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Course Fall 2024

The following list includes graduate courses taught by faculty members of the Graduate Group and graduate courses offered by other programs and departments. Graduate students are also strongly encouraged to explore courses in other fields and disciplines that align with their scholarly interests. While certain courses are considered mandatory, we are committed to enabling our students to develop their own scholarly profiles, and there is great flexibility in crafting an itinerary through the program. All course choices are made in consultation with the Graduate Group Chair. 


CLST 6000 Materials and Methods: Proseminar in Ancient History and Classical Studies

F 8:30 – 11:30 am

Julia Wilker

This is the required proseminar for first-year graduate students in Classical Studies and Ancient History. It offers an up-to-date orientation to the professional academic fields conventionally known as classical studies and ancient history. The course is responsive to present debates within, and about, these fields.


ANCH 6080 Worlds of Late Antiquity

T 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Kim Bowes/Reyhan Durmaz

The period between the third and eighth centuries - from the Tetrarchy led by Diocletian to the rise of Umayyad Caliphate - is characteristically regarded as a period of ferment and change, whether that be on the still-influential model of Decline and Fall first proposed by Edward Gibbon in the eighteenth century or the somewhat less deterministic account of transformation favored by Peter Brown in the late twentieth. These narratives tend to emphasize the large-scale processes that played out over these centuries, such as the florescence and fragmentation of two world empires; the emergence of two highly influential monotheistic religions of the book; and the codification of legal systems that continue to dominate contemporary practices and theories of law. Equally, what characterizes these centuries is the particular granularity and character of the textual and archaeological evidence that exists for the functioning of this world at the micro-scale, as against the periods that preceded and followed. This course traces the social, economic, cultural, and religious institutions and processes that make this period distinctive, explores the nature of the evidence for those institutions and processes, and exposes to scrutiny the assumptions and preconceptions that underpin the scholarly narratives that have been constructed about them.


ANCH 7202 Greek Epigraphy

M 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Jeremy McInerney

An introduction to the principles and practices of Greek Epigraphy. Study of selected Greek inscriptions.


AAMW 6260 Hellenistic and Roman Art and Artifact

TR 1:45 – 3:15 pm

Ann Kuttner

This lecture course surveys the political, religious and domestic arts, patronage and display in Rome's Mediterranean, from the 2nd c. BCE to Constantine's 4th-c. Christianized empire. Our subjects are images and decorated objects in their cultural, political and socio-economic contexts (painting, mosaic, sculpture, luxury and mass-produced arts in many media). We start with the Hellenistic cosmopolitan culture of the Greek kingdoms and their neighbors, and late Etruscan and Republican Italy; next we map Imperial Roman art as developed around the capital city Rome, as well as in the provinces of the vast empire.


LATN 6610 Reading Latin

TR 10:15 – 11:45 am

Joseph Farrell

Intensive reading in ancient Latin literature, focusing on the skills and practices required to read closely a 150-page “short list” of key texts and to become familiar with authors, chronology, meters, dialects, and genres. Exercises include analysis, sight translation, and practice versions of the Qualifications Examination in Latin.


GREK 7206 Tragedy of War: Ancient Athenian Drama and Military Conflict

R 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Emily Wilson

In this graduate seminar, we will read several Athenian tragedies set in wartime or its immediate aftermath, including Aeschylus’ Persians, Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes, and Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, Hecuba, and Trojan Women. We will discuss how these plays use or contrast with other Greek representations of military conflict (especially the Iliad), and we will trace the relationship between tragic representations of war and contemporary fifth-century warfare.


CLST 7715 Classical Antiquity and the Contemporary World: Racializing Antiquity

W 1:45-4:45 pm

Patrice Rankine

Race is broadly considered a modern phenomenon, operationalized during the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Holocaust but also underpinning individual and group identities. Recent scholarship has identified race (or racialization, at least) in the European Medieval period and the Renaissance. How appropriate or useful is the application of the idea of “race” to the practices and perceptions of the Greeks and Romans? What affordances for the classical world does the modern and contemporary idea of “race” allow? In this class, we will evaluate the scholarship of race in classical antiquity and the texts and artifacts upon which the framework relies. We will survey canonical Greek and Roman texts as well as depictions of people in pottery, painting, and statuary. We will also read interpretive scholarship from African American Studies, Classics, Sociology, and other fields. The course welcomes students from within and outside of the Classics, including (but not limited to) Africana and Asian American Studies, Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies, History, Sociology and Anthropology. Expertise in Greek or Latin is welcome but not required.


CLST 7714 Boethius from Late Antiquity to the Early Medieval Period

M 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Rita Copeland

This seminar will explore the medieval and early modern reception of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, through literary imitations and translations, commentaries, and literary responses. To study the fortunes of the Consolation is to come to terms with one of the greatest informing influences on medieval and early modern European poetic thought. We will spend the first few weeks reading and digesting the Consolation itself, working between the Latin text and an English translation (probably using the Loeb edition). Knowledge of Latin is not required for the course, but the readings will provide ample opportunities for you to work on and with Latin as you wish. When we have read the Consolation we will explore its reception history. This will include medieval vernacular receptions (moving from early texts such as the Old English Boethius to its many appearances in Old French and Middle French, in Middle English especially in the form of Chaucer's Boece, and in any other language traditions that students want to cover); some of the remarkable commentaries on the text, and the later medieval literary apotheosis of the Consolation in Chaucer's Troilus and the "Boethian lyrics," in Thomas Usk's Testament of Love, in Hoccleve's Regiment of Princes, and in early modern texts, including--spectacularly--the translation of the Consolation by Queen Elizabeth 1. I encourage you to bring your own interests in the Consolation to the course and suggest some reception directions for the group to take.


AAMW 5260 Material and Methods in Mediterranean Archaeology

R 12:00-3:00

Ann Kuttner

This course is intended to provide an introduction to archaeological methods and theory in a Mediterranean context, focusing on the contemporary landscape. The class will cover work with museum collections (focusing on the holdings of the Penn Museum), field work and laboratory analysis in order to give students a diverse toolkit that they can later employ in their own original research. Each week, invited lecturers will address the class on different aspects of archaeological methodology in their own research, emphasizing specific themes that will be highlighted in readings and subsequent discussion. The course is divided into three sections: Method and Theory in Mediterranean Archaeology; Museum collections; and Decolonizing Mediterranean Archaeology. The course is designed for new AAMW graduate students, though other graduate students or advanced undergraduate students may participate with the permission of the instructor.


AAMW 7400 Medieval Art Seminar: Metal Work: Dialectics of Matter and Form

M 3:30 – 6:30 pm

Shira Brisman/ Sarah Guerin

Alternating specific topic from year to year, this advanced graduate seminar surveys methodological issues concerning the art of the European Middle Ages, broadly conceived. Seminars take advantage of the rich resources of the Philadelphia area. This course is open to graduate students only.


CLST 8000 Language Pedagogy Workshop


James Ker

The Workshop is intended to serve as a forum for first-time teachers of Latin or Greek. This will include discussing course-plans and pedagogical theories and strategies, collaborating on course materials, and addressing any concerns in the language courses presently being taught.


ANTH 5221 Material World in Archaeological Science

TR 10:15 – 11:45 am

Marie-Claude Boileau / Deborah Olszewski / Vanessa Workman

By focusing on the scientific analysis of inorganic archaeological materials, this course will explore processes of creation in the past. Class will take place in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) and will be team taught in three modules: analysis of lithics, analysis of ceramics and analysis of metals. Each module will combine laboratory and classroom exercises to give students hands-on experience with archaeological materials. We will examine how the transformation of materials into objects provides key information about past human behaviors and the socio-economic contexts of production, distribution, exchange and use. Discussion topics will include invention and adoption of new technologies, change and innovation, use of fire, and craft specialization.


ANTH 5490 Monuments and Memory. Topics in Archaeological Method and Theory

R 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Meg Kassabaum

It is the stated purpose of archaeology to interpret the human past. However, this fascination with the things that came before is not new. Social memory, the construction of a collective notion about the way things used to be, looms large in the archaeological record, particularly through the material representations of these memories —monuments. Moreover, monuments (ancient, historical, and modern) continue to carry great power in the contemporary world. Their construction and removal has always been and continues to be a matter of great social importance. This class explores issues of memory and monumentality through world-wide case studies ranging from the American South to the islands of Polynesia and from 5000 BC to the present. 


MELC 5200 The Bible in Translation

R 12:00 - 3:00 pm

Timothy Hogue

This course introduces undergraduates and graduate students to one specific Book of the Hebrew Bible. "The Bible in Translation" involves an in-depth reading of a biblical source against the background of contemporary scholarship. Depending on the book under discussion, this may also involve a contextual reading with other biblical books and the textual sources of the ancient Near East.


ANTH 5080 Conservation of Archaeological Sites and Landscapes

W 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Frank Matero / Lynn Meskell

This seminar will address the history, theories, principles, and practices of the preservation and interpretation of archaeological sites and landscapes. The course will draw from a wide range of published material and experiences representing both national and international contexts. Topics will include site and landscape documentation and recording; site formation and degradation; intervention strategies including interpretation and display, legislation, policy, and contemporary issues of descendent community ownership and global heritage. Depending on the site, students will study specific issues leading toward the critique or development of a conservation and management program in accordance with guidelines established by ICOMOS/ ICAHM and other official agencies.


ANTH 5110 Ethics, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage

T 1:45 – 4:45 pm

Richard Leventhal

This seminar will explore some of the most important issues that are now a central part of archaeological, anthropological and historical research throughout the world. The identification and control of cultural heritage is a central part of the framework for research within other communities. Issues for this course will also include cultural identity, human rights, repatriation, colonialism, working with communities and many other topics. Field research today must be based upon a new series of ethical standards that will be discussed and examined within this class. Major topics include: cultural heritage - definitions and constructs, cosmopolitanism and collecting, archaeology and looting, cultural heritage preservation, museums - universal and national, museum acquisition policies, cultural identity, international conventions (including underwater issues), national laws of ownership, community based development, cultural tourism, development models, and human rights.