2020 Mulder

Project Title Open-Access Greek and Roman Mythology
Principal Investigator Tara Mulder
Co-Investigators
  • Siobhan McElduff, Associate Professor of Latin literature and Roman culture, CNERS, Faculty of Arts
  • C.W. Marshall, Professor of Greek, CNERS, Faculty of Arts
  • Florence Yoon, Assistant Professor of Greek Language and Literature, CNERS, Faculty of Arts
  • Michael Griffin, Associate Professor of Greek Philosophy, CNERS, Faculty of Arts
  • Robert Cousland, Associate Professor of Early Christianity and Greek Religion & Mythology, CNERS, Faculty of Arts
  • Franco De Angelis, Professor of Greek History, CNERS, Faculty of Arts
Faculty Arts
Funding Year 2019/20
Project Summary This project will adopt and adapt existing OERs in Classical Mythology for use in Classical Studies 105, an introductory, credit-bearing, undergraduate course in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies that serves 600 students per year.

Our team will create an online, open-access textbook of primary source documents in translation, images, and secondary material for use in CLST 105. Secondly, we will compile a resource page of additional online, open materials that CLST 105 instructors can use to personalize their classes. The OER textbook will replace the print textbook and anthologies that students currently purchase for the course and will be available to instructors, students, and the general public worldwide.

The creation and publication of high-quality online primary source translations and secondary articles in the last ten years, as well as the large number of images of classical artwork and artifacts available in open-access repositories such as Wikimedia Commons, means that this project is largely one of collection, adaptation, and curation, not of creation. Because so many of the materials that we need already exist, our team can put our efforts towards creating user- friendly, accessible materials that are customized to align with the learning goals in our course. This curation and selection work is important, as not all translations are of equal quality, and materials must be sufficient for academically rigorous university-level study.

With the continued diversification of UBC, including the expanding admission of international students, students from different social and economic backgrounds, and students with various learning challenges, an open-access textbook for CLST 105 will allow us to better meet the needs of all our students. The adoption of open-access materials for the course means savings for students (estimated at $37,000 per year), as well as greater accessibility. Open-access materials can provided in formats that allow students to use assistive technology. Further, since our project aims for readability and consistency across primary source translations, we anticipate that this OER textbook will be more accessible to international and ELL students.

Finally, the field of Classical Studies is at a reckoning point in North America and globally. The material of our discipline is being used and abused on the web for white nationalist, racist, and misogynistic ends. In many cases, our usual teaching materials are not adequate at combating these harmful narratives. Greek and Roman mythology textbooks as a whole tend to downplay or erase the realities of sexual violence in classical mythology, the use of classical mythology by hate groups, and the reception of classical mythology among non-white people around the globe. One of the ways that professional Classicists can combat these problematic narratives is through the production of socially responsible, open-access resources for both university students and the general public. Our UBC team possesses research specialties to frame the materials in light of these problematic uses. With this OER project, we as a department and as a university have chance to create productive, socially responsible teaching materials for our students and students around the world.
Grant type OER Implementation
Funded Amount $24,400