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Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Race, Blackness, Antiquity
What was the definition of “race” twenty-five hundred years ago? What did black skin color signify in the centuries before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade? In this course, we will investigate the history of black skin color in Greek and Roman antiquity alongside the legacy of race within the field of ancient Greek and Latin literature (Classics). We will engage in class discussions based on weekly readings, and the class will culminate in student presentations on a topic that relates to the themes of the course. In addition to interrogating the terms “race” and “blackness” as it applies to an ancient time period, we will cross-examine the role that race and cultural imperialism have played in the formation of the current discipline of Classics. This course will benefit greatly from students with a broad spectrum of interests; all are welcome to join the discussion.