Jun 15, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Classical Mediterranean and Middle East

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Full Time Faculty: Nanette Goldman, Pamela Klasova, Brian Lush (Chair), J. Andrew Overman, Beth Severy-Hoven

Our department provides critical study of the people and societies of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds and the literature and art which we inherit from them. Students examine texts in Arabic, Hebrew, Greek or Latin; reconstruct cities and settlements from Rome to Israel through archaeological and architectural analysis; and engage materials from myth to mosaics - all with a view to assessing the crises, failures and successes of the complex, multicultural worlds of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East. As scholars of Classical Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, students interpret evidence in its historical context and develop a deep linguistic, literary, cultural, religious and material knowledge of this region in antiquity. The department provides a place for the critical analysis of ancient and foreign cultures and how their stories and histories have been received and retold in the shaping of the modern world.

By combining skills, theories and even courses found in the humanities, fine arts, social and natural sciences, the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East offers an outstanding, expansive and interdisciplinary course of study for all liberal arts students. Graduates thus go on to apply their training to a wide variety of endeavors, from the practice of law and medicine, to work in the corporate, governmental or non-profit worlds, to graduate study in fields from Classics to Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, English, History, Middle Eastern Studies, Museum Studies, and Religion. Above all, analyzing the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East helps students enter and engage sympathetically with a worldview different from their own and develop their skills in writing, critical reading, language acquisition, and argumentation.

Students are encouraged-and majors are required-to take advantage of opportunities for study abroad. The department leads its programs in the Mediterranean and Middle East, including a summer archaeological project in northern Israel excavating a Roman temple and January courses in Rome, Egypt and Turkey. The department also regularly sends students on semester programs such as the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, College Year in Athens, CIEE Amman, and others.

General Distribution Requirement

All regular courses in the Department of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities except for elementary and intermediate language courses, CLAS 260 , CLAS 270  and CLAS 283 CLAS 260  and CLAS 283  count toward the fine arts general distribution requirement; CLAS 270  counts toward the social science general distribution.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The Department of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Policy on Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and Latin Language Grades

In order to be accepted into the next higher language course in the Arabic, Greek, Hebrew or Latin sequences, a student must have received a grade of C- or higher in the previous course. For additional information regarding the language requirement, see the College requirements.

Topics Courses

CLAS 194 , CLAS 294 , CLAS 394 , CLAS 494  

Occasional and often experimental courses focusing on special topics of interest to faculty and students. Recent offerings have included Rhyming Worlds: Hebrew and Arabic Poetry through the Middle Ages; Frenemies: The Byzantine Empire and Islamic Caliphate; Trauma and Drama; and Ancient Healing and Medicine. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.


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