In Greece, Faculty Members Follow in the Footsteps of the Ancient Traveler Pausanias

For the first time in 13 years of programming, this summer CIC’s popular Ancient Greece in the Modern College Classroom faculty seminar took place in Greece. Cosponsored by CIC and the Center for Hellenic Studies and generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the seminar is designed to strengthen the use of classical texts in undergraduate general education.

During the June 18–25 seminar, 20 CIC faculty members from a wide range of fields visited ancient sites described by the second-century traveller Pausanias in his book, Periēgēsis Helládos (Description of Greece), considered by many to be the world’s first travel guide. In addition to Pausanias’s descriptions, participants read a selection of poetic, historical, and philosophical works related to each site.

three photos: 1. seminar leader points to a model replica of a historical site; 2. participants examine broken columns; 3. participants pose standing in front of standing columns form an ancient stadium
(left) Seminar leader Kenneth Morrell highlighted features of ancient Nemea, where Panhellenic games (four separate sports festivals) were held from the sixth- to the second-century BC, at the archaeological site’s museum. (middle and right) Participants also visited the ancient stadium and grounds in Nemea, Greece.

The seminar was led by Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature, professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and director of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC; and Kenneth Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman Studies at Rhodes College (TN). The seminar provided participants with a background in the development of Greek material culture, such as the evolution of sacred, domestic, and civic architecture, funerary practices, sculpture, and the two-dimensional representations of traditional narratives and daily life in vase paintings.

The seminar was organized in close cooperation with the Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece. After a welcome meeting, orientation, and dinner at the center in Nafplio, the group explored many ancient sites including Heraion of Argos (in Argos), Mycenae in Argolis, Nemea in Corinthia, the Palace of Nestor in Pylos, the Archaeological Museum of Chora in Messenia, ancient sites and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia (in Olympia), and the ancient site and Archaeological Museum of Delphi (in Delphi) before heading to Athens to finish the week. In Athens, participants visited the Agora and the Acropolis and its museum, as well as the Kerameikos site and National Archaeological Museum. Throughout the week, conversation about topics elicited by the site visits flowed during meals, during informal “office hours on the bus” with the seminar leaders, and during seminar-style review meetings.

Seminar participant Cheryl Golden, professor of history at Newman University (KS), remarked, “Both Greg Nagy and Kenny Morrell offered excellent introductions to the sites we visited and crafted a Bronze Age theme regarding myth and ritual to guide us through the massive amounts of information available. No question was out of bounds as too simple or too esoteric. Both directors made the elements of antiquity relevant for the courses we are teaching and helped us make connections to other disciplines and time periods—reaching into issues of today.”

CIC will announce plans for the 2019 Ancient Greece in the Modern College Classroom seminar later this fall. View more information on the program website.

2018 “Traveling with Pausanias through Greece” Participants

Alma College (MI)
Daniel Wasserman-Soler
Assistant Professor of History

Aquinas College (MI)
Charles Gunnoe
Professor of History

Bethel University (MN)
Charles Goldberg
Assistant Professor of History

Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI)
Allison Paynter
Professor of English

Colorado College
William Davis
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

Daemen College (NY)
Hamish Dalley
Assistant Professor of English

Drake University (IA)
Elizabeth Robertson
Associate Professor of English

George Fox University (OR)
Heather Ohaneson
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Gustavus Adolphus College (MN)
William Bruce
Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Hampden-Sydney College (VA)
Robert Irons
Assistant Professor of Classics
Misericordia University (PA)
Melanie Shepard
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Newman University (KS)
Cheryl Golden
Professor of History

Northwest Christian University (OR)
Kathryn Hain
Associate Professor of History

Pacific Lutheran University (WA)
Agnes Choi
Associate Professor of Religion

Saint Mary’s College (IN)
Megan Zwart
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Salem College (NC)
Diane Lipsett
Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy

Valparaiso University (IN)
Allannah Karas
Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Virginia Wesleyan University
Benjamin Haller
Associate Professor of Classics

Wingate University (NC)
Christy Cobb
Assistant Professor of Religion

Wofford College (SC)
Kathryn Milne
Assistant Professor of History