Methods and interpretations in Classics

An intensive course for PhD-students in the disciplines of Greek and Latin Literature and Linguistics, Ancient History, Classical Philosophy and Religion and Classical Archaeology

Target group

PhD-students in Greek and Latin Literature and Linguistics, Ancient History, Classical Philosophy and Religion and Classical Archaeology


All PhD students

Organizing & Scientific Committee

Content & Objective

The field of Classical Studies encompasses a broad range of disciplines, such as classical philology, philosophy, history and archaeology. The study of literary sources, textual or material evidence requires various, specialized approaches. The expertise of PhD-students in Classics is often limited to their own disciplines and related methodologies and models of interpretation. The aim of this course is to broaden the scope of PhD-students by giving them the possibility to explore other
methodological approaches from related disciplines and to provide a better understanding of the position of their own research within a broader research context. As all students have been trained in their specific disciplines and there does not exist a cross-disciplinary introduction to classics, the present intensive course is unique at UGent and has run with success for the past two years.

Both goals are reflected in the programme of this intensive course by combining student papers focusing on methodological aspects and research seminars led by international key note speakers from different disciplines.
In the programme the focus lies on new approaches in the study of identity in the Roman world, in particular in the interaction with other peoples (such as the Jews) (Woolf, Popovic), on Latin poetics from the classical period until late Antiquity (Fuhrer, McGill, Williams), on new approaches to Roman bathing culture (De Haan), new methods in near-eastern archaeology (Bretschneider), on the use of narratological analysis in Byzantine literature (Nilsson), on Greek linguistics (Sluiter), and on research on the history of women in Roman Antiquity (Hemelrijk).

Apart from their papers, students will be given literature in preparation for the different sessions. Paper-presentations will be attended by other professors and lecturers of relevant disciplines, who will provide a response and give further feedback on the discussed topics.

Preliminary Program

  • 4 September 2015, 11.30-16u: Opening colloquium, Jan Dhondtzaal, UFO

11.30: Prof. Emily Hemelrijk, Amsterdam: Hidden Lives ? Public Personae. Women and Civic Life in Italy and the Latin West during the Roman Principate.
12:30 lunch
13.00: Giovanna Lelli, UGent: Continuity and ruptures in the history of Iran: Religious prejudices against singing in pre-Islamic Iran and their impact on Islamic Persian culture
16:00: end

  • 6 November 2015, 4-6.30 pm Dr. M. Williams: Latin hagiography (tbc)
  • 13 November 2015, 4-6.30 pm Prof. T. Fuhrer, Munich: Roman Carthage: refounding and constructing an ‘old’ identity
  • 11 December 2015, 4-6.30 pm Prof. Ingela Nilsson (Uppsala): Modern methods and Byzantine literature
  • 19 February 2016, 4-6.30 pm Dr. N. de Haan (Univ. Nijmegen): Roman archaeology (Bath culture) (tbc)
  • 1 April 2016, 4-6.30 pm NN
  • 21 April 2016, 4-6.30 pm Prof. Scott McGill, Rice University: Juvencus, the first Christian epic
  • 20 May 2016, 4-6.30 pm Prof. Ineke Sluiter, tbc (Greek linguistics)

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Full presence and active participation in all sessions

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools

Registration and contact information

Please register by sending an email to and mentioning the course title, your name, first name, student number, Doctoral School and Department.