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Chair’s Letter, Autumn 2022

Submitted by Deborah E Kamen on September 8, 2022 - 2:26pm

I’d like to start by offering hearty congratulations to our 2022 graduates, including those graduating with BAs, MAs, and PhDs. I’m also delighted to announce that our newly minted PhDs have moved on to exciting new jobs, including a postdoctoral fellowship from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and faculty positions at China Academy of Art, Davidson College, and Grand Valley State University.

The Department of Classics continues to attract considerable attention both within and outside the University. To give just a few examples, Perspectives (the College of Arts & Sciences Newsletter) this year profiled both Prof. Chris Waldo’s work on race in antiquity and Humanities First, the First Year Experience directed by Prof. Sarah Stroup; Classics PhD student (and now Dr.) Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld’s work on Greek slavery was featured in NYU’s Emerging Scholars Series; Classics PhD student (and now Dr.) Grace Funsten's work on Roman epitaphs was featured in UW Magazine; and interviews with Prof. Levin-Richardson about her research on Roman prostitution appeared in various online media. Our Department has also been engaging the community in a number of ways, including Prof. Jim Clauss’ teaching of student athletes in Rome, the running of the Textile Studies Graduate Research Cluster by Classics PhD students Kaitlyn Boulding and Lauryn Hanley, and our co-hosting of International Archaeology Day with the Burke Museum. 

In addition, our students racked up a number of national and international awards this year, including a Center for Hellenic Studies Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Greek Etymology, an E. Adelaide Hahn Rome/Athens Scholarship, a Lambda Classical Caucus Graduate Student Paper Award, and a Women’s Classical Caucus Best PhD Paper Award. They also received multiple awards from UW, including two Joff Hanauer Graduate Fellowships, an Irene Dickson McFarlane Tuition Scholarship, an Eleftherios and Mary Rouvelas Endowed Writing Prize in Hellenic Studies, a Simpson Center Society of Scholars Summer Dissertation Fellowship, and a Míċeál Vaughan Award. As always, we are indebted to our donors, who make it possible for us to grant a number of Departmental awards to our students, including, this year, the Harvey Densmore Scholarship, the Jim Greenfield Undergraduate Scholarship, the Jim Greenfield Dissertation Fellowship, the Jim Greenfield Graduate Fellowship, the Jim Greenfield Travel Award, the Meg Greenfield Essay Prize, and the Pamela Stewart and Julie Golding Endowed Student Scholarship.

I am very much looking forward to the year to come. Among other things, we are bringing back our Rome Program as an Early Fall Start course, we have a full roster of visiting speakers to the Department, and we will be hosting the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest annual conference in March 2023. I hope to see many of you soon, whether in Denny Hall or elsewhere!

Deborah Kamen, Chair, Classics Department