New Classical Summer School Director: Sanjaya Thakur

Color portrait of the head and shoulders of Sanjaya Thakur, standing in front of Cossitt Hall and wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and yellow striped tie
Sanjaya Thakur

After a national search, Sanjaya Thakur has been appointed Director of the Classical Summer School at the American Academy in Rome for a three-year term (2021–23). Dr. Thakur is associate professor and chair of the Classics Department at Colorado College, where he has taught since 2008.

The Classical Summer School is a six-week program, held in June and July, that offers participants a well-founded understanding of the growth and development of the ancient city of Rome and its immediate environs from the earliest times to the age of Constantine through a careful study of material remains and literary sources.

Professor Thakur’s primary research interests are Augustan literature and culture. He completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA and graduate work at the University of Michigan, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Ovid’s presentation of the imperial family in the exile poems. Thakur has published a number of articles on the history and literature of the Augustan age.

“I am looking forward to leading this long-standing program,” Thakur said. “I love teaching on site, examining history, art, and culture with a close eye to their topographic context. I am especially eager to promote by selecting participants from historically underrepresented communities. As a former high school Latin teacher, I am excited by the opportunity to have precollegiate teachers as part of the group.”

Thakur is himself an alumnus of the Classical Summer School, having been a 2006 participant. He was also awarded the alumni association fellowship that year. Thakur has been a Fulbright fellow (in Greece) and held Tytus (Cincinnati) and Watkins (Ohio State) Fellowships. He currently serves as the chair of the Committee on Diversity in the Profession for the Society for Classical Studies and on the editorial board of Eugesta: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity.

Thakur has taught twelve courses in Italy, primarily summer classes for Colorado College. He was also a faculty leader for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Faculty Development Seminar in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning, heading a program titled “Mediterranean Trivium: Earth, Sea, Culture.”

The Classical Summer School, established in 1923 for high school teachers and graduate students of Latin, ancient history, and the classics, has grown more inclusive over the years, welcoming college professors and scholars working in related fields. It is of particular use to those with few opportunities to visit Rome and to underrepresented groups in classics more generally.

AAR will begin accepting applications for the 2021 Classical Summer School later this fall. Please visit aarome.org/apply/academic-programs for more information.

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