Statement on Racism and Classics
Along with colleagues across the country and elsewhere, the members of the Department of Classics strongly reject the racist attitudes, both implicit and explicit, enacted and expressed at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in San Diego (January 3-6, 2019). As the President of the Society has stated, such prejudices have no place in our field. We further reject any arguments or suggestions that the ancient Mediterranean world, our subject of study, is a source and justification for white supremacy and racial exclusivity in either politics or academics. Classical Studies must not be used as grounds for arguments for the primacy of so-called “Western Civilization” over others.
We state in the strongest terms not only that the ancient Latin- and Greek-speaking world was always diverse, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial, but that the field of Classical Studies depends in every way upon diversity and inclusivity (for further reference, see the Classics and Social Justice website and this article about “How the Alt-Right is Weaponizing the Classics). We support the work of The Sportula to increase diversity and inclusivity in our field and we affirm the statement of Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta, of Princeton University, about the necessity of his race and ethnicity to his profession and work as a classicist. We continue to work to open up our field, our scholarship, and our classes to everyone. We invite all to join us.