Protected: Myth Spr 20: Medea

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Protected: Myth Spr 20: Jason and the Argonauts

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Myth Spr 20: Online test, & 2 pix of Heracles

March 20, 2020

Dear Classical Mythology students,

Welcome to my blog, which I have been running for most of the last decade.  It’s a fairly low-tech venue, and one I am familiar with, so I have been thinking that it might be the right format for the future teaching of our class.

Let me ask you to listen to this voice memo above, in .m4a format, and tell me whether or not listening to a recording like this is going to be OK for you as a way for me to run class. Shoot me a quick email to say either “My internet connection isn’t going to work for this” or “This will be just fine.” 

Also– and this means a lot to me –let me know how you are doing during these very strange days.

Yours,
CMcD

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Photo Credit, Hannah True

 

Discussion of two images of Heracles and Hera

Terms

Etruscans (Etruria)
Geoponica
Galaxy (from Greek, gala, galaktos, “milk”)
putti (cherubs in Renaissance art)

Images

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Etruscan Bronze Mirror. Florence: Museo Archeologico. 325 BC

The Origin of the Milky Way in Detail Tintoretto.jpg

Jacopo Tintoretto, The Origin of the Milky Way. London: National Gallery. 1575

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Barbara Ungar,
In Tintoretto’s Origin of the Milky Way

Jupiter coasts in, thrusting
baby Hercules at
Juno’s breast. She sprawls

naked, her luxe Venetian bed
entangled in cloud. Four
cherubim zoom in with bow

and arrows; her peacocks
watch. Shining rays
spray from her nipples:

the right streaming down to plant
lilies in earth; the left shooting
up—past the bastard

infant’s head and her bangled
arm upflung into sky­—
to flower in ten golden stars.

All the faces, even her mask
of perfection, gaze
at that miracle of milk. Startled

awake, she leans back,
bare foot treading
thundercloud, one hand open

above all their heads,
as if she, goddess of childbirth,
had just flung new-

born stars. The astonishment
of milk arcing out
into space, her stranger body

showering in spontaneous creation.

BTW, If you like this poem, there are a few more of Barbara Ungar’s ecphrastic poems (poems about artworks) at this link.

 

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LATN 403 Spr 20: the new dispensation

 

March 19, 2020

Dear Imperial Roman Prose students,

Welcome to my blog, which I have been running for most of the last decade.  It’s a fairly low-tech venue, and one I am familiar with, so I have been thinking that it might be the right format for the future teaching of our class.

So, can I ask you to listen to this voice memo above, in .m4a format, which outlines my plans for the rest of the term? The text of the recording is below, and you can scroll along as I read, if you want to.

What I’d really like to know is whether or not listening to a recording like this is going to work for you. So PLEASE, let me know by shooting me a quick email to say either “My internet connection isn’t going to work for this” or “This will be just fine.”  Also, and this means a lot to me, let me know how you are doing!

Yours,

CMcD

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Photo Credit Stephen Alvarez

My friends,

Greetings from Sewanee! It is a warm spring evening here, a bit overcast. You can hear maybe the birds behind me, and maybe the trucks on the highway too, and perhaps even the train-whistle from Cowan a few miles away.

Events has fallen out in such a way that we cannot finish up our class together as we had originally planned, and instead we will have to proceed remotely as of March 31. As I have mentioned to you in a previous e-mail, I have never taught or taken an online class, and so we will need to work together to make this work.

But before I begin, let me offer one observation: I know how awful this has all been for you, being violently wrenched away from college like this. It’s been awful for all of us who teach and work here as well. Nobody at Sewanee  would have done this if it hadn’t absolutely had to happen this way.  I know you know that. I think we all understand that, intellectually. But that doesn’t mean that emotionally any of us is OK with it.  . You may want to seek out somebody to talk with about it. If you are upset, or angry, or depressed about it, that is an appropriate way to feel.

This is my current thinking on how to move ahead. Most of you left campus intending to return, so I assume you do not have your books with you. I also assume that, because you will be at home and not in Sewanee with its study spaces, you will not necessarily have a quiet room and a reliable Wifi connection. Based on these two assumptions, I will be using readily-accessible texts on the internet, and will also try to keep my instruction to the bare minimum of bandwidth. As all of you have access to it, we will use Blackboard for written assignments and feedback.

We were due, as you know, to have an exam immediately upon return from Spring Break. Some of you have been studying, I imagine, but probably most of you have been somewhat distracted by the news. I will admit that I have not figured out how exactly to carry out this exam, but one thing is clear– it’s going to have to be different than what we would have done on campus!

OK. So, what will we read for the rest of the semester? Having read some of the greatest hits of Pliny’s Letters and some of the Passion of Saint Perpetua, it had been my plan to begin reading more of Tacitus. Like I say, though I know you probably don’t have the book of selections by Steven Rutledge. Rather than have you order a new copy, or ask the hard-working people in duPont to make a PDF of it, I’ve decided to use a pretty good online version of Tacitus’s work, the Agricola, which is available from Dickinson College.  It’s a pretty good resources,  I think. Besides the Latin, there is vocab and notes. It’s designed for students at your level, so it should be pretty user-friendly.

There’s a link here.  I’ll give you this link again in my next post, together with a PDF of a a translation. I’ll also discuss in fuller detail what the Agricola is about, and why it makes sense for us, at this particular moment, for us to be reading it together.

One last thing. Because there will some things I post that will not be, strictly speaking, out of copyright, I will be putting future posts on this blog behind a password. That password is the word written on the whiteboard in the picture of me below.

OK, that’s it for now. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

Ecce Quam Bonum! Bye.

CMcD

lJ3nPnXzQHa7oIUaTEPNkw_thumb_16ddc

Photo Credit, Hannah True

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Protected: Basil Rathbone on accents

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Last Call

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“Can we get Shenanigan’s?” Daniel asked me. Kelly’s out of town, and I had plans to make chili. I flinched a little. Shelter in place. Stay at home. These are the mantras of the day. “I just feel like,” he said, “it won’t be possible to get a burger anywhere pretty soon.” Today, a few states have shut down restaurants and bars. But Tennessee isn’t one of the states, and Shenanigan’s isn’t one of the restaurants. Not yet. So we called in our order and drove over. While we paid, they said probably they’d be going to delivery only pretty soon. It’s Monday night, and I know I shouldn’t, but I ordered a beer. “I feel like we’re living in a sci-fi movie,” said Daniel. “One of the depressing ones.” I sipped my beer. By the weekend, who knows whether even this will be possible.

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And another to my state rep

Dear Representative Rudder,

Trust me, I understand that it’s hurtful to see your political position ridiculed as “cult-like” in an editorial in the Washington Post and likened to “mind control” on CNN. You must sympathize with those of us whose feelings were hurt hearing similarly scurrilous things said about Obama on Fox News a few years ago. But it’s another thing altogether to decide that those entire organizations should be condemned for those opinions as “fake news” by a branch of the Tennessee government. Surely you understand that chief among “the rights that our veterans paid for with their blood” (as your resolution concludes) is the freedom of the press from governmental control? Please, I ask you to think better of it, and remove your name from this hasty and bad-natured resolution.
Yours,
Chris McDonough
Sewanee, TN
Here’s the story:

 

A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced an amendment to a resolution that would recognize CNN and the Washington Post “as fake news” that is “part of the media wing of the Democratic party”.

The amendment read: “We recognize that fake news outlets suggest ideas without directly making accusations so that they can claim innocence from their ivory towers.”

Republican state representative Micah Van Huss of Jonesboro introduced the measure Tuesday at the state’s capital. According to local station WREG, it amends a previous joint house resolution filed last month.

The resolution cites instances throughout 2019 in which the Post staff or CNN personalities referred to Donald Trump’s supporters as a cult or “cult-like”.

It said: “We condemn them for denigrating our citizens and implying that they are weak-minded followers instead of people exercising their rights that our veterans paid for with their blood.”

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