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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.

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Upcoming events

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Apr 25, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

May 16, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Jun 06, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Athens: Economy & Democracy Conference (in honour of P. Millett)

Jul 09, 2020

Faculty of Classics and Downing College, Cambridge

Upcoming events

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New Collection Videos

Mar 31, 2020

The Museum of Classical Archaeology is pleased to announce the first in a series of short videos on objects in the collection, featuring the Faculty's own Prof Caroline Vout.

Building Closure

Mar 20, 2020

The Faculty Building is closed from 5 pm on Friday 20 March until further notice.

Coronavirus guidance

Feb 06, 2020

A link to the College and University guidance on the Coronavirus is available here

CREWS: Visiting Fellowship focused on the study of ancient writing systems

Jan 22, 2020

Details of how to apply for this Visiting Fellowship are now available online. The deadline for applications is 5pm GMT on Monday, 17th February 2020

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