In this episode, we discover what links Virgil to Devon, why Classics is relevant today, Justin’s love for languages, which transferable skills Classics gives you, and why, in Molly’s view, Classics and English is the best degree available in Oxford!
Dr Rebecca Armstrong (https://www.st-hildas.ox.ac.uk/content/dr-rebecca-m-armstrong) grew up in North Devon and first came to Oxford to study Classics at Balliol College. She took up her current post at St Hilda’s in 2004. Her main research interests nowadays centre around ancient literary responses to the natural world, especially plants. Her students nobly tolerate her tendency to talk at length about beech trees.
Molly Gibson-Mee studied for a BA in Classics and English (Course II) and an MSt in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at Oriel College from 2015-20. Molly grew up in rural Devon and attended a state comprehensive school there before discovering Classics at an FE College. She is a successful YouTuber (https://www.youtube.com/user/readingismycupoftea) and currently works for Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.
Justin Vyvyan-Jones (https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-vyvyan-jones-9079761b3/?originalSubdomain=uk) followed his love for language and story from village state schools through to studying BA Classics (IIA) and German at St Hugh's College. Firmly rooted in the West Country, and proud of his roots in village primaries, rural state-comp, and state sixth-form college, he's seen how valuable committed teaching and effective outreach are to transforming young people's prospects, and how easy it is for negative stereotypes to deter them from giving Oxford a shot. Having thrown himself into the rich student life at Oxford, he's now gearing up for a year abroad in Germany, where he's been offered a placement translating medieval texts into English. Justin firmly believes in being an ambassador for inclusivity and accessibility in Oxford and beyond.
Katrina Kelly (https://www.linkedin.com/in/katrina-kelly-3925a216b/), the host of this podcast, studied Classics (Course IA) at Magdalen College from 2015-19 after being home-educated in Lytham St Annes on the Lancashire coast. Now a researcher at the Faculty, she hopes to help make Oxford Classics an ever more accessible, inclusive and exciting place to study and work. Katrina is also the Education Co-ordinator and Branches Officer for the Classical Association.
Things we mention
Classical Reception – the study of how the ancient world has been received since antiquity
APGRD (http://www.apgrd.ox.ac.uk/) – Oxford’s Archive for the Performance of Greek and Roman Drama
Alice Oswald’s ‘Dart’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_(poetry_collection)
How can I get involved?
Oxford For South West (https://www.ox.ac.uk/oxfordforSW)
Bristol Classics For All hub (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/classics/hub/)
Find a Classical Association branch near you (https://classicalassociation.org/branches/)
Exeter College (https://www.exeter.ox.ac.uk/applicants/undergraduates/visit/outreach/)
Lady Margaret Hall (https://www.lmh.ox.ac.uk/prospective-students/working-schools)
Merton College (https://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/our-work-with-schools)