Featured courses 2012-13

Joshua Billings

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CLCV 108/HUMS 260

Deaths of Tragedy

Spring 2013, Th 3:30-5:20 Areas: HU

This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU)

Is tragedy dead? ‘Deaths of Tragedy’ considers the modernities of Greek tragedy through the dual lens of theory and adaptation. The course assumes no prior knowledge, and seeks to give students a thorough grounding in Greek tragedy and its place in the classical tradition. After two weeks of historical discussion, later texts will be paired with ancient Greek works (all in English translation) in a chronological progression. The theme ‘deaths of tragedy’ will open onto questions both of generic theory (does tragedy have a particular link to death?) and history (to what extent does tragedy ‘die’ in ancient Greece?).

Ultimately, the course will interrogate the concept of “the tragic” in antiquity and modernity.Readings will include a substantial selection of Greek tragedies, along with plays and adaptations by Aristophanes, Seneca, Racine, Goethe, Brecht, Anouilh, and Anne Carson, and theoretical texts of Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, Peter Szondi, and George Steiner.

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GREK 407

Plato’s Phaedrus

The Phaedrus is one of Plato's most engaging and profound dialogues. We join Socrates and his young friend Phaedrus for a walk in the countryside, where they consider love, sex, madness, and persuasion in a discussion that has resonated deeply for later philosophers from Aristotle to Derrida. The course seeks both to develop the confidence to read Plato's beautiful prose as accurately and fluidly as possible, and to begin to grasp the philosophical implications of the dialogue.

As a "bridge" course, this course is designed both to allow incoming students with substantial preparation in Greek to fulfill their language requirement (L5) and to sharpen the skills and enhance the knowledge needed in the more advanced Greek courses.

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Kirk Freudenberg

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Latin 460

Petronius

Spring 2013, M W 1-2:15

The primary project of the course is to read Petronius’s Satyricon, attending to the basic demands of close reading as well as to larger matters of genre, style, and cultural context.

The course requirements will include selected further readings from relevant Latin texts (e.g. Pompeiian graffiti, Tacitus’s Annales, Seneca’s Epistulae Morales) as well as works of modern scholarship on issues of narrative, intertextuality, Neronian culture, religion and literature.

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Irene Peirano Garrison

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LATN 421

Virgil's Aeneid

FALL 2012 M–W 1–2:15

Skills L5

This course is an advanced level introduction to the Aeneid. We will read the whole poem in translation and the last four books in the original. We will start by reading approximately 60 lines per session working our way up to 150 by the end of the semester. The emphasis throughout will be on comprehension of Virgil’s language, style and poetic technique.

To this end, students will be expected to read the text closely and consult the assigned secondary sources ahead of time. Class discussion will be equally divided between close reading and interpretation of the text and discussion of larger interpretative issues. All secondary readings will be made available on the classesV2 server.

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LATN 455

Martial

Spring 2013, T Th 1-2:15

We will read in full the selection in Watson, L. and Watson, P., Martial: Select Epigrams (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Topics include poetics and the book, sex and gender, politics, the city of Rome and Martial’s role within the history of the epigrammatic genre.

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Emily Greenwood

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CLCV 265 / HUMS 465 / LITR 153

Contemporary Receptions of Greek and Roman Classics

Fall 2012, W 2:30-4:30 Areas: HU

This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU)

This course will explore contemporary responses to Greek and Roman Classics with a view to understanding the role of readers and audiences in the constant adaptation and reinvention of classical texts. Throughout, the emphasis will be less on a received classical tradition, and more on moments of engagement and resuscitation as successive readers breathe new life into the classical corpus. Responding to recent scholarship, we will consider the trauma of modern history as an impetus for engagement with the Classics, and will explore the concept of post-classical Classics.

In addition to the study of specific works in their historical and cultural contexts, we will also address broader theoretical issues, such as the tension between the epic and the fragmentary in contemporary receptions; the relationship between the classical past, historicism, modernism, postmodernism, and the unknown future; and the role of classical imitation in the construction of western subjectivity.

A corresponding lecture series entitled ‘Greece and Rome, Continued’ (see p.4 below) will bring novelists, poets, and academics to Yale and to our seminar to talk about their own adaptations of Greek and Roman Classics.

Download syllabus here

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featured Courses This Year

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CLCV 238/HUMS 269/LITR 153

Classics in Black

Spring 2013, W 3:30-5:20 Areas: HU

This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU)

A course on the reception of Greco-Roman classics in different Black traditions from 1783 to the present day. The course will explore how various black writers and artists read and reinterpreted a classical canon that had been used to furnish arguments for colonialism, imperialism, and modern racism. Works to be studied will include drama from Nigeria and South Africa (Ola Rotimi; Wole Soyinka; Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona; Yael Farber), Caribbean poetry and

autobiography (C. L. R. James, Aimé Césaire, Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Austin Clarke, NourbeSe Philip), and classicism in African American letters and art, including Phillis Wheatley, William S. Scarborough, W. E. B. Du Bois, Romare Bearden, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Rita Dove.

Download syllabus here

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Christina S. Kraus

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CLCV 255/LITR 159

Introduction to Latin Literature

Spring 2013, T, Th 1-2:15 Areas: HU

This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU)

This course offers a cultural and intellectual history of classical Rome through readings of its surviving literature, in translation. Topics include: the self-invention of Roman literature and its negotiation with literary competitors; the relationship between literature and power in the late Republic; women and writing;

imperial expansion and the struggles with traditional values; theatrical spectacle, games, and the image of the barbarian.

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Pauline LeVen

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GREK 414/714

Hesiod and Homeric Hymns

Spring 2013, M-W 2.30-3.45 pm

This advanced level course will focus on the hexameter poetry of Hesiod (with a special focus on the Theogony) and the Homeric Hymns to Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes. We will start by reading approximately 60 lines per session, working our way up to 150 by the end of the semester. Assignments will consist in preparing the assigned reading in Greek, and reading articles addressing interpretive issues and history of literature.

Sessions will be devoted to close reading and discussion of points of language, style, and metrics, as well as larger issues of narrative technique, poetics, myth and aitiology, religion, and hymnic genre.

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GREK 141b

Introduction to Homer: the Odyssey

Spring 2013, M-W-F 10.30-11.20am

You only need three semesters of Greek to start reading Homer in the original! The goal of this class is to familiarize students with the language of Homeric poetry (dialect, morphology and meter), as well as its narrative technique and the characterization of its main protagonists.

We will read the whole of the Odyssey in English, and four books (1, 6, 9 and 21) in Greek, starting with a few dozen lines per session and working our way up to 75 lines per session. Assignments will consist in preparing the assigned reading in Greek, and occasionally reading articles addressing interpretive issues.

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Joe Manning

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GREK 405

Daily Life in the papyri

Spring 2013, MW 4-5.15

The aim of the course is to introduce the student to the Greek papyri from Egypt. Close attention will be paid to the language of the texts, but also to their structure and interpretation. The course will also introduce the methods of the field of Papyrology and current research questions in the field.

Course requirements will include a short research midterm paper on a text chosen by the student and a final exam.

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Joseph Solodow

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Latin 412

Roman Myth and Pastoral

Fall, 2012, MW 9-10:15

A perspective on the last years of the Roman Republic, with emphasis on literary responses rather than the historical events themselves. A "bridge" course designed both to allow incoming students with substantial preparation in Latin to fulfill their language requirement (L5) and to sharpen the skills and enhance the knowledge needed in the more advanced Latin courses.

A combination of prose (selections from Book I of Livy's history) and poetry (most of Virgil's Eclogues). Attention divided between careful reading of the Latin and, with the aid of scholarly articles and chapters, interpretation of the literary works, which are set against the backgrounds not only of contemporary history and politics but also of literary tradition.

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