On 7th April 2021 (sadly in an online ceremony due to Covid19!) Natalie Haynes is presenting me with the Classical Association Prize and I’m giving a short speech of thanks. The ceremony is free to watch – you just have to register: https://classicalassociation.org/events/ca-annual-conference-2021/
The Classical Association (CA) Prize is awarded each year “to an individual who has done the most to raise the profile of Classics in the public eye”
You can read more about what I have done to raise the profile of Classics in the public eye over the past decade and a half since I was a PhD student on these webpages, and also in this recent interview with Warwick University: https://warwick.ac.uk/wie/staffengage/spotlight/february-michaelscott/
Here, I simply wanted to say thank you. Thank you to the CA for this honour, to Natalie for presenting it, to all the people I have collaborated with over the years on different projects seeking to raise the profile of Classics in the public eye, and most importantly to all the wonderful people, from all corners of the globe, of all ages, who have engaged with me, at live talks, through my books, in response to programmes on the radio and TV, over social media, through my Live Q&As, and even through old fashioned pen and paper, about this weird and wacky ancient world we love to think about. It has been an absolute pleasure and joy discussing the ancient world with you all and I am so proud of all the amazing things you have all gone on to do following our conversations.
It is a big moment for me as I remember, as a nervous PhD student, attending my first CA conference in 2007 at the University of Birmingham, when the CA Prize was awarded to Tom Holland. Other winners since then can be found here: https://classicalassociation.org/ca-prize/ It is quite a list to be added to – something I could scarcely dream of as a PhD student back in 2007! I guess this is a good reminder to never stop pursuing your dreams!
This year the CA is also, for the first time, giving a series of Teaching Awards to recognise outstanding teaching and innovative pre-university initiatives. This is a great thing and I will be there cheering for the first winners, who will also receive their awards from Natalie just after me on 7th April. I am proud to have worked with a number of the winners (one, Francesca Grilli, is in the photo below, along with some of her students, with me at Lytham St Annes Classical Association branch), and know how hard they work to make Classics part of an increasingly squeezed timetable and to ensure that as many students as possible have access to it as a subject. I look forward to working more with them, and with all the amazing teachers of the ancient world out there in years to come to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn about this fantastic and inspiring period of our past.