13 September 2006

"Final Performance Report" EH grant 20453-84

On the still developing BACAP web site one may now read the original 1987 NEH report on the Colloquium, with comments, many of them now historic, some of them prescient, from official observers and visitors. Together they constitute a remarkable tribute to John Cleary and his efforts. I give some excerpts:

All in all, BACAP has made an enormous difference to the area, making it a center for research in ancient Greek philosophy despite the deplorable fact that numerous excellent area schools have no tenured member publishing and specializing in ancient philosophy. (This is true of Brandeis, BU, Clark, Harvard, and the MIT Philosophy Department.) That BACAP could have this success despite such conditions is a tribute to its value; and it will, one hopes, help to remedy the situation over time--just as, in our case, it has led to our having two tenured specialists rather than one.
Martha Nussbaum
David Benedict Professor of Philosophy and Classics
Brown University

I found the colleagues and graduate students who attended my presentations to be of very considerable ability. The questions helped me considerably in reconsidering the rough edges of my own ideas. I would like to think that the communal interplay was also stimulating for the other participants. The entire situation reminded me of colloquia at the Sorbonne, in which I participated in 1981, and which are attended by all the specialists on Greek philosophy in the Paris area. We don't do enough of this sort of thing in the USA. You are to be congratulated for developing such a program. The Boston area is a natural location for such a gathering.
Stanley Rosen
Evan Pugh Professor of Philosophy
The Pennsylvania State University

As I have come to participate in other aspects of the Colloquium ... my appreciation of the role of the Colloquium now plays in the larger project of U.S. and Canadian scholarship in ancient philosophy has been tremendously enhanced. What happens in the live sessions at Boston pales, in a way, by comparison to the national and international impact the Colloquium is beginning to make. By engaging as many as twenty scholars as speakers and commentators in any one year, you assure for the program a diversity of interests and styles that counteracts the perennial dangers of cliquishness and faddishness. Even though I may quarrel with your choice of this or that speaker or commentator, the scouting you undertake for talent and for fresh approaches is very impressive indeed.
Alexander Mourelatos
Professor, Director, Joint Classics-Philosophy Graduate Program in Ancient Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin

To Lynne Cheney:
Entirely spontaneous praise for one of your sponsored projects: the Boston Area Colloquium on Classical Philosophy. I have had no personal association but I have been seeing the announcements of their lecture series year after year, and it looks like the best thing of its kind in the U.S.
Gregory Vlastos