American Classicisms

The working group investigates the role played by the classical traditions of Greece and Rome in the institutions, intellectual life, and popular culture of America from the eighteenth century onwards. It asks how Americans accessed, constructed, mobilized, and appropriated knowledge about these pre-modern societies — oftentimes to the exclusion of others.

We are interested in receiving both abstracts for formal presentations of relevant work, and proposals for leading more informal discussions with the group.  We especially welcome participants from the fields of African-American Studies, American Studies, Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, History, Religious Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Below is the Spring 2022 schedule for the American Classicisms Working Group: 

  • Thursday, February 24th, 5 pm: Roberta Dougherty on Woolsey and the Classics at Yale
  • Thursday, March 17th, 5 pm: Depictions of slavery in American (particularly Southern) textbooks (discussion led by Catherine Saterson) 
  • Thursday, April 21st, 5 pm: Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton) will give a talk titled “W.E.B. Du Bois on the Native American: The Ancient Mediterranean as Conceptual Non-Resource.”

We intend to host these sessions following a hybrid model. However, if prompted by a change in prevailing conditions and/or university guidance, these meetings will be held exclusively over Zoom.

Readings will be circulated in advance of each meeting. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to the organizers if you have any questions.

Contact the organizers: 
Francesca Beretta (Classics and Comparative Literature) -
Thomas Munro (Classics) -