Students in UF’s Readings and Rhetoric class may learn as much about the 2016 presidential election as they will about the ancient Mediterranean world. In a collaborative program with six other universities, Christine Tulley, Ph.D., is offering Leadership in the Ancient World as the focus of English 318.
The course design is provided through Sunoikisis, a national consortium of Classics programs. According to Norman Sandridge, associate professor of Classics at Howard University, the purpose of the course is “to inspire new visions of leadership through an in-depth study of leadership in classical antiquity. “
“The value of classes provided through Sunoikisis is the collaborations,” said Tulley. “It allows small, private universities to have access to Harvard faculty for the online lecture portion, and faculty and students from Howard University, Tulane, Brandeis and Emory, among others, in the collaborative portion.”
UF students enrolled in the class will participate in group discussions, contribute to online forums and join in weekly online common sessions with all of the students and faculty. Some activities will include developing critical tools and terminology for analyzing leaders, reflection and introspection as well as dramatized problem-solving scenarios.
The Classics at UF
This isn’t the first time that Tulley has taught classes through Sunoikisis, although it is the first undergraduate offering. Also the chair of UF’s Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing (MARW) program, she has taught graduate courses on the Odyssey, and the plays of Euripides. She’ll offer a class on Herodotus in Spring 2017.
“This is the first time that Sunoikisis has partnered with a rhetoric program,” Tulley added. Since the ancient leadership class is not part of UF’s general education core, she expects most of her students to be English majors, or majors in Law and the Liberal Arts. Others could take the class as a humanities elective.
It’s not just coincidence that Leadership in the Ancient World is being offered during a presidential election year. Although she’ll present the class from a non-partisan viewpoint, she feels there are definite parallels between leaders long past and those in today’s political arena. Each participating college is responsible for a portion of the course, and Tulley will focus on Cicero and the Cataline conspiracy. Her students will assist in planning and teaching the module as well.
Students not enrolled in any of the participating universities can take the course through the tutorial program at a cost of $150 for the 12-week course. For more information, visit the Sunoikisis (link) website.
A Resurgence of Rhetoric?
Entering its third year, the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing program has 33 students enrolled this fall. This is impressive, considering the optimistic prediction for this semester was 25 students. Tulley attributes this to the fact that the degree is very versatile where the job market is concerned. She has also used very targeted recruiting efforts.
“I visit private Ohio colleges in person,” stated Tulley. “I’ve found that these students want to attend a smaller school for their graduate programs and they definitely want face-to-face classes. Our MARW program meets both of these needs.” Tulley added that the program’s first class of graduates has had great placement rates in doctoral programs. Some recent graduates are teaching at UF and other area universities. Public high school instructors are also registering for the program in order to teach College Credit Plus classes at their schools.
“We’re one of the few schools in Ohio to offer this degree and our graduates are very marketable. I never doubted that the program would be popular,” Tulley said.