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Bloomfield College Professor to Participate in Seminar on Ancient Greece

Dr. Fiona Harris-Ramsby, Holley Lecture

By Alicia Cook

Bloomfield College is pleased to announce that Dr. Fiona Harris Ramsby, Assistant Professor of Humanities and English at the College, is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Center for Hellenic Studies to participate in an Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom seminar, “The Verbal Art of Plato.”

CIC and the Center for Hellenic Studies recently selected 21 faculty members out of 51 highly competitive nominations to participate in the seminar, which will take place July 24–30, 2017, at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, DC. Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Kenneth Scott Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies at Rhodes College, will lead the seminar. The program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar series addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts that a generation ago were read and understood by every college graduate,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “We believe that Dr. Harris Ramsby will contribute to the seminar in meaningful ways and learn much that will energize teaching when she returns home.”

“I am so excited to learn more about the Platonic Socrates and rhetoric, which will, I hope, inform my work on Socrates's contemporary, the comic playwright Aristophanes,” expressed Dr. Harris Ramsby. “Reading the dialogues with so many recognized scholars is going to be such a boost for my book project. I plan to glean every bit of information I can from them. I'm very excited!”

Designed primarily for non-specialists, the seminar will explore Plato’s dialogues in which he “stages” encounters between Socrates, his mentor, and some of the most celebrated intellectuals in the second half of the fifth century BCE. The language of these conversations reflects Plato’s keen ear for the complex traditions of verbal art.

For more than ten years, CIC has collaborated with the Center for Hellenic Studies to provide seminars on teaching the classics for small and mid-sized independent colleges that have a limited number of faculty members or courses in the classics. The seminar is ideal for faculty members who have been trained in other disciplines and who seek opportunities to explore major classical texts and learn new ways to teach these texts to undergraduates.

For more information, visit the CIC website at