D&E professor selected for prestigious seminar
Davis & Elkins College Assistant Professor of religious studies and philosophy Dr. Bryan Wagoner is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges and the Center for Hellenic Studies to participate in an ancient Greece in the modern classroom seminar on “The Iliad.”
The CIC and Center for Hellenic Studies selected 20 faculty members from a pool of 52 to participate in “The Iliad,” a five-day seminar held July 23-27 at the Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, D.C. Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Kenneth Scott Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies at Rhodes College, led the seminar.
“I’m thrilled to have been selected for this seminar,” Wagoner says. “It will be very useful for my fall class in ancient philosophy.”
Designed for nonspecialists, the seminar addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts such as “The Iliad,” “Odyssey,” “Homeric Hymns,” poetry of Hesiod and “Histories of Herodotus” that a generation ago were read and understood by every college graduate.
This seminar examines the many dimensions of “The Iliad” in its various historical contexts and explores how the poem (read in translation) can be studied in courses that address a variety of literatures and disciplines. Participants discuss diverse topics ranging from the exchange of luxury goods to the adjudication of disputes arising from athletic contests. Along with providing information and background for understanding Homeric poetry in its ancient contexts, the seminar devotes a substantial portion of each day to reading and analyzing the poem itself.
“Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance,” says CIC President Richard Ekman. “The number of institutions that nominated faculty members to participate in the seminar is most impressive, and we believe that Dr. Wagoner will play a strong role.”
“When the request for nominations for this program came across my desk, I knew immediately that Dr. Wagoner would be a wonderful participant,” says D&E Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Joseph Roidt. “Although he doubtlessly has found this an enriching experience, I am even more certain that Dr. Wagoner’s fellow participants have had much to learn from him, given his deep and extensive knowledge of the classical Greek philosophical tradition.”
For more information, visit the CIC website at www.cic.edu/AncientGreece.
The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 645 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and more than 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society.
Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, located in Washington, D.C., was founded by means of an endowment made “exclusively for the establishment of an educational center in the field of Hellenic Studies designed to rediscover the humanism of the Hellenic Greeks.” This humanistic vision remains the driving force of the Center for Hellenic Studies. The center brings together a variety of research and teaching interests centering on Hellenic civilization in the widest sense of the term “Hellenic.” This concept encompasses the evolution of the Greek language and its culture as a central point of contact for all the different civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world. Interaction with foreign cultures, including the diffusion of Roman influence, is an integral part of this concept.