 1987 and my successor” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 431. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. Luck to Clay, May 14, 1987, mentions the difficulties associated with the transition between editors of AJP: “It turned out that you and I disagreed on a number of things. This is probably inevitable in such a situation” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 432. FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987.” 433. Ibid. 434. Ibid. 435. Ibid.; emphasis in the original. 436. E.g., Thomas Cole’s contribution, which ultimately appeared in the journal (1987). See Luck to Cole, March 6, 1987, Cole to Clay, March 15, 1987 (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 437. E-mail correspondence with Ruth Scodel, June 12, 2012. Scodel recalled that Luck mailed to her a note saying that the editor did not want to publish her article. 438. For Robert J. Newman’s complaints concerning Luck’s initial decisions about his

contribution, see Newman to Luck, January 4, 1987, Clay to Newman, January 6, 1987, Newman to Goellner, January 9, 1987, all in FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987.” Luck mentioned Newman’s threatened lawsuit in our April 18, 2012, interview. Luck ultimately published Newman’s article (1988). Luck to Clay, May 15, 1987, mentions that “Robert Newman has apologized for the letter he wrote to the Press; his paper now seems publishable with a few revisions and the proper acknowledgment which he is now willing to offer” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 439. E-mail correspondence with Scodel, June 12, 2012. She recalled that Luck sent her a note “that had no substantive comment at all. He just announced that he didn’t want it.” 440. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. The statement also apparently marked a break from Clay’s editorial practices, of which Luck seems to have been critical at the time. 441. Clay 1982: 2. Clay is referring to a seminal 1966 conference at Johns Hopkins University that is said to have introduced poststructuralism—not structuralism—to the United States. On this topic, see Winkler 1987: A7; Lehman 1991: 97. 442. Sykes 1989. 443. Along with an April 1, 1987, letter to Edmunds, Luck sent an early copy of the statement and asked for Edmunds’s feedback on it (FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 49, “Edmunds, Lowell, Faculty Correspondence, 1986–1988”). Since Luck informs Edmunds that the statement already embodied suggestions from Bowersock, Dunkel, Lefkowitz, and Renehan, he must have started work on it during mid-March at the latest. The Closing of the American Mind first appeared on the Times’s nonfiction best-seller list on May 3, 1987. 444. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 445. Luck to Pierce, April 1, 1987, contains a list of the names and addresses of the new board members: “Please consult it from now on when anything has to be sent out. And please use it right now for the labels that are attached to send out the Editorial Statement” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 2, series 2 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 1, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1987”). 446. See n. 73. 447. Luck to Edmunds, September 6, 1987, discusses a draft of a statement to the dean pertaining to the evaluation of quality in the field of classics: “You may find some of the remarks in the Editorial Statement in issue 3: 1987 of AJP useful; I know that you have read it and added to it; there are a few more additions” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 31, “Dean of Arts and Sciences, Armstrong, Correspondence, 1987–1988). 448. Luck et al. 1987: vii. 449. Ibid. 450. Ibid. 451. Ibid., viii. 452. Ibid. Though classical studies typically come late to scholarly trends popular in other areas of the humanities, the AJP under Rowell’s editorship published Knox 1950, which is generally acknowledged to be the first work of New Criticism in classics. By comparison, Luck, a European with a European Ph.D., appears to have been a very traditionalistic editor. 453. Luck et al. 1987: viii–ix. 454. Ibid., viii. On Gildersleeve’s conception of classical scholarship, see, e.g., Gildersleeve 1867, 1879, 1886, 1895, 1930: 48–49. 455. Luck et al., 1987: x. 456. Ibid., vii. 457. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 458. E-mail interview with Dunkel, May 9, 2012. 459. E-mail interview with Dillon, June 3, 2012. 460. Ibid. 461. Ibid. 462. Telephone interview with Lefkowitz, May 31, 2012.

463. Ibid. 464. Telephone interview with Kennedy, May 3, 2012. 465. Ibid. 466. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 467. Telephone interview with Kennedy, May 3, 2012. 468. Luck 1987. 469. See n. 7. 470. The officers of the WCC for 1987–88 were Judith Hallett (cochair); Amy Richlin (cochair, panel coordinator, 1987, and newsletter editor and elections officer); Eva Stehle (treasurer); Judith de Luce, Valerie French, Mary-Kay Gamel, Eva Keuls, Barbara McManus, and Bella Zweig (steering committee); Judith Ginsburg (liaison with the APA Committee on Women and Minorities); Susan Ford Wiltshire (refereeing service). 471. Hallett 1989: 340. The organization changed its name to the Women’s Classical Caucus on December 28, 1973. 472. Hallett 1985: 30, 1989: 341; McManus 1995: 35, 1997: 38. Skinner (1989: 199 n. 1) notes that the APA agreed to anonymous submissions in 1974. The CSWMG also advocated this change as well as for the blind review of articles sent to scholarly journals. See McManus 1997: 39. 473. On the questionnaire (which has since been taken up by the APA), see Hallett 1989: 345; McManus 1997: 41. The APA’s electoral transparency, publishing of vote tallies, and use of questionnaires followed the organization’s first contested election for its annual presidency in 1979. 474. In their interviews with me, WCC members Culham, Gold, and Skinner agreed that the position of women in American classics has improved since 1987. 475. Hallett 1985: 30. 476. Skinner 1987a: 183. 477. Ibid., 181. 478. On the 1991 APA elections scandal, see Wyman 1991; Hallett and McManus 1992; Richard F. Thomas 1992; Monaghan 1993: A8; McManus 1997: 42–43. Koenen was president of the APA in 1993. Foley ultimately served as president in 1998. 479. In her May 31, 2012, interview, Culham noted the prosopographical overlap between WCC members and those interested in poststructuralist approaches to classical studies, feminist or otherwise. 480. In her June 3, 2012, interview, Hallett mentioned that it would have proved helpful at the time if senior people in the field had added to the conversation surrounding the “AJP Today” controversy. “The WCC had to shoulder a lot in those days,” she said. 481. The controversy also played a role in making the conflict incorrectly appear to be important solely to feminist scholars. 482. Luck (1966, 1974) demonstrated some interest in the topic of women in antiquity. 483. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 484. Valerie French 1988. 485. E-mail interview with Skinner, June 4, 2012. On June 8, 2012, Skinner said that she was not certain that Luck had rejected formerly accepted articles. “From my later experience as an editor,” she suggested, “I can now readily guess that an inexperienced author who had originally received encouraging feedback might be shocked to get a rejection.” In some cases, this appears to be what happened. McManus, in a July 17, 2012, e-mail interview, agreed that Luck’s decision to “disaccept” submissions “was a major impetus for the open session” at the APA. She connected this with the “AJP Today” editorial statement as “a very concrete indication that the new editorial board intended to act on its manifesto in a very stringent way.” In reality, Luck’s editorial board was unaware of such “dis-acceptances.” On this topic, see below. 486. Skinner to Dixon, January 15, 1988. Lefkowitz was a WCC member, and this likely influenced Luck’s suggestion. 487. Skinner to Dixon, January 15, 1988. 488. Telephone interview with Kennedy, May 3, 2012. 489. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 490. E.g., the comments of Gold (e-mail interview, June 3, 2012): “I think it was seen as a good

opportunity to discuss the directions that classics was going in and the role of eminent journals such as AJP in carving out these new (or not so new) paths”; Skinner (e-mail interview, June 4, 2012): “After the session ended, classicists I spoke to felt that the open session had renewed collegiality among APA members. They were proud that a public dispute had been settled with such good grace.” Every attendee at the open forum with whom I spoke had a positive impression of it. 491. Telephone interview with Kennedy, May 3, 2012. 492. Ibid. 493. Skinner presumably reported to Dixon that Kennedy claimed the field had pluralized. Both Luck’s letter and Kennedy’s report have not been preserved. 494. In a note on the 1987 annual meeting in the APA Newsletter (Kennedy 1988), Kennedy quipped, “To many members of our Society, including least the post-structuralists among us, perhaps magnum malum will signify no longer a Great Evil but will be remembered as the Big Apple.” I thank Adam Blistein for drawing my attention to this note. 495. McManus 1988: 10. 496. The Johns Hopkins University Press’s refusal to open up its archives makes it impossible to determine a firm conclusion on this matter. 497. E-mail interview with McManus, on July 17, 2012. 498. McManus, who did not send a letter, said, “I’m sure I knew people who wrote individual letters at the time, but I do not now remember them specifically” (ibid.). Other interviewees did not know of anyone who directed a letter to Lombardi or the press. 499. Ibid. 500. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. 501. E-mail correspondence with Lombardi, May 29, June 1, 2012. Lombardi had to address the serious fiscal troubles plaguing the School of Arts and Sciences, and it seems unlikely that a small protest campaign would have grabbed much of his attention. 502. In my interviews with them, various members of Luck’s editorial board maintained that no one ever contacted them with complaints. 503. See, e.g., various letters in FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 30, “Cooper, J Correspondence (as chair), 1988–1991.” 504. Meisol (1988). 505. See James Poultney to Muller, April 25, 1988 (FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 2, “Administrative Materials, Miscellaneous, 1983–1988”). In his May 5, 2012, e-mail interview with me, Cooper suggested that the administration more likely would have combined classics and Near Eastern studies. The department of classics never appears to have been on the chopping block, but documents from the Hopkins archives suggest that some faculty were uncertain about this. Clay’s unpublished memoirs (2014: 199) reveal that he was wary of Muller’s administration in the 1970s, when Clay served as department chair. On this topic, see above. 506. E.g., Edmunds to Lloyd Armstrong Jr., Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, July 7, 1987: “I now feel more strongly that it would be a big mistake for Hopkins to give up AJP” (FHA 04.040 subgroup 1, series 8 “Administrative Records,” box 1, folder 31, “Dean of Arts and Sciences, Armstrong, Correspondence, 1987–1988”). 507. Edmunds (1989: x n. 1) suggested that AJP would be at UNC for three years. In his May 3, 2012, interview with me, Kennedy said that this is not correct. The journal ultimately remained at UNC through 2000 (after the editorships of Kennedy and Philip A. Stadter), when it departed to Hamilton College. The Johns Hopkins University Press remained AJP’s publisher, however, as it does today. 508. On May 3, 2012, Kennedy told me that Goellner had called him about visiting Baltimore in the spring of that year. 509. The information in this paragraph stems from my interviews with Kennedy and Luck. 510. Kennedy 1989b. 511. See, e.g., Lefkowitz 1983, 1989. For criticism of Lefkowitz by feminist scholars, see Skinner 1985: 4; Richlin 1992: 76, 81 n. 1; Rabinowitz 1993: 5–6. 512. This fits with the sentiments of the WCC members I interviewed, none of whom believed that their organization played any role in dictating the members of Kennedy’s editorial board.

513. Telephone interview with Kennedy, May 3, 2012. 514. As an example of his moderate stances on matters pertaining to the academic culture wars, see Kennedy 1992 (discussed in chapter 1). 515. McManus 1997: 44. 516. Sykes 1989. 517. Meisol 1989. The trust was to take effect upon the death of her daughter, which occurred in 1990. 518. Ibid., 4B. 519. See Kennedy 1989b for his moderate stance on editorial matters. Cf. Gold 2001; Larmour 2008 (editorial statements from later editors of the journal). 520. Gildersleeve’s column lasted from 1884 until 1920. For a useful history of AJP’s first seventy-five years, see Rowell 1954. 521. Ibid., 346. 522. Kennedy 1989a. For a similar effort, see Sullivan 1994: 14–21. 523. Kennedy 1989a: 492. 524. Ibid., 497. 525. Ibid., 498. See also Kennedy 1991, which includes criticism of Paglia 1991 for her polemical attack on modish scholarly work on ancient sexuality and women in antiquity. 526. See Pomeroy 1991, another “Brief Mention.” See Pomeroy 1975 for her groundbreaking work on women in antiquity. 527. E.g., Olson 1989; Forbis 1990; Sinclair 1990; Boatwright 1991; Morgan 1991; Doherty 1992; Pantelia 1993; Janan 1994; Greene 1995a, b; Holmberg 1995. 528. E.g., Geagan 1989; Stephens 1989, 1990; Batstone 1990; Kerns 1990; Machacek 1994. 529. Gold’s editorship (2001–7) saw the largest number of articles on women and gender to date. An editor can only publish articles submitted, and as a consequence of her intellectual interests, Gold likely attracted contributions from feminist scholars. 530. See chapter 1. 531. Interview with Luck, on April 18, 2012. 532. See chapter 1. 533. See chapter 1. 534. Gildersleeve, however, did not want American classics to be a carbon copy of German Altertumswissenschaft, and he criticized the perceived excesses of German scholars. See, e.g., Gildersleeve 1879: 113–14. Still, his conception of classical studies was overwhelmingly German in character. 535. Gildersleeve 1895. In Gildersleeve 1930: 40, he writes, “I am a conservative by nature, by education, by profession.” 536. Quoted in Richlin 1988b: 16. See also Calder 1994: xxiv. 537. See chapter 1. As chapter 5 shows, more amenable to the traditionalists in the academic culture wars is Heath (1995b: 22), who criticizes Kopff. But cf. Heath 1995a: 54–55. See also J. K. Newman (1985: esp. 158), who worries about the heavy German influence on US classics. Translator and classical scholar William Arrowsmith, who had served on the committee whose input helped to create Bennett’s To Reclaim a Legacy and who wrote a positive blurb for D’Souza’s Illiberal Education, was a noted critic of philological traditionalism. See Barbara Johnson 1990: 26–27; Richard F. Thomas 1990: 63, 73 n. 11. 538. Skinner 1985: 10; Richlin 1992: 72. As chapter 5 shows, this is also a key point in the work of Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath, who in many respects offer views distinct from those of Luck and other traditional philologists. 539. E.g., Hallett 1985: 29; Konstan 1995: 32. Cf. Gildersleeve 1867: 29, who believed that studying the ancients in translation was insufficient. 540. E.g., Bernal 1989b: 72; Richlin 1989: 58; Skinner 1989: 200. Hallett (1985: 28–29) correctly suggested that this contention was wrongheaded. See also Bloom’s response to Richlin’s questionnaire (Richlin 1988b: 14). Cf. Galinsky 1991: 448, who believed that liberal classicists were conflicted about the prominent role such traditionalists granted to Greco-Roman antiquity. See also Dee (1989: esp. 273), who discusses the (meager) classical content in Hirsch 1987. 541. Sykes (1989) was an academic traditionalist whose concern about the potential loss of the Hopkins

classics department pertained only to the lack of books-in-translation courses. 542. For previous discussions of the controversy, see n. 7. 543. For one thing, the role of Gruen and (especially) Kennedy in the dispute demonstrates that senior leaders in the field helped effect change. 544. E.g., Hallett 1985: 28; Skinner 1987a: 181; Susan Guettel Cole 1989: esp. 16; Haley 1989: esp. 337. See also Phinney 1989 on the catastrophic decline in Latin enrollments in public high schools during the 1960s and 1970s. 545. Culham and Edmunds 1989. 546. Telephone interview with Kennedy, May 3, 2012. 547. Interview with Edmunds, March 30, 2012. 548. E-mail interview with Dillon, June 3, 2012. 549. E-mail interview with Skinner, June 4, 2012. 550. Telephone interview with Culham, May 31, 2012. 551. Edmunds 1989: ix. 552. Interview with Luck, April 18, 2012. In our May 3, 2012, interview, Kennedy also found this highly unlikely. 553. E-mail interview with Dillon, June 3, 2012. 554. Telephone interview with Lefkowitz, May 31, 2012. 555. Interview with Edmunds, March 30, 2012. 556. Telephone interview with Hallett, June 3, 2012. 557. E-mail interview with Skinner, June 4, 2012. For a discussion of some such cases, see Gutzwiller 1989. 558. Telephone interview with Culham, May 31, 2012. 559. E.g., McManus: “I know of no feminist (or theoretical) classicist—then or now—who wants to replace the more traditional branches of classical scholarship. What we all want is more inclusiveness and openness to new approaches” (e-mail interview, July 17, 2012; emphasis in the original). 560. Goldberg 1990. 561. Ian Morris 1994: 44. For another critical perspective on Luck’s editorial statement, see Pearcy 2005: 41. 562. Goldberg 1990: 1. 563. Ibid., 2. 564. Interview with Luck, on April 18, 2012. 565. See See Boynton 1996: 21; Lefkowitz 1997a: 182, 2008: 125–26. 566. On Clarke’s biography, see Stephen Howe 1998: esp. 216–18. 567. On Clarke’s 1969 founding of the African Heritage Studies Association, which has been seen as the commencement of Afrocentrism as an academic school of thought, see Stephen Howe 1998: 60–61; Walker 2001: 37 (who says it occurred in 1968). Henry Louis Gates (1992a), a critic of Afrocentrism, labeled Clarke “the great paterfamilias of the Afrocentric movement.” 568. This is not the only example of such contention surrounding debates on the topic. See, e.g., Lefkowitz’s (1997: 3) discussion of a November 16, 1996, panel at Georgetown University sponsored by the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage. In her October 30, 2013, interview with me, Molly Levine suggested that the October 19–20, 1990, conference at Temple University on Black Athena was polemical and on occasion unpleasant. On this debate, see Muhly 1997: 51. 569. Berlinerblau (1999: 14) incorrectly asserts that the first volume was published in Britain in 1986. On the March 1987 appearance of the work in the UK, see Bernal 1991: xvi. 570. I conducted interviews in person, via telephone, and by e-mail with George Bass; Lewis Bateman; Josine Blok; Stanley Burstein; Eric Cline; Jonathan Hall; Jay Jasanoff; David Konstan; Mary Lefkowitz; Molly Levine; John Najemy; Alan Nussbaum; David Owen; Jeremy Rabkin; Rhoda Rabkin; and Gary Rendsburg. Martin Bernal passed away before I requested an interview with him. His self-published autobiography (Bernal 2012), however, offers much personal information on the controversy his Black Athena project created. 571. For discussions of Bernal’s biography, see esp. Bernal 2012; see also Gress 1989; Boynton 1996: 46–48; van Binsbergen 1996–97; Berlinerblau 1999: 13–15. On Bernal’s choice of dissertation

topic, see Bernal 2012: 233. Bernal also briefly enrolled as a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard University. 572. See Bernal 2012: 346, 351. Bernal had previously been invited to become a member of Cornell’s faculty in 1969 (2012: 345). 573. Ibid., 28. 574. See Boynton 1996: 46; Brown 2006: 341 (who quotes Pravda’s description of J. D. Bernal as “a progressive scientist who wants the achievements of science to serve human progress and peace”); Slack 2006: 567. 575. E.g., J. D. Bernal 1952. 576. E.g., Bernal 2012: 195 (CIA agent Miles Copeland), 307 (William F. Buckley Jr.), 346 (Allan Bloom), 366–67 (Cornell historian of science L. Pierce Williams), 367 (William Bennett). Cf. 352: until he arrived at Cornell, Bernal “believed that the concept of an intelligent right-winger was an oxymoron.” But see also 219, which includes compliments for Jonathan Mirsky and Christopher Hitchens, whose “political swings” have led them to be “better journalists.” 577. E.g., Bernal 1965, 1969, 1971, and 1972. Bernal (2012: 272) tells us that Robert Silvers, the editor of the New York Review of Books, first asked him to contribute to the periodical in January 1965. 578. Bernal 1971: 9. 579. Bernal 1976. 580. Bernal 1987: xii–xiii. Bernal (2001: 206, 2011a) hints at various rationales for his radical change in focus. See also Begley, Chideya, and Wilson 1991; Boynton 1996: 48; van Binsbergen 1996–97: 42 n. 76. 581. But Bernal (2001: 206) also criticizes Guy MacLean Rogers’s (1996: 440–41) intimation that Black Athena was prompted by Bernal’s opposition to the Vietnam War. 582. See Dyson 1992: 56; Bernal 2012: 28, 60–61, 379–80. 583. Bernal 2012: 350–52, 358, 396–97. For more of Bernal’s thoughts on Telluride, see Cohen 1993: 6–7. 584. Bernal 2012: 352: “Having believed that the concept of an intelligent right-winger was an oxymoron, and having lived in a world exclusively inhabited by liberals and left-wing radicals, I felt defenceless against [the students’] fundamental attacks on my values.” 585. Cohen 1993: 6–8; Bernal 2012: 396–97. In her August 14, 2013, interview with me, Rhoda Rabkin, who was a Cornell undergraduate living at Telluride when Bernal first arrived there, suggested that it was neither as conservative nor as enthralled with Bloom as Bernal asserted. 586. Cf. Dyson 1992: 57; Bernal 2001: 12, 2012: 434. Bernal was far from the only scholar explicitly to connect Black Athena to the academic culture wars. See, e.g., Brodhead 1987: 29; Patterson 1988; Gress 1989: esp. 91; Molly Myerowitz Levine 1989: 12, 1990: 35–36, 1992a: 215, 1992b: 445, 456–57; Tate 1989: 50; Whitney 1990: 4; Coughlin 1991; Muhly 1991: 3; Poliakoff 1991: 12; Aune 1993: 119; Burstein 1996: 4, 1997: 22, 2002: 10–11; Lefkowitz and Rogers 1996b: x–xi; Tritle 1996: 303; Berlinerblau 1999: esp. 5–6. 587. Bernal divorced his first wife in 1970 (Bernal 2012: 196, 288) and met his second wife, Leslie MillerBernal, late in the decade (359). 588. Interview with Jeremy and Rhoda Rabkin, August 14, 2013. Rhoda Rabkin, who lived with Bernal at Telluride, took a class with him in the fall 1972 semester; her future husband, Jeremy Rabkin, did so in the fall of 1973. 589. Bernal mentioned different times for his first turn to Black Athena, though all of his writings except one claim that the project began in 1975. See Bernal 1990b: 134, Bernal 2006: 325, 2012: 206, 370 (September 1975). In Bernal 1990a: xi, he claims to have begun in 1976. Cf. Berlinerblau 1999: 14. 590. According to David Owen (interview, December 29, 2013), a professor of Near Eastern studies at Cornell and one of Bernal’s friends and early supporters, Bernal remained a Maoist of some sort throughout his life. He suggested that Bernal’s esteem for his grandfather, Egyptologist Alan Gardiner, helped prompt Black Athena. 591. Cf. Bernal 2012: 206: China’s move toward capitalism in the 1970s made the country “less interesting and more accessible.” 592. See Bernal 2012: 273. Bernal attributes his dismissal to his move from the high-prestige Cambridge to

the supposedly lowly Cornell, a suggestion that does not seem convincing. Jeremy Rabkin did not see eye to eye with Bernal politically, and Bernal offers a few negative assessments of Rabkin in his autobiography (2012: 352). 593. Although an outsider to classical studies, Bernal had the opportunity to use his familial connections to good effect in his transition to working on Black Athena. In his autobiography, Bernal mentions various intellectual eminences—e.g., Moses Finley (2012: 392, 398), Arthur Koestler (380, 393)—who supported this transition and helped make it possible. Bernal’s background also aided his first volume: as someone with connections, Bernal was well aware of the political proclivities of many contemporary scholars, even though most often there is no public record on such matters. Thus he could write with authority on issues pertaining to the recent history of classical scholarship, even though he was not a member of the field in question. 594. This demonstrates that Bernal’s critique of modern specialization was not aimed solely at classical studies and ancient history. For more on this topic, see below. 595. Bernal 2012: 206. 596. Ibid., 349. 597. Ibid., 388. 598. Ibid., 386. 599. Ibid., 394, 398. 600. Ibid., 398. See Bernal 2006: 189: “I use вЂWest Semitic’ to encompass all the Semitic languages spoken along or inland from the Levantine coast in the last two thousand years BCE.” 601. Bernal 2012: 398. 602. Ibid.: “While convinced that the story of Jewish ethnic purity was a myth lacking historicity, I was uneasy, not to say unhappy, at deconstructing Jewish identity. By contrast, I found attacking Eurocentrism satisfying, both intellectually and politically.” 603. Owen was one of Gordon’s students, which presumably had an impact on his assessment of Bernal’s work. 604. See, e.g., Astour 1965; Cyrus H. Gordon 1965, 1966. 605. Bernal 1987: xiv, 2011a: 411, 2012: 413–14. 606. Boynton (1996: 49) specifies that Bernal began submitting his work to scholarly presses in 1982; Bernal (2012: 422–23) says that he finished the manuscript in 1983. 607. Many critics of Bernal’s work eventually commented on its strong nineteenth-century character, which was seen as paradoxical, given his antipathy for much classical scholarship from that era. See, e.g., Hallas 1987: 29; Martha A. Malamud 1989: 318; Frank M. Turner 1989: 100; Jonathan Hall 1990: 248–49; Muhly 1991: 4; Edith Hall 1992: 198; Shanks 1992: 56; Robert J. C. Young 1993: 279; Liverani 1996: 424–25; Guy MacLean Rogers 1996: 440; Stephen Howe 1998: 117, 196. Cf. Molly Myerowitz Levine 1992b: 440, 446 n. 18, 450. 608. For Bernal’s discussion of Black Athena’s failure to pass through peer review, see Norm Allen 1990: 21; Bernal 1991: xvii, 2012: 428. For others’ discussions on this topic, see Berlinerblau 1999: 117; Lefkowitz 2008: 145. Bernal 2001 did pass through peer review, however (see 2001: x), as presumably did Bernal 1990a. 609. See Bernal 2011a: 412, 2012: 423. 610. E.g., Robert M. Young 1985. 611. Although in the second volume of Black Athena Bernal had expanded his work to four projected volumes, he ultimately confined the project to three volumes. 612. For Bernal’s discussion of the title, see Bernal 1989a: 30–31, 2001: 29, 2011a: 412–13, 2012: 423–24. Cf. Molly Myerowitz Levine 1990: 35; Coughlin 1991: A6. 613. Bernal also advanced an etymology for the goddess Athena as stemming from the Egyptian goddess Neit. See Bernal 1987: 21, 51–52, 2006: 540–82. 614. See, e.g., Bowersock 1989: 490 (his only substantive criticism of Bernal 1987); Muhly 1990: 105; Lerner 1993: 90; Michelini 1993: 97; Stephen Howe 1998: 197. See also SchГ¶zel 1996: 439, who sees one of Bernal 1987’s chapter titles as in poor taste. 615. Bernal 1985. This article remains a useful prГ©cis of Bernal’s project, especially given the lengths of his later tomes.

616. Bernal 1987: v, xii–xviii. 617. Ibid., 1. 618. For criticism of this contention, see Jonathan Hall 1990; Baines 1996: 42; Lefkowitz 2008: 135. On Bernal and Kuhn more generally, see Bernal 1989a: 17, 1991: xix; Berlinerblau 1999: 78, 93, 101–5. 619. Bernal 1987: 5–7. 620. See Bernal 1987: xv. Bernal recognized that his “models” were to some degree simplifications. He noted (1987: 112–14), e.g., that Plutarch did not hew to the “Ancient Model.” Bernal still found them useful heuristics for his project. For more on this topic, see below. 621. Bernal contends (1985: 68, 2001: 4; Cohen 1993: 2) that this commenced in the 1820s. 622. See esp. Bernal 1987: 316: “All this means that the destruction of the old model took place entirely for what historians of science call вЂexternalist’ reasons. The Ancient Model fell not because of any new developments in the field but because it did not fit the prevailing world-view.” For a careful discussion of Bernal’s “externalist” factors, see Berlinerblau 1999: 80–90. 623. Bernal 1987: 33: “Consciously or unconsciously, all European thinkers saw the Phoenicians as the Jews of Antiquity—as clever вЂSemitic’ traders.” For criticism of this contention, see Berlinerblau 1999: 164–66. Although Hebrew and Phoenician are very similar languages, this premise seems opposed to Bernal’s original research project pertaining to Black Athena, in which Bernal contested that the Jews were not as ethnically or culturally exclusive in regard to the Phoenicians as has been supposed. 624. Bernal asserted (1985: 68, 1987: 253, 1995: 990–91) that scholars did not accept Champollion’s decipherment until the 1850s. Some of Bernal’s opponents—especially Lefkowitz (1997b: 116, 244–45)—believed that he was misguided in this impression and that Champollion’s decipherment was among the chief reasons for nineteenth-century reassessments of the origins of Greek civilization. 625. Bernal 1987: 33, 253, 1995: 988; Cohen 1993: 3. Some nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scholarship termed the Indo-Europeans “Aryans,” from which the name for this model derives. But the label, linked to Nazi propaganda, clearly aims to taint its supporters with charges of racism. Bernal had a penchant for explosive (one might even say alarmist) titles: e.g., “The Final Solution to the Phoenician Problem” (1987: 367). 626. Bernal 1987: 2, 318, 1995: 991, 2012: 418. For criticism of this view, see Berlinerblau 1999: 95–96. 627. See Bernal 1985: 69, 1987: 34, 1995: 999–1000; Cohen 1993: 3. 628. Bernal 1985: 69, 1987: 402–3, 415–16, 427. 629. See Bernal 1987: 426–33. 630. Ibid., 2. 631. On Bernal’s never fully documented claims about the (high) percentages of the Greek lexicon that are not of Indo-European origin but are of Egyptian or West Semitic origin, see Bernal 1985: 75, 1987: xiv, 2006: 325, 584, 2012: 414. Cf. Bernal 2001: 3. 632. See Bernal 1987: 8. For support for Bernal’s notion of “competitive plausibility,” see Molly Myerowitz Levine 1992b: 443; Johnson-Odim 1993: 85; Berlinerblau 1999: 71–73, 181–82; Joffe 2005: 148. For detractors, see Pounder 1992: 461; Vermeule 1992: 42; Lefkowitz 2008: 32. 633. See, e.g., Bernal 1987: 8, 286, 1989b: 70, 2001: 116; Cohen 1993: 20. 634. See, e.g., Dyson 1992: 59; Bernal 2012: 446. For more on Bernal’s historiographical methodology, see Bernal 1989a: 23, 1989b: 68, 70–71, 1991: 3, 2001: 54–55, 2012: 445–46; Cohen 1993: 20. Perhaps unsurprisingly, reviewers of Bernal’s work came to radically different conclusions about his methodological and epistemological approach. See, e.g., Tamara M. Green 1989 (Rankean); Frank M. Turner 1989: 97 (relativist); Manning 1990 (positivistic); van Binsbergen 1996–97: 50–61 (internally contradictory); Berlinerblau 1999; Toby Green 2011: 141–42 (notes tensions inherent in Bernal’s approach). Cf. Liverani 1996, who offers a critique of Bernal’s historiographical principles. My interviewees’ responses to Bernal’s notion of “competitive plausibility” were similarly varied: whereas Lefkowitz considered it “ludicrous” (telephone interview, September 29, 2013), Levine deemed it reasonable (interview, October 30, 2013). 635. Cf. Bernal 1991: 359–60, in which he begrudgingly follows the “Aryanist” hypothesis on Indo-European elements among the Hyksos. This suggests but does not prove that Bernal was not entirely

swayed by ideological motivations. 636. See n. 70. 637. Bernal seems guilty of this himself, however: his assessment of Berlinerblau’s (1999) discussion of his methodology is oversimplified. Berlinerblau undoubtedly was more enamored of postmodern literary theory than was Bernal but was nevertheless aware of the differences between Bernal’s position and that of, say, Hayden White, although Bernal (2012: 4445–46) failed to give Berlinerblau credit for this. 638. Bernal 1987: 73. 639. Cf. ibid., 2. 640. For a similar sort of argument, albeit pertaining to the history of Western civilization as a whole, see Dasenbrock 1992. 641. See chapter 1. 642. Bernal 1987: 2. 643. See the perceptive comments of Robert J. C. Young 1993: 276. 644. White 1987: 39. 645. In a discussion of his project’s title, Bernal (Cohen 1993: 21) suggested that he should have put the term classical civilization in scare quotes. 646. E.g., Gress 1989: 96; Joffe 2005: 150. 647. Bernal 1987: 3. 648. Ibid., 4. 649. Bernal especially condemns source criticism and what he terms Besserwissen. See Bernal 1987, esp. 118, 217–21, 306. 650. See, e.g., Bernal 1989a: 18, 1991: xviii (“Even more to my surprise, I found that in both [the US and the UK] there was a significant number of ancient historians and classicists who were sympathetic to my views and had in fact begun to articulate similar ones. Although delightful, this discovery revealed a major flaw in my sociology of knowledge. . . . I had retained a hopelessly oversimplified image of classics as a monolithic discipline”), 2012: 438; Cohen 1993: 10. 651. In his December 29, 2013, interview with me, Owen said that he had recommended to Bernal that he make his sociology of knowledge the project’s first volume. 652. Discussions of the relationship between Black Athena and Said’s work are legion. See, e.g., Perry Anderson 1987; Muhly 1990: 105; Baines 1991; Robert J. C. Young 1993: 278; Zilfi 1993: 114; Boynton 1996: 46; van Binsbergen 1996–97: 51; Berlinerblau 1999: 11, 200 n. 28; Shavit 2004: 106; Joffe 2005: 150. For Bernal on this topic, see Bernal 2001: 33, 2012: 428; Dyson 1992: 58. Cf. Bernal 1985: 66, 1987: 235, 2012: 11, 425, 428 (Bernal sent Said a copy of the first volume of Black Athena, and Said attempted to spread the word about the book in the US, unsuccessfully recommending the book to Harvard University Press). Bernal saw Said as more of a relativist than himself, but this could be a touch misguided: Said’s critics have noted a tension between the Foucauldian and Auerbachian conceptions in Said’s Orientalism. See Binder 1988: 93, 115; Robert J. C. Young 1990: 128–38; Ahmad 1992: 164–70; MacKenzie 1995: 5–7. Said (1993a: 15, 118–19, 312) makes many positive references to Bernal’s work. 653. Said 1978: 54–57, 107. 654. For negative appraisals of Bernal’s sociology of knowledge, see Gabriel 1989: 127–29; Reiss 1989: esp. 329, 1992: esp. 430–31; Frank M. Turner 1989; Muhly 1990: 87–88; Poliakoff 1991: 16, 19; Kristeller 1995: 125–26; Jenkyns 1996; Norton 1996; Palter 1996; Guy MacLean Rogers 1996: 431–35; Blok 1996–97 (who presents especially powerful criticism); Lefkowitz 1997a: 56, 2008: 139–40; Berlinerblau 1999: 68–71, 77–92, 183–85 (although he has a more positive impression of Bernal’s work, his criticism is especially valuable); Slack 2006: 25–26, 30–33. Cf. Masson (1994: 254), who finds the sociology of knowledge in Bernal 1990a too polemical; van Binsbergen 1996–97: 49. For more positive impressions of this facet of Bernal’s work, see below. 655. For favorable responses to Bernal’s sociology of knowledge, see Gianarris 1987; Konstan 1988: 552–54; Bowersock 1989: 490–91; Martha A. Malamud 1989: 319–20; Sarah P. Morris 1989: 40; Molly Myerowitz Levine 1990: 34; Coleman 1992: 77–78; McNeal 1992: 48, 55; Pounder 1992: 464; Vermeule 1992: 40; Lerner 1993: 91; Michelini 1993: 95–96; Washington 1993: 107; O’Connor 1996: 49; Schözel 1996: 439; Burstein 1997: 23; Muhly 1997: 51; Joffe 2005: 148. Cf. Coughlin 1991: A6

(most classicists support this part of the work); Peter S. Allen 1992: 1026; Aune 1993: 120 (even Bernal’s detractors like this part of the work); Brace et al. 1996: 147; Jasanoff and Nussbaum 1996: 177; Liverani 1996: 427; Orrells, Bhambra, and Ronyon 2011b: 11 (widely accepted). 656. See chapter 1. 657. Bernal noted (Cohen 1993: 9; Bernal 2001: 43) that his first volume was aimed at a lay audience but the other two volumes were not. Cf. Stephen Howe 1998: 165–66. 658. Both Bloom’s and Bernal’s works were simplified and misunderstood by numerous critics. This is bound to happen to any book that receives so much public attention. 659. Perry Anderson 1987. 660. Ibid. 661. Stephen Howe 1998: 193. 662. Bernal 2012: 428. 663. Ibid., The American version of Bernal’s first volume appeared in bookstores in November 1987 (Goode 1988: 54). 664. This was not true, it appears, for a few of the project’s offshoots, Bernal 1990a, 2001. Cf. Bernal 2001: x. Reviewers seldom mentioned that Black Athena did not pass through peer review. Bernal himself (2012: 428) took that failure as a point of pride. On this topic, see above. 665. My December 15, 2013, e-mail interview with the Dutch historian Josine Blok, a prominent critic of Bernal’s sociology of knowledge, reinforced the American character of the controversy surrounding Black Athena. She suggested that the response in the Netherlands to Bernal’s work was “more limited in scope and definitely not as polarized as in the US.” Blok stressed that “this had much to do with the fact that race was not the enormous issue at the time in the Netherlands it has been for so long in the US. Likewise, the policy of вЂpolitical correctness’ which was troubling academia in the US at the time was not equally strong in the Netherlands.” On European reactions to Black Athena, see Burstein 2002: 10, 10 n. 5; van Binsbergen 2011a. 666. Dyson 1992: 57; Cohen 1993: 8. 667. Although Bernal noted with irritation that the first volume did not receive reviews in the New York Times and the Times of London. See Bernal 1991: xx–xxi, 2012: 429. 668. According to Cohen (1993: 9), Bernal said, “Since I thought that I couldn’t persuade the relevant academics, my strategy [in composing the first volume of Black Athena] was to outflank them by reaching a group that could influence them.” 669. See Bernal 2012: 429–30. 670. Molly Myerowitz Levine 1989: 14–15. 671. Interview with Molly Myerowitz Levine, October 30, 2013. On Snowden’s life, see Snowden 2002. 672. Bernal 1987: 434–35. 673. Interview with Molly Myerowitz Levine, October 30, 2013. For Snowden’s criticisms of Bernal’s work, see Snowden 1989. 674. On the panel, see Goode 1988: 55; Molly Myerowitz Levine 1989; Peradotto 1989; Bernal 1991: xviii–xix, 2012: 58, 429–30. 675. Interview with Molly Myerowitz Levine, October 31, 2013. The participants, in addition to Bernal and Levine, were Tamara M. Green, Sarah P. Morris, and Frank M. Turner. Levine had originally hoped that Hans Jakob Polotsky (1905–91), an Egyptologist and linguist under whom Levine had previously studied, would join, but he could not commit to an appearance. To present a response to Bernal’s linguistic arguments, then, Levine chose Gary A. Rendsburg, who did not take part in the panel (Rendsburg 1989: 67) but contributed to the Arethusa special issue that sprung from it. Egyptologist John Ray was also supposed to serve on the panel but did not make it to the conference. 676. The panel took place on January 6, 1989. 677. Bernal mentioned the panel numerous times in his later work (e.g., Bernal 1991: xviii–xix, 1992c: B3, 2012: 58, 430), seemingly to validate the importance of Black Athena—an odd point, given his general dismissal of academic experts. 678. Bernal 1989a: 18: “Kuhn is not the only person to be bewildered by the Program Committee’s decision to hold this meeting. It goes against my sociology of knowledge.В .В .В . All this basically shows

is how crude and oversimplified Bernal can be.” See also Bernal 1991: xviii, 2012: 438; Cohen 1993: 10. 679. Bass 1989: 113. In an October 13, 2013, e-mail interview, Bass explained that he was chiefly if not solely concerned about Bernal’s discussion of Near Eastern influence on ancient Greece. As Bernal noted in his work, Bass had previously attempted to vouch for this emphasis and had been dismissed by most scholars. Bass related that he had little interest in other parts of Bernal’s thesis. 680. Sarah P. Morris 1989: esp. 51. 681. See, e.g., Tamara M. Green 1989; Snowden 1989; Frank M. Turner 1989. 682. In a letter prior to the panel, Levine assured Bernal, “I mean this to be a wedding and not a lynch (at least as far as you are concerned).” Thus she made clear to Bernal that she hoped the session would be amicable (Levine to Bernal, January 25, [1988]). 683. E-mail interview with Konstan, September 24, 2013. For numerous scholarly assessments of Bernal’s sociology of knowledge, see above. 684. In 1990, Eisenbrauns had published Bernal’s Cadmean Letters (1990a), a book that documented Bernal’s rationale for backdating the origins of the Greek alphabet to conform to the chronology offered in the Black Athena project as a whole. For reviews of this work (which did not receive the kind of attention directed at the first two volumes of Black Athena), see Lloyd-Jones 1992; Konishi 1992; Pope 1992. 685. Molly Myerowitz Levine 1992b: 459; Bernal 2012: 460. 686. E.g., an October 1990 conference at Temple University that was cosponsored by the institution’s classics and Afro-American studies departments. 687. Trigger (1992: 122). 688. Bernal 1991: 3. 689. Howe (1998: 209 n. 1). 690. Bernal 1991: xx (he labels both of them “journals of the far right”). See Gress 1989; anonymous 1990: 14. 691. Bernal 1991: 187–273. 692. Ibid., 41, 123, 404–5. 693. Ca. 1700–1200 BC. See ibid., 78. 694. Ibid., 56. 695. E.g., ibid., 73–74, 92, 107–9, 143, 151, 363, 369–73, 456, 482–89. 696. Bernal (ibid., 2) writes that the nature of the project compelled him to discuss different categories of evidence in the book, but in volume 3, which is dedicated to linguistics, he stuck to linguistics alone. 697. Molly Myerowitz Levine 1989: 9, 1990: 35. Cf. Sarah P. Morris 1989: esp. 40; Weinstein 1992. 698. Vermeule 1992: 42–43. See Bernal’s reply (1992a). 699. Vermeule 1992: 42. For more criticism of Bernal’s use of archaeological data, see Sarah P. Morris 1996. Cf. Bernal 1992a; Cohen 1993: 11–13. 700. For scholarly criticisms of volume 2, see, e.g., Coleman 1992; Edith Hall 1992; Pounder 1992; Shanks 1992; Walcot 1992; Weinstein 1992. 701. The linking of Bernal’s work to the culture wars had commenced with the first volume’s publication in America, as Bernal to Levine, January 3, 1988, demonstrates: “Black Athena now seems to be involved in the struggle over the core curriculum at Stanford, where I have been invited in May.” (On the controversy at Stanford, see chapter 1.) Media interest in Bernal’s work appears to have picked up steam upon the publication of volume 2, however. 702. The label for this movement is disputed. Molefi Kete Asante and his followers prefer Afrocentricity; see, e.g., Asante 1988; Houessou-Adin 1995; Alkebulan 2007 esp. 411. Ampim (1994) prefers Africentric. On the history of Afrocentrism, see, e.g., Sundiata 1996; Burstein 1998, 2002; Stephen Howe 1998; Moses 1998; Bay 2000; Walker 2001. Cf. Marriott 1991 (a journalistic account of Afrocentrism at the time); Shavit 2001 (an exhaustive examination of [proto-]Afrocentric perspectives on antiquity). Discussions of Afrocentrism are often tied up in polemical elaborations on its perceived strengths and shortcomings that make it difficult to come to a clearheaded assessment of the movement’s history. 703. Bernal 1987: 38. For more praise of James, see Bernal 1987: 435, 1989a: 32, 2012: 421. Contrary to Rankine’s (2011: 41) assertion, James’s book was not first published in 1976. For more discussion of James’s work, see, e.g., Snowden 1989: 90, 90 n. 15, 1996: 121; Lefkowitz 1992a, 1992c: esp.

31–32, 1994b, 1997a; Palter 1993: 235; Palaima 1996: 54; Yurco 1997: 75–77; Stephen Howe 1998: 11, 66, 2011: 158; Slack 2006. 704. Bernal 1987: 435–37. Bernal links his work to that of W. E. B. Du Bois and Ali Mazrui in a context that demonstrates that Bernal is not as radical in his interpretation of the Egyptian influence on ancient Greece as was Diop and other formative influences on the Afrocentric movement such as Yosef benJochannan and Chancellor Williams. On differences between Bernal’s ideas and those of Diop, see Ampim 1994. 705. For criticism of Bernal for giving short shrift to this tradition, see, e.g., White 1987; Carruthers 1992: 473–74; Washington 1993: 108–12; Ampim 1994: 196–97; Berlinerblau 1999: 141; Stephen Howe 2011: 158. Cf. Shilliam 2011: 210. 706. Bay (2000: 501) contends that these ideas were first expressed in the 1830s. 707. On the black vindicationists, see, e.g., Bruce 1984; Bay 2000; Walker 2001: esp. 19–23; Burstein 2002: 17–22; Goings and O’Connor 2011; Margaret Malamud 2011; Shilliam 2011. 708. Bay 2000: 502. 709. Stephen Howe 1998: 60–61. Cf. Walker 2001: 37. But even this basic claim about Afrocentrism is contested. The precise definition of Afrocentrism remains elusive: the term means many things to many people. During the course of the Black Athena debate, moreover, the term was bandied about with imprecision. 710. Asante 1988. On this book as the foundation of the movement, see Bay 2000: 503. 711. Stephen Howe 1998: 180, 231, 240; Rojas 2007: 216–18. 712. See Asante 1987: v (“I consider myself a вЂDiopian’”), 1990: v (“I am most keenly a Diopian, believing essentially that Cheikh Anta Diop has said quite enough on the theories of culture and the history to inform most of what I write”). Cf. Asante 1988: ix–x. For Diop’s views, see Diop 1974, 1991. 713. See, e.g., Asante 1987, 1988, 1990. 714. Bay 2000: 509. For an example of this tendency, see Parker (1917: esp. 344), who favors racial mixture as beneficial for societies. 715. E.g., Tony Martin 1993; Winters 1994; Houessou-Adin 1995; Alkebulan 2007. According to Ibram Rogers (2012a: 169), Temple was the first American university to establish a doctoral program in African American studies, doing so in 1988. 716. E.g., Asante 1990: 100–101, 121; Carruthers 1992; Alkebulan 2007: 420. Cf. Tate 1989, a journalist supportive of both Bernal and Afrocentrism. For a scholarly perspective mostly supportive of Bernal and Afrocentrism, see Maghan Keita 2000. Some Afrocentric scholars expressed enthusiasm for Bernal’s work at conferences and lectures rather than in print. See the discussion of Leonard Jeffries below. By no means were all Afrocentric discussions of Black Athena positive, however. See, e.g., Tony Martin 1993: 57–58, 64–65; Ampim 1994; Winters 1994: 175–78. 717. Palter 1993: 227. Cf. Cohen 1993: 9; Schlesinger 1998: 117. 718. Begley, Chideya, and Wilson 1991. 719. E.g., Tate 1989; Barringer 1990; Beam 1991; Marriott 1991; Hughes 1993: 130–47; anonymous 1996; Dembner 1996. See also the discussion of the documentary, Black Athena (1991), below. 720. See chapter 1. 721. Though by no means tied only to such departments: scholars associated with Afrocentrism have homes in numerous academic departments, including sociology, psychology, and history. See, e.g., Bay 2000: 504. 722. E.g., Yosef ben-Jochannan (see Stephen Howe 1998: 63, 227), Ivan Van Sertima (see Stephen Howe 1998: 249–51), and John Henrik Clarke (see Stephen Howe 1998: 60–61, 124, 216–18). 723. E.g., Asante 1988: 57 (“The rise of homosexuality in the African-American male’s psyche is real and complicated. An Afrocentric perspective recognizes its existence but homosexuality cannot be condoned or accepted as good for the national development of a strong people”). 724. E.g., Tony Martin 1993 (praised by Asante 1994). According to Stephen Howe (1998: 176), much Afrocentric thought, with the notable exception of Diop’s, is anti-Semitic. Cf. Hughes (1993: 137–38), who is troubled by Afrocentrism’s anti-Semitism. 725. Steinberg 1991; Gourevitch 1992; Dyson 1993: 157; Ginsberg 1993: 158–59; Traub 1993: 49. 726. E.g., Decter 1991: 27: The report “contained certain undisguisedly sweeping and radical

recommendations: for example, that New York State acquire an entirely new set of text materials more favorable to blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asians along with a new state Department of Cultural Equality among whose duties would be the initiation of вЂintensive discussions’ with textbook publishers and the definition of new standards of certification for teachers and principals that would involve вЂappropriate education and competence in multicultural education.’” 727. Jeffries also denigrated education scholar Diane Ravitch, a critic of the task force’s report, as “a sophisticated Texas Jew” who is “the ultimate, supreme, sophisticated, debonair racist—pure and simple.” See Gourevitch 1992: 35. 728. Dicker 1991. See also anonymous 1991a, c. On the Jeffries affair, see Morrow and McCarroll 1991; Myers 1991; Tierney 1991; Gourevitch 1992; Ginsberg 1993: 158–60; Tony Martin 1993: 45–46; Traub 1993; Benjamin 1993–94; PГ©rez-PeГ±a 1994; Stephen Howe 1998: 221–22. This was not the period’s only incendiary speech linked to Afrocentrism. At an April 19, 1994, rally at Howard University, “Documenting the Black Holocaust,” Khalid Abdul Muhammad from the Nation of Islam verbally attacked whites and Jews. Among those in attendance at the rally were Jeffries and Tony Martin. See Guy MacLean Rogers 1994: 8. As of this writing, a video of the rally is available on the C-Span Web site. See also Hecht (1992), who discusses another controversial speech Jeffries delivered at Harvard University on February 5, 1992. 729. See Tierney 1991. 730. For writings from the academic culture wars that mention (and criticize) Jeffries, see, e.g., Berger 1990; D’Souza 1991: 7; John Taylor 1991: 39–40; Henry Louis Gates 1992b: xvi; Graff 1992a: 34; West 1992: 327–28; Dyson 1993: 157–63; Hughes 1993: 151; Traub 1993; Mirsky 1994: 189–92; Radosh 1994: 202; Sidorsky 1994: 253–54; Gitlin 1995: 175–76; Teachout 1995: 101–2; Schlesinger 1998: 73. 731. See Steinberg 1991; Gourevitch 1992. 732. The riot took place on August 19–21, 1991. In a January 4, 1992, letter to Martin Bernal, Molly Levine connected the reception of Black Athena to the Crown Heights riot: “I was deeply disturbed by the lynch atmosphere at the Temple conference [on Black Athena in 1990], and even more disturbed by the real lynch of Yankele Rosenblatt [sic] in Crown Heights, which I feel was fed by the radical racism of Jeffries and his even less sophisticated mob of followers. Yes, I know that вЂreal life’ is not your fault or your business, although I don’t have to tell you about the power of books and ideas. You must see where reverse racism can lead.” Bernal at least privately mentioned his disdain for Jeffries’s views. On April 17, 1992, he wrote to Levine, “I have denounced and do denounce Black Racism and deplore the encouragement Black Athena has given to men like Jeffries.” On Bernal’s complex relationship with Afrocentrism, see below. 733. See, e.g., Innerst 1990; Nicholson 1990; Raspberry 1990; Yardley 1990; Marriott 1991; Russell L. Adams 1993; Asante 1993–94: 38–39; Martel 1994, 1997; Nicholson 1994: 52; Burstein 2002: 12–13; Hartman 2015: 127–28. 734. Black Athena 1991. For reviews of the film, see Peter S. Allen 1992; Georgakas 1992; Knight 1993; Haley 1994. For Bernal’s discussion of the film, see Bernal 2012: 432–33. 735. A detail that rightly earned the criticism of Haley 1994: 242. 736. Georgakas 1992. The association of Tariq Ali, a left-wing British-Pakistani intellectual, with the film makes this fixation on Jeffries unexpected. 737. Not all intellectuals associated with Afrocentrism fit this mold, however. Some, like Jeffries, possessed a more traditional academic pedigree. On this topic, see below. 738. This was the case despite the fact that some scholars associated with black studies, such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1992a), were among the strongest critics of Afrocentrism. For criticism of Afrocentrism, see, e.g., Snowden 1989: 90–91, 1996; Muhly 1991, 1997; Molly Myerowitz Levine 1992b: 453, 456–59; Walcot 1992: 79; Hughes 1993: 130–47; Palter 1993; John J. Miller 1994; Bard 1996; Bowersock 1996; Donald Kagan 1996; Roger Kimball 1996a; Sarah P. Morris 1996: 173–74; Will 1996; Boedeker 1997: 11; Burstein 1997; Martel 1997; Yurco 1997; Stephen Howe 1998, 2011: esp. 173; Walker 2001; Slack 2006. For more positive discussions of the movement, see Sundiata 1996; Berlinerblau 1999: 133–46; Maghan Keita 2011; Rankine 2011; van Binsbergen 2011b. 739. D’Souza 1991: 7. D’Souza supported the study and teaching of African and African

American subjects in higher education (112), but objected to Afrocentrism (94–123). 740. Ibid., 94–123. 741. For a brief discussion of Jeffries’s 1989 appearance on Geraldo, see Tierney 1991: 28. For a brief discussion of his 1991 appearance on Donahue, see Dyson 1993: 159. 742. See Myers 1991. Many of Jeffries’s supporters apparently were not connected to academia. 743. Teachout 1995: 101: “One of the interesting things about Jeffries is the fact that he has so few respectable defenders.” 744. Cf. Schlesinger 1998, who supports the teaching of African and African American history (81), but devotes much energy to debunking Afrocentrism, seemingly because it offers the most dramatic example of multiculturalism run amok. 745. On 1965 as the year of the black student movement’s origins, see Ibram Rogers 2012a: 3, 2012b: 23. 746. Rojas 2007: 46. 747. Ibram Rogers 2012b: 35. 748. Ibid. On the early years of black studies, see also Rojas 2007; Ibram Rogers 2012a. 749. Even today, scholars associated with African American studies disagree on these topics. See, e.g., Henry Louis Gates and Marable 2006. 750. On ben-Jochannan, see Stephen Howe 1998: 223–27: “He is proud of a primary affiliation to the self-taught intellectualism of the street corner and the Garveyite nationalist tradition” (224). 751. On Clarke, see ibid., 216–18. 752. Tierney 1991: 28. 753. The intellectual background of many Afrocentrists calls to mind some classicists’ criticisms of Bernal: they lacked formal training in the relevant fields. But Bernal, though an outsider to classics, possessed an elite academic pedigree. Black Athena also demonstrates that Bernal had gone to great lengths to become conversant in scholarship on the ancient Mediterranean. Afrocentrists had not done so, favoring a less scholarly approach to the topic. 754. On this topic, see above. 755. Ginsberg 1993: 147. 756. Ibid., 161. 757. Ibid., 162. Ginsberg recognizes (161) that such jockeying for power in the university is a typical part of academic life and is by no means confined to black faculty members hoping to install (intellectually defensible) multicultural requirements on their campuses. On the negative effects of affirmative action on Jews, see Hartman 2015: 57–59. 758. On anti-Semitism in the works of ben-Jochannan, see Stephen Howe 1998: 226. 759. Anonymous 1991d. For more on this text, see below. 760. Henry Louis Gates 1992a. 761. Lefkowitz 1992c. At the time, baseball caps emblazoned with an X were popular accessories among some African Americans, thanks to the success of Spike Lee’s movie Malcolm X (1992). Lefkowitz (2008: 38, 117) did not pick the cover illustration and did not know about it until the magazine arrived in her mailbox. In her memoir (Lefkowitz 2008: 26–27), Lefkowitz mentioned her reluctance to review these books. She explained this hesitancy in a telephone interview conducted on September 29, 2013: she is not a prehistorian and was concerned about wading into such a complex area of scholarship. But she also found the issues addressed in Bernal’s and Afrocentric work very important, so she ultimately decided to accept the request by Leon Wieseltier (the literary editor of the New Republic) that she write the review. 762. E.g., Lefkowitz 1992a, 1993. See also Lefkowitz 1996, 1997a. 763. Lefkowitz 1992c: 33. 764. Ibid., 35. 765. See, e.g., Bernal 1992c, 1992e, 2001: 371–95; Lefkowitz 1992a, b. 766. Bernal 1992e: 5. 767. Rankine (2011: 41) mistakenly asserts that James published his book in 1976. This is an important error, since James, a black man, wrote the book while teaching in segregated Arkansas. 768. Lefkowitz 1997a: 16–30 (on Socrates), 34–52 (on Cleopatra), 2–3, 134–37 (on Aristotle and the Library of Alexandria). Aristotle died prior to the creation of the library. On Cleopatra and race, cf.

McCoskey 2012: 11–22. 769. See, e.g., Lefkowitz 1997a: 8. For critical takes on this book, see Bernal 1996a, b, 2012: 439; Berlinerblau 1996; Conyers 1996; Meier 1996; Loury 1997; Stephen Howe 1998: 9–11; Maghan Keita 2000; Alkebulan 2007: 422–23. Cf. Asante 1993–94 on the original New Republic article. See also Lefkowitz 1997a: 177–93, in which she replies to numerous critics of her book. For positive assessments of the book, see Bowersock 1996; Carson 1996; Elson 1996; Finn 1996; Donald Kagan 1996; Roger Kimball 1996a; Palaima 1996; Will 1996; Ray 1997; Roth 1997. 770. Lefkowitz 2008: 150–51; telephone interview with Lefkowitz, September 29, 2013. 771. Lefkowitz 1997a: 126–34. For criticism of Lefkowitz’s discussion of this topic, see Stephen Howe 1998: 8–11. 772. This is not entirely true, however. See, e.g., Lefkowitz 1997a: 125: the notion that the Greeks stole civilization from Egypt has an impact on black audiences “not least because most black Americans have been raised in a culture that disparages or neglects the contributions of black people.” 773. Lefkowitz (1997a: 185) did recognize, however, that James was a victim of discrimination. For a thoughtful and perceptive review of Lefkowitz’s book, see Loury 1997. 774. E.g., Lefkowitz 1997a: 6–7, 126, 168: “There is simply no reason to deprive the Greeks of the credit for their own achievement” (7). Cf. Lefkowitz 2008: 11. 775. Bernal 2012: 436. Lefkowitz noted (1997a: xi) that her review for the New Republic changed her life. 776. Bernal 1996b: 17–18. This demonstrates that Berlinerblau (1999: 126–29) was incorrect to contend that Bernal did not trouble himself with factual errors, but was focused on the larger picture. Bernal concluded that various factual errors undercut the credibility of Lefkowitz’s book. See also Lefkowitz’s responses to Bernal’s criticisms (e.g., Lefkowitz 1992b, 1996, 2003).

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Page 282 → Page 283 →

Index abortion, 12–13 Accuracy in Academia, 19 adjunct faculty: classical studies and, 217; Great Books programs and, 70n174; reliance on, 220, 227; traditionalist criticism of reliance on, 37; Who Killed Homer?’s criticism of reliance on, 209 Adler, Mortimer J., 68–69, 229. See also Great Books Aeschylus, 129, 152n226 affirmative action, 12, 21, 26, 146n193, 164 African American studies: Black Athena and, 127, 137–47, 162, 164, 213–14; criticism of, 39, 140–47, 161; Great Books and, 71; origins of, 14, 137–39, 144–46; SUNY Buffalo and, 1 Afrocentrism: Black Athena and, 113–14, 136–54, 164–68, 170–71, 217; Eurocentrism and, 33; SUNY Buffalo and, 1–2; Wellesley College and, 160–62. See also African American studies; black vindicationists AJP affair: crisis in classics and, 218; details of, 3, 77–111; feminism and, 77–78, 94–7, 99; gender and, 6, 101–2; Heath, John and, 181; influence on classical studies of, 107–11; pragmatic nature of, 106–7, 214; Who Killed Homer? and, 192. See also American Journal of Philology; Luck, Georg; Women’s Classical Caucus Allemang, John, 199 Altertumswissenschaft: Black Athena and, 128, 167; criticism of, 104n164; influence on classical scholars of, 75, 215; professionalization of higher education and, 53–54, 63; Who Killed Homer? and, 186n82, 194 American Academy in Rome (American School of Classical Studies in Rome), 65 American Enterprise Institute, 26 American Journal of Philology (AJP): editorial board of, 77–78, 86–93, 95–98, 101–2, 108–9, 216; founding of, 65, 80; Gildersleeve, Basil L. and, 80–81; prestige of, 3, 77, 108; readership of, 195. See also AJP affair; Gildersleeve, Basil L.; Luck, Georg American Philological Association (APA): AJP affair and, 77–78, 89, 94–99, 107–8; Black Athena and, 133–34, 156; criticism of, 205n210, 225; culture wars and, 39; elections scandal of, 6n6, 96; founding of, 65; jobs for classicists and, 219–20; name change of, 39n150; recommendations for, 238–41; survey of membership of, 5, 216–17, 217, 225–26, 228n35, 228–29n36, 233, 237, 241–42; Who Killed Homer? and, 177, 180, 184, 202n195, 205n210 American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 65, 176, 180 Amherst College, 50, 56, 71 Anderson, Perry, 131 Page 284 →anti-Semitism: Afrocentrism and, 141–42, 146–47, 152–54, 160–61; Black Athena and, 119, 123–24; de Man, Paul and, 23. See also Jews

Aquinas, Thomas, 46 Archaeological Institute of America, 65 archaeology: and Black Athena, 120, 135–36; at Johns Hopkins University, 84; professionalization of, 65; Who Killed Homer? on, 189n110, 193 Arethusa, 133, 157 Arion, 191–92, 197, 202, 206n219, 208n229 Aristotle, 22, 48n32, 148 Arnold, Kenneth, 131 Arnold, Matthew, 18, 76, 105 Arnold, Thomas, 105 Arrowsmith, William, 17, 105n167, 191, 194–95 Asahina, Robert, 20 Asante, Molefi Kete, 137n138, 138–39, 150, 153n231 Astour, Michael, 120 Babbitt, Irving, 63, 76. See also New Humanism Baltimore Sun, 83, 100, 102 Bass, George, 133–34 Bate, Walter Jackson, 16–17, 104 Bateman, Lewis, 154–55, 157n258 Bay, Mia, 139 Beard, Mary, 225, 238 Bell Curve, The, 157, 178n29 Bellow, Adam, 178–79, 183 Bellow, Saul, 19, 26, 178n33 ben-Jochannan, Yosef, 137n140, 141n158, 145–47 Bennett, William J.: on adjunct faculty, 37; criticism of, 26, 28–29, 74; curricular ideas of, 17–19, 39, 105–6, 191, 214, 240; on scholarly research, 104 Berlinerblau, Jacques, 126n73, 156–57, 165 Bernal, John Desmond (J. D.), 115 Bernal, Martin: Afrocentrism and, 136–40, 142n168, 143, 147–54, 161–65, 167–68, 170; Black Athena controversy and, 3–4, 113–71, 217, 238n54, 242–43; Bloom, Allan and, 117, 130; classics

establishment and, 128–29, 132–34, 199n168, 217; contributor to the New York Review of Books, 116, 118; historiographical methodology of, 125–26, 135; Kuhn, Thomas and, 122; life of 115–17; political outlook of, 115–16, 135, 199; Telluride and, 117; Who Killed Homer? and, 196–99, 208 Beye, Charles Rowan, 205, 206n217 Black Athena. See Bernal, Martin Black Athena (film), 143 Black Power, 15, 139 black studies. See African American studies black vindicationists, 137–39, 149 Blok, Josine, 131n101, 165, 168n312, 169–70 Bloom, Allan: AJP affair and, 91, 104–6; Black Athena and, 116n12, 117, 127, 130, 152n226; classical studies and, 214, 233; criticism of, 18n47, 21–22, 26, 29, 74; ideas of, 19–22, 34–36, 140, 212n246, 231, 240; influence of, 163; Kimball, Roger and, 24–25; language study and, 69n173; popularity of writing of, 2–3, 10–11; sexuality of, 21n62; Who Killed Homer? and, 178–79n33, 195n50, 197–99, 207 Bottum, Joseph, 201–2 Bowersock, Glen, 88, 91n73, 101 Brooks, Peter. See Speaking for the Humanities Brown, Edwin L., 101 Brown University, 44n8, 50, 51n55 Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 173, 205 Bryn Mawr College, 59 Bruni, Leonardo, 45–46, 49, 187. See also Renaissance humanism Buckley, William F., Jr., 16 Burstein, Stanley, 158n266, 165, 167n310, 168–70 Bush, George H. W., 12n15 Bush, George W., 211n241, 236 Page 285 →Caesar, Julius, 45 Calder III, William, 43–44, 64, 104–5 California State University at Fresno, 177, 191, 211–12 Cambridge University: Black Athena and, 115, 118–19, 166; influence on early American higher education of, 44–45, 47, 51–52 Catholic University, 59

Černý, Jaroslav, 120 Champollion, Jean-François, 123 Cicero, 40n156, 45 City College of New York, 139, 142–44, 146 Civil War (US), 44, 47–48, 50–51, 57–58, 186 Clark, James H., 203–4 Clark University, 59 Clarke, John Henrik, 113–14, 138, 145, 147, 170 classical archaeology. See archaeology classical reception studies, 170, 231–32 Classical World, 181–83, 192n131, 201, 202n191 Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis?, 79, 106–8, 180, 205, 218 Classics-L, 174, 192, 200–201 classical languages: American high schools and, 71–72, 185, 240; Black Athena on, 120, 124–25, 128, 162; early American colleges and, 45–46, 48–51, 57, 69, 190–91, 228, 234; end of collegiate requirements in, 50–51, 61–62, 64–66, 71; English departments and, 72; enrollments in, 71, 185, 194, 210, 220–24; Great Books and, 69, 76, 105; and Indo-European, 124–25; at Land Grant institutions, 58; “machismo” and study of, 234; professionalization of higher education and, 53–55, 80; Renaissance humanism and, 45, 69, 73; roll in the culture wars of, 29, 39–40, 164, 213–14; skepticism of study of, 70, 73; social value of, 50–51; Who Killed Homer? on, 185, 189–91, 201n183 classics majors, 185, 219, 222–24, 233. See also major/minor system Clay, Diskin, 83–91, 98–100 Cleopatra, 140, 148 Cline, Eric, 155–56, 158–59n266, 169, 238 Closing of the American Mind, The. See Bloom, Allan College of William and Mary, 44n8, 49 Columbia University, 44n8, 67–68, 70 comparative literature, 17, 23, 25, 40, 140 Connecticut College, 231, 233 Connolly, Joy, 173–74, 193, 198, 205–6, 210 Connor, W. Robert, 224, 233 Cooper, Jerrold S., 82–83, 100

Cornell University: Bernal, Martin and, 115, 117, 118n28, 119, 157, 166; Bloom, Allan on, 21; distribution model and, 67; history of, 58–61, 64, 67. See also Bernal, Martin; Telluride Crown Heights riot, 142–43 Cudjoe, Selwyn, 161 Culham, Phyllis, 96n109, 108–9, 205 Culler, Jonathan. See Speaking for the Humanities da Feltre, Vittorino, 45 da Verona, Guarino, 45 Daly, James, 88, 101 Dartmouth Review, 26 Dasenbrock, Reed Way, 33 Davidson, James, 196 Day, Jeremiah, 57 deconstruction, 16, 23, 83, 90, 189 de Man, Paul, 23, 38. See also deconstruction Democrats (US political party members), 241n66. See also Republicans Diller, Aubrey, 195 Dillon, John, 88, 93, 107–9 Diodorus Siculus, 138 Diop, Cheikh Anta, 137–38, 141n160, 147 Dissent, 33, 193 distribution requirements system, 35, 37, 67–68, 73–75, 228–33 Page 286 →Dixon, Suzanne, 94, 98, 107 Donahue, 144 D’Souza, Dinesh: Afrocentrism and, 144; ideas of, 26–27, 34, 73, 140; popularity of writing of, 2–3; Who Killed Homer? and, 207 Du Bois, W. E. B., 137n140, 138, 153n129 duBois, Page, 209, 238 Duke University, 19, 29 Dunkel, George, 88, 91n73, 93

Edmonson, Colin, 176, 190 Edmunds, Lowell: chair of classics at Johns Hopkins University, 78, 82–88; coeditor of Classics: A Discipline and Profession in Crisis?, 205; contribution to “AJP Today,” 91; departure from Johns Hopkins University of, 100; views on AJP affair of, 107–8 Egypt/Egyptians: Afrocentrism and, 137–40, 143, 145, 148–49, 152–53, 160–61, 168, 170; Black Athena and, 113, 120–27, 132, 135–37, 140, 143, 152–53, 157, 162, 167; Great Books and, 68 Eliot, Charles W., 60–63, 66–67, 70, 74–75. See also free elective system Encounter Books, 204 English, study of: culture wars focus on, 3, 16–17, 23–25, 28, 38–41, 140, 214; introduction in American higher education of, 48–9; prominence in the humanities of, 38–41, 61, 64, 72 Enlightenment, 15, 49 Everett, Edward, 54 FamaeVolent, 224–25 Fantham, Elaine, 101 feminism: AJP affair and, 3, 77–78, 90, 94–96, 103–5, 111; criticism of, 21, 26, 182; future of classical studies and, 235; influence on academia of, 15; Lefkowitz, Mary and, 102; Who Killed Homer? and, 199. See also Women’s Classical Caucus; women’s studies Ferrari, G. R. F., 101 Finley, Moses, 118n29, 119 Fish, Stanley, 19 Fisher, George W., 82, 86 Foley, Helene P., 96 Frank, Tenney, 84 free elective system, 34, 47, 60–67, 70, 74. See also Eliot, Charles W. Free Press, The, 178–79, 195 French, study of, 23, 49, 64 French, Valerie, 94n100, 97 Frost, Frank, 210 Galinsky, Karl, 196, 214 Garber, Marjorie. See Speaking for the Humanities Gardiner, Alan, 115, 118n26 Gardiner, Margaret, 115

Garvey, Marcus, 138, 145n186, 149, 161 Gates, Jr., Henry Louis, 74, 114, 144n174, 146–47, 161n280 Georgakas, Dan, 143 Geraldo, 144 GI Bill, 70–71 Gildersleeve, Basil L., 65, 78–81, 84–85, 92, 100–105 Gilman, Daniel Coit, 59, 79–80 Gingrich, Newt, 198 Giroux, Henry A., 29 Gitlin, Todd, 12 Goellner, Jack, 84, 86–87, 89, 90n68, 101–2 Gold, Barbara K., 95n104, 98n120, 101, 103–4n159, 182–83 Goldberg, Sander M., 109–10 Golder, Herbert, 191–92, 206, 208 Gordon, Cyrus, 120, 157n261 Graff, Gerald, 30–31, 40 Great Books: Bennett, William on, 18; Black Athena and, 127, 166; Bloom, Allan on, 19, 22; classics and, 40, 68–70, 175, 208, 215–16, 218, 228–29; Columbia University and, 67–68; Connecticut College and, 231; demise of, 15, 70–71; English departments and, 39; history of, 67–71; Searle, John on, 25; Stanford University and, 19; traditionalists on, 32–33, 37, 72–73, 75–76, 105, 235; Page 287 →Who Killed Homer? and, 184–85, 186n81, 187, 190, 206; University of Chicago and, 9, 68–69; Yale University and, 230–31. See also Hutchins, Robert Maynard Greek. See classical languages Green, Peter, 196–98, 204n204, 204n208, 206, 239 Gress, David, 69, 135 Gruen, Erich, 97–98, 106n173, 203 Hall, Jonathan, 168, 169n322 Hallett, Judith: AJP affair and, 95, 96n110, 109; Who Killed Homer? and, 181–82, 201–2; Women’s Classical Caucus and, 94n100, 95 Halperin, David, 189 Hamel, Debra, 201 Hanson, Victor Davis: life of, 175–80, 211; Limbaugh, Rush on, 212; political views of, 174–75, 187, 199–200, 211–12; populism of, 4, 178n31, 183, 190; value to classical studies of, 212, 239; Who Killed

Homer? controversy and, 4, 173–212, 214–15, 217–18, 222, 227–29, 232, 237. See also Heath, John; Who Killed Homer? Harry, J. E., 195 Harvard College/University: Bate, Walter Jackson and, 16; curriculum of, 47, 49, 51, 60–62, 67, 70–71; foundation of, 44–45, 48; graduate study at, 60; modern languages at, 48; professionalization of classical studies and, 54; Thernstrom, Stephan, 23; tutors at, 52 Harvard Magazine, 16 Harvard Redbook, 70 Harvard School of Vergilian criticism, 39–40 Hayden, Tom, 36 Heath, John: life of, 179–80, 183, 210–11; political views of, 199–200; populism of, 4, 178n31, 190; “Self Promotion and вЂCrisis’ in Classics” and, 180–83; Who Killed Homer? controversy and, 4, 173–212, 214–15, 217–18, 222, 227–29, 232, 237. See also Hanson, Victor Davis; Who Killed Homer? Hebrew, 47, 73, 119, 123n59, 136 Held, Dirk, 233 Henderson, Jeffrey, 97 Herodotus, 138, 148 Hesiod, 175 Heyne, Christian Gottlob, 53, 54n70 Homer: Great Books and, 68; Renaissance humanists on, 45; Who Killed Homer? and, 184–88, 190, 199; Wolf, Friedrich August and, 53 Hoover Institution, 211 Howard University, 132, 142n163 Howe, Irving, 33, 193n138 humanism. See humanities; Renaissance humanism humanities: classical studies’ relationship with, 4–5, 40, 213–14, 218, 240; culture wars and, 4, 16–18, 23–36, 40, 73–74, 202, 213–14, 226; decline in majors of, 17, 218–19; distribution requirements and, 67, 229; English and, 16–17, 38–39, 64; future of, 205n211, 215, 228, 241; at Johns Hopkins University, 82–84, 91; origins of, 39, 45–46; postmodernism and, 14–16, 121; transformation in nineteenth century of, 63–64, 72; Who Killed Homer? and, 177–78, 190n120, 209, 212. See also liberal arts; Renaissance humanism Humboldt, Wilhelm von, 54n70, 167 Hunter, James Davison, 6, 11–13, 164

Hutchins, Robert Maynard, 9, 68–69, 76, 229. See also University of Chicago Hyksos, 126n71, 136, 152 Illiberal Education. See D’Souza, Dinesh Inglehart, Ronald, 13 Iraq War, 211, 236 Jackson, Andrew, 58 Jackson, Jesse, 19 Jackson, John G., 147 James, George G. M., 137, 147–49 Jameson, Michael, 176 Page 288 →Jasanoff, Jay, 157–59, 162, 165–67 Jeffries, Leonard: academic appointment of, 142, 146; Black Athena and, 139–40, 142n168, 143, 148, 154n235; culture wars and, 38, 141–44, 147, 161. See also Afrocentrism Jesus, 1 Jews: Afrocentrism and, 141–42, 160; Black Athena and, 117, 119–20, 123; culture wars and, 12–13; as faculty members, 146. See also anti-Semitism Johns Hopkins University: AJP affair and, 77–94, 99–103, 106; founding of, 59–60, 79; Gildersleeve, Basil L. and, 65, 79–81; Harvard University’s competition with, 62; major/minor system and, 66 Jones, Peter, 238 Kagan, Donald, 198n164, 198n167, 209–10, 238 Kahane, Ahuvia, 188 Kaplan, E. Ann. See Speaking for the Humanities Katz, Marilyn A., 96, 189 Keegan, John, 177 Kelly, Stephen Timothy, 188 Kennedy, George A.: AJP affair and, 78, 86–88, 94, 98–99, 101–2, 107, 109; editorial style of, 102–4; views on higher education of, 29 Kent, Charles William, 81 Keuls, Eva, 94n100, 238–39 Kimball, Roger: Arnold, Matthew and, 105; Black Athena and, 127; criticism of, 25, 35; ideas of, 22–26, 36, 76, 140, 240; influence of, 163, 207n224; popularity of writing of, 2–3; Who Killed Homer? and, 188, 191, 197–99, 207–8

Kingsley, James L., 57 Kissinger, Henry, 129 Knox, Bernard, 239 Knopf, Alfred A., 177 Koch, Ed, 139–40 Koenen, Ludwig, 96 Konstan, David, 134, 168–70, 183, 206n219 Kopff, E. Christian, 78 Kramer, Hilton, 35, 76 Kuhn, Thomas, 122, 133n114 Lafayette College, 48 Latin. See classical languages Leach, Eleanor Winsor, 101 Lee, Spike, 147n197 Lefkowitz, Mary R.: AJP affair and, 88, 91n73, 93, 97, 102, 108–9; Black Athena and, 113–14, 125n70, 147–62, 164–65, 169–70, 242–43; value to classical studies of, 239 Lewis, Paul, 192 Levine, George. See Speaking for the Humanities Levine, Molly: contribution to Black Athena controversy of, 132–34, 165; correspondence with Martin Bernal of, 137n137, 142n168, 154n235; views on Black Athena of, 114n4, 125n70, 168–70; withdraws chapter from Black Athena Revisited, 156 liberal arts: Black Athena and, 167; classical studies and, 69, 72, 76, 186, 231–32; culture wars on, 36; foundation of, 44, 232, 234; Great Books and, 69; at Johns Hopkins University, 82, 91; Limbaugh, Rush on, 211–12; medieval scholasticism and, 46–47; tradition of, 6, 44. See also humanities liberal arts colleges, 227, 233–34 Limbaugh, Rush, 211–12, 241n65 Lipman, Samuel, 76 Livy, 45 Lombardi, John, 99–100 London Review of Books, 150 Longaker, Richard P., 84–86, 89n60 Lowell, Abbott Lawrence, 67

Luck, Georg, 3–4, 77–111, 188, 192, 218. See also AJP affair; American Journal of Philology Lynch, John, 203 Mao Zedong, 116–18, 151 major/minor system, 60, 66–67, 69. See also classics majors Page 289 →March, Francis A., 48 Marshak, Robert E., 146 Martin, Anthony, 141n60, 142n164, 153n231, 160–62 Martindale, Charles, 189, 193n142, 197–98, 206 mathematics, 46–47, 49, 62, 73, 218 McCarthy era, 12 McCormick, Michael H., 86, 88 McManus, Barbara F.: AJP affair and, 78, 97n115, 99, 102, 109n189; Women’s Classical Caucus and, 94n100 medieval scholasticism. See scholasticism Meisol, Patricia, 81 Mendelsohn, Daniel, 238 Miller, Charles William Emil, 85n41 103 Mitchner, Leslie, 131 Modern Language Association (MLA), 23, 39, 220, 222, 241 Moore, David Chioni, 158–59 Morrill Land Grant Act, 58 Morris, Ian, 109–10 Morris, Sarah, 134, 156n253 Moses, Wilson Jeremiah, 150 Muhammad, Khalid, 142n164, 150 MГјller, Karl Ottfried, 165 Muller, Steven, 83, 100 multiculturalism: Black Athena and, 126–28, 141, 150, 162–64, 170; culture wars and, 12, 26; and curricula, 32–35, 40, 144; Who Killed Homer? and, 185, 188 Murnaghan, Sheila, 24n71, 101

Murphy, Cullen, 236 Murray, Charles, 157, 178n29, 240 Nagy, Gregory, 101 Nation of Islam, 142n164, 147, 150, 152–53, 160 National Association of Scholars, 73n192, 150 National Review, 135, 179n33, 212, 230n39, 241 Nazis, 20, 22, 23, 124n61 Nehamas, Alexander, 29 New Criterion, 7, 23, 76, 135 New England Classical Journal, 206n219, 210 New Humanism, 63, 76, 166 New Left, 14, 21, 36 New Republic, 140, 147–48, 154–55, 162 New York Review of Books, 116, 118, 136, 140, 166n307 New York Times: academic culture wars and, 140, 146–47; AJP affair and, 77, 79; best-seller list of, 10, 26, 91; Black Athena and, 132n103; political correctness and, 23; Who Killed Homer? and, 192 New York University, 50, 64n142 Newsweek, 140 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 9, 20, 194 9/11. See September 11, 2001 North, Oliver, 21 Nott, Eliphalet, 51 Nussbaum, Alan, 157–59, 162, 165, 167, 169 Nussbaum, Martha C., 101 O’Boyle, Lenore, 55 Occupy Wall Street, 211 O’Donnell, James, 200, 239n58 Oliver, James H., 83n30, 84 O’Reilly, Bill, 5 Owen, David I., 118n26, 119–20, 129n87

Oxford University, 44–45, 47, 51–52, 166 Paglia, Camille, 192 Palaima, Thomas, 197, 205n211, 206, 210 Pearcy, Lee, 227, 232 Phinney, Edward, 71 Phoenicians, 119–20, 123–27, 136, 140, 162 Pierce, Adrianne, 91 Plato, 10, 20, 22, 190, 233 Pollini, John, 82–84, 87 political correctness (PC), 4, 23, 32, 132, 186 Pomeroy, Sarah B., 101, 103 Pomona College, 179 Porter, David H., 182 Page 290 →postmodernism: AJP affair and, 111; Black Athena and, 121, 125–26, 149, 163, 165; classical scholarship and, 169; description of, 14–16; Graff, Gerald on, 40; Kimball, Roger on, 24; political inclinations and, 236–37; Speaking for the Humanities on, 74; Who Killed Homer? and, 174, 188, 197, 207, 210 Potts, David, 56 Poultney, James W., 82, 84, 100 Pratt, Mary Louise, 26 Princeton University, 44n8, 60, 61n117 Protestant Reformation, 45, 47 Putnam, Michael, 86–87 racism: and Black Athena, 123–24, 127–30, 133, 142n68, 148, 153n230, 162; and the Great Books, 19; Thernstrom, Stephan and, 23 Reckford, Kenneth J., 101 Reinhold, Meyer, 43–44 Renaissance humanism: Black Athena and, 166–67; culture warriors’ disinterest in, 32; culture wars traditionalists and, 75–76; influence on American higher education of, 45–48, 57, 63–64, 80, 216, 228, 232–33; natural sciences as a threat to, 49; professionalization of higher education and, 55–56, 59, 66, 175, 186, 215, 229; Who Killed Homer? and, 187, 209 Rendsburg, Gary, 133n111, 157–58, 167 Renehan, Robert, 88, 91n73, 101

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 50 Republicans (US political part members), 175, 198–200, 241n66. See also Democrats Ricks, Christopher, 76 Richlin, Amy, 94n100, 97, 99, 105, 214 Rieff, David, 21 Rieff, Philip, 9–11, 21 Robinson, David M., 84 Rogers, Guy MacLean, 113–14, 154–56, 158, 170 Rogers, Ibram, 145 Roller, Matthew, 79 Rollins College, 180 Romer, Frank, 82, 87 Rorty, Richard, 29 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 10, 20, 22 Rowell, Henry T., 83n30, 84, 85n41, 92n82 Rudolph, Frederick, 44, 64 Rutgers University Press, 131, 156 Said, Edward, 129–30 Sallust, 45 Salutati, Coluccio, 45, 187. See also Renaissance humanism San Francisco State University, 145 Santirocco, Matthew, 181 Schein, Seth, 203–4 Schliemann, Heinrich, 122, 208n226 scholasticism, 45–48, 55 Scialabba, George, 193 Scodel, Ruth, 89n67, 90 Searle, John, 25, 35 Secor, Laura, 196

Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews, The, 147, 153n228, 160–61 September 11, 2001, 11, 159, 162–63, 200, 236n52 Sesostris, 136 Shackleton Bailey, D. R., 88 Shakespeare, William, 10, 32–33 Shive, David, 188 Shorey, Paul, 62–63 Simon and Schuster, 20, 179n33 Skinner, Marilyn, 94–99, 105, 107–9 Smith, Page, 37, 104 Snowden, Frank, Jr., 114, 132–33, 153, 156n253 Sobol, Thomas, 141 Society for Classical Studies (SCS). See American Philological Association Socrates, 20, 40, 148, 190, 233 Sokal, Alan, 38 Sophocles, 68, 195 South Africa, 19 South Atlantic Quarterly, 29–31 Page 291 →Soviet Union, 12–13, 115 Speaking for the Humanities, 27–29, 74 Spectator, The, 238 Stadter, Philip A., 101 Stanford University: Bernal, Martin on, 137n137; Hanson, Victor Davis and, 176; Heath, John and, 179–80; Western Culture program of, 19, 23, 26, 38 State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, 1–2, 195n147 Staley, Gregory, 232 Stephens, Laurence D., 101 Stimpson, Catharine R. See Speaking for the Humanities Strauss, Barry, 238 Strauss, Leo, 20n53, 20n57

Stray, Christopher, 54 Students for a Democratic Society, 36 survey of Society for Classical Studies members. See American Philological Association Sykes, Charles: AJP affair and, 72–74, 81–83, 91, 102; views on higher education of, 27, 36–37, 39, 104, 191 Tacitus, 45 Teachout, Terry, 144 Telluride, 117, 131–32. See also Cornell University Tenured Radicals. See Kimball, Roger Thernstrom, Stephan, 23 Thomas, Richard, 96 Thornton, Bruce, 191, 205n211, 210 Thucydides, 68 Ticknor, George, 54 Times Literary Supplement, 196 Toll, Kate, 203–4 Tomlinson, Gideon, 57 Transactions of the American Philological Association (TAPA), 65, 80n17, 109–10 Tuttleton, James, 31, 76 Unabomber, 201–2 Union College, 51 University of California at San Diego, 180, 209 University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), 175–76, 199n168, 203 University of California Press, 203–4 University of Chicago: Bloom, Allan and, 10, 179n33; criticism of, 36; Graff, Gerald and, 30; Great Books program at, 68–69; Rieff, Philip and, 9. See also Hutchins, Robert Maynard University of Göttingen, 53–54, 59, 65, 80 University of Halle, 53 University of Maryland, 232 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), 29, 78, 86, 88, 101

University of Virginia, 65n146, 80 Van Sertima, Ivan, 122, 152 Vanderpool, Eugene, 190 Ventris, Michael, 122, 208n226 Vergerio, Pietro Paolo, 45 Vergil, 40n156, 45, 68 Vermeule, Emily, 136 Vietnam War, 14–15, 19, 39, 117–18 Wall Street Journal, 79n11, 81, 91, 102, 201 Washington, George, 58 Washington Post, 192 Wayland, Francis, 50, 51n55 Weekly Standard, 201 Wellesley College, 113, 155, 156n249, 160–61 West, Martin, 166, 170n323 West Point, 50 White, Andrew D., 58–61. See also Cornell University White, E. Frances, 127 Wiggins, Benjamin Lawton, 81 Will, George, 150 Willett, Steven J., 192 Williams, Mark F., 200–1 Wills, Garry, 84 Winckelmann, Johann Joachim, 53 Winkler, John, 179n35, 180 Page 292 →Winterer, Caroline, 63–64, 72 Who Killed Homer?: Arrowsmith, William and, 194–95; class and, 6, 217; controversy surrounding, 4, 6, 173–212, 214–15, 229, 238; ideas for reform in, 190–91, 227; Kimball, Roger and, 188; New York Times on, 192; Nietzsche, Friedrich and, 194; paperback version of, 202–4. See also Hanson, Victor Davis; Heath, John Wolf, Friedrich August, 53–54. See also Altertumswissenschaft

Wolfe, Alan, 37 Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC): AJP affair and, 77–78, 94–99, 102, 106–11, 218; foundation of, 95; questionnaire of, 104; resistance to, 96; victories of, 111, 216 women’s studies, 14, 24, 39, 71, 140 Worrell, W. H., 195 Wright, Diana, 174, 201 Yale College/University: curriculum of, 46n16, 48–49, 51, 56–57, 62n125, 64; founding of, 44n8; graduate studies at, 60; Great Books at, 230–31; tutors at, 52. See also Yale Reports Yale Reports, 55n83, 56–57 Yamane, David, 32 Young, Robert M., 121 Youtie, Herbert C., 195