CIC Seminar 2017 | The Verbal Art of Plato

The Center for Hellenic Studies would like to extend their greatest thanks and appreciation to all of those who participated in this summer’s Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) seminar. This summer’s participants read and discussed various works of Plato, including the Timaeus, Critias, Ion, Hippias Minor, selections from the Republic, Phaedrus, Symposium, Protagoras, Apology, and Phaedo, as well as a number of  secondary texts in order to present these works to students across the nation.

This year 17 professors from several disciplines took part in the seminar. These concentrations included English, History, Classics, Philosophy, Psychology, Physics and Astronomy, Religion, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Classical and World Languages and Cultures, and Belief and Reason.

Participants discussed and raised questions about the works of Plato and how they demonstrated his verbal art. Topics included, but were not limited to: cosmology and creation myths, Plato’s critique of Homer and Herodotus, issues of sexuality and the expression of sexuality, the relation between love and the theory of forms, morality and ethics of the soul, the death of the body and immortality of the soul, and the examined life. In addition to the aforementioned works of Plato, participants also gained insight from reading pertinent texts by Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, among others.

At the end of the seminar, participants shared ideas for how they would incorporate the verbal art of Plato into classes that they will teach this upcoming fall or in the near future.

We would like to extend a special thanks to Professor Gregory Nagy from Harvard University and Professor Kenny Morrell from Rhodes College for their work as directors of this year’s CIC seminar.

The following professors were in attendance: Brett Coppenger (Tuskeegee University), Walker Cosgrove (Dordt College), Chris Edelman (University of the Incarnate Word), David Goldberg (Westminster College), Fiona Harris Ramsby (Bloomfield College), DM Hutchinson (St. Olaf College), Wendy Hyman (Oberlin College), Elizabeth Imafuji (Anderson University), Adam Kotsko (Shimer School of Great Books at North Central College), Anne Mamary (Monmouth College), Holly Moore (Luther College, Eva Cadavid (Center College), Angela Sabates (Bethel University), Brian Schwartz (Carthage College), Robert Sharp (Muskingum University), Sophia Stone (Lynn University), John Vonder Bruegge (Northwestern College, Iowa).

For more information about the CIC, visit their website. If you are interested in participating in future CIC seminars or any of our other educational programs, please feel free to contact us.

Listen to the podcasts of each day’s sessions:

Day 1

Session 1 (1:22:13)

Session 2 (1:32:36)

Session 3 (1:29:05)

Session 4 (1:29:34)

Day 2

Session 1 (1:25:51)

Session 2 (1:29:15)

Session 3 (1:25:10)

Session 4 (56:47)

Day 3

Session 1 (1:24:42)

Session 2 (1:29:18)

Session 3 (1:24:55)

Session 4

(No Audio)

Day 4 & Day 5

(No Audio)

Written by Adam Beckwith, Mark Krause, and Jordan Swanson.

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CIC Internship Experience 2017 | Adam

I am immensely fortunate and grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this year’s Council of Independent Colleges’ (CIC) seminar, covering the topic of the Verbal Art of Plato as an intern at the Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS).  I was able to both assist the participants of the seminar with live notes and video streaming, and to join in on discussion with my own insights on the works of Plato we read. My own area of interest at my university is more focused on history and language of Classics than on philosophy, so the subject of this seminar helped me to expand my understanding of that area. Interacting with professors in this experience set outside of a classroom allowed me to gain more personal insights and miscellaneous subjects than I would have the chance to in a course setting.

This seminar has improved my appreciation for what it takes for a professor to design a course, both in the logistical and conceptual aspects. Sitting in on discussion sessions where the collaborative and IMG_20170731_121500433integrated nature of a course’s design are emphasized, I can understand better the type of course that Sunoikisis wants to put together. The consortium has a mission to bring colleges together and improve collaboration and technology for Classics studies around the country, all of which are goals this seminar reflected. I will be signing up for any Sunoikisis classes I can find in the rest of my academic career.

I would like to thank the following people for guiding and making me feel at home through the course of this internship: Greg Nagy, Kenny Morrell, and Emily Kohut. I would like to thank Leonard Muellner and Joel Christensen for encouraging me to apply to and accept this internship position. Thanks is also deserved to the CHS custodial and culinary staff for providing a comfortable and delicious stay during my time at the Center. The CHS has provided me with guidance and encouragement in my academic studies for the future. If I get an opportunity in the future, I would absolutely return to the Center in one way or another.

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CIC Internship Experience 2017 | Jordan

Over the past two weeks, I received the terrific opportunity to serve as an intern for the Center for Hellenic Studies’ (CHS) faculty development seminar in conjunction with the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC), focusing on the Verbal Art of Plato. In preparation for the seminar, I had the chance read many of Plato’s works as well as other primary texts, including the works of some of Plato’s predecessors, such as Homer and Hesiod, as well as those nearer contemporaries of Plato, such as Gorgias and Euripides. During the seminar, I assisted in several capacities ranging from logistical duties, such as helping set up for the seminar and taking notes during the discussion, to participating in the discussion and interacting with the other participants both during and outside the seminar.

As a recent college graduate who is aspiring to one day be a college professor, serving as an intern for this seminar was a fruitful experience. I received the chance to experience what it is like to help operate a seminar, knowledge that I will hopefully be able to use in the future as a professor. I also had the opportunity to see professors interact and collaborate. As a student, it is rare to see the behind-the-scenes academic interaction of your professors, so I considered myself incredibly fortunate to witness this collaborative process. Finally, it was great to have a chance to interact with professors not as professors, but as peers and co-learners. Again, as a student, I did not receive many chances to experience that kind of relationship with my professors, so I consider this to be an excellent opportunity.

IMG_20170731_121614951I would like to thank, first and foremost, Walker Cosgrove, one of my excellent history professors at Dordt College, for nominating me for this internship, as well as his encouragement throughout my time knowing him. I would also like to thank Allie Marbry for her guidance during the hiring and interview process and Emily Kohut for being our fearless leader throughout the course of our internship. I would also like to thank Greg Nagy and Kenny Morrell for their guidance and leadership during the seminar and their constant kindness and willingness to freely offer their advice and insight. I also would like to thank the participating professors for their insight they offered during the seminar, as well as outside of it. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my fellow interns, Adam Beckwith and Mark Krause, whom I have come to consider good friends and colleagues and who were excellent co-workers who added to the enjoyable and educational nature of this seminar.

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CIC Internship Experience 2017 | Mark

Over the past two weeks, I have enjoyed the wonderful gift of serving as an intern for the 2017 Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) seminar here at the Center for Hellenic Studies. As an undergraduate self-designed Classics and History double major, I have been taking courses all year in topics such as epic and myth, Greek language, Greek political history, as well as my latest foray, early Christianity. Plato has been in the background of every class, but never a major topic. Therefore, a seminar of this intensity about the philosopher has been the perfect way to unite and polish the year.

As an intern, my duties have been taking notes during the seminar, working with the streaming and recording capabilities of the CHS, ensuring that the thirsty horde of professors gets their coffee at snack time, and of course, cleanup afterwards. BeiIMG_20170731_121354080ng part of the force that enables these seminars to take place has impressed upon me the exact goals that the CHS had in mind for students at the end of the seminar. First and foremost, being here allowed me to take the seminar; but more so, being expected to take notes not for myself but for the utility of the participants and posterity of the seminar meant that I had to pay careful attention to our discussion. I was even required to participate by preparing a discussion topic much like the professors had to. Learning how to stream, record, and edit our sessions was something that simply cannot happen in my small, Midwestern college of Ripon College. I will definitely go home and tell my faculty about Sunoikisis, as we learned about over dinner, a step towards the future classroom that is very possible there. Finally, the last goal of the seminar was to show students their faculty in intellectual discourse, and we interns surely saw a lot of that. Perhaps more interesting and profound things were said over coffee and during meals than were said in the structured seminar environment. And cleaning up after it all was still made perfect sense in this context: the goal of improving the experience of the seminar participants was the same, for me at least, whether I was taking out the trash and washing dishes or frantically googling facts, books, and pictures to show during the seminar.

My long year has been leading up to this very moment, but I would never have arrived had it not been for the help of many others. I will do this chronologically, from my perspective: First, I would like to thank Dean Ed Wingenbach, who even put the idea in my head that I should do something like this over the summer, and told me that the CHS existed. Next, I would like to thank Professor Eddie Lowry and Professor Diane Mockridge for endlessly working for and with me, and for their prudent counsel, and for writing the letters of recommendation for this internship. Next, I would like to thank Emily Kohut, Allie Marby, Lanah Koelle, Professor Kenney Morell, and Professor Greg Nagy for welcoming me and making me feel at home here at the CHS. They really are practicing what they preach here about inclusivity; I felt perfectly comfortable here, like a colleague, not an intern. Next, I would like to thank Adam and Jordan, my fellow interns, for being amazing coworkers and friends. Finally, I would like to thank the CIC, and all the faculty members from around the country for providing me with this opportunity and making it what it was. This has truly been a treasure of an experience, and as soon as I can come back, I will.

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A Classicist in Training: My CHS Internship Experience

When I was a child, I had a passion for knowledge. I would read every book I could get my hands on, and immerse myself in its pages. I reveled in learning and grew particularly fond of reading books about Greek mythology and history. My joy for learning gradually waned as I trudged through the regimented course load of high school; but, when I attended college, the flexibility and freedom I was given in choosing my classes led me to a Greek Mythology course. One day, my professor, Max Goldman, encouraged students to apply for a Maymester course that would be taking place in Rome and Naples. And so Rose: the classicist, was born from the fiery ashes of one hasty decision. It was the best collegiate decision I’ve ever made.

This decision allowed me to experience Rome, Naples, Athens, and even an archeological excavation in Kenchreai, Greece. Moreover, I have taken ancient history courses spanning from neolithic Greece to the birth of Islam in late antiquity. Of course, my decision has also led me to this internship at the Center forrose Hellenic Studies. For two weeks in June, I had the privilege of participating in the 2017 Sunoikisis seminar on Ancient Medicine. As a Sunoikisis intern, I worked with the visiting faculty and assisted them in developing a curriculum for a course concerning ancient medicine, spanning from the Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations to that of Galen. While the professors exchanged ideas and presented articles during each session, I took extensive and detailed notes documenting the proceedings. We covered so much material that by the end of the last day, I – along with assistance from the other Sunoikisis intern, Mike Saridakis – had completed around 165 pages of notes.

I have previously taken a course entitled Death, Disease, and Health in the Ancient World, and based on my own experiences as a student, I was able to provide feedback regarding which resources may be good (or not) for such an undergraduate-level course. I even had the opportunity to present articles to the group as if I were a colleague rather than just an intern.  Of course, there were many ancient Greek and Roman texts that I have never laid eyes on, so by partaking in the seminar I became exposed to an incredible amount of information and perspectives regarding the ancient world.

IMG_9656When I was not contributing to the group, I observed the seminar participants confer and develop a syllabus for what will be an amazing class. Watching the professors engage in academic discussions was an incredible experience. I hope to one day become a colleague among them and devote my life to academia. It was a fantastic learning experience that taught me how to read both primary and secondary sources, as well as how to present different topics and readings professionally to other classicists. Even outside the designated hours of the seminar, I was able to converse with these classicists and learn more about the field, while also making connections that will hopefully last a lifetime. It was such a privilege to work with these professors in this context, and I know that these new experiences will help me as I dedicate my life to becoming a classicist.

I would like to thank Joseph Lee Rife and Mireille Lee, both classicists at Vanderbilt University who recommended this internship. During my academic experience in Nashville, they have mentored and guided me towards my dream of becoming a professor in classics. I would not be the person I am without their kindness and dedication to both my well-being and my success. I would also like to thank Emily Kohut, Allie Marbry, Lia Hanhardt, Daniel Cline, Norman Sandridge, and Greg Nagy, who have been so encouraging and helpful throughout my Sunoikisis internship. Lastly, I would like to thank Mike Saridakis, my fellow intern who has been my partner in crime during this experience. I cannot thank these people enough, or express how grateful I am for this amazing opportunity that will shape my academic and professional career. Thank you all.

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