Talking about Reading – Classical Association Annual Conference 2013 at Reading

Post No 6 – Classical Association Annual Conference 2013 at Reading
Talking about Reading – two interviews

Every day this week we have been writing a post about the Classical Association  – this year’s conference begins next Wednesday. Today we interview two people who you might meet at Reading this year and we talk about the charm and organisation of CA conferences and some tips about Reading. Sam Hayes is a MA student who helped out in last year’s conference. David Carter is a senior lecturer at the University of Reading and the organiser of the conference.

i) Sam HayesSam Hayes

Sam Hayes has a bursary to attend the Classical Association conference in Reading next week. Sam is currently an MA student at the University of Exeter. Sam’s interest ranges from Greek poetry to Indo-European culture and language, and he participated in the “Stoic Week” at the University of Exeter. Sam’s main interest is Imperial Latin will continue his Classical education with a PhD on Martial’s Epigrams next year.

Q: Sam, thanks for agreeing to talk to Classics Collective. You told us that you are a student at the University of Exeter, did you attend the last CA conference?

Yes, I was there as one of the notorious (or infamous) “Green Shirts” helping with meeting and greeting. I also organised music for the Gala Dinner and helping with the panels, I am really looking forward to attending the CA this year.

Q: Do you think you will feel a bit nostalgic?

Yeah, I think I will be a little bit nostalgic. Last year was my first time at conference. It took up a big part of Easter for me. From my experience last year the CA conference had a great feel of what Classics is.

Q: What were your memories of last year’s conference?

There was a great sense of belonging in the CA conference, meeting lots of people. It was nice to meet people from different backgrounds.

Q: Was there any abiding memory, something that stood out for you at the last conference?

The sheer number of people interested in what we did. I remember at breakfast – as helpers we got up very early every morning to get to breakfast – I spoke to a couple from Warwick every breakfast. And generally just being able to relax and enjoy. But the people played a big part, yes.

Q: Will you feel incline to help in this year’s conference?

I am always happy to help out! But it’s someone else’ job this year I think.

Q: Have you planned for the conference?

I haven’t planned the panels yet but I do plan to go to every panel. I’m interested in the “Ancient Bibliocosm” panel – what it means to be a writer and what it means to write; also “What the Heck-Phrasis” and panels on keeping Classics relevant. I do think it’s important to attend as many panels as you can, although some talks are always going to be more interesting than others.

Q: Are you ready for the conference?

More than ready. I am spending this Easter weekend to prepare for it, and I hope to see many people there as well.

(You can follow Sam on Twitter: @SamHayez)

ii) David Carter Davd Carter

Dr. David Carter is the organiser for Classics Association Annual Conference at Reading this year. Carter has been heavily involved with the Classical Association and the Joint Association of Classical Teachers. Carter’s academic work involves Greek tragedy and political thought, and the inference of politics and rights from tragedy.

Q: Firstly Dr. Carter, thank you very much for talking to us about the upcoming Classical Association conference here in Reading. How big is the conference? How many people are attending the conference?

More than 400 people, from 4 continents, and more than 15 countries.  We’ve had a brilliant response.

Q: What can we look forward to in the conference?

Presidential address from Prof Robin Osborne, plenary lectures from Prof Alan Sommerstein from the University of Nottingham on translation, and Prof Charlotte Roueché from King’s College London on digital classics.  There are panels on everything from ancient history, literature and philosophy, to reception studies, and teaching and learning in schools and HE.  Some great excursions too, including one to the Roman site at Silchester where the University of Reading has been excavating for many years.  There is also a concert in the ancient Reading Minster.

Q: I am going to push you a little: is there anything that cannot be missed?

The three plenary lectures are going to be great! Don’t miss them.

Q: Were you here at the last conference in 2005? Did you ask Helen King (the conference co-ordinator in Reading in 2005) for any advice?

Yes I was here and yes.

Q: Will it be hard to find our way around the conference?

No, the Town Hall and campus are well-connected, and there will be student helpers in bright green t-shirts to set people on the right track.

Q: If we find ourselves with some free-time, what can we do on Whiteknights campus?

University of Reading has a beautiful campus – take a walk round the lake.  Also visit the University’s Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology (more here).  The Museum will also be showing videos from the recent outreach project ‘Ure View’. Also take a look at the Kleroteria in the Classics Department.

Q: And Reading? Do you have a favourite restaurant or bar that you can recommend?

For restaurant, try Pepe Sale.  Go to Global Café on London Street for a good bar.*

Q: Are the students and the department looking forward to the conference?

Very much so. We are raring to go.

Q: So, are you ready?

Ready – Yes!!

*The restaurants and bars recommended by Dr. David Carter are:

Pepe Sale, 3 Queens Walk, Reading, RG1 7QF (0118 959 7700), a Italian-Sardinian restaurant.

Global Café, 35-39 London St  Reading, West Berkshire RG1 4PS (0118 958 3555), a café-bar for international solidarity.

There is also a full listing of restaurant on page 23 of your conference programme.

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