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Classics 114: Gender and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity

Clara Hardy
Faculty Member: Clara Hardy
Class Description:
In both ancient Greece and Rome, gender (along with class and citizenship status) largely determined what people did, where they spent their time, and how they related to others. This course will examine the ways in which Greek and Roman societies defined gender categories, and how they used them to think about larger social, political, and religious issues. Readings from epic, lyric, and drama, as well as ancient historical, philosophical, and medical writers.

Clara Hardy's Reflections

Going into this project I was primarily nervous about having to watch myself and my students on video. I carry around in the privacy of my own head a set of contrasting images of what I want my classes to look like and what I'm afraid they really do look like, and while there is a wide gap between my imagined ideal and my imagined reality, I was not sure I really wanted to find out where documented reality figured on that continuum.

Watching the videos, though, and then talking about them with John, was enormously helpful. First of all, the interval between the class and the time when I sat down to look at the video meant I could look at the whole thing with new eyes, and not being any longer submersed in the material gave me a really good (and probably student-like, in some ways) perspective on what the class looked like. I could see things about technique and rhythms of the class that I'm normally too focused on the subject-matter to pay close attention to.

But by far the best thing was thinking about the questions John asked. After teaching for almost twenty years (!!) I do many things almost automatically, without asking myself why. Being forced to articulate the thinking behind the decisions that I make was a wonderful (if difficult) experience, and has made me much more intentional generally about my choices. And simply being observed, observing myself, has given me the habit of trying to put myself in that position of observer more often, and of asking myself the sort of questions John Ramsey was so good at asking.


Watch/Download Full Video (Flash Video 115.7MB Mar27 09): 30:26 min


Class Video



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Chapter 1: Course Goals: Creating Connections (Flash Video 15.4MB Mar26 09) (4:05 min)
Clara discusses the importance of teaching students the process of reading disparate texts from antiquity in a deeper context and how she helps students connect discussions from class to class.

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Chapter 2: Fielding Questions (Flash Video 13.7MB Mar26 09) (3:36 min)
Clara talks about the importance of asking good questions and responding with an appropriate level of detail for the context of the class.

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Chapter 3: Questions that Connect (Flash Video 15.5MB Mar26 09) (4:05 min)
Clara articulates the filters students need to use when thinking about ancient culture.

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Chapter 4: Using Visuals to make the Abstract Concrete: What Role Technology (Flash Video 18.2MB Mar26 09) (4:47 min)
Clara talks about how she uses classroom technology to enhance the learning in class, and how big themes get pulled together through the organization of the course.

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Chapter 5: Using Moodle (Flash Video 7.9MB Mar30 09) (2:04 min)
Clara discusses how she uses the course management system, Moodle, to monitor how students are thinking about course material.

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Chapter 6: Small Groups (Flash Video 9.2MB Mar30 09) (2:25 min)
Clara considers the importance of varying the tempo in a long class session and in allowing quieter members to speak in a less intimidating venue.

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Chapter 7: Watching Yourself Teach (Flash Video 12MB Mar30 09) (3:10 min)
Clara reflects on the perils and discomfort of seeing oneself in front of a class.

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Chapter 8: On Tweaking Course Design (Flash Video 8.8MB Mar26 09) (2:20 min)
Clara talks about why she "tweaks" courses every time she teaches and the importance of keeping the material fresh.

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Chapter 9: Three Months Later: Reflection on Student Feedback and Learning Outcomes (Flash Video 11.7MB Mar26 09) (3:04 min)
Clara reflects, several months after the course has ended, on how her students' learning was affected by her redesign efforts.