The divorce is finalized: the Department of Humanities-Classics has split into two separate disciplines, after a faculty vote during the faculty meeting on April 21.
The reason for the split was that “there was little intellectual content holding Humanities and Classics together,” according to the resolution in the agenda for the faculty meeting.
This structure would “ensure adequate curricular support for Classics in particular,” it added.
The Department of Humanities also received a new name.
It is now the Department of Comparative Literature. Classics is not its own department, but rather is the Program in Classics.
“We think that the split and also renaming the Humanities side of the department to Comparative Literature is in the best interest of our students both on the Humanities and Classics sides,” Anne Sokolsky, professor and head of the former Humanities department, said.
“Renaming “Humanities” to Department of Comparative Literature best describes what we do in our classes and what we do in our scholarship.”
The difference between a Program and a Department is that a Program is run by an advisory board, while a Department is run by the faculty within it.
Classics will not be an interdisciplinary program – the only faculty member will be Lee Fratantuono, associate professor of Classics.
“This vote for Classics independence is a wonderful show of support for Classics,” Fratantuono said.
“It would not have been possible without the much appreciated work of the Academic Policy Committee and the provost, Dr. Stinemetz.”
Sokolsky said that next year they will try to get the requirements changed for the major to incorporate more foreign language and translation theory to adequately reflect the title of Comparative Literature.