Regional Classics Podcast - Northern Ireland
The first iteration of this exciting new Project – the Regional Classics Podcast – is now available here!
In Summer 2021, we interviewed current students, staff members and alumni for the Regional Classics podcast, which captures the experiences and perspectives of Oxford Classicists, past and present, from regional areas that have traditionally been underrepresented within the Faculty: namely, the North and South-West of England, the Midlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Many of these areas have also been identified as experiencing ‘Classics poverty’ – that is, a lack of access to Classical subjects in schools. We want to help to change this and show that if you want to study the ancient world (any aspect – politics, history, art, science, culture, literature and much more), you don’t need to have a ‘certain type’ of background. Oxford offers a range of courses many of which do not require prior study of the ancient world and certainly not ancient languages!
In this episode, we talk about what ‘Classics’ really means and its place in the twenty-first century; we discuss Greek vases, ‘Irish modesty’, provincial art, the Sogdians; and we discover just how many ancient languages Jenyth is learning, which literature (both modern and ancient) Sarah recommends, and whether Peter thinks Classics needs to be made more appealing. We also highlight the particular barriers that Northern Irish students may face – and how to overcome them!
What is Representative Classics?
Representative Classics seeks to create thought-provoking conversations, engage new audiences, and widen access to the myriad areas of study which come under the umbrella of Classics. The diverse voices of the Oxford Classics community will be celebrated via a podcast series and film and by an exhibition which will be permanently displayed in the Classics Faculty’s Ioannou Centre (in Oxford) as a visual, evolving and long-lasting form of representation.
The Project is created and coordinated by the Faculty of Classics, in partnership with the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD), the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics and the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. It has been funded by the Craven Committee and the Humanities Division Culture Change Fund.
“Many prospective students feel that they may not ‘fit in’ at Oxford because they cannot see or hear people like themselves represented here,” says Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, one of the project’s leaders. “But Oxford Classicists can and do come from a wide cross-section of society. This project aims to bring together current students, staff and alumni to showcase the diversity of both Classics and Classicists.”
The project is looking to highlight Oxford Classicists (past and present) who identify as belonging to one or more of the following groups: from a working-class background; from a non-traditional educational background; who are non-white; who have disabilities; who are or have been mature students; or who have entered academia after alternative careers. Many of these groups may intersect: reducing any individual to a set of categories can, of course, never capture the complexity of a life story but talking to people from a range of backgrounds will hopefully shine a light on the diversity of people with interests in the ancient world.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the Project can contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org