CLAS 165 – Race: Antiquity and Its Legacy

In this course, students explored how the Greeks and Romans conceptualized their own notions of racial difference, and also considered how these concepts have influenced later historical periods, including our own. In doing so, students were able to identify the difference between the way ancient peoples and modern societies think about identity formation, and demonstrate how contemporary discussions of these topics have been shaped by our encounters with antiquity.

Note: this class was an ACE Theoretical course, meaning it focused on a theoretical exploration of civic engagement. At Carleton, Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) has long referred to an approach to education focused on community-based learning; these courses focus on issues of democracy, such as social justice and positionality, and forms of systemic oppression, and directly explore how students might engage in work towards social change. 

Final project: Public Poster Session in Anderson Atrium

One of the main objectives of an ACE course is to take class content and do something beyond the classroom. Students were therefore tasked with creating posters that engaged with scholarly debates and primary evidence in order to demonstrate their expertise to a non-expert public audience. The class posters were designed to speak to the broad issues raised in-class, but were also a change to explore a specific case-study NOT covered in class discussions.

“The Helot Problem” by Bee Candelaria and Jack Preisser
“What Role Did Government Policy Have in the Identity Formation of Women in Ancient Greece and Stalin’s Soviet Union?” by Jennifer Bricker and Annie Rogovin

“Colonialism, Empires, and the Solidification of an Artificial Identity Through Propaganda” by Semera Kimbel-Sannit and Xóchitl Bergthold

“Echoes of Antiquity: Greek Art and Modern Racial Narratives” by Linnea Williams and Lily Johnson

“Axes of Difference: Gender and Identity in Antiquity” by Tara Green and Jacob Sanders