Classical Studies: Minutes

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Members: Steven Cerutti, Michael Enright, Charles Fantazzi, Student rep. Forrest Littleton, Anthony Papalas, Eugene Ryan, William Seavey, Assoc. Dean Scott Snyder, John Stevens, and McKay Sundwall

Members present: Fantazzi, Littleton, Papalas, Seavey and Stevens.

Also present were Amy Hedgecock and Brad Webb, Multidisciplinary majors

Meeting #2, February 16, 2001, held in Brewster B 202, 3-4:15 pm


Agenda Item I. New Classical Studies Brochure:

Prof. Papalas discussed the features of a proposed new brochure for Classical Studies: in addition to the revised content for the established minor, it will describe how students may get a Multidisciplinary Major in Classics. After consultations with the Chair of the Multidisciplinary Studies Committee and the Director of Multidisciplinary Studies, it was learned that pre-approved programs such as Classics are generally supposed to overseen by their established faculty committees. To this end, Profs. Papalas and Stevens have met to outline two possible curricular paths in Classics for the committee to approve. These are Classics (three years of Latin and two of Greek or vice versa + HIST 3405 and 3410) and Classical Civilization, which, following the model of the Religious Studies major, would consist of requirements for the established minor plus 6 sh of additional approved courses. Students have the option of devising other curricula, but these two paths are intended to be flexible enough to accommodate all students in the program. Students may complete the degree either with an established minor or 24 sh of courses agreed by the mentor. The registrar has interpreted the catalog text to mean that MULT majors may either have an existing minor or may increase their total credit hours to at least 54 sh in place of a minor.

In addition, in an effort to maintain better contact between the committee and the majors, it was agreed to require all students declaring a major to obtain the signature of the director of Classical Studies who will either act as mentor or approve the student's preferred mentor. Lastly the brochure speaks of the development of a Classics reading list, optional for all students, but expected of any student requesting recommendation for graduate work in the field of Classics. The committee approved the brochure which contained all these elements, 5-0. Professor Papalas said that he and Prof. Stevens would arrange to have the new brochures made up, and to consult with members of the committee in formulating a reading list.

Agenda Item II. Discontinued Journal Storage:

Prof. Papalas remarked that he had been contacted by Joyner library on how to dispose of runs of journals to which the library no longer subscribes. Prof. Papalas relayed his concern that he uses them regularly in graduate history seminars. The committee was in complete agreement that access to the journals ought to be maintained. And since there was some question whether the library wished to put them into compact stacks or warehouse them or simply get rid of them, Prof. Papalas agreed to inquire as to which course of action was requested and how to keep the best access to them (it being unacceptable simply to get rid of them).

Agenda Item III. Lectures:

Prof. Papalas remarked on the success of the three eminent classicists who have already come to campus this fall. Jim Russell, current President of the Canadian Classical Association, past President of the American Institute of Archeology, and executive committee member of the National Geographic Society, Peter Green, author of 30 books and internationally recognized authority on Juvenal, Greek history and Hellenistic civilization, and Wolfgang Haase, editor of Aufstieg und Niedergang der romanischen Welt, the featured speaker of the History dept.

Future lectures were then announced: on March 22 at 7:30 pm in Bate 1026, Roger Shattuck, University Professor Emeritus of Boston University, vigorous defender of the Great Books, and author of Candor and Perversion, and Forbidden Knowledge will speak on the subject "Are There Books Everyone Should Read", co-sponsored by FLL and Great Books. On March 31, the North Carolina Classical Association will come to ECU for the first time and will also feature quite an eminent Vergilian panel including Paddison Prof. of Classical Studies at UNC, William Race and RJR Nabisco Prof. of Classics at Duke, Diskin Clay. Prof. Stevens invited the faculty and majors to attend and urged the committee members to invite the local high school Latinists, including Christine Waters, Steve Hill and his colleague. For this event, FLL will sponsor a luncheon and Prof. Stevens expressed the hope of giving a small reception for the speakers who come the night before.

For next fall, Prof. Papalas announced that most of the honorarium budget had been promised to Prof. Raymond Clark of Newfoundland, former editor of Vergilius, and a correspondent of Prof. Fantazzi.

Agenda Item IV. Awards:

Prof. Seavey expressed interest in creating undergraduate awards, noting that the FLL awards for outstanding student in level 1004 do not recognize all the talent among Classics students, nor do they really sufficiently encourage students to consider a major in Classics. He suggested awards of our own, perhaps of books or just certificates until funding can be arranged, for best paper and perhaps for a translation contest or some other measure of excellence. The majors present endorsed the idea and said that the recognition would indeed be appreciated. Prof. Papalas asked Profs. Seavey and Stevens to pursue the idea and make a formal proposal to him.

Agenda Item V. Thesis Presentations by the Majors:

Forrest Littleton (Classics) is working on the religious reforms of the Roman emperor Julian. There was discussion of the philosophical underpinnings of his efforts and of how the Christian view of him as "apostate" was perhaps not the best frame of reference. Prof. Papalas noted that certain psychological dimensions of his career were worth considering, including bitter childhood memories of ill treatment at the hands of Christians. Forrest has done extensive historical reading including much of Julian's extent writings to prepare for the thesis.

Amy Hedgecock (Classics) reported her intention to write on Etruscan funerary reliefs featuring banquet scenes. After spending the summer on Etruscan digs in Italy, she became interested in aspects of gesture in funerary reliefs. She has tried to educate herself about the history and civilization of the Etruscan period and has read widely on the purpose of the Etruscan necropoleis and the fundamentals of Etruscan sculpture. She reported that having selected certain specific pieces to investigate, she has had some difficulty with the bibliographical resources in finding articles on her subject. She has contacted Prof. De Puma of the University of Iowa for assistance.

Brad Webb (Ancient Civilization) is writing on Lucian's presentation of violence among his portraits of philosophers and what this counter-intuitive behavior might signify. He presented the committee with an outline of his proposed thesis, consisting of questions he would attempt to answer. He has read most of Lucian's works, developed a working bibliography, and read up on Cynic philosophy in the later Roman empire. Members of the committee commended additional titles to him, as well as a wider familiarity with the Second Sophistic.

Agenda Item VI. Classical Studies Enrollments:

Enrollments for the spring are as follows:

CLAS 1300 118
CLAS 2400 1
CLAS 3400 125
CLAS 3410 1
GRK 1001 1
GRK 1002 7
GRK 1004 2
GRK 2022 1
LATN 1002 18
LATN 1004 30
LATN 2022 2
Total 306

The number of current minors was estimated at 9 or 10; the number of majors at 6 or 7.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.