University hosts Jesuit education and classics conference

Goal of conference to explore whether or not teaching of classics still relevant | October 19, 2005

Classics teachers from Jesuit high schools, colleges and universities nationwide are visiting Xavier's campus Nov. 4-6 for the Jesuit Education and the Classics conference.

In The Future of Philosophy in Jesuit Higher Education, Ronald Anderson, S.J., notes that to “use the crisis language we philosophers sometimes draw on, philosophy may go the way of classics in Jesuit Higher Education, a discipline that flourished decades ago in curriculums, but now is very much on the margins."

The goal of this conference is to explore whether or not classics truly is “on the margins” and on its way out the door of Jesuit education, or whether it is an integral part of the Jesuit educational experience.

"We need to ask ourselves if this situation is specific to different schools," says Edmund Cueva, chair of the department of classics. "We also need to explore if classics in schools with an emphasis on liberal arts fare better than others and if we need to do a better job in explaining what classics is to the different administrations in our high schools, colleges, and universities."

Participants can attend discussions on such topics as classical language curriculum revision, Jesuit use of Roman theater and the Latin curriculum. Papers and research on the classics are also being presented.

This year’s John W. Rettig lecture is part of the conference. Gregory I. Carlson, S.J., from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley is speaking on the topic of "Dumb Bunnies and Wise Asses: Aesop and the Classical Tradition in the U.S.A." at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Conaton Board Room on the second floor of Schmidt Hall.