Archive for Teaching Resources

Athens and Sparta (Pharos Surveys of Appropriations)

This page collects examples of articles on prominent white supremacist websites that invoke the ancient city states of Athens and Sparta in support of hateful politics. In connection with the recommendations and discussion questions on our “How to use Pharos in the Classroom” page, they are intended to spark discussion and further research about the ways that white supremacists use the prestige of Greco-Roman antiquity to legitimize their racist views, and about the historical and ongoing complicity in white supremacy of the discipline of Classics discipline of Classics in providing the basis for these beliefs through the promotion of an idealized and/or sanitized version of that past. We have provided links to PDFs of the articles extracted from the sites on which they appeared. Links to archived versions of these articles are available to instructors upon request at pharsoclassics@vassar.edu.

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Misogyny and Gender (Pharos Surveys of Appropriations)

This page collects examples of articles that illustrate how modern white supremacists and misogynists use Greco-Roman antiquity to justify their gender politics. In connection with the recommendations and discussion questions on our “How to use Pharos in the Classroom” page, they are intended to spark discussion and further research about the ways that ancient history is used to legitimize hateful beliefs, and about the historical and ongoing complicity of the discipline of Classics in providing the basis for these beliefs through the promotion of an idealized and/or sanitized version of that past. We have provided links to PDFs of the articles extracted from the sites on which they appeared. Links to archived versions of these articles are available to instructors upon request at pharsoclassics@vassar.edu.

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How to Use Pharos in the Classroom

It is essential that students of Greco-Roman Antiquity understand that Classics has deep connections with white supremacy if we are to avoid reproducing and strengthening this connection in our classrooms. Pharos’ documentations of contemporary white supremacist appropriations of ancient history, including our thematically organized curated collections, are one tool instructors can use to help students begin to recognize this connection and reflect on how they can disrupt it.

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Announcing Resources for Teachers on Pharos

by Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

The murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020 brought national attention to the Movement for Black Lives and its demand for justice for Black people in the United States. However, as most people of color already knew, Floyd’s murder was no isolated incident: 164 Black people were killed by police in the United States in the first eight months of 2020 alone. And police brutality without accountability is only one example of our white supremacist social order, which also perpetuates, for example, racial disparities in wealth and life-expectancy.

In a society so riven with anti-Black policies and structures, everyone has an obligation to resist. This obligation extends to our work as teachers of Classics. Writing in reaction to Floyd’s murder, Pria Jackson wrote in Eidolon that “White Classicists MUST resist and do the work. Every. Single. Day. To unlearn white supremacy in themselves, to unwrite the white supremacist narratives they discover, and to unteach the white supremacist ideologies they will invariably discover in students who approach Classics as a white history.” Her essay is a must-read for its articulation of the complicity of Classics and white supremacy, for its insistence on the fact that “white supremacy is already in your classroom,” and its diagnosis of the refusal of many white Classicists to acknowledge both. Read More→

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