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2021 Q4 December First Friday Lecture | Basic Program Online
"Why So Many Ancient Greeks? Politics, Virtue, and Liberal Education in the Basic Program Curriculum"

Kendall Sharp, Instructor and Cyril O. Houle Chair of the Basic Program, University of Chicago

Why are there so many ancient Greeks in the curriculum? Come hear the Chair of the program, Kendall Sharp, argue that the Greeks are only as timeless as they are timely. They’re not for everyone. They are really only for students who live, or want to live, in a society of self-governing citizens. We cannot appreciate what is great about the ancient Greek texts in the curriculum, which comprise about half of the whole, unless we disentangle them from the very much later phenomenon of Western civilization. Once disentangled from the West, and restored to their historical context, the Greek texts in the curriculum emerge as the basis for a specifically liberal education, that is, an education fit for a free citizen in a free society.

Lecturer bio: Kendall Sharp is the Cyril O. Houle Chair of the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults. He holds a PhD from the Committee on Social Thought and a BA from the College at the University of Chicago. Formerly, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Western Ontario, and has taught also at DePaul University (History), the University of Illinois-Chicago (Classics), and in the College (Humanities). He rejoined the Basic Program in 2019, having last served on staff in 1999-2000. His research and publishing focus on Plato’s dialogues as literary expressions of the philosophical life, and on the vitality of classical texts for contemporary political life. His teaching has included Greek and Latin languages, classics in translation (literature, philosophy, history), and both classical mythology and ancient Greek science.

Dec 3, 2021 12:15 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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