Call for Collaboration
Leipzig and Tufts Universities
September 1, 2015
This is a preliminary call for comment and for participation.
I expect to be teaching an advanced Greek course in Spring 2016, quite possibly on Thucydides. I would like to explore the possibility of coordinating that teaching with others so that our students can interact and, ideally, collaborate across institutions and even across countries. Courses may also be in advanced Greek but can be on history, archaeology or any other subject relevant to the period. This model of collaboration can be applied quite broadly and others may pursue such collaborations in my subjects. My particular goal is to get something started in North America that focuses on Fifth-Century Greek History and that could feed into the Sunoikisis DC efforts that my colleague Monica Berti began in 2015.
The goals of this collaboration are
(1) to connect students, who may be in small and somewhat isolated classes or in larger lecture classes and who often have little sense that they are participating in a larger community of learners.
(2) to enable students to contribute something as they learn and to leave behind contributions with their names attached. Larger lecture classes could, for example, contribute by analyzing people and places in English translations and thus participate in social network and/or geospatial analysis. Advanced language courses could, for example, contribute by treebanking texts.
(3) to link courses in Europe, North America and elsewhere by exploiting the differing academic schedules in different countries. Students in North America who begin their semesters in January 2016 can aim to develop courses projects and presentations that will feed into courses that begin at Leipzig in April, with US students presenting via videoconference to introduce topics and methods to students in Germany. In January and early February 2017, European students, who began their classes in October 2016, can reciprocate, presenting topics and methods to North American students, who can, in turn, present in April to the next semester of Europeans students. Here we hope not only to help students develop ties across national boundaries but to recognize that learning is an on-going and cumulative process.
One method of collaboration would be to participate in the 2016 version of http://sunoikisisdc.github.io/SunoikisisDC/ (Sunoikisis Digital Classics), which in turn builds up on the long term efforts of the http://sunoikisis.org/ program that Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies supports. Collaborations can, however, take various forms. Different classes could, for example, focus upon a single task (e.g., Treebanking selections of Greek historical sources or focusing upon comprehensive Treebanking of a particular author). Different classes might create shared discussion lists or complementary projects (e.g., one class focusing on language and another on the material record). I particularly welcome anyone from the Boston area who would be interested in the possibility of having our students meet jointly in person one or more times.
I welcome both public discussions in venues such as the Digital Classicist and private inquiries (which can be sent to email@example.com).