Nuts & Bolts

Click here to access the syllabus as a Google Doc.

Academic Conduct | Student Hours | Gender Expression and Identity | Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect | Content Warnings | Accessibility | External Resources | Mandated Reporter

Academic Conduct

You are expected to abide by Holy Cross’ Academic Integrity Policy, posted here. Cheating on quizzes or exams or plagiarism on any of the written assignments (defined here as but not limited to reproducing answers from an answer key, referring to forbidden notes to help answer questions, copying another student’s answers, or copying another writer’s ideas without proper citation or attribution) may result in penalties ranging from a failure on the specific assignment, quiz, or exam to failure for the entire course.

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Student Hours

Student hours are an opportunity for you to meet with me outside of class to discuss anything you’d like: questions about the readings, clarifications about lectures or assignments, even simply shooting the breeze. My office hours are times that I am sure to be in my office, unless you’re notified otherwise, so I highly encourage you to take advantage of them! I’m also happy to make appointments outside of my regular office hours if they conflict with your availability; simply shoot me an e-mail with what times and dates work for you.

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Gender Expression and Identity

I (Prof. Libatique) am a cisgender man and use he/him/his pronouns. Your first assignment will be to fill out a Google Form to let me know what your preferred name is, what pronouns you use, and what you hope to learn from this class. My goal is to avoid dead-naming, as your preferred name may not match the legal name on my class roster.

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Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Studying the ancient Roman world at Holy Cross is one way to challenge a centuries-long tradition that reserved the study of the ancient world for a privileged elite. As we learn about the multicultural world of the ancient Mediterranean through Greek and Roman literature and iconography, we should reflect on and actively explore how this study can help us recognize and respond to structures of power and privilege in our own lives. This work is especially important today, when historically false images of the ancient world are being invoked to support particular political viewpoints. Studying the Roman world helps us see through erroneous assertions about the “whiteness” or “heteronormativity” of the ancient Mediterranean, and reject claims that the Greco-Roman world is the special province of any ethnic, social, or political group.

The nature of the class’ topic (gender and sexuality in the ancient world) will often require us to have difficult conversations with conflicting viewpoints. Our classroom is designated as a space where respectful dialogue must be the norm: ad hominem attacks, unsubstantiated generalizations, and discriminatory remarks of any kind will not be tolerated. All students are welcome in this class and at Holy Cross, no matter how they identify their race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religious or spiritual tradition, or socioeconomic background. If there is disagreement, we will work with the ideas being discussed; no personal attacks will be allowed.

We will also engage in discussions about the practices and norms of cultures that in many respects differ from our own, practices that may perhaps strike modern sensibilities as objectionable or crude. One of the major themes with which we will engage this semester is how our understanding of what is acceptable or unacceptable is largely constructed by cultural context. We must engage with the evidence of ancient texts and material culture in terms of the cultures in which they were created, without making value judgments according to our modern sensibilities; or, at the very least, we must interrogate why and how we are making those value judgments.

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Content Warnings

At times this semester we will be discussing literature, material culture, and topics that may be disturbing, even traumatizing, to some students. Some topics that will come up often include rape, sexual violence, and modern notions of pedophilia. If you suspect that specific material is likely to be emotionally challenging for you, I’d be happy to discuss any concerns that you may have before the subject comes up in class either via e-mail or in person (in office hours or through an appointment). I will do my best to place content warnings on readings in the course schedule whose titles may not necessarily indicate the presence of traumatizing material.

If you ever wish to discuss your personal reactions to course material with the class or with me individually afterward, I welcome such discussions as an appropriate part of our course. If you ever feel the need to step outside during a class discussion, you may always do so without academic penalty, but you will be responsible for any missed material. If you leave the room for a significant amount of time, please make arrangements to get notes from another student or to see me individually to discuss the situation.

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Any student who feels the need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services to discuss support services available. Once the office receives documentation supporting the request for accommodation, the student would meet privately with Accessibility Services to discuss reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Contact information for the Office of Accessibility Services can be found here. The office can be also reached by calling 508-793-3693 or by visiting Hogan 215A.

If you are already registered with Accessibility Services, please be sure to get your accommodation letters and deliver them to me in a timely fashion. Instructors need 4-5 days advance notice to be able to facilitate the process of receiving testing accommodations.

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External Resources

In addition to my e-mail and student hours, there are resources outside myself and the Classics department, like Academic Services and Learning Resources and the Center for Writing that can help with assignments or your progress through the course in general. Please also note that our Classics librarian, Ms. Jennifer Whelan, MLIS, is a great resource for research, citations, and other needs that relate to your assignments. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

By the way, to test whether you’re reading the syllabus all the way through, please send me an e-mail with a photo of your favorite Greek or Roman monument in the e-mail body by 1pm on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, with the subject line “Achilles and Hector were ARCH-enemies.” If you do so, you will receive two (2) extra credit points on any quiz of your choice throughout the semester.

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Mandated Reporter

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as your professor. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, any information that you disclose that addresses sexual misconduct or relates to a prior suicide attempt or an intention to attempt suicide requires my sharing that information with those on campus who are able to provide you with necessary resources.

Following the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, I will share information about sexual misconduct with the College’s Office of Title IX Initiatives. If you would to talk to Title IX directly, they can be reached at 508-793-3336 or titleix [at] For more information, please visit this website. If you would like to discuss the matter confidentially, the following confidential resources are available to you: the Chaplains’ Office, 508-793-2448; Counseling Center, 508-793-3363; Health Services, 508-793-2276.

Following the College’s Suicide Protocol, if you disclose a prior suicide attempt or an intention or plan to attempt suicide, I will share that information with the Chair of our student CARE Team, who will engage in appropriate outreach.

Again, I want to stress that I would like to make our classroom and your assignments spaces where you can share your personal experiences and speak your minds, but please keep these disclosures in mind on assignments like personal reflection responses.

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