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Charles C Chiasson

Name

[Chiasson, Charles C]
  • Assoc Prof, Philosophy & Humanities
  • Director, Classical Studies
  • Distinguished Teaching Professor

Professional Preparation

    • 1979 PhD Yale University
    • 1976 M.A Yale University
    • 1974 B.A.79 Yale College

Appointments

    • Jan 1990 to Jan 2013 Assoc Prof
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • Jan 1990 to Dec 1990 Adjunct Professor
      The University of Dallas
    • Jan 1987 to Jan 1988 Instructor/Consultant
      National Endowment for the Humanities/Richland Community College
    • Jan 1985 to Dec 1985 Adjunct Professor
      The University of Dallas
    • Jan 1983 to Jan 1989 Assist Professor
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • Jan 1981 to Jan 1983 Lecturer
      Yale University
    • Jan 1980 to Jan 1981 Visiting Assistant Professor
      The University of Illinois at Chicago
    • Jan 1979 to Jan 1980 Visiting Lecturer
      The University of Illinois at Chicago
    • Jan 1979 to Dec 1979 Teaching Assistant
      Yale University
    • Jan 1978 to Dec 1978 Acting Instructor
      Yale University
    • Jan 1977 to Dec 1977 Teaching Assistant
      Yale University

Memberships

  • Membership
    • Aug 2013 to Present American Philological Association
    • Aug 2013 to Present Classical Association of the Middle West and South
    • Aug 2013 to Present Texas Classical Association

Awards and Honors

    • Feb  2006 The Gildersleeve Award sponsored by The American Journal of Philology
      Description:

      Awarded for the article "Myth, Ritual, and Authorial Control in Herodotus' Story of Cleobis and Biton (Hist. 1.31)," chosen as the best article published in the American Journal of Philology in the year 2005.
       

    • Jun  1999 Research Fellowship sponsored by Center for Hellenic Studies
      Description:

      Research Fellowship for the Summer 1999 Session at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, D.C. (project:  "Herodotus and the Greek Poetic Tradition")

    • Jun  1992 Fellowship sponsored by National Endowment for Humanities
      Description:

      Fellowship from the National Endowment for Humanities, to attend its Summer Institute on Athenian Democracy at eh University of California-Santa Cruz, June 21-July 30, 1992

Publications

      Journal Article 2013
      • “Re-Politicizing Euripides:  The Power of the Peasantry in Michael Cacoyannis’ Electra (1962),” in A. Bakogianni, ed., Dialogues with the Past 1:   Classical Reception Theory and Practice (Institute of Classical Studies: London, 2013) 207-223.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Chapter 2012
      • "Myth and Truth in Herodotus' Cyrus Logos", in E. Baragwanath and M. de Bakker, edd., Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus (Oxford 2012) 213-32.
        {Book Chapter} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2012
      • "Herodotus' Prologue and the Greek Poetic Tradition," Histos 6 (2012) 114-43.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Chapter 2009
      • “Redefining Homeric Heroism in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy,” in K. Myrsiades, ed., Reading Homer:Film and Text (Fairleigh Dickinson UP 2009) 186-207.

        {Book Chapter} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2005
      • “Myth, Ritual, and Authorial Control in Herodotus’ Story of Cleobis and Biton (Hist. 1.31),” American Journal of Philology 126 (2005) 41-64.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2003
      • “Herodotus’ Use of Attic Tragedy in the Lydian Logos,” Classical Antiquity 22 (2003) 5-36.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2001
      • “Scythian Androgyny and Environmental Determinism in Herodotus and the Hippocratic περὶ ἀέρων ὑδάτων τόπων,” Syllecta Classica 12 (2001) 33-73.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 1999
      • “Σωφρονοῦντες ἐν χρόνῳ:  The Athenians and Time in Aeschylus’ Eumenides,” The Classical Journal 95 (1999) 139-61.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Review 1995
      • Chiasson, Charles. Rev. of The Orientalizing Revolution, by W. Burkert. Southern Humanities Review 1995: 80-82.

        {Book Review} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Review 1994
      • Chiasson, Charles. Rev. of The Idea of the Labyrinth, by P. Doob. Phoenix 1994: 83-85.

        {Book Review} [Refereed/Juried]
      1994
      • Chiasson, Charles. Rev. of Bisexuality in the Ancient World, by E. Cantarella. Southern Humanities Review 1994: 281-84.

        {Book Review} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Journal Article 1988
      • Chiasson, Charles. "Lecythia and the Justice of Zeus in Aeschylus' Oresteia." Phoenix 42 (1988): 1-21.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 1986
      • Chiasson, Charles. "The Herodetean Solon." Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 27 (1986): 248-62.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 1984
      • Chiasson, Charles. "Pseudartabas and His Eunuchs: Acharnians 91-122." Classical Philology 79 (1984): 131-36.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 1983
      • Chiasson, Charles. "An Ominous Word in Herodotus." Hermes 111 (1983): 115-18.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 1982
      • Chiasson, Charles. "Tragic Diction in Herodotus: Some Possibilities." Phoenix 36 (1982): 151-156.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

Presentations

    • December  2082
      Pseudartabas and His Eunuchs: Acharnians 91-122
      "Pseudartabas and His Eunuchs:  Acharnians 91-122," 12/30/82, APA (American Philological Association) Convention.
    • December  1983

      Lecythia and Lament in the Oresteia

      "Lecythia and Lament in the Oresteia," 12/29/83, APA Convention.

    • December  1980

      Tragic Diction in Herodotus

      "Tragic Diction in Herodotus," 12/8/80, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; 4/3/81,CAMWS (Classical Association of the Middle West and South) Convention.

Courses

      • CLAS 3335-001 Topics in Classical Studies: Greek Religion

        In this course we will try to make sense of ancient Greek religion as practiced above all in the Archaic and Classical periods (roughly 750 BCE to 323 BCE).  This is no simple task, since understanding any religious system that is not one’s own requires intellectual effort and sympathy; all the more so when that religious system was developed so long ago and far away, before the advent and spread of Christianity.  The ancient historian Sir Moses Finley acknowledged the “desperately alien quality” of much ancient Hellenic religious practice; we will try to span the great divide that separates us from the Greeks by examining various kinds of evidence, including literary texts, inscriptions, the visual arts, and archaeological remains.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-001 INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY

        This course offers a broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).  Some of the stories we study may already be familiar to you; one of the purposes of this course is to deepen your appreciation by grounding the stories in their original historical and cultural context, where they often assume a social, political, or religious significance that is by no means obvious at first glance. 

                    Most lectures will include slides of ancient (and occasionally modern) visual representations of myth; in addition, our tentative schedule of events (see below) includes one film (9/22) and film excerpts from recent adaptations of Greek mythological literature (10/25, 11/22).

                    The stories that comprise Classical mythology, which continue to inspire movies, TV shows, literature, art, and ad campaigns in the 21st century, represent an especially vital aspect of the ancient Greek legacy to Western civilization.  This course will enable you to appreciate the significance of mythical references both in their original ancient context and in their re-use (or re-formulation) by later societies, including our own.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-002 INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY

        This course offers a broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).  Some of the stories we study may already be familiar to you; one of the purposes of this course is to deepen your appreciation by grounding the stories in their original historical and cultural context, where they often assume a social, political, or religious significance that is by no means obvious at first glance. 

                    Most lectures will include slides of ancient (and occasionally modern) visual representations of myth; in addition, our tentative schedule of events (see below) includes one film (9/22) and film excerpts from recent adaptations of Greek mythological literature (10/25, 11/22).

                    The stories that comprise Classical mythology, which continue to inspire movies, TV shows, literature, art, and ad campaigns in the 21st century, represent an especially vital aspect of the ancient Greek legacy to Western civilization.  This course will enable you to appreciate the significance of mythical references both in their original ancient context and in their re-use (or re-formulation) by later societies, including our own.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-001 INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY

                   This course offers a broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).  Some of the stories we study may already be familiar to you; one of the purposes of this course is to deepen your appreciation by grounding the stories in their original historical and cultural context, where they often assume a social, political, or religious significance that is by no means obvious at first glance. 

                    Most lectures will include slides of ancient (and occasionally modern) visual representations of myth; in addition, our tentative schedule of events (see below) includes one film (9/30) and film excerpts from recent adaptations of Greek mythological literature (11/2, 11/30).

                    The stories that comprise Classical mythology, which continue to inspire movies, TV shows, literature, art, and ad campaigns at the beginning of the 21st century, represent an especially vital aspect of the ancient Greek legacy to Western civilization.  This course will enable you to appreciate the significance of mythical references both in their original ancient context and in their re-use (or re-formulation) by later societies, including our own.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • GREK 1441-082 GREEK LEVEL I

                    Welcome to the study of ancient Greek, which should make you an object of awe, respect, and affection to the outside world.  Be forewarned, however, that more common reactions are known to include disbelief, amusement, and open derision (all products of ignorance and jealousy, as I choose to believe). 

                    Be that as it may, we will be studying primarily Classical Greek as spoken and written in fifth and fourth century (B.C.) Athens.  Our textbooks for this semester, anxiously awaiting your appearance at the UTA Bookstore (and online as well, no doubt), are:

        REQUIRED

        Athenaze:  An Introduction to Ancient Greek, Book I, 3rd edition (Oxford UP   2015), by M. Balme (no kidding), G. Lawall, and J. Morwood

        OPTIONAL

         i) Workbook I Athenaze:  An Introduction to Ancient Greek, 2nd edition (Oxford UP 2004), by G. Lawall, J. F. Johnson, and L. Miraglia

        ii) The Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek (Oxford UP 2001), by J. Morwood

        Our goal for this semester is to finish the first thirteen chapters of Athenaze, as detailed below in the weekly schedule. This text (like its sequel, Book II) offers  a much livelier and more interesting course of study than traditional Greek grammars, which tend to treat the language in isolation from other aspects of Hellenic culture.  Athenaze (which, by the way, is an English transliteration of the Greek word meaning "to Athens") will enable you to learn the language in a meaningful cultural context:  from the outset you will be reading passages of connected Greek that deal with important aspects of life and thought in Athens  and the Hellenic world shortly before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (431 BCE).  These passages form a continuous narrative that is at first fictional but eventually incorporates extracts from Herodotus, Plato, Thucydides, and Aristophanes.  By the end of the second volume you will have the basic skills and experience to tackle a wide variety of ancient texts, including the New Testament.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • GREK 1442-082 GREEK LEVEL II

                    Welcome to the study of ancient Greek, which should make you an object of awe, respect, and affection to the outside world.  Be forewarned, however, that more common reactions are known to include disbelief, amusement, and open derision (all products of ignorance and jealousy, as I choose to believe). 

                    Be that as it may, we will be studying primarily Classical Greek as spoken and written in fifth and fourth century (B.C.) Athens.  Our textbooks for this semester, anxiously awaiting your appearance at the UTA Bookstore (and online as well, no doubt), are:

        REQUIRED

        Athenaze:  An Introduction to Ancient Greek, Book I, 3rd edition (Oxford UP   2015), by M. Balme (no kidding), G. Lawall, and J. Morwood

        OPTIONAL

         i) Workbook I Athenaze:  An Introduction to Ancient Greek, 2nd edition (Oxford UP 2004), by G. Lawall, J. F. Johnson, and L. Miraglia

        ii) The Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek (Oxford UP 2001), by J. Morwood

        Our goal for this semester is to finish the first thirteen chapters of Athenaze, as detailed below in the weekly schedule. This text (like its sequel, Book II) offers  a much livelier and more interesting course of study than traditional Greek grammars, which tend to treat the language in isolation from other aspects of Hellenic culture.  Athenaze (which, by the way, is an English transliteration of the Greek word meaning "to Athens") will enable you to learn the language in a meaningful cultural context:  from the outset you will be reading passages of connected Greek that deal with important aspects of life and thought in Athens  and the Hellenic world shortly before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (431 BCE).  These passages form a continuous narrative that is at first fictional but eventually incorporates extracts from Herodotus, Plato, Thucydides, and Aristophanes.  By the end of the second volume you will have the basic skills and experience to tackle a wide variety of ancient texts, including the New Testament.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 2300-001 Hollywood Classics: The Ancient World in Film

                   This course studies images of the Classical world as represented in modern films, in comparison/contrast to the primary ancient sources on which they are (sometimes quite loosely) based.  Since the number of films set in Greco-Roman antiquity is almost beyond counting and constantly growing, I have had to be ruthlessly selective in my choice of films; this semester I have chosen films rooted in ancient Greek mythology and history (realms that the Greeks themselves tended not to distinguish as sharply as we moderns do, but recognized as belonging to a chronological continuum). As a result, this course will also serve as an introduction to important events, figures, and literary works of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods of Greek history.

                    As we juxtapose ancient literary and modern cinematic narratives, we will examine how the films recast their source material to suit both the cinematic medium and the values, interests, and expectations of modern audiences.  Topics of special interest with regard to the latter include the roles played by women and religion: to what degree has the rise of feminism influenced the representation of female characters, and how is ancient Greek religious practice presented to an audience of presumed non-believers?  These are just two areas in which we will discern fundamental cultural differences between ourselves and the ancient Greeks, despite the importance of their cultural legacy for all of Western civilization.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 3335-001 Topics in Classical Studies: Herodotus, History, and Hellenism

             This course will focus on the unprecedented achievement of Herodotus, dubbed the “Father of History” by Cicero, as both a historian and an ethnographer.  The title of Herodotus’ lone surviving work, the Histories, is misleading to a modern audience, since in the author’s own day the Greek word so translated, historiai, denoted “inquiries” or “investigations” into a broad range of topics, including geography, ethnography, natural science, medicine, and philosophy.  To the best of our knowledge, Herodotus himself was the first to apply the term historie (the singular form of historiai) to the detailed study of the past.  Also remarkable for his day was the focus of his narrative on the recent past, culminating in the hostilities between Greeks and Persians during the first two decades of the fifth century BC (499-479).

             An important element in Herodotus’ explanation of this recent past is his ethnographic portrayal of various non-Greek peoples, including the Persians and the many nations they subjugated during the expansion of their empire.  Herodotus’ description of these foreign peoples helps him to define, by comparison and contrast, what is characteristic of the Greeks themselves.  While a lesser author might have presented the Greco-Persian wars as a black-and-white conflict between “us” and “them,” between “good guys” and “bad guys,” Herodotus shows a remarkable even-handedness in his approach, acknowledging both virtues among the Persians (and other non-Greeks) and vices among his fellow Hellenes.

             We will read Herodotus’ Histories in their entirety, in Robert Strassler’s excellent Landmark edition, which includes a helpful introduction and numerous appendices of interest.  Also, I will post on Blackboard, under the rubric “Course Materials,” additional readings that will help to contextualize Herodotus’ achievement.  Finally, since one increasingly prominent aspect of Classical scholarship is the field of “reception studies” (the adaptation and appropriation of Greco-Roman artifacts by later cultures), we will watch and discuss the films 300 Spartans (1962) and 300 (2006), which offer strikingly different renditions of the Herodotean Battle of Thermopylae.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-001 Introduction to Classical Mythology

        This course offers a broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).  Some of the stories we study may already be familiar to you; one of the purposes of this course is to deepen your appreciation by grounding the stories in their original historical and cultural context, where they often assume a social, political, or religious significance that is by no means obvious at first glance. 

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2014 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-002 Introduction to Classical Mythology

        This course offers a broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).  Some of the stories we study may already be familiar to you; one of the purposes of this course is to deepen your appreciation by grounding the stories in their original historical and cultural context, where they often assume a social, political, or religious significance that is by no means obvious at first glance. 

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2014 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 3323-001 Topics in Classical Mythology: Homer

        We will read both the Iliad and Odyssey in their entirety in the highly praised translations of Robert Fagles, with introductions and notes by Bernard Knox.  The Cambridge Companion to Homer will be our guide through the thicket of issues addressed by modern Homeric scholarship.  One increasingly prominent aspect of such scholarship is the so-called “reception” of Homeric epic in works of literary, visual, and cinematic art from archaic Greece through classical Rome up to modern times.  As examples of relatively recent cinematic Homeric receptions, we will watch and discuss the films Ulysses (1955) with Kirk Douglas and Troy (2004) with Brad Pitt.  Throughout the semester, as time permits, I will also show representations of Homeric subject matter in the visual arts (vase paintings, sculpture, architectural decoration) of ancient Greece and later civilizations.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2014 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • GREK 2313-082 (Ancient) Greek, Level III

        Continuation of the intensive introductory language sequence (students must also enroll in Greek 2314, section 082).

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2012 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • GREK 1441-082 GREEK LEVEL I

         An intensive, double-credit course in Ancient (Classical) Greek, covering the basics of grammar and enabling students to read simple texts in the Classical and New Testament idiom.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-001 INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY

        A broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 4335-001 Topics in Classical Studies: Greek Tragedy
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        We will read tragedies that are the fountainhead of the Western dramatic tradition, focusing on plays concerning the house of Atreus (Agamemnon and his troubled kin) and Oedipus (whose kin are closer still, but no less troubled).We will supplement our study of literary texts by viewing a filmed version of Peter Hall’s stage production of Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers; a video of Lee Breuer’s The Gospel at Colonus, based on Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus; and Michael Cacoyannis’ cinematic adaptation of Euripides’ Electra.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2010 Download Syllabus
      • CLAS 4335-001 Topics in Classical Studies: Greek Tragedy

        As its title indicates, the course is something of a two-headed beast. The focal point of the “civilization†aspect will be the history and nature of the ancient Athenian political system. The focal point of the “mythology†aspect will be specifically Athenian myth, including the myths of early Athens (Erechtheus and Erichthonius), the mythical career of Athenian homeboy Theseus, and the legend of Orestes as Atticized by Aeschylus in his tragic trilogy, the Oresteia. I will also attempt to discuss each of the Olympian gods in sites appropriate for such discussion, and to underscore significant similarities and differences between the local Attic hero Theseus and the Panhellenic hero Heracles.

        Summer - Regular Academic Session - 2010 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • GREK 2313-082 (Ancient) Greek, Level III
        Continuation of the intensive introductory language sequence (students must also enroll in Greek 2314, section 082).
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2010 Download Syllabus
      • GREK 1441-082 GREEK LEVEL I

        Introduction to the study of ancient (Classical) Greek, taught in Intensive format as a double-credit course (students must also enroll in Greek 1442, section 082).

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2009 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 1300-001 INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY
        This course offers a broad survey of Classical mythology as it appears in the literature and visual arts of the ancient Greeks (and, to a lesser extent, of Roman and post-classical civilizations).
        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2009 Download Syllabus
      • CLAS 2303-001 THE CLASSICAL ROOTS OF ENGLISH VOCABULARY

        This is a course in etymology or word origins, focusing on the large stock of English words derived from ancient Greek and Latin prefixes, bases, and suffixes.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2009 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CLAS 3323-001 Topics in Classical Mythology: Homer
        In this course we will read the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, in their entirety; class discussion will incorporate recent scholarship on the poems, addressing such issues as the early Greek oral poetic tradition and the socio-political background of the epics. 
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2009 Download Syllabus

Other Service Activities

  • Uncategorized
    • Dec  DEPARTMENTAL, COLLEGE, AND UNIVERSITY OFFICES AND FUNCTIONS
      Faculty Senate:  departmental representative, 1988/89-1989/90, 1991/92, 1992-93
      Liberal Arts Organized Research Committee: member, 1984/85
      FL&L Organized Research Committee:  member, 1983/84- 1986/87; chair, 1984/85-1986/87
      FL&L Committee for Tenure and Promotion: member, 1984/85; 1989/90
      FL&L Budget and Planning Committee: member, 1986/87; member and chair, 1989/90
      FL&L Undergraduate Advisor, 1984/85-1985-86
      Coordinator, FL&L Lecture Series, Fall 1987; 1988/89
      Departmental Representative for the United Way, 1987
      Co-Editor of Departmental Newsletter, 1984/85
      Undergraduate Advisor, Classical Studies, 1989/90- Present
    • Dec  SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
      Co-founder and first president (1983/84) of the Metroplex Classical Association
      Faculty Sponsor of the University Classics Club (founded October 1989)
      Faculty Sponsor of Eta Sigma Phi (Classics honor Society; UTA chapter founded 1996)
      Examiner and judge for scholastic competitions sponsored by the Texas Junior Classical League, 1983/84 to present