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Ancient Studies/Classics and Late Antique-Medieval Studies (LAMS)
Professors Finkelpearl (SC) (on leave fall 2019), McKirahan (PO), Wolf (PO)
Associate Professors Berenfeld (PZ), Bjornlie (CM), Chinn (PO), Keim (PO), Roselli (SC)
Lecturer Valentine (PO)
Ancient Studies/Classics is the study of the ancient world and its reception in subsequent historical periods. We explore the lives and cultures of people from ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East. We also study the afterlife of these cultures throughout the world (e.g., in literature, film, drama, and critical theory). Our courses provide students with the opportunity to learn about the ancient world and its literature in English translation and to study the ancient languages of Greek and Latin from beginning through advanced levels. Since we are not a large department, students benefit from close attention and active mentoring from their professors.
Ancient Studies/Classics at the Claremont Colleges is an intercollegiate program with participating faculty members from Scripps, Pomona, Pitzer, and Claremont McKenna. Classics courses taught at the other colleges count as "Scripps" courses (i.e., they are not classified as off-campus courses for purposes of registration). Students pursuing a major or minor in Ancient Studies/Classics are encouraged to study abroad in Athens or Rome (courses taken at College Year in Athens and at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome typically count towards the major or minor). Language courses in Greek, Latin, or classical Hebrew fulfill the college's language requirement.
There are two tracks for the major. The first track in Classical Languages is designed for students who want to study Greek and Latin in depth. Students considering graduate school programs in Ancient Studies/Classics or Ancient History, or students who are interested in ancient languages should choose this track. The second track in Ancient Studies is designed for students who desire a comprehensive background in the diverse cultures of the ancient world and its reception in the modern world.
There are two related tracks for the minor. The Minor in Classical Languages allows students to combine the study of Greek or Latin with courses in ancient culture. The Minor in Ancient Studies has no language requirement. These minors complement the study of related fields (e.g., History, English, Philosophy, Humanities, Art History, and Archaeology) and are ideal for students desiring a solid background in the ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome while pursuing a different major—or for those students who are just curious and want to learn more about antiquity.
Like nearly all of the college's majors, Ancient Studies/Classics is not designed to provide pre-professional training. Some of our students continue their studies in graduate school and make the study of the ancient world their profession (e.g., professors, writers, archaeologists), but this is not the only option. Like students who major in other liberal arts subjects, Ancient Studies/Classics majors also go on in their careers to work as doctors, artists, farmers, activists, lawyers, software designers, business executives, chefs, teachers, social workers, politicians, entrepreneurs—or whatever else they can. Since most programs at the college are designed to provide similar educational and practical benefits, we encourage students to choose their fields of study based on their interests and to explore widely. However, the study of the ancient world offers the peculiar advantage of learning about the fascinating yet lost cultures that nonetheless continue to shape our modern world—not to mention the acute training in language that comes from the study of Greek or Latin.
The Department also sponsors a major in Late Antique-Medieval Studies (LAMS), which encompasses the subsequent study of the Mediterranean and Near East in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Learning Outcomes of the Program in Ancient Studies/Classics
Department Goals and/or Objectives
Goals are broad statements that describe what the program wants to accomplish (not all goals apply to each track in the major or minor).
1. Critical appreciation of the cultures of the ancient world (i.e. Greece, Tome, Ancient Near East).
2. Proficiency at languages and skill at philological interpretation.
3. Formal analysis: students will acquire a basic understanding of how to read and/or interpret texts and artifacts (e.g., archaeological evidence, inscriptions) from the ancient world.
4. Knowledge of historical and cultural contexts: students will be able to demonstrate an awareness of basic social, political, literary, philosophical, and artistic developments of Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern history.
5. Proficiency in research methods: students will be able to produce scholarly work that demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of the material evidence from the ancient world and the critical history of approaches to this material.
Student Learning Outcomes
Outcomes describe specific knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes students should demonstrate (not all outcomes apply to each track in the major or minor).
SLO1: Students develop an openness to and a keen understanding of the cultures of the ancient world.
SLO2: Students form a critical awareness of the role of the ancient world in modern culture.
SLO3: Students will be able to translate a variety of works in a variety of genres from the original Greek or Latin into English and comment meaningfully on aspects of style, word choice, structure of argument, and basic textual problems.
SLO4: Students produce research papers demonstrating their understanding of historical and cultural changes in the ancient world and their skill in interpreting texts and artifacts.
SLO5: Students majoring in Ancient Studies/Classics or Classical Languages produce a senior thesis demonstrating their command of research methods, knowledge of the relevant historical and cultural changes, and skill in interpreting texts and artifacts.