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Registration: Interim

Interim 2012


CLAS W40 Homer Goes to Hollywood: the Classical World in Film. Even now in the 21st century the nearly 3,000 year-old epics of Homer, and their transformations in Greek tragedy, as well as the 2,000 year-old empire of Rome, continue to influence the way we tell stories, our conceptions of heroism and the nation-state, and our understanding of what it means to be human. From its inception (with films such as Quo Vadis and The Robe) to the present day (with films such as Gladiator and O Brother, Where Art Thou?) Hollywood has, time and again, tapped the ancient world for inspiration and narrative. In many ways, film is the best analogue we have to the ancient experience of the tragic theatre or recital hall where the Greeks and Romans, as we do today, looked back upon their past and then wrestled, twisted, and shaped it into something new and relevant. This course will examine how the medium of cinema has told, retold, and repackaged the ancient Greco-Roman myths with a particular eye to the following questions: How do the Homeric ‘hero’ and the tragic ‘hero’ compare to the ‘Hollywood hero’ and what does this comparison tell us about the cultures that produced them? At what points in the history of Hollywood does the fascination with the Classical world go in and out of favor? Why? What elements of ancient understandings of divine agency and fate do Hollywood retellings retain or discard? Why do films change fundamental details of the ancient texts? Has Hollywood transformed ancient myth into new, distinctively modern mythologies? What does ‘Rome’ symbolize or stand in for in film? How has Christianity developed its own myths in relation to its experience with the Roman Empire?  Class time will be spent viewing and discussing several films as well as discussing readings of several seminal literary works from the Classical world. Students will be responsible for lively participation in class discussions, maintaining a journal of reviews of both texts and films, quizzes on readings, and a presentation concerning a film not viewed in class.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Classical Studies major.  U. Dhuga.  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

IDIS W42 Italy: Ancient & Medieval.  Course dates: January 4-24. Fee: $4,320. K. Bratt, M. Williams. Off campus.