Sunoikisis 2013 – Greek Seminar

Χαίρετε! The members of the Center for Hellenic Studies would like to express our appreciation and thank the participants of this year’s Sunoikisis Greek Faculty Development Seminar. It was a pleasure to sit in on the collaborative effort that helped decide the material for this year’s Sunoikisis courses.

This year, the CHS held the Greek seminar from June 9-11, 2013, and the discussion revolved around Greek lyric poetry for this upcoming fall semester. The ancient authors included: Sappho, Alceus, Anacreon, Simonides, Ibycus, Stesichorus, Theognis, Solon, Pindar, and Bacchylides. An important topic for this year’s conversation was whether a biographical approach to classics is too simplistic, as it lacks the context of writings themselves. Another important idea that continually resurfaced was whether Greek writings could be made more accessible through Latin. Ultimately, the professors strived to create an approachable, engaging course for undergraduates. As a result, they were constantly referring back to the question: “Is this appropriate for undergraduates?” Because of this guiding principle, the main goal—creating a Greek class appropriate for college students—was accomplished by the end of the seminar.

The articles of scholars Nagy, Kurke, Martin, Bundy, and Lardinois were featured as important content for the seminar. Topics of discussion included, but were not limited to: mythological tradition, politics, religion, and athletics in the ancient world. Through friendly debate and cooperation, the professors also enhanced their own knowledge and understanding of the subjects at hand, which contributes to their ability to impart said knowledge to their students.

A crucial part of the Sunoikisis course is the integration of professors and students; thus, planning the online common sessions is an important step of the course development process. Each week throughout this fall semester, a contributing professor will lead a discussion amongst enrolled students and colleagues regarding the primary and secondary sources mentioned above. This fall semester’s common sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:00 P.M. (EST) via Google Hangouts.

We would like to express our gratitude to Prof. Gregory Nagy, the director of the Center for Hellenic Studies and professor at Harvard University, who served as this year’s Greek course consultant. In addition, we would also like to thank Dr. Ryan Fowler, our CHS Sunoikisis Fellow in Curricular Development, for helping facilitate and organize the Greek course development seminar. Finally, thank you to Prof. Kenny Morrell, the director of CHS Outreach and professor at Rhodes College, who joined a few sessions of the Greek seminar to assist with planning.

We were lucky to have the following professors contribute their knowledge and expertise: Prof. Ben DeSmidt (Carthage College), Dr. Ryan Fowler (CHS Sunoikisis Fellow in Curricular Development), Prof. Heather Gruber (Concordia College), Prof. Hal Haskell (Southwestern University), Prof. Joe Jansen (Rhodes College), Prof. Arum Park (Brigham Young University), Prof. Polyvia Parara (Maryland College), Danilo Piana (Johns Hopkins University), Prof. Joe Romero (University of Mary Washington), Prof. Ron Stottlemyer (Carroll College), and Prof. Heather Vincent (Eckerd College). Well done, everyone!

If you are interested in participating in the Greek Lyric course this fall but are not a student at a participating institution, please contact us.


About Zoë Erb

Zoë Erb is a Classics major at Whitman College. She will be a senior when she returns in the fall. This summer, she is a Fellowships and Curricular Development intern at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. She is grateful for the opportunity to be here and to meet wonderful new people.
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