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

Through close readings and discussions of translated Greek poetry and philosophy, the seminar will explore what it means to be human. The organizing principle will be the study of a model of humanity, the hērōs (hero), as it can be reconstructed by way of textual evidence attesting to myths and rituals from throughout the ancient Greek-speaking world. Beginning with the Homeric poems, the seminar also will engage with works of Aeschylus and Plato, providing participants who teach in a variety of disciplines with approaches to integrate the literature of ancient Greece into a wide range of courses.

Objectives

The aims of this seminar encompass an exploration of (1) ancient Greek culture in general, (2) heroes and the traditional narratives and rituals associated with them, and (3) the nature of scholarly discourse and collaboration.

Ancient Greek Culture

With regard to the larger cultural context of ancient Greece and its relationship to our world today, we will pursue the following objectives:

  1. Understanding the nature of Homeric poetry, that is, how generations of singers created an oral tradition, how performances from the oral traditions became literary artifacts, how the various versions of the transcribed poem evolved into the text we commonly use today, and how those processes gave rise to poems that reflect different historical and cultural contexts.
  2. Understanding the conventions of Athenian drama, for example, how playwrights situated themselves in a creative tradition by appropriating and transforming traditional narratives and the work of earlier poets; how, where, when, and why the polis produced the works of playwrights; and how the work of the playwrights, producers, and performers engaged with artistic expectations and the specific social and political circumstances of their time.
  3. Understanding the performative nature and context of Plato’s dialogues especially as they relate to other forms of public intellectual, political, and religious performances, for
    example, those involving the Homeric poems and dramatic texts.

Heroes

The designation “hero” appears with some frequency in a variety of contemporary contexts, for example, as the honorific designation people ascribe to those who face dangers and intense challenges during emergencies, who endure difficult, painful, or physically debilitating situations, who perform acts of critical importance, and those who play a significant roles in the lives of others. For those who live in certain regions of the country, a hero can even refer to a type of sandwich. In the texts we will examine during this seminar, ἥρωες [hērōes] refer very specifically to human beings who become objects of worship. This seminar will introduce participants to a variety of hērōes, the stories associated with them, and the rituals that constitute their worship, with the goal of understanding not only the conventions of ancient hero cults and how they relate to modern counterparts but also the way hērōes represent a paradigm for defining what it means to be a human being.

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. Our goal for this seminar is to establish an environment of free and open interaction and invite participants to imagine, create, and refine modes of academic communication and interaction between themselves and their students and develop a network of professional connections that can support those creative processes beyond the limits of this workshop.

Aspects of the Seminar

Primary Readings Of course, everyone is responsible for reading the Homeric Odyssey, the Oresteia of Aeschylus (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Eumenides), and Plato’s Apology of Socrates and Phaedo. A team of participants, as outlined below, will assume the responsibility for leading the discussion of each session’s portion of the primary sources; however, everyone should come to each session ready to participate actively in the conversations.
Secondary Readings We will read a selection of secondary works, which will provide contextualizing information and offer interpretive ideas to accompany your broader exploration of the primary readings. The selections are not meant to represent the range of current scholarship in the field, but they should offer some perspectives to enrich your engagement with the texts as you formulate your own views and approaches. 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. (In the evening of the third day, Saturday, July 27, we have scheduled the showing of a film. Dinner will be available that evening at the center.) 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. During one session each day we will take time to discuss ways of incorporating into the classroom ancient Greek verbal and visual art associated with heroes.
Discussions The main activity of our workshop will be discussing the primary sources. For each portion of the primary sources, we have created a team of three or four participants who will lead the discussion; in a few cases, the discussion team will include our student intern. To prepare for these discussions, each member of the team will submit a post to the forum for the assigned portion in advance of the workshop. Each post should be 300–500 words and should incorporate consideration of two or more of the following.

  • Connections between the primary source readings and the exercise of the day.
  • Connections between the secondary source readings and the exercise of the day.
  • Parts of the primary source readings that you can imagine highlighting for your students (and the reasons for doing so), whether in the context of a course you already teach or in the context of a course you plan or would like to teach.
  • Parts of the primary source readings that students at your institution might find particularly challenging or problematic.
  • Parts of the primary sources that you have begun to perceive differently as a result of your most recent reading alongside the secondary sources.

As noted above, participants should submit their posts to the forum before the workshop begins. Either before or during the workshop itself, everyone will comment on at least one of the posts related to the discussions for each day.

On the third day, Saturday, July 27, we will devote a session to considering the Odyssey as part of a whole that also includes the Iliad. There is relatively little secondary reading assigned, and discussion team members for this session should include in their posts consideration of ways in which Iliad 1, 9, and 24 help us understand the Iliad and the Odyssey together.

On the fourth day, Sunday, July 28, we will devote a session to Penelope and Clytemnestra as points of entry for understanding female characters in the Odyssey and the Oresteia. Discussion team members for this session should identify relevant passages from throughout the Odyssey and the Oresteia, not only to do with Penelope and Clytemnestra but also with other female characters as you see fit (for example, Calypso, Circe, Eurycleia, Helen, Nausicaa, Arete, the female servants in the household of Odysseus in the Odyssey, and Athena, Artemis, Cassandra, Electra, the Furies, Iphigeneia, and the Nurse in the Oresteia).

Another main activity of our workshop will be discussing ways of incorporating ancient Greek verbal and visual art associated with heroes into the classroom. During one session each day we will take as our point of departure an exercise that Professor Nagy has been using in his course Gen Ed 1074: The Ancient Greek Hero. For each of these five sessions, we have again created a team to lead the discussion. To prepare for these sessions, each member of the team will complete the assigned exercise and then submit a post to the forum in advance of the session (and, if possible, before the workshop gets underway). Each post should be 300–500 words and should incorporate consideration of two or more of the following.

  • What was your experience in completing the exercise? (What was challenging? What was unexpected? What did you learn?)
  • How might you adapt this exercise for your students?
  • What other types of material might you use alongside the primary sources involved in the exercise?
  • What are possible pitfalls of this material and/or this exercise for your students?
  • How might colleagues of yours use adaptations of this
    exercise or the primary sources in their teaching?

You will find further information about the exercises here. Finally, as noted above, participants should submit their posts to the forums before the workshop begins. Either before or during the workshop itself, everyone will comment on at least one of the posts related to the discussions for each day.

Primary Readings

Text Translation Link
Homeric Odyssey Translated by Samuel Butler revised by Timothy Power, Gregory Nagy, Soo-Young Kim, and Kelly McCray https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5287
Homeric Iliad 1, 9, 24 Translated by Samuel Butler revised by Timothy Power, Gregory Nagy, Soo-Young Kim, and Kelly McCray. https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5286
Aeschylus, Agamemnon Translated by Herbert Weir Smythe revised by Gregory Crane and Graeme Bird, and further revised by Gregory Nagy https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5295
Aeschylus, Libation Bearers Translated by Jim Erdman revised by Gregory Nagy https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5298
Aeschylus, Eumenides Translated by Herbert Weir Smythe revised by Cynthia Bannon and further revised by Gregory Nagy https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5297
Plato, Apology of Socrates Translated by Benjamin Jowett adapted by Miriam Carlisle, Thomas E. Jenkins, Gregory Nagy, and Soo-Young Kim. https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5304
Plato, Phaedo Translated by Benjamin Jowett adapted by Gregory Nagy, Miriam Carlisle, and Soo-Young Kim. https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5305

Secondary Readings

Gregory Nagy, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013)

Helene Foley, Female Acts in Greek Tragedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), pages 202–234.

Marilyn Katz, Penelope’s Renown: Meaning and Indeterminacy in the Odyssey (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), pages 20–53.

Schedule of Sessions

Thursday, 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 and overview

  • 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
Overview of the ancient Greek hero

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 1

Discussion Team:

Kenny Morrell
Gregory Nagy
Keith Stone

Forum

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
Lament

Primary Readings:

Odyssey 1, 2, 8, 24

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 9, see also Hour 11 Text A and §§3-13

Discussion Team:

Dan Clanton
Morgan Dancy
Paula Makris
Rosa Mirna Sanchez

Forum

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
Exercise on lament

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 3 and Hour 14

Discussion Team:

Ellen Dugan-Barrette,
Jeffrey Glodzik
Erich Freiberger
Sean Lewis

Forum

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 tonight. 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.
Friday, July 26
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
Odyssey and vase painting

Primary Readings:

Odyssey 3, 4, 5, 6

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 6

Discussion Team:

Sarah Blackwell
Ellen Dugan-Barrette
Jeffrey Glodzik
James Snyder

Forum

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
Odyssey and vase painting (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Odyssey 7, 9, 10, 11

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 10 and Hour 15

Discussion Team:

Chris Flynn
Brian Harries
Gretchen McKay
Irina Rodimtseva

Forum

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
Odyssey and vase painting (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Odyssey 12, 13, 14, 15

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 11

Discussion Team:

Sean Lewis
James Pollock
Kerri Tom

Forum

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
Exercise on vase painting

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 7

Discussion Team:

Morgan Dancy
Brian Harries
Irina Rodimtseva
Kristin Waha

Forum

Evening Dinner on your own.
Saturday, July 27
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
Odyssey and ainos

Primary Readings:

Odyssey 16, 17, 18, 19

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 13

Discussion Team:

Morgan Dancy
Erich Freiberger
Sigrid King

Forum

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
Odyssey and ainos (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Odyssey 20, 21, 22, 23

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 12

Discussion Team:

Nya Hayes
Rosa Mirna Sanchez
James Snyder
Kristin Waha

Forum

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
Iliad and ainos

Primary Readings:

Iliad 1, 9, 24

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 9 §§8–15

Discussion Team:

Ellen Dugan-Barrette
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Gretchen McKay

Forum

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
Ainos Exercise

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 2 §§59–76 and Hour 7 §§3–10

Discussion Team:

Dan Clanton
Chris Flynn
Sigrid King
James Pollock

Forum

6:30-9:00 p.m. Session Five
House A
Themes of Homeric Poetry in Film

Note: this is a strictly optional session; dinner will be provided in House A for those who attend.] The selection for this evening will be “Chunhyang” (1995), a film directed by Kwon-taek Im, which features the performance of Sang-hyun Cho, a master of Pansori singer, accompanied by Myung-hwan Kim on the drum. This is a filmic adaptation of Chunhyangga, one of the five songs of the Pansori tradition. For a brief introduction to Pansori epic chant, view this short video. Greg has commented extensively on the film in two entries of Classical Inquiries: “Ch’unhyang—typological comparisons from late-Chosŏn Korean song culture and modern Korean film culture” and “Ch’unhyang—further typological comparisons from late-Chosŏn Korean song culture and modern Korean film culture” from August 2018.

Sunday, July 28
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
Oresteia and Tragedy

Primary Readings:

Aeschylus, Agamemnon

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Introduction to Tragedy, Hour 16, and Hour 8

Discussion Team:

Pamela Johnston
James Pollock
Irina Rodimtseva

Forum

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
Oresteia and Tragedy (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, Eumenides

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 17

Discussion Team:

Dan Clanton
Erich Freiberger
Paula Makris

Forum

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
Penelope and Clytemnestra: female characters in the Odyssey and the Oresteia

Primary Readings:

Please identify relevant passages from throughout the Odyssey and the Oresteia, not only to do with Penelope and Clytemnestra but also with other female characters as you see fit (for example, Calypso, Circe, Eurycleia, Helen, Nausicaa, Arete, the female servants in the household of Odysseus in the Odyssey, and Athena, Artemis, Cassandra, Electra, the Furies, Iphigeneia, and the Nurse in the Oresteia).

Secondary Readings:

Foley 2009, pp. 202-234; Katz 2014, pp. 20-53

Discussion Team:

Curstyn Alexander
Sarah Blackwell
Jeffrey Glodzik
Brian Harries
Kristin Waha

Forum

3:30-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
Tragedy exercise

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 19 §19 and Hour 21 §§1, 14, 16, 46

Discussion Team:

Pamela Johnston
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
James Snyder
Kerri Tom

Forum

Evening Dinner on your own.
Monday, July 29
8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast Downstairs dining room
9:00-10:30 a.m. First Session House A
Plato and otherworldly dialogues

Primary Readings:

Plato, Apology of Socrates

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 22

Discussion Team:

Chris Flynn
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Kerri Tom

Forum

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Second Session House A
Plato and otherworldly dialogues (cont.)

Primary Readings:

Plato, Phaedo

Secondary Readings:

Nagy, Hour 23

Discussion Team:

Pamela Johnston
Sigrid King
Sean Lewis

Forum

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch Downstairs dining room
2:00-3:30 p.m. Third Session House A
Otherworldly dialogue exercise

Discussion Team:

Sarah Blackwell
Paula Makris
Gretchen McKay
Rosa Mirna Sanchez

Forum

4:00-5:30 p.m. Fourth Session House A
Concluding conversations
6:00-8:00 p.m. Dinner Downstairs Dining Room