What you will study
In Block 1: Classical Studies in the 21st Century, you'll consider what it means to be a researcher in Classical Studies in the modern era. By working through a series of questions – ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ – you'll explore the ways in which Classical Studies is an evolving, living subject. This will include considering: the ways in which Classical Studies is moving away from its traditional characterisation as a ‘white’, ‘elitist’ subject; the new, contemporary questions that are being asked of the ancient past and which are replacing old paradigms; and the emergence of innovative approaches to studying the ancient world. You’ll also discover how insights gained from investigating the distant past can inform approaches to contemporary global challenges.
Block 2: Lost Cities, investigates ways to recover information, interpret evidence and develop an understanding of the distant past through a focus on cities, one of the defining features of the ancient world. You'll explore the concept of the ‘city’ from multiple perspectives, using interdisciplinary approaches to develop research skills and your knowledge and understanding of ancient cites and their relationships to the contemporary world. Case studies investigate cities that were abandoned, destroyed, replaced, forgotten, and some that were only ever written about. You'll also problematise the concept of ‘lost’, discovering how research can transform ‘lost’ into various forms of ‘found’. This is juxtaposed with investigations of different kinds of city: excavated cities (Pompeii), imaginary cities (Troy), literary cities (Thebes), exemplary cities (Rome) and inspirational cities (Alexandria).
In Block 3: Fragments, you'll delve deeper into the ways in which the classical world is fragmented and how this affects interpretations of the past. Working with fragments will allow you to investigate underrepresented voices of the ancient world (such as women and people with disabilities), shaping both your understanding of the past and new questions you might ask about it as a researcher. You'll encounter fragments in a wide range of contexts (literary texts, broken objects, inscriptions and museum collections), from both ancient and modern perspectives. Topics include the Greek poet Sappho and her later reception; methodological approaches to fragmentation and translation; inscriptions; fragmentation, hybridity and ancient bodies; Roman funerals; and the concept of the fragment in museum collections.
Block 4: People in the World, focuses on relationships between ancient people and the material and social worlds in which they lived. You'll interrogate why these relationships matter, not only in terms of our understanding of ancient lived experiences and particular cultural, social, and economic contexts, but also their ongoing relevance to the contemporary world. Topics you will encounter include the role of sensory experience in reconstructing and evaluating diverse lived experiences; ecocritical approaches to ancient agricultural writing and pastoral poetry; the role of water in ancient life; and religion, landscape, and changing environments. In the final two weeks of the block, you'll be guided through a series of activities that will help you to design a research question for your end-of-module assessment and prepare a research plan to answer that question.
You will learn
This module will:
- build upon and develop your existing knowledge of, and interest in, Classical Studies
- provide you with advanced academic training in Classical Studies at postgraduate level, enhancing your research and analytical skills and upgrading your qualifications
- develop your independent research skills and provide experience of the presentation of research findings in a piece of extended scholarly writing.