CLCV UN3005 RACE AND ETHNICITY IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD. 3 points.
This course provides an introduction to ancient attitudes towards race and ethnicity. Students will be challenged to consider how categories of race and ethnicity are presented in the literature and artistic works of Greece and Rome, and how ancient thinking remains current and influential today. We will consider texts from antiquity including epic, history, medical texts, ethnographies, dramas, and novels, as well as material evidence intended to represent ‘foreignness’. Our case studies pay particular attention to concepts including notions of racial formation and racial origins, ancient theories of ethnic superiority, and linguistic, religious and cultural differentiation as a basis for ethnic differentiation. We will also examine ancient racism through the prism of a variety of social processes in antiquity, such as slavery, trade and colonization, migrations, imperialism, assimilation, native revolts, and genocide. By the end of the course, students will have gained a richer understanding of the intellectual and cultural history of the ancient world, and will be able to engage in discussions of identity construction in a comparative manner.