Classics professor Antony Augoustakis is the new associate dean for humanities and interdisciplinary programs.

He is one of five faculty members who took on associate and interim assistant dean positions starting with the 2023-24 academic year. These positions help manage operations across the college.

We recently spoke with him about his new role and his vision for the humanities.

What inspired you to pursue the role of associate dean for the humanities and interdisciplinary programs within the College of LAS? What are you hoping to accomplish in your new position?

We are very fortunate at Illinois to have such a vibrant group of humanities departments, as well as ethnic studies and gender and women’s studies in interdisciplinary programs. The depth and breadth of research and teaching is simply amazing. I assumed this position to be able to support and strengthen the various departments through various initiatives such as hiring, interdisciplinary research, further support for graduate studies, help with increasing enrollment and number of undergraduate majors and minors in various units, and support for diversification of faculty and students. There are some major challenges to face and overcome, but I remain optimistic and hopeful that the next five years in this position will be very rewarding for me in accomplishing these goals.

What are you most excited about when it comes to this role?

I am most excited to get to know many of the faculty and students I do not yet know or have not met and hear more about their research, teaching, concerns, challenges, suggestions, and ideas.

What do you want people to know about the humanities at UIUC?

“Humanities” is a shortened version of the full title for our disciplines where the word “sciences” was cut for abbreviation purposes (French “sciences humaines”; Italian “scienze umanistiche”). The word “scientia” in Latin means “knowledge” (Greek “episteme”). The work of all of us at the university is to promote knowledge, and as such we are all united towards the same goals, whether in the humanities, social sciences, or STEM.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have kept a strong research agenda over the years, even during my administrative years at Illinois and intend to keep at it. I have just returned from an international conference I have organized in Sicily, Italy, gathering a group of 30 specialists on the topic of “Sicily in the Flavian World.” I am also finishing up my next monograph and an edition of a Latin text, hoping they appear in the next two years in print.

Dania De La Hoya Rojas