Posted on Friday 10th May 2013
During the current academic year the University has been planning changes to the School and Department structure for the academic disciplines of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology.
From 1st August 2013 the new Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology and the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage will become part of the School of History and Cultures.
An important aspect of the changes is the establishment of a new integratedDepartment of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, which will combine the study of literature, languages, culture, history and archaeology of the Greco-Roman world, from the prehistoric Aegean to the later Roman Empire and on into the Byzantine world, as well as the reception of these cultures from the medieval world to the present day. Its scope will also extend to Egypt and the Ancient Near East, whose languages and cultures will be a major focus for research and study at all levels. A new academic post is being created to pursue development opportunities to broaden and strengthen our classical offering. This Department will sustain areas of distinctive strength in the various disciplines currently located within the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity.
The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Greek Studies (CBOMGS) is also to be located in the School of History & Cultures, where the University envisages it will be able to continue to flourish and enjoy its well-deserved international reputation, as well as contribute more effectively to programmes in medieval and modern history.
A new research Centre for Archaeological Studies is being created which will draw on the expertise of the group of heritage and cultural archaeologists in the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, scientific archaeologists attached to our Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub as well as the archaeologists specialising in European prehistoric and classical archaeology in the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology. The new research centre will co-ordinate the varied archaeological activity at Birmingham, including scientific-environmental archaeologists in the School of Geography, Environmental and Earth Sciences, and historians with archaeological interests in the Department of History.
The Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage has produced an ambitious development plan for the Institute, which will lead to an expanded suite of activities and ensure staff and students become more fully integrated with provision on Birmingham’s main campus in Edgbaston. The Institute will also be located within the School of History & Cultures, thereby making its expertise more readily available to a wider range of students.
The University has recently made a considerable financial investment in do.collaboration (formerly known as the Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub) because we believe it is an area of distinctive excellence and the Co-Directors have developed an exciting new plan for the Hub.
The effect of these organisational changes is that the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, and the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage will replace the standalone Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity (IAA), a proposal that has been welcomed by many staff on the basis that the association with History & Cultures will open a wider range of opportunities.
Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts & Law within which IAA is located, comments:
As an ancient historian I am committed to supporting the successful implementation of these proposals for the development of classics and archaeology at the University of Birmingham. We are grasping this opportunity to establish a reputation for exciting and distinctive programmes and research. We believe that the efforts of our staff will create sustainable flourishing units.
These changes also reflect the University’s wider vision. Whilst the sector faces economic challenges, we are focused on ensuring a sustainable economic future built on the foundations of outstanding research and teaching and providing a first class experience for all our students.