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New and highlighted Classics courses for Spring 2019

October 24, 2018

Listed below are some of the new and highlighted Spring 2019 course offerings from the Department of Classics. Pre-enrollment begins Wednesday, October 24.

Ancient Theater Performance (CLASS 1632)

Instructor: Daniel Gallagher

Course Time: TBA

This course is preparation for a performance of ancient theater in Latin at the end of the semester.  It will involve background reading about the play, learning and acting the lines, and preparing the costuming, programming and sets. The play will be selected after auditions among the members of the class are held. All those who receive credits will be acting in the play.


Statues and Public Life (CLASS 1704)

Instructor: Verity Platt

Course Time: TR 11:40-12:55

Why do so many societies create statues, and why do they set them up in prominent spaces within their communities? How and why do statues loom so large in the public imagination? Looking both to the cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome and to the modern West, this course examines the social, political, religious, and erotic power attributed to statues across diverse periods and contexts. Drawing on dynamic "Active Learning" methods, we will explore topics including the foundational role of statues for political states (from the Athenian Tyrannicides to the Statue of Liberty), the destruction of statues (from Christian iconoclasm to Confederate monuments), creative “statue-hacks” (from Rome’s Pasquino to Wall Street's “Fearless Girl”) and objects of cult (from Olympian Zeus to weeping Madonnas). The course will encourage active engagement with statues relevant to students themselves, including the Cornell cast collection, statues on campus, and those in your own home town.


The Art of Math (CLASS 2642)

Instructor: Courtney Roby/Andrew Hicks

Course Time: TR 10:10-11:25

Symmetry and harmony are central aesthetic concepts built on a long history of mathematical exploration, not just in the European mathematical tradition but also in mathematical texts from China, India, and the Islamic world. This course will cover theoretical proofs and practical applications from geometrical, harmonic, and astronomical traditions ranging from ancient Greek geometry to early modern science. Topics include geometrical proofs, calculating systems, astronomical models, ratios and proportions, and scales and temperaments. Satisfies MQR requirement.

Archaeology/Roman Private Life (CLASS 2743)

Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis

Course Time: TR 8:40-9:55

What was it like to live in the Roman world?  What did that world look, taste and smell like?  How did Romans raise their families, entertain themselves, understand death, and interact with their government? What were Roman values and how did they differ from our own?  This course takes as its subject the everyday lives of individuals and explores those lives using the combined tools of archaeology, architecture and art, as well as some primary source readings.  In doing so, it seeks to integrate those monuments into a world of real people, and to use archaeology to narrate a story about ancient lives and life habits. Some of the topics explored will include the Roman house; the Roman family, children and slaves; bathing and hygiene; food; gardens, agriculture and animals.

Roman Law: Slavery, Crime, & Gender (CLASS 2806)

Instructor: Nicole Giannella

Course Time: MWF 12:20-1:10

This course investigates the rich body of Roman laws on slaves, crime, and women and children. Students will explore the evolution of power over marginalized groups and penalties for crimes at the beginnings of the Western legal system in order to consider ideas of identity, agency, responsibility, and punishment from a cultural and historical perspective. Through an examination of the legal sources (in translation) and the study of the rise and changes of governmental institutions of justice, this course will examine the evolution of jurisprudence: the development of conceptions of power and shifts in the understanding of just punishment. The course is designed as an introduction to these topics suitable for all students.

Race and Ethnicity in the Ancient World (CLASS 3802)

Instructor: Nicole Giannella

Course Time: MW 2:55-4:10

In this class, we will consider two basic questions: did the ancient Greeks and Romans have a concept of race or racial identity? If not, what were the dominant collective identities they used to classify themselves and others? We will explore the causes and conditions that gave rise to collective identities that can be described as ethnic and (in some cases) possibly as ‘racial’ and how these identities worked in their given cultural and political contexts. We will start with Greek identity in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, then moving to Macedonian identity and the conquests of Alexander the Great, and finally, to the Roman world, where we will explore the question of race and ethnicity within the context of inclusive citizenship. In each of these cultural contexts, we will briefly focus on slavery, examining whether slave identity was at all racialized.

Conversational Latin II (LATIN 2210)

Instructor: Daniel Gallagher

Course Time: MWF 1:25-2:15

This course allows students to practice and perfect the active skills learned in Conversational Latin I (although sufficiently advanced students may enroll without having taken that course) in order to increase reading, speaking, and writing fluency. The main text we will read, talk about, and even perform in Latin is Seneca’s The Trojan Women.

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