Department audit

January 7, 2005

Christopher Rowe is head of the department of classics and ancient history, Durham University.

* Total number of academic staff: 16

* Number of permanent academic staff: 13

* Number of academic staff on fixed-term contracts: 1

* Number of hourly paid/casual academic staff: 2 (and postgraduates)

* Number of other academic staff: none

* Number of professors or senior lecturers: 5

* Number of ethnic minority academic staff: none (but several non-UK citizens)

* Number of female academic staff: 4

* Number of female academic staff who are professors or senior lecturers/principal lecturers: 1

* Research assessment exercise rating: 5

* When was the last quality assessment? 2000 (external) 21/24; November 2004 (full internal review report awaited).

* Current and approved vacancies for the next 12 months? Chair, lecturer A/B, lecturer A (ancient Greek history; ancient Roman history/culture; ancient Greek/ Roman visual/material culture).

* Significant staff changes in the past six months? The departure of two colleagues, both Latinists, to the US; the arrival of two new young Latinists, Jennifer Ingleheart and Luke Pitcher.

* 'Star' teachers or researchers? Best-known researchers are P. J. Rhodes, Edith Hall and me, Christopher Rowe.

* Research projects? Edith Hall is co-director of the archive of performances of Greek and Roman drama (Oxford). A departmental project on the reception of the Persian Wars will be followed by another on "Plato and Hesiod"; individual projects include Latin literature, Greek literature, reception, Aegean archaeology, church history, Plato as an author, post-Hellenistic philosophy.

* What have been the main preoccupations of the department in the past six months? Introducing a much-changed undergraduate teaching programme, with a new Leverhulme-supported degree course titled "The classical past", innovative modules, and new approaches to language teaching.

* Anything else? We mean to make study of the ancient world accessible to as many people as possible. We accept more undergraduates than any UK department except Oxford University's, and they come from all backgrounds.

Many start Greek or Latin from scratch on our reformed language teaching programme. We have an outreach programme with local schools, and we contribute to arts events nationally. Staff emphasise interaction between their research and teaching activities, with particular interests in the cultural and intellectual life of the Greeks and Romans, in the theory and practice of translation of Greek and Latin into modern languages, and in the ancient Mediterranean's continuing presence in the contemporary imagination.

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