Academics Navigation

Courses

Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.

Classics

Greek IA
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2015
Global Perspective

This is a beginner's course in Ancient Greek. Greek is a truly special language, with an incredible variety of expression, beauty of sound, and richness of thought, literature, and history. It can be challenging, and regular quizzes and consolidation will be integral to the course; but hard work will yield rich rewards. We will be working from Athenaze, a textbook designed for students starting Greek at college, which focuses on exposing students to continuous Greek prose as early as possible. Prerequisite: None

Greek IB
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2016
Global Perspective

Continuation of Greek IA.

  • Greek IA or permission of instructor

Greek IIA
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018
Global Perspective

Continuation of Greek IB.

In this intermediate course, you will strengthen and enrich your knowledge of Greek morphology, grammar, and vocabulary as you gain experience in reading Greek prose. We will read and discuss Xenophon’s Symposium, a lively narrative of an aristocratic drinking-party with Socrates as the guest of honor.

Greek IIB
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2013
Global Perspective

Continuation of Greek IIA.

Latin IA
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2015
Global Perspective

This is a beginner's course in Latin. Students come to Latin for many reasons: to understand better their own and other languages; to access one of the richest bodies of literature and history in the world; or simply as an intellectual test. Latin is a demanding language, and students should be prepared for regular short quizzes to reinforce material as we go along, but consistent effort will pay rich dividends. We'll be working from the latest edition of Wheelock's Latin, designed for moderate-to-intense language training at college level, which introduces students to the basic elements of grammar, syntax and vocabulary, and offers students original Latin thought and language as soon as possible. Prerequisite: None

Latin IB
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2016

Continuation of Latin IA.

  • Latin IA or equivalent

Latin IIA
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018
Global Perspective

TITLE: Intermediate Latin Prose: Cornelius Nepos & Cicero.

Continuation of Latin IB.

In this intermediate course, you will strengthen and enrich your knowledge of Latin morphology, grammar, and vocabulary as you gain experience in reading Latin prose. In the first half of the course, we will translate and discuss several Lives (Vitae) of ancient men written by Cornelius Nepos, a 1st century Roman with a clear and accessible style. His Vitae are short biographies of important ancient personages, such as Themistocles, Hannibal, and Cato. In the second half of the course we will read selections from Cicero’s Pro Caelio, a courtroom speech by Rome’s greatest orator in defense of a young friend who fell into legal trouble while enjoying the fast life with the rich and famous of Republican Rome.

Latin IIB
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

Continuation of Latin IIA.

Myth and Meaning
(4.00 Credits — Multi-Level)

Spring 2013

No one can sensibly claim to understand myth. The category – ‘myth’ – resists definition. A vast amount of information, mostly in the form of narratives, has been assigned to it. We will be trying to come to terms with some of this information. Myths from around the world will be considered. A range of theoretical approaches will be employed. Ideology and the construction of meaning will be recurrent themes. The Greek mythical tradition will be explored in detail, especially in relation to religion, ritual and philosophy. After Spring Break the focus will be on myth in Latin literature.

Of Arms and the Man I Sing: Ancient Epic from Gilgamesh to the Aeneid
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2011
Designated Writing

Two works from the ancient world survive in greater numbers than any other: Homer's two great epics, the Iliad - the original story of the Trojan war - and the Odyssey, a colourful account of Odysseus' long journey home from Troy. Homer's work was a common cultural reference point for all Greece, and not without reason has been dubbed 'the bible of the Greeks'; Homer himself was often simply referred to as 'The Poet'. Vergil's Aeneid, a very Roman reworking of both epics, tells the story of the foundation of Rome, and achieved a similarly canonical status almost overnight.

But despite this canonical status, the ancient epics have retained their capacity to surprise us. In spite of its martial theme, Homer's Iliad is also a work deeply interested in the lives of others, be they women, children, or enemies. Vergil's Aeneid by contrast, so long disparaged as an eloquent but ultimately vacuous panegyric of the emperor Augustus, has in recent years been rehabilitated as a profound and at times disturbing meditation on the darker side of Roman imperialism. This course is a chance to trace this foundational genre from its ancient near eastern origins to imperial Rome; topics covered will include mythology and folklore, oral literature, heroism, gender, ethics, warfare, and the gods. Prerequisite: None.

Rethinking Rome: Power, Society, and Faith in the High Roman Empire
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2011
Designated Writing

This course will fall into three parts: first we will look at the Roman emperors and their opponents, from the bumbling Claudius to the debauched Nero; second, we will consider Roman society from top to bottom - from miserable slaves and the urban poor to the provincial elites who aped and opposed their imperial masters in equal measure; finally we will turn to religion, contemplating the radically unfamiliar 'pagan' religious system, the position of Jews in the ancient world, and the astonishing rise of Christianity at the end of our period. Throughout we will encounter some eminently modern themes: the corrupting nature of power; the enduring role of propaganda and public relations; the nature and meaning of meaning of cultural change; the varied forms of oppression and resistance; and the position of minority groups in a multicultural world.This course will above all be centered around the close reading of a set of core sources (both literary and visual), but we will also consider famous recent artistic interpretations of the period (including 'I Claudius', 'Gladiator', and 'Caligula'). We will approach this period from as many angles as possible in our effort to build up a full picture of this incredible society (literary, artistic, architectural, economic, and even sociological) and so this course would make an ideal complement to other courses in areas such as history, culture, religion, or politics. Prerequisite: None

Sex, Violence, & Vengeance: Greek Tragedy for All the Ages
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2010

In his own time the Greek tragedian Euripides was accused of making the young idle and corrupting women, and ever since the fifth century BC Greek tragedy has not lost this power to provoke. ‘Feminist' tragedies were read aloud at suffragette meetings at the beginning of the 20th century, while the tragedian Sophocles was reworked during the second world war in occupied to France to encode resistance to the Nazis. In this course we shall consider some of the greatest and most well known Greek tragedies, and explore not only radically different conceptions of justice, fate, theodicy, feminism, and political authority, to name just a few key themes, but also the workings of the unfamiliar and formal literary ‘grammar' of Greek tragedy. It is hoped that the course will culminate in a short performance of extracts from Euripides Medea. Prerequisite: None

Song Culture in Ancient Greece & Early 20th Century America
(3.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2014
Global Perspective

This course will consider ancient Greece and parts of early 20th century America as "song cultures," or societies "whose prime medium for the expression and communication of its most important feelings and ideas was song."  (Almost all suriving Greek poetry was originally song: while writing has preserved the words that were sung, we have lost the music and sometimes dance that made up equal parts of musical performances.)  We will read works of Greek poets such as Sappho, Alkaios, Anakreon, and Pindar on the ancient side; on the more modern, we will spend time with the different types of folk music in America and their overlapping offpsring, blues and jazz.   Topics to be addressed include (but in no way are limited to) performance, occasion, tradition, innovation, authorship, authenticity, and plagiarism.

Detours

(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)