The Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison was created as one of the university’s original academic units in 1850, when the Board of Regents established a Professorship of Ancient Languages and Literature. While remaining faithful to the linguistic, historical, and philological foundations of our field, students and faculty also conduct research in such varied areas as Gender Studies, Literary Theory, Translation Studies, and Classical Reception. We are a vibrant and supportive community of professors, graduate students, and undergraduates, committed to the study of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, and to the training of new generations of teachers and scholars.

A Wisconsin Original

Foundational to UW’s mission of rigorous and interdisciplinary training in the humanities, the department fosters understanding and appreciation of classical antiquity while striving to create an inclusive, supportive environment for all.

Red graphic of Bascom Hall on a white background, surrounded by red streaks

Excellence in Teaching

The backbone of our community, our faculty are dedicated to training new generations of teachers and scholars. The subjects they teach focus on the ancient world, but the lessons we learn are as applicable today as they were thousands of years ago.

Laura McClure and a group of students pose in front of the Colosseum in Rome

Top Tier Graduate Training

Graduate students in CANES are taught ancient material using modern methods—they learn about the world around them through studying the past in fields such as linguistics, history, culture, philology, gender studies, anthropology and many, many more.

Jeremy Hutton and Preston Atwood pose in graduation robes
Headshot of Will Marx

“Everyone who is doing [Classics] is doing it because they love it, not for money or glory or anything less. That was the magic of the major, and it has been an ongoing source of inspiration as I navigate life after college.”

Will Marx,
Undergraduate alumnus; Wm. Chocolate, LLC

Headshot of Sarah Rous

What stands out in my memory is the many “a-ha!” moments I would have in my non-Classics classes, where I made some connection with a bit of knowledge or history that I knew from my Classics classes, and that helped me understand whatever we were talking about in that non-Classics class in a deeper way or from a different perspective.

Sarah Rous,
Undergraduate alumna; Project Editor, American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Headshot of Abby Lease

Aside from capstone seminars, in no other classroom in other departments did I really get to know my classmates and my instructors. This sense of community truly contributed to the dedication of my college studies to the Classical world.

Abby Lease,
Undergraduate alumna; Religion and Theology Teacher, Edgewood Campus School