Wonderful news arrived yesterday at exactly the right time to dispel gloom. I've been awarded a Leadership Fellowship by the Arts & Humanities Research Council to run a nationwide campaign. It will support Classical Civilisation or Ancient History qualifications in secondary education. But I need your help and there is a £100 prize on offer!
From May 1st, my soon-to-be Postdoctoral Fellow, brilliant colleague Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson and I will be
- writing a book about teaching the Greeks/Romans in translation
- supporting teachers, lobbying, doing publicity and journalism
- organising public events in our twelve partner institutions*
Studying ancient Greek and Roman Roman civilisation, history, thought, literature, art and archaeology is not only exciting and instructive, but confers profound advantages: it hones analytical and critical skills, trains minds in the comparative use of different types of evidence, introduces young people to the finest oratory and skills in argumentation and communication, enhances cultural literacy, refines consciousness of cultural difference and relativism, fosters awareness of a three-millennia long past, along with models and ideals of democracy, and develops identities founded in citizenship on the national, European and cosmopolitan, global level. So there.
But our project needs a promotional image and logo before we design the website. The full title is cumbersome: ‘Teaching Classical Civilisation in Britain: Recording the Past and Fostering the Future’. We need to identify—or persuade one of our friends out there such as you, your children or pupils to create—an impact-making, easily reproducible pic and/or logo that gets over one or more of the key themes: youth, education, classics, inspiration.
So I’m offering £100 to the best suggestion or submission, sent in by the March 1st deadline. Everyone is eligible but tell me your age if you like. I have thought about such themes as the autodidacts’ Minerva urging youths to education, about Cheiron the Centaur who taught mythical heroes in their teens, ancient images of young people studying, or more British subject-matter (Boudicca, well-known British artists). But I am old and out of touch with people born since the millennium and they are the ones we want to get involved.
Please email or post ideas to me at my two names divided by a dot then @kcl.ac.uk, Dept. of Classics, King’s College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS. Arlene and I will announce the winning submission on 4th March. And meanwhile I can’t resist posting this upcheering pic of the two teenagers I am most proud of in the world, off today to march against misogyny.
[*] In Swansea, Exeter, Warwick, Kent, Durham, Glasgow, St Andrews, Belfast, Liverpool, Open University, Leeds and Reading. Information about whom to contact at each partner institution will be available soon.