A Request + Sunday Links, 4/18/21

As well as being a place I can put some notes down on the Great Books, I want to use this blog as a sort of village pump for the conversations around Classics and the 21st century. I’m still experimenting with what that looks like, but a question for readers: what’s going on at Howard University’s classics department?

The usual places I’d expect to find info (Howard U’s student newspaper, Twitter) are failing me right now. I’m trying to get in touch with people who’d know, but the story seems to be that the Board of Trustees at Howard want to merge the Classics department with a school with religion and philosophy. I’m not smart enough to say whether this is the wrong or right move, I’m just trying to understand their thinking. Here is a petition to save the department, which is also light on details of what’s actually going on.

Please comment below or email me: has anything appeared in public from the Board of Trustees laying out their reasons? Has anyone written or spoken particularly strongly in favor or against the move? Thanks in advance!

On to links…

  1. Review of Metamorphoses. “Ovid was a writer not unlike ourselves in a phase of civilization not unlike our own. He lived in a republic-turned-empire rocked by culture wars over, among other topics, the meaning of sex and gender, the relative merits of the domestic and the exotic, and the necessity of social stability.”
  2. I’ve been very impressed with what Antigone has been publishing recently, here’s one on The Odyssey and whether Odysseus actually… wants to get home.
  3. Was Frankenstein the first Sci-Fi novel?
  4. Leon Kass, who we like ’round these parts, has a new book out on the Book of Ruth.
  5. America and the politics of religion.
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