Students Illuminate Vergil’s Poetry in Podcasts

As part of College’s iPad program, classics course reaches out to general audience
May 12th, 2014 by 


Students in Vergil’s “Eclogues” and “Georgics” course, taught by assistant professor of classics Aaron Seider, have created podcasts about Vergil’s poetry. Students in the class are, clockwise from top right, Ciera Martinez ’15, Michael Lazar ’14, Chris Ryan ’16, Alex Simrell ’16, Nicholas Jalbert ’16, Brooke Tranten ’17, Kira Niederhoffer ’15 and Charlie Schufreider ’17.

Aaron Seider, assistant professor of classics at Holy Cross, found a new way to engage students in ancient stories.

As part of his spring semester course, Vergil’s “Eclogues” and “Georgics,” eight students created 15 minute podcasts about the poetry by Vergil, the most famous and influential author of ancient Rome.

Each podcast recording of about 15 minutes centers on a 15-20 line passage from Vergil. Aimed at a general audience, the students introduce each passage, give its relevant historical, cultural and literary context, read the Latin and their English translation, and offer their own analysis of the passage.

“The idea is that they put the same scholarly research and thought into this podcast as they would for a term paper, but that the end result of this work is a treatment of the passage that should bring across their own interests and analysis to a general audience.”

Each of the students in the course was provided with iPads as part of the College’s iPad pilot program. Seider learned more about using the iPad in training last summer, and then developed the specific assignments with help from the Center for Teaching and his colleagues in the classics department. He says he wanted his students to be able to discuss their ideas and communicate their excitement for the work to a larger and more diverse audience.

“I think it’s great when we can have discussions in class about a certain technical aspect of a poem or about an argument another scholar has made, but I think it’s just as vital, maybe even more so, that our students can talk about what they study and why it’s important to them to a general audience.

“With so much of our culture’s focus on delivering information orally, I thought that the iPads offered a really excellent opportunity for my students to produce a podcast that communicates what they find remarkable in Vergil’s poetry and how that poetry challenges them in a more colloquial way with a wider audience, while still engaging with the scholarly work and thought that would typically go into a term paper.”

Students in the class seem to have relished the challenge.

Charles Schufreider ’17 was initially nervous about the project. A classics major in the health professions program, he chose a passage within Vergil’s “Georgics” that compares the life of a famer with those who live in the city of Rome.

“While the farmer is shown to live a virtuous life, the city-dwellers are painted as greedy, violent, and generally lacking in redemptive qualities,” he says. “Essentially, sentiments today about yearning for a more simple moral time have their roots as far back as Vergil who seems to yearn for the days when farmers ruled. By focusing on these broad and accessible themes, I felt I was able to make a deeper connection to the text. I very much enjoyed creating this podcast.”

Brooke Tranten ’17, a Catholic studies and history double major, describes the project as “intellectually enriching.”

“As opposed to just writing a research paper or an essay, I feel like I have really become an expert on my 20 lines of Vergil, because I have had to engage so closely with the source material,” she says.

Listen to some of the student podcasts on iTunes

Related Information

| More
Tags
Categories
Classics, News

Comments are closed.

01/20/17 English Professor to Premiere Off-Broadway Production
01/19/17 Political Perspective: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss Washington, D.C. March and Obama’s Presidency
01/18/17 Holy Cross’ Spring 2017 Seelos Film Series
01/13/17 Associate Dean Earns Recognition for Innovative Work in Student Wellbeing
See All
See All
Featured Videos

See video
Video: Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins ’63 Honored as Helmerich Distinguished Author, Reads Poetry on NPR

Watch Video >
See video
Video, Photo Gallery: Holy Cross Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross History Professor Featured in PBS Pearl Harbor Documentary

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Two-Time Heisman Candidate Gordie Lockbaum ’88 Featured by ESPN in ‘30 for 30 Short’

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross Students are ‘More Engaged’

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Take a Look at Campus Life After the Sun Sets

Watch Video >
See video
Photo Gallery, Video: Class of 2020 Receives A Holy Cross Welcome on Move-In Day

Watch Video >
See video
VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Talks Holy Cross in Web Exclusive

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Total Giving to Holy Cross Breaks Record With $46.7 Million Raised

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Spring Blooms on Holy Cross Campus

Watch Video >
More

Women's Forum Weekly Meeting
5/11/2017

See More >


MSO Advocate Program (Event canceled)
5/11/2017

See More >


AAC Luncheon
5/10/2017

See More >


Athletics
5/10/2017

See More >


Dean's Spring Address
5/9/2017

See More >


Dean's Address
5/9/2017

See More >


Summer Internship Send Off Meeting
5/9/2017

See More >


Summer Internship Send Off Meeting
5/8/2017

See More >


Cinco de Mayo
5/5/2017

See More >


Women's Forum Weekly Meeting
5/4/2017

See More >


Real Estate Club Meeting
5/4/2017
Edith Stein Hall 118C
Edith Stein Hall 118C: The main goal of the Real Estate Club will be to expose HC students to a broad... See More >


Summer Internship Send Off Meeting
5/4/2017

See More >


Dance Concert
5/3/2017
O'Kane Hall Fewick Theater
O'Kane Hall Fewick Theater: Our annual spring dance concert showcases vibrant work by the students in... See More >


Sexual Misconduct Policy Training
5/3/2017
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519: Open to Campus Community OnlySee More >


Athletics
5/3/2017

See More >


The Agency Club Meetings
5/2/2017
Edith Stein Hall 118B
Edith Stein Hall 118B: The purpose of The Agency is to educate students who are interested in learning... See More >


Sales Club Meeting (Event canceled)
5/2/2017

See More >


Finance Club Meeting
5/2/2017

See More >


HCEG Club Meeting
5/2/2017

See More >

More Holy Cross in the News

01/19/17

Political Perspective: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss Washington, D.C. March and Obama’s Presidency

Telegram & Gazette

On the eve of the transfer of presidential power, Selina Gallo-Cruz, assistant professor of sociology, discusses the motivation behind Saturday’s March in Washington. And...

01/04/17

Holy Cross Young Alum Named Worcester Magazine’s “Person of the Year”

Worcester Magazine

Worcester Magazine has named Che Anderson ’11, project manager for the city of Worcester, as its “Person of the Year.” Anderson, who has immersed himself in Worcester...

12/22/16

Video: Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins ’63 Honored as Helmerich Distinguished Author, Reads Poetry on NPR

NPR, Tulsa World

The Tulsa Library Trust presented Billy Collins ’63, former U.S. Poet Laureate, with the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Dec. 2 in recognition of...