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Interdisciplinary Studies (X)

Many of the most exciting questions in the contemporary study of the ancient world cannot be adequately approached by the standard techniques of philology, philosophy, history or archaeology on their own. They require approaching ancient culture simultaneously with the whole range of disciplinary tools. ‘X’ or ‘Interdisciplinary Classics’ was founded in Cambridge to explore these questions at all levels of teaching and research, and offers what has rapidly become one of the most popular groups of courses in the Faculty. It capitalizes on Cambridge's unique range of intellectual resources to provide a different sort of classical study from that offered by other departments in Britain.

For undergraduates

Each year ‘X’ offers two part II courses, each of which takes a central issue in Classics, examining it from several different angles and through diverse genres of evidence (literary, visual, philosophical, linguistic, ancient and modern). Discussion is paramount: lectures are supplemented by two-hour classes in which areas of expertise are shared and ideas tested. Courses change regularly as the most pressing questions in contemporary Classics change. On offer at the moment are ‘Idols? Imagining Gods and Heroes in the Greek and Roman Worlds’ and ‘Prostitutes and Saints’. Previous papers include ‘Myth’, ‘Cultural Identity’, ‘Personal Politics’, ‘Time’, ‘Rhetoric’, ‘The Body in Antiquity’, ‘Death’, and ‘Sexual Ethics’. Many students also elect to do their third-year dissertation in an interdisciplinary area.

For postgraduates

‘X’ teaching, and the collaborations and debates that this has fostered, have helped produce some of the finest recent research and contributed greatly to Cambridge's outstanding reputation for the application of modern approaches to the study of the ancient world. Many successful Ph.D. thesis-projects have been directly inspired by it, and many others have reflected its influence. The Faculty is exceptional in having a large number of its members working on interdisciplinary topics (many of them with a ‘reception’ angle) at any one time.

Who are we?

Initiated by John Henderson and Geoffrey Lloyd in the 1980s, the 'X' Caucus has embraced a broad cross-section of internationally distinguished scholars known for their interdisciplinary interests. Below is a list of faculty-members whose research interests fall under 'X' and who contribute to 'X' teaching.

People specializing in this area

Upcoming events

B Club

Nov 19, 2018

1.11

Ancient History Seminar

Nov 19, 2018

G.21

Literature Seminar

Nov 21, 2018

1.04

Upcoming events

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Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships at Cambridge

Nov 07, 2018

The Cambridge Classics Faculty invites applications to the 2019 round of the Leverhulme Trust early Career Fellowship competition.

Make Your Myth Competition 2018

Nov 05, 2018

We are excited to announce a brand new competition that wants students in school years 3-8 to get creative with the Classics.

Gildersleeve Prize 2017

Oct 11, 2018

The Faculty is delighted to report that the Gildersleeve Prize in 2017 has been presented to Dr Max Leventhal.

Second CREWS Conference: Call for Papers

Jun 27, 2018

We are pleased to announce the second CREWS conference, to take place Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th of March 2019. ‘Exploring the Social and Cultural Contexts of Historic Writing Systems’ aims to look at writing systems’ place in society and culture.

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