Courses in Classics and Letters

Here's a list of the courses we are offering in the Spring 2017 semester. Be sure to check oZone or ClassNav for the most up-to-date information about times and places.

Classical Culture

CL C 1123.001-Gods and Heroes in Art (Davis MWF 10:30-11:20 p.m.) Letters Category: History

Do you consider paint-by-numbers an art form? Is your knowledge of classical mythology limited to playing God of War or watching Disney’s Hercules? If so, this course is designed for you! From simple drawings on cave walls to ornate stained glass in churches, art has been used throughout history to tell beautiful stories. As every artist has a story to tell, it is peculiar that so many artists, both ancient and modern, have chosen the bizarre world of Greek and Roman mythology as their playground. By focusing on the fascinating and complex ways mythology has influenced art throughout time, this course will teach students to see sculptures as more than lifeless rocks, paintings as more than motionless pictures, and movies as more than mind-numbing entertainment. (IV-a)

CL C 2383.001-Classical Mythology (R. Huskey TR 10:30-11:45 a.m.) Letters Category: History, Literature

CL C 2383: Long before Brad Pitt embodied Achilles or Logan Lerman was a modern day Perseus, Greco-Roman myth delighted readers. This course gives particular emphasis to the characters, plots, and motifs portrayed in these stories from antiquity. How these stories have influenced western art and culture is a highlight of the class. Grades are based on exams, a short paper, and class participation. (IV-b)

CL C 2413- Medical Vocabulary. Sec. 995, 996 (Walker-Esbaugh , Online)

Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Designed to be of special use to students planning a career in the Allied Health professions. Study of the basic Greek and Latin elements of medical terminology through the analysis of select vocabularies and word lists.

CL C 2613.001 The Rise and Fall of Rome (Watson MWF 11:30-12:20 p.m.) Letters Category: History

“Who is not amazed that the Romans, in just over fifty years, managed to conquer all of the inhabited world… an accomplishment that is unparalleled in the course of human history?” so the ancient historian Polybius remarked as began his monumental history of one of the world’s great civilizations that had recently overtaken his own. How did a small village on the banks of the Tiber river come to be the greatest power of the Mediterranean world and leave and indelible mark on western culture in its government, laws, language, literature and arts? The course will survey the rise and fall of Rome in which one finds the victories of Caesar, the architectural marvels of the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the intrigues of Cleopatra, the advent of class warfare, the tragedies of civil war, the oratory of Cicero, the famous eruption of Vesuvius, the poetry of Vergil and Horace, the rise of Constantine and Christianity--all in the creation of the world’s first multiethnic and multicultural state. (IV-b)

CL C 3053.001 Origins of Christianity: Jesus to Augustine (Harper TR 10:30-11:45 AM) Gen-Ed: IVd, Letters Category: Philosophy or History

This course will explore the first five centuries of Christian history and the ways that Christian history intersects with the history of the Roman Empire. The course aims to enrich your understanding of early Christian literature by placing it in its historical and cultural setting. We will read the Christian scriptures alongside contemporary Greek and Roman literature. We will study the history of Judaism in the late Second Temple period, the effects of Roman imperialism on political and spiritual movements in ancient Palestine, the influence of Greek philosophical ideas on Christianity, and the development of the church as it became a powerful institution in the Empire.

CL C 3123.001 Ancient Drama in English Translation (Russell TR 12:00-1:15 PM) Gen-Ed: IVd, Letters Category: Literature

In this course we will explore examples of classical Greek tragedy as literary texts and as theatre. We will read plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and juxtapose the search for their literary and historical significance with a study of their interpretation on stage. To supplement our discussions of the readings, we will watch performances of stage and film versions of the plays and discuss how text is translated into performance, and how those productions seek to make ancient drama come alive for modern audiences.

CL C 3163 Visions of Heaven and Hell – HONORS (Greene TR 3:00-4:15pm) Gen-Ed: IVd, Letters Category: Literature

 In this course we will read three of the major epic poems in the Western tradition: Virgil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, and Milton's Paradise Lost. We will examine representations of human heroism in these works, and explore how each of the three poets treats the theme of the heroic journey. Our discussions of Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost will also address themes of hell, damnation, and salvation in those works. In addition, we will investigate the complex relationship depicted in all three poems between the individual and the divine.

CL C 3213 Greek Art to Death of Alexander (Stanley MW 4:30-5:45pm) Gen-Ed: IVa, Letters Category: History

This course is a survey of the architecture, sculpture, painting, city-development, and minor arts in the Greek regions of the Mediterranean in the successive stages of their development, with analyses of dominate styles and select masterpieces and monuments. The course begins with a consideration of the development of the Minoan culture on the Island of Crete and follows this development on through the succeeding mainland eras of the Mycenaean culture through the varied phases of Greek development on the mainland and the eastern Mediterranean areas in the centuries before the appearance of Alexander the Great. In order to help students understand the richness of the ancient Greek culture the course involves copious power point presentations with reading and writing assignments.

CL C 3233 The Roman Forum and Monuments (Stanley MW 3:00-4:15pm) Letters Category: History

This course is about the development of the ancient city of Rome. It is a detailed study of how Rome developed from its humble beginnings, as little more then a village on the banks of the Tiber River, to the huge metropolis that represented the power of the Roman Empire. This course examines each phase of the physical development of the city as reflected in the excavations of the architectural remains of the Roman Forum (the central part of the city). The course will include an assessment of the topography of Rome, the individuals, historical events, and the purposes that led to the construction of the buildings that survive today in the ruins of the famed Roman Forum. The study of what ruins represented offers insight into the significance of the Roman urban development and to the greatness of the ancient city and the people who inhabited the city, some of whom played critical roles in guiding the destiny of Rome.

CL C 3510 The World of Late Antiquity: From Rome to Baghdad (Johnson MWF 10:30-11:20AM) Letters Category: History 

This course will introduce you to the fascinating historical period called Late Antiquity, a transitional world from c.300 to c.800 AD that proved to be a hinge between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It will first ask you to question the popular model of “Decline and Fall,” inherited from Edward Gibbon, and to consider in its place a model of vitality and creative evolution. The geographical area covered will be immense — from Ireland to China — so early on you will get a grasp of the whole of the inhabited ancient world (the oikoumenē as the Greeks called it). The Mediterranean will, of course, be the center of our attention, but Mesopotamia, Arabia, the Caucasus, the Balkans, and Western Europe will also be considered in turn. We will focus in particular on the rise and development of Christianity during this period. In this context, you will be asked to consider the disappearance of Greco-Roman paganism as it related to the institutionalization of the Church in the late Roman empire. Finally, you will be investigating the related phenomena of the formation of Europe and the emergence of Islam as a permanent presence in the East. The theological and linguistic context of the Qur’ān will be a topic of close study, especially in its relations to Judaism, Syriac Christianity, and the doctrinal divisions of the eastern churches. This course will thus give you a firm foundation in a period that impacted both Europe and the Middle East profoundly. Indeed, the history of Late Antiquity still reverberates in many regions and effects many individuals’ lives throughout the world today.

CL C 4503 Classical Languages Capstone (Johnson MW 1:30-2:45pm)

The goal of this course is to fill any gaps in your Classics education, reinforce the knowledge that you have, and introduce you to some of the current trends in classical scholarship. Students will give presentations on various aspects of Greco-Roman civilization and culture, with a view to selecting a topic to pursue for the final research paper.

 CL C 4970 Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome (Greene TR 1:30-2:45 p.m.) Letters Category: History

In the last several decades, the study of women, gender and sexuality has become one of the most significant and exciting sub-specialties within the field of Classics. By reading ancient writings in translation and some selected examples of modern research, we will address the following questions: How did ancient Greek and Roman societies understand and use the categories of male and female, masculine and feminine? How may we derive from the Greeks and Romans the ideological bases of Western attitudes toward women, sex, and gender?

All of the readings in this course provide perspectives on gender and sexuality in classical antiquity, a period spanning roughly from about 800 BCE to 16 BCE. The societies of ancient Greece and Rome were marked by strong gender segregation. Gender, along with class and ethnicity, determined many aspects of an individual’s life. The works we will read tell us a great deal about ancient attitudes toward women and men, the lives they lived, the social roles they played, and the laws that governed them. This course will also explore how ancient views of gender and sexuality remain of continuing importance in the 21st century.

Latin

LAT 1115 - Beginning Latin: (Walker-Esbaugh, sec. 001 M-F 10:30-11:20 a.m.), (Hansen, sec. 002 M-F 12:30-1:20 p.m.), (Davis, sec. 003 M-F 9:30-10:20 a.m.)

Introductory study of the vocabulary and grammar of the Latin language, with practice in the reading of sentences and connected prose from selected Latin authors (I-b1)

LAT 1215 - Beginning Latin: (Walker-Esbaugh, sec. 001, M-F 11:30-12:20 p.m.), (Hansen, sec. 002, M-F 1:30-2:20pm) Prerequisite: 1115, or the equivalent, with a grade of C or better.

Introductory study of the vocabulary and grammar of the Latin language, with practice in the reading of sentences and connected prose from selected Latin authors

 LAT 2113.001 - Intermediate Latin Prose: Caesar (Watson, sec. 001, MWF 10:30-11:20 a.m.)

The time has come to move from memorizing paradigms and conjugations to using them to unlock the literature and culture of ancient Rome—in Latin, real Latin. In the spring, we will be reading Petronius’ ribald account of a famous dinner party and then Apuleius’ story of the forbidden love of Cupid and Psyche. We will solidify our knowledge of the language with a systematic review and focus on the reading and understanding continuous prose passages of Latin. Through this class, the student will begin to read Latin prose with increased proficiency, and acquire a more thorough knowledge of Latin vocabulary and grammar. This class may be repeated, with a change of reading material, for a maximum of six hours credit.

LAT 2213.001 - Intermediate Latin Poetry: Ovid (Davis, MWF 1:30-2:20 a.m.)

The Intermediate Latin Poetry course centers on transitioning students from “textbook” Latin to translating authentic Latin poetry. Ovid, one of classical Rome’s most creative and controversial poets, provided excellent examples of Latin grammar and classical poetic techniques. Often shrouded in religious, social, and political controversy, Ovid’s poems still entertain modern translators of all skill levels. By focusing on a selection from Ovid’s major works, students will develop a deeper understanding of Latin grammar, Roman poetry, and classical culture. This course contains rotating material from Ovid’s poems; therefore, the course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours. (I-b3)

LAT 3113.001 Pliny the Elder (Chambers TR 9:00-10:15 AM)

Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23-79) best known today as Pliny the Elder was a wealthy nobleman of equestrian rank who maintained an extremely active public career, ultimately becoming commander of the Roman fleet in Misenum, the port city for the Roman navy in the Western Mediterranean. It was here in the Bay of Naples that he met his death in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79; an event immortalized by Pliny the Younger in correspondence with Tacitus the historian.

His Natural Histories dedicated to the Emperor Titus in 77 AD represents a survey of the knowledge of the natural world as seen by an educated Roman of the 1st century. The broad topics of the original work include cosmology and astronomy, geography, biology, zoology, botany, medicine, and finally metals, minerals and precious stones. From among these I have chosen excerpts for translation that I found entertaining, enlightening and revealing of Roman thought, character, philosophy and even prejudice.

In addition to translating, a short report (in English) that explores and/or elucidates on one of the topics for translation is required.

Required Texts: 1) Natural Histories of Pliny the Elder by P.L. Chambers, OU Press,

ISBN: 978-0-8061-4215-9

2) Pliny the Elder – Natural History Selected Readings

Required Workbook: Crimson and Cream Copy Shop, OMU

LAT 4313 Teaching of Latin (Hansen W 3:00-5:40p.m.)

Share your love of Latin with others! Students in LAT 4313 will develop their teaching skills and knowledge of both the Latin language and Roman civilization in preparation for teaching in graduate school or high school, or for home school instruction. As part of the Latin Education program through the College of Education, LAT 4313 includes a Level Three field experience (optional for non TE-PLUS students). Students will learn about and practice different methods of teaching a second language, evaluate commonly used textbooks and other learning resources, and join Oklahoma’s top Latin teachers in some of their professional activities. In addition, LAT 4313 will guide prospective teachers as they prepare to take the Oklahoma Subject Area Test for Latin.

Greek

GRK 1215 Beginning Greek (Davis M-F 12:30-1:20 p.m.)

Continued study of beginning Greek. Prerequisite: 1115.

 GRK 2213.001 Homer (Russell TR 3:00-4:15pm) Gen-Ed: Ib

The main focus of this class will be reading selections of Homer’s Odyssey in Greek. In addition to studying the Homeric dialect and familiarizing ourselves with the peculiarities of his language, we will explore the tradition of Homeric studies and the multitude of uses to which these foundational texts of Western Civilization have been put, historical, artistic, educational, and literary. (I-b3)

GRK 3213.001 Ancient Greek Drama: Sophocles (Huskey TR 1:30-2:45 PM) Letters Category: History, Literature

This class will translate one of Sophocles’ most famous plays, Antigone. This play has had a profound influence on playwrights through the twentieth century. We will also discuss the play’s literary and historical significance, paying close attention to language, issues of gender, and character development.

Prerequisite: 2000 level course. May be repeated with change of content: maximum credit, nine hours.

Letters

LTRS 2103 Introduction to Constitutional Studies (Porwancher .001 TR 12:00-1:15 p.m. / Sec. 002 TR 3:00-4:15 p.m.) Letters categories: History or Phil.; Constitutional Studies Area: 1, 2, 3, or 4


This course serves as a broad introduction to the theory and history of constitutional governance. The student who completes the course will acquire, first, a conceptual vocabulary that enables her or him to think critically about the nature of constitutional problems. The student will learn what liberty, justice, natural law, natural rights, civil rights, legitimacy, monarchy, democracy, majoritarianism, classical liberalism, republicanism, executive power, legislative power, judicial power, and judicial review mean. Secondly, the student will acquire a framework of core knowledge about the history of constitutionalism. This includes the classical roots of constitutional thought, the contribution of the English common law tradition, the origins and structure of the U.S. Constitution, and the development of American constitutionalism during the civil war and civil rights movement. Finally, the student will leave the course with a deeper sense of the constitutional basis of contemporary political controversies. (IV-b)

LTRS 3023.995 Roma the Civilization of Ancient Rome (Chambers Online) Letters categories: History or Literature, Philosophy, Constitutional Studies 1

"Rome did not invent education, but she developed it on a scale unknown before, gave it state support, and formed the curriculum that has persisted to our harassed youth. She did not invent the arch, vault or dome, but she used them with such audacity and magnificence that in some fields her architecture has remained unequaled; and all the elements of a medieval cathedral were prepared in her basilicas. She did not invent philosophy, but it was in Lucretius and Seneca that Epicureanism and Stoicism found their finished form. She did not invent the types of literature, but who could adequately record the influence of Cicero on oratory, the essay and prose style of Virgil on Dante and Milton, ---of Livy and Tacitus on the writing of history, of the satire of Horace and Juvenal on Dryden, Swift and Pope? Her language became, by admirable corruption, the speech of Italy, Rumania, France, Spain, Portugal and Latin America; half the white man's world speaks a Latin tongue. Latin was, until the 18th Century the Esperanto of science, scholarship, and philosophy in the West; it gave a convenient international terminology to botany and zoology; it writes medical prescriptions, and haunts the phraseology of law. It entered by direct appropriation, and again through the Romance languages to enhance the wealth and flexibility of English speech. Our Roman heritage works in our lives a thousand times a day." Caesar and Christ, Will Durant

“Roma, the Civilization of Ancient Rome” surveys the Roman nation from its legendary origins in 753 BC, to the collapse of the Western Empire in 476 AD. It will trace Roman mythology, history, the incorporation of democratic ideas in a checks and balance system of government and major figures of the Roman world with special emphasis on Roman genius, contributions, and problems that have extended into our modern world. The required reading includes standard texts as well as historical novels so that the student gets a feel for as well as learning facts about Roman motivations, actions and accomplishments. This course counts as a history, literature or philosophy major requirement for Letters majors; it counts as an Area 1 course for Constitutional Studies.

Course Requirements: 

Reading: The Civilization of Rome Donald Dudley

The Fall of the Roman Republic Plutarch

Imperium Robert Harris

Ides of March Thornton Wilder

Augustus John Williams

Internet Research of Specific Topics 

 

Writing per Unit: 

Assignment 1 Short Answer Identifications (200-300 words) 24 points

Assignment 2 Short Answer Essay (500-600 words) 46 points

Assignment 3 Critical Analysis Question (150-200 words) 19 points

Assignment 4 Class Discussion (150-200 words) 11 points

Research Paper

A 10-12 page typed Research Paper with an attached bibliography of no fewer than five sources is required at the end of the course. The Research Paper will be due within two weeks of completion of the final unit of the course. It is to further expand on any topic covered in this course that you found particularly interesting or pivotal. This topic must be approved by Peggy Chambers.

LTRS 3123 Examined Life II: Middle Ages and the Renaissance (R. Huskey TR 1:30-2:45 a.m.) Letters Categories: History, Literature, Philosophy

This course provides a survey of the history, literature, and philosophy of the Middle Ages and Renaissance through reading and discussion of the great books of the time, with particular emphasis on understanding the impact of these texts on modern day thought. Readings include selections from Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Martin Luther, and others. Grades will be based on essay exams, a term paper, and participation. This course can be applied towards the Letters major’s requirement in history, literature, or philosophy. (IV-d)

LTRS 3213 Shakespeare and Classical Myth (Coodin MW 3:00-4:15pm) Gen-Ed: IVd, Letters categories: History or Literature

William Shakespeare turned to Classical mythology more frequently than any other set of source-materials (except the Bible) to fashion his plays. In this course, we will be exploring how and why Shakespeare turned to Greek and Roman myth and especially Ovid to shape some of his most celebrated dramatic works, including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Titus Andronicus. In this course you will delve into some of the major cultural developments in Renaissance England that motivated a return to Classical texts, such as Renaissance humanism and Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Catholic Church. We will also be thinking through how and to what ends Shakespeare not only takes up, but also transforms Classical stories in his plays, and rewrites them in order to question the nature of romantic love, the role and place of women, and the function of art, especially the social agency of theatre. (IV-d)

LTRS 3303 Origins of Rights (Butterfield TR 1:30-2:45pm)
 Letters Categories: History, Constitutional Studies: 2, 3

How did the challenges and the contests of the European settlement of the New World produce new and newly powerful ideas of rights? This course explores the historical, rather than the philosophical, origins of ideas that have since had world-changing consequences. We will examine how experiences more or less unique to the colonial Americas—the taking of Native lands; the extension of empire; race-based slavery; and unprecedented religious pluralism—prompted men and women to fashion new ideas about human rights. Gen-Ed: IVd

LTRS 3510.900 Constitutional Narratives (Porwancher TR 4:30-5:45 p.m.) Letters Category: History; Constitutional Studies area 4

Storytelling is central to the American Constitutional tradition. Lawyers craft narratives to make their cases. Journalists tell stories to help the public understand the law that governs our lives. And historians narrate the events that gave the words of the Constitution meaning. This course will explore the many ways that the art of narrative intersects with Constitutional history. Student will fashion their own narratives about major Constitutional episodes of their choosing.

LTRS 4970 The Federalist and Its Critics (Butterfield TR 3:00-4:15pm) Letters Category: History; Con. Studies Category: 2, 3

In this seminar, we will explore the genesis, context, and legacy of the most comprehensive and most influential defense and examination of the U.S. Constitution ever written: The Federalist. Comprising eighty-five essays drafted by three authors—John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison—and published in New York between October 1787 and May 1788, The Federalist is an invaluable window into the politics and the intellectual world of American Founding. We will situate these documents into the larger debate over the proposed U.S. Constitution, produced some of the most intensive and insightful critiques about the nature of democratic government and the sources of political authority.

Presidential Dream Course ENGL 4603 Searching for Hamlet (Sara Coodin, Su Fang Ng) Letters Category: Literature

Shakespeare’s Hamlet may well be the most renowned work of fiction written in the English language, a work so renowned that readers routinely feel as though they have gotten know its protagonist intimately. People often find themselves sympathizing with Hamlet’s predicament, feeling his anguish, and believing they understand his motivations, but do they in fact know the real Hamlet? This course explores the diverse, often contradictory ways that Hamlet has been read, performed, and interpreted over its 400-year long history. The aim of the course is twofold: to examine the history of how various Hamlets have been articulated both on the page by printers, editors, and scholars, as well as the stage by directors and actors; and to investigate the theoretical questions, debates, and assumptions that have underwritten these many and varied Hamlets.