The CUNY Graduate Center Classics Department is hosing its last speaker of the semester this Wednesday.
All are invited to attend, either in person (room 442) or via Zoom.
Please RSVP for link: Rachel Kousser [email protected]
What is Decolonizing Classics?
Jared Simard, Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, NYU
Recent years in Classics scholarship and pedagogy have been witness to a renewed interest in social justice. This has taken the form of a proliferation of race in antiquity courses and SCS affiliated societies which promote marginalized communities within the discipline. These have been welcomed developments. Taking Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang’s seminal work “Decolonization is not a metaphor” from 2012 as a starting point, this paper seeks to find a way forward for Classics. Tuck and Yang make clear that decolonization is, in part, repatriation of land back to indigenous nations. They go on to argue that social justice activism and decolonization are not the same thing and that the two may be incommensurable. In response, this paper asks what is decolonizing Classics. I propose that decolonization and Classics may also be incommensurable. Instead, we must adopt a decolonial outlook by delinking classical epistemologies from colonialism and reconstituting a classics for the 21st century. I explore an example of classical reception from South Korea that when reframed under the banner of decolonial theory opens up possible futures.