Please see below for a joint statement from three UK Classics organisations. The WCC-UK intends to issue its own independent statement as well, which will include an invitation for further discussion at a town hall meeting during our AGM in Cardiff on 10th May 2019 – mark your diaries!
As representatives of the UK Classics community, we deplore the incidents of overt racism that took place at the AIA/SCS conference in San Diego. The incidents were widely reported in the media and online; readers can consult this Chronicle of Higher Education article for details along with links to the responses of some of those most directly targeted. We also deplore the racism that continues within our field, implicit and explicit, every day; it is our responsibility as Classicists to challenge our discipline’s racist history and the structural inequalities that persist today within Classics and academia more broadly. None of these problems are confined by national borders, and the UK community, including our organisations, has a long way to go in reckoning with their manifestations in our own country. The Royal Historical Society’s recent report on Race, Ethnicity, and Equality suggests one set of models for progress.
Although blatant manifestations of racism like those seen in San Diego are only the tip of the iceberg, and there is much more to be done, we would like to draw all colleagues’ attention to the Code of Conduct that will be in effect at FIEC/CA this summer in London.
Council of University Classics Departments
Greg Woolf, Director of the Institute of Classical Studies
The Steering Committee of the Women’s Classical Committee UK