The Department of Classics engages in teaching and researching the civilization of the ancient Greek and Roman world in its broadest sense, from the Bronze Age Aegean to the transmission of classical literature in the Middle Ages and beyond. Our primary focus is the language, literature, art, and archaeology of the ancient Greeks and Romans, but our reach extends to all aspects of their culture as well as to related civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world. Our field is inherently interdisciplinary, and we draw on a range of approaches in order to understand the diversity of these civilizations and to explore the varied ways in which people in later periods, including our own, have found them meaningful. Some of our graduates pursue advanced study in classics and related academic fields, while others go on to professional schools as well as a variety of careers in the public and private sectors.
Statement of Inclusivity and non-discrimination
The Department of Classics states in the strongest terms our commitment to inclusivity and diversity and our ongoing determination to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all faculty, students, staff, and guests of the department, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. In doing so we emphatically and unequivocally endorse the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s policy statement on non-discrimination. Moreover, our life-long dedication to the informed and critical study of human culture in all its complexity requires us to reject the spirit and logic behind any form of discrimination on any such grounds as those listed above.
The Department likewise emphatically endorses the statements issued by two of our discipline’s most prominent professional associations. With the Society for Classical Studies, we “strongly support efforts to include all groups among those who study and teach the ancient world, and to encourage understanding of antiquity by all. [We] vigorously and unequivocally oppose any attempt to distort the diverse realities of the Greek and Roman world by enlisting the Classics in the service of ideologies of exclusion, whether based on race, color, national origin, gender, or any other criterion. As scholars and teachers, we condemn the use of the texts, ideals, and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the Classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely-imagined and narrowly-conceived western civilization.” For the full statement by the leadership of the SCS, see here.
Likewise, with the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, we are “alarmed by the appropriation of ancient imagery by any political entity that might seek to employ the ideas and images that are property not only of classicists but also, in fact, of any thoughtful human being. We therefore call out all groups that seek to use these ideas for deleterious purposes as charlatans and manipulators. We urge all to adopt a posture of generosity and empathy as, whatever our race, creed or color, we are all together engaged in the human enterprise. Classicists are and will continue to be at the vanguard of advancing this way of thinking, promoting no particular world view save that of thoughtful care and compassion for every person, for that is the vital lesson we have learned from the civilizations that we study.” For the full statement by the Executive Committee of CAMWS, see here.