About the Department

The Department of Classics at UCSB includes 11 full-time faculty members whose interests range across the Greek and Roman worlds. We teach a wide variety of undergraduate and/or graduate courses in Greek and Roman culture, society, history and archaeology, as well as a broad curriculum of Greek and Latin language and literature.

We offer three distinct “emphases” in our undergraduate major that suit a variety of students’ needs: one focuses on Greek and Latin literature, another is less language-based and offers a broader exploration of Greek and Roman culture, and a third is designed specially for those interested in archaeology.

At the graduate level, we offer both the MA and PhD with optional emphases in Literature & Theory and Ancient History. The strength of our Master’s program is well known. We have been very successful over the years in placing our best MA students in some of the nation’s top programs, and our MA alumni now teach at some of the leading universities and colleges across the country. More recently we have been developing our PhD program, which while relatively small (3 PhDs in the last 3 years, with 3 students now advanced to candidacy) enjoys a very good placement record (all recent PhDs currently employed in college-level positions). The relatively small size of our program ensures a high degree of faculty attention, and our popular undergraduate courses offer a great deal of teaching experience (normally as Teaching Assistants, but sometimes as independent Latin instructors) to our graduate students—a distinct strength of our program now augmented by our new pedagogical courses (Teaching Assistant Practicum and Language Teaching Practicum).

As well as areas of individual strength such as textual criticism, Indo-European linguistics, mythology, Roman religion, gender studies, “time” and “memory,” ancient and modern historiography, performance studies, ancient Crete and pottery analysis, we have three major clusters of interest in which a number of faculty participate: ancient drama and performance, ancient history and theory and cultural studies. Each cluster forms an interdisciplinary “bridge” to colleagues in cognate departments, many of whom enjoy affiliated status in our department, and who therefore multiply the scholarly resources in those broad areas. We enjoy fruitful relationships with faculty in other departments and programs, most notably Comparative Literature, History, History of Art & Architecture, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. The faculty regards Classics as the original interdisciplinary field of study and seeks to realize fully Classics’ “natural” interdisciplinarity in our own teaching, mentorship, and research.