May 14, 2014, by Helen Lovatt

#CA14: The greenshirts’ perspective

Clare Davis (Nottingham undergraduate) reminisces about helping out at the Classical Association conference in April.

As the first delegates arrived for registration on Sunday afternoon, I don’t think many of the student helpers – myself included – were entirely sure what to expect from the next few days, but we quickly noticed the overwhelming friendliness of everyone we spoke to, and chatter between delegates catching up from the CA conferences they had attended. Quickly dubbed ‘the green shirts’ (or #greenshirts) we were to be found all over campus, and it was perhaps the guiding the delegates that I enjoyed most. Aside from pointing out various landmarks (and potential trip hazards) conversion broke out quickly, and it was not only the variety of people I spoke to (recent graduates, lecturers from around the UK, visitors from America, Australia, and across Europe), but everyone seemed to have lots great things to say, be it about their papers (such as learning Latin through the ‘snapchat’ app), previous CA conferences, or advice for those still studying.

In the time between stewarding, answering questions, and generally soaking up the atmosphere, many of us managed to attend several panels, or catch a paper here or there. One of the main impressions that I got from both my own time going to panels, and from my fellow student helpers, was that you could attend any paper and find yourself absorbed into a topic which you may have never considered – or even heard of – because of the sheer enthusiasm and passion with which each paper was delivered.

One panel in particular which I found most interesting was Wednesday’s panel about Late Antique Narrative. Having spotted the title in the conference booklet at the last moment I wasn’t entirely sure what I would be hearing about, but snuck in at the back. The first two papers (Ruth Parks on Claudian’s De Raptu Proserpinae and Cillian O’Hogan on Prudentius) were a wonderful link to the Christian Empire module which I have been taking this semester, and, despite my total ignorance concerning Jordanes’ Getica (presented by Christopher Malone) I found the third paper one of the most engaging at the conference – undoubtedly creating a fantastic end to the conference.

Photo: Getting ready for the onslaught. Clare is second from the left. Photo: Ellen Richardson.

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