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CLAS 101 E: Latin and Greek in Current Use

Meeting Time: 
TTh 8:30am - 9:20am
DEN 113

Syllabus Description:

Instructor: Zainab Syed (pronouns: they/them) 

Office Hours: By appointment via Zoom. 

Class Time and Date: 8:30 - 9:20 AM (Tuesday and Thursday) in DEN 113

The aims of CLAS 101 are twofold.  First, we will seek to improve and increase English vocabulary through a study of the Latin and Greek elements in English, with emphasis on words in current literary and scientific use.  The Latin and Greek elements learned in this course will help you better understand how many English words have evolved, and prepare you to continue expanding your English vocabulary well after the class is over.  Second, we will examine the ever-changing relationship between language and ideas in order to better understand the continuing impact of classical Greece and Rome on modern culture.  This course aims to give you a sense of the words, ideas, and stories that we have adopted from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and to help you identify, understand, and critically examine classical influence when you encounter it. It is inevitable that while we do this, we will also interrogate what “classics” really means and, hopefully, question preconceived notions of classical Greece and Rome that are rooted in racism, misogyny, and classism.

General Note: 

Since we are still in a pandemic, I'm going to be uploading all powerpoints, handouts, etc. online. This is so that you do not make yourself come to class if you're unwell. However, barring such situations, please make sure to attend class as it will have an impact on your participation grade if you do not. 

Feel free to download the syllabus here, you can also find it in Week 1 in the Modules section. 


Dominik, William J. Words & Ideas. Bolchazy-Carducci.

The UW Bookstore has it in various forms (physical & digital). It’s also cheap to rent as an ebook from Chegg. Chegg has rentals for the physical book, but the ebook gets you immediate access and is cheaper.

You will also need a good dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is available through UW Libraries. 

The American Heritage Dictionary  is also an excellent resource. 

Class Schedule

Please see the "Pages" section for the (tentative) Class Schedule, or click here. This is subject to change at my discretion. 

General Note:

We are all coming back to school from a difficult period that is not completely over yet. I aim to be as accommodating as possible, but you have to reach out to me in order for me to help you. If you have any difficulties or concerns about the class, please email me or schedule a meeting with me as soon as possible so I can assist you.

Department Course Coordinator:

Professor Catherine Connors    262B Denny Hall, Department of Classics    Email:

NOTE: While I am aware that the university is now "masks optional," I request that you continue wearing your mask in my classroom in order to keep yourself, your classmates, and your instructor (me!) safe. I will continue to wear my mask in the classroom. 

Catalog Description: 
Designed to improve and increase English vocabulary through a study of the Latin and Greek elements in English, with emphasis on words in current literary and scientific use. Knowledge of Latin or Greek is not required. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
November 22, 2022 - 8:57pm