Undergraduate Research

Classical scholarship has a tradition that stretches back over two millennia, and it continues to thrive today, especially with the advent of new technology and increased access to resources. Undergraduates in the Department of Classics and Letters have many opportunities to join the ongoing effort of research in the humanities.

Detail of MSDr. Samuel Huskey is leading five Honors students in an experimental project. Instead of just reading Latin out of a textbook, these students are learning how to read a medieval manuscript of a work of Classical Latin literature. This is introducing them to a much broader range of philological research than they would experience in a typical undergraduate class. They're learning about palaeography, codicology, and textual criticism. They are also producing the first annotated English translation of the work, a geographical dictionary by Vibius Sequester. Finally, to introduce them to the burgeoning field of Digital Humanities, they are encoding their transcription of the manuscript in TEI-conformant XML. Any other students who would like to be involved in this project should contact Dr. Huskey (huskey@ou.edu).

The Honors College offers advanced students the chance to work closely with a faculty member through Honors Reading and Honors Research. Through this program, students develop reading lists and research projects in consultation with a professor. Projects in the Department of Classics and Letters over the past few years include:

  • Molly Miller, “The Problem of Genre and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria” (Spring 2011)
  • Dylan Erwin, “Persona vs. Vita: Authorship, Identity, and Purpose in the Ovidian Corpus” (Spring 2011)
  • Michael Du Pont, “The Effects of a Creed on Freedom and Order” (Fall 2009)
  • Rachel Dowell, “A reading of Ovid’s Ibis” (Fall 2008)
  • Kelly R. Taylor, “The Sources on Amyntas IV and Amyntas Antiochou of Macedon” (Fall 2008)
  • Bethany Burklund, “A Survey of Pedagogical Methods for Latin” (Spring 2007)
  • Scott Wise, “Latin Textual Criticism and the New Lucan MS” (Spring 2007)
  • Alex Ward, “An Analysis of the Prose Style of Julius Caesar’s Bellum Civile” (Spring 2007)
  • Shane Morgan, “A Translation and Commentary on the Life of Elagabalus” (Spring 2006)
  • Sharada Price, “Religion in Roman Britain” (Fall 2003)
  • Mary Veith, “Jews and Judaism in Ancient Alexandria” (Spring 2003)

Current students are working on a wide variety of projects, including the depiction of horses in Homer's Iliad and a reading of Ovid's amatory works as satire. Honors students interested in working on a project should speak with professors in the department about how to begin.

For more information on undergraduate research in general at OU, check out the university's page on the subject.