Location: Athens, the Greek Islands, and Delphi
Trip Dates: May 20– June 26, 2013
*Departure from USA on May 19.*
Orientation Dates: TBD
The communication discipline has its origins in the study of the spoken word and its power to move and persuade. Greece is the site of much of the history of the spoken word, from epic storytelling, to oratory, to drama and lyric poetry, to the messages of the oracles. This five-week, 6 - credit summer program allows Communication majors and minors and honors students to gain important insights into the roots of the discipline and make contemporary applications through hands-on experience in Greece. Students can gain additional intercultural insights by observing and participating in a contemporary culture that continues to surround itself with, and to be influenced by, its ancient history.
The 2013 program consists of two interdependent courses, one focusing on ancient Greek rhetoric and democracy, and the other on the rhetorical function of Greek myth.
Course instruction takes place primarily in outdoor, nontraditional spaces, and as much as possible on or near specific ancient sites. The students’ primary work—analysis and performance of significant rhetorical, dramatic, and myth texts—needs to be grounded in the specifically historical, social, and cultural contexts, and much of this is gleaned from the physical space. Thus, travel to these sites is an integral part of the academic program.
In particular, these field trips:
- Offer students a chance to tour locations that figure prominently in the history and theory of Greek rhetoric
- Offer students a chance to witness professional performances of classical plays by such playwrights as Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus.
- Offer students a chance to be taught in an “open air” classroom-style, in the very manner used by Plato, Aristotle and the Sophists
- Offer students a chance to debate and discuss Greek rhetoric and myth at these important rhetorical and performance sites.
- 2.75 or better on a 4.0 scale; non-Villanova students must submit a recent official university transcript of undergraduate work.
- University student status without disciplinary probation.
- Completed Villanova application to the Office of International Studies and attendance at all orientations; interview with Program Director upon submitting application; non-Villanova students need must contact Dr. Billie Murray for orientation information. **Applications will be accepted until the March 1, 2013 deadline. Priority will be given to students who apply by the "early action" application deadline of Dec. 15, 2012.**
- No language proficiency required.
- Open to Communication majors and minors and all Honors majors at Villanova University. It is also open to Communication majors and minors from other universities. Special permission may be granted for students who are not COM majors or minors or in honors but who can demonstrate coursework that provides a comparable background and preparation for this program of study.
The majority of the instruction will occur in outdoor classroom space (including beaches, when available), with the remainder actually occurring on ancient historical and archaeological sites. In addition, students in the two distinct courses, Rhetoric and Myth and Rhetoric and Democracy, will learn about course topics in a unique team-taught fashion. Since the same group of students will be taking both courses simultaneously, the program fosters close collegiality between students and faculty, as well as theoretical and applied connections between the rhetorical tradition and performance studies. Students are required to take both courses for a total of six credits.
- COM 3208: Rhetoric and Myth: The relationship among rhetoric, myth, and culture with attention paid to the forces that shape mythic consciousness in culture(s). For Summer 2012, the focus is on the role of orality and performance in the creation, dissemination and interpretation of Greek myths. Students study oral traditions (e.g. the stories form Greek mythology, Homer and Homeric Hymns), and their rhetorical function within the community (ex. The Oresteia). 3 credits
- COM 3246:Rhetoric and Democracy: Focus on the history of and struggles over the strategic use of language in politics, law, and cultural ceremony. Democracy was central to the Athenian life and character, and debates over its value and character parallel the debates between those advocating rhetoric (the Sophists) and those advocating philosophy (Socrates, Plato). Through our theoretical and cultural explorations of ancient and modern Greece, we will re-discover the close connection between the workings of democracy, the role of the Greek citizen, and the art of rhetoric.
Scheduled field trips include the Athenian Acropolis, Agora, Theatre of Dionysus, and Pnyx, Delos (Mykonos), Ancient Thira (Santorini, The Palace of Knossos (Crete), Ancient Delphi, Mycenae, The Theatre of Epidaurus, and ancient Corinth. A number of ancient theatres, for example, such as the Herodian Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus, both located at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis, are still relatively intact. The Pnyx, where Pericles, Socrates and other statesmen addressed the Athenian citizens, will be the site of a class. Outside of Athens are a number of other important rhetorical sites, such as the island of Delos (the sacred birthplace of Artemis and Apollo), Delphi (the most important oracle of the ancient world), Ancient Corinth (the governing seat of a neighboring important city-state), Ancient Mycenae (center of the Mycenaean world and the palace of Agamemnon), The Palace of Knossos on Crete (the center of the Minoan civilization), and Epidaurus (the site of ancient annual rhetorical and theatrical contests and currently the site of ongoing summer performances of important ancient Greek plays). Thus, Greece is an ideal site for instruction in democracy, rhetoric, and myth in ancient Greece.