The Griff

Student Group Q+A: The History and Classics Club

Club Q+A

Student Group Q+A: The History and Classics Club

An interview with president Mitchell Norenberg (he/him) and treasurer Viktoria Bradley (she/her)

What are your roles in the student group?

Mitchell Norenberg: As president, basically I help facilitate and guide what events we are wanting to host and put on. A major part of my job is also helping to support any other fundraising ideas that my executives or members want to do, or any other history events, topics they want to talk about — I can help facilitate them and support them in that. Then, I’m the representative of the club, so anyone who wants to join or any other outside organizations can contact me.

Viktoria Bradley: I’m the treasurer, so I typically handle all the finances, but I’ve also been known to do some social media stuff, mainly on our Facebook and Instagram, and I’ve been doing our advertising too.

How long has this student group been around?

MN: This incarnation of the club has been around since 2014. Prior to that, it was two clubs: the History Club, and then the Classics Club. But then under the president of (2014), it was amalgamated into the single club we have and enjoy today.

What is a typical meeting like?

VB: Currently we don’t have any regular meetings. We’re trying to do a more event-based setup. We have a lot of casual movie nights, and we’re working on doing some pub nights and game nights sometime soon.

MN: We did recently have a trivia night where at Towers we did haunted historical trivia, and that was based around Halloween. We had prizes and created our own questions.

VB: It was lots of fun and lots of people participated.

What are some other upcoming initiatives that you have planned?

MN: Just making ourselves known out there. We’ve been reaching out to other departments, for instance. Our last movie night we had The Man Who Invented Christmas, which is about Charles Dickens, and instead of having a classics or history professor come in and talk about it we went and asked the English department if they would be willing to join us.

VB: So we had a Dickensian scholar come in and do that, and it was really good. I think with previous years, we’ve had an issue with Eurocentric history, so now we’re also trying to talk less about …

MN: … just, like, the Napoleonic wars and things like that. We are trying to branch out to include Indigenous issues and history from other parts of the world.

VB: We want everyone to feel safe, and to make the club more inclusive than it already is.

Who should join this club?

MN: Obviously we have people who are history majors or in other semi-related fields like political science, but we don’t stipulate that you have to be a history major or anything. If you just have a passion for history, we would love for you to come and join in our enthusiasm.

VB: And that’s the same for classics. If you have even just a passive interest in Greek mythology, for example, that falls under the banner of our club, so we try to appeal to those groups of people.

What is your favourite historical period?

MN: Mine would have to be La Belle Époque, which is from 1871 to the start of World War I in 1914. It’s a very peaceful era, and in that peace, a lot of fashion and culture was able to flourish, and technology.

VB: That’s difficult because it’s like I’m choosing my favourite child. I’m very fascinated by the Regency Period, where the Prince Regent basically took over the English monarchy because of his father, the Mad King George.

What’s your favourite classical myth?

VB: The myth of Hades and Persephone, for sure.

MN: Mine would have to be Icarus flying too close to the sun. It’s very good to keep your hubris constantly in check in your mind.