HCCW: Comparative Approaches to Work in Greco-Roman Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Andomache Karanika
UC Irvine

This historically-focused seminar, led by Andromache Karanika, UC Irvine, introduced students to the changing conceptions of labor and work from different genres of texts that stretched from the archaic to classical Greece to Roman times and finally to the early Middle Ages. As part of the Tri-Campus Graduate Program, this course included students from Classics, English, Comparative Literature, and Visual Studies at UC Irvine and in History from UC Riverside. As a culminating event of the seminar, students co-organized a graduate student conference and a symposium entitled “Reflections on Work and Labor in Ancient Greece” that included student-moderated faculty paper presentations by Page duBois (UCSD), Anthony Edwards (UCSD), Laura McClure (UW Madison), and others. Students reflected on the experience of organizing and running this symposium as a “unique experience of professionalization.” In this way, the theoretical work they did as students in the graduate seminar was complemented by a practical exercise in academic professionalization. Seminar students were also regular contributors to the UC Humanities Forum, where they reflected on reading and topics from the seminar as well as their research foci.