The past 20 years has brought many changes in the department. George Houston (chair 1996-2001) succeeded Sams and was followed by William Race (2001-2003), James O’Hara (2003-2007), and Cecil Wooten (2007-2012). In this period a number of long-term faculty who had directed scores of dissertations retired: Ed Brown, Gerhard Koeppel, Philip Stadter, Kenneth Reckford, Jerzy Linderski, Bill West, Sara Mack, George Houston, Carolyn Connor, and most recently Peter Smith and Cecil Wooten. Our deans have consistently supported the department with replacement positions, as the total number of students at the University grows close to 30,000. Bill Race was hired as Paddison Professor of Classics (1996), Sharon James brought new expertise in gender and Latin poetry (1999), James O’Hara was hired as Paddison Professor of Latin (2001), and Monika Truemper came to teach Hellenistic and Roman art and architecture (2005). Nicola Terrenato (at UNC 1998-2007), Maura Lafferty (2000-2006), Phiroze Vasunia (2003-2005), Werner Riess (2004-2011), and Brooke Holmes (2005-2007) brought new life to Murphey before moving on to positions at Michigan, Tennesee, Reading, Hamburg and Princeton. The College of Arts and Sciences again supported the department with replacement positions, and in 2006-2008 the department hired six new faculty members: James Rives, Kenan Eminent Professor of Classics, works on Roman religion and Latin historiography; Robert Babcock on Latin paleography and Medieval Latin; Brendan Boyle on Greek political and ethical thought and rhetoric (who left in 2012); Emily Baragwanath on Greek historiography; Owen Goslin on Greek tragedy; and Lidewijde de Jong (who moved on to a position at Groningen in 2012) on Roman archaeology. James Rives is chair beginning in July 2012. While Monika Truemper accepted the opportunity to be a full professor at the Freie Universitaet Berlin in the spring of 2013, Luca Grillo and Jennifer Gates-Foster joined the faculty in the fall of 2013. Al Duncan, a specialist in Greek Drama, and Hérica Valladares, who works on Roman Art and Literature joined the faculty in the fall of 2015.
In 1999, under the leadership of George Houston, the department created our Post-Baccalaureate Program, which provides a flexible course of study for students who want to improve their skills either for their own education or as preparation for graduate work; many have gone on to M.A. or Ph.D. programs at UNC or at other top schools. Since 2003, the department has been developing an exchange program with King’s College London, the UNC-King’s Strategic Alliance, which provides opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty to study and collaborate with their peers at King’s College London. The department played a key role in the creation of a new major and minor in Archaeology, which started in 2008 and is organized through the Curriculum in Archaeology. The Duke-UNC Consortium for Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology, a close collaboration between Mediterranean archaeologists at both institutions, offers further possibilities for interdisciplinary dialogues. This consortium also offers students access to seminars, excavations, and other research opportunities, as well as academic advising at both universities. The department also contributes to the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, which brings together more than 60 faculty members from 10 departments in the humanities and fine arts who conduct research on the period from the fall of the western Roman empire to the eighteenth century.
In addition to our full-time faculty members, the Classics department has several part-time instructors and adjuncts in the departments of Anthropology, Art, English and Comparative Literature, History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Among those who have made significant contributions to Classics are Mary Sturgeon, professor of Classical Art (appointed 1977 and retired in fall 2013); Richard Talbert, William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of History (1988); Eric Downing, Hanes Distinguished Term Professor of German, English and Comparative Literature (1995); archaeologist Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism (2002); and C.D.C. Reeve, Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy (2005).
Current course offerings — in Classical Archaeology, Classical Civilization, Greek, and Latin — present a diversity of perspectives on and approaches to the ancient world, catering to various majors and degrees, as well as undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate education.