campus partner(s)

Northwestern University






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Sara Monoson

Northwestern University

Grant Summary

$30,000 over 12 months. Does the recent wave of popular interest in classical antiquity signal a cultural moment? Are recent films ephemera or part of a discernable pattern in the way in which fragments of classical antiquity surface in popular culture in the United States? How widespread is this phenomenon in the United States? Are any comparisons between ancient and modern ideas and practices particularly absorbing today for any special reason that educators who craft the character of liberal arts education should be aware of? How might teachers in the humanities make use of the popular interest in antiquity to enliven student interest in liberal arts modes of inquiry and argumentation? How do these issues illuminate the changing shape of liberal arts education and the way the academy does (or should) respond to popular trends? In March, 2006, three distinguished scholars will lead the Northwestern University community and a visiting group of faculty from area liberal arts colleges in a day-long symposium on these topics. We will follow this up with the publication of a set of essays based on the presentations and discussion. Northwestern University faculty Sara Monoson (Political Theory and Classics) and Reginald Gibbons (English and Classics) will host. Participating colleges include: Carleton College, Denison University, Grinnell College, Kenyon College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, and Macalester College.