Seminar: Confronting the Classics

The Ancient Past in Modern Rome & Athens

Date: 7-22 November 2016

Deadline for applications: 20 August 2016

Interdisciplinary course for BA and MA students in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute at Athens, the Swedish Institute in Rome and the Swedish Institute in Athens

Course Content
Rome and Athens loom large over our modern world. The two cities are considered to be the birthplaces of the West, heralds of art, philosophy and civilization and timeless representatives of democracy and empire. At the same time, they are the capitals of relatively young nations with turbulent recent histories. What is the significance of antiquity in this modern context?

In this course we will confront Rome with Athens and thus confront the classics in our modern world. Spending one week in each city, we will discuss the international lure of ancient heritage from the Grand Tour to mass tourism, discover the impact of archaeology on contemporary cityscapes, and analyse the political uses of the classical past from Napoleon to the European Union.

Topics of research and discussion range from nationalist, totalitarian and universalist narratives and uses of the ancient past, to strategies of preservation, reconstruction and musealisation of classical heritage.

Dr. Arthur Weststeijn (KNIR), dr. Nicholas Karachalis (NIA), dr. Frederick Whitling (Swedish Instite in Rome)

Target groups
BA and MA students in History, Classics, Archaeology, Heritage Studies and related disciplines from the KNIR/NIA partner universities (UvA, VU, UL, UU, RU and RUG) as well as from the Swedish universities.

Course format and assessments
The course comprises and intensive stay of fourteen days in Rome and Athens, including lectures at the KNIR and NIA and excursions and presentations in the two cities. Before the start of the course an introductory meeting for the Dutch students will take place in Amsterdam (date to be scheduled).

Assignments include:
– an exploratory literature survey (800 words)
– a concluding research paper (5000 words)
– two on-site presentation: one in Rome, the other in Athens, focusing on key locations that offer interesting perspectives of comparison.

The topics of the presentations are chosen and pepared before the course starts; students have two afternoons in Rome and Athens to pepare the presentation on site and do some final literature research.

Assesment takes place on the basis of preparatory study of course material (20%), active participation and on-site presentations (30%), and the concluding paper (50%).

Course material
A selection of articles (ca. 250 pp.) and Salvatore Settis, The Future of the ‘Classical’ (2006), to be purchased by participants.

The study load is the equivalent of 6 ECTS (168 hours). Each student should arrange with his/her university whether the course can be part of the existing curriculum. The KNIR will provide a certificate mentioning the study load and evaluation when a student has completed the course successfully.

The study load is based on:
a) Before the seminar in Rome and Athens: independent study of course material and preparatory assignment: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
b) Intensive seminar in Rome and Athens (14 days): active participation; two presentations and daft paper: 3 ECTS (84 hours)
c) After the seminar: paper of ca. 5000 words: 2 ECTS (56 hours)

Participating students from the KNIR/NIA partner universities will receive free accomodation at KNIR and NIA. After succesful completion of the final paper, they will receive a reimbursement for their travel expenses up to €100,-.

Application and admission
A maximum of 15 participants are selected for the course. The selection is especially based on motivation and the positioning of the course in the student’s curriculum.

Students can apply via the link below; include in your application:
– a letter of motivation
– a cv
– a recent list of grades officially provided by your university

Deadline application
20 August 2016

More information