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Dramatic Greece Study Abroad Course—January 2012

Delphi temple and surrounding landscape

January Term 2012

English 239: Dramatic Greece


Carol Gilbertson (English) and Mark Z. Muggli (English)

You are invited to experience Classical Greek drama in the breathtaking landscape of Greece.

View application requirements

Course Description:
This course will explore the history of theater’s birthplace and its fifth-century role by studying Classical Greek plays, theater sites, and other cultural and natural settings.  We will read such plays as Medea, Agamemnon, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, The Trojan Women, and Lysistrata and will perform scenes in the very spots where they were performed – the Theater of Dionysos in Athens and theaters in Delphi and Epidauros – or where their mythical stories are set – such as Mycenae with its beehive tombs and Tiryns with its Cyclopean rocks.  We will not only study the great sites of Greek antiquity – the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Olympia – and walk in their landscapes, but will also visit cultural sites like Corinth (where St. Paul preached to the Corinthians) and the beautiful Renaissance city of Nauplion.  The course will explore how we make new the cultural traditions we inherit.  (Substitutes for Classics 299.)

Tentative itinerary:

  • Days 1-5: Athens
  • Days 6-8: Delphi
  • Day 9: Olympia
  • Days 10-15: Nauplion
  • Days 16-21: Athens

Testimonials from 2010 Students

  • "The course . . . was one of the best experiences of my life!"  —Courtney Borowicz (LC '12, Elementary Education)
  • "I consider our January term in Greece to be one of the most enriching experiences I've had so far at Luther. I loved the experience I had with Carol and Mark and will always remember our great times and everything I learned on the trip." —Marcus Turen (LC '12, French)
  • "Going to Greece was a truly eye-opening experience for me. To feel the power of the ancient site of Delphi, to stand on the same ground as ancient philosophers, and to eat lunch on a huge rock in Athens and look over the whole of the city was life changing.  I am a history major, so this a trip of a lifetime to see one of greatest civilizations was amazing. Some of the best food I have ever eaten was in Greece, and I am now so picky about Greek food that most places in the states will not do. To act out ancient plays in the same places they were performed was epic.  I will never forget this trip."  —Alison Wathen (LC '11, History, Women and Gender Studies)
  • "Studying and traveling in Greece was a surreal experience. To walk in the dusty footsteps of some of the greatest and most influential political leaders, philosophers, and playwrights in history was humbling and yet inspiring. The opportunity to travel to a place like Greece with top-notch professors from Luther is so worth every penny! This class challenged me intellectually and creatively, but there was something about learning within the context (or as close as one can get) of the information that made it especially rewarding. If that is not enough to convince you...the breath-taking sights moved my soul, and the food did, too!"  —Anne Proescholdt (LC '12, Communication Studies)
  • "Dramatic Greece was probably the best course I've had from Luther thus far. The trip was amazing and unforgettable; I talk about it all the time. Not to mention, the food was amazing!"  —Allison Croat (LC '12, English)
  • "It was a great experience to explore a place where the past and the present live hand-in-hand. Visiting the museums and archeological sites while reading the plays of the golden age of Greece really brought the trip to life. The trip provided me with a new perspective that I have internalized, and it will remain with me."   —Andrew Knight (LC '12, Chemistry)