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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment across the Department, embedding best practice to ensure fair and equal treatment and opportunities for all staff and students. We are fully committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and believe this is central to the successful delivery of our programmes and research.

The Department is committed to creating an environment which provides equality of opportunity for all staff and students, and a diverse and inclusive community. The Department recognises that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is fundamental to a successful Department and we therefore strive to continuously improve the environment in which we work and study, and to challenge any biases, conscious or unconscious. 

For full details of the University's commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and for further information, please see the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Durham University pages. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Durham University Policies and Commitment

Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

Our EDI Actions

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee: it is the role of the EDI Committee to ensure EDI issues are being raised and addressed, as well as coordinating and reviewing all areas of EDI work.

Athena Swan: the Department was awarded an Advance HE Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2019 in recognition of our efforts to transform gender equality within education and research. This marks our ongoing commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusiveness and has informed and supported not only our gender equality agenda but also other EDI issues. For more information see the Advance HE Athena Swan Charter and Charter participants and award holders. 

Decolonising the Curriculum: the Department is committed to Decolonising the Curriculum, and this work is ongoing in many areas of our teaching. Our investment in a vision of Classics that is inclusive and diverse is also shown in research initiatives such as our annual LGBT+ History Month public lecture; in 2021, our speaker was Cheryl Morgan, who gave a talk on ‘The Transitioned Empire: Trans Lives in Ancient Rome'.

Access and Disability Support: the Department works with the Disability Support service to ensure full access for all our students.

Respect at Work policies: the Department adheres to the University Respect at Work policies.

Managing Equality and Diversity: the Department established an EDI committee in 2021 to manage and advise on EDI issues and requirements.

Training and Development: all staff undertake mandatory Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training. The Department has also arranged bespoke mental health awareness training for staff and Graduate Teaching Assistants to help us to support our students.

Race Equality Charter: the University is proud to be a member of the Race Equality Charter which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

World Autism Acceptance Week

In recognition of World Autism Acceptance Week, 27 March – 2 April 2023, and World Autism Awareness Day on Sunday 2 April, the Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity leads in the Departments of Archaeology, and of Classics and Ancient History have joined together to give students and staff who have experiences of autism a forum.

The following slides compile experiences of members of our community, some contributed anonymously, some not. The aim of the collaboration of experiences is to foster greater awareness, and greater confidence and sense of belonging for all of us.

You can download the slides here:

Autism Acceptance Week - pdf download

EDI Committee Members (2021-2022)


Departmental Role

Committee Role

Alberto Rigolio

EDI/Athena Swan/Decolonising Lead for the Department


Nathan Gilbert

Director of UG Studies (Welfare)


Peter Heslin

Director of Admissions


Caroline Barron/ Anna Judson

Member of Early Career Staff


Claire Hall

Member of Postdoctoral Staff


Abby Shovlin

Department Manager


Alexandria Harrington

Faculty EDI Co-ordinator


Alexandria Harrington

University EDI Co-ordinator


Charlotte Spokes

Operations Administrator

EDI Secretary


UG Student

UG Student Representative


UG Student

UG Student Representative


UG Student

UG Student Representative


PGT Student

PGT Student Representative


PGR Student

PGR Student Representative