If you major in Latin at Furman, you'll find yourself in a department that offers a wide range of courses in not only language, but literature, social and cultural history, and archaeology. As well, the small size of the department means you'll have plenty of opportunity for interaction with your professors both formally and informally. The department is active in the Furman Advantage program, which gives students the chance to work closely with faculty members on research projects, often resulting in the chance to present that research at scholarly meetings. In addition, Greek classes will be helpful should you decide to pursue a major in Classics or Religion. This ancient language is essential to understanding the predominate texts in both disciplines.
As the only college in the state of South Carolina to offer a major in Classics, Furman is unique in the range of courses it can offer to students of Latin. Students majoring in Latin will take classes which explore Roman Literature and Mythology, as well as Roman civilization and archaeology. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in a directed independent study. The department’s faculty focuses on building more than just language skills. Rather, in the humanistic tradition so closely associated with ancient Rome and Greece, they seek to produce well-rounded students who appreciate the rich cultural tradition of Roman antiquity and the countless contributions it has made to our modern society. Students who study ancient language and culture enter the working world with exemplary writing and reasoning skills. They also are able to make the most of their time at college by realizing that art, religion, philosophy, political science, literature, drama and mathematics, as we study them today, are heavily influenced by Greece and Rome, and by taking courses which permit them to understand those influences.
Currently, there is a growing demand for Latin teachers in public and private high schools. Students who want to become certified to teach Latin at the secondary school level may complete an additional sequence of courses which will result in certification upon completion of a teaching internship in the fall term following graduation.
Latin majors can also participate in campus organizations sponsored in cooperation with the department. Majors who excel in their courses are eligible for initiation in Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics honors society. The organization participates in service projects, classical outings, and a yearly national conference which students are encouraged to attend.
Engaged Learning and Study Abroad
The Furman Advantage program gives Latin majors the chance to work closely with department faculty on projects which are expected to result in publication. Some recent projects include preparing new editions and translations of the works of Plutarch, as part of a collaboration with the College of the Holy Cross, and work on compiling a bibliography in Italian linguistics.
Latin students have the additional opportunity to serve as Furman Advantage Teaching Fellows in courses like Latin 12 and Latin 21. Students are paid a stipend per course by the Furman Advantage program to assist professors in a variety of duties such as conducting review or discussion sessions, creating lesson plans and quizzes or exams, and even teaching the occasional class.
Of course, the best way to study a language is to immerse yourself in the culture where it originated, and the Furman Latin major provides you with a variety of unique programs which allow you to do just that. One of the most recent programs traveled through Italy, Turkey and Greece. The travel/study program is generally six weeks in length, although there will be meetings and assignments during the preceding fall term and the following spring term. Participation is by no means limited to Greek and Latin majors, but because space is limited, students must apply to the course, and admission is highly selective, based on a number of criteria. The program is usually offered in alternating years in connection with the Religion Department’s foreign study course, Geography and Archaeology of the Biblical World. The inter-disciplinary nature of the program allows students to experience Roman culture from a variety of perspectives.
Yet another option available to Latin majors is the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS). Established in 1965, the program’s membership has now grown to 76 colleges and universities including Furman. It provides an opportunity to study ancient history and archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, and ancient art in Rome.