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sara hobe, germany, 2014-2015
Fulbright Scholar Sara Hobe

Fulbright Year: 2014-2015
Country: Germany
Proposal Type: Research Grant
Proposal Title: The Role of Science in Old Comedy
UGA Degree: Master’s in Classical Languages, Spring 2013
Hometown: Fresno, California

Science and art have long had an intriguing affiliation, dating as far back as 420 BC, when the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes was known to make references to scientific theories in his comedies.

But Sara Hobe has yet to quench her thirst for finding modern-day information and commentary about the role science played in the texts of classic Greek entertainment, specifically that scientific dialogue had a more pragmatic than comedic purpose in these plays.

During her Fulbright year, Hobe will conduct research at the University of Freiburg in Germany to discern how the comic playwrights of ancient Greece interacted with contemporaneous scientific ideas in their works and she will interpret the meaning and importance of this engagement.

“My work will reveal the societal significance of nascent ancient Greek science as seen through the lens of comic plays,” Sara says.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in classical languages in 2010 from the University of California-Berkeley, Sara’s graduate studies at UGA offered her ample experience with the texts and methodologies so as to explore the relationship between comedy and science. She conducted extensive research on ancient Greek plays and medical texts, and gained tools to analyze the two divergent genres and draw conclusions about their underlying cultural ideologies.

Sara, whose recent paper on Aristophanes’ play “The Clouds” explored science as a counterpart to comedy, will study under Dr. Bernard Zimmerman, the Greek Department chairman at Freiburg.

“Dr. Bernard Zimmerman has published several monographs on ancient Greek comedy. His extensive knowledge of the main texts which I will analyze will offer me tremendous support. In addition to Dr. Zimmerman, I have discovered a wealth of resources at Freiburg. I will have an opportunity to contribute to conferences and workshops.”

While in Germany, Sara plans to submit a portion of her work as a paper to the American Philological Association and will begin writing the first chapters of her dissertation. Her Fulbright grant will fund her first year as a PhD student and thus a significant portion of her preliminary dissertation research.

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