This seminar examines the implications of modern theories of multiculturalism and world systems for the study of classical literatures. It asks students to historically and theoretically explore the relation of classical literatures and ancient cultures to area studies, national and comparative literature departments, as well as to disciplines such as anthropology, linguistics and archaeology. How does scholarship on ancient cosmopolitanism, tracing ever more extensive networks of material and linguistic exchange, compel us both to reread ancient texts and to rethink their relation to the present? Who determines to whom a text or cultural artifact belongs? The class is primarily organized around theoretical readings relating to a set of problems (e.g. notions of cultural property, translation, writing systems, race, Silk Road Studies), but will also include readings of classical texts (primarily Chinese and Greek) available in translation. Authors will include Appiah, Bernal, Derrida, Engels, Frank, Kuper, Plato, Sima Qian, Spivak.