PhD (Columbia U)
Nina Papathanasopoulou specializes in Greek drama, mythology, and its reception. Her dissertation and early research focused on Aristophanes and his treatment of space, while her current research explores interpretations of Greek myths by the American dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham. She has published on Martha Graham’s reimagining of the myths of Medea and Ariadne and is currently working on Night Journey, Graham’s take on the myth of Oedipus. Nina completed her PhD in Classics at Columbia University in 2013 and her BA in Classics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2003. From 2013 to 2019 she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Connecticut College, where she taught Greek, Latin, Classics and Theater courses and was heavily involved in outreach programming for Classics. She joined the Classics faculty at College Year in Athens in January 2020.
Since January 2019 she also serves as the Public Engagement Coordinator for the Society for Classical Studies, where she oversees their new initiative, “Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities” (formerly Classics Everywhere). “Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities” encourages interdisciplinary collaborations between Classics and other fields and supports programs that engage individuals, groups, and communities in critical discussion of and creative expression related to the ancient Mediterranean. Nina writes monthly posts for the SCS blog about the programs the initiative supports.
Using her passion and enthusiasm for the material and for the dynamics of education, Nina strives to spark her students’ curiosity and desire for learning. She believes that studying the Ancient Greeks – their literature and culture – can help us understand human nature and human difference, gain a deeper appreciation of ourselves and others, and think deeply about the way we operate and co-exist with others. In class she tries to create a comfortable environment where students are encouraged to voice their opinions freely, while fostering intellectual rigor and creativity.
Read more about her thoughts on the value of teaching Classics in the 21st century in her piece Awakening Compassion Through the Greeks.
“Strong Household, Strong City: Exploring Space in Aristophanes’ Acharnians” in Aristophanes and Politics, eds. Foley, H. and Rosen, R. Brill, April 2020.
“Martha Graham’s Greeks”, Didaskalia 15.15, 2019
“Serpent Heart: Animality, Jealousy, and Transgression in Martha Graham’s Medea”, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 2019, 10.1007/s12138-019-00541-3
“Tragic and Epic Visions of the Oikos in Aristophanes’ Wasps”, Classical World 112.4, 2019, pp. 253-78