Welcome to Berkeley Classics

Berkeley Classics is widely recognized as one of the outstanding departments in the field, known for its distinctive blend of philological rigor, disciplinary breadth, and theoretical adventurousness. It is the intellectual home of a distinguished faculty, excellent graduate students, and an extraordinarily talented and diverse group of undergraduates.

The department is fully enmeshed in the intellectual life of the university, with strong connections to (e.g.) Art History, Comparative Literature, History, and Philosophy.  Our faculty participate in AHMA, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and the Archaeological Research Facility; they also direct a number of important centers on campus, which serve as a resource for our students while attracting researchers from around the world.

Featured Courses

Fall 2020
Emma Remsberg

The first half of a two-semester language sequence equipping students to read and translate Classical Latin; can be taken independently or in conjunction with Latin 2.  

Fall 2020
Kim S. Shelton

An in-depth introduction to the material culture of the Ancient Greeks —architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics—from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period.  Fulfills L&S Breadth in Arts & Literature or Historical Studies.  3 hours lecture, 1 hour discussion section.


We are excited to report that Kelsey Turbeville (PhD Classical Archaeology 2019) is now a User Experience Writer at UserTesting, a UX research company based in San Francisco. As a writer on the design team, she collaborates with designers and other writers to create digital interfaces; another component of her work is researching how people understand and interpret language in context.  Kelsey tells us that this work draws on the skills she developed in graduate school:  "I spend a lot of time analyzing language in a detailed, rigorous manner and considering its impact in the context of a visual environment."

We are delighted to report that Marissa Henry has been awarded a Frank E. Ratliff Fellowship in Classical Antiquity, to complete her dissertation, entitled “Raw, Cooked, Rotten, Sweet: The Pleasures and Politics of Food in Archaic Hexameter" and that Andrew Wein has been awarded both a Dissertation Fellowship from the Townsend Humanities Center and a Mabelle McLeod Lewis Fellowship, for the completion of his dissertation, entitled “Kosmos and Confusion: Political and Aesthetic Value in the Greco-Roman World.”

Our congratulations to graduate alums Margaret Foster and Jonathan Ready, who are taking up positions this fall as Associate Professor and Professor, respectively, in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan.

In June, Maria Mavroudi gave a public lecture (sponsored by the Hellenic American Cultural Foundation in New York), entitled "How Byzantine Civilization Influenced Modern-Day Culture," including the reception of Byzantine art by African Americans and political activists after the Civil Rights movement. The lecture was broadcast via Zoom and can be enjoyed here.


Three graduate students—Jordan Brown (Anthropology), Trent Trombley (Anthropology), and Rebekah McKay (Classical Archaeology)—discuss their summer research, which they succeeded in conducting in the face of the international COVID-19 crisis.

A lecture by Professor Kim Shelton, sponsored by the Ancient Art Council; more information here.

Ellen Oliensis reading Wallace Stevens, Ovid, and Horace, John Shoptaw reading some of his recent poems.
Ellen Oliensis discussed her new book, Loving Writing: Ovid's Amores, with Tim Hampton.

Professor Hallett's Getty Traveling Seminar


Professor Chris Hallett has wrapped up the second year in a four-year research project funded by the Getty Foundation that he has organized together with fellow Aphrodisians Bert Smith and Esen Ogus. Part of the Getty’s Connecting Art Histories initiative, the project brings together mid-career art historians and archaeologists from Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria, to take part each year in a traveling seminar. In September 2019 a group of 20 participants assembled in South-Eastern Turkey for an ambitious 10-day site and museum tour, taking in Mersin, Adana, Antakya, Zeugma, Urfa, and Mount Nemrut. The project is planned to culminate in a conference in Istanbul in 2022, the complete proceedings of which will be published in English and Turkish.

Chris Hallett with fellow archaeologists at Zeugma