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Classics


Department faculty:Dr. L. Kirsten Day, chair Dr. Emil Kramer and Mischa Hooker.
  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Augustana has a strong academic tradition in the liberal arts, and so the college’s broad range of classics majors and minors is fitting. As classics is the foundation for the liberal arts, classical studies is the height of a liberal arts education.

Classics provides an excellent choice for building a double major, and recent majors have combined their studies with majors in art history, biology/pre-medicine, computer science, English, French, geology, German, history, music, philosophy and religion.

What graduates do

Vytas Vaznelis '07 is teaching classical languages at Saint Peter's Preparatory School in New Jersey.

Luke Osborne '10 is the health educator with the Rock Island County Health Department.

Alyssa Bevans '07 is an editor and video producer at Flinn Scientific in Chicago.

Anna Groebe '13 is an administrator at Aegis Advantage, a global consulting and analytical services firm.

Augustana College offers both a major and minor in classics (study in Greek and Latin, along with Greek and Roman history and classical literature) as well as in classical studies (including either Greek or Latin, plus history and literature).

In addition, the department offers a major for teaching classics (in conjunction with the college’s professional teacher’s education sequence); a minor in classical studies with an interdisciplinary emphasis, which in addition to Greek or Latin includes courses from art history, English, philosophy, religion and speech communication; and a minor in Greek for New Testament studies.

Facts & distinctions

The three full-time classics faculty all hold the Ph.D. and have a wide range of complementary specializations: Greek and Roman history and historiography, Greek and Roman religion and early Christianity, women in classical antiquity, and classics and pop culture. Seven additional faculty from the fields of ancient philosophy, medieval history and literature, New Testament studies and art history also teach courses in the department.

Augustana’s many international opportunities range from year-long exchange programs, to academic terms abroad, to special individualized programs based on student interest. Classics majors often participate in international study, especially the archaeological field schools in Greece, Italy and Turkey.

Epsilon Sigma is the Augustana chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honor society.

Tyler Vens ’09, classics and history double major

“After reading Plato for the first time and realizing the gravity of his ideas, something in my mind clicked. I knew that I would love to devote the rest of my life to the study of these people and the times and cultures they lived in. There is no other major on campus that has such a diverse application to other programs. It becomes very evident after only a term or two in Greek, Latin, classical literature or history classes just how important and influential classical studies is to every other discipline in a college or university setting. The classics faculty at Augustana are not only at the top of their profession, but also very well respected in the academic community. They are more than willing to help every student fulfill his or her potential. Choosing a classics major … has enriched my life to a degree I never before thought possible.”

Alexandra Benson ’11, biology and anthropology double major, classics minor:

“The classics department at Augustana is very close, and the three professors are kind and friendly. They are always willing to talk or answer questions. I chose a classics minor because I love history; focusing on ancient Rome and Greece gives me a wonderful perspective on early civilization, and especially how much it influences our current language and literature.”

Wollstonecraft, Vázquez-Valarezo awards announced

Essays on Catholic sexual ethics, gender and gods in ancient Greece, and an exploration of the furry genre of anthropomorphic animal fiction won the the top prizes in the 2014 Wollstonecraft Essay Contest.

Video: chemical warfare in ancient Syria

Professor Simon James of the University of Leicester presented "Blood in the Dust, Death in the Dark: Combat and Chemical Warfare at Roman Dura-Europos, Syria" April 1. The lecture was sponsored by the The Archaeological Institute of America, Western Illinois Society.

April 24 lecture to discuss science and sense of wonder

Dr. Carl A. Rubino, Winslow professor of classics at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., will present the lecture “Articulating Wonder in a Secular Age” on at 7:30 p.m. April 24. The lecture and reception afterward will be in the Gävle Room (#405) of the Center for Student Life.

Video: Using gaming to understand Pompeii

University of Arkansas' Dr. David Fredrick's lecture, "Walk on the Wild Side: From Garden Space to Game Space in the House of Octavius Quartio in Pompeii" exhibits the use of Unity game engine and 3D animation as tools to demonstrate the spatial and architectural relationship of homes in the ancient city of Pompeii.

Video: Day addresses classical view of women

Dr. Kirsten Day, associate professor in classics, presented "Sex as Capital: The Women of Rome Season 2," drawing upon her interest in classical representations of women in the ancient world on Oct. 9th in Evald Hall.
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