ALEXIS M CHRISTENSEN

Curriculum Vitae Biosketch

ALEXIS M CHRISTENSEN portrait
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, World Languages and Cultures
  • Assistant Professor (Lecturer), World Languages and Cultures

Teaching

Current Courses

Fall 2017

  • CL CV 156-001 The Greeks
  • CL CV 1560-001 The Greeks
    Location: BU C 105 (Bus Classroom Bldg)
  • GREEK 101-001 Beg Class Greek I
  • GREEK 1010-001 Beg Class Greek I (Student Feedback)
    Location: BU C 302 (Bus Classroom Bldg)
  • LATIN 3610-001 Third Year Prose
    Location: BU C 206 (Bus Classroom Bldg)
  • LATIN 4610-001 Fourth Year Prose

Spring 2017

Courses I Teach

  • CL CV 1550 - Classical Mythology.
    This course is designed to introduce you to some of the major myths from the Graeco-Roman tradition and the theories that have been developed to study them. Our focus will be on the relationship between gods and men, in particular how and why was man created? How does man view and propitiate his gods? How and why do the gods reward and punish man? Throughout the course we will discuss various theoretical approaches to myth and determine which of them, if any, provide a means of understanding the larger questions of mythology such as: What are myths? Why do people create them? Are myths still a force in our lives today? How do we adopt and adapt Graeco-Roman myths? This will require you to think critically, which involves the ability to analyze texts and other kinds of aesthetic objects with an eye to their multi-level complexity. Course time will be devoted to lecture and discussion of assigned materials.
  • CL CV 1570 - The Romans.
    [Spring 2015 Iteration] This course has two main objectives: to gain 1) a basic appreciation of and knowledge about the ancient Roman from the founding of Rome, ca. 753 BCE to the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century CE, including their art, literature, religion, and socio-political history; 2) a better understanding of how to go about interpreting ancient civilization and history. This requires you to think critically, which involves the ability to analyze texts or other kinds of aesthetic objects with an eye to their multi-level complexity. We shall discuss many aspects of Roman society (political, religious, social, economic, military, artistic), and refer to many different sources of evidence in the disciplines of philology, archaeology and history. Philology is the study of ancient texts, the Greek and Latin writings that still survive. Archaeology studies the physical and material remains from a culture. History attempts to discover what actually happened and analyze why, based on the combined sources of literary and archaeological evidence.
  • CL CV 2770 - Ancient Greece & Rome in the Cinema.
    [Fall 2013 Iteration] In this course we will examine realities, representations and receptions of ancient Graeco-Roman culture through the medium of film. We will consider how and why filmmakers appropriate classical themes, histories and myths, and how they transform and adapt the ancient world to comment not only on antiquity, but also on our own contemporary society. Through the successful completion of this course, you should have acquired: 1) a basic knowledge of film analysis; 4) the ability to “read” a film; 3) familiarity with different aspects of Graeco-Roman culture; 4) an understanding of the ways in which another culture can be appropriated to comment on one’s own culture.
  • CL CV 2780 - Graeco-Roman Sport as Religion and Culture.
    This course is designed to introduce you to the events and audiences of ancient Greek and Roman sports from ca. 900 B.C.E. to 400 C.E. We will examine such competitions as the Olympic games, gladiatorial combats, and chariot racing, as well as the concepts of athleticism and the role of religion and politics in ancient sports. In order to answer these questions you will need to think critically, which involves the ability to analyze texts and other kinds of aesthetic objects with an eye to their multi-level complexity, and be able to present your knowledge and ideas in a coherent and concise fashion through in-class discussion, examinations, oral presentations, and written assignments. We shall discuss many aspects of ancient sport as it relates to society (political, religious, social, economic, military, artistic), and refer to many different sources of evidence in the disciplines of philology, archaeology and history.
  • CL CV 2790 - Ancient Epic.
    [Fall 2014 Iteration] Epic is one of the world’s earliest and most enduring narrative forms, appearing as early as the 3rd millennium B.C.E. From Homer and Hesiod to Halo and The Hunger Games, these epic narratives explore the nature of humanity, asking questions such as: What does it mean to be mortal? How does one function within society? Why is individual identity so important? Ancient epic poetry and its modern counterparts, (novels, film, video games), address these questions through the evolving media of word and image. Fundamental epic themes are adapted again and again to fit new cultural concerns and anxieties. By exploring epic “texts,” (i.e. things that can be read; including not only literature, but also visual narratives such as those found in Greek vase painting and video games), we will try to answer these questions and to determine how epic works as a reflection of and challenge to society and its individuals.
  • CL CV 3570 - Women in Ancient Greece & Rome.
    [Spring 2014 Iteration] In this course we shall explore the lives and representations of women in ancient Greece and Rome. We shall examine cultural constructions of gender and sexuality from the collapse of the Bronze Age Period of Greek (ca. 1200 B.C.E.) to rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire (ca. 350 C.E.). We shall address issues of daily life, legal status, religious roles, and representation in visual and literary sources. We shall discuss many aspects of ancient Greek and Roman societies (political, religious, social, economic, military, artistic), and refer to many different sources of evidence in the disciplines of philology, archaeology and history.
  • CL CV 4580 - Trojan Wars - Special Topics.
    [Spring 2013] In this course we shall examine the topic of the Trojan War by looking at the literary and material record for the mythical and "real" Trojan War and its reception in later Graeco-Roman, Medieval/Renaissance and modern sources. While we shall look at Homer, we will also examine the early Greek artistic representations and the archaeological evidence from Hissarlik. We will explore later Greek responses and reactions to Homer's Trojan War legacy such as The Battle of the Frogs and Mice, Euripides' Helen, Book 1 of Herodotus' Histories, and Persian War propaganda such as the sculptural program of the Parthenon metopes. On the Roman side we will look at Vergil and Ovid's treatment of the war. For more modern periods we shall touch on the Troilus and Cresida episode, look at the blockbuster Troy, Eric Shanower's graphic novel series Age of Bronze and Alice Oswald's new poem Memorial.
  • GREEK 1010 - Beginning Classical Greek I.
    This course is designed to introduce you to the Classical Greek language. Our main objective will be to gain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of Greek grammar, syntax and vocabulary by reading and translating sentences and passages adapted from, and inspired by, ancient Greek authors such as Xenophon and Herodotus. Ancient Greek texts form the basis of our western literary tradition and have provided us with some of the most profound, beautiful, and effective examples of literature documenting and examining the human condition. This course, combined with GREEK 1020, will provide you with the fundamental skills to read, analyze and comprehend the epics of Homer, the love poetry of Sappho, the histories of Herodotus, and the philosophy of Aristotle. Furthermore, we will also consider the influence of the ancient Greek language and its various literary forms on our own modern languages, especially the English language.
  • LATIN 1010 - Beginning Latin I .
    This course is designed to introduce you to the Latin language. Our main objective will be to gain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary by reading and translating sentences and passages adapted from, and inspired by, ancient Latin orators, historians, poets and playwrights. We will also consider the relationship between the Latin language and our own modern languages, particularly the English language.
  • LATIN 1020 - Beginning Latin II.
    This course is designed to continue your introduction to the classical Latin language. Our main objective will be to gain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary by reading and translating sentences and passages adapted from, and inspired by, ancient Roman authors such as Cicero, Caesar, and Catullus. Classical Latin texts form the basis of our western literary tradition and have provided us with some of the most profound, beautiful, and effective examples of literature documenting and examining the human condition. This course, preceded by LATIN 1010, will provide you with the fundamental skills to read, analyze, and comprehend the speeches of Cicero, the commentaries of Caesar, the love poetry of Catullus, and epics of Vergil. Furthermore, we will also consider the influence of classical Latin and its various literary forms on our own modern languages, especially the English language.
  • LATIN 2010 - Intermediate Latin I.
    [Fall 2015 Iteration] In this course we shall survey the texts composed by G. Julius Caesar and Augustus. You will be expected to read and translate approximately 10-20 lines of Latin for each class period. There also will be regular written assignments to be handed in and occasional reading assignments in English. In addition to standard Latin texts, we shall also consider Latin as it appears in inscriptions, graffiti, and on coins, providing us with an introduction to epigraphy and numismatics.
  • LATIN 3610 and LATIN 4610 - LATIN PROSE.
    [Fall 2014 Iteration] In this course we will examine the indiscretions of youth through the primary texts of M. Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.E.) and St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 C.E.). In the Pro Caelio, Cicero defends his young protégé M. Caelius Rufus against a variety of charges by arguing that he was misled by his youth and a notorious woman. In Book Two of his Confessions, Augustine recounts his own youthful follies, including the infamous pear incident.