In April, the students will be presenting a series of flash talks from independent research based in the classics department.
The first set in the series of talks debuted Feb. 11, in the Holman Room of Mary Lyon for Wheaton’s inaugural Ancient Colloquium. The colloquium’s debut was titled Gods and Mortals: Then and Now, and featured five Wheaton faculty members.
Professors Nancy Evans, Joel Relihan, John Partridge, Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus and Dana Polanichka all stood before the Wheaton community and presented in a series of mini flash talks, intertwining their discussions to create an interdisciplinary approach to antiquity. It began with a “study group” of sorts, said Professor Nancy Evans, Chair of the classics department and the first to take the stage during the colloquium’s series of flash talks. Professor Evans explained that the five professors came together in the name of integrative and experiential learning to create a community beyond the classroom.
While the colloquium centered around three core classes—Professor Evans’ Iliad course, Professor Polanichka’s History of Christianity course, and Professor Brumberg-Kraus’ Gender and Violence in the Bible course—it also brought in the Latin and Philosophy backgrounds of Professor Relihan and Professor Partridge, respectively. The result was an event that tackled antiquity from a historical, classical, religious, and philosophical perspective.
In April, the student flash talks will take place and will be longer to encourage the students will hone their speaking skills and inspire their peers to think critically about these topics.
Aside from a unique opportunity to learn more about the ancient world, the colloquium is far more than just an academic form of escapism. Professor Evans noted, “that is precisely one of the notions the colloquium seeks to subvert. The way these flash talks are interwoven and connected to the modern world is a concrete testament to the relevance of antiquity to today. Not only does it span a wide range of disciplines, but it also is one of the prime foundations for the world around us.”
With the introduction of this new colloquium, its founders hope to change the perspectives on this area of study and increase its presence across the Wheaton community. Though young, the Ancient Colloquium already promises a strong legacy to come.