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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

In the Round: how to use photogrammetry to make 3D models of classical casts

Oct 17, 2018

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cast Gallery

Raiders of the Secret Scripts

Oct 19, 2018

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cast Gallery

Religious Pollution: negotiating extremes in Greek antiquity

Oct 20, 2018

Faculty of Classics, Room G.19

The King with the Bling

Oct 23, 2018

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cast Gallery

On the Edge: Writing in Roman Britain

Oct 24, 2018

Faculty of Classics, Room G.19

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

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.

The Cambridge Philological Society Prize 2019 and 2020

Jun 27, 2018

The Cambridge Philological Society is pleased to announce the establishment of a prize for the best submitted article by a graduate student or early-career researcher.

Research Associate (Assistant Editor, Oxford History of the Archaic Greek World)

Jun 22, 2018

Details of how to apply for this one year fixed term post are now available online, Closing date 23 July 2018.

Life After Classics: alumni profiles

Jun 20, 2018

Our Classics alumni give us an insight into their lives after studying Classics at Cambridge.

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