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Chair’s Annual Letter

James B. Rives
Kenan Eminent Professor

It has been another busy year for the Department of Classics at UNC, but I am glad to report that the bulk of the business has been good.  The Department continues to thrive and, I feel, go from strength to strength.  Although this year is the fifth and last of my term as Chair, I decided in the fall that I would renew for another term.  I have certainly had to face my share of challenges, but I have on the whole found it a very rewarding experience, thanks to a terrific group of colleagues, staff, and students and to the steadfast support of the College administration, and I am proud of our accomplishments and pleased with the direction we’re going in.  That all said, I must admit that I signed on for a more limited second term of only three years.  There can be too much of a good thing!  Read more >>

Faculty News and Notes

Read about what the faculty have been up to over the past year.  Read more >>

On Campus

Whose Classics?

Assistant Professor Al Duncan

In the last year questions of diversity and Classics have entered national and international conversations in higher education and beyond.  I offer an eclectic sampling: Kwame Anthony Appiah, in a piece published by The Guardian in November, offered a historically-informed dismantling of the modern and self-serving invention of “Western Civilization.”  The next month, in a short article for Inside Higher Ed entitled “Black Learning Matters,” friend of the department Bob Connor addressed disparities in access to subjects like Latin and Greek.  Fall 2016 also saw the publication of Eric Adler’s Classics and the Culture Wars; articles supporting his book continue to churn discussion of the Classics’ role in American culture.  All this without even mentioning the steady stream of think pieces in Eidolon addressing issues of access and equity pertaining to the discipline, some of which, like Johanna Hanink’s The Classical Debt, have developed into trade books.  Read more >>

Happenings in Murphey

Undergraduate students organized the 4th annual Eta Sigma Phi Undergraduate Conference in March; the fall marked the 3rd annual Kings College London/UNC joint graduate colloquium; and graduate students hosted Professor Ray Laurence of the University of Kent for a lecture and seminar in the spring semester.  Read more >>

Annual T-Shirt Competition

This spring, students in beginning and intermediate Latin courses took part in the third annual T-shirt competition. Read more >>

Awards & Achievements

Discovery in South Africa

Philip Wilson
Classics Major, Latin and Greek; History Major
Class of 2018

Last summer, thanks to the Snow and Nims awards I was able to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to undertake a research project on the influence of Greek and Latin classics on Afrikaans modernist poetry.  I spent my days in archives from the University of Cape Town to the University of Stellenbosch trying, specifically, to see how the classics structured the understanding and presentation of apartheid in the poetry of modernists Breytenbach, Opperman, and Louw.  I was first led to pursue this project by Dr. Al Duncan and our discussions about his own work on the reception of Greek drama in South African theater.  Thanks to his supervision I was able to proceed in a productive direction. Read more>>

Awards & Fellowships

Over the past academic year, many graduate and undergraduate Classics students have been granted prestigious awards and fellowships from multiple institutions including UNC-Chapel Hill and the Classics Department. Read more >>

UNC Teaching Awards

Of the twenty-four faculty members and teaching assistants selected for University teaching awards this spring, three find their home in the Department of Classics. Read more>>

Out & About

Many of our graduate students and faculty participated in the annual meetings of various professional associations as well as traveled abroad to give papers.  Read more >>

Commencement 2017

The Classics Department celebrated commencement this year at a very well attended ceremony on Mother’s Day in Murphey Hall.  Read more >>

Alumni & Friends

Featured Alumna – Hilary Becker

Ph.D. Classical Archaeology, 2007

A recent opportunity to deliver a lecture for the Archaeological Institute of America in Greensboro gave me a chance to visit Chapel Hill and reflect upon my myriad experiences since I completed my Ph.D. in 2007. I’ve had great opportunities to teach as a sabbatical replacement faculty member at a few, small liberal arts colleges, which was followed by a wonderful four years as a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Classics at the University of Mississippi.  I had the opportunity to relocate to the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at Binghamton University – SUNY in New York last summer where I am part of a vibrant community of archaeologists and Classicists, including a strong showing by fellow Tar Heels. Read more >>

Teaching & Learning in Macedonia

Austin Glock Goodwin Andrews
BA 2016, Classical Archaeology and Religious Studies

From kissing saints to making wine to participating in ritual sacrifice, my experience after graduating from UNC’s Department of Classics this past year has been anything but boring.  Since last fall, I moved to Macedonia in the southern Balkans to teach English with the Peace Corps.  Here, I live in a village of a couple hundred people as I navigate my way around a new language, a new culture, and an overall new lifestyle. Read more >>

Friend of the Department – Fred Zimmerman

Fred Zimmerman and his wife Martha are leaving the Chapel Hill area and moving to Providence, RI after many years of association with the UNC Classics Department.  Fred was the editor of the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal, based in Hong Kong, before moving to Chapel Hill in 1988. Read more >>