Reading Groups

Theory Reading Group

The goal of the Theory Reading Group is to create a low-stakes and friendly environment in which members of the Classics department (especially graduate students) can learn about and discuss various works of critical theory. A few evenings per semester, we meet to talk through an article or chapter; in the past, we have read works by Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and more. We assume no previous knowledge of theory, and devote most of our discussion to untangling these sometimes difficult texts and thinking through concrete ways in which they might be applied to the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. All are welcome! If you are interested in joining, please email Jeff Masse at

Practices of Commentary

Practices of Commentary is a five-year SSHRC Insight Grant Project (2020-2025) based at the University of Toronto, which grew out of a two-year working group centred at the JHI (2018-2020). The project seeks to set new research agendas for the study of an interpretive mode that has been central to various intellectual cultures, and which has been a prime site for the perpetuation and innovation of knowledge. The project takes a comparative and historical perspective on practices of commentary—whether scriptural, literary, legal, or philosophical—combining nuanced historical and philological accounts of local modes of commentarial practices and a more global view of the function of commentary in cultures and communities of the premodern world. Members of this project include both senior and junior scholars, as well as graduate students, from various departments, including Classics, East Asian Studies, Religion, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, German, English, Philosophy, and the Centre for Medieval Studies. The group meets once a month to discuss primary and secondary readings related to specific cultural and intellectual traditions of commentary. All Classics students are welcome to take part in this project. Please see our website for more information. You can also contact faculty member Kenneth Yu ( with any questions.

Postcolonial Reading Group

This reading group aims to offer a space for members of the Department of Classics to come together to read key works in postcolonial thought and theory, and to explore and discuss the interactions between Greek and Roman antiquity and postcolonial contexts. All members of the department, including undergraduates, graduates, and faculty are most welcome. We invite suggestions for material you would like to look at! If you would like to join in, please contact Ben Akrigg at

Epic Network Reading Group

This reading group addresses collaboratively recent scholarship on Latin Poetry, with a special interest for the Flavian period. So far, our readings have included discussions of the political and historical background, intertextuality and poetics, and gender. The group runs from October to April, meeting once per month on Thursdays at 4:00 pm. Anyone interested is welcome to join! If you wish to participate, contact Georgia Ferentinou at

Byzantine Greek Reading Group

Organizer : Professor Dorothea Kullmann (

This group meets once a week during term time, in order to translate entire Greek texts from the Byzantine period and thus get some reading practice in medieval Greek. Advance prep is not required, and most if not all participants read at sight. This term we meet virtually on Friday mornings, 10 am – 11:30 am. We are working our way through An Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds (Παιδιόφραστος διήγησις τῶν ζῴων τῶν τετραπόδων), a poem about an assembly of animals which has been described as a ‘medieval Animal Farm‘, which is really very entertaining!