The unusual pace of work at the Institute is made possible by the total immersion and total dedication on the part of both students and faculty. All programs are team-taught by experienced instructors, with hourly rotation of staff providing for exposure to a variety of approaches. In addition to our low student-faculty ratio, each student benefits from an assigned advisor and unparalleled access to our entire staff. The principles of team-teaching, individualized instruction, and a very carefully developed structure are some of the major ingredients that have made the programs so successful. The Latin/Greek Institute provides a unique and exciting intellectual environment for all its participants.
There are six to ten faculty members teaching in the Institute each summer.
After getting her B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College, Collomia took a bus from Baltimore to New York City with $200 and a back pack filled mostly with books to attend the Basic Greek program at the Institute. That summer she ate mostly bananas, oranges and saltine crackers, called home from the payphones at the New York Public Library, had a crane fall on her apartment building and learned Greek. It was so much fun, she came back to do the Latin program and applied to graduate school. Her Ph.D. comes from Boston University, where she wrote a dissertation ("On Such Horses Gods and Heroes Ride") all about the talking horses of Achilles and Boucephalas, Alexander the Great's horse. In addition to her years teaching at the Institute in the Basic Latin, Upper Level Latin and Upper Level Greek Programs, Collomia has taught at Boston University, Boston College, MCI-Norfolk (a men's prison in Massachusetts), Barnard College, Columbia University and many fine living rooms and coffee shops with students as young as 7 and as old as 89. When she's not teaching, Collomia lives on a farm in rural Alaska, splitting firewood, hauling hay, herding goats, tending bees and working in the garden.
This will be my 40th summer teaching in the Greek Institute. I wouldn't dream of spending a summer any other way.
After getting a B.A. in Classics from Princeton and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, I spent most of my career at Brooklyn College. I've now retired from Brooklyn and from directing the Institute--but not from teaching.
My LGI career began when Floyd Moreland, who founded the Latin Institute in 1973, decided to add a program in Greek. Gerry Quinn and I agreed to write the textbook. In the summer of 1978 we launched the Greek program, after an unbelievably intense ten months of drafting and re-drafting every word in the book. By then I had become an Institute veteran. Gerry and I had pre-taught every single lesson for an audience consisting of Floyd, Rita Fleischer, and Stephanie Russell, all seasoned instructors in the Latin program. More than once, we had to repeat a class to get the timing right or to make sure that we were completely clear and consistent. I learned a lot about teaching, and I came to understand the collaborative enterprise that is the heart and soul of the Institute.
Sometimes people ask me if I don't get tired of teaching the same thing year after year. No I don't. Every year the Institute is completely new. The students arrive, knowing little or nothing of the language. Ten weeks later, they have read authors like Plato and Euripides, Cicero and Vergil, at a scholarly level few students ever attain. Just as important, they have learned what you can accomplish when you give everything to a task. We know where the students will be at the end of those 50 days. Seeing them arrive there is the richest reward for our effort.
Just as Gerry Quinn and I pre-taught everything before that first summer, the faculty are meeting this spring to pre-teach the material and prepare ourselves for Institute classes. It still takes plenty of preparation, even if you've done it many times before.
My main summer recreation is walking all over New York City. I need the exercise, both before and after a day at the LGI. My other extracurricular concern is tapirs.
Katherine Lu Hsu
Katherine Lu Hsu is an assistant professor of classics at Brooklyn College. She was a student in Basic Greek and taught at the institute before becoming director in 2014. She graduated magna cum laude with her A.B. in classics from Princeton and received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2013. Her dissertation, Heracles and Heroic Disaster, examines the shifting representations of Heracles committing acts of rage, lust, and murder in Greek art and literature, from Homer to Apollonius. In addition to mythology and heroism, her academic interests include Greek tragedy, Late Antiquity and papyrology. She enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and going to the zoo.
Yekaterina (Katia) Kosova is a three-time alumna of the Latin/Greek Institute, and has taught two summers of Basic Latin and four summers of Basic Greek. She holds a B.A. with honors from UC Berkeley in rhetoric and philosophy and an M.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She has studied classics at Columbia University and New York University, where she received her M.A. in 2011. Her interests have included the history and philosophy of science, Mediterranean studies and the relationship of the classical world to the Near East. Currently she is focusing on writing fiction while spending her free time hiking, bicycling and learning woodworking.
Aramis López is a Ph.D. student in classics at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is also an adjunct at Hunter College, where he teaches Ancient Greek and classics in translation. His research interests include Hellenistic philosophy and poetry as well as Greek metrics. He is also interested in the relationship and possible contacts between Greek and Indian philosophy. He is writing his dissertation on the Greek historian of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius. This will be his fourth summer teaching at the institute.
Jeremy March is a graduate of the 2000 Upper-level Latin Institute. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center, having earned an M.A. in classics at the Graduate Center and a B.A. in classics and philosophy from the University of Mary Washington. His interests lie primarily in Greek language and linguistics, Pindar, stylometry and applications of technology in the humanities. Combining his love of classics and technology he developed philolog.us, a Website and iPhone app which offers an interface to the Greek and Latin lexica originally digitized by the Perseus Project. As a former student of the Latin/Greek Institute, March believes the intensive study that the institute demands will have a lasting and rewarding impact on all who undertake it.
Having been a student in both the basic Greek program (’90) and the basic Latin program (’91), in one way or another, I have remained close to the Institute. I received a BA in Philosophy from Ohio University in 1990, and came to New York City specifically to attend the Institute. I remained in New York to pursue graduate studies at the GC. This summer marks my tenth summer teaching at the Institute. I will be teaching in the Upper Level Greek program and, once again, I am looking forward to the rigor and intensity that only the Institute offers.
Akiva Saunders began his Latin and Greek studies at the institute and has been a teacher here since 2005. During the rest of the year, he is a pioneer in teaching Latin to the very young; every week he teaches Latin to 450 students in grades 2–6 in the New York City public school system.
His B.A. in linguistics is from Reed College and his M.A. in religion is from Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His training in classics is from the institute and course work at Columbia University. Along the way he attended rabbinical school at the Center for Torah Study and was a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute for Talmudic Studies, both in Jerusalem. In his spare time he enjoys basketball and hiking in the backcountry.
Since my first days as a student at the Institute, I've been fascinated by the beauty of the Latin language and the elegance of the Institute method: to challenge and support students to a rare degree and in equal measure. After three courses here, I continued to study Latin and Greek at Boston University, where I recently completed a PhD in English. My dissertation deals with the recovery of lost classical texts during the Renaissance and the study of lost texts generally. This will be my seventh summer teaching in the Basic Latin program. I find that reading Catullus alone is great, but reading him together is better.