Meeman Fall 2017 Courses

Meeman Life-Long Learning Center — Fall 2017 Classes

• Register for Fall 2017 Meeman courses

Dr. Anthony C. Siracusa

This six-week course explores the relationship between race and violence in the United States in the decades between the end of Reconstruction and the present. Of particular importance is understanding how and why lynching arose as a tragically common phenomenon across the United States between 1877 and 1945. The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) has estimated that at least 4,000 African Americans were lynched in this period. This course will examine the writings of black leaders who spoke out against this violence in the 19th and 20th centuries – W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Rayford Logan – alongside scholarly studies of this white violence and discuss the impact of lynching on the development of American life in the 20th century. We will also examine the writings of black Americans who have spoken out against the continuation of white violence in the 21st century – Ta-Nehesi Coates, James Cone, and Bryan Stevenson – and explore the troubling continuities between past and present.

Text: All weekly readings will be made available as PDFs, but the instructor recommends that students purchase the following books:

  • Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890 - 1940, by Amy Louise Wood (ISBN 0807871974)
  • The Souls of Black Folk (Unabridged), by W. E. B. DuBois (ISBN 0486280411)
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone (ISBN 1626980055)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (ISBN 081298496X)
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehesi Coates (ISBN 1925240703)

Anthony Siracusa, PhD, Vanderbilt University
Five Thursdays: August 31; September 7, 14, 21, & 28
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuition: $180 | 1 CEU


Prof. Thomas Bryant

What is it that is so amazing about the music of Mozart and Beethoven? What makes their music so memorable? Why have so many of their works become favorite classics for people of all generations? This short course will help the student discover the genius of these Viennese composers by studying their lives and by studying musical scores and recordings. Selections will range from solo piano works and art songs to opera and the great symphonies. Class sessions will also contain some live performance and demonstration at the piano.

Text: Readings will be provided as PDFs.

Thomas Bryant, DM, Northwestern University; Piano Coordinator, Department of Music
Four Thursdays: October 26; November 2, 9, & 16
Class will meet in room 112, Hassell Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuition: $140 | .8 CEU


Prof. Stephen Ceccoli

A review of important global issues confronting U.S. foreign policy decision makers. The course meets in the evening for two hours, once a week for eight weeks. The teaching of this course is shared, as each member of the International Studies departmental faculty will deliver one lecture. The course is open to Rhodes College students as well as Meeman Center students. Topics this fall include Hong Kong: 20 Years After the Handover; Rise and Fall of ISIS; Relevance of the United Nations; Drone Warfare; Women in International Politics; China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative; and U.S. Participation in Human Rights Treaties.

Text: Readings will be provided as PDFs.

This course will be team-taught by members of the Rhodes Department of International Studies and directed by Stephen Ceccoli, PhD, Washington University, Professor of International Studies.
Eight Tuesdays: August 29; September 5, 12, 19, & 26; October 3, 10, & 24
Class will meet in room 108, Buckman Hall | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Tuition: $300 | 1.6 CEU


Dr. Noelle Chaddock

Dr. Chaddock, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion at Rhodes College and the recent Chief Diversity Officer for The State University of New York in Cortland, brings her experience working with community organizations, non-profits, police agencies, and college communities to the Meeman Center. Participants will have an opportunity to think together about intentionality around inclusion and equity as imperative to leadership and engagement. Dr. Chaddock will work with participants on self-study, assessment, cultural responsiveness, coalition and action building, and the larger conversation about diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

Text: The Matrix Reader: Examining the Dynamics of Oppression and Privilege, by Abby Ferber, Christina Jimenez, Andrea Herrera, and Dena Samuels (ISBN 978-0073404110); and other supplemental materials to be provided by the instructor

Noelle Chaddock, PhD, State University of New York at Binghamton; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion at Rhodes College
Three Tuesdays: November 7, 14, & 21
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuition: $105 | .6 CEU


Prof. Nikos Zahariadis

The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing. Yet despite the escalating human toll, migrants and refugees keep coming and ethnic tensions are boiling over. As nationalist parties widen their appeal in many European states and with rising concerns about terrorism and Brexit, it is clear Europe will soon have more physical barriers on its national borders than it did during the Cold War. In this environment, the very survival of democracy, freedom, and human rights will be tested. The questions we will examine in this class include: Why is this migration taking place and what are its causes? What has been the response? In what ways will its impact change Europe and, more importantly for us, what are the consequences for the U.S.?

Text: The New Odyssey: The Story of the Twenty-First Century Refugee Crisis, by Patrick Kinsley (ISBN 9781631492556)

Nikolaos Zahariadis, PhD, University of Georgia; Mertie Buckman Professor of International Studies
Three Thursdays: October 5, 12, & 19
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tuition: $105 | .6 CEU



Profs. Scott Garner, Sarah Rollens, Susan Satterfield, Joseph Jansen, Ariel Lopez, and Erin Dolgoy


Prof. Scott Garner

Though the Iliad and Odyssey are the best known poems that have come down to us from Archaic Greece, these two Homeric epics are but a small part of the total poetic product that survives from this period. These two sessions will therefore move beyond epic to explore other genres that thrived in the pervasive song culture of early Greece. Our first session will focus upon the Homeric Hymns, a collection of 33 poems of varying length dedicated to the different Greek divinities. And though there are many mysteries surrounding the original composition and performance of these poems, the Hymns are the earliest source for some of Greece’s most famous myths as well as important evidence for how these narratives might have functioned within ritual contexts among the early Greeks. Our second session will work to round out even more completely this picture of early Greek poetic practice by considering the roles of the remaining types of non-epic poetry within Archaic Greece. Often grouped under the title “lyric,” these poems include martial elegies, iambic invective, and many other song types that would have permeated nearly every aspect of early Greek life and which reflect for us today the emotions and concerns that dominated society during this period.

Texts: The Homeric Hymns, translated by Michael Crudden (ISBN 0199554757)
           Greek Lyric Poetry, translated by M.L. West (ISBN 019954039X)

Scott Garner, PhD, Princeton University; Assistant Professor, Greek and Roman Studies
Two Wednesdays: August 23 & 30
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Prof. Sarah Rollens

What is the New Testament and how did it come into being? Who decided which books were included and which were left out? Who was responsible for translating these 27 books from their original language? This course examines these questions from a historical framework, exploring the key events in the history of the New Testament’s formation in Roman antiquity and its transmission down to today. No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary...just curiosity!

Text: Readings will be provided as PDFs.

Sarah Rollens, PhD, University of Toronto; Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
Two Wednesdays: September 6 & 13
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Prof. Susan Satterfield

Although he was a “new man” (one with no high-ranking politicians in his family) in a world where established families dominated Roman politics, Marcus Tullius Cicero managed to rise to the highest office in the Roman state, the consulship. You could say he talked his way in: Cicero was known in antiquity as the greatest Roman orator of all time. Yet despite the impressive heights of his career, there were also many staggering lows: he was exiled from Rome shortly after his consulship, and he was decapitated more than a decade later on the orders of Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony), his great political enemy. In this class, we will discuss the political life of Marcus Tullius Cicero, and use that as a lens to view the turbulent period of the late Roman Republic.

Texts: Catiline’s War, The Jugurthine War, Histories, by Sallust, translated by A. J. Woodman (ISBN 978-0140449488)
          Cicero: Selected Political Speeches, translated by Michael Grant (ISBN 978-0140442144)

Susan Satterfield, PhD, Princeton University; Professor of Greek and Roman Studies, and Meeman Center Faculty Director
Three Wednesdays: September 20, 27, & October 4
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Prof. Joseph Jansen

Euripides’ Hecuba (c.424) tells the woeful and horrifying story of the former queen of Troy right after her city was captured by the Greeks in the Trojan War. Though well received in antiquity, the play has been unpopular in modern times due to its excessive violence and the bleakness of its message. Yet, as the philosopher Martha Nussbaum has argued, the play contemplates the fundamental questions of what it means to be a good person and whether goodness can even endure, especially when good people try to maintain their goodness during times of social and political tumult. In this unit, you will learn what Nussbaum has to say about the “fragility of goodness” and how the political crisis the Athenians faced when the play was produced informed Euripides’ understanding of goodness. In addition to reading the play in its entirety, we will consider how the play relates to our current political situation.

Text: Euripides II: Andromache, Hecuba, The Suppliant Women, Electra, by Euripides, translated by Mark Griffith, Glenn Most, David Grene, and Richmond Latimore (ISBN 0226308782)

Joseph Jansen, PhD, University of Texas; Assistant Professor, Greek and Roman Studies
Two Wednesdays: October 11 & 18
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Prof. Ariel Lopez

This course explores the origins and early development of Christian monasticism in the Near East. We will seek to understand the meaning of monasticism in the context of late Roman Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. We will read some representative samples from the massive literature produced by and on monks in this period. And we will try to understand the impact of this religious movement on the western Roman empire.

Text: Readings will be provided as PDFs.

Ariel Lopez, PhD, Princeton University; Assistant Professor, Greek and Roman Studies
Two Wednesdays: October 25 & November 1
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Prof. Erin Dolgoy

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is one of the most controversial early proponents of the idea of modern science. This course will examine some of the 58 essays in the final 1625 edition of Bacon’s Essays. We will discuss the content of the selected essays, and situate those essays in relation to the text as a whole, Bacon’s project the Instauration, and the dominant intellectual tradition of Bacon’s time. Specific emphasis will be placed on the ways in which Bacon’s Essays helps to cultivate the type of individual who will be amenable to science, demand innovations, and flourish in an age of rapid material, intellectual, and social change.

Text: You will need a copy of Bacon’s The Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral. There are innumerable editions available, at different price points and of varying quality. I suggest the Everyman’s Library edition (Paperback, ISBN 978-0460874335). If you already have a copy or choose a different edition make sure that it is a complete edition, and contains all of the 58 essays.

Erin Dolgoy, PhD, Michigan State University; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Political Science
Three Wednesdays: November 8, 15, & 29
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Tuition for all 14 Search sessions:
$475 | 2.8 CEU total

Tuition for any 2-class unit (Garner, Rollens, Jansen, Lopez):
$80 | .4 CEU per 2-class unit

Tuition for any 3-class unit (Satterfield, Dolgoy):
$105 | .6 CEU per 3-class unit



Profs. Rhiannon Graybill, Wonneken Wanske, Hannah Barker, and Clara Pascual-Argente


Prof. Rhiannon Graybill

This class examines women in the Hebrew Bible and its historical context. We will explore what we can reconstruct about gender in ancient Israel, including women’s lives, labor, family relationships, and religious practice. We will also discuss literary representations of women in the Bible, including figures such as Eve, Sarah, Miriam, and Esther, while considering how these literary accounts of women align with, and diverge from, both ancient and present historical realities. The class will also introduce current scholarly methods and trends in studying gender in the ancient world.

Text: Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context, by Carol Meyers (ISBN 978-0199734627); Week 1: Chapters 1-5; Week 2: Chapters 6-10

Rhiannon Graybill, PhD, University of California at Berkeley; Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
Two Mondays: September 11 & 18
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 PM


Prof. Wonneken Wanske

This course explores representations of medicine, illness, and the human body in German literature, film, and popular culture. The goals of our course are to glean an understanding of the German medical system, and to think critically about the topics of medicine and health in both the German and the American context. In class, we will work together in partners and small groups to analyze and debate the interplay between text, history, and popular culture.

Text: The Method by Juli Zeh, translated by Sally-Ann Spencer (ISBN: 978-0099551768)

Wonneken Wanske, PhD, The Ohio State University; Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures (German)
Four Mondays: September 25; October 2, 9, & 23
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Profs. Hannah Barker and Clara Pascual-Argente

In this class, we explore the cultural and political world of Alfonso X, “the Wise,” king of Castile (part of present-day Spain) from 1252 to 1284. Alfonso expanded his kingdom, unsuccessfully vied for the throne of the Holy Roman Empire, and ended his life in the throes of a civil war against his son. His court was a hub of cultural and political activity that produced new works of music, poetry, law, science, philosophy, and history, drawing on a rich array of Arabic, Latin, and vernacular sources. Our examination of the innovative culture and cosmopolitan politics of Castile in the era of Alfonso will allow us to question the peripheral role too often attributed to medieval Spain in both the European and Mediterranean contexts.

Text: The Wise King: A Christian Prince, Muslim Spain, and the Birth of the Renaissance, by Simon Doubleday (ISBN: 978-0465066995)

Clara Pascual-Argente, PhD, Georgetown University; Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
Hannah Barker, PhD, Columbia University; Assistant Professor, History
Three Mondays: October 30, November 6 & 13
Class will meet in King Hall | 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Tuition for all 9 World of Literature Classes:
$350 | 1.8 CEU

Tuition for “All About Eve”:
$80 | .4 CEU

Tuition for “Medicine in German Literature”:
$140 | .8 CEU

Tuition for “The Wise King”:
$105 | .6 CEU