Location: Athens, the Greek Islands, and Delphi and the Peloponnese
The communication discipline has its origins in the study of the spoken word and its power to influence political decisions and shape human communities. Greece is the site of much of the history of the spoken word, from epic storytelling, to democratic deliberation, to dramatic performances to the messages of the oracles.
This five-week, 6 - credit summer program allows Communication or related majors and minors (Classics, Honors, Humanities, etc.) 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 2018 program consists of two interdependent courses that will engage students in understanding connections between the ancient and contemporary Greek worlds: one focuses on ancient Greek rhetoric, myth and ritual, with attention to the rhetorical shaping and performance of myth in Greek culture. The other focuses on the place of performance in ancient Greece from the time of Homer through the height of theatre in 5th century BCE Athens, with attention to the powerful relationships among performer, text, audience, and place.
The majority of the instruction will occur in outdoor 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 The Performance of Greek Literature, 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 and dramatic traditions and contemporary cultural and political issues.
The students’ primary work—analysis and performance of significant rhetorical, literary, and mythic texts—will be grounded in the specifically historical, social, and cultural contexts, and much of this is gleaned from the physical spaces that we visit as we travel across mainland Greece and the Greek Islands. 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 and democracy, and to experience how the locations are engaged in a contemporary world
- 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 experience and reflect upon Greek rhetoric, drama, and myth at these important rhetorical and performance sites
Villanova University has the right to make cancellations, substitutions, or changes in case of emergency or changed conditions, or in the interest of the program.