Plague, Politics & Populism | Classical Athens as Parable for Modern Greece and Europe (Athens, Delphi, Delos, Mykonos)
Drawing from ancient texts and modern scholarship, visits to archeological and cultural sites in Athens, Delphi and Delos, as well as private meetings with leading academics, business experts, NGOs, and government bodies, “Classical Athens as Parable for Modern Greece and Europe” course will explore how ancient and modern epidemics – specifically the Great Plague of Athens in 430 BC and COVID-19 Pandemic – expose the “fissures and fractures” that intensify and foment the economic and political consequences of their respective eras. In the case of fifth-century Athens, the plague ultimately cost the city-state a victory against Sparta, questioned the leadership of Pericles, and killed a third of the population amidst a climate rife with conspiracy theories, rising populism, and xenophobia. Events that seeded the decline of Athenian hegemony, and democracy. The comparison to similar patterns emerging today is inescapable, as is the expectation that COVID-19 will reshape history for decades to come. With profound economic and political uncertainty escalating, students will address contemporary challenges facing Greece and Europe, thrashed against the prism of Athenian antecedents.
During the first two weeks of “Classical Athens as Parable for Modern Greece and Europe”, students will consider the Great Plague’s impact on the political economy of Athens, from the accounts of Thucydides, Plato, Greek political thinkers and playwrights, as well as the scholarship of Bresson, Kelaidis, and Ober among others. During the second two weeks, these insights and arguments will be applied to analyzing how Greece continues battling COVID-19 against the backdrop of decades-long economic, political, and social crises. This will include examining (in non-technical terms) both the microeconomic impact on households, commerce, and governments, and macroeconomic impact on GDP, growth initiatives, and public policy. This framework will challenge students to synthesize all course resources, and advance their understanding of Greece and Europe’s role in the future of globalization.
This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 20.
60 contact hours
- $100 per course for students who submit their application with full payment postmarked on or before March 1
- $100 per course for students who enroll and participate in two CYA summer courses
- $250 per course for students from public universities
- $100 per course for CYA semester students who enroll in a summer course
Enrolled students will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about the course. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: http://www.athensguide.com/ and http://www.greektravel.com/.
While in Athens, students are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms; towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided.
Hotel accommodations for the study travel to Mykonos and Delphi will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, with air-conditioned rooms.
The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those students who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
When class is in Athens a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m. During study travel, breakfast will be offered at the Hotels.