Creative Projects

Creative Projects: General Guidelines

Write a Poem | Artistic Rendering | Eidolon Pitch | Selfie and Object Analysis | Podcast Lesson | Video Lesson | Create a Spotify Playlist | Livetweet a Reading | Complete Sappho Fragments | Meme or Tiktok


Creative Project 1: Write a Poem.

Review this set of four poems from Greek and Latin poets on themes of love, sex, and gender. Your goal in this creative project is to choose one author and write a poem of 30-40 lines about gender or sexuality in their style, capturing their essence by using similar diction, poetic structure, and themes; also, write a short (4-5 sentence) blurb on your process – how did you go about capturing the author’s essence? The poem’s meter is of your own choosing (even free verse!). The topic of the poem can be personal, drawn from your own life, or more generalized — you can create your own persona! You may also choose a poem or a selection of verse from another work or author that we’ve considered throughout the semester, but I recommend that you run your choice by me first before attempting your own poem.

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. The poem must be 30-40 lines long.
  2. Your blurb describing the process must be 4-5 sentences long.
  3. Your poem must have a title.
  4. Your poem must adequately capture your chosen poet’s diction and style.
  5. Submit the poem and blurb in one file via the Upload Portal.

The grading rubric for this creative project can be found here.

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Creative Project 2: Artistic Rendering.

Illustrate a scene or object from any of the works we read this semester, and write a 4-5 sentence paragraph describing it, as if it were on display in a museum and the paragraph is its blurb on the wall next to it. Any medium (electronic or physical: paint, pencil, sculpture, etc.) is acceptable. Some suggestions include Achilles’ lament over Patroclus in Homer’s Iliad or the exposure of Lysidamus’ foolishness after the ‘wedding’ in Plautus’ Casina. I will be looking to see how (and how creatively) you render details of the text into a visual form, rather than evaluating how good of an artist you are.

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. The illustration must be of a scene assigned in readings for the course in the course schedule or textbook or from another reading approved beforehand by me. Contact me if you’d like to illustrate something that is not on the course schedule.
  2. The illustration must have a title.
  3. The paragraph describing your illustration must be 4-5 sentences long.
  4. It must be clear what scene and what details from your chosen textual account you decided to depict in your artistic rendering.
  5. Submit the illustration and paragraph to me via e-mail, or, in the case of physical media, submit both physically to me either in class or in my office (Fenwick 426).

The grading rubric for this creative project can be found here.

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Creative Project 3: Eidolon Pitch.

You’ll notice that many of the articles that I chose for your response essays are drawn from the online Classics publication Eidolon, whose mission is to publish articles by any level of Classics student or teacher (from high school to graduate-level) that explore topics in Classics in various ways: personal and emotional responses to ancient literature and art; the relationship of modern art, music, and literature to ancient Greek and Roman precedents; and so on.

The goal of this creative project is to draft a pitch for an Eidolon article that deals with one of the themes of ancient gender and sexuality that we’re investigating this semester. The topic can be as broad or as specific as you’d like.

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. You must have a witty title. Use existing Eidolon article titles as inspiration!
  2. The content of the pitch must answer the following questions:
    1. What is the topic that you’d like to write about?
    2. What are at least two examples of primary or secondary sources that you would use in writing about it?
    3. Who is the intended audience for your Eidolon piece? The general public? Other college students? People who are knowledgeable about the Roman world? People who know nothing about the Roman world?
  3. The pitch’s length should be about 2-3 pp. double spaced.
  4. Submit the pitch via the Upload Portal.

The grading rubric for this creative project can be found here.

Resources:

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Creative Project 4: Selfie and Object Analysis.

This creative project challenges you to choose an object in the Greek or Roman rooms at the Worcester Art Museum and relate it to the themes of ancient gender and sexuality that we are discussing in the course. You get free admission to the WAM with your Holy Cross ID. If you would like to complete an object analysis for an ancient Greek or Roman artifact from another museum (e.g., the Museum of Fine Art in Boston or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), that works too! Simply let me know that you’d like to visit one of those institutions, and I can help you locate an appropriate object.

Check out my Tweet thread on the possible objects for analysis. The tweets in the thread contain pictures with the objects in question:

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. Visit the WAM, and locate one of the following objects:
    • body of Venus (in the Roman room – enter on Salisbury St., come to face the Worcester Hunt mosaic, room is in the back left)
    • Portrait of a Roman Matron (also in the Roman room)
    • Funerary Monument of a Greek Warrior (directly left of the Worcester Hunt mosaic when facing away from the Salisbury St. entrance/exit)
    • Small Container (Pyxis) with Lid (in the Greek room; from the Salisbury St. entrance, face the Worcester Hunt mosaic; take the steps up directly across the mosaic and pass the Egypt room until you find the Greek room on the right. The pyxis is in a glass case to the left from the entrance.)
  2. Choose an object in that room and take a selfie with it.
  3. Take a selfie with your located object.
    1. What is your object?
    2. Describe the physical characteristics of your object. If it is a statue of a human figure, what are they wearing? What is their body position? If the gravestone, what elements are visible besides the body? If the pyxis, what is or who are depicted on each part of it?
    3. When was it made? (Century of creation is fine if there is no more specific information available than that.)
    4. What material is it made out of?
    5. Where was it originally displayed?
    6. Which themes of ancient gender and sexuality does the object tie into? How?
  4. You can use the blurb next to / under each object to help you answer the first few questions. If you can’t find an answer, that’s fine – just make sure to say so.
  5. The answers may be formatted either in paragraph/essay form or in bullet points — whatever format enables you to make your points most clearly yet concisely.
  6. There is no page minimum or maximum, though a general guideline of about 2-3pp. double spaced is good to aim for.
  7. Include the selfie in your write-up, and submit the one file via the Upload Portal.

The grading rubric for this creative project can be found here.

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Creative Project 5: Podcast Lesson.

The goal of this creative project is to create a podcast in which you talk about a topic that relates to ancient Greek or Roman gender or sexuality. The topic can be as specific (e.g., what is the evidence for a romantic relationship between Achilles and Patroclus?) or general (e.g., who were cinaedi?) as you want to make it. The challenge of this creative project is articulating important details about your topic with only audio: your voice, sound clips, music, etc.

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. The content of the podcast must focus on explaining a topic that relates to ancient Greek or Roman gender or sexuality. Imagine an audience that knows nothing about but wants to learn about your chosen topic.
  2. The topic may be drawn from any topic discussed or mentioned in a primary source, Ormand, in a secondary reading, or in class.
  3. In the podcast, you must write and use your own script — you cannot, e.g., simply read passages from Ormand or secondary authors aloud unless you are quoting a specific section.
  4. If you quote or paraphrase a source, you must explicitly mention the name of the author or the source that you used in the podcast script.
  5. The podcast should be accompanied by a bibliography of sources, even if you use only our textbook (Ormand).
  6. The length of the podcast must be between 4 to 6 minutes.
  7. The format of the podcast should be electronic, in an .mp3 or .aiff format.
  8. The podcast should be uploaded to an external site, like Soundcloud, and accessible via a public link.
  9. Submit the electronic file and public link to me via e-mail.

Resources and Tips:

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Creative Project 6: Video Lesson.

This creative project prompts you to choose a topic relating to ancient gender or sexuality to discuss on video. Like the podcast (Creative Project 5), the topic may be as specific (e.g., what kind of musical instruments would Sappho perform on?) or broad (e.g., here are some examples of how women are depicted in Greek pottery) as you’d like. Unlike the podcast option, however, the challenge with a video lesson becomes using whatever visual media you can to get your point or your lesson across: pictures, gifs, videos, music, etc.

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. The content of the video must focus on explaining a topic that relates to ancient Greek or Roman gender or sexuality. Imagine an audience that knows nothing about but wants to learn about your chosen topic.
  2. The topic may be drawn from any topic discussed or mentioned in a primary source, Ormand, in a secondary reading, or in class.
  3. For the video, you must write and use your own script — you cannot, e.g., simply read passages written by Ormand or secondary source authors aloud unless you are quoting a specific section.
  4. Any pictures, gifs, videos, or other media that you use in your video but that you did not create yourself must be properly sourced — a list of hyperlinks handed in separately would suffice.
  5. You should include in the source list from #4 a bibliography of textual sources that you consulted, even if you use only our textbook (Ormand).
  6. The length of the video must be between 4 to 6 minutes.
  7. The format of the video should be electronic (for example, in .mov or .wmv format).
  8. The video should be uploaded to an external site, like Youtube, and accessible via a public link.
  9. Submit the public link to me via e-mail.

Resources and Tips:

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Creative Project 7: Create a Spotify Playlist.

This creative project asks you to use the medium of modern music to elucidate the themes that we’re learning about this semester. You are to choose an author, a literary work, or an event that you’ve learned about this semester and create a 4-6 song playlist of songs that capture the themes of that author, work, or event. Then, write a 2-sentence explanation for each song that expresses why you chose that song and how it relates to the author, work, or event.

For example, if I chose to build a playlist based on the idea of the Greek symposium, I might begin my playlist with “Blame It (feat. T-Pain)” by Jamie Foxx, and then I would choose 3-5 more songs that capture the feeling or events of the symposium.

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. You must submit a document that clearly states the author, work, or event that you are basing a playlist on.
  2. The document must include the title and artist of each song on your playlist.
  3. Each title and artist must be accompanied by the 2-sentence (or so) explanation of why you chose that song and how it relates to the author, work, or event.
  4. (If you don’t already have a Spotify account, go to Spotify.com and sign up for one – it’s free!)
  5. Create a playlist in Spotify and give it a witty title. In the description, include our course number (CLAS 102), name (Women and Men in Roman Literature and Society), and the author, work, or event that you’re basing this playlist on.
  6. Add your 4-6 songs to the playlist.
  7. Get a link for the playlist by clicking on the circle with three dots next to the big green “Play” button towards the top of the playlist window > hovering over “Share” > clicking on “Copy Playlist Link.”
  8. Paste the link into your document.
  9. Submit the file via the Upload Portal.

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Creative Project 8: Livetweet a Reading.

This creative project challenges you to concisely summarize and react to any of the readings in the [Response Readings and Podcasts list] via a livetweet thread on Twitter. Twitter’s 280-character tweet limits and threading capabilities allow you to react to a reading, podcast, etc., in real time while exercising your capacities for brevity and comprehension.

Please note that the article, chapter, or podcast that you livetweet must NOT be one that you wrote or will write a response to. Double dipping will result in an automatic grade of unsatisfactory for whichever is submitted second.

Check out an example of a livetweet reaction to a reading from Dr. Amy Pistone of Gonzaga University:

The criteria for a grade of satisfactory are as follows:

  1. The livetweet thread must offer the most important arguments or points of one of the assignments listed on the course schedule (any reading or podcast).
    • It may also include your reactions to those arguments or points and how they relate to your understanding of gender and sexuality.
  2. Your first tweet must include:
    • the bibliographic entry for the source that you are livetweeting (copy and paste from the course schedule)
    • the hashtag #CLAS102
  3. Your livetweets must be threaded together. For instructions on how to thread properly, click here.
  4. Your livetweet thread must be 8-12 tweets long.
  5. You must include at least two important quotes from the reading or podcast in your tweet thread.
    • These two quotes cannot take up more than 2 of your 8-12 tweets.
  6. Post the Twitter thread, get a link for the first tweet of the thread, and then e-mail me the link.

The grading rubric for this creative project can be found here.

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Creative Project 9: Complete the Fragments of Sappho.

This creative project concerns the Archaic female poet Sappho, whose poetry remains for us only in fragments. Take a look at this set of four of Sappho’s fragments. Your goal is to fill in the lacunae (or missing gaps) based on the themes of Sappho’s more complete fragments.

For example, if faced with a fragment like this (Sappho 29C):

] robes
] necklaces
]

I might fill it out like this:

She comes adorned in red] robes
Which trail behind; her] necklaces
Glitter like gold on her chest.]

A grade of satisfactory will be granted for creative and grammatically-sound completions of the fragments and for adherence to each of the instructions outlined in the document linked above.

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Creative Project 10: Meme or Tiktok Creation

TBD