Sunoikisis Seminar | Common Day

Between the planning seminars for the upcoming Literature of the Late Republic and Greek Comedy courses, the participants all gathered to discuss other aspects of the Sunoikisis program and innovations in online education. This common day was led by Dr. Ryan Fowler (CHS Sunoikisis Fellow in Curricular Development) and Prof. Kenny Morrell (Director of Fellowships and Curricular Development).

The Common Day started with a review of Sunoikisis’ activities during the 2013-2014 academic year. Prof. Ryan Fowler talked about the Sunoikisis Iliad course he and three other faculty led the previous year. He hopes to have future classes like it that explore other literature like the Odyssey and Herodotus. Fowler also hopes these classes will lead students to take Classical language courses.  Participants then discussed ways the Sakai course management website could be used more effectively during courses in the future.

After a short break to grab a snack and stretch our legs, participants reconvened to continue their discussion of the past year. Prof. Amy Singer talked about her assessment of the Sunoikisis courses and the importance of having clear goals and learning outcomes.

Having analyzed the the previous year, the participants then looked toward the coming year. Prof. Kenny Morrell discussed the changes that will happen with the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Symposium in the 2014-2015 academic year. There will be one symposium in the spring instead of one each semester. The symposium will also be more like a workshop and it will take place earlier in the semester so that students may incorporate comments from the workshop into the final version of their papers. Topics for next year’s papers will be based on the Late Republic and Greek Comedy — topics derived from this fall semester’s courses. This seminar session ended with a discussion of better ways to make the Greek 101 class feed into upper-level Greek classes.

In the afternoon, Dr. Ryan Fowler discussed the current initiatives of the Sunoikisis program including the Kenchreai Archaeological Field Schoolthe Cultural Internships in Greece, and the January Term Program. He also detailed the involvement of Sunoikisis representatives in efforts to increase awareness of the program and develop online education as a whole at events like the 2014 APA PanelACS Blended Learning Initiative, 2014 CAAS panel on online education, as well as in a forthcoming Transformations article. Other, upcoming initiatives discussed included the development of a Sunoikisis-Odyssey course for Spring 2015, modeled on the Sunoikisis-Iliad course offered the previous spring, and opportunities for involvement from programs in Brazil and the expansion of Sunoikisis in Europe through the Digital Humanities Center at the University of Leipzig.

Fowler and other members of the CHS team then introduced several resources and tools for undergraduate teaching like Cyrus’ Paradise, an online, interactive reading tool, and websites hosted by the CHS, including Ancient Mediterranean Studies, an aggregator detailing classics-related events around the Washington, DC area, and Kleos, featuring news about publications and programs of the CHS. The seminar participants also decided to again hold an inter-institutional office hour on Wednesday at 10:00 am EST via Google Hangouts.

In the final session, the participants were introduced to Hortensii, a new initiative designed to alleviate the problems facing PhDs without permanent academic jobs. Finally, Megan O. Drinkwater of Agnes Scott College presented a Prezi on the advertising her department has done to increase enrollment in their Greek classes, and how those methods could be applied in other institutions.

Also in attendance were Ronnie Ancona (Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center), Monica Berti (University of Leipzig), Zach Biles (Franklin and Marshall College), Corey Brennan (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Greg Crane (Tufs), Ben DeSmidt (Carthage College), Heather Gruber (Concordia College), Hal Haskell (Southwestern University), Ben Hicks (Southwestern University), Julie Langford (University of South Florida), Polyvia Parara (University of Maryland-College Park), Arum Park (Brigham Young University), Molly Pasco-Pranger (University of Mississippi), Danilo Piana (Johns Hopkins University), Joe Romero (University of Mary Washington), Jeffrey Rusten (Cornell University), Lindsay Samson (Agnes Scott College), Susan Satterfield (Rhodes College), Loula Strolonga (Franklin and Marshall College), Heather Vincent (Eckerd College), and Bryce Walker (Sweet Briar College).