Greek Survey, CLASS-GA1009
TBA, David Sider
Re-visiting the Classics, CLASS-GA 2502, same as COLIT-GA2502
Monday, 3:30-6:10, Emma Bianchi
In the face of the rising popularity of “new materialisms,” this class examines the emergence of the notion of “matter” in classical antiquity. In short, matter, from the Latin ‘materia’ (related to mater, mother) is transmitted from Aristotle’s Greek innovation hulê (literally, wood). We will undertake close readings of key ancient primary texts, including various Presocratics, Plato’s Timaeus, Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics, and Generation of Animals, and Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, tracing the discourses of materiality that arise in concert with tropes of sex and gender. The guiding question here is: what can matter’s genealogical ties to the feminine tell us about the materialization of bodies and genders? At the same time, we will attend to the topographies and texture of ancient thinking about nature and materiality more broadly. Alongside a narrative of “emergence” we will also consider hermeneutic questions – what are the ethico-political stakes of a “retrieval” of antiquity and what is the nature of our relationship to these distant texts? How does such “retrieval” function to both conceal and reveal? Why “return” to antiquity and how might resuscitation of the canon contribute to contemporary theorizing? While ancient texts are undoubtedly “good to think with,” are they capable of displacing modernity’s epistemological binds in favor of ontological or material questions? How might a consideration of these texts enrich contemporary discourses of matter and gender? To help orient our study we will draw on contemporary feminist thinkers including Irigaray, Kristeva, Loraux and Cavarero, as well as critically engaging Bachofen’s 19th century conception of Mutterrecht. Some background knowledge of psychoanalytic theory is advised as is knowledge of Greek, however all readings will be in translation.
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15, Alessandro Barchiesi
The class is designed to discuss contemporary approaches to the Aeneid in research, and also to increase familiarity with the text in Latin. Students are expected to give a presentation and to turn it into a final paper. We will discuss literary models, references to history and geography, and select examples of reception in various ages and contexts.
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30, Peter Meineck (at CUNY)
In this course we will focus on Aristophanes' Frogs, first staged in Athens around 405 BCE. We will undergo a deep reading of the Greek text and consider the staging, political and social situations, aesthetic questions, production, transmission, and translation of the text and modern incarnations of the work. A good working knowledge of ancient Greek is required for this class.
Greek Drama in the Mediterranean & Black Sea, CLASS-GA3004
Wednesday, 6:30-8:30, Barbara Kowalzig
In recent years, our knowledge of the performance of ancient drama outside Athens and beyond the fifth century has significantly increased. We are now much better informed about theatrical cultures across the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the impact of re-performance, the organisation and financing of theatre productions, the social and economic status of actors, and the archaeology of theatre. This seminar will provide an introduction to this thriving research field. It will then look at the motivations and mechanisms governing the spread of drama during the classical period and at the performance of drama in local social and religious contexts such as Sicily, Macedonia, and the Black Sea. In particular, on the basis of a number of individual plays, we will examine the role of myth and ritual in Athenian drama in forging cultural and economic relations between Athens and peoples and places across the Mediterranean, and in conceptualizing maritime spaces, journeys, and connectivities by sea. For example, what exactly is the relationship between the mythical themes appearing on the Athenian stage and the economic significance of the area portrayed? Time and interest permitting, we will also examine Hellenistic performance culture, as well as the evidence for theatre in Roman Greece.
For a taste of the field and for some introductory reading, see O. Taplin, ‘Spreading the Word through Performance’ (1999); B. Kowalzig, ‘Nothing to do with Demeter? Something to do with Sicily! Theatre and Society in the Early Fifth-century West’ (2008); K. Bosher (ed.), Theatre Outside Athens. Drama in Greek Sicily and Italy (2013); B. Kowalzig, ‘Transcultural Chorality: Iphigenia in Tauris and Athenian Imperial Economics in a Polytheistic World’ (2013); E. Csapo, P. Wilson, ‘Drama Outside Athens in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC’ (2015).
Greek Prose Composition, CLASS-GA1011
Thursday, 4:15-6:15 (Fordham)
This course offers an introduction to composition in Greek and a survey of prose styles from Lysias to Plutarch. Each week we will tackle a different genus scribendi in our reading and then review individual points of syntax and stylistics via practice exercises and free composition. Students will be asked to make presentations on the style of an author of their choice. It is hoped that by the end of the course we will have gained a deeper knowledge of Greek sentence structure and idiom and a greater appreciation for a broad range of prose styles in Greek.
Monday, 4:15-6:15, Simpson (CUNY)
The course will take the form of a study of the works of Plato through selected readings from them, including in particular parts of the Republic and Apology. A large question in Platonic scholarship, however, is the order of the dialogues and whether a chronological ordering (usually favored today) is better than some other or thematic ordering. Ancient authors, Neo-Platonists in particular, favored thematic orderings. They also regarded most Platonic works that have come down to us as really by Plato (including all the letters), while modern scholars tend to reject some at least of what the Neo-Platonists accepted (e.g. most of the letters). The course will begin with some discussion of the authenticity and ordering questions and then proceed to specific selections.
Cicero's Speeches, CLASS-GA 2845
Thursday, 6:30-8:30, Leo Landrey (Fordham)
In Cicero's Speeches students will encounter and track Roman oratory over the course of the career of its most eminent stylist and theoretician. Class time will focus on analyzing the aims and means of each speech and how they connect to central ideas in Late Republican culture. These ideas may include the distribution of power within the republic, the boundaries of Roman masculinity, the construction of individual identity, and the performative nature of public speaking. Brief passages of relevant comparative material, such as excerpts from Cicero's letters, philosophy, and poetry, will complement the core assignments. A reasonably priced course pack will be available for students to purchase.
Homer: Iliad, CLASS-GA2981
Tuesday, 4:15-6:15, Roberts (CUNY)
A close reading of the Iliad (selections). We will pay close attention to Homer’s language and style, his portrayal of specific gods and mortals and of their interaction with one another, the notion of heroism, Homeric warfare, and the historical context of the poem, but we will also explore whatever aspects of the poem are of particular interest to students in the course. Students will write a term paper of about 20 pages on a topic of their own choosing.
Rome & the Hellenistic East, CLASS-GA3000
Monday, 6:30-8:30, Allen (CUNY)
This course explores the vitality of the Hellenistic period, roughly defined as 330-30 BCE, by exploring interactions among the populations of the Mediterranean, including Roman, Hellenic, Egyptian, Punic, Judaean, Celtic, and various hybrids thereamong. We’ll consider a series of case studies in literature, art, epigraphy, and archaeology to understand new developments in culture, politics, and geopolitics.
Courses at ISAW (permission of the instructor required):
Course descriptions can be found here.
Introduction to Ancient Astronomical Traditions, ISAW-GA 3002-001
Monday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Alexander Jones
The Transmission of Ancient Science into Arabic, ISAW-GA 3007-001
Tuesday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Robert Hoyland
Archaeology of Anatolia from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic Period, ISAW-GA 3012-001
Friday, 2-5 p.m., Lorenzo d’Alfonso
Art, Archaeology, & Museology, ISAW-GA 3012-002
Wednesday, 2-5 p.m., Lillian Tseng and Jennifer Chi
Historiographies of Ancient Egypt, ISAW-GA 3020-001
Thursday, 2-5 p.m., Emily Cole