New and highlighted Classics courses for Spring 2021

September 30, 2020

Listed below are some of the new and highlighted Spring 2021 course offerings from the Department of Classics.

Great Discoveries in Classical Archaeology (CLASS 1702)

Instructor: Caitlín Eilís Barrett

Course Time: TR 11:25-12:40

This introductory course surveys the archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman Mediterranean. Each week, we will explore a different archaeological discovery that transformed scholars’ understanding of the ancient world. From early excavations at sites such as Pompeii and Troy, to modern field projects across the Mediterranean, we will discover the rich cultures of ancient Greece and Rome while also exploring the history, methods, and major intellectual goals of archaeology.

The Ancient Economy (CLASS 2712)

Instructor: Astrid Van Oyen

Course Time: TR 11:25-12:40

Ancient economies were very different to our modern economy: there were no banks, transport and communication were difficult, and the discipline of economics did not yet exist. Yet there are also striking similarities between the ancient and modern economic worlds: many people liked luxuries, production was increasingly standardized, and buyers and sellers came together on market days. This course introduces the key characteristics of ancient economies, with a focus on ancient Rome but also looking at classical Athens and further afield. It is structured around themes such as trade and exchange, craft, consumption, and money. Its aim is to probe the nature of the ancient economy, both for students interested in the ancient world and for students keen to put the modern economy in historical perspective.

Hieroglyphs to HTML (CLASS 2812)

Instructor: Athena Kirk and Stephen Sansom

Course Time: MWF 10:10-11:00

An introduction to the history and theory of writing systems from cuneiform to the alphabet, historical and new writing media, and the complex relationship of writing technologies to human language and culture.  Through hands-on activities and collaborative work, students will explore the shifting definitions of “writing” and the diverse ways in which cultures through time have developed and used writing systems. We will also investigate the traditional divisions of “oral” vs. “written” and consider how digital technologies have affected how we use and think about writing in encoding systems from Morse code to emoji.

Classicism and Contemporary Art (CLASS 4716/7716)

Instructor: Verity Platt

Course Time: T 11:20-2:20

This course will explore how contemporary artists and designers borrow, replicate, challenge, play with, and subvert the arts of Greco-Roman antiquity. We will survey the influence of classical multiples – from bronze series and plaster casts to digital imaging and 3-D printing; the use of classical objects in critiques of art-world institutions, especially by female photographers such as Louise Lawler and Sara VanDerBeek; subversions of classical monumentality by Black artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Kara Walker; and the influence of classicism upon constructions of European heritage in contemporary fashion and interior design. As a form of “critical reception studies”, this course also examines the complex political legacy of classicism and the role it plays in contemporary discussions of race, from debates over the “whiteness” of classical sculpture to the relationship between state power and monumentality.

Students interacting with professor