66 If GSAG had a dinner party

by Lauren Ziment

This semester provided a completely new type of academic journey for me through academic inquiry practices like storytelling, counter-narratives, and creative reflection. Storytelling and counter-narratives allowed me to analyze the Iliad and the Odyssey in ways I had never before, shedding light on characters who lacked agency or had little plot in the stories. By exploring these characters through storytelling, I think I was able to explore these texts in a unique way, looking more into interpersonal relationships and gender dynamics that were at play. In my Pressbook contributions, counter storytelling gave me the creative space to reimagine the ancient texts and the narratives that we read about and allowed me to explore different mediums. In study-group and workshop discussions, counter storytelling offered a distinctive experience to work creatively with my peers and to be exposed to a wealth of creative ideas and analyses from everybody I worked with. In this way, I think our course was a unique shared experience. It provided an opportunity for many of us, myself included, to learn and implement creative methods of approaching our texts that we had never before known. Thinking creatively was a vulnerable experience, but I think that it was a testament to the type of academic community that we created in this course that new, creative ideas were welcomed as we all worked together to simultaneously develop these new skills. Our work over the semester thus tells a story about a group of students who developed new creative skills and worked together to creatively approach classical texts and apply them to our live experiences. The themes of this experience were collaboration, personal connection, and individuality. The theme of collaboration appeared in the work we all did together, actively listening to one another and cooperating to create new interpretations and analyses of our texts. The theme of personal connection appeared in our own moments of introspection, looking at our lived experiences and relating them to the texts, and our sharing of these moments with one another. This added a whole new level to the class, allowing us to connect what we were reading about and seeing in antiquity to our present day experiences. Finally, the theme of individuality appeared in our own experiences we shared with one another and how they informed our creative works. Many people in the class utilized different mediums to portray what they were seeing in the texts we were working with, with their own identity informing the means by which they chose to share their vision. I think if there is any medium that I could use to encapsulate our shared class experience, it would probably be our own “Dinner Party” piece, where everybody had their own plate and place setting. This piece would be able to creatively imagine our class and everything that each individual brought to the table (ha punny), having us all come together to make one dinner table setting. It would be like our own individuality is what contributed to the overall, beautiful whole.


Gender & Sexuality in Ancient Greece Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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