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Colby-Sawyer College Professor Paul Robertson Chosen to Participate in Selective Seminar on Ancient Greece

Colby-Sawyer College, a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation, is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor of Humanities Paul Robertson, Ph.D., is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Center for Hellenic Studies to participate in an Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom seminar on “Song Culture of Athenian Drama.”

CIC and the Center for Hellenic Studies selected 19 faculty members to participate in “Song Culture of Athenian Drama,” which will take place July 20–26, 2015, at the Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, D.C. Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Kenneth Scott Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies at Rhodes College, will lead the seminar. The seminar is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar series addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts that a generation ago were read and understood by every college graduate,” said CIC President Richard Ekman.

“I have the utmost respect for Professor Robertson's teaching and his scholarship, and I know that he – and by extension his students and colleagues – will benefit greatly from his participation in this seminar,” said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Deborah A. Taylor, Ph.D. “He will, no doubt, deeply and immediately apply his learning to the courses he develops and teaches.”

Designed for non-specialists, the seminar will focus on the work of Euripides, a playwright from the fifth century BC. Participants will explore the performative aspects of his plays and the ways he drew upon, adapted and transformed a range of lyric traditions. Participants will also compare the choral song making of Euripides to the approaches of other contemporary composers of tragedy (and comedy) and situate it within the parallel forms of song making that survive from sixth century Lesbos and elsewhere.

Professor Robertson, a resident of Springfield, N.H., has taught at Colby-Sawyer College since 2012. He holds a B.A. in the interdisciplinary Classics/Religion major from Reed College and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Brown University. His current research explores the letters of the early apostle Paul, using inter-disciplinary theory and quantitative mapping to understand and relate ancient Mediterranean social practices and texts from the purportedly different cultures of Greece, Rome, Judaism, and early Christianity that in fact suggest pan-Mediterranean phenomena. His other interests include early Christian group formation, tracing the origins and developments of Western morality, defining religion, the role of religion in human evolution and cognition, the multi-disciplinary overlaps between the humanities and sciences, and philological projects in Byzantine paleography and early Syriac literature.

About Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. The College's faculty, staff and students strive for excellence in an engaged teaching and learning community that fosters students' academic, intellectual, and personal growth. With a strong emphasis on learning outcomes, including breadth and depth of knowledge, self-growth, creative and critical thinking, and effective communication, Colby-Sawyer prepares students to thrive post-graduation and make a positive impact upon a dynamic, diverse, and interdependent world.

Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the College's vibrant teaching and learning community at