Welcome

The interdepartmental Classical Studies Program (CLST) at Columbia University (contact information here) brings together faculty from Art History and Archaeology, Classics, History, and Philosophy. Students in the program pursue a Ph.D. or an M.A. in Classical Studies, meeting requirements in three fields relevant to the study of Greek and Roman antiquity as well as the larger Ancient Mediterranean. Together with the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Classical Studies is the home of a vibrant community of scholars working in ancient studies at Columbia University. Learn more…

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Apply Now for Admission to the Classical Studies M.A. Program

Classical Studies invites applications to the M.A. program. The M.A. Program in Classical Studies pursues an integrated approach to the ancient world. It particularly aims to acquaint students with the richness of evidence characterizing the study of classical antiquity, and to stimulate them to use knowledge of the relevant materials and texts with skill and imagination.

To this effect the program draws upon the many resources of Columbia in the classical field: students are given the unique opportunity to work with leading classicists specializing in a variety of areas, take advantage of the intellectual and organizational resources of the four participating Departments, get access to the libraries of the University; they are eligible to work with the materials of Columbia’s archaeological, epigraphic, and numismatic collections, can apply to Columbia’s excavation projects, and participate in the numerous initiatives organized by the University (seminars, lectures, conferences, museum trips). Moreover, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences GSAS recently improved the financial support CLST is able to offer for M.A. students.

Variety and flexibility are among the defining features of the program. Incoming students are encouraged to devise their own curriculum according to their specific intellectual and professional goals, in consultation with the advisors as well as with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Classical Studies. The M.A. program especially addresses those students who wish to enrich their vision of classical antiquity by developing new skills, or who wish to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on antiquity. The program will give more solid foundations to those students who intend to pursue a doctoral career but do not yet meet the admission requirements of Ph.D. programs in ancient studies. More generally, the M.A. degree will prove useful for everybody dealing with the ancient world—from museum curators to high-school teachers—and wishing to acquire a broader perspective in order to fully exploit the numerous potentialities inherent within ancient texts, images, and artifacts. Students who earn the self-standing M.A. degree in Classical Studies may apply for Distinction, which is awarded based on their M.A. thesis, their overall academic record, and the full range of their activities in the program. Learn more about the requirements here.

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Classical Philosophy Lecture: Agreement and Consensus in Plato’s Crito, by James Warren, University of Cambridge

Dr. James Warren’s Classical Philosophy Lecture is co-sponsored by the Classical Studies Program and the Philosophy Department at Columbia University.

Time: April 13, 4:10-6pm
Location: Philosophy Hall 716

Please see Dr. Warren’s abstract here: Crito thinks Socrates should agree to leave the prison and escape from Athens. Socrates is also determined that he and Crito should have a ‘common plan of action’ (koinē boulē: 49d3), but he wants Crito to share his preferred plan of remaining and submitting to the court’s sentence. Much of the drama of the Crito is generated by the interplay of these two old friends, both determined that they should come to an agreement, but differing radically in what they think the two of them should agree to do. I show how agreements of various kinds—including agreements about how to agree—play important roles in the dialogue. What is more, attention to that theme may help to explain one of the most pressing questions for any interpretation of the Crito. Why does Socrates choose, at the end of the dialogue, to present to Crito a speech in the voice of the personified laws of Athens?

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Classical Dialogues: Annetta Alexandridis on Human and Animal Bodies in Ancient Greece

As part of its Classical Dialogues series, the Classical Studies Graduate Program CLST at Columbia University is pleased to welcome Annetta Alexandridis from Cornell University. On Friday, March 24, 11am-1pm, Professor Alexandridis will discuss her ideas about Ζῷα: Images of the Body Between Man, Woman, and Animal in Ancient Greece. Location: Schermerhorn Hall 930, Columbia University. Please see Professor Alexandridis’s abstract here:

This book manuscript is an investigation into the ways in which ancient Greek society conceived of the animal in relation to the human. Based on the idea of the “extended mind,” as derived from phenomenology and cognitive studies, I propose that conceptions of species boundaries resulted not only from philosophical discourse and observation of nature, but also from interdependent notions of species and gender, and how these were experienced in various societal venues and practices.

The study traces the shifting barriers between human and animal in the body. Visual depictions of the transgression of species boundaries, namely in myths of metamorphosis (a human or anthropomorphic figure transformed into an animal) and zoophilia (sexual interaction between a human and an animal or theriomorphic figure), are put in conversation with the description of male and female bodies in the Hippocratic corpus and Aristotle’s biological writings.

The chapters I want to discuss investigate the iconographies of myths of metamorphosis in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. I argue that what could be described as an increased blurring of species boundaries in these depictions, appears to be related to changing ways of seeing, performing and representing male, female and animal bodies in the context of symposium and theater.

In its Classical Dialogues series, the interdepartmental Classical Studies Graduate Progam CLST at Columbia University invites authors of recent work in ancient studies that is exemplary for the kind of study that CLST aims to foster. All faculty and students at Columbia and beyond are cordially invited. CLST students are required to read carefully at least one chapter or article in advance and prepare questions and comments for discussion.

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