Classics 720: Greek Drama & Africana Receptions


This course will examine examples of Athenian tragedy and comedy and their performative contexts as reflections of the cultural, economic, and political concerns and conflicts within the Athenian polis and between Athens and other communities of Greek-speaking world. It will then study how artists of the African Diaspora have translated, adapted, and re-envisioned these works as vehicles to represent aspects of their cultures and similarly comment on the concerns and conflicts within their communities and between their communities and external forces.

In collaboration with the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at Rhodes College, this course will be linked with GRS 260: Poetry and Performance, so students will participate in combined class sessions, share their observations in written form with students and faculty members from both of the participating institutions, and collaboratively develop dramatic pieces. Students at both locations will also meet separately once or twice a week. Students from Howard will travel to Memphis over spring break and work with students, dancers, and performers affiliated with New Ballet Ensemble on the production of the dramatic pieces, which NBE will perform at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Greek Drama and Africana Receptions is a WAC course. Writing-intensive courses in the disciplines are the core of the WAC program at Howard University. They are designed to show students that writing well is essential to success in whatever field of study or career they pursue. In the College of Arts & Sciences, these courses fulfill the third writing requirement (following Freshman English 002 and 003). To enable teachers to respond to the frequent writing assignments, each course is limited to 20 students. Students who have not fulfilled the Freshman English requirement should not enroll in a writing-intensive section of a course, even if other sections of the course are open to freshmen.

This course also satisfies a Divisional A in the General Education curriculum.
Goals of GenEd Arts courses include:

  • Developing thinking, learning, and communication skills
  • Developing skills in identifying, accessing, and evaluating sources of information
  • Promoting curiosity and life-long learning
  • Recognizing or interpreting works of art or creative processes in their social, historical, and cultural context<
  • Describing or evaluating works of art or creative processes using appropriate terminology
  • Appreciating the value of art in our lives and in society

Materials for this course are available by following the links below: