Classics Professor Awarded Coveted Fellowship in Athens

 Associate Professor of Classics and Judson Bemis Professor in the Humanities Sanjaya Thakur
Associate Professor of Classics and Judson Bemis Professor in the Humanities Sanjaya Thakur

Colorado College Associate Professor of Classics and Judson Bemis Professor in the Humanities Sanjaya Thakur has been selected as an Elizabeth A. Whitehead Distinguished Scholar at the American School for Classical Studies, Athens, for the 2022-23 academic year.

The ASCSA is the oldest American overseas research center for advanced inquiry in the fine arts and humanities. Its mission is to advance knowledge of Greece and all aspects of Greek culture, from antiquity to the present, by training young scholars, sponsoring and promoting archaeological fieldwork, providing resources for scholarly work, and disseminating the results of that research. Thakur joins the list of eminent professors of classics and archaeology who have held the highly coveted position, but is one of the few liberal arts college faculty members to ever hold the fellowship.

The selection committee noted Thakur’s outstanding record of teaching, scholarship, and mentorship, his leadership in the discipline of Classics, his work and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as well as his expertise in the subject area of Greek athletics and the ancient Olympics. Thakur regularly teaches courses on both Greek and Roman sports and sports history at Colorado College and the classes have won him acclaim among students. While in residence, Thakur will be working on several related academic projects, the first on athletics in Homer’s “Odyssey” and the second, a study of depictions of boxers on ancient Greek vases.

The 140-year-old ASCSA is renowned for its “regular academic program” for graduate students. The program takes participants to nearly every extant archaeological site and museum in Greece. As a Whitehead Scholar, Thakur will participate in the academic life of the ASCSA in a variety of ways, by working closely with regular and student associate members of the school and by joining school trips and excursions throughout Greece. 

“I am thrilled and honored to have been selected for this position. The fellowship is one of the highest honors in the field of Classics and Classical Archaeology. I look forward to working with and mentoring the next generation of scholars. The American School’s regular program is truly special in the depth and scope in which members are introduced to Greece and its history.” says Thakur. “The school has a venerable history and tradition and I am so pleased to return to Athens next year.”

Thakur is an alumnus of ASCSA, having been in residence there while a Fulbright Fellow in Greece in 2004-5. He has been a senior associate member at the ASCSA several times and serves as one of Colorado College’s representatives (with Professor of Art Ruth Kolarik) on the ASCSA’s managing committee, comprised of faculty from the more than 190 member institutions, of which CC is one. Thakur has also been a Tytus Fellow (University of Cincinnati, 2013, 2016), Watson Fellow (The Ohio State University, 2012), and Alumni Association Fellow (American Academy, Rome 2006). He currently serves as the director of the Classical Summer School at the American Academy, Rome, and chair of the Committee on Diversity in the Profession for the Society for Classical Studies. Thakur joined the CC Classics Department in 2008 and his very first class at CC was on sports in the ancient world.

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