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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research—an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute offering critical, community-based education in the humanities and social sciences—has launched a new language program.

BISR Language Learning and Critique integrates intensive formal language acquisition with the critical exploration of ancient and modern contexts of reception. The program combines 36 weeks of language instruction with an eclectic monthly lecture series that brings scholars from a variety of disciplinary and linguistic backgrounds into conversation, providing an opportunity for students from all language courses to come together and think comparatively about the ancient world and our own.

We are currently offering courses in Critical Ancient Greek and Critical Sanskrit, with plans to roll out courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and modern German in the coming year. Upon completion of the language course, students have the opportunity to put their language skills to work in a series of reading groups, the first of which will begin in September with students reading a selection of Plato’s dialogues in the original Greek. (BISR language courses are not a prerequisite for enrolling in a reading group; anyone with reading ability in the relevant language is welcome to join.)

We are particularly excited for the Fall/Winter line-up of guest speakers in the lecture series, including Jackie Murray on racecraft in The Odyssey, Olga Levaniouk on Greek and Indic epic, Lynn Kozak on performing The Iliad, Nancy Worman on Virginia Woolf’s On Not Knowing Greek, Mathura Umachandran on Sanskrit and contemporary Indian politics, and Kelly Dugan on Parmenides and Indic monism.

BISR courses—from our regular seminars to the new language program offerings—are designed to fit the lives of working adults. Not only do we want to make intensive and continuing language study a real possibility for those with a host of other professional and social commitments, but we also hope to foster and sustain a lively and diverse community of readers.

Click here to view a PDF flier with more information.

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