Meet the Faculty: Charles Platter, Classical Languages

“The challenge today in higher education is bridging the gap between the new world and the old,” explains Charles Platter, professor and department of the University of Georgia’s Classics program. He has been teaching students about Greek and Latin culture and literature for 30 years, since he joined the UGA faculty in 1987. Platter has edited several volumes and written a book called ''Carnivals of Genre in Ariophanic Comedy.''

Platter, whose research interests include Greek comedy, literary theory, and Latin elegy, received his bachelor's degree in English from Grinnell College in Iowa. He earned his master's in Greek and doctoral degrees in Classics from the University of North Carolina. He first came to UGA as an instructor in 1987, and was hired as an assistant professor in 1990. He was promoted to associate professor in 1996.

“Despite switching disciplines I have never lost my intense interest in the humanities and have often sought to bring my understanding of classical literature to bear on them,” says Platter. He attempts to recognize the influences classical authors have had on subsequent, more modern writers. He began his career studying the reception of Latin literature by later generations, and has returned to the idea of reception throughout his career, in an attempt to understand how classical texts have been to artists and their audiences.

Platter sees Classes as a foundation of the tradition of humanities in the West, and often considers how to best celebrate Classics as such. The classical languages can be useful in the modern era as a way to see what problems the ancients faces, how they dealt with those issues, and whether or not those solutions were effective. Their past experiences can be used to inform our own choices or solutions in the future.

Offered through the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Post-Baccalaureate in Classical Languages certificate program is designed to help students reach and exceed advanced levels in Greek and Latin in order to prepare them for graduate study in the various fields of classics. The deadline to apply for this program is April 1, and the application can be found online on the Department of Classics web-page.