This week I received a report on the classics department, and the latest PAW describing the response of the department to President Eisgruber ’83’s call to address systemic racism at Princeton (May issue).
No intermediate proficiency in Greek or Latin will be now be required to enter the concentration, and students will not be required to take either Greek or Latin, though this will be encouraged if it is “relevant.” The Director of Undergraduate Studies is convinced these changes will bring new perspectives and make the field better, and make the department “a more vibrant intellectual community.”
“Classics lite” would be a good description of this major, but perhaps “classical civilization” would do, in order to distinguish the “classics” majors who are literate in both Greek and Latin. How elitist! Pardon my cynicism, but a classics faculty about three times as large as the one I knew clearly aims to increase enrollments for its own benefit. The paucity of minorities in traditional classics is a matter of economics, not racism.