Spring 2016

Classics: Curriculum & Profession

Author
Peter T. Struck
Abstract

The challenges currently facing classicists are not so different from those our profession has faced for the last one hundred and fifty years, and with each challenge, a discipline sometimes imagined by outsiders to be slow to embrace the new has shown itself naturally disposed to experimentation. The discipline's agility derives from the unique degree of variegation in the modes of thinking required to thrive in it: from interpretive, to quantitative, to those relying on knowledge of culture and context. As the value of education is increasingly judged in terms of workforce development, we stand our best chance to thrive by sticking to our strengths, and anchoring our curricular goals and messages to the value of the liberal arts as a whole, as well as the intellectual dexterity that it fosters.

PETER T. STRUCK is the Evan C. Thompson Associate Professor of Classical Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of their Texts (2004) and editor of the Cambridge Companion to Allegory (with Rita Copeland, 2010) and Mantikê (with Sarah Iles Johnston, 2006). His next book, titled Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Antiquity, will be published by Princeton University Press in 2016.

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