Why I decided to study Classics (from scratch) at Roehampton – by Rebecca Dillon

I started my university experience in September 2015, and recently graduated in June 2018 with a first class honours in Classical Civilisation, and the Classical Civilisation award for contribution to the course. My university degree has inspired me for my future, and I am now continuing my studies as an MRes student in Classical Research still at Roehampton. I chose to stay on because of the support I have received from staff throughout my undergraduate degree was the reason I was inspired to continue, and I knew that I would be able to write a 30,000 word project with their support.

When I was in college, I really enjoyed my history classes but I seemed to struggle a little learning about Nazi Germany and other similar periods. I think it might have been because although I love learning about the past, my heart wasn’t in the right place with modern history. I didn’t get the urge to ask questions or to find out more than what I was told by my teacher that I have come to do with classics. So when it was time to look at university courses, I thought about looking into Ancient history instead, as I was interested in Pompeii, and the ‘Percy Jackson’ series by Rick Riordan. My Religious Studies teacher happened to suggest Roehampton University to me as a possible option, and my mum came across Classical Civilisation while looking into the possible courses I could take.

I decided to go to an open day, where Roehampton put an emphasis on how I didn’t need any background knowledge to start this degree as the first year would be accommodated to students of different levels. Despite this, when I first started I was still really nervous to be surrounded by people who knew so much more than me. Instead of this putting me off, I felt the need to push through, and the friends I had made on my course helped me during my coursework when I was too nervous to go to the lecturers.
I think the benefit of starting university with no prior knowledge in classics stems from the pure interest by the student. I had no knowledge but was really interested, so I found myself looking everywhere and drinking in all of the information about the Greeks and Romans. The university teaching process also works well with no knowledge as you are not spoon fed all of the information, so when a lecturer states something, you have more questions in which you can develop within essays. Why did that author feel the need to write about that period? Why did the ancient Greeks not view this the way we do now, or differently to Romans? I believe that the innocence of the degree helped me build my essays as I did not take certain facts for granted, thus would reference better, and I would expand on my evidence more naturally.

Rebecca Dillon dillonr1@roehampton.ac.uk

Third annual celebration of Roehampton classical student research

I’m delighted to send out a reminder of an event taking place a week today – Friday 1 June – at Roehampton. This will be a celebration of research by classical students on the BA, Master’s and PhD programmes. For further details including on speakers and how to book, go to this site:


It’s organised BY students too – by a team of current MRes candidates.

FIEC/CA 2019 Revised Call for Panels and Posters

The 15th International Congress of FIEC (Fédération internationale des associations d’études classiques) will take place in London from 4-8 July, 2019. It will be hosted by the Classical Association, the Hellenic Society and the Roman Society, in collaboration with the Institute of Classical Studies, University College London, King’s College London, Birkbeck College, Royal Holloway University of London and… us: the University of Roehampton!

It is our pleasure to share the revised call for panels and posters from the National Organizing Committee (on which Roehampton sits).


This is a revised call responding to helpful feedback from many individuals and organizations following our earlier notice. Please note that among other changes the date for submissions is now 1st September 2018 and we now welcome proposals for all-women panels. Further details of the conference, including details of conference fees, venues, keynote lectures and excursions, the conference code of conduct and details of how to book, will be available in the autumn from the conference website which is under construction.

The 15th conference of the Fédération internationale des associations d’études classiques will take place in conjunction with the 2019 Classical Association annual conference on 4th-8th July 2019 in the Institute of Education (UCL) in London. FIEC business meetings will take place on 4th July, and the conference proper will begin on 5th July.

We expect hundreds of classicists from all over the world and at any stage in their career to attend, to hear plenary lectures from international leaders in our field, to present and hear papers, to participate in debates and discussions and to take part in cultural activities and workshops.

The Programme Committee is now inviting proposals for panels and posters.

Each panel will be of 2 hours duration. We anticipate that many panels will consist of 4 short papers united by a common theme. We also invite proposals for panels and workshops in different formats, so long as they fit within a 2 hour block to faciltate timetabling.

The Programme Committee aims to select a range of panels that reflects the breadth of traditional and non-traditional classics, including but not limited to Greek and Latin literatures of all periods, linguistics, ancient history in its widest sense, philosophy and religion, art and archaeology, Neo-Latin and Byzantine studies, and the past and current reception of the classics in all media and in different cultures and traditions. We also welcome panels drawing on comparative and interdisciplinary studies. We anticipate there will be panels discussing national traditions in classical research and that some panels will deal with non-Greek peoples such as Etruscans, Persians and Phoenicians. We especially encourage panels dealing with pedagogy and outreach.

Our principle criterion of selection will be academic quality. But we are also keen to create a programme that reflects the full variety of our subject and the diversity of those who study and teach it.

It is the tradition of both FIEC and the Classical Association to represent as wide a range of speakers as possible. Panels are more likely to be selected if they include speakers from more than one country, and if they include junior as well as senior speakers. Panels consisting only of men are unlikely to be selected unless a powerful case is made for an exception. Following feedback and discussion we accept that we were wrong to initially discourage all women panels.

We also accept that not all participants are comfortable with binary categories. We seek to be as flexible and inclusive as possible in relation to gender identity. We invite any potential participant who wishes to contact the Programme Committee Chair in confidence about this.

Each panel proposal should include a title for the session, the names and affiliations of all speakers, and a 150 word abstract for each paper and for the panel as a whole. The deadline for proposals is 1st September 2018. They should be sent to FIEC 2019. One named person should be the proposer and should provide a contact e-mail. It is not necessary that she or he be the chair of the panel, but if not then the name of the chair should be indicated in the proposal. If the proposal is for a very different format to a multi-speaker panel, the proposer is strongly encouraged to contact the Programme Committee as far in advance as possible.

The Programme Committee expects to make its selections in early autumn/Fall. It may contact proposers for clarification or to suggest changes to proposals during this period. Its decisions will be final.

The Programme Committee also invites proposals for posters. Posters may present individual or collaborative projects, and scholars of all career stages are encourage to apply. Proposals for posters should also be sent to FIEC 2019 by the 1st September and selection will take place on the same time scale as for panels. Proposals for posters should include a 150 word description of the subject and the name and contact details of the poster presenter. We consider posters an excellent way for individuals whose work does not fit into panels to participate, and we particularly welcome proposals from those not usually able to participate in international conferences.

Once proposals for panels or posters are accepted we will be glad to issue formal invitations for those who need them either to satisfy institutional regulations or visa requirements. We aim to have all this completed by 1st December 2018 and earlier if possible.

Please note that we are not inviting proposals for individual papers.

Details of student bursaries will also be published in due course on the conference website, along with suggestions for accommodation and cultural attractions. Attendees, including those giving papers in panels, and/or presenting posters, will need to make pay their own travel and accommodation costs given the large number of delegates and speakers expected.

We are confident that FIEC/CA 2019 will be an exciting and memorable event and we look forward very much to welcoming you in London next year.

The National Organizing Committee
May 2018

A busy week here at Roehampton

Classical events at Roehampton during the second half of February 2018


Celebrating the publication of Dr Kathryn Tempest’s Brutus: The Noble Conspirator and Professor Michael Cullinane’s Theodore Roosevelt’s Ghost: The History and Memory of an American Icon. The authors will discuss how leaders shape their legacies with Professor Maria Wyke (UCL) providing commentary.

Date: Tuesday 20 February

Time: 5.30-7.00 pm (doors open at 5.15 pm)

Venue: Adam Room, Grove House, University of Roehampton

More info (including how to book): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leaders-and-legacies-book-launch-event-tickets-42819746013


Fragmentary evidence frequently lacks the context we need to make proper sense of it and leads us to speculate about what that whole may have comprised. Thus, while we seek to endow the surviving fragment with meaning, we also ponder the nature of what has been lost. This event will focus particularly on what it means to work with fragments, including fragments of Attic tragedy, Hellenistic oratory, the ancient novel and fragmented narratives on decorated pots. We will also consider possible intersections with ancient forgeries. Participants Include: Roberta Berardi (Oxford), Andriana Domouzi (RHUL), Claire Rachel Jackson (Cambridge), Fiona McHardy (Roehampton); Thomas Sims (Nottingham), Katerina Volioti (Roehampton).

Date: Wednesday 21 February

Time: 1.00-5.00 pm

Venue: Howard 001, Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton

To attend, contact Fiona McHardy (f.mchardy@roehampton.ac.uk) or Kathryn Tempest (k.tempest@roehampton.ac.uk)


The aim of this two day workshop is to encourage debate as to how more robust and theoretically informed sensory methodologies and approaches may be developed within studies of antiquity. Senses of Place invites discussion of how the sensing/sensate body locates itself in a specific environment, and at the same time reconfigures that environment from the stimuli it comprises. We are interested in what happens cognitively, affectively, and/or interpretively at this interface: how and why certain places provoke certain responses, and how such responses might be (or have been) recognised, modified, or generated. How and why did certain places, either real or imagined, create particular sensory responses? How do the senses produce an embodied sense of place?

Date: Thursday 22 – Friday 23 February

Venue: Adam Room, Grove House, University of Roehampton

Further details and registration info here: https://sensorystudiesinantiquity.com/2018/01/11/senses-of-place-registration-open/


Sebastiane (1976)

Date: Friday 23 February

Venue: Howard 001, Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton

Time: 2pm

Further info here: http://eportfolios.roehampton.ac.uk/uorclassics/2018/01/26/classics-and-cinema-screenings/


Dr Joanna Paul (Open University), “At Home in Pompeii: Re-inhabiting the Everyday from Alma-Tadema to Contemporary Cinema”

Date: Monday 26 February

Venue: Duchesne 001, Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton

Time: 5.30 pm (doors open at 5.15)

Further info from: ed.sanders@roehampton.ac.uk

Classics and Cinema screenings

Tony Keen is screening a series of movies based on Classical antiquity. These screenings are designed to support students on the third-year module Classics and Cinema, but are open to all. All movies will have a brief introduction from Tony.

The screenings take place in Howard 001 on Fridays at 2 pm.

The schedule is as follows:

26 January: The Robe (1953)

2 February: Carry on Cleo (1964)

9 February: Julius Caesar (1970)

23 February: Sebastiane (1976)

2 March: The Last Legion (2007)

9 March: Clash of the Titans (1981)

16 March: Alexander the Great (1956)

23 March: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Hope to see some of you there!