Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Post Reply
anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by anphph » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:33 pm

I am to write a dissertation in Greek. The university library I have access to is not paltry, but it's not awesomely well-stocked either, so I have to look for topics that would allow me to function with less, rather than with more, bibliography.

Also for this reason, something more technical, or linguistic, is better than something more expansive or literary-philosophical. I'm avoiding things that would force me to work with papyri or scattered fragments, and have been aiming for a single author or a restricted corpus. So far, it seems like the most likely formulation should be something like "The use of X in Y".

I have been thinking this over with a professor from here, who'll become my advisor, but I'm also looking in other directions. For that reason I thought I'd ask here.

With this in mind, are there any topics that you think may be interesting and/or under-researched?

RandyGibbons
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by RandyGibbons » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:17 pm

Please clarify whether you are actually writing the dissertation in Greek, or by "in Greek" you mean simply a topic from the world of ancient Greece.

Your request is pretty open-ended. Surely you have some special interests that would narrow down the potential list of topics?

anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by anphph » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:37 pm

I mean in Greek, in the sense that it's going to be inside the academic field of classical Greek Philology. Are they calling it Greek Studies yet?

The rest is pretty much what the problem is. My previous topic involved Byzantine literature (John of Damascus), but really I was hitting a lack of books and references wherever I looked, so I decided I'd have to go back a few steps, and stay closer to Classical/Archaic Greece, where I wouldn't be wanting for resources, not as much at any rate.

RandyGibbons
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by RandyGibbons » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:37 pm

Classical/Archaic Greece: To narrow that down, do you happen to have a preference for poetry or history or philosophy or oratory?

anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by anphph » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:57 pm

I really don't, except that it can't be a huge corpus.

This has been the one topic I've come up with so far:

Marks of Futurity (Future, Imperative, and Optative) in Epinician Poetry.

(In practise this would mean Pindar, Bacchylides and fragments of Simonides.)

Sorry for how open-ended this all is. I understand there may not be much to comment, but that's sort of the line I'm going for.

Miguel

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3253
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by mwh » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:20 pm

Can’t you or your library use Interlibrary Loan services to get hold of materials?

Two crucial questions:
Are you sufficiently motivated and unencumbered to finish? (Most people accepted into PhD programs never finish.)
Are you looking to find a job in the field when you finish? (If so, examine—and anticipate!—the job market.)

“Epinician futurity” sounds viable to me, even promising. You should know Bill Slater’s work on epinician convention.

anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by anphph » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:02 pm

mwh wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:20 pm
Can’t you or your library use Interlibrary Loan services to get hold of materials?

Two crucial questions:
Are you sufficiently motivated and unencumbered to finish? (Most people accepted into PhD programs never finish.)
Are you looking to find a job in the field when you finish? (If so, examine—and anticipate!—the job market.)

“Epinician futurity” sounds viable to me, even promising. You should know Bill Slater’s work on epinician convention.
Concerning Interlibrary Loan, I can, with some limitations. But Yes to both questions, including to being aware of the job market. I thank you for bringing that up and being candid about it.

I've looked into Slater's work, but what exactly are his go-to texts on epinician convention? I've found, apart from his Pindar Lexicon, an article on "The Future in Pindar" and another on "Pindar's House". Are these the ones you're thining about?

Thanks

bpk
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:18 pm

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by bpk » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:10 am

I second what mhw said. Totally right on.

I think the two most important things you can consider when doing a Ph.D. topic are the following ...

1) What are you passionate enough about to not lose your motivation when you are in the most tedious days of it?
2) What need is out there (for the academic field, for the job market, for the church [if you have a Christian background], etc.)?

Some sacrifice 1 for 2 in hopes of getting a job. Some sacrifice 2 for 1 because they can't bear to do something other than what they are passionate about. The ideal is when 1 and 2 can coincide. I was fortunate in that, even though I prioritized 1 heavily over 2, I am so far okay with respect to #2. But it was a risk.

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1043
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:54 am

bpk wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:10 am
I second what mhw said. Totally right on.

I think the two most important things you can consider when doing a Ph.D. topic are the following ...

1) What are you passionate enough about to not lose your motivation when you are in the most tedious days of it?
2) What need is out there (for the academic field, for the job market, for the church [if you have a Christian background], etc.)?

Some sacrifice 1 for 2 in hopes of getting a job. Some sacrifice 2 for 1 because they can't bear to do something other than what they are passionate about. The ideal is when 1 and 2 can coincide. I was fortunate in that, even though I prioritized 1 heavily over 2, I am so far okay with respect to #2. But it was a risk.
Also having an involved and motivated advisor who is interested in your topic and helping you succeed.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

bpk
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:18 pm

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by bpk » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:05 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:54 am
bpk wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:10 am
I second what mhw said. Totally right on.

I think the two most important things you can consider when doing a Ph.D. topic are the following ...

1) What are you passionate enough about to not lose your motivation when you are in the most tedious days of it?
2) What need is out there (for the academic field, for the job market, for the church [if you have a Christian background], etc.)?

Some sacrifice 1 for 2 in hopes of getting a job. Some sacrifice 2 for 1 because they can't bear to do something other than what they are passionate about. The ideal is when 1 and 2 can coincide. I was fortunate in that, even though I prioritized 1 heavily over 2, I am so far okay with respect to #2. But it was a risk.
Also having an involved and motivated advisor who is interested in your topic and helping you succeed.
Ah..yes!

anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by anphph » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:07 pm

Thank you all for your advice, which I will follow.

Looks like this is going ahead. I'm brushing up my meter, which I hadn't touched on in a while, and simultaneously reading Pindar (just about to finish the Isthmian Odes),

τὰ δ’ ἄλλα
πάντα δαιμόνεσσιν ἐπιτρόπωμεν·

Wish me luck!

RandyGibbons
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Brainstorming for a dissertation in Greek

Post by RandyGibbons » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:02 pm

I DO wish you luck!

Post Reply