Sunday, June 2, 2019

Introducing a New Initiative: Eidolon in the Classroom E(i)ditorial — May 2019

Introducing a New Initiative: Eidolon in the Classroom
E(i)ditorial — May 2019
Donna Zuckerberg
In the past few years, I’ve begun to hear from scholars who taught Eidolon articles in their classes to great success. Teachers report that students find Eidolon articles much more accessible than peer-reviewed scholarship, and that they find our content engaging and thought-provoking. We’ve also heard that assigning our articles leads to fascinating class discussions that go in surprising but productive directions.

I suspect that the reason why our articles work so well in undergraduate classrooms is that we follow a simple truism for how to write good public scholarship: assume that your reader is a very smart person who doesn’t know much about your field. You don’t need to dumb your work down at all; you just need to provide enough background so that non-specialists can follow along, and you need to hold their interest. The result, of course, is that we’re often encouraging our writers to write articles specifically geared toward an audience of undergraduates who are bright and thoughtful but lack a broad base of knowledge about ancient Greece and Rome and classical scholarship.

I’m always thrilled to hear when people find our articles pedagogically useful. It means that we’re making a real impact in reaching and influencing the next generation of classical scholars and enthusiasts. These young scholars are eager to study classical antiquity, but are also eager to think critically about what that study means in our society. We want to continue to foster that kind of engagement in any way possible.

To that end, we’re introducing a new initiative: Eidolon course packets. We’ve produced over 450 articles in the past four years, and we want to make teaching those articles as easy and productive as possible.

Eidolon packets will include a selection of our articles carefully curated in order to generate productive class discussion. We’ve already created preliminary versions of two course packets, one aimed at Greek Civilization courses and one for Roman Civilization courses, and we’re working on developing more.

Our course packets will not only provide more material than the versions of our articles that are freely available online — the purchase of them will also help Eidolon keep producing new, high-quality free articles. Although Medium provides the option to paywall our content, we are committed to keeping our articles open-access while still paying our writers and staff. You can see the conundrum: we can’t keep doing that forever without financial support from our readers.

Our goal for the course packets is to create materials that will benefit teachers and students, but also to be a way for Classics professors and departments to support Eidolon materially and allow us to continue publishing. As always, readers can support us financially via our Patreon, or by donating directly.

If you’re interested in participating in the pilot run of our course packets for a class you’re teaching this fall, contact us at for details.

No comments:

Post a Comment