afabrizioProf. Andrea Fabrizio




gmarksProf. Gregory Marks




Faculty Cohort


Craig Bernardini:Don Quijote is important to our students for a number of reasons. As I noted above, it suggests something about the way “Latin America” was (mis)perceived by its colonial inheritors, and so forms part of the cultural background of almost two-thirds of our students. Students might relate the figure of Don Quijote to their own lives, as they tilt at the windmills of a college education, as often hampered as supported by friends and family, who would rather they see the world “realistically” instead of as a projection of their dreams. What is fascinating about Don Quijote, though—and what I remember plays an even more crucial role in the second part than in the first—is the way Don Quijote’s fantasy warps and transforms the reality around him, turning the world into theater. Finally, this is a book that, four hundred years after its publication, still has the power to make the reader laugh out loud. It is a great reminder for students that what is called ‘literature’ needn’t always be rarified and difficult; it can (also) be as slapstick as a Buster Keaton movie, and laced with potty humor that would make the cast of Dumb and Dumber blush.”


Heidi Bollinger: “Students find Plato’s metaphor of the cave to be very rich and illuminating as a way to think about knowledge, perception, reality, and illusions…The idea that the prisoners have become unwilling to leave the cave and find greater enlightenment and freedom is especially troubling and thought-provoking for students. It opens up a discussion about how we may become conditioned to our conditions, and handicapped by the darkness to which we have grown accustomed. The unwillingness of the prisoner’s to escape allows us to acknowledge how considering new ideas can be unnerving as well as liberating.”


Michelle Burke: “As a poet and teacher, I’m interested in the call and response that happens across continents and centuries. I love reading Dante in the morning, Claudia Rankine at night. I’ve asked my students to read Aristotle’s Poetics alongside Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Voltaire in conversation with Kurt Vonnegut, Sappho one week and Thom Gunn the next. One text I particularly enjoy teaching is Plato’s Symposium. It rewards deep reading; it fosters deep thinking. Symposium, of course, is a work about love, and to be in love is a condition my students have encountered. Many of them are, as Plato says, in “the splendour of youth.” Questions of love, gender, sexuality, and purpose are alive and present to them. They want to know more. When Plato writes, “Evil is the vulgar lover who loves the body rather than the soul,” my students know just what he is talking about.”


Frank Chirico: “…I suggest to my students that there may be, in our world, correspondences to Plato’s prisoners, projectors, and enlightened ones. Most readily identify the materialists, the advertisers, and even a few political martyrs (which might perhaps indicate that there is innate knowledge?). The rest are too busy looking at their smartphones, shopping no doubt, dreaming of how great it would be to own this latest fashion (or guitar), and so contribute by example!”


Andy Connolly


Charles Rice-Gonzalez: “The works of classic Greek plays speak directly to the human condition, and often to the most basic and complex of human emotions.”


Raymond Healey: “One reason I would like to participate in this project is that I already integrate material from the classics in my English 111 curriculum. In particular, in every semester I teach a special class in English 111 that focuses on Tennyson’s poem ‘Ulysses,’ and as part of this class, in order to give students some background and context on the character of Ulysses/Odysseus, I provide a primer of material that includes excerpts from the Iliad and the Odyssey, as well as Hesiod’s Theogony, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno (Canto 26, the Eighth Circle, in which Ulysses explains where he traveled after leaving Circe – language that Tennyson clearly adopted in his poem). One of my aims in showing my students the literary antecedents of a poem like ‘Ulysses,’ is to give them a better sense of the grand sweep of literary history, by highlighting for them how one immortal character, Odysseus, has evolved and prevailed for 3000 years.”


Andrew Hubner


Mathew Moses


Tram Nguyen: “Foucault was a revelation to me in my undergraduate studies because he spoke to the material ways that symbolic modes of power work on the body, molding us into proper citizens and delineating boundaries of impropriety. Foucault’s work would give students one critical tool for assessing recent and systematic seizure of racially-marked bodies by law enforcement, the media, and politicians.”


Anne Rounds

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