Upon the excellent advice of an anonymous reader this report has been extensively revised from the version presented orally. References to current political events have been eliminated and more attention has been devoted to the situation at McMaster. References to some recent developments in Canada have been incorporated. The remarks which follow will be presented under three general headings: the historical perspective, the current challenges, and the shape of the future.
The major force driving academic change in North America is economic, whether in actuality or in ideology. For that reason a word is needed about the structure of post-secondary education in Ontario. Each of the eighteen universities in the province is autonomous and technically private. Each institution, however, was created by a separate and distinct act of Provincial Parliament, and only provincially chartered universities may grant degrees. The provincial Government also provides most of the financial support through transfer payments based upon student enrolment and grants for specific projects. The Ontario Council of University Affairs (OCUA), an arms-length agency, advises the government about funding, exercises certain supervisory functions, and coordinates some administrative functions. The provincial government in turn receives transfer payments for education from the federal government.
Ontario officially created a large secular university system in 1957. As money flowed freely over the next decade faculty were hired, buildings were built and advanced degree programmes were approved. Edward Togo Salmon had already been transferred from Classics to the headship of History at McMaster in the mid 50's, and when History doctoral programmes were approved in the early 60's Ancient History joined Canadian and British as degree-granting fields. A second Ancient Historian, specializing in Greek History, was added. Meanwhile the Department of Classics received the right to grant a doctorate in Roman Studies. Both the Ancient History and the Roman Studies degrees depended upon cooperation between the two departments.
A major tension in Anglo-Canadian culture lies between the influence of British tradition and that of the wealth and proximity of the American neighbour. The study of antiquity has ties to both the more elitist tradition of the former coloniser and to the democratization in the Republic to the south. British tradition and British training, with a predominantly textual interest, have shaped the discipline of Classics in Canada. The discipline of Classics has shallower cultural roots within the United States than it does in Britain. The cultural roots are becoming weaker in Canada as instruction in ancient languages has become rare in high school curriculums and because Ancient History is no longer a core subject in high school curriculums. For these reasons, for example, textbooks written for British university or public school students may not be suitable for use in North America. On the other hand works by the American Chester Starr, which are more aware of archaeology and which define 'ancient' more broadly have been popular in my courses.
The location of Ancient History in History is anomalous in English-speaking Canada. Employment as an Ancient Historian usually presupposes a degree in Classics. L'Université
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Publication information: Book title: Ancient History in a Modern University:Proceedings of a Conference Held at Macquarie University, 8-13 July, 1993. Volume: 1. Contributors: T. W. Hillard - Editor, R. A. Kearsley - Editor, C. E. V. Nixon - Editor, A. M. Nobbs - Editor. Publisher: Eerdmans. Place of publication: Australia. Publication year: 1998. Page number: Not available.
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