Chapel Talk, 2021 April 14: On Being a Classicist / Philip Walsh
In his Chapel Talk, Classics Department Chair Phil Walsh speaks of a colleague who wrote a poem "Memory of a Year with Allusions to the Greeks" where he is a featured "classicist." He then goes on to describe what it means to be a "classicist." Dr. Walsh brings his talk to the current moment in our country by saying, "For every creative and affirming use of ancient Greek and Roman culture in the modern world, there are also negative receptions in which ancient material is used to validate xenophobia, misogyny, militarism, racism, white nationalism, and hate.To be a classicist, then, is to feel revulsion for ignorant, ahistorical misappropriations of classical ideas and to correct the record whenever possible." He concludes his talk by saying, "As a classicist, I contend that we must choose to believe in things bigger than ourselves – perhaps something divine, perhaps something mystical, perhaps something deeply humanistic."