Department of Classical and Early Mediterranean Studies

Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Department of Classical Studies is devoted to fostering an environment that recognizes and celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion. We cultivate an inclusive climate that supports all students, staff, and faculty regardless of race, gender, sexuality, social class, age, disability, religion, or national origin. Our commitment is grounded in the mission statement of Brandeis University and its historical dedication to social justice, and informed by our discipline. The classical world was multi-racial and multi-ethnic by nature, and we aim to nurture inclusive perspectives and practices in all those who wish to study antiquity. We believe that academic departments are enriched by diversity in membership, scholarship, and pedagogy, and we reject the appropriation of the ancient world to support ideologies of hate.

The Department reflects the values of the university and stands opposed to modern misconceptions about the ancient world through discussion, course offerings, and outreach. We have initiated an open conversation about diversity in the field of Classical Studies and how our department can support diversity initiatives both in our discipline and at the university. From this conversation we have selected a series of actions to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to our values. We welcome additional suggestions from our students, colleagues, and friends.

Ongoing and Future Actions

We have expanded our curriculum to include multiple courses that fulfill the Brandeis Core requirement for Diversity and Justice in the World, and continue to diversify our curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In our graduate proseminar, we regularly address current issues in our field and brainstorm methods of outreach through Brandeis and in the broader classics community. We will also integrate pedagogical training on equity and inclusion in the classroom for faculty and graduate students. While we have offered students from underrepresented groups full scholarships to our AGRS MA program in the past through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, we will work with the administration to the goal of making this opportunity available every year and to provide all students with the mentoring and community support they need to thrive in our field.

In our speaker series, we have committed to inviting scholars who represent and work on issues relevant to diversity and modern engagement with the classical world. We also realize that our engagement should reach outside the traditional borders of the academy. We host an Archaeology Day that welcomes students of all ages to experience and learn about material culture, and we have dedicated ourselves to working with Brandeis’ outreach programs in Waltham and the greater Boston area in order to encourage broader access to the ancient languages and participation in our field. Such initiatives and practices reflect our commitment to fostering diversity and combating discrimination within our department and the wider academic community.