Prize for Reimagining the Classics

The prize for Reimagining the Classics is awarded to the best creative work by an undergraduate or graduate student at Illinois that engages with an aspect of ancient Greco-Roman world or post-classical Greece, including modern Greece.

The work can take any form, including but not limited to a piece of visual art, electronic media, creative writing, recorded performance, adaptation, or creative translation into English (further suggestions may be found below). Poetry in ancient or modern Greek or Latin should be submitted to the Verse Composition Prize.

Submissions will be judged on the artist’s knowledge of and ability to work within the conventions of the genre they adopt; appropriate use of narrative, poetic or artistic elements and innovation in form or content.

Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Undergraduate & Graduate

To apply, submit your piece, its title, and an accompanying 300 word artist’s statement by April 1, 2024 to Ariana Traill (, Chair of the Committee on Honors and Awards. The artist’s statement should explain your vision for the piece and the choices you made as well as any other context you want the judges to consider. 

To submit a piece of visual art that cannot be easily reproduced (e.g. a painting), contact Ariana Traill ( to arrange a drop-off. 

The award will be announced formally at the Classics Award Ceremony held at the I-Hotel Technology Room on Friday, May 10, 2024. To get to the I-Hotel from LCLB, take the 10W GOLD Bus from the stop at the intersection of Goodwin & Gregory in front of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house & get off at the intersection of First & St. Mary's on the Northwest corner.

Past Winners:


Undergraduate Category

Adam Cassem for "Promethean Joy" (short story)

Elizabeth Scherschel for "Aristophanes, Playwright" (monologue)


Undergraduate Category

Spencer Gallagher for "The Socrates Show" (radio play)

Habib Rehman for "Synaristosae Mosaic Recreation" (Honorable Mention) (computer program & artwork)

Graduate Category

Vaughn Fenton for “Lupus Exsurgens” (dystopian fiction drawing on Polybius and Athenaeus Mechanicus)

Emma Reymann for “The Lives of Denethor II and Thorin Oakenshield” (parallel biographies in the style of Plutarch)


David Hansen for "Anger Management" (sketch comedy)



Suggestions for media/genres from past creative work


comic strip

costume(s) for ancient drama

Discord/Groupme/Text chat

Facebook page

fan fiction


Instagram/Twitter account 

line drawing

museum installation

musical comedy

musical composition

news story



performance review of an ancient personality

photography project




psychological or astrological profile for ancient personality (e.g., Myers-Briggs)

public relations materials (e.g., advertising copy, customer reviews for an ancient product or service)

radio show

recommendation letter for an ancient personality

role-playing game session

screen play


short film

short story

sketch comedy

song lyrics + music

stage play

subreddit posts

therapist’s notes on an ancient personality

vase painting

yearbook entry