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GDST Classics Conference

We hosted the inaugural GDST Classics Conference, welcoming dozens of A Level Classicists from our sister schools across London.

Sixth Form Classics students from Notting Hill & Ealing High School, Sydenham High School, Streatham & Clapham High School and Northwood College joined us for a line-up of amazing speakers: GDST Classics Teachers and Carrie Vout, Professor of Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge

Mrs Bingham started the day with a rousing call that ‘nunc est discendum’ (now is the time to learn!), before Ms Bolland (South Hampstead) spoke brilliantly on the various receptions of the Pygmalion myth in ancient and modern culture. The students then elected whether to join Ms Bradshaw (Notting Hill & Ealing) for a superb exploration of Tacitus and inscriptions, or Mr Thicknesse (South Hampstead), who spoke about classical undertones in the poetry of TS Eliot and Kae Tempest. The morning was closed out by Hayley Walker (Streatham & Clapham) delivering a brilliant argument on the tragic character of Dido.

After a typically excellent lunch, Peter Swallow (Notting Hill & Ealing) gave a fittingly funny perspective on the humour of Aristophanes, before we were joined by our keynote speaker for the day, Carrie Vout, the Director of the Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge, who currently holds the Byvanck Chair of Classical Archaeology/Art History at the University of Leiden; her publications include Sex on Show: Seeing the Erotic in Greece and Rome, and Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body.

Carrie spoke on the topic of the divine body in ancient Greek and Roman art with her characteristic precision and eloquence; she was kind enough to take questions on a variety of topics after the lecture, as well as offering advice to potential Oxbridge applicants.

It was wonderful to see so many young Classicists swapping ideas and experiences, and we hope that they found the day both inspiring and useful; we very much look forward to hosting the conference again in 2024.

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