I would like to correct a factual error that
appeared in an opinion piece by Michael Coffey, entitled “Great
Works Missing from HPU Curriculum” (April 26, 2004). He
writes, “Currently our curriculum - for Political Science,
International Relations, Humanities, Classics programs, and
potentially History - is almost entirely devoid of the great
I can’t speak for the other programs, but I can assure
Mr. Coffey that the program in East-West Classical Studies is
chockfull of great works. In fact, this innovative program was
recently introduced in order to address the very absence of “great
works” in the curriculum that Mr. Coffey decries.
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Coffey about the great value
of encountering classic texts directly, without the filters
of ideology or oversimplification. The potential that they
for stimulating discussion is enormous. I, too, firmly believe
that these works are timeless indeed, they are more relevant
today than ever.
Although I personally cannot claim that I am a “dead, white,
European male,” I am quite prepared and more than happy
to teach a Great Books-style course at any level. Until now,
the only thing preventing such a course from being offered
is a sufficient number of students demanding it.
I invite Mr. Coffey, and anyone else who
is interested in Great Books, or in East-West Classical Studies,
me at 544-9389,
or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Saundra Schwartz
Associate Professor of History and Classical Studies