Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Reed strives to introduce students to the rich linguistic, social, and cultural diversity of the ancient Mediterranean world and to the range of approaches and perspectives that students and scholars of all backgrounds can bring to it.

We recognize, however, that the narrow canon of traditionally taught material, the ways in which that material has been studied and taught, and the uses to which that material has been put have been and continue to be complicit in structures of privilege, oppression, inequity, and exclusivity. At Reed we firmly believe that the study of the ancient Mediterranean and its culture is not the inheritance of any one group or any one part of the world, nor is it inherently unique or superior to other cultures. We are actively working both to ensure that our curriculum and course materials interrogate and challenge the canon and to ensure that our department fosters an inclusive and equitable environment that is supportive of students of all identities, especially students from underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Our decision in the 2020-2021 academic year to change our department’s name from Classics to Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is both a reflection of our broad and inclusive curricular focus as well as a statement of our vision for our department’s future. The new name is the first of several changes in the department.

Curricular Revision and Expansion

New Course Offerings

From 2021-2022 onward, we will be implementing a series of changes in our language curriculum that enable us to offer a wider variety of courses each year that are open to students without any experience in Greek or Latin. We anticipate being able to offer more courses in archaeology and history as well as in literature in translation that better represent the range of experiences in the ancient Mediterranean and that better reflect the geographical and cultural scope of our fields of study.

Greek Curriculum Revision

With the support of an Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence mini-grant from the Faculty Committee on Diversity and the Office of Institutional Diversity, we have planned and are implementing a revised and expanded Greek language curriculum, beginning in Spring 2022. This new curriculum broadens its horizons beyond literary texts and beyond fifth-century BCE Athens to explore the many times, places, and contexts in which Greek was spoken and written. This new sequence more fully represents the diversity of the ancient Greek-speaking world and allows us to directly challenge the often-unreflective representations in modern textbooks of misogyny, slavery, and other forms of inequality and discrimination in the ancient world. In conjunction with our adoption of more equitable pedagogical practices, this new Greek curriculum will make Greek more accessible to all students, regardless of prior experience or training in languages, and will better support language-learners of all backgrounds and goals.

Inclusivity and Support

Listening Sessions

In Spring of 2021 we conducted focus groups with both majors and minors to understand how the faculty, classroom practices, curriculum, advising, and environment in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies can best support students of all backgrounds and serve their goals. Student voices play a crucial role in guiding our vision for our department’s future and holding us accountable for fostering and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment. We are committed to continuing these conversations and expanding the venues and opportunities for students to offer feedback, raise questions, and share concerns.

Centering BIPOC Students and Scholars

  • Affinity Groups: The Department of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies especially wants to welcome and empower students whom the traditional practices of our field of study have excluded. The department hosts an informal affinity group to foster community and mutual support among students and faculty who identify as BIPOC or with underrepresented groups.
  • Guest Speakers: We are committed to supporting and showcasing the excellence and expertise of BIPOC scholars and scholars from underrepresented groups by hosting guest speakers. Past speakers have included Sasha-Mae Eccleston, Dan-El Padilla Peralta, Victoria Pagán, and Nandini Pandey.