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Department of Classics and Ancient History

Departmental Research

Research strategy and vision

We are committed to the study of Graeco-Roman antiquity as a subject with global relevance and the inherent potential for social and pedagogical benefit. Our approach to research involves rigour in methodology (including a strong emphasis on the study of Greek and Latin), underpinning innovative explorations of new frontiers in the discipline, which aim to challenge entrenched and parochial views of the subject. We aim, in short, to produce credible and innovative research which has far-reaching effects on the subject and society as a whole. Download our full strategy here.

Research Centres and areas of strength

The particular research identity of the Department is based on a long-term policy of developing areas of critical strength, rather than aiming for breadth of coverage. We are now widely known especially for innovative work coming out of concentrations in the study of ancient epic, ancient philosophy, and the social and cultural history of the Graeco-Roman world. Two Research Centres are built on common and distinctive threads of interest which run through these sub-disciplinary areas of strength: the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East (CAMNE) places ancient Greece and Rome within the study of the wider synchronic and diachronic cross-cultural contexts in which they flourished, and addresses the issue of cross-cultural encounters; the Durham Centre for Classical Reception (DCCR) fosters the study of the reception of classical culture within and beyond antiquity. These Centres give interdisciplinary coherence and focus to individual endeavours, provide a ready sense of distinctive identity for Durham Classics, set our work in broader contexts of cultural significance, and serve to foster dialogue with other researchers beyond the Department and the University. In Michaelmas 2017, they will be joined by a third Centre, the Durham Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, which aims to build on historic strength in the study of ancient philosophy at Durham.

Fellowship opportunities

We are always actively seeking ways to bring new researchers into our community, and are proactive in our support of potential colleagues who might wish to come to us. As a result we have had outstanding success in securing Senior Research Fellows at the IAS (which is just next door to us), and a range of prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, including those funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme, Marie Curie and the IAS COFUND scheme). We are also able to offer suitably qualified scholars who wish to work with us here non-stipendiary visitor status in the University.

Doctoral research

Needless to say, we are also very keen to keep recruiting excellent students to our doctoral programme in areas of our collective and individual research strengths. We have a large, international postgraduate community, which forms a vital part of our research environment. Go here for more details on what we have to offer and how you can become part of it.

Current staff and their research

Finally, have a look at current staff profiles - this will show you who we have here at the moment (including the various categories of research fellows, honorary fellows, and visitors), and you can find out about our individual research plans, and see how they relate to the vision outlined here.

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