Conceived by Arthur Adkins and James Redfield in 1975 and instituted in May 1979, the Committee on the Ancient Mediterranean World (CAMW) was one of the first Ph.D. programs in the country to offer an interdisciplinary approach to the ancient world that brought together faculty whose fields of study ranged chronologically and geographically from the Ancient Near East to Late Antiquity. On January 1, 2005 CAMW was reconstituted as an independent Ph.D. track within the Department of Classics named the Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World (PAMW). The Program has its own Graduate Advisor and a large number of faculty who are Associate Members of the Classics Department.
The Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World offers students both the flexibility and the guidance to construct their own interdisciplinary program of research into the cultures and civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near East . Originally Greek-centred, students entering from Autumn Quarter 2006 will be able to devise their own combination of studies that may include - but is not restricted to - the Ancient Near East, Egypt, the Greek world, and the Roman world. While the advanced study of these culture areas requires mastery of the relevant languages, PAMW is focused less on texts than on contexts, allowing students the opportunity to use philological skills in historical and cultural explorations. Most students in the program are in the areas of ancient history, history of ancient religions, comparative Greek and Near Eastern studies, or Late Antiquity but any thoughtful plans of study that draw on the University’s resources in other fields are welcomed and encouraged. (For a list of recent dissertation theses, click here.) PAMW students take courses in the Departments of Classics, Anthropology, Art History, History, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Committee on Social Thought, and the Divinity School .
Although PAMW is not primarily a language program, students are required to take competency examinations in two ancient languages and should therefore have a strong background in at least one before entering the program. All graduate students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in reading French and German (one language for the A.M. degree and the second for the Ph.D.), and entering students should have begun this preparation if they are not already competent.
Students in PAMW normally participate in several graduate workshops, especially the Ancient Societies Workshop.