Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Classics Program


Spring 2017

  • Paideia in Action! A lecture in Athens by Dr. Hal Haskell, Prof. of Classics, provides a nice illustration of the Paideia philosophy. The talk “Meandering through the politics of Late Bronze Age Crete” follows some interesting paths. One avenue branches from very strict scientific criteria with a determined objective mind set. A more productive wandering may come from Proust, who anticipated memory theory by remembering a cookie. Proust realized that human beings make memory or, in our case, politics. While thinking about the why and the how of his memory, Proust described what is now understood scientifically. In the same way, Cézanne understood the mechanics and forces of a bridge by painting its honest essence. On the path of Proust, we can wander back towards some early, ‘non scientific,’ understandings of the politics of Late Minoan Crete and take them with us to join to later archaeological and scientific analyses. When humanistic and scientific approaches are combined, the meandering takes a more definitive turn. The specific scientific data are transport and storage jars, sensibilities like Proust or Cézanne.

  • Madeline Ezell, Class of 2018, presented her research in Classics at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. on March 11. Ezell’s paper abstract was one of only six selected from a sizable national pool. She and other students from around the country gathered to discuss their research in Classics. While in D.C., Ezell presented her paper for critique and for collaborative discussion. Her paper is to be published in May in the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Journal. Ezell’s research is grounded in Alexandrian Hellenistic Poetry, and is an analysis of Queen Berenice’s image as presented in Callimachus’ poem, “Coma Berenices” (3rd cent. BCE). At the symposium, she had the opportunity to critically discuss her own research and also that of the other student presenters, as well as engage with various professors and faculty.

Fall 2016

  • Prof. of Classics Hal Haskell’s paper “Seaborne Transport Containers from the Beginning: Transport Stirrup Jars” appeared in B. Knapp & S. Demesticha, eds., Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Pocket Book Series, Uppsala, 2016. This is an invited, but peer-reviewed paper. The collection of papers was published by a first rank academic publishing firm in Sweden.

Spring 2016

  • Professor of Classics Hal Haskell’s article “Central Crete’s Octopus Trademark” was published through the University of Crete (Rethymnon, Greece) in June. In this article, Haskell demonstrates that certain olive oil transport vessels imported to Cyprus (ca. 1400-1200 BCE) bore a decorative motif - the octopus - that indicated to Cypriot consumers not only “originated in Crete,” but also more specifically Central Crete. Central Cretan origins have been verified by Haskell through vase shape studies and by his colleagues at Glasgow University and Sheffield University through chemical and petrographic analyses. The publication is the written version of a paper delivered at a conference in Rethymnon in 2013.

  • Given recent events internationally and changing student perspectives, study abroad presents new challenges. Alexis Phylactopoulos, President of College Year in Athens (CYA), shares his perspectives on how CYA is meeting the realities of contemporary undergraduate education. CYA also is addressing directly the issue of terrorist attacks.

  • Hal Haskell, Professor of Classics, is offering a team-taught course on the ancient Greek historian Herodotus (spring 2017). Writing in the 5th century BCE, Herodotus chronicled the great wars between the Persians and Greeks (including the Battle of Marathon). A special feature of this course, taught through the Sunoikisis consortium, is that students and faculty from across the US are participating, with live weekly sessions.

  • In June 2016, Dr. Hal Haskell, Professor and Chair of Classics, and Emily Grover ’16, a Junior Fellow Intern at the Library of Congress, join faculty from across the US and Europe at the Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard) in Washington, DC, to help develop team-taught courses in upper level Greek (Hellenistic Literature) and upper level Latin (Flavian Literature). This is part of the Sunoikisis initiative, of which Southwestern is a founding member.

Fall 2015

  • Hal Haskell, Professor and Chair of the Classics Program, presented an invited paper in September in Glasgow at the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. His paper, on ancient transport pottery ca. 1600-1150 BCE, was part of a session concerned with early maritime transport containers.

  • Prof. Haskell joined Classics faculty from throughout the United States to prepare for the upper level Sunoikisis Plato course, under the guidance of Prof. Hakan Tell of Dartmouth College.  For more, see Dartmouth’s write-up of this program.

  • Profs. Howe and Haskell are coordinating a new Paideia theme, Presence of the Past (see YouTube video). The presence of the past is inevitable in any culture or in any individual. You either control the past in shaping your identity, or it controls you. We consider cultures that, through subsequent stealing, borrowing, conquest, survival, translation, exchange, or imitation have furnished other cultures or individuals with critical parts of their identities.

  • SU will be offering an innovative course in 2016 on Euripides, involving Classics scholars and students from around the country. This follows on the heels of last spring’s very successful Odyssey course (Odyssey course; see SU students work with Homeric scholars and students (21:14) across the country). More….

Fall 2014

  • Prof. Hal Haskell presented a refereed paper at the NARNIA Conference on Cyprus in September 2014, on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of ancient pottery. More…. 

Spring 2014

  • Sunoikisis was featured in Athens by Hal Haskell at the “Learning Differences and Innovation Summit” (video [start at 1.34.10]). Haskell also led a 10 hour “Institute” centered on SU’s Paideia program.

  • In late May, Dr. Hal Haskell visited the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich to gain access to a very rare publication, C. Doumet-Serhal (ed.), Networking patterns of the Bronze and Iron Age Levant: the Lebanon and its Mediterranean Connections. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has one of the only copies. One article is of particular interest, as it reports on a pottery sherd in the eastern Mediterranean with Linear B (early Greek), and if verified would be a unique find.

  • Dr. Hal Haskell’s article “Elite Economic Relationships between Crete and Thebes in the Late Bronze Age” has been accepted for publication in Minos, a leading international journal of Minoan, Mycenaean and Cypriote studies. The results of Dr. Haskell’s work with pottery supplement evidence based up to this point primarily on palaeographic (Linear B) evidence.

  • Thomas Howe, professor of art history, was the lead presenter at a lecture titled “The Rebirth of a Roman Luxury Resort: Recent Archaeological Discoveries at The Seaside Villas at Stabia” that was held at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia April 8. The lecture was held in conjunction with the institute’s exhibit titled “One Day in Pompeii,” which runs through April 27. Read more here.

  • Dr. Benjamin Hicks presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle-West and South in Waco, Texas.  This paper examined Horace’s parody of Odysseus’ consultation with Teiresias in the underworld (Od. 9) in Satire 2.5.  In particular, Horace draws on philosophical uses of Odysseus through intertextuality to satirize the Stoics.

  • College Year in Athens (CYA), the premier US undergraduate program in Greece, sponsored an invited lecture by Hal Haskell, Prof. of Classics, titled “Meandering Through Late Minoan III Crete, Proust, Pottery, and Palaces.” The lecture was structured around the theme of Dr. Haskell’s SU Paideia theme, “The Intersection between the Arts and Sciences” and was held at CYA’s academic center near the Panathenaic Stadium.

  • In March, Dr. Hal Haskell served as an invited member of the Fulbright Foundation – Greece Selection Committee for the 2014 Greek Graduate Scholarship Program in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Foundation provides support the brightest young Greek scholars to study in the US so that they can return to Greece with fresh expertise. Dr. Haskell was an American Fulbright Senior Scholar in Greece in 1994.

  • Dr. Benjamin Hicks presented a paper at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association in Chicago, Illinois, in January.  The paper explored Horace’s much loved Satire 2.6 in which he introduces Aesop’s fable of the city and the country mouse as a satiric meditation on the Epicurean rational calculus of pleasure and pain.

Fall 2013

  • In December, 2013, Dr. Hal Haskell presented a refereed paper at the 3rd “Archaeological Work in Crete” conference, held in Rhethymnon, Crete. The conference was held under the auspices of the University of Crete, and the Ephorates of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and of Byzantine Antiquites (Rhethymnon). The papers will be published in both digital and paper format (summer 2016).

  • Dr. Thomas Howe, Professor of Art History, spoke at the CyArk 500 Challenge, October 20-22 2013, at the Tower of London. He spoke on cultural heritage, around the topic The Benefits: Beyond Documentation. See a video of on the digital preservation of Stabia.

  • In October, Dr. Hal Haskell attended a conference in Belgium, “How long is a century? Late Minoan IIIB pottery: Relative chronology and regional differences,” at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve). He was asked to make a short presentation “Literacy on LM IIIB Crete,” based on his work with Linear B (early Greek) inscribed pottery.