UCL DEPARTMENT OF GREEK AND LATIN Classics newsletter November 2012 | Issue 10 Expansion and Change Maria Wyke Remarkably, this has been another year of growth for UCL Greek & Latin. Since I arrived at the university in October 2005, the number of our permanent academic staff has gone up from 8 ½ to 11 (the ½ was not a small person but a share). We have also seen an increase in student numbers (especially among undergraduates and PhDs), which is especially welcome now that the new fees regime is beginning to kick in. Leventis Foundation. As a result, for the next four years, we shall be able to host a post-doctoral research fellow in Greek Literature and run international conferences, workshops for schools, cultural events and other public activities centred on our research in ancient Greek culture. This is a wonderful opportunity which we are embracing energetically – do watch out for details on our website. We said goodbye this year to a few staff and fellows, several of whom were moving on and up in the university world. Two were heroic veterans of this department (Amanda Cater and Matthew Robinson), and were well-known to many of you for their warmth and good humour. So while we wish them, and our wonderfully patient administrator Joanna Fryer, bon voyage, we are also delighted to welcome aboard our new Department Administrators (Mary Moloney and Loraine Daly), two lecturers (Peter Agocs and Mairéad McAuley), and two teaching and research fellows (Antony Makrinos and Rosa Andújar). It is just as well that we have a large and bright new staffroom in the basement to help accommodate us all. In the last newsletter, I was delighted to report the promotions of both Miriam Leonard and Gesine Manuwald to professorships. This year, I can report that both their inaugural lectures (when new professors have the tricky task of displaying the importance of their research to other academics, students, members of the public, and even their own families) were full to bursting and very instructive to listen to. This year we also refurbished our student ‘social spaces’ (do take a look at ‘Putting your Donations to Use’. p.4). Colourful sofas and stools now sit alongside the benches where new up-to-date computers are being installed. I am not entirely surprised, though, at how fondly some of the current users of the rooms still talk about the old dilapidated setup. Let’s hope that ten years down the road, G&L students hold equally happy memories of these bright red, green and orange spaces. We are very excited to have received a very generous grant from the A.G. On the pages that follow you will find reports on some of the many activities staff and students have undertaken this year in their common aim to understand and to explain classical antiquity – from special Olympics-themed events to our regular Greek play production at the Bloomsbury. It has, as ever, been an action-packed year, and we are very grateful indeed to Emmanuela Bakola for piecing together some of its details for you to read here. This is the last Newsletter which I front as Head of Department. I now hand over to Gesine Manuwald. I know that the UCL Department of Greek & Latin will be exceptionally well looked after by her over the course of the next five years and that it will continue to be a wonderful and exceptional place in which to research, teach and learn. UCL Classics and the London Olympics: Olympics 2012 and the classical world Chris Carey The Olympics come to London on average once every 64 years. It will be quite some time before they come back. So we had a rare opportunity this summer to showcase the classical background of a riveting modern international phenomenon. With this in mind UCL Greek and Latin took the lead in organizing a series of events worthy of the London games. We worked with the British Museum to put together a consortium of cultural and academic bodies in the capital to pool activities. And since activities don’t come free we sought and obtained funding from a wide range of classical bodies, including Joint Association of Classical Teachers, the Hellenic and Roman Societies, the Classical Association, Friends of the Classics, Classics for All. Ancient Egyptian or Greek? Fit Bodies debate The result was a programme of remarkable richness. We had exhibitions (Sir John Soane’s Museum on Stadia, The Petrie Museum at UCL on Fit Bodies, the charioteer from Motya in Sicily at the British Museum). We had conferences. The blockbuster was a two day UCL/BM conference on Sport and competition in the ancient world, which included not just Greek and Roman sport but also Etruscan and Chinese; but there were also conferences on Representing victory at King’s College London and Athletic Foundations: identity, heritage and sport at the Open University. As well as academic conferences we also had lectures aimed at a wider public, such as those at UCL by sports historian Martin Polley and by distinguished ancient historian Mary Beard (herself a prizewinner at the Much Wenlock Olympics as a young girl) at the BM on the British Olympic tradition; it is not always realized that Britain has a long tradition of games called Olympics which goes back deep into the nineteenth century, far beyond the refounding of the modern games; this tradition played a major role in inspiring the modern Olympic movement. There were other public lectures by Nigel Spivey and Michael Scott on the modern rediscovery and excavations of the festival sites at Olympia and Delphi. One highlight was the British Museum family halfday of objects and activities aimed at family groups. Another was a panel of speakers (including Edith Hall and Margaret Mountford) at UCL (Olympic angles) which discussed and debated ancient and modern athletics under the expert chairing of Paul Cartledge. Yet another public dialogue was the ancient and modern conversation between distinguished neurologist Professor Semir Zeki and classicist Chris Carey. The British Academy hosted a research day on ancient athletics-related papyri followed by an evening of public lectures. And Brain Anatomy and the Ancient Olympics: we collaborated with Cambridge Press to generate an Olympics blog and with the Guardian/Observer on a multimedia online publication. London, though the home of the games, was not of course the only place in Britain to host and organize events centred on the ancient background to the modern Olympics. The classical community up and down the country took the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of the larger historical context of the games. The Universities of Leeds, Reading, Edinburgh, Cambridge, St Andrews and others offered lectures, public events and exhibitions (altogether the equivalent of about one cultural event for every two days of Olympic/ Paralympic athletics) and part of the role of London and UCL was to act as information centre for this national activity through an online calendar of events hosted by website of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. The games are now over. But we have tried to capture some of the richness of the programme which we put in place. With the help of funding from the Classical Association we are creating longer lasting educational resources. The lectures were all filmed and will go the Open University website. And study packs drawing on video clips from the events, texts and artefacts, devised by Dimitra Kokkini of UCL, will be placed on line so that there is a more lasting educational benefit from the summer Olympics cultural programme. Anyone seeking information should contact Chris Carey ([email protected]). The Olympics events at UCL: Students’ Eye view on the Olympic Events Annette Mitchell For three years I have been researching the relationship between Freud and the Ancient World. This topic is categorised as Reception Studies, a relatively new field in Classical Studies. The relationship between Freud and the Ancient World is actually very well researched, so well that it is impossible to keep up with all the literature. Classicists, however, tend to be unaware of the majority of this work as it mainly comes from psychoanalytic circles. In contrast the literature coming from Classical Studies can be counted on one hand, and the main contributor, Richard Armstrong, usually publishes his work in psychoanalytic journals. There is a problem then – interdisciplinary work is unbalanced because conversation between disciplines is not occurring. I found it curious then when one event, entitled The pursuit of Olympic ideals – physical, neural and aesthetic, within a series exploring aspects of the Ancient Olympics was a conversation between Professor Chris Carey and the neuroscientist Professor Semir Zeki. Although not related to my research directly, the fact that there was a discussion is positive regarding the opening up of interdisciplinary conversation. Their discussion concerned Greek athletic ideals, their realisation in the Ancient Olympics and how correlations in functional brain anatomy explained this. For example the ancient Greek athletes were ideally beautiful both morally and physically and were aiming for a reward, and all these notions share a neuroanatomical processing area. Discussions like this are rare, which is strange as they are very productive and enlightening. Chris Carey and Semir Zeki on The pursuit of Olympic Ideals Another event called Olympic Angles presented the forgotten ancient roots of the now modernised Olympics through a series of small presentations. This event was not interdisciplinary but comparative, looking at the different attitudes we have, in contrast to the ancient Greeks, towards cheating, beauty, the conditions of the Games, and the different events. This event was more ‘Reception Studies’ orientated and with these short talks issues about race, gender and class were introduced. For example women did not attend the ancient Games and it was only for upper class Greek competitors; it was a veritable ‘Gentleman’s Club’. The event, therefore, approached the core of Reception Studies: how the meaning of antiquity changes because it is used in later times to express different things. Antiquity is, simply put, a form of representation. This is something studying Freud has clearly and continually shown me as I have studied the way that Freud himself used antiquity for idiosyncratic expression. The phenomenon Training, cheating, winning, praising: athletes and shows in papyri from Roman Egypt in partnership with the British Academy of representation is something that is continually investigated in psychoanalytic literature. Freud generally has a bad reputation within Classics. However, his insights about the mind using aspects of literature, art and other features of life to create subjective realities seems to map onto the representational ideology of Reception Studies quite well. This is something that could be realised and positively integrated by a better interdisciplinary conversation between Classics and psychoanalysis. This is important because the lifespan of Reception Studies could be limited by inattention to other disciplines. If the reception of antiquity is only seen from the perspective of classicists, it risks becoming a limited field. The perspective of fields such as psychoanalysis needs to be addressed for a well-balanced respectful conversation to be undertaken. The two events mentioned show that interdisciplinary conversation is potentially underway, as is the realisation that retrospective symbolic representation completely pervades any study of the ancients. Putting Your Donations To Use Thanks to the generosity of G&L’s Alumni, we have been able to support a whole array of worthy causes this year. A contribution by us to the refurbishment of the undergraduate common room attracted more than matching funds from our Faculty and UCL Estates. It and the new postgraduate common room are now very colourful. A few posters and some use will turn them both into very attractive and cosy social spaces. We were able to fund eleven of our postgraduates to get to the annual Classical Association conference (the most important UK event for airing new research and meeting international experts), and help some of our PhD students make trips to archives or attend conferences essential for the development of their projects. This year’s Housman public lecture was turned into a grand international event through the invitation over from the United States of Professor Stephen Hinds (one of the world’s most celebrated Latin scholars), who gave a fabulously rich talk on late antique games with Ovid’s epic poetry. We employed an IT graduate to tinker with the design of our webpages – take a look and see what you think. The department now hopes to use a part of any future donations to provide bursaries for students wishing to undertake MAs. With no support available from national funders, they have been hardest hit by the increasingly costly fees regime. Classics Day 2012 Gesine Manuwald Bringing the Classics to the Community: Outreach and Public Engagement Events Summer School, The world of Greek drama Jenny Bryan Since the Department is committed to making Classics as accessible and as widely available as possible, it offered a summer school for year 12 students, under the leadership of the Admissions Tutor Jenny Bryan, for the first time in summer 2012. The school’s focus was on practical workshops on ancient drama; to complement these, there were short taster sessions on ancient language, literature, history, philosophy and the reception of the ancient world. The sessions were run by some of the Department’s PhD students, who enormously enjoyed the change and the challenge to do a bit of teaching of a different kind. The students came from specifically targeted schools in disadvantaged areas, and they were very happy to be given this insight into the ancient world and into university life. In its first year this kind of summer school (in addition to the well established London Summer School with a focus on language learning) was a kind of trial run with a relatively low number of participants, but plans are already under way to repeat the event in summer 2013 on a larger scale and with a broader focus. The arrival of our new colleague Peter Agócs, who has taken on the job of Widening Participation Officer, has made it easier for the Department to develop such initiatives. Would you like to learn more about Greek tragedy, early modern Latin, Greek philosophers, the Greeks in Egypt and Olympics-themed artefacts, all in one day? Then you should have come to this year’s ‘Classics Day: a day of talks and discussions on themes related to ancient Greece and Rome’! But you have not completely lost out: this is an annual event, and there will be another chance next year, with a similarly exciting mix of themes. Classics Day takes place at the British Museum on the first Saturday in March and is organized in a threeway partnership between University College London, the British Museum and City Lit, the centre for adult learning. It normally consists of four talks by staff from all three participating institutions followed by guided visits to Greek and / or Roman galleries of the British Museum. Knowledge of Greek and Latin is not required; the event is open to everyone and regularly attracts audiences of up to 200 people of all age groups, including regulars and first-timers. The departmental contributions this year were Jenny Bryan on ‘The construction and reception of Socrates’ and Gesine Manuwald on ‘Latin writings in the British Isles’, both topics closely related to current book projects, so that the audience was able not only to get an introduction to stimulating topics, but also to learn about the latest research. Got interested? Further details about next year’s event will be on the departmental website in due course, and booking will be via the City Lit website (http://www.citylit.ac.uk). Teaching Literacy through Latin in inner London Lorna Robinson, Director of The Iris Project Six years have gone by since The Iris Project started delivering Latin as part of the school literacy curriculum in disadvantaged areas of the city in partnership with UCL Department of Greek and Latin. In that time, the project has blossomed and thrived, and there are an ever- growing number of schools in London and Oxford; we have even expanded the scheme to Swansea, Reading and Manchester! The project could not continue without the brilliant teaching and fervent commitment shown by volunteers from UCL and elsewhere, and as can be seen from these accounts, it’s an experience which can really benefit both pupils and volunteers. The effects of the scheme have now been recognised in the 2011 OFSTED report from St saviours School in Brixton, which observed: “The school has a range of effective partnerships with external agencies, including the Iris Project with University College London which, by teaching Year 5 pupils Latin, has made a strong contribution to those pupils’ improved writing.” Sam Thompson I completed my MA in Classics in 2011, and have been a volunteer Latin teacher with the Iris Project in 2011-12. It is a powerful thing to give others the chance to learn Latin from a young age, and it is amazing to see how easily they retain the vocabulary. The Iris Project website is full of resources, including a year’s worth of lesson plans that introduce Latin in a fun way, using myths (which the children love especially) and games. To the volunteer Iris offers teaching experience, which is especially difficult to get in the Classics subjects. If you may want to teach later, pick up that experience this year. The one hour per week is a very good investment, both in your own CV, and in the lives of the children you teach, whom you will give the great gift of early exposure to Latin and the opportunity to be Classicists. James Ahsan I taught Latin at Lauriston Primary School through the Iris Project throughout the 2011/12 academic year and it was an opportunity I would recommend greatly. I took a class of ten Year Six students with no previous knowledge of Latin and used a variety of worksheets, games and stories to get them interested in the exciting new language. Keeping the lessons both interesting and educational was a challenging balance, but after a few lessons it became clear which methods worked best. It was a rewarding experience to give young students the opportunity to become passionate about Latin, and encourage them to further their studies in secondary school. I am now completing a PGCE in Classics Teaching and the Iris Project introduced me to the world of teaching and gave me my first opportunity to take my own class. Even if you are not interested in a teaching career, the Iris Project is an excellent programme to be involved with to help keep Latin alive and to give back to local schools. Above and Beyond: UCL Students Take the Initiative Adam Lecznar In June of last year I was invited by the archivist at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank to give a lecture as part of their ‘Researchers’ Tales’ initiative. The aim of the series was to give young academics doing work that requires the NT’s archive the opportunity to share their findings with a broader audience while also publicising the resources of the archive to the general public and other researchers. I spoke about the Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka’s adaptation of Euripides’ Bacchae that premiered at the NT in the summer of 1973, and used various photos and props that I had found in my trips to the archive. The lecture was very well attended, with lots of friends, family and complete strangers coming along to hear me speak and then ask (sometimes quite probing) questions afterwards. It was great to talk about my research to a new audience and I found it a thoroughly rewarding experience. Andreas Serafim & Beatrice da Vela In 2012 we organised the two-day international conference “A Theatre of Justice”, on the performative dynamics of Greek and Roman oratory and rhetoric. Our conference aimed at creating a forum for the exchange of ideas between different disciplines. More than 55 scholars and postgraduate students from all over the world enjoyed nineteen papers on several elements of oratory in/as performance and two keynote speeches by Ian Worthington (Missouri) and Edith Hall (KCL). It has been said that taking part in a conference is like a concert; you sit back and enjoy it. Organizing a conference, however, is definitely a more worthwhile and stimulating endeavour. It offers organisers good preparation for the administrative aspect of academic life, contributing decisively to the development of their research and project management skills. Despite the hard work, the reward is salient. We have found that our conference has sparked much enthusiasm: a number of distinguished scholars and other participants have approached us and expressed their excitement about the conference. Much of the credit for the sound success of this conference goes to the Department of Greek and Latin for collaborating enthusiastically with and supporting heartedly the two organisers. Professor Chris Carey was, as always, supportive and encouraging. The department of Greek and Latin together with UCL Graduate School, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and the Institute of Classical Studies generously offered substantial financial support. And the assistance of the two departmental secretaries, Joanna Fryer and Mary Moloney, in all the stages of conference’s organisation was invaluable. We hope our department will be able to continue supporting its students in organizing this kind of rewarding and stimulating events. Bridget Wright I was absolutely over the moon to be awarded a UCL Graduate Research Scholarship and I can say without any hesitation that my first year as a PhD student has been the most interesting and enjoyable year of my life. Supervised by Professor Maria Wyke, I am looking at how the memory of Julius Caesar was handled in Rome between the years 14 and 98 AD (i.e. from the start of Tiberius’ principate to the end of Nerva’s). My first year has been extremely busy. As well as getting to grips with my project, I started learning German (since there are numerous German articles which I need to be able to read!); I attended the 2012 Classical Association conference in Exeter, the weekly Latin literature seminars held at Senate House and a range of courses hosted by the Graduate School; I was employed by Maria Wyke to write the index for her latest book (Caesar in the USA), and I am now preparing to fly to America for a conference on Julius Caesar at Amherst College. I have been delighted with the amount of support I have received, both from UCL in general and from the Department of Greek and Latin in particular. I hope that the rest of my PhD continues to be just as challenging and fascinating as my first year has been. Nick Freer As I enter the final year of my PhD, I can reflect on my time within the Department of Greek and Latin with great satisfaction. I have been privileged to work with Professor Gesine Manuwald, whose vast knowledge and encouragement have eased the burden of completing my doctoral thesis, which explores the influence of the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus on the poetry of Vergil. The rest of the faculty have been equally generous with their time, offering a friendly and supportive environment within which to pursue my studies. Throughout my degree I have benefitted from the wide range of opportunities available to PhD students at UCL. In my second year I received full funding from the Graduate School to spend a semester at the University of California, Berkeley. Conducting research at a foreign institution was an immensely valuable experience that I would recommend to any PhD student. I am also excited to be the co-organiser of a conference on Vergil’s Georgics, an endeavour that would not be possible without the considerable support of the department and the University. With all of this in mind, I can honestly say that the PhD has been a formative experience and an ideal preparation for a career in academia. Hippolytus 2012: Tragedy and Triumph Laura Swift, Academic Advisor director who ran it, which can now be seen at http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=zoy2-ly7BSk. We are very proud of the tradition that has built up around the Greek play, and the department is now putting together a detailed archive on our website with images, programme notes, and cast lists for all our plays going back as far as 1987. Anyone who was involved in a past performance and has any details to offer is warmly invited to get in touch! Emily Thomas, Producer This year’s Greek play at the Bloomsbury Theatre was Euripides’ Hippolytus, directed by Ilona Kotz and Camilla Chenery. This was an ambitious performance, using a recent translation by Ann Carson, and the students created their own video art to represent the primeval forces symbolised by Aphrodite and Artemis. The production received the honour of a positive review in The Times from Matthew Parris, who described the production as “explosive”, and who praised the “great performance” by Charlie Satow (Hippolytus), as well as singling out Eleanor Wright (the Nurse) and Rohan Pai (Messenger) as “wonderfully natural”. As has become customary in recent years, the play was accompanied by a programme of outreach activities: each evening performance was preceded by a lecture given by an expert on Greek drama, and we also held three workshops (funded by the Hellenic Society) run by theatre practitioners. The workshops attracted both school parties and older members of the public, and it was inspiring to see these diverse groups sharing their perspectives to produce short dramatic pieces. We have made a short film based on footage taken from one of the workshops, combined with an interview with the professional Producing the Greek Play was an excellent opportunity to combine the study of Greek Drama and the experience of a real working theatre. Whilst production did not revolve around creative input into the play, the team were presented with the challenge of staging an ancient drama in a modern theatre. The production team also spent time liaising with the translator’s agent and team in New York, obtaining the legal rights to stage the play at the Bloomsbury, designing the programme to be sold on the night, and discussing props with the National Theatre props department. We were able to be involved in so many diverse aspects of the play, that we were able to form strong bonds with not only the directorial team, but also the cast, backstage team and the theatre management. This meant that we got to see the development of the play from all angles, start to finish.Ultimately, the production team got to oversee a wide range of people, all of whom had a love for ancient drama, and helped them put on a really great play. Rohan Pai, Actor As a member of the cast, what made Hippolytus a particularly outstanding production was the level of acting and the level of perception from every member of the production; together we aimed to perfect the process of identifying the key themes of the play, understanding them deeply, and finally depicting them in a naturalistic yet compelling way that could transform a theatre as big as the Bloomsbury Theatre into a small window into the tragic, chaotic world in which the characters dwell. Not only was this a testament to the level of teamwork and effort every participant put in, but I feel it goes to show that student drama, and the work of The Classical Drama Society, is not at all a periphery of UCL student theatre that should easily be dismissed; Matthew Parris’ article on the play was the exact reaction we had each hoped to receive from the audience and showed us that our hard work was not in vain! It is very satisfying to have experienced the process of putting on this play. On my part, the feeling that being part of a production with a modernized script and unconventional staging and costumes was refreshingly different to more traditional renditions of several Greek plays in which I have been involved in the past. It was a production of which I was proud to be a part (as, I’m sure, were all the others). It was pure hard work and passion displayed by all parties involved that resulted in a production that served to strengthen the reputation of UCL Classical Drama even further. Bright Beginnings and Fond Farewells New Staff Peter Agócs I am a Hellenist who works mostly on the poetry of the archaic and classical periods. I joined the Department in September 2012, and I teach mostly Greek and a bit of Latin. I was born in the United States, and educated in Canada and Hungary: my mother is American (now Canadian), and my father was a ‘56 Hungarian; my sister Kati is a composer in Boston. My connection to the UCL Greek & Latin Department began in January, 2001, when I came to London as an ERASMUS student from Budapest. In 2003, I began a PhD with Chris Carey, after finishing my undergraduate studies in Greek and Latin at ELTE (Budapest). I ended up staying on: for four years, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge. I am very excited to have returned to UCL. My research focusses on archaic and classical Greek song (thus lyric poetry, especially the choral odes of Pindar and Bacchylides: there is a book on the way), and also ideas of genre, tradition and cultural memory in poetic and prose texts of the 5th-century and earlier. Rosa Andujar I joined the Department of Greek & Latin in September 2012 as the A. G. Leventis Research Fellow. I studied Classics on both sides of the Atlantic: at Wellesley, King’s College Cambridge, and Princeton. Following the completion of my doctoral work at Princeton, I returned to Cambridge where I taught various topics in Classics and English at several colleges. My research interests range broadly across the spectrum of Greek literature and its afterlife: from fifth century tragedy, to the Greek literature of the Roman Empire, to twentieth century reimaginings of Classical drama in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. I am currently completing a book on lyric exchanges between chorus and actors in Greek Tragedy. At UCL, I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge of tragedy as advisor for the annual Classical play at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Antony Makrinos I joined UCL as a research and teaching Fellow in 2005. I research Greek epic (especially Homer), Byzantine scholarship and reception studies in visual culture. I am currently preparing an edition of Eustathius’ “Commentary on the Odyssey” (Book 1) as well as several articles on Byzantine scholarship. Last year I participated in many conferences and workshops, including the Conference on “Homeric Receptions in Literature and Performing Arts” at the Ionian University of Corfu and the Grundtvig Workshop on “Modern Views of Greek and Roman Antiquity” organised by the Centre of Scientific Dialogue and Research in Nicosia. I am currently co-editing with UCL alumna Dr. Ioanna Hadjikosti a volume with the Proceedings of the Grundtvig workshop. Last summer I also taught for the 15th Homeric Academy in Chios in which I was awarded the Golden Seal for Outstanding performance in teaching classical languages by EUROCLASSICA. This year I am employed as a full-time teaching fellow at UCL. I am participating in a Classical Day at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and in the “Texts and Editing” seminar organised by ITSEE and the Classics Department of Birmingham. This summer I will organise the London Summer School in Classics. Fond Farewells Amanda Cater When I saw the advert for Secretary in the Department of Greek and Latin back in 1999, I thought to myself, now there’s a nice little 9-5 job to keep me occupied. Little did I know it would be more like 95 hours per week (allow me to exaggerate) but also how much enjoyment and happiness it was going to bring. To begin with, it was like stepping back in time, as I had been a student in the dept in the (very) early 80s. Here again were my former tutors, Alan Griffiths, Bob Sharples, Herwig Maehler, Robert Ireland and Paddy Considine, all just the same 20 years on. Eric Handley and Malcolm Willcock were still very much involved with the department as Emeriti Profs and the departmental play in which I appeared (Epidicus and Casina, we did Roman shows then too) still going strong. Of course the years rolled by and we all got older. Now 13 years and 5 Heads of Department on, I’m no longer there and the department is shiny, fresh and new – both in staff and in wall coverings. It’s an amazing place, everyone beavers non-stop which means administrators are constantly chasing their tails and exhausted. But oh, it’s been a ball and I’m missing everyone like mad. Amanda Cater is now Administrator for the new UCL Arts and Sciences (BASc) programme but her email remains the same: [email protected] Joanna Fryer Perhaps the one memory which best characterises my experience of Greek and Latin is of the late Stephen Instone at the ever popular London Summer School in Classics. In order to pledge Virgil as the sexiest ancient in the renowned Classics debate, Stephen donned a child-sized tunic (and little else) and proceeded to shout out the first 20 lines of the Aeneid in Latin. He then went on to explain how certain linguistic features were sexy. At this point I (and most of the audience) was crying with laughter. He had earlier admitted that he had chosen Virgil to fit in with his current interests and with tongue firmly in cheek, but this moment sums up the wonderful, warm and eccentric world of Greek and Latin. It is a department truly made by its people. I hope to be lucky enough to work always with such lively, kind, dedicated and, on occasion, barmy people. Joanna Fryer is now Postgraduate Administrator at the Department of History.