Classics and Modern Languages

The College has a strong classical tradition, with three tutors in the Literae Humaniores School responsible for language and literature, ancient history and philosophy respectively. Teaching for our Classics and Modern Languages students is closely coordinated with that for students in Classics and English and Classics and Oriental Studies, especially in the first two years of the course. We are more than happy to consider applications for any combination of ancient and modern languages offered by St Anne’s and are also committed to the programme in Classics and Modern Languages (Course II) for students taking up an ancient language as beginners.

St Anne’s College has a thriving culture of interdisciplinary work in this area. Professor Leigh has published on Petrarch, Goldoni, and Dante and is the author of The Masons and the Mysteries in 18th Century Drama: Three Masonic Comedies (Berlin, 2020). Dr Jonathan Katz is expert in Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, but is also a noted literary translator from German, particularly the works of Stefan Zweig. We are home to the Oxford Centre for Comparative Criticism and Translation and to the Weidenfeld Chair in Comparative Literature. In recent years the St Anne’s Classics Society reading party has studied, among other texts, Beowulf, the Kalevala, and Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel. Our guest speakers have included some of the world’s most distinguished classical scholars as well as such noted poets as Michael Longley reading from their work. Several College funds help to provide prizes, to support travel and field archaeology, and to augment the well-stocked classical library.

As an undergraduate here you will be a member of a stimulating and varied intellectual community. As a specialist in medieval and Golden-Age literature, Professor Geraldine Hazbun is particularly interested in the influence of classical traditions upon pre-modern Spain. She teaches several papers, both for the Prelims and the Final Honour Schools courses, in which these links can be explored in greater detail and has extensive experience of teaching medieval literature to students of Classics and Modern Languages. She has published on the fall of Rome in the medieval Spanish chronicle, the Estoria de España. Dr Simon Parkes is an expert on medieval and renaissance Portuguese Literature and Professor Patrick McGuiness specialises in French literature of the late 19th century, particularly the Symbolists. Students of Classics and French are also well catered for within the College’s Modern Languages framework and often choose to take papers in medieval French and Romance Philology.