Yale’s Department of Classics places the principles and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of its educational mission and departmental life. We aspire to be a department that welcomes and affirms scholars and students from diverse races, ethnicities, national origins, gender expressions, social classes, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, ages, and abilities.
The ancient world was heterogeneous: many different actors created the history and culture on which we focus. Many of them have been silenced. As teachers, learners, and researchers, we aim to explore, interrogate, and celebrate the diversity of the past, even while we recognize the realities of past violence and oppression.
With a critical eye towards our methods, our field, and ourselves, we acknowledge that all scholarship is a dialogue between antiquity and multiple presents, and that every present has been shaped by the circumstances of the past. In striving for a better community, we must confront the long, fraught history of appropriations of the ancient world in justifying ideologies and practices of oppression, hatred, and brutality. Recognizing the exclusions, past and present, that have animated the modern university and the field of Classics, we must reimagine what it means to study the histories, cultures, and literatures that have constituted the “classical” past.
The Greco-Roman world does not belong to any self-proclaimed inheritors but is a common past that we explore, enliven, and share with the world, in all of its beauty and horror, wonder and contradictions.
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