hat a strange, unsettling, and unforgettable year it has been. It all started so beautifully. Our wonderful new colleague, Professor Jennifer Weintritt, was smoothly settling in. In October, the department collaborated with the Society of Classical Studies to host a pilot event, the Public Classics Workshop, that brought together graduate students and faculty from across the country to practice ways of better writing and speaking about antiquity for the general public. In January another new initiative, the Classics Power Week, productively combined a presentation of job prospects for Classics majors with information about our majors and minors and concluded with a memorable Trivia Night organized by the Classics Undergraduate Advisory Board. Our three colloquia were bringing in a lively stream of thought-provoking guest lectures, and course enrollments were at their highest point in the past six years. Suddenly, in March 2020, the pandemic hit. Students left campus, winter exams were conducted remotely, we all went into lockdown, and faculty were instructed to take advantage of spring term to learn to teach remotely. Our lives changed abruptly and probably irrevocably. The death toll of the virus, combined with soaring unemployment rates, brought tremendous pain and hardship upon the entire world. Systemic inequalities and racial disparities became even more apparent, as Black and Brown Americans got disproportionately hit by the pandemic and resulting economic crisis. 2
Against that background, the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake and others highlighted the urgent need to bring about a more equitable society. In the face of these profound disruptions, it can be hard to focus on academic work, and the study of the distant past may seem out of touch at best, and perhaps even offensive at worst. And yet it may be precisely in these times of deep crisis, when we as a nation are called to reconsider our political and social values, that the humanities in general and Classics in particular may offer powerful tools for positive change. The Iliad starts with the story of a plague brought upon the Greeks by the anger of Apollo because Agamemnon has refused the ransom offered by Apollo’s priest in exchange for his daughter, Chryseis. As a result, Apollo “… came as night comes and knelt then apart and opposite the ships and let go an arrow. Terrible was the clash that rose from the bow of silver. First he went after the mules and the circling hounds, then let go a tearing arrow against the men themselves and struck them. The corpse fires burned everywhere and did not stop burning.” (translation R. Lattimore) The plague starts with animals and then extends to humans. In the tenth day, it ignites a crisis within the Greek leadership. Achilles Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
challenges Agamemnon to return Chryseis to her father; in retaliation Agammenon takes over Achilles’ own captive, Briseis, and thus ignites the divine-like “anger” (menis) of Achilles, the unfolding of which occupies the next twenty-three books of the epic. A plague; a crisis in leadership; and deep, lethal anger. The parallels with our current situation are striking, but also highlight the specificities of each in its own cultural context. The back-and-forth between the distant past and contemporary events opens up a space that sharpens our comparative understanding of both and gives us the critical distance required to start thinking about new possibilities. Even in the challenging context of the pandemic, we productively carried on with our work. In the following pages, you will read about the many successes of our Classics community— undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and faculty alike. Over the summer, the faculty rethought their courses and prepared for a new mode of delivery combining online instruction with an overlay of in-person interaction. We as a department will also continue to reflect on ways to adjust our curriculum and event planning to promote social justice and diversity. There have been many instances in history when a crisis turned out to be a catalyst for positive change. We in Classics will embrace that challenge and continue digging into the past to bring about a better future. Marianne Hopman
Learning and Teaching Remotely L
ast January, rumblings in the news of an emerging and dangerous novel virus began to surface. Toward the end of winter quarter, the Covid-19 pandemic had created a situation that forced Northwestern leadership to prioritize safety and send students, faculty and staff home. Over an extended spring break, faculty hastened to adjust their syllabi and learn to Zoom, while students found themselves back in their old bedrooms, far from new friends, clubs, sports and other campus activities, while other students adapted to living on a near empty campus. Who could have predicted this kind of year? Curious about how Classics students and faculty were faring, the Department Assistant polled each group about their experiences. A sampling of anonymous quotes follows.
STUDENTS “Words cannot describe how heartbroken I was.” “I have had to learn how to stay focused in a noisy house, as well as balance my school responsibilities with more consistent family obligations, including teaching my younger brother his own lessons during this time.” “[I had to] go back to Greece and try to catch up with the material asynchronously.” “There is an advantage in that now I have so much more
FACULTY “I was most concerned about achieving the same open exchange of ideas and questions in our class discussion. This *is* more difficult on Zoom, but we’ve made great progress as we’ve gotten to know one another better. We’ve also been able to continue the conversation outside of class on discussion boards and annotation threads. This has been a great addition: students no longer need to hold onto a thought until the next class; they can share it with everyone in real time.” “Zoom took a while to get used to. No matter how much you practice, there’s always stuff in the settings you don’t get right. Adopting wacky backgrounds is one, which I did for a non-class meeting (a beach with rolling surf and wavy palms), and then didn’t know how to get rid of. I Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
time with my family, and to do things other than school, yet discipline wise (academically) it has been challenging. I did a lot more group projects as well as had a lot more time to study for exams which I enjoyed.” “It’s incredibly frustrating and upsetting, but I would like to thank all of the professors for doing their very best to adapt their courses and still provide us with the best education they can. They have to be creative and patient and understanding, and the majority of them have been nothing less than compassionate. This experience has really made me realize the privilege of learning while immersed in the campus life.” made a joke about it to the students: “Coming to you live from Hawaii!” They laughed.” “This quarter has been an experiment in radical flexibility. I’ve always operated with strict rules about attendance and late assignments, which just aren’t feasible in this environment. I’ve been heartening to see that students are organizing due dates so that they can turn in their best work, and to my surprise the disruption on my end is pretty minimal. I can see flexible due dates becoming a standard feature in my courses.” “I love the fact that students can post questions on chat. These posts don’t interrupt the flow of my narrative, but I can see questions coming in, and then keep them in the back of my head to treat them at the appropriate moment.” 3
From the Classics Classroom I
n 2019, the Department of Classics faculty added a Methodology Research Seminar: Classics in the Digital Age to its course lineup. Taught by Professor Terpstra and initially experimental, the course, which will soon be in its third year, has firmly taken shape.
When discussions of creating such a class started among the faculty, the driving force was the realization that digital tools are changing Classics research. Online databases and search engines allow for a speed and ease in data-mining unthinkable not long ago. New questions can now be asked, and new approaches to old questions attempted. Students work on individual projects that utilize the emerging web-based tools. Methodology takes center stage, focusing on the â€œhow toâ€? of online dictionaries, bibliographical repositories and search engines for Greek and Latin texts, whether literary, epigraphic or papyrological. As some of these texts are written on objects, the importance of archaeological context is also emphasized. The core of the course consists of hands-on learning, resulting in a research paper and in-class presentation.
Late-antique grave inscription from the city of Rome.
Tweaks will be made to the course in years to come, if for no other reason than that online Classics tools continue to evolve. New ones appear and existing ones improve, which will be reflected in how the course is taught. Developing the content of the seminar to incorporate these changes is an exciting prospect to the Classics faculty. We hope that not just our Majors but also our Minors will be tempted to give it a try. According to Professor Terpstra, Northwesternâ€™s Classics students, academically talented and digitally savvy, are dexterous in applying computing technology to their chosen field of study.
The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon.
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
Interview with Professor Francesca Tataranni spark of interest into a massive flame. A.W-J: What are some of your favorite topics, readings or subjects within the Classics field? Why are they your favorite?
A. W-J: I want to ask what initially piqued your interest in the study of Latin literature and Roman culture, and when and how they became the subjects you knew you wanted to pursue? F.T.: When I was ten years old, in the attic of my grandmother’s house I discovered the Ancient Greek and Latin dictionaries that my father had used in high school twenty-five years earlier. When four years later I went on to study at the Gymnasium and then at the Liceo Classico, I insisted on using the very same dictionaries, and continued to keep them on my desk throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Pisa. I credit a couple of truly inspiring teachers I had along the way with turning that original
F.T.: As a historian, I have always been fascinated by the cultur-al and spatial dimensions of human memory. To put it in Jan Assmann’s terms, I am interested in how ancient societies remembered, how they in-vested memories into external objects and practices, such as customs, rites, images, stories, texts, landscapes and the built environment, and how they visualized themselves in the course of their remembering. Ancient Rome was a memory culture par excellence that took on meanings from its processions and splendid buildings as much as from its legends and the literature written about the city. A.W-J: What are some of the ways you make classical antiquity relevant and relatable to students in 2020? What challenges do you face with the importance and weight associated with Greco-Roman inheritance and its enduring influence in the West? F.T.: The greatest challenge classicists face today is posed by a pressing need to deconstruct the hermeneutic frame-
work that has made classical antiquity a source of authorization for narratives of race, cultural superiority, class, and gender. Class discussions in courses I have taught in recent years have kept me on my toes. What is the most fruitful way to read Ovid’s Art of Love in the #MeToo era? Can we still laugh at Catullus’ verbal abuses of women, slaves, and those whose behaviors evaded heteronormative expectations? How can today’s students find meaning in the study of classics and feel empowered by it to lead positive change in their world? As I grapple with these questions, I urge my students to approach the texts we read in class without indulgence, and yet with humility. I train them to think with, as well as against, the ancient sources. I show them the value of letting those texts make us feel uncomfortable, so we can problematize aspects of the ancient world on which we have made significant progress but that are still deeply rooted and unresolved in our culture. A.W-J: In your opinion, which Classical topic or text should everyone engage with at least once in their lifetime? Why? F.T.: There is a call in the profession to give up teaching the Aeneid to make room for less commonly taught Latin texts, as well as a voiced hope not to have to read an Aeneid paper ever
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
again. While I wholeheartedly embrace the demand for more diverse and inclusive classics curricula and research agendas, I also believe that over time Vergil’s epic poem has undergone a process of whitewashing that has made us blind to its rich thematic polychromatism. Modern receptions of the Aeneid suggest that the poem can be used to address issues of great contemporary relevance, such as post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans, and to promote pro-immigration and feminist agendas, as I demonstrate in my recent study of the controversial retelling of the poem in a 1985 mural that ignited a firestorm of community debate in the Sulzer library of Chicago’s Lincoln Square (One Dark Wall). A.W-J: You have a deep interest in classical receptions in Chicago. Why is that? F.T.: When our dear friend and colleague Kathryn Bosher passed away in 2013, professor Sara Monoson and I decided to update and develop a classical receptions project that she had launched in 2010, The Classicizing Chicago Project, as a way to uphold her legacy at Northwestern. Conceived as a homage to Kate’s intellectual vibrancy, Ancient Rome in Chicago soon became a personal journey of discovery in the city I now call home. Presently in its fifth iteration, the project
Continued on p. 9
Left: #ClassicsNow’s Making Classics Public lecture. Below: Classical Receptions Workshop with Anne-Sophie Noel
ur departmental speaker series, Classics Now, featured three events designed to showcase politically resonant approaches to Greco-Roman antiquity and to explore new possibilities for the study of the past today. In the fall, Prof. Sarah Bond (University of Iowa) and Dr. Donna Zuckerberg (Editor-in-Chief, Eidolon) discussed the urgent need for Classical scholars to engage with the general public, and the rewards and challenges they may encounter along the way. Prof. Edith Hall (King’s College London) spoke about her forthcoming book, A People’s History of Classics: Class and Greco-Roman Antiquity in Britain and Ireland 1689 to 1939, which offers an alternative backstory to the discipline by highlighting uses of antiquity by working class leaders. In winter, Prof. Johanna Hanink (Brown University) showed how ideas about antiquity still play a crucial role in shaping how Greece is viewed by other European countries today. The fourth talk in the series was cancelled because of the pandemic; we look forward to hosting Prof. Eric Cline (The George Washington University) on a future date. 6
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
Classical Receptions Workshop
ince 2010, the Classical Receptions Workshop has been bringing together faculty and graduate students working in Classics, Political Science, English, Art History, Theatre, and other relevant fields to engage with external speakers and discuss pre-circulated readings pertaining to the reception of Classics materials in post-Classical times. This year’s workshop featured three leading scholars in the field. First, Anne-Sophie Noel (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France) presented her current work on Athenian drama and its reception in two talks, “Do Objects Have Something to Say? Performance, Agency and Ontology of Objects in Greek Tragedy” and “Three Oresteia in Spring 2019: Why they taught me about Aeschylus’ play.” Next, Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and U Chicago) engaged the workshop participants in a close analysis of the account of Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary in Luke, and then went on to consider some fundamental aspects of the iconographic tradition, focusing upon Mary as a reader. Last, Jonathan Hall (U Chicago) discussed issues of cultural heritage in nineteenth-century Greece in his lecture, “Colonizing the Past: The Case of Argos in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.”
Global Antiquities Workshop
he Northwestern Global Antiquities Group facilitates collaboration between scholars of antiquity across disciplines. With generous funding from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and several academic departments, this year we hosted talks showcasing the intellectual bonds of antiquity researchers throughout the Chicago area. This included a talk from Prof. Gil Stein from the University of Chicago on preserving the cultural history of Afghanistan and from Prof. Morag Kersel of DePaul University on the illegal trade of Jordanian artifacts. We hosted a dialog on ancient and modern empires between our own Professors Taco Terpstra, from Classics, and Daniel Immerwahr from History. We also proudly contributed to “Making Classics Public” with Prof. Sarah Bond, from the University of Iowa, and Donna Zuckerberg, editor of Eidolon. With the indispensable help of PhD candidate Tessa Cavagnero we also launched our website, which allows others to sign up for our mailing list and provides an updated list of antiquities related events throughout the Chicago region. Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
Professors Morag Kersel and Ryan Platte 7
Undergraduate Spotlight Classics Undergraduate Advisory Board (CUAB) Update
espite the many challenges we faced in the 2019-2020 academic year, the CUAB made the most of the circumstances and had a successful year overall. During the Classics Power Week this past winter, the CUAB hosted our first ever Classics Trivia Night! Students across campus joined us for some pizza and several entertaining rounds of jeopardy and Kahoot trivia. The winner of the final round of Kahoot even won a $15 gift card! The CUAB also expanded our outreach efforts this year by establishing our official Facebook page (@NUCUAB) to keep people informed about events and other general updates. The CUAB executive members were also continuing to do amazing work outside of organizing events. Our former treasurer, Chris Theodosis, just graduated from NU this year having completed his senior honors thesis in Classics, titled “Vehicles of Authority Conveyed by Penelope and Hip-Hop,” under the supervision of Professor Radding. Peter Seymour, another board member, also received a Murley Prize at this year’s virtual award ceremony for Excellence in Second-Year Greek. As we prepare for the upcoming academic year, the CUAB looks forward to expanding our membership and hosting more new and exciting events to keep our community of antiquities-loving students and faculty engaged and connected. CUAB V.P. Anusha Ebrahim prepares for Trivia Night 8
Students attend Classics Power Week Trivia Night
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
2019-2020 CUAB members: Skye McCoy, President Anusha Ebrahim, Vice President Chris Theodosis, Treasurer Karan Gowda & Peter Seymour, Student Outreach and Communications
Ace Chisholm and Abigail Williams win UG Research Grants!
Ace Chisholm, Toon Self
wo Classics majors, Ace Chisholm and Abigail Williams, have been awarded Northwestern University Undergraduate Research Grants through the Office of Research. Ace Chisholm plans to work on her research proposal Epistulae Ex Ponto and Writing Nostalgia which Professor Francesca Tataranni will advise summer 2020. The ultimate goal of her research is
to write a graphic novel on the themes of epistolography, exile, and nostalgia in ancient Rome. Rising senior Abigail Williams joins Professor Jennifer Weintritt for a summer research assistantship on a project titled, Adaptations and Continuations of the Greek Epic Cycle in Fragments of Early Latin Poetry. Their work will involve examining the remains of Rome’s earliest epics and dramas for clues that Latin poets, like those of the Epic Cycle, re-wrote stories of the Trojan War in order to frame themselves as Homer ’s successors. This research is part of Professor Weintritt’s ongoing book project on the reception of the Greek Epic Cycle in Latin epic.
Interview with Professor Tataranni cont. from p. 5
features a student-produced virtual walking tour of Chicago that includes more than fifty buildings. A.W-J: How have digital tools transformed your teaching and research? F.T.: Designing and developing “Ancient Rome in Chicago” has been the most significant and rewarding experience in my career. Pushing my teaching into the digital humanities realm has allowed me to explore new ways to train students to become creative thinkers and builders of knowledge. It has also created opportunities for me to learn and experiment with digital tools and practices that expand the scope, enhance the quality, and increase the visibility of humanities research. A.W-J: What fun fact would you like people to know about you? F.T.: At the end of November 2003, only two weeks after coming to the U.S. from Italy for the very first time, I went on a trip to Alaska. There I crossed the Denali Park’s arctic tundra by train and saw the tallest mountain in North America in the quiet serenity of pristine snow. I also spent a few days in the northernmost U.S. town, Utqiagvik (at the time still called Barrow), where I never saw the sun rise and cele-
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
Professor Tataranni, Romie Drorie, and Rasa Kerelis at the Language Fair
brated Thanksgiving with the local Inuit community, sipping caribou soup at a potluck dinner that featured beautiful singing, dancing, and the exchange of frozen chunks of whale meat and other traditional gifts.
Classics 2020 Expo and Murley Awards Ceremony
Scene from the 2020 Virtual Classics Expo
he Department held its second annual Classics Expo and Murley Awards Ceremony on June 16th, virtually. Despite the two-dimensionality of the Zoom platform, guests seemed energized, eager to see each other, sample the research, and to celebrate the prize winners. The Expo portion showcased pre-recorded, individual and collective undergraduate group research projects that ranged from book reviews to creative projects, from performances to creative translations. 10
Both Jack Drummond’s review of “Country”, by Michael Hughes, and Victoria Linner’s review of “Lavinia”, by Ursula LeGuin evolved from Professor Weintritt’s Winter 2020 class, “Women of the Trojan War: Ancient and Modern Adaptations” and are available to view on the Classics website. From Professor Tataranni’s Fall 2019 advanced Latin course, Rose Genaris presented her original painting and paper, “Reconstructing Tarpeia – A Feminist Counternarrative,” and Ace Chisholm mixed illustration with research to examine
the use of Roman porticoes for public display in her project “The Saepta Julia.” Rose’s piece is also available on the Classics website. Tracy Ferguson, Elise Hopkins, and Kirsten Kash made a wonderful adaptation of a scene from Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis inspired by Professor Radding’s Fall 2019 course, “Ancient Greek and Roman Drama.” Finally, out of Professor Byros, Spring 2019 intermediate Latin course, came the creative translation of Catullus 42: “To My Frat Bros,” by Romie Drori, Rose Genaris, Rasa Kerelis and Christina Melehy. They cast the hendecasyllabic lines of the poem as spoken by “frat bros” of a male student, whose help is enlisted in virtually harassing a girl into deleting from her social media page embarrassing screenshots of intimate messages from the speaker. The Murley Awards Ceremony followed. These awards are named after Joseph Clyde Murley, a Northwestern Classics professor from 1921-1957, and honor outstanding achievement by Classics students. Undergraduate Achievement by a Classics Major
Undergraduate Achievement by Jack Drummond a Classics Minor Undergraduate Research in Jack Mayer Classical Literature and Culture Excellence in First-Year Greek
Excellence in First-Year Latin
Excellence in Second-Year Greek Peter Seymour Excellence in 2nd-Year Latin
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
Colin Tichvon Labonita Ghose
Classics Class of 2020!
The Department presented two additional awards during the Murley Ceremony: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Classical Studies went to Rose Genaris,
graduation year unlike any other in the history of Northwestern, we commend you, and look forward with anticipation to see what you achieve next! Congratulations!
and Ariel Weiner received the Outstanding Performance by a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
Sneha Pamulapati Olivia Asmar Reilly Clatch Hannah Gaertner Emily Coffee Romie Drorie Elena Karras* Katharine Martin Peng Xueyang Rachel Price Jahan Sahni Cameron Swain Chris Theodosis*
Heartfelt congratulations to all the 2020 Murley Prize winners!
* Recipient of Classics Honors for Thesis Research
Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
Graduate and Alumni News William Cochran (Philosophy Ph.D. 2020) successfully defended his dissertation entitled “Aristotle’s Notion of Teaching and Its Role in His Theory of Moral Education,” last April. Classics cluster faculty members Richard Kraut and Patricia Marachel served as Will’s advisors. Soon thereafter, Will accepted a one-year Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellowship position in The Program for Leadership and Character and the Department of Computer Science at Wake Forest University. In this position Will can combine his diverse interests—in Aristotle, character education, ethics, and emerging technologies. He will receive specialized pedagogical training on how to integrate character education into his syllabi. He also plans to expand on the first-year seminar he taught at Northwestern on the ethics of emerging technologies. Alumnus Evan Dutmer (Philosophy 2019) received the statewide Teacher of the Year award from the Indiana Classical Conference. Dutmer is Instructor in Latin, Ancient Mediterranean Cultures, and Ethics at the Culver Academies, a boarding school in Culver, IN. He was a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy from 2012-2019, being part of both the Ancient Philosophy Program and Graduate Classics Cluster at Northwestern University. He completed his dissertation in September 2019 under the direction of Richard Kraut. 12
Dawei Wang (Classics Class of 2018) now part of the MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford, visited the Department in January. He shared an excerpt from his book project on why he chose to major in Classics. …it was winter quarter of my junior year, and it was finally about time to declare a major. My official major at the time was still political science, but I had no intention of finishing the courses. I enjoyed talking about politics, but it is very different from studying it as a social science. I believe that the working of politics is deeply rooted in human nature, and we can never fully understand the big picture by theories alone, no matter how meticulously constructed they are. Classics, on the other hand, is a discipline in the humanities. The poetry, drama, and philosophical works by the Greeks and Romans are the best textbooks of learning the nature of human society. And unlike courses in history, where students spend lots of time reading secondary literature, studying classics requires students to master at least one of the two ancient languages—Greek and Latin. Most of the courses are devoted to the reading and discussion of primary literature, in translation if not in the original language. Therefore, students of classics develop the ability to see the past in its purest and most unadulterated form. While studying abroad in Qatar, I often contemplated what I should choose as a major. I knew that I did not enjoy studying political science, especially the mandatory courses in methodology and statistics. What I really wanted to explore was human nature through the lenses of politics and Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
history. I had already started learning Greek and declared a minor in classics. Why not switching into a major? After consulting with Professor Ryan Platte, my mentor, advisor, and the department’s director of undergraduate studies, I signed up to become a full member of the classics department. Looking back today, I cannot express my gratitude enough for everything the department has given me. I can fondly remember every class I took— learning the Corcyrean Revolution with Professor Wallace, reading Hector’s final battle with Professor Platte, imagining the adventure of Odysseus with Professor Hopman, and staging Aristophanes’ comedy with Professor Radding. The small size of the department creates a family-like environment where the faculty and staff members care deeply about students’ personal growth. I often dropped by the office of Alison, the department assistant, whenever I needed someone to talk to. When it was time to apply to graduate schools, Professors Radding and Platte wrote my recommendation letters. Upon learning that I had chosen Oxford, Professor Wallace gave me his tips for studying and living there. The faculty members also nominated me for many prizes and honors, including my junior year induction to the university’s Phi Beta Kappa society. Although my graduate research is on the political history of the Middle East, classics will always be my source of inspiration. It is classics that taught me human nature and how to live a good life. Whenever I am puzzled by the current state of affairs, I would go back to Thucydides and read his interpretation of war, revolution, alliance, and betrayal. Whenever I am feeling distressed, I
2019-2020 Faculty News Reginald Gibbons will be participating (via Zoom) in a virtual event, a “Festival of the Muses” at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC, June 19-20. With another poet, he will give a brief reading of a few of his poems based on ancient Greek texts and also on texts by the Russian poet Osip Mandelshtam, whose work includes many allusions to ancient Greece. The readings will be followed by a conversation on modern and contemporary poetic uses of ancient texts. Later this year, if there is sufficient success against Covid-19 and people are permitted to go out again, then on Oct. 29 at the Newberry Library Reg will receive a Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
Dawei Wang in Oxford would pick up the Odyssey and read an episode of Odysseus’ journey. It is these texts that constantly refresh my perspective to look at the past and the way ahead.
Ann C. Gunter enjoyed the undergraduate courses she taught in the departments of Art History, Classics, and Humanities. This year also saw several articles published in conference volumes: Writing Neo-Assyrian History, edited by Giovanni-Battista Lanfranchi, Raija Mattila, and Robert Rollinger (2019); Das Weltreich der Perser: Rezeption – Aneignung – Verargumentierung, edited by Robert Rollinger, Kai Ruffing, and Louisa Thomas (2019); and Beyond Egyptomania: Objects, Style, and Agency, edited by Miguel John Versluys and Caroline van Eck (2020). She also continued serving on the editorial boards of the journal State Archives of Assyria Bulletin (University of Helsinki Press) and the monograph series Classica et Orientalia (Harrassowitz). Ann has been awarded a Kaplan Faculty Fellowship for 2020-21 for her project exploring how a cultural framework created around the built environment, dining, dress, and other modes of Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
social performance allowed participation in the Neo-Assyrian Empire (ca. 900-600 BCE). A highlight of the year was a trip to Egypt in February with the Northwestern Alumni Association Travel Program: fabulous sites, scenery, and company! Marianne Hopman had a dense but rewarding year teaching, writing, and chairing the department in the challenging context of the pandemic. She made good progress in the development of her current book project, a monograph entitled Prometheus Bound: Nature and Technology in Fifth Century Athens, which analyzes the tragic conflict between Zeus, the main Greek god, and Prometheus, fire-giver and inventor of all technologies, in the context of fifth-century BCE Athenian debates about human culture and progress. On the teaching front, she has been busy re-organizing previously taught courses with an emphasis on research-based, collaborative, and experiential learning. The new version of her Odyssey course, first offered in fall 2019, now includes a heightened digital humanities component based on the Chicago Homer website and invites students to compare reception materials from the Northwestern Block Museum to the Homeric source text. Students in her spring course, “Love Scripts: From Sappho to the Beatles,” collaboratively worked to develop a close reading of an ancient love poem in comparison with a contemporary one and created an audience-oriented experience of their reading on paper or through a video essay. In her capacity as department chair, Marianne co-organized the highly successful “Public Classics Workshop” that brought to Evanston Classics graduate 13
Faculty News continued students and faculty from across the country to develop their ability to speak and write about the ancient Mediterranean for the general public. She also continued to lead the department’s efforts at enhancing the vibrancy of our undergraduate program, our contribution to graduate education, and the visibility and impact of Classics within Northwestern and beyond. Richard Kraut taught a graduate seminar (Fall 2019) on Plato’s Republic, focusing both on interpretive questions (what role does Plato’s metaphysics play in his ethics?) and contemporary applications (Plato as Critical Theorist, by Jonny Thakkar). In February 2020, he delivered the annual Dewey Lecture to the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, with a paper entitled “How I am an Aristotelian.” He continues to serve as the Director of the Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Civic Life. Patricia Marechal has been working on her book manuscript on the desire for respect and recognition, and the emotions related to this desire, in Ancient Greek philosophy. She published an article on Plato’s moral psychology in a volume of collected essays on the philosophy of mind in Antiquity. She also continued working on several research projects in Hellenistic philosophy, and published an article on Galen’s philosophy of mind in Ancient Philosophy, and another on teleology in a volume edited by Jeff McDonough for the Oxford Philosophical Concepts Series. As a follow up, she’s been working on a piece for a forthcoming volume on hylomorphism, which will be published by Oxford University Press in 2021. She also has a forthcoming publication on comparative Greek and Chinese philosophy 14
in Philosophy East and West. She has scheduled presentations at UC Riverside, the Munich Center for Ancient philosophy, Boston University, and the University of Athens, among others. In 2019 she joined the Northwestern Classics department as a non-budgetary faculty member, and has been collaborating with the Northwestern Classics Cluster and advising the PhD students in the Ancient Philosophy Graduate Program. She is currently a member of the program committee for the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association. In that role, she is co-organizing the next Central APA conference, which will take place in New Orleans in 2021. Sara Monoson (professor, classics cluster director) especially enjoyed teaching independent studies in classical studies in spring 2020 during the covid-19 emergency (you know who you are!). Throughout the year and together with undergraduate Farrell Fellows in the Department of Political Science she developed an archive of modern vernacular receptions of Socrates. Her own current research focuses on the contemporary idea of “resilience” in juxtaposition with Plato’s political psychology. In summer 2020 she is working with graduate Chabraja Fellows on revitalizing the ATLAS section of the Classicizing Chicago Project. Her Weinberg College Seminar on Plato’s Republic will be repeated in fall 2020 along with her advanced undergraduate Classical Political Theory course. The latter will be somewhat revised and newly cross-listed as Classics 380. She worked with colleagues to review the experience of graduate students affiliated with classics and looks forward to welcoming Professor Marechal as co-director of the Classics Cluster in fall 2020. Ryan Platte was incredibly honored this year to Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
be awarded the Excellence in Foreign Language Teaching Award by Northwestern’s Council on Language Instruction. The award is a recognition not only of his own work, but also that of his colleagues and their students, who have all worked together so diligently to foster our wonderful Greek program. This program has in fact thrived this entire year, even through the challenges of this Spring term. In adapting to online instruction the community and common purpose among Greek learners has been an incredible asset, and a delight to witness. And no students have ever been so good at typing Ancient Greek! In this environment Ryan taught our largest cohort of first-year Greek students and had the privilege of helping our second-year students learn to read the Iliad in Greek. His Iliad students in fact embraced the online nature of the term by learning new online methods of analyzing the Homeric texts through the Chicago Homer database, yielding thoughtful and sophisticated new projects. Jonah Radding designed and taught new classes on “War and peace in ancient Greece and Rome,” and “The art of talking trash: invective poetry from antiquity to the present,” and supervised Chris Theodophilis’ senior thesis on “Vehicles of Authority Conveyed by Penelope and Hip-Hop” – great work Chris! He also taught for the first time at Stateville Correctional Center through the Northwestern Prison Education Program. On the academic front, Jonah published an essay on fragments of Euripides’ Alexandros (“Status sociale e identità civile: l’Alexandros di Euripide e i limiti dell’ideologia,” in The Forgotten Theatre, vol. 2), and recently submitted for publication essays on Euripides’ Heracles and Alexandros and on Pindar’s paeans. continued on p. 14
Classics Faculty, September 2019 Francesca Tataranni enjoyed another exciting year of teaching and research. In the fall of 2019 she participated in “Pro Publica: A Public Classics Workshop,” which the Classics department hosted in collaboration with the Society for Classical Studies, and delivered a keynote address entitled “Voci e Silenzi di Donne nell’Antichità Classica. Da Elena di Troia a Cleopatra” at the Associazione delle Mogli dei Medici Italiani annual conference in Ferrara, Italy. In addition to presenting her work in the field of Digital Humanities research and pedagogy at different venues, Francesca collaborated with the Northwestern’s Media and Design Studio on the production of a video essay entitled One Dark Wall which documents a forgotten controversy concerning the painting of a fresco of Virgil’s Aeneid in the Chicago Sulzer Regional Library. Because of her research focus on Chicago and the reception of classical antiquity in its built environment, in March 2020 Francesca was invited to be a guest lecturer for one of the Chicago Architecture Center’s docent training sessions.
Taco Terpstra had a very satisfying academic year, both in terms of research and teaching. In December, he saw the final fruit of a long-running collaboration with colleagues at the McCormick School of Engineering and the Block Museum of Art. This shared research and exhibition project resulted in an edited volume, titled Portrait of a Child: Historical and Scientific Studies of a Roman Egyptian Mummy. In January, Prof. Terpstra further published a journal article on technological progress in the ancient world in comparison with medieval Europe and Tang-Song China. With the conclusion of these projects, he has started writing a new book on Roman imperial state formation. He is also working on an article on state demand for silver and the development of Mediterranean metallurgy. As for teaching, in the Winter Quarter he taught a new course on the Latin epigraphy of Roman Campania. He greatly enjoyed reading a wide array of inscriptions and graffiti with NU Classics’ dedicated and talented students. Like everyone else, Robert Wallace’s academic year was cut short by the virus. He gave a lecture at Bloomington in November, “Did the Athenians intend to conquer Sicily in 415?,” he published (5/22/20) a contribution to the Blackwell Companion to Aeschylus titled “Aeschylus and Athenian History, 508/7-454 BC. Democracy’s Age of Bronze,” a review of Patrick Finglass’s commentary on Sophokles’ Oedipus the King (CUP) in press at Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews, and a contribution to a festschrift in honor of a retiring professor of classics in Milan, called “Sylvester and Tweety: Recasting “Old South” Plantation Folktales (with a brief detour to Africa and classical antiquity)” also in press. He worked intensely on chapters of two books-in-progDepartment of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
ress, Sophokles and Athens (finish date: December 2020) and Plato as a writer. He was peer reviewer in a promotion case at an American university, peer reviewer for three articles in professional journals, and appointed to the external review board of the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Crete, and to the International Scientific Committee of the Working Group on Archaic and Classical Greek Law (DEGRIAC), at the National Research Institute for Legal History, University of Buenos Aires. Had he not been forbidden to fly, between March and May he would have given a lecture on Greek philosophy at the University of Rethymnon in Crete and three lectures on Thucydides at the University of Thessaloniki, and spent a month as Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. Jennifer Weintritt had a productive first year in the department. She taught two new classes to excellent students: a Latin class on Vergil’s Eclogues and a seminar comparing ancient and modern adaptations of the Trojan War myth written from women’s points of view. In January, she gave a paper from her current book project, The Greek Epic Cycle in Latin Epic, at the Society for Classical Studies in Washington, D.C. She also previewed new material for the book with a paper, “Ut Scriptor Cyclicus Olim: Horace on Adaptation and Epic Cycle,” at the University of Chicago’s Rhetoric and Poetry workshop in March. This summer she is looking forward to continuing work on this project with the help of rising senior Abigail Williams. Together they were awarded a grant from the Office for Undergraduate Research for an inquiry into adaptation and continuation in early Latin poetry. 15
The Department of Classics wishes to thank its alumni and other friends for their support. Ms. Shannon M. Bahler Mrs. Vida Brenner Ms. Jessica Cheng Ms. Nancy D. Courtney Ms. Emily Pauline Davidson Ms. Marni M. Dillard Ms. Kelly Ann Erickson
Mr. Mark J. and Mrs. Renee Greenstein Mr. Adam D. Hirsch Mr. Wilmer Ho and Ms. Nicole Marie Ablondi Ms. Jennifer Pei-Der Huang Ms. Nancy Spatz Lucid Mr. Robert Martyn
Ms. Emily Maureen Miller Mr. Gregory J. Oâ€™Leary Miss Lisa Jo Pegnato Prof. John J. Peradotto Mr. Alexander Michael Shaffer Mr. Frank D. Smith and Ms. Monica M. Weed
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Department of Classics Newsletter | 2019-2020
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