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Classics Studies And The Precarious Achievement Of "Relevance"

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Appunti Romani Di Filologia


This talk addresses how the concept of 'relevance' has tended to be used and abused in our time, and how it has affected public attitudes towards the place of Classics in the academy. As the modern world has become increasingly pluralistic and internationalised, Classics has lost not so much its ability to appear an, indeed, be, relevant to our times, but rather its status as a cultural marker of class, sophistication, or even virtue. Over the next decades, a major challenge facing the Classics will be to discover ways in which it can reconstruct itself as a discipline so as to integrate itself meaningfully and usefully into contemporary society. After exploring some of the reasons that have brought us to the current state of affairs, I suggest a few simple ways in which a Classics department might reconfigure its activity and organisation so as to begin the process of conveying persuasively its role in modern educational system, and, in fact, its 'relevance' for the modern world.


This work is freely available courtesy of Fabrizio Serra Editore.

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