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Working Classicists Awards 2024: The Winners



Last year we launched the first annual Working Classicists Awards. We received huge numbers of nominations from across the world, with people eager to celebrate their teachers, colleagues, friends, and heroes. None of what we do would be possible without our great community. The awards are a way of us shouting about the achievements of people who have contributed to their local area, their school, college, university, or friendship circle, who might not be getting the recognition they deserve in a discipline that struggles to reward anyone who isn’t already privileged. 


Now in our second year, we’re thrilled to announce the winners of the 2024 Working Classicists Awards after an overwhelming number of nominations alerting us to some incredible individuals and their tireless work. Today we celebrate those who were selected, via our panel, to receive the following awards: Creative Classicist, Newcomer Classicist, Unsung Classicist, Educator Classicist, Community Classicist, and Working Classicist of the Year. 


We are also introducing a new category due to popular demand: Outstanding Collective Contribution, for groups who have shown a genuine and impactful commitment to the betterment of the discipline. 


Here are the winners of the Working Classicists Awards 2024!



Creative Classicist - Laura Jenkinson-Brown


Creative Classicist - Laura Jenkinson-Brown

Laura Jenkinson-Brown, known for Greek Myth Comix, is not only one of the most creative classicists in the field, but one of the most generous and community-minded. Her website and YouTube channel are a treasure trove of original teaching resources that bring the ancient world to life with her own unique flair, and her work is used in classrooms across the globe. For ten years, Jenks has used her distinctive art and sense of humour to introduce school children and adults alike to Homer, Greek mythology, Pompeii and more. 


Jenks encourages others to express their fascination with the ancient world through art at every skill level, inspiring the community to get creative and proving that there is more than one way to engage with Classics.

There are few who can combine such scholarly expertise with engaging innovation, and Jenks is entirely deserving of this award for spreading a love of all things ancient through her gift of artistic expression.




Newcomer Classicist - Fran Geldard



Newcomer Classicist - Fran Geldard

Fran is a rising star in Classics, having recently completed their BA at Oxford.


Their dissertation on disability and infertility in Euripides’ Andromache was one of the best pieces of writing on ancient infertility their nominator had ever read, hinting at their academic potential and ability to dig deep into compelling subject matter. 

But embodying the Working Classicist ethos is more than exhibiting skilled scholarship. Fran’s work in their university community, supporting neurodivergent, working-class and/or queer peers, and their work as a Student Union officer shows how much they value – and are valued by – their community. They deserve to be recognised for their tenacity, generosity, and individual academic skill in equal measure – we can’t wait to see where they go next. 



Unsung Classicist - Alexandra Morris



Unsung Classicist - Alexandra F. Morris

It was a privilege to read Alexandra’s nominations, each of them packed with initiatives and advocacy that this inspiring classicist has been a part of. She is tireless in her approach to making Classics more accessible, helping marginalised scholars succeed where traditional institutions let them down. She advocates ceaselessly for disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent classicists at all stages of their careers, and her support has helped many scholars progress in a field that isn’t always easy to navigate.


Her work making museums more accessible, along with her publishing and conference output is seriously impressive, as is her generosity in inviting many marginalised, young classicists to publish and present alongside her.

In addition to all of this, Alexandra also co-founded the UK Disability History and Heritage Hub, is co-chair of CripAntiquity, and is on the board of Asterion Hub… Her CV is too extensive to list it all here, but take our word for it, Alexandra is making Classics a better place for everyone.



Educator Classicist - Flavia Vasconcellos Amaral



Educator Classicist - Flávia Vasconcellos Amaral

Flavia’s own personal journey into classics from a working-class background in Brazil is inspiring enough, defying the odds to move from childhood English scholarship to Classics postdoc at the University of Toronto. But her work in the field after her own study is an equally impressive example of her dedication, tireless work ethic, and kindness. Despite facing more barriers than most, Flavia brings warmth, kindness, inclusivity, and humour to her teaching.


She is respected and admired by her students and colleagues alike, always making herself available with a kind word and a message of encouragement. 

Flavia’s pedagogy – both in Canada and thousands of miles away in Brazil – is a credit to her passion and resilience, and she is thoroughly deserving of this award.



Community Classicist - Alex Imrie



Community Classicist - Alex Imrie

Alex’s modesty belies his years of raising the profile of Classics and associated subjects – subjects which were once the bedrock of Scottish education. A first-gen classicist, he has long campaigned to bring Classical Studies and ancient languages to as many Scottish schools and adult enthusiasts as possible in his role as Outreach Officer for Classics For All. 


His passion for making ancient languages accessible is clear to see, and hundreds of budding classicists in Scotland owe him a debt of thanks. His nominations called him an inspiration, and we absolutely agree.


Few people can say they have such an impact on Classics in an entire country, and are so fondly thought of by so many.

Alex’s work deserves more recognition, so we are delighted to award him the title of Community Classicist.



Outstanding Collective Contribution - The Network for Working Class Classicists


O

utstanding Collective Contribution - Network for Working-Class Classicists

The Class in Classics report published in March by the Network for Working-Class Classicists, the first of its kind undertaken in the discipline, was a clear and forceful call to arms, and can have left nobody in any doubt that class is not being taken seriously in many of our universities.


The problems that the report illustrates make for sobering reading, and yet the NWCC have provided the field with actionable solutions that will improve Classics for everyone in the community. 

With the creation of this award, we are delighted to be able to offer public recognition for both the report and the determined group of academics who organised, researched, collated and wrote up the results. It is clear that those with a desire to improve the conditions of class in Classics now have objective data to support the movement. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on making such an impact with this report, and hope that it is a catalyst for meaningful change.




Working Classicists of the Year - Chella Ward



Working Classicist of the Year - Chella Ward

Chella embodies the values of Working Classicists in every way. She is bold, and not afraid to break with tradition. In co-founding Critical Ancient World Studies, Chella has been audacious in questioning the very foundations of Classics as an academic field, examining how it might better serve the needs of a wider and more inclusive community.


In her passionate campaigning for the rights of Palestinians, and for acknowledging the genocide that is happening to them, Chella has also earned the ire of fellow scholars.


She has been unwavering in her stance that the study of the ancient world cannot be apolitical, and that scholars from across the world deserve as much respect as those who share our own soil.

Few Classicists have had to endure the accusations that Chella has received this year, be it in academic online spaces, hostile book reviews, or callous op-eds, purely for advocating for marginalised and persecuted people as a part of her valued work.


We believe that the backlash is proof that her crucial scholarship and stances are successfully challenging the status quo; a status quo that has kept Classics a largely exclusive and exclusionary field for centuries. It is clear to us that the field must change, and Chella is posing difficult questions and making legitimate criticisms with a fearlessness and determination that is inspiring to see.



Thank you to all our nominators and nominees, we were thrilled to read each one and so many of you deserve applause and respect for your work in Classics. See you next year!







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