The purpose of these discussions is for students to become better readers of Suetonian biography with the help of secondary literature, and to learn how to extrapolate pertinent information from the secondary literature itself.
On the day of a discussion, everyone will come to class having read the article in question. Students will then spend about 20 minutes interrogating the article together. Suggested questions:
- What does the article tell you about Suetonius that you already know?
- What new things did you learn about S. that you have seen in his biographies?
- How will the article guide your reading in the future?
Students should be intimately familiar with all of the bibliographic data surrounding their articles: author, publication, year, and so forth. References to the author as "they," for example, are to be avoided. Ideas do not exist in a vacuum, which is why we read the scholarship in the first place. To acknowledge the scholar as a person is, at its most basic level, to acknowledge that we are all part of a larger community of readers.