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GROUP REPORTS, CLASSICS 320

The oral group report should not be a summary of your individual papers, but a presentation of conclusions on your group topic that apply to all, or at least most, of your individual topics. This doesn't mean you should avoid specifics in your presentation; do cite some specific evidence for each of your major points (ideally, each individual in the group should contribute to this evidence). If there are some disagreements among group members about the conclusions, it's fine to include those as well.

Be selective in organizing your presentation; focus on conclusions that you consider important and that add up to a coherent argument. Since no one in our class is comparing ancient and modern women poets, I'll offer a set of "model conclusions" on this topic that should give you an idea of the kinds of conclusions you might present:--

Modern American women poets, like the women poets of ancient Greece and Rome, have worked predominantly in the genre of lyric poetry. This genre was accessible to them because it did not require public performance or financing (except in the case of choral lyric). [For a point like this it is appropriate to cite secondary works, such as Fantham, Snyder, and other modern books and essays.]

--Hellenistic women poets seem to have been conscious of belonging to
a tradition of women's poetry extending back to Sappho. American women poets have also looked to Sappho, and to other female predecessors, as role models. [Cite specific poems--e.g., Nossis #1 and 2 in Snyder, plus modern poems.]

--While Sappho, like other women poets of classical antiquity, wrote in a variety of different voices or personae, one subgroup of her poems celebrate a distinctive "women's culture" based on shared rituals and the love of women for other women. American women poets such as Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich celebrate comparable forms of "women's culture." [Cite specific poems]

--The anger at women's oppression that informs much contemporary American women's poetry is lacking in the poetry that survives by ancient Greek and Roman women.

It's not necessary for every member of the group to participate in the oral presentation. In order to receive credit for the group work, however, it is necessary for a member to have participated significantly in the planning of the report. On the day of the presentation, each group should give me a list of the members who actually participated in the planning. One possibility for dividing the actual presentation would be to have each of your major points, with its supporting evidence, presented by a different student.

However you decide to organize the presentation, be sure to rehearse it to make sure it doesn't go over 20 minutes. (You need not take up the full 20 minutes.) This will leave at least 5 minutes for discussion following each report.

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