Pompeiian fresco, 1st c. AD

SSP100.001: Democracy Inaction
M 2.30-3.25
W 1.00-2.20 F 1.25-2.20 (Lib 213)

Prof. Michael Arnush Starbuck 201D x8113
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: M 11-12 F 10.30-11.30
Classics Department
Skidmore College
3 Attend the workshop on charter reform, 7pm, SS Public Library

Rhetoric and Leadership: The Power of the Word in Athens and Saratoga Springs

  • Ancient Greek Democracy 185-211
  • Essay 2 assigned (you might want to read ahead in AGD pp. 156-158, an excerpt from The Funeral Oration in Thuc.)
  • Citation guidelines
6 Saratoga Springs charter revision workshop
9 Critiquing rhetorical styles
Pericles: biography, policies and sources
  • Ancient Greek Democracy 211-247
11 The Athenian courtroom and farce
  • Aristophanes' Wasps: "How does the comic stage represent or subvert social customs and norms?
  • Guest speaker: Prof. Dan Curley, Classics Dept.
12 Lecture by Tim Wise, author of White Like Me, 7pm
  • This lecture connects to our discussion on "The Politics of Exclusion" on October 18.

Democratic ideal: Pericles' policies; democracy unravelled

See these notes on leadership from our classroom discussion on October 11

Read in descending order of priority (if you don't have time to read all, make sure you read the first four bulleted items and review the table on Pericles linked from Oct. 9 above):

Regarding Thuc. 3.82-83: "Thucydides has just described a violent civil war on the island of Corcyra fought in the year 427 between two opposite political factions, one favoring an extreme form of democracy and supported by the Athenians, the other advocating a more conservative, oligarchic form of government and supported by Sparta. Having set out in gory detail the various atrocities that occurred, Thucydides proceeds to speak in more general terms of the significance of this revolt and the demoralizing effects of war on politics and public mores in general. For Thucydides the events of Corcyra are an indication of what was to occur throughout the Greek world in the latter years of the war."

The Politics of Exclusion: Greece
The Politics of Exclusion: U.S.
Images of women

  • Ancient Greek Democracy 248-281
  • Life on the Color Line
  • Essay 2 final draft due

Democracy becomes tyranny
Collapse & rebirth of democracy
Prepping for the midterm (Susie)

20 Study Break  
23   Midterm exam
Local politics and ancient Athens
Generate questions for 10/30 community debate on charter reform (see 10/6, 10/13 links)
  • Real Democracy, "Preface," "Introduction: The Methodology of Starting from Scratch"
  • What does it mean to be Greek?
  • Overview of final project; discuss paper #2 and midterm
"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." Sir Winston Churchill (b. 1874, d. 1965; Prime Minister of England, 1940-45, 1951-55), Speech in the House of Commons (11 November 1947).
27 Local politics, American-style
  • Guest: Prof. Bob Turner, Government Dept., on local politics
  • Handouts:
    • J. Svara, "Institutional Powers and Mayoral Leadership," State and Local Government Review 27 (1995) 71-83.
    • R. Gurwitt, "Nobody in Charge," Governing Magazine (Sept. 1997)

Tour of downtown Saratoga Springs with former Mayor Ken Klotz, now the acting director of Skidmore's adult education program, University Without Walls. Meet at Case Center parking lot at 1.40pm; we'll walk or take the Skidmore bus if the weather is inclement.

30 City Councils and Gerrymandering
Class in TLC 202

7pm: class-hosted community discussion & debate on charter reform