House Life

House Life

Ancient Studies

“And what is still far stranger than that is that not only does one branch of knowledge come to be in us while another passes away and that we are never the same even in respect of our knowledge, but that each single piece of knowledge has the same fate. For what we call studying exists because knowledge is leaving us, because forgetting is the departure of knowledge, while studying puts back a fresh memory in place of what went away, thereby preserving a piece of knowledge, so that it seems to be the same.”

– The Symposium

These words have been read for millennia, but how – and why – do we still engage critically with some of the most ancient thinkers? It is fitting that one of the oldest Program Communities bridges the gap between antiquity and modernity through an interdisciplinary approach set in an intimate community. Resident Advisors and Graduate Associates (RAGAs) and residents in the Ancient Studies PC collaborate on activities that include trips to relevant museum exhibits and Penn and in the Philadelphia area, discussions with professors and notable figures in ancient studies, and weekly themed social events. These events and activities are shaped by residents’ interests each year and encompass exploration of ancient cultures, politics, philosophy, performance, etc. This program is well-suited for the student who takes initiative, is dedicated to the mission of residential programming, and is seeking intellectual and personal growth.

Program Goals: The Program provides an intellectual and social space for students who wish to interact both broadly and deeply with the art, languages, literature, and philosophies from ancient times. At the conclusion of the academic year, residents will have developed their critical thinking skills, taken on leadership roles, and engaged with these topics through an interdisciplinary model. 

Participant Expectations: The Program RAGAs will review details and activities at the beginning of the academic year, where residents will receive their Ancient Studies Compact. Residents will be expected to participate in the following, as decided by the RAGAs:

  • 1 major event per month
  • 1 minor event per month
  • Implement 1 minor floor event as determined by the RAGAs
  • Host 1 House program per semester

Viraj Patel, House Director

Program Members: 64