Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Classics professor going to Iliad seminar

Amy R. Cohen, a classics professor at Randolph College, looks forward to spending time delving into the details of the Iliad this summer. She is one of 20 professors nationwide chosen to participate in a seminar on the Greek epic poem about the Trojan War in July.

The Council of Independent Colleges and the Center for Hellenic Studies is hosting the conference in July as part of the “Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom” seminar series. Cohen and other professors at the conference will read and analyze the Iliad and discuss numerous issues related to teaching the literature to today’s college students.

Cohen, director of the Greek Play at Randolph, teaches students about the Iliad in one form or another in most of her classes, so she expects to bring many insights back to her classroom. She also expects to enjoy spending significant time studying the work of Homer, the Greek poet who helped inspire her interest in the classics.

“I have come to love the clear and complicated expression of Greek heroism in the Iliad,” Cohen said. “Homer’s men, women, and gods are fallible and frightening but redeemable and worth getting to know. The seminar will give me the opportunity to spend intensive time with these characters, to see them from new perspectives, and to learn about them from some of the leading scholars in the field.”

Cohen also is the director of the Randolph College Center for Ancient Drama. In addition to producing the Greek Play, the center publishes Didaskalia, a journal on ancient drama performance, and hosts a conference on that topic every two years.