Often when people think of the classics, they think of Greco-Roman society and the elitism of reading, writing, language and art. Elon’s classics club, however, is trying to change this.
Bringing inclusivity and having everyone love the classics are the main goals of the president of the club, sophomore Ava Crawford. She hopes that everyone can find a way to love and enjoy the classics as much as she does.
“What we are really trying to do with the classical studies club is to demystify classics,” Crawford said.
The club is trying to create a diverse and safe environment for everyone to find an aspect of the classics to love. Conversations of race and ethnicity have also been incorporated to discuss the misrepresentation of diversity.
“One of the things we’re really passionate about our program is disavowing people of that notion and bringing the diversity and excitement of that ancient world to light for people,” faculty adviser Kristina Meinking said.
Meinking has taught at Elon University for 11 years and is excited about the exposure the classics can gain from a more accessible club such as this one.
Alongside Meinking, assistant professor of classical studies Tedd Wimperis oversees the organization and said there are many angles to consider when it comes to analyzing the classics.
“You're looking at the languages of these civilizations, you're looking at the literature, you're looking at the art, the religion, the politics, the law,” Wimperis said. “All these different kinds of aspects go into it so anyway you're really looking at the story of entire groups of people, and the story of how those civilizations developed over centuries.”
The club plans to unveil events that make the classics seem more accessible and less daunting, such as having a panel that will discuss race and ethnicity in a conversation about the ancient world and modern day.
“I think it can be intimidating when you see this ancient history, ancient languages, ancient heroes. It all seems very highbrow,” Crawford said. “What I wanted to do with the classical studies club is I wanted to make it accessible and open and get people involved in discussions and find a way to love it.”