In today's world everything from Coca Cola to cars can be called 'classic.' But in its earliest sense this word, Latin in origin, was used to describe the literatures of Greece and Rome because they were 'first-class', the best of their kind. As an academic field today, Classics is the study of these languages and literatures and of the cultures of which they were a part, as well as the study of the continuing impact that antiquity has had on the modern world. Although Latin and ancient Greek are seldom spoken today, they have left an indelible impact on modern languages such as English, Spanish, and French. Furthermore, the ideas given voice in the Greek of Homer or Plato and in the Latin of Ovid or Cicero have shaped the Western tradition from which America emerged.
Professor Judith Hallett discussing her work on American women scholars and the Classics. Here, in a second interview with Anastasia Bakogianni, Professor Hallett discusses how classical reception can be used to engage students. She talks about how it can be incorporated into the teaching of Latin and more generally its value as a teaching tool in today's competitive higher education climate.
CONGRATULATIONS to Classics major Alexander J. Clayborne, who in November 2012 received a Dean’s Senior Scholar award in the College of Arts and Humanities. This highly selective award honors students who have shown leadership in community service while maintaining an excellent record of scholarship.
On December 1, 2012, Classics major Erik Shell presented a paper on “Social Responses to Female Agricultural Ritual and ‘Aischrologia’” at the Undergraduate Research Forum hosted by the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. Erik was one of twelve students from across the country who were chosen to present their research at this conference.
CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Judith Hallett and Dr. Eva Stehle, who contributed articles to the Blackwell Companion to Women in the Ancient World. The collection, edited by Sharon James and Sheila Dillon and published by Wiley-Blackwell, has been named a “Choice Outstanding Academic Title from 2012” by the library journal Choice, which praised it as an “essential” contribution to the field. For more information, see the publisher’s web page for the book at click here
A Festschrift (celebratory collection of articles) is being published this year in honor of Professor Judith Hallett, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the study of Roman literature and culture. Edited by Donald Lateiner, Barbara K. Gold, and Judith Perkins, the collection is entitled Roman Literature, Gender, and Reception: Domina Illustris. As noted on the Routledge website, “This cutting-edge collection of essays offers provocative studies of ancient history, literature, gender identifications and roles, and subsequent interpretations of the republican and imperial Roman past.” A panel discussion and celebration of the volume will be held on September 12, 2013, to be hosted by the Classics Department and the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies.
Professor Jorge Bravo has been awarded a New Directions Innovation Seed Grant from the College of Arts and Humanities to support research and planning for an excavation project at Kenchreai in Greece. Located on the Saronic Gulf, Kenchreai served as the eastern harbor of the city of Corinth throughout antiquity. During the 1960s, an American team of archaeologists excavated parts of the harbor, revealing remains of the harbor installations of the Roman Imperial period as well as warehouses, residences, and other buildings, some of which are now submerged. Remains and artifacts of this period and other periods as well came to light, ranging over about a millennium of history. Some of the excavated material still awaits proper study and publication, and much still lies unexcavated on the extensive lands forming part of the archaeological zone. Prof. Bravo will use the grant to travel to Kenchreai this summer and assess the site and its unpublished material with a view to creating a new research and archaeological field school opportunity that will be open to University of Maryland students.
Prof. Francisco Barrenechea has received a Summer Research and Scholarship Award from the Graduate School to work on his most recent project, a book on the reception of ancient Greek drama in contemporary Mexico. This reception has followed an idiosyncratic path in contrast to that of other countries: what is striking is the pervasiveness of avant-garde and aestheticizing tendencies in the adaptations and productions of these ancient plays, coupled with a striking indifference to Mexico’s social and political situation. These tendencies, which have been extraordinarily persistent in the country’s theater scene, can be traced to the first adaptations of Greek drama in the 1920s and their reaction against
the Mexican revolution and the nationalist movements in the arts of the period. This summer, with the generous funding of the RASA award, Prof. Barrenechea will continue doing archival research in the United States and Mexico, and will interview Mexican playwrights and directors who have recently staged adaptations of Greek drama. Besides preparing the first drafts of the initial chapters of his book, he will also write an article on productions of Sophocles’ Oedipus in Mexico that illustrate the pull between the aesthetic approach mentioned above and a more serious engagement with the social and political problems of the country.
SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS INTERESTED IN ARCHAEOLOGY:
In summer 2013 Professor Jorge Bravo will be offering a course based on the island of Santorini in Greece through the College Year in Athens Program. He will be co-teaching the course, entitled "Life, Art, and Society in Bronze Age and Classical Thera (Santorini)," with Professor Nanno Marinatos of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The course runs June 24 to July 20 and will focus on the archaeology and history of Bronze Age and Classical Greece from the viewpoint of the history and remains of the island, including the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri and the classical polis site of Thera, as well as the associated artifacts housed in the island's two museums. For more information, please see the CYA web site for the course click here, or contact Professor Bravo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor R. L. Vann will be returning to Turkey this summer, taking students to Istanbul and Antalya with visits to archaeological sites in the ancient regions of Pisidia, Pamphylia, and Lycia in southern Turkey (May 19th to June 7 June). The focus will be on the Greek and Roman cities of these areas.
There will be a special informational meeting about this course on Friday, February 1 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM. For details, or if you cannot attend the meeting, please contact Professor Robert L. Vann in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (email@example.com).
There will be an informational meeting about the summer program at Stabiae in Italy on Friday, February 1 from 1:00 to 1:30 PM. For details, or if you cannot attend the meeting, please contact Professor Robert L. Vann in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Israel: JWST 369T / HIST 369B (4 credits) Tel Burna Archaeological Project:
This summer course is a three-week archaeological excavation in the southwestern foothills of Israel, June 2 through June 21, led by Professor M. Suriano. At the site of Tel Burna, students will actively participate in the archaeological excavation. Offsite, the students will visit other important archaeological sites in Israel and attend weekly lectures on topics relevant to the area’s culture and history.
A MODERN-DAY CINCINNATUS!
Dr. Steven Rutledge has been keeping a very entertaining blog about his experience of starting a farm in his home state of Oregon. His photos and vivid descriptions of life on the farm, interspersed with meditations on the light this work sheds on the classical texts he has studied for so long, may be found at click here
Department of Classics 1210 Marie Mount Hall,
College Park, MD - 20742
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