Classics

  • Studies in the Classical Tradition: Odysseys

    In 2019, is "the news in the Odyssey...still news," as poet Ezra Pound claimed? After reading through Homer's Odyssey in a variety of translations (from G. Chapman to E. Wilson), we will trace its modern and contemporary afterlives - from Joyce's Ulysses to Walcott's Omeros to Atwood's Penelopiad. To what uses has this ancient story been put, and do those uses change over time? Can a work as canonical as the Odyssey offer alternative or subversive cultural narratives?
  • Studies in the Classical Tradition: Odysseys

    In 2019, is "the news in the Odyssey...still news," as poet Ezra Pound claimed? After reading through Homer's Odyssey in a variety of translations (from G. Chapman to E. Wilson), we will trace its modern and contemporary afterlives - from Joyce's Ulysses to Walcott's Omeros to Atwood's Penelopiad. To what uses has this ancient story been put, and do those uses change over time? Can a work as canonical as the Odyssey offer alternative or subversive cultural narratives?
  • Corruption, Conversion, Change: Philosophies and Fictions of Transformation

    In the age of self-help books and memoirs, one wonders, can we really change? Can writing offer us the hope of transformation? Of conversion? How do you publish the "self"? Can literary genres serve as models for how to live one's life? We will confront such questions through the fictions and philosophies of the past; through historical figures such as Socrates and St. Augustine and the fictive characters of drama and the novel.
  • Topics in the Hellenic Tradition: Hellenisms

    Since the 18th century, intellectuals and poets have turned to Greece in a movement which may be seen as idealizing or decadent, nostalgic or radical. What defines a particular style as Greek or Hellenizing and what motivates its adoption? To what extent is Hellenism also a reflection on a culture's relationship to itself? How is Hellenism articulated in and through the different arts, and is an aesthetic Hellenism always also a political Hellenism?
  • Corruption, Conversion, Change: Philosophies and Fictions of Transformation

    In the age of self-help books and memoirs, one wonders, can we really change? Can writing offer us the hope of transformation? Of conversion? How do you publish the "self"? Can literary genres serve as models for how to live one's life? We will confront such questions through the fictions and philosophies of the past; through historical figures such as Socrates and St. Augustine and the fictive characters of drama and the novel.
  • Topics in the Hellenic Tradition: Hellenisms

    Since the 18th century, intellectuals and poets have turned to Greece in a movement which may be seen as idealizing or decadent, nostalgic or radical. What defines a particular style as Greek or Hellenizing and what motivates its adoption? To what extent is Hellenism also a reflection on a culture's relationship to itself? How is Hellenism articulated in and through the different arts, and is an aesthetic Hellenism always also a political Hellenism?
  • Topics in Greek Literature: Plato and Aristotle on Poetry

    The antithetical views that Plato and Aristotle held about poetry profoundly shaped the classical tradition and remain of fundamental importance to modern approaches to literature and to art generally. This course will analyze each philosopher's position closely with the aim of contrasting them and drawing out their aesthetic and other implications.
  • Topics in Greek Literature: Plato and Aristotle on Poetry

    The antithetical views that Plato and Aristotle held about poetry profoundly shaped the classical tradition and remain of fundamental importance to modern approaches to literature and to art generally. This course will analyze each philosopher's position closely with the aim of contrasting them and drawing out their aesthetic and other implications.
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