Undergraduate Research Symposium 2016

Students and their faculty mentors at the spring 2013 symposium


Dates: March 4-6, 2016

This spring, the Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS) in Washington, D.C. will invite undergraduate students to share their research on Greek 4th Century Literature or Latin Neronian Literature in a workshop setting. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their work in progress, develop ideas, collect bibliographical suggestions, and gain perspectives from their peers and faculty representing a range of institutions.

Students’ papers and videos of the workshop are published in the online Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Journal (ISSN 2373-5937). Because the papers begin and evolve in a digital medium, they can incorporate a wide variety of materials, including images, videos, links to other online resources, and other types of data. The students’ faculty mentors serve as the editorial board of the e-journal.

The CHS strongly encourages faculty members to accompany their students if at all possible. The students’ experience is much more productive and professional if they come with their faculty mentors and the conditions of participation outlined below assumes that a faculty member will support and guide the student throughout the process.

Undergraduate Research Symposium Archives


Any undergraduate from an institution in the U.S. may apply, although priority will be given to students currently participating in the inter-institutional Sunoikisis courses running in fall 2015.

Students’ topics should relate to either Greek 4th Century Literature or Latin Neronian Literature. The following authors and texts are of particular interest:

Greek: Plato: Alcibiades I, Symposium, Plutarch: Alcibiades, Aristophanes: Frogs

Latin: Seneca: Apocolocyntosis, Thyestes, Epistulae MoralesDe Clementia, Petronius’ Satyrica

However, the proposal need not be limited to literary topics: other topics might include social aspects of the time periods and material and architectural objects, e.g., space and place in era, electoral procedures in the Republic, social bonds as understood during the relevant time periods, and the like.

Conditions of Participation

  1. Participants must acknowledge and incorporate the feedback they receive on their work. Students will have the opportunity to solicit comments at three junctures.

    • The selection committee of Sunoikisis faculty members will provide comments in response to students’ abstracts and annotated bibliographies as required by the application (details below). Students will be expected to take special note of bibliographical suggestions.

    • On January 29, 2016, students will submit their papers for pre-circulation. The CHS will make the papers available through an online tool that will also permit annotations. Students will be expected to annotate their own work, point out problem areas, and acknowledge annotations that their colleagues make. Every participant will be expected to make a number of substantial online comments on papers other than their own (see below).

    • During the workshop on Saturday, March 5, 2016, students will have an opportunity to discuss their paper with the group, seek other perspectives, and work through their own and others’ ideas. Following the workshop, students will finalize their papers and prepare them for publication in the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Journal (ISSN 2373-5937). The students’ faculty mentors serve as the editorial board of the e-journal.

  2. Being a responsible scholar also means that students must be good colleagues who contribute to the development of their peers’ work. In advance of the workshop, participants must annotate two papers by their peers with at least two substantial comments per paper. In order to foster a collegial, productive atmosphere at the workshop, students must come prepared to make comments on their colleagues’ papers.

  3. Students who were not enrolled in the fall Sunoikisis courses on Greek 4th Century Literature or Latin Neronian Literature should familiarize themselves with the course content. Videos of the weekly course lectures are available on YouTube (Greek videos, Latin videos).

Travel and Accommodations

Participants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel and lodging expenses. In the past, some students’ institutions have been able to provide funding. While we cannot provide direct assistance with booking rooms, we can provide recommendations for lodging during your stay. These options include The Fairfax at Embassy Row, the Churchill Hotel, and the Holiday Inn–Georgetown. All are within a mile of the Center for Hellenic Studies.

In addition, the CHS provides dinner on Friday night and all meals on Saturday.

Participants should plan to arrive Friday afternoon before 5:00pm, and depart on Sunday. Thursday evening arrivals are possible.

Participants who wish to use the CHS library may do so by prior arrangement and should arrive by the early afternoon of Friday for an orientation.


The application deadline was Friday, December 11, 2015.

Students should submit an abstract (250 words) and an annotated bibliography (Example) by Friday, December 11, 2015. This abstract must be vetted by a sponsoring faculty mentor, and should be submitted along with the mentor’s contact information via the online application. The CHS will contact faculty mentors for recommendations following abstract submission. If you are already taking either Greek 4th Century Literature or Latin Neronian Literature through Sunoikisis you do not need to provide a recommendation, as you have, by definition, been recommended for the course.

In the abstract, students should explain why their topic is important, what question they aim to explore, and what method they propose to follow for answering the question. The following abstracts may serve as models: Example 1 and Example 2. The following annotated bibliographies may also serve as models: Example 1 and Example 2.