North American Scholar

SCAIFE, Allen Ross

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1960-03-31
  • Born City: Fredericksburg
  • Born State/Country: VA
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 2008-03-15
  • Death City: Lexington
  • Death State/Country: KY
  • Married: Cathy Edwards, date of marriage.
  • Education:

    B.A. William & Mary, 1982; Fulbright fell, ASCSA, 1985; summer program AAR, 1988; Ph.D., U. Texas, 1990.

  • Professional Experience:

    U. Kentucky, 1991-2008; founding ed., Stoa Con­sortium for Electronic Publication in the Humani­ties.  

  • Dissertation:

    “The ‘Kypria’ and Its Early Reception” (Texas, 1990).

  • Publications:

    “The Argument of III.84,” AAPA (1988) 25; “Accounts for Taxes on Beer and Natron. P. Austin Inv. 34,” ZPE LXXI (1988) 105-109; The Kypria and Its Early Reception (Austin: Univ. of Texas at Austin, 1990); “Ritual and Persuasion in the House of Ischomachus,” CJ  90 (3) (1994-1995) 225-232; “The Kypria and Its Early Reception,” ClAnt 14,1 (1995) 164-191; “Protagorean Frames of Reference in Thucydides,” AHB 10 (1996) 31-37.

  • Notes:

    At the University of Kentucky, where Ross was a member of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literature, and Cultures, he taught courses on women in the an­cient world, Greek art, Aristophanes, and the Greek his­torians, as well as Greek and Latin language courses.A pioneer in using computer technology to advance schol­arship in the humanities, Ross is perhaps best known as the founding editor of the Stoa Consortium for Elec­tronic Publication in the Humanities. The Stoa, es­tablished in 1997, set the standard for Open Access pub­lication of digital humanities work in the classics, serv­ing as an umbrella project for many diverse projects that provide functionality, and have requirements, not sup­ported by traditional (print) publishers. In addition to pro­viding Open Access publication for the work of other scholars, Ross strived to make his own work (and the raw materials behind that work) available freely to oth­ers. He was the co-creator of Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World and of the Neo-Latin Colloquia collection, both of which are published on The Stoa. According to his principled belief in Open Access, Ross was always a stern critic of models of scholarship that were needlessly exclusionary in their presentation or implementation. He firmly believed in the potential af­forded by technology to bring the highest levels of schol­arship to the widest possible audience, and in the obliga­tion of learned societies to make their work freely avail­able to all interested readers.Ross's influence is most noticeable in his long-standing belief in the power of collaborative work. With humor, generosity, and a keen editor's discretion, he worked throughout his career to build working relationships among an international circle of collaborators, for his own projects, as well as for others. As a founding editor of the Suda On Line, a web accessible database for work on Byzantine Greek lexicography, Ross helped to build a framework that allowed a large number of people to work together on a single edition. SOL was founded in 1998 at a time when such large-scale collaborative editing was rare, if not unheard of. The influence of the SOL is still being felt as the next generation of collabo­rative editing tools are being developed. Ross had long-term associations with Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, the Perseus Project, and more recently with the Digital Classicist. Those who knew him will remember him for his generosity and willingness to offer advice, and for his ability to see connections and build bridges between projects and people. Most recently, Ross was instrumental in forging the col­laboration that resulted in the high resolution digital im­aging of the Venetus A, a 10th century manuscript of the Iliad located at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, and was a co-Principal Investigator of project EDUCE, which aims to use non-invasive, volumetric scanning technolo­gies for virtually "unwrapping" and visualizing ancient papyrus scrolls. Since July, 2005 Ross had been the di­rector of the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities, a research unit at the University of Ken­tucky which provides technical assistance to faculty who wish to undertake humanities computing projects, and to encourage and support interdisciplinary partnerships between faculty at UKY and researchers around the world. His many interests included sailing in the North­ern Neck of Virginia, hunting, cooking, woodworking, and photography.

  • Sources:

    APA Newsletter (April 2008) 12-13.

  • Author: Dot Porter