Joshua Katz’s Firing Proves Classics Has Gone to the Dogs

As Princeton’s Classics department cracks open their Latin dictionaries this September, they’re missing a notable face: Professor Joshua Katz, who just lost his job to the woke crowd. 

But that’s only the most recent change to Classics at Princeton. A year ago, the faculty ignited a national controversy by scrubbing Latin and Greek from their required core curriculum—and they haven’t looked back.

These milestones might seem unrelated. But they actually point to the same worrying trend within Classics: a tendency to play politics with historic texts.

This trend shouldn’t shock anyone. For decades, academia has been slipping leftwards, and it’s unrealistic to think Classics would escape. As it turns out, today’s classicists can’t get enough of ancient colonialism, ancient gender norms, and ancient race relations. The Joshua Katz firing simply publicized what we already knew: Latin and Greek have gotten woke.

It’s clear that partisan zeal motivated the attack against Professor Katz. On July 4, 2020, as riots blazed across the United States, hundreds of Princeton profs signed an open letter declaring that “Anti-Blackness is foundational to America”—and ordering Princeton to track down and silence “racist” research. Predictably, the letter didn’t specify what makes research “racist”; that responsibility would fall to a

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