Department and Field of Classics Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

February 26, 2019

The Cornell Department and Field of Classics announces the following actions within our own community to foster diversity and inclusion in Classics:

  • We affirm our commitment to diversity in hiring, to inviting scholars from groups historically under-represented in Classics to speak at research seminars and conferences, and to including their work within course syllabi and our scholarship.
  • In order to advance our commitment to access and inclusion, and to enhance the diversity of our field, we have introduced a recruitment award for one incoming PhD student each year who qualifies for a Cornell diversity fellowship.
  • We have initiated a series of workshops for graduate students on teaching difficult issues – such as race, slavery, gender and sexuality, and sexual violence in antiquity – and on inclusive teaching strategies.
  • We commit to the Department continuing to diversify its curriculum (supported by an annual teaching workshop). Recognizing that classical antiquity provides examples of many differing and contradictory social models, in particular the opportunity to examine social inequality in all its forms, our courses will also encourage awareness of the uses and abuses of classicism, both historically and in contemporary culture. In line with our “Active Learning Initiative,” we will continue to develop courses that welcome students of all backgrounds and levels of expertise to the study of antiquity.
  • We will seek to address student hardship in Classics (including support for the Sportula), in addition to supporting the development of resources available for students at Cornell.
  • We will encourage more open conversations in Classics about race and ethnicity, gender, religion, and all forms of discrimination, in particular through establishing a new reading group on “Decolonizing the Classics”.


Fayum portraits from Roman Egypt.