Classics and Contemporary Critical Issues (GSAS Workshop, 2018–19)

This research workshop explores the connections between Greek and Roman classics and contemporary critical issues that are relevant to us all, such as gender, sexuality, race, and class. The scope of the questions covered by this workshop is broad: from, for example, the reception of classics by alt-right nationalists, to challenges facing minorities working in and studying the classics, and the difficulties of teaching classical texts in politically and culturally charged environments. Our workshop is intended to appeal to all members of the classics department since we believe it is impossible to ignore the intersection of classics and contemporary critical issues. Indeed, by opening up space for frank discussion of such issues, we try to address them head-on and bring some of the discussions that happen behind closed doors out into the open for all members of the department to consider together. We do not expect to reach any definitive conclusions over the course of the year; rather we aim to share research ideas and foster dialogue in our community. And, since discussion of important contemporary critical issues and classics is already happening in the field at large and shaping many current research projects, our workshop aims to prepare graduate students to approach these research topics and discussions in an open-minded and informed way.
Graduate Student Coordinators: Miriam Kamil (, Chris Cochran (, Suzanne Paszkowski (
Faculty Advisors: Emma Dench (, Richard Thomas (