SYLLABUS - CLASSICS 320 (cross-listed as WMST 320)
WOMEN IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY
Spring 1995 - UMCP
Instructor: Lillian Doherty
Office: 2407D Marie Mount Hall
Phone: 405-2022 (You may leave messages for me at this number, or at 405-2013)
Office hours: Mon., Wed. and Fri., 12:00 noon - 1:00; other times by appointment
1. Elaine Fantham, Helene Foley, Natalie Kampen, Sarah Pomeroy, and H. Alan Shapiro, Women in the Classical World. Referred to in syllabus as "Fantham."
2. Thelma Sargent, translator, The Homeric Hymns
3. Jane Snyder, The Woman and the Lyre. Referred to in syllabus as "Snyder."
4. You must also purchase a packet of photocopied materials (supplementary readings)
at College Copy Center, 4511 Knox Rd., College Park (a block off Route 1, behind the 'Vous). Referred to in syllabus as "packet."
COURSE GOALS AND REQUIREMENTS
The people registered for this course will have many reasons for being here.
This syllabus is designed to give you a clear idea of what I, the teacher, expect the
course to accomplish. But in order to be a success for you, it will also require your
"input" in the form of careful thought, hard work, and cooperation with other
students. I pledge to do my best to help you learn, from me, from others, and on
your own; but I will not simply present information for you to "give back" on tests.
We will do individual and collaborative research on topics which you will help to
select; then we will share the results of this research with one another. If you stay in
the coursewhich is still your decision to makeplease stay because you want to be a
part of this joint effort.
I recognize that most of you do not have extensive backgrounds in the topics to be covered by the course. Thus it will be my task to introduce you to the material, and to guide you in locating and analyzing sources of evidence. But all of you have backgrounds or interests in some areas related to the course; it will be your task to identify these areas, and to make connections between your previous knowledge and the new knowledge you plan to acquire this semester. All of us (myself included) will work on honing our critical skills: 1) the ability to grasp the ideas and viewpoints presented in various forms of writing and other media, 2) the ability to evaluate and compare these ideas and viewpoints, and 3) the ability to formulate and present (orally and in writing) ideas and viewpoints of our own on the issues involved. Few if any of you plan to become professional "classicists" like myself; but all of you, in the course of your lives, will be called on to make decisions on complex issues and to communicate your ideas to others. Some of these issues are sure to involve the relationships between women and men, or between different groups of women. Thus the skills to be developed in this course, and the subject matter on which we will focus, should be relevant to all of our lives.
Critical skills are best developed in discussion and in essays. The course will thus emphasize discussion, in small groups or among the class as a whole, though some lectures will be necessary for background. Writing assignments will be designed to help you develop both your analytical skills and the clarity of your writing. Each student will be encouraged to exchange rough drafts of papers with a "writing partner" or with members of a study group before submitting the final versions. There will be two substantial analytic papers (of between 6 and 8 pages each): the first will be a critique of a modern article on a topic related to the course; the second (in lieu of a final exam and due on the scheduled date of the final) will be a research paper growing out of your work in a small research group. The groups will also present their conclusions orally in the final week of class. To encourage you to keep up with the reading (which is essential to the course and amounts to 20 30 pages per class), there will be occasional brief (2-3 p.) papers and two scheduled quizzes.
The final grade will be weighted as follows:
Class participation (including attendance,
group work, and final group project): 30%
Two analytic papers (25% each): 50%
Quizzes and shorter papers: 20%
I think it is important to be aware that the study of women's lives in the past has come about largely because of the modern women's movement--the efforts of women to "raise consciousness" ( = make ourselves aware) of inequities in the relations between women and men, and to work toward elimination of those inequities. I hope to foster an atmosphere in which students will be free to speak their minds; I pledge never to assign grades on the basis of opinions. (Grades will be based on how well you argue for your positions and support them with evidence.) But I will also be honest about my own views. I am very much in favor of equality between the sexes, and believe it is important to learn what we can about women's experiences in the past if we wish to improve their opportunities in the future. For Americans, whose culture is largely derived from the Western (European) tradition, it is especially important to understand the Greek and Roman attitudes toward women that helped to shape this tradition.
TOPICS FOR LECTURES AND DISCUSSIONS, WITH READING ASSIGNMENTS
Please be sure to do each assignment before the class at which it will be discussed; make a habit of bringing the relevant text(s) to class, so we can refer to them. Please also let me know as soon as possible if you will be absent for religious observance during Passover, Greek Easter, or Good Friday; if necessary, I will arrange make-ups of the material to be covered in classes you need to miss.
Jan. 18 - First class meeting. Read syllabus carefully!
20 - Rationale for the course; discussion. Read handout and bring it to class.
UNIT ON THE EVIDENCE AND ITS LIMITATIONS
Jan. 23 - Evaluating evidence for women's lives in the ancient world. Slide lecture.
Read Fantham pp. 5-12 and excerpts from Winkler and Barber (in packet).
25 - Evaluating evidence - discussion in small groups. Handout.
27 - Groups report back to the class; 2-3 page paper due.
UNIT ON ISSUES IN WOMEN'S STUDIES RELATED TO THIS COURSE
Jan. 30 - "Women's culture." Read excerpt from Jill Dubisch, "Gender, Kinship and
Religion" (in packet).
Feb. 1 - Ideology as contested rather than monolithic. Read Anna Meigs, "Multiple
Gender Ideologies and Statuses" (in packet)
3 - Differences among women. Read excerpts from Sara Mitter, Dharma's
Daughters, and Belinda Hurmence, My Folks Don't Want Me To Talk About Slavery (in packet) and Fantham pp. 50-53.
UNIT ON THE BRONZE AGE AND THE MATRIARCHY ISSUE
Feb. 6 - Historical background: the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages. Slide lecture. Read "A Brief History of Greece," first excerpt by Ehrenberg (her pp. 63-76), and excerpt by Gimbutas (in packet).
8 - The Minoans; slide lecture, cont'd. Read second excerpt by Ehrenberg (her pp. 108-118), in packet, and study handout on Minoan seal impressions.
Feb. 10 - Evidence for Minoan religious practices in Thera. Read excerpts by Marinatos (in packet).
Feb. 13 - Relations between Minoans and Mycenaeans. Read article by Atchity and
Barber ("Greek Princes and Aegean Princesses"), in packet.
15 - Comparison and critique of differing interpretations. Small group exercise. Read and bring to class articles by Rohrlich-Leavitt and Castleden (in packet).
17 - General class discussion of comparison and critique of articles by Rohrlich-Leavitt and Castleden. Be sure to bring both to class.
Feb. 20 - Quiz (20 min.) on Minoans and Mycenaeans. After quiz I will give an introduction to the new unit on Archaic Greece.
UNIT ON THE ARCHAIC AGE IN GREECE
Feb. 22 - Visual evidence for the Archaic age. Slide lecture. Read Fantham ch. 1.
Exchange first drafts of paper with writing partner (be sure to
keep a hard copy for yourself).
24 - Women and goddesses. Read the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (in Sargent's translation of the Homeric Hymns) and bring book to class.
Return first draft of paper to your writing partner with feedback.
Feb. 27 - FIRST PAPER DUE. Discussion of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter,
cont'd. Bring book to class.
Mar. 1 - Archaic expressions of misogyny. Re-read descriptions of the creation of Pandora (Fantham pp. 40-42) and Semonides' poem on women (Fantham pp. 42-43) and bring book to class.
Mar. 3 - Introduction to the poetry of Sappho. Read Snyder ch. 1 and bring to class.
Mar. 6 - Comparison of translations (in small groups): read versions of Sappho
poems in handout and compare with Snyder's versions.
Mar. 8 - Groups report back to the class; general discussion.
UNIT ON ATHENIAN WOMEN OF THE CLASSICAL AGE
Mar. 10 - Women in 5th c. Athens: slide lecture. Read Fantham ch. 3, pp. 68-96.
Mar. 13 - Individual Athenian women: Neaera and the lover of Eratosthenes. Re
read "On the Murder of Eratosthenes" (handout from beginning of
semester), read "Against Neaera" (new handout), and bring to class.
15 - Legal status of Athenian women. Read rest of Fantham ch. 3, pp. 96-124.
17 - Legal status of Athenian women, cont'd. Read "Against a Stepmother" (handout). I will do a "model report" of the kind that small research groups will do at the end of the semester.
Mar. 20-24 - Spring break
Mar. 27 - Women in Athenian tragedy. Re-read Fantham pp. 68-74 and read
Euripides' Hippolytus (handout); bring play to class.
29 - Showing of film (Phaedra, dir. by Jules Dassin) based on Euripides' Hippolytus. Be sure to have read Hippolytus before viewing film.
[NOTE: Film will be shown in Hornbake library, and will last
over two hours. Those who cannot stay for the entire film may
view it at their convenience in the Non-Print Media Center, 4th floor of Hornbake. Please make an effort to see it before class on Friday.]
Turn in (at film showing or to my office mailbox) a one-page description of a topic on which you plan to do research for the final project. This need not be your final topic (which will be decided on with other members of the research group you form), but it should reflect some careful thought about your own interests and knowledge as they relate to the issues of the course.
Mar. 31 - Comparison of Hippolytus and Phaedra. The discussion, in small groups,
will lead to the formation of research groups for the final project.
Apr. 3 - Quiz (20 min.) on women in Classical Athens, followed by group discussion
and/or library visit to begin work on projects. Sign up for group
meetings with me to discuss topics and bibliography.
5 - Sparta: contrasting roles for women. Read Fantham ch. 2.
UNIT ON HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN WOMEN
Apr. 7 - Historical background: the Hellenistic age. Read Fantham ch. 5.
Apr. 10 - The identity and significance of Cleopatra. Read article by Shelley Haley
12 - Hellenistic women poets. Read Snyder ch. 3.
14 - Images of Roman women: slide lecture. Read Fantham pp. 211-215 and ch. 7.
Apr. 17 - Etruscan women in Roman history. Read Fantham ch. 8.
19 - Individual women of the late Republic: the wives of Antony. Read Fantham ch. 9.
21 - Lecture on legal status of Roman women. No reading assignment; work on
Apr. 24 - Images of women in Roman literature. Read Fantham ch. 10.
26 - Roman women writers. Read Snyder ch. 5 and compare translations of Sulpicia's poems in handout with those in Snyder (pp. 130-134).
28 - Meet in small research groups (in classroom or elsewhere, as you prefer) to plan oral presentations for next week.
May 1 - 5 - Oral presentations by research groups.
May 8 - Concluding discussion. Read Snyder pp. 152-56, Haley's review of Fantham
(handout), and editorial from the Washington Times (handout).
FINAL PAPER DUE by noon of the day scheduled for final exam: Tues., May 16.