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Matthew Herzog

Picture of Matthew Herzog and his dog

What is your area of study?

Gender & Ancient Religion: Divination, Magic, Demons

What is your hometown?

Holiday, Florida

Why did you choose to study Classics?

I choose to study Classics because I have always been interested in religion, specifically religions that have been "lost." When I say "lost" I mean ones that aren't practiced anymore, or by very few people, but have made great impacts on how religious expression is today. Religion affects the very foundations of everyday life and I think that by looking at ancient religion, we can see some of the key ways people used to live, informing us about how we live now.

What do you like most about the Department of Classics?

The Department of Classics at OSU gives so many opportunities for engagement in and out of the department, including lectures and summer programs. Everyone that I've met and worked with has been very kind and willing to help out however they can.

What are your plans after completing your PhD program?

After the PhD program, I plan on staying in academia and finding a job at a university or college where I can start teaching courses.

What advice would you give to students considering pursuing graduate coursework in Classics?

I would say don't worry too much about how much language preparation you have under your belt because no one enters a Classics program fully equipped to sight-read everything and anything. This takes a lot of time and practice, but once you've done some language courses, found ways to study that work best for you, and built relationships with your cohort, you can all tackle one of the most challenging parts of the graduate coursework successfully. I would also say find ways to incorporate your special interests in every class you take, but also don't be afraid to touch on a new but related subject as well. This can open new doors to research topics that might give you a great opportunity to explore novel ideas and maybe even lead to your dissertation topic.

I would say as another piece of advice for new students to go out and explore what other departments are doing, even if you might think that they could be uninteresting or totally out of your field. It's always good to expand your horizons and meet as many people as possible, within reason of course. Those connections could last your lifetime and be essential to work that you do a couple years from now, or ten.