Leadership in the Ancient World
Sunoikisis is a national consortium of Classics programs established in 1999 and formed to foster new collaborative and interdisciplinary paradigms of learning in the liberal arts for the 21st century. One of their current projects, Beyond the Boundaries of Fantasia: An ancient imagining of the future of leadership, is a course on leadership in the ancient world developed in Scalar.
Using the Scalar project as their central text, the course was taught concurrently at seven separate institutions: Howard University, Brandeis University, Tulane University, University of Texas-San Antonio, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Emory University, and the University of Findlay. Weekly sessions on Google Hangouts brought students from all institutions together. They were also free to the public.
The aim of the course is to highlight and learn from modes of leadership in the ancient world by drawing on writing, philosophy, material culture, and historical documents from the period. The course contains fifteen separate modules, each with a broad introduction to its topic; ancient readings and images accompanied by guiding questions and expert commentary; seven hours of independent study activity; suggested group activities; ‘deeper cuts’ into ancient readings and contemporary scholarship; as well as reflection prompts designed to bridge the study of ancient leadership with one’s experience of leadership today.
The syllabus itself resulted from months of collaboration among Classicists from over a dozen institutions, but led by Joel Christensen (Brandeis University), John Esposito (UNC-Chapel Hill), Mallory Monaco Caterine (Tulane University), and Norman Sandridge (Howard University).