Quotes from Graduates

Spencer Klavan, Thea Sommerschield, Solmeng-Jonas Hirschi, Leah Lazar, Marcus Chin

‘There is simply nowhere better than Oxford to do graduate study in Classics—or to do anything, really. There's a marvelous mixture of freedom and support: DPhils are given a high degree of independence to pursue their own interests, but expert guidance and feedback is always readily on offer. It's a tremendous environment for both personal and professional growth.’  Spencer Klavan (LL = Languages and Literature). Link to graduate profile

‘What never ceases to impress me about Ancient History at Oxford is the richness of experience that it offers. The variety of topics offered at the faculty seminars, of international students and academics, of potential for travel for fieldwork and conferences, of languages to learn, of specialised books and scholarly expertise, of visiting academics to meet, and of friendships - which will last well after your degree is over, and will remain with you as a constant memento.’ Thea Sommerschield  (AHCA = Ancient History and Classical Archaeology). Link to graduate profile

‘I enjoy the sheer hugeness and academic diversity of our faculty. There is always room for creativity and a pinch of madness. The challenge is not to get lost - but what a great challenge!’ Solmeng-Jonas Hirschi (LL). Link to graduate profile

‘One of the best features of the Oxford MSt in languages and literature is how flexible it is: on top of the dissertation option, it is possible to design your own literature option and to take a paper from another area of the discipline such as in classical art. This is great if you want to take an interdisciplinary approach, or to direct your own studies.’ Emily Clifford (LL)

‘One of the best parts of graduate life in the Classics faculty is the huge number of research seminars each week. I regularly attend at least two or three a week in different subject areas, hearing about new research from Oxford and elsewhere. Monday lunchtime is reserved for the Epigraphy Workshop, where scholars present their new work on inscriptions (sometimes about new inscriptions) and get feedback. Every Thursday evening, we ancient history graduate students have our own Work in Progress seminar, where we share our ideas in an informal atmosphere - before heading to the pub!’ Leah Lazar (AHCA). Link to graduate profile

‘There is great opportunity for exploring new subjects. Both of the supervisors I have had as a graduate here have encouraged me to incorporate interesting new material into my work, and three of the poets whom I have first encountered since becoming a graduate are now central to my research. In addition, there is a varied programme of seminars, making topics otherwise quite distant from my research-area far more accessible.’ Phillip Bone (LL)

‘The University of Oxford is an extraordinary place to study ancient history. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with an exceptionally accomplished and supportive group of academics, have access to the world-class Sackler Library, and become part of a welcoming and diverse graduate community.’ Michael Economou (AHCA). Link to graduate profile

‘For “Motion and Thought”, a weekly seminar aimed at analyzing the representation of motion in ancient Greek/Latin texts, we received a special tour of the Ashmolean Museum's Cast Gallery! We considered the paradoxical concept of motion captured in static sculpture. Throughout my experience at Oxford, my professors have guided this sort of reflection of various media, probed and challenged traditional methods of interpreting material from antiquity, and emphasized the importance of a dynamic engagement with the Classics, even with that which is permanently fixed in stone.’ Visala Alagappan (LL)

‘Oxford is the ideal venue for the study of the ancient world. As well as the outstanding libraries, the faculty offers a deep coverage of Greco-Roman history in its range of staff research interests and seminar offerings, at which leading experts from around the world routinely present the latest thoughts and findings in their fields. The graduate research student receives tremendous freedom to explore her/his topic, and, most importantly, will discover an inviting atmosphere in which to meet and share with student peers.’ Marcus Chin (AHCA). Link to graduate profile


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