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Women in Classics in Cambridge

last modified Feb 01, 2017 05:22 PM
On 23 May 2014, a group of classicists gathered at St John’s College to celebrate their achievements, and the achievements of those who had come before them.

 

 

 

It was the inaugural dinner of the 'Women in Classics at Cambridge', an event sponsored by the Classics Conclave and designed to facilitate discussion among women in the field, from fellows to post-graduates. As Emily Gowers (who hosted the dinner) remarked at the beginning of her speech, 'the idea behind tonight's dinner is to get as many women who are involved in Classics at Cambridge together as we can, mix up ages and subjects and celebrate and compare notes.' The dinner was not only host to women from many disciplines and many places, but also of many ages. Indeed, the age range provided a fascinating insight into the aspects of the faculty that have changed – and those that have not. Dr. Gowers summarised the positive progress of Classics by noting,

'It's certainly become normal to be a female classicist, and that's a big step. Since 1948, we've had a steady stream of women dons, very distinguished ones – Joyce Reynolds, Alison Duke, Pat Easterling, Dorothy Thompson, Mary Beard, who arrived in gold bovver boots in 1984. Now . . . as many women as men read Classics and do as well as or better than them in the exams.'

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