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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

Illustrating Ancient History: Bringing the Past to the Present

Nov 03, 2020

Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA

Conservation in Action: the Bassae Frieze

Dec 08, 2020

Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology

Upcoming events

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Current Archaeology Award - voting open

Dec 02, 2020

The Faculty's Aldborough Roman Town has been nominated for Current Archaeology Award for Best Research Project of the Year. See link for how to vote.

Australian Academy of Humanities

Nov 25, 2020

The Faculty is delighted to report that Professor Simon Goldhill has been elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship Scheme 2021

Nov 20, 2020

The Faculty invites applications from early career researchers to the this fellowship. Internal deadline: 21 December 2020.

Professor Beard's new series, Inside Culture, broadcasts on 24 September

Sep 23, 2020

Professor Mary Beard is starting a new series of her Arts and Culture programme, now called "Inside Culture" on BBC2 (7.30 pm Thursday 24 Sept).

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