Wolf Humanities Center Visiting Fellow Profile: Dr. Christopher Parmenter

Wolf Humanities Center Visiting Fellow Profile: Dr. Christopher Parmenter
By Luke Snyder

Based in Williams Hall, Penn’s Wolf Humanities Center selects a small group of fellows each year to participate in annual research projects. Bringing together a group of scholars from diverse backgrounds, the Wolf Humanities Center seeks to encourage interdisciplinary studies centered around a different theme each year. This year’s theme focuses on migration, an especially interesting topic for Dr. Christopher Parmenter, one of this year’s visiting fellows. 

Meet the Penn Classical Studies Class of 2021!

Meet the Penn Classical Studies Class of 2021!
By Elizabeth Vo-Phamhi

Every year, we here at Discentes have sadly bid another graduating class farewell while happily celebrating their achievements by featuring some of our newest Classical Studies and Ancient History alumni. The recently-graduated Class of 2021 is unique—they completed their entire senior year remotely, yet they excelled.

Classics Must Be Anti-Racist

Classics Must Be Anti-Racist: The Classics Studies Department’s Anti-Racism Working Group at Penn
By: Cecelia Heintzelman

Classics is at breaking point, one where it must decide to be actively anti-racist.

Our seemingly small field exploded into public controversy after the recent publishing of the New York Times’s article about Princeton professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta. The NYT article, “He Wants To Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?” begged the question: if we attempt to make Classics an anti-racist field, will it remain Classics as we know it…

A Conversation with Professor Kate Meng Brassel

A Conversation with Professor Kate Meng Brassel
By Elizabeth Vo-Phamhi

This fall, Professor Kate Meng Brassel joined Penn’s Department of Classics as a visiting assistant professor of classical studies. I was excited to get to know her, so we arranged to meet over Zoom for a Friday morning chat.

Professor Brassel received her B.A. from Columbia University, M.A. from Princeton University, M.Phil from the University of Cambridge, and her Ph.D. in Classics from Columbia University in 2018…

BLM x CLST: A Series of Interviews with the Faculty of Penn Classics — Part 3: Professor Cynthia Damon

Future Directions and Resources
By Elizabeth Vo-Phamhi, Sara Chopra, Cate Simons

For the third installment of our Black Lives Matter & Classics series, we invited Professor Cynthia Damon to talk about the relevance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the current reassessment of past scholarship in the field. She also provides advice for fostering inclusivity in our classrooms and suggests reading material and resources for us to become better allies by listening, reading, and learning…

BLM x CLST: A Series of Interviews with the Faculty of Penn Classics — Part 2: Professors Kimberly Bowes and Sheila Murnaghan

Looking Back, Thinking Forward: what Black Lives Matter means in our own department and discipline
By Sara Chopra, Cate Simons, Elizabeth Vo-Phamhi

In the first interview of the Black Lives Matter & Classics series, Professor Emily Wilson discussed the translation and reception of BIPOC voices in classical literature. In our second installment in this series, Professors Kimberly Bowes and Sheila Murnaghan provide critical considerations of the exclusionary past of our field and discuss strategies for cultivating a climate of inclusivity here in our department, especially in light of recent statements made by members of peer departments…

BLM x CLST: A Series of Interviews with the Faculty of Penn Classics — Part 1: Professor Emily Wilson

A Translator’s Take on the Black Lives Matter Movement
By Elizabeth Vo-Phamhi, Sara Chopra, Cate Simons

Although several weeks have passed since the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks, amongst countless others, the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States continues to inspire many discussions among us students about how we can better address the issues of race and diversity in Classics. At Discentes, both individually and as a group, we have been joining our nation in long-overdue reflection and action, committing to creating an anti-racist future for our discipline…

Discentes’ Senior Send-Off: Reflections from Penn Classics’ Class of 2020

Discentes’ Senior Send-Off: Reflections from Penn Classics’ Class of 2020
By Elizabeth Vo-Phamhi 

Over the last two months, students have dealt with massive uncertainty amid the coronavirus outbreak. Yet for the sixteen seniors in Penn Classics, one thing has certainly remained constant: the importance of classics.

At the end of April, the Classics department held its annual Senior Colloquium, a roundtable discussion celebrating the seniors’ research. Central to the discussion was the question: “What does it mean to study Classical Studies and Ancient History?” When participants were asked to come up with a single word to describe the nature of classics, these were their responses…

A Night of Tea and Translation with Sarah Ruden

A Night of Tea and Translation with Sarah Ruden
By James Nycz

High up in the attic of College Hall, Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Classics Department, Sarah Ruden, treated students to an engaging collaborative lecture in the historical halls of the Philomathean Society. Sarah Ruden is a translator and poet who has taught English, Latin, and writing at Harvard, Yale and the University of Cape Town…