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The Classics Coffee Hour: Creating Connections and Promoting New Ideas through Graduate Student Service

Ekaterina But and Colleen Kron

The Ohio State University

The “Classics Coffee Hour”  was founded in 2016 by graduate students in the Department of Classics. In our presentation, we (the founding organizers) will discuss the structure, funding, and management of the group. We will describe the successful platform we created to organize and promote events that respond to graduate student concerns and interests, including: current research trajectories, new theoretical trends and reception studies, professional development, pedagogy, and multi-disciplinary approaches in Classics and related fields.

Our presentation will discuss practical methods by which graduate students at a large public university can draw on the student-centered funding structure to introduce positive change, build relationships between students and faculty and strengthen their department communities. We will discuss the successes and challenges of specific events, including (1) professional development workshops dedicated to tools for digital pedagogy, facilitating constructive classroom discussion, and teaching sensitive topics; (2) informal graduate student research presentations, and (3) more formal lectures on multidisciplinary topics, which open Classics to a wider university community. We will also discuss our current experience and plans for future expansion of our outreach and recruitment events to include undergraduate students and help them to navigate the discipline.

        To conclude our presentation, we will summarize the preliminary results of three and a half years of activity of the Classics Coffee Hour (more than thirty events) and discuss feedback gathered from other graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty, and invited speakers. Then, we will open the floor for discussion from the “Graduate Student Leadership” panel in order to gain feedback and perspective from the wider graduate student and Classics community.

Session/Panel Title

Graduate Student Leadership in Classics

Session/Paper Number


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