Agenda

Index

General Information
Description
Objectives
Aspects of the Seminar
Primary Readings
Secondary Readings
Daily Schedule
Schedule of Sessions
Day 1: July 25 Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Day 2: July 26 Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Day 3: July 27 Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Day 4: July 28 Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Day 5: July 29 Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4

Description

In his dialogues, Plato “stages” encounters between Socrates, his mentor, and some of the most celebrated intellectuals in the second half of the 5th century BCE, including the priestesss-seer Diotima and Aspasia, the “mistress” of Pericles. The language of these conversations, capturing the thoughts of the various interlocutors, reflects Plato’s keen ear for the complex traditions of verbal art. What comes to life in Plato’s works is a wide range of debates, ongoing in the era of Socrates—a half century before Plato’s own—about the artistry of such classical forms as epic, lyric, and drama. At the same time, Plato assimilates and reshapes these and other forms of public discourse, such as political and forensic oratory, into his own “sophisticated” genre of dialogue. The seminar will examine selected works, including the Ion, Apology, Symposium, and Phaedo, observing how Plato constructs a Socrates based on the historical person but transformed into a character who both articulates and embodies Plato’s agenda. The readings for the seminar will also include a number of complementary texts, for example, selections from the Homeric poems and the dramas of Athenian playwrights.

Objectives

The aims of this seminar encompass (1) ancient Greek culture in general, (2) the conventions of Plato’s verbal art, and (3) the nature of scholarly discourse and collaboration.

    1. Ancient Greek Culture
      With regard to the larger cultural context of ancient Greece, primarily as it developed in Athens during the archaic and classical periods and its relationship to our world today, we will pursue the following objectives:

      • Understanding the performative nature and context of Plato’s dialogues especially as they relate to other forms of public intellectual, political, and religious (i.e., dramatic, choral, and rhapsodic) performances.
      • Exploring how the characters we encounter in Plato’s dialogues and the views they express have shaped subsequent behaviors and ideas, for example, in the evolution of conversations between Socrates and his interlocutors into various systems of education, especially those exemplified by institutions of secondary and higher education in the United States.
      • Developing a sense of caution toward generalizations and categorical explanations, given the nature of the material that has survived from antiquity, the vastly different cultural perspectives of people who lived 2500 years ago and contemporary American and European society, and the diverse approaches and views we all bring to an engagement with Plato’s writings.
    1. The Verbal Art of Plato
      Concerning our approach to a selection of Plato’s dialogues, our emphasis will NOT be on the philosophy of Plato, although our conversations will from time to time inevitably concern aspects of Plato’s views concerning the nature of human beings and their place in the universe (κόσμος, kósmos), but on way Plato constructs the dialogues, the dramatis personae and the cities (πόλεις, póleis) of their origin, the way the characters speak and the language they use, the references to other arts (τέχναι, tekhnai), their practitioners, and the artifacts themselves, and the allusions to and borrowings from poetry of various genres. At the conclusion of this seminar, you should have developed an understanding of Plato’s dialogic approach and be able to describe and discuss the following:

      • The narrative structures of the dialogues (e.g., who participates in the conversation, where the conversation takes place, when the conversation occurs and when the events discussed in the dialogue transpired, if at a different time)
      • How the dialogues differ from other forms of public verbal interaction (e.g., dramatic productions, forensic speeches, epidectic demonstrations, deliberative debates, ad epic and choral performances)
      • Who the sophists (σοφισταί, sophistai) i.e., Socrates’ competitors, were and how Plato creates a unique identity for his hero (ἥρως, hérōs) in the specific sense of the term from the perspective of Athenians in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE.
  1. Scholarly Discourse and Collaboration
    In all of its activities the CHS is committed to developing new models of communication and collaboration. In designing our programs we seek to promote the ideals of intergenerationality, transparency, and inclusivity. Consequently, we welcome participation from students in the field at all stages in their intellectual evolution; our meetings and the outcomes of our work are open and accessible to the community; and we actively seek participants from all walks of life, backgrounds, and points of view. This environment of free and open interaction is ideally suited to exploring and refining new modes of academic communication, which encompass the interactions of students and their faculty mentors in the classroom as well as the conversations among scholars in a particular field. In the context of this conference, our objectives include:

    • Working as a group on the design of an inter-institutional course on the verbal art of Plato for undergraduates.
    • Collaboratively developing resources to help our students engage with Plato’s dialogues.
    • Confronting the challenges and opportunities that an evolving digital infrastructure offers for the ways we interact as an academic community within and outside the classroom.

Aspects of the Seminar

Primary Readings
Of course, everyone is responsible for reading the following dialogues and complementary texts. A team of participants, as outlined below, will assume the responsibility for leading the discussion of the individual dialogues. Everyone should come to each session ready to participate actively in the conversations.
Secondary Readings
We will read selections from three of Nagy’s works, which will provide some contextualizing information and offer some perspectives to enrich your engagement with the texts as you formulate your own views and approaches. They are all freely through the center’s website.) Everyone should read through the selections.
Daily schedule
As you will note below, we have divided each of the five days of the seminar into four sessions, each lasting 90 minutes. Two of the sessions will take place before lunch and two in the afternoon. Between the two sessions in the morning and afternoon will be a 30-minute break, and we will take 90 minutes for lunch, which will be available promptly at 12:30. We will devote a session at the beginning to get acquainted and discuss the objectives of the seminar and one at the end for a summative evaluation.
Discussions
The main activity of our workshop will be discussing the dialogues of Plato in comparison with the complementary readings. We will devote one and sometimes two sessions to examining one dialogue or one book of the Republic. The last session each day will be open, so the group can return to topics raised over the course of the previous three sessions and discuss them at greater length. Over the course of the workshop we will engage with a total of nine dialogues (at least in part) and three books of the Republic. For each of those twelve selections, we have created a team of between three and six participants to lead the discussion. Each participant will be responsible for leading the discussion of three selections. To prepare for these discussions, each member of the team will submit three posts to the forum, one for each of the assigned selections in advance of the workshop. Each post should be 300-400 words and should respond to the following.

In Protagoras, Socrates and Protagoras debate the nature of virtue and whether virtue is something that one can learn. Socrates threatens to leave because Protagoras prefers to articulate his ideas in longer forms of discourse than in dilectical discussion, Socrates’ prefered approach. A number of those who were present, Callias, the host, Alcibiades, Critias, Prodicus, and Hippias intervene and encourage the interlocutors to follow Hippias’ admonition: “You, Socrates, must not insist on that precise, excessively brief form of discussion if it does not suit Protagoras, but rather allow free rein to the speeches, so that they might communicate to us more impressively and elegantly. And you, Protagoras, must not let out full sail in the wind and leave the land behind to disappear into the Sea of Rhetoric. Both of you must steer a middle course” (337e-338a, translation by Stanley Lombardo and Karen Bell). The discussion resumes when Protagoras begins: “I consider, Socrates, that the greatest part of a man’s education is to be in command of poetry, by which I mean the ability to understand the words of the poets, to know when a poem is correctly composed and when not, and to know how to analyze a poem and to respond to questions about it. So my line of questioning now will still concern the subject of our present discussion, namely virtue, but translated into the sphere of poetry (339a).”

Regardless of your disciplinary background—by virtue of your education—you have a command of poetry, broadly construed as the use of language to convey ideas and evoke a response in a reader or listener. Apply that command in commenting on some aspect of Plato’s verbal art as reflected in your assigned selection. Your comments might address, for example, how Plato structures the dialogue, perhaps in terms of who he brings together as interlocutors (where they are from, what positions they occupy in their respective communities, how they express themselves); where he chooses to locate the dialogue and how the setting influences the narrative; when the conversations take place and what events prompt the  engagement. Your commentary should contain

  1. At least two specific references to the text of the dialogue under consideration
  2. At least one specific reference to one of the other dialogues.
  3. At least one reference to one of the complementary readings
  4. A question or idea for further consideration

As noted above, participants should submit their posts, three in all, to the forum before the workshop begins. These posts will form the basis for discussion in the sessions.

Primary Readings

Plato
Work Edition
Timaeus Timaeus and Critias. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008 (ISBN:  978-0-19-280735-9)
Critias Timaeus and Critias. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. (ISBN: 978-0-19-280735-9)
Ion Classical Literary Criticism. Translated by Penelope Murray and T. S. Dorsch. Third Edition. London: Penguin Books, 2000. (ISBN: 978-0-141-91340-7)
Hippias Minor Hippias Minor or the Art of Cunning. Translated by Sarah Ruden. Brooklyn: Badlands Unlimited, 2015. (ISBN: 978-1-936440-89-4)
Republic 2, 3, 10 Classical Literary Criticism. Translated by Penelope Murray and T. S. Dorsch. Third Edition. London: Penguin Books, 2000. (ISBN: 978-0-141-91340-7)
Phaedrus Phaedrus. Translated by Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1995. (ISBN: 978-0-87220-220-8)
Symposium Symposium. Translated by Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1989. (ISBN: 978-0-87220-076-0)
Protagoras Protagoras. Translated by Stanley Lombardo and Karen Bell. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1992. (ISBN: 978-0-87220-094-4)
Apology In Five Dialogues. Translated by G. M. A. Grube and revised by John M. Cooper. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2002. (ISBN: 978-0-87220-633-5)
Phaedo In Five Dialogues. Translated by G. M. A. Grube and revised by John M. Cooper. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2002. (ISBN: 978-0-87220-633-5)
Homer
Work Edition
Iliad 9, 23, 24 Translation by Samuel Butler revised by Soo-Young Kim, Kelly McCray, Gregory Nagy, and Timothy Power
Odyssey 8, 11 Translation by Samuel Butler revised by Soo-Young Kim, Kelly McCray, Gregory Nagy, and Timothy Power
Homeric Hymns
Work Edition
Hymn to Apollo From The Homeric Hymns. Translated by Apostolos Athanassakis. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976.
Hesiod
Work Edition
Theogony Translated by G. Nagy and J. Banks
Works and Days Translated by Gregory Nagy
Pindar
Work Edition
Olympian 1 Translated by Anthony Verity with notes by Stephen Instone from Pindar: The Complete Odes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Gorgias
Work Edition
“Encomium of Helen” Translated by Thomas Martin
Herodotus
Work Edition
Histories 1.1-13 Translated by Lynn Sawlivich and revised Gregory Nagy
Thucydides
Work Edition
History of the Peloponnesian War 1.1-23, 2.34-46 Translated by Richard Crawley and revised by Robert B. Strassler from The Landmark Thucydides. New York: Free Press, 1996.
Euripides
Work Edition
Trojan Women 860-1059 Translated by Richmond Lattimore from Euripides III: Heracles, The Trojan Women, Iphigenia Among the Taurians, Ion. Edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. Third Edition. Edited by Mark Griffith and Glenn W. Most. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Lysias
Work Edition
1 “Against Eratosthenes Translated by S. C. Todd from Lysias. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
3 “Against Simon” Translated by S. C. Todd from Lysias. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
12 “Against Eratosthenes” Translated by S. C. Todd from Lysias. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
Isocrates
Work Edition
Panathenaicus Translated by Terry L. Palillon from Isocrates II. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.

Secondary Readings

Nagy, Gregory. 2002. Plato’s Rhapsody and Homer’s Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
          . 2008. Homer the Classic. Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies.
          . 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Schedule of Sessions

Tuesday, July 25
Time Event Location
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
General Introductions, Overview, and Feedback

  • Introductions
  • Background of the project
  • Discussion of the objectives
10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 1: Homer

Primary Readings:

Plato, Timaeus 17a1-43a4; Critias
Hesiod, Theogony

Discussion Team:

Brett Coppenger
David Goldberg
Wendy Hyman
Brian Schwartz
Robert Sharp

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 1: Homer (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Ion
Iliad 23

Secondary Readings:

Nagy 2008, Chapter 3: “Homer the Classic in the Age of Plato”

Discussion Team:

  • Walker Cosgrove
    Christopher Edelman
    Adam Kotsko
    Fiona Harris Ramsby
    John Vonder Bruegge
3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 1: Homer (cont.)

Time for additional discussion

Evening You will have access to the facilities of the CHS for work in the evenings, if you wish. You are free to make your own arrangements for dinner in the evenings. The Council of Independent Colleges will reimburse you for your dinner expenses. You should keep receipts, which you will turn in with an expense report at the conclusion of the seminar. On Wednesday and Friday evening, as noted below, we have scheduled optional meetings for those who are planning to participate in or are interested in contributing to the inter-institutional course on Plato in the spring of 2018. Dinner will be provided those who attend those sessions.
Wednesday, July 26
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 1: Homer (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Hippias Minor
Iliad 9

Secondary Readings:

Nagy 2008, Chapter 4: “Homer the Classic in the Age of Pheidias”

Discussion Team:

Elizabeth Imafuji
Holly Moore
DM Hutchinson

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 2: Poetry and the Polis

Primary Readings:

Plato, Republic 2
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 1.1-23
Herodotus, Histories 1.1-13

Discussion Team:

Walker Cosgrove
Christopher Edelman
Wendy Hyman
Brian Schwartz

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 2: Poetry and the Polis (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Republic 3
Odyssey 11
Hesiod, Works and Days

Discussion Team:

Eva Cadavid
Anne Mamary
Angela Sabates
James Snyder

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 2: Poetry and the Polis (cont.)

Time for additional discussion

6:30-9:00 p.m. Curricular Development
House A

On Wednesday and Friday evenings after dinner we will gather to discuss and plan for the inter-institutional course we will offer in the spring of 2018. Dinner will be provided.

Thursday, July 27
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 2: Poetry and the Polis (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Republic 10
Iliad 24
Pindar, Olympian 1

Discussion Team:

Elizabeth Imafuji
Fiona Harris Ramsby
Adam Kotsko
Robert Sharp
John Vonder Bruegge

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session
The Verbal Art of Homer, Part 2: Poetry and the Polis (cont.)

Further discussion of Republic and other topics.

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session
The Verbal Art of Plato: Eros and Poetry

Primary Readings:

Plato, Phaedrus
Gorgias, “Encomium of Helen”
Euripides, Trojan Women 860-1059

Discussion Team:

Brett Coppenger
David Goldberg
Anne Mamary
Angela Sabates
James Snyder
Sophia Stone                                                                                Intern Team

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session
The Verbal Art of Plato: Eros and Poetry (cont.)

Further discussion of Phaedrus and other topics.

Evening Make your own arrangements for dinner. The Council of Independent Colleges will reimburse you for your dinner expenses, so be sure to should keep receipts, which you will turn in with an expense report at the conclusion of the seminar.
Friday, July 28
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Eros and Poetry (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Symposium
Odyssey 8
Lysias, “Against Eratosthenes” and “Against Simon”

Discussion Team:

Eva Cadavid
David Goldberg
Wendy Hyman
Holly Moore
Brian Schwartz

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Eros and Poetry (cont.)

Further discussion of Symposium and other topics.

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Socrates and the Polis

Primary Readings:

Plato, Protagoras
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 2.34-46
Isocrates, Panathanaicus

Discussion Team:

Walker Cosgrove
Christopher Edelman
DM Hutchinson
John Vonder Bruegge

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Socrates and the Polis (cont.)

Further discussion of Protagoras and other topics.

6:30-9:00 p.m. Curricular Development House A
Further discussion and planning for the inter-institutional course we will offer in the spring of 2018.
Saturday, July 29
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Socrates and the Polis (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Apology
Lysias, “Against Eratosthenes”

Secondary Readings:

Nagy 2013, Hour 22, “The Living Word I: Socrates in Plato’s Apology of Socrates

Discussion Team:

Eva Cadavid
Fiona Harris Ramsby
Elizabeth Imafuji
Adam Kotsko
Holly Moore
Angela Sabates

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Socrates and the Polis (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Phaedo
Homeric Hymn to Apollo

Secondary Readings:

Nagy 2013, Hour 23, “The Living Word II: More on Plato’s Socrates in the Phaedo

Discussion Team:

Discussion Team:

Brett Coppenger
Anne Mamary
DM Hutchinson
Robert Sharp
James Snyder
Sophia Stone                                                                                         Intern Team

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
The Verbal Art of Plato: Socrates and the Polis (cont.)

Further discussion of Apology, Phaedo and other topics.

4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
Concluding Conversations
6:00-8:00 p.m. Dinner Downstairs Dining Room
8:00-10:00 p.m. Discussion Common Room
Observations

For those who are interested, we will spend some time discussing the workshop and further plans for the course next spring.