Teaching Leaders and Leadership Through Classics

A Virtual Conference | May 8-22 2017

A Virtual Conference | May 8-22 2017

Teaching Leaders and Leadership Through Classics

This conference explores how the study of classical antiquity has been, can be, and should be used as a platform for leadership education in the 21st century.  The primary texts and artifacts we study are often about, for, or by the leaders of their times; they then were, and still are, received, adapted, and used by people of later eras in developing new leaders. Our discipline’s emphasis on textual and visual analysis, narrative, and cultural history aids students in developing the skills of empathy, contextual intelligence, and critical thinking that are the most essential for the success of leaders in any field. As universities place greater and greater emphasis on their mission to develop students as future leaders, the field of Classics can become central to the study of leadership and the education of leaders.

One goal of this conference, therefore, is to be a resource for Classics instructors who would like to include leadership development in their future teaching. Another aim, however, is to lead the field of Classics in adopting the nearly-carbon neutral (NCN) conference model, pioneered by the Environmental Humanities Institute at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Like the Sunoikisis Ancient Leadership course, which helped to inspire this conference, we wanted this conference to be a digital, virtual, open access event. We have chosen to use a virtual format for several reasons: lower costs for participants and organizers; reduced environmental impact; greater accessibility to a global audience, especially those who cannot normally attend a physical conference on account of limited mobility or limited resources; more open dissemination of ideas; and more opportunity for thoughtful, productive discussion. Already, the diversity of speakers who are participating demonstrates the benefits of this model: meet them here. We hope that the success of this conference will inspire others in Classics and the humanities generally to host future events that work to make academic research presentations more inclusive, diverse, and accessible, without sacrificing intellectual rigor or pleasure.

The fourteen pre-recorded talks that make up this conference are divided into panels of 3-5 presentations, organized around these four questions:

  1. What are the most effective ways to teach leadership and leaders in a physical classroom or online space?
  2. How can Classics be used to teach leaders outside of the classroom, in arenas such as business and politics?
  3. What can we do to get the most out of the study (and therefore the teaching) of ancient leadership?
  4. What are the best (and worst) ways to draw parallels between ancient and modern leaders?

In addition to the pre-recorded talks, each panel will have an interactive Q&A forum, open only to registered conference participants, where they can connect with each other and delve deeper into the issues raised by the talks. The Q&A forums are open and live May 8-22, 2017, and, along with the talks and other supplementary materials, will be archived for future site visitors after the conference has closed.

To register as a conference participant, click here. Registration is completely free, and grants two benefits: first, you can comment on any of the conference’s Q&A forums; second, you will have access to a directory of all conference participants, allowing you to connect and collaborate beyond the conference website.


What is ancient leadership?

Dr. Norman Sandridge discusses leadership in the ancient world