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Faculty of Classics


Faculty of Classics Race Equality Statement

Confronting racism is one of society’s most urgent challenges. Racism causes incalculable harm to its victims, and we all have a responsibility to fight against both direct and institutional racism wherever it is found. In line with the University’s Race Equality Plan for Action, the Faculty of Classics is committed to a comprehensive review of its practices and culture, so as to achieve a fully inclusive environment.

The world that we study and teach in the Faculty of Classics is one of great cultural diversity and complex cultural interaction. It spans many populations over three continents. The reception of the classical world reaches even further, indeed across the globe. Classics is an immensely enriching subject that gives students and scholars tools better to understand not just ancient cultures but also their own societies, in all their complexity, and it has at times been a force for great good (for example in relation to gay and civil rights movements). We want this precious resource to be available to the whole population, without barriers.

The texts, artefacts and cultures of Greece and Rome, however, have historically been, and continue to be, appropriated and manipulated for racist and imperialist purposes. In part because of this, the community of Classicists in Cambridge and beyond, even more than many other academic communities, has a demographic composition that does not reflect that of society at large. In turn this historic and ongoing underrepresentation of people of colour in the field impoverishes scholarship and places an additional burden on Classicists of colour at every level.

The Faculty undertakes to act effectively to address racism, intolerance and exclusion within Classics at every level (conscious all the while that there will be no quick fix). In order to proceed in an informed, evidence-based way, the Faculty Board has undertaken a programme of consultation and research. The Board will proceed by attending carefully to specific issues raised by Classicists of colour; by tasking its Equality and Diversity Committee, Access and Outreach Committee, Education Committee, Postgraduate Studies Committee, Resources, Planning and Personnel Committee and officers to examine issues of racism and diversity in the culture of Cambridge Classics (including in recruitment of undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff and in the syllabus); and by seeking advice and guidance from third-party specialists in combating racism. The Faculty expects to agree a plan of action not later than Easter Term 2021.

Latest news

The Faculty invites applications for a two-year Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature)

19 April 2021

The Faculty invites applications for a two-year Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature) from 1st September 2021. The deadline for applications is Monday 16th May 2021 . Applications from those currently completing PhDs in any area of Greek literature, as well as from post-doctoral scholars will be welcomed. Further...

Professor Paul Cartledge receives one of Greece’s highest honours

13 April 2021

Professor Paul Cartledge, Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, received the Commander of the Order of Honour (Ταξιάρχης τῆς Τιμῆς), for his 'contribution to enhancing Greece's stature abroad'. One of the highest honours the Greek state can give, Paul received the honour from the H. E. Ambassador to London...

Publication of the Cambridge Greek Lexicon

13 April 2021

The much-anticipated Cambridge Greek Lexicon will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) on 22nd April 2021. Written by an editorial team based in the Faculty, the Cambridge Greek Lexicon , which has been twenty years in the making, covers the most widely read ancient literary texts, from Homer to the Hellenistic...

Teaching Classics in the time of Covid-19

24 February 2021

Dr Renaud Gagné, Director of Undergraduate Studies, discusses the on-going challenges and adaptations made by the Faculty as the Covid-19 crisis continues and Lent term began under a renewed lockdown.