Department of Classics

The Sirens Call
The Sirens Call

Classical Traditions Initiative

NEW!  We are delighted to announce that our Classical Traditions Initiative (CTI) and the University of Michigan's Contexts for Classics (CFC) have begun an ongoing collaboration. Keep an eye out for more details regarding co-sponsored events and opportunities for graduate study.  CTI has also become an official overseas partner of the Classical Reception Studies Network hosted by The Open University (UK).



The Classical Traditions Initiative at Northwestern (CTI) is a forum for the discussion of the cultures of classical antiquity and their reception in medieval through contemporary Western culture.

CTI is comprised of a cluster of faculty and graduate students in a variety of Northwestern departments (our affiliates include members of the departments of classics, philosophy, art history, history, religion, theater, English, political science, and comparative literature).

CTI also coordinates opportunities for graduate students in various fields to include training in classical studies, reception studies, and ancient languages in their programs of study. Students are encouraged to participate in these activities via The Graduate School's Interdisciplinary Cluster Initiative.  See also, Classics Graduate page.

We sponsor programming and courses designed to examine the importance of classical studies today and to place classical sources in a relationship of fruitful, reciprocal, and provocative tension with later, indeed contemporary, creative appropriations of elements of Greek and Roman antiquity. Programming includes the 2010-2012 Mellon Workshops in Classical Reception at the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, visiting lecturers, undergraduate and graduate curriculum development, and Greek and Latin reading groups.

In 2008-2010, the department hosted an extensive program of events on the theme "Theatre After Athens: Reception and Revision of Ancient Greek Drama," sponsored by a Sawer/Mellon grant.

In March 2006, we hosted a Teagle Forum in Liberal Education entitled Classical Antiquity and American Popular Culture. Click here to go to the Teagle Foundation website where you will find a podcast of our event featuring Daniel Mendelsohn, Danielle Allen, and Kirk Ormand.

Also in 2006-07, we offered a series of events related to the interpretation of Aeschylus' Persians featuring Daniel Mendelsohn, Rush Rehm, Edith Hall, and Robert Auletta as well as several NU faculty members (see Events Archive).

In 2007-08, we hosted events on Plato's Symposium: its historical context, importance in the interpretation of Plato's moral psychology, and afterlife in Western literature and art (see Events Archive).