Classical Studies: Minutes

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Death Mask of Agamemnon
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Members: Steven Cerutti, Michael Enright, Charles Fantazzi, John Given, Anthony Papalas, Jonathan Reid, Eugene Ryan, Assoc. Dean Scott Snyder, John Stevens, David Wilson-Okamura, and Tricia Wilson-Okamura

Members Present: Cerutti, Given, Papalas, Reid, D. Wilson-Okamura, and T. Wilson-Okamura
Guests Present: History graduate student Tom Rose and Classics undergraduate major Diane Strathy.
Excused: Enright, Fantazzi (on leave), and Stevens

Meeting #2, October 22, 2002, held in Brewster D203, 4:00-5:15 pm

Agenda Item 1. Welcome and Introductions:

Prof. Papalas welcomed Prof. D. Wilson-Okamura from the English department as a new member of the committee, and welcomed Mr. Rose and Ms. Strathy as visitors.

Agenda Item 2. Approval of Minutes:

The minutes of September 17, 2002 were approved unanimously.

Agenda Item 3. Proposal of New Courses:
Prof. Given distributed copies of two new course proposals: Classics 4521-2-3 (Directed Readings in Classics in Translation) and Classics 2500 (Greek Tragedy in Translation). Both were approved without revision.

Agenda Item 4. Classics Lecture Series:

Prof. Papalas stated that our budget was insufficient to attract several European scholars that he had contemplated inviting. Instead, he suggested the name of a prominent American scholar. The committee agreed that Prof. Papalas should invite this scholar. If we are turned down, Profs. Given and T. Wilson-Okamura agreed to form a lecture subcommittee to develop other possibilities and offer invitations.

Agenda Item 5. Reading List:

Prof. Given distributed copies of the Reading List that the committee wrote last year. Prof. Papalas explained that its purpose was to give majors a solid foundation in Classics, should they wish to pursue a graduate degree in Classics. Prof. T. Wilson-Okamura expressed concern that a student could maneuver through the list without reading several seemingly indispensable authors, such as Homer. Prof. D. Wilson-Okamura suggested that the list should contain two tiers, required readings and elective readings. Prof. Reid expressed concern that students were being asked to read very difficult texts without guidance, and suggested that the new course, CLAS 4521, could enable students to read these texts with a professor for credit. Prof. Papalas noted that secondary literature needs to be added to the list, and that he has several suggestions in mind from his own field, which he would distribute later.

Agenda Item 6. Research Updates:

  • Prof. Given reported on his current project, an article entitled "The Intellectual's Paradox in Cratinus's Wine Flask," concerning a fragmentary play by one of Aristophanes' rivals.
  • Prof. T. Wilson-Okamura reported that she is working on two articles: a reading of the Choephoroi chorus and how its language suggests that we might mitigate our view of Clytemnestra, and a reading of Agamemnon in which she compares Clytemnestra's defense speech to rhetorical tropes from murder trials.
  • Mr. Rose reported on the progress of his Master's Thesis, "From Triparadeisos to Ipsos: The Rise of Seleukos Nikator," which he is writing under Prof. Papalas's guidance.

Lively discussion followed each of the research presentations.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:20.