Interested - contact me to discuss the class.

A student from the last trip writes: "I keep in touch with about 3-4 others on a regular basis. Not only was it one of the top highlights of my college career, but my overall travel experiences. I gained lifelong friendships, interests in subjects I may not have ever had the chance to come across, and irreplaceable memories that still come up on regular conversation!"

Why should you go?

The origins of key aspects of the western intellectual tradition can be traced to ancient Greece. 

The key texts and the physical locations for serious reflection on these themes are still extant. 

For students of rhetoric, politics and drama, these are foundational. Indeed, these are foundational questions for the liberal arts.

Join us on a thought-provoking trip to Athens and key sites in Crete, Corinth, Delphi, Olympia, Mycenae and more.

The class is a series of encounters between ancient texts and their settings, both physical and cultural. We’ll study the site, read a text, and discuss the culture that launched early rhetorical theory, deliberative democracy and shaped Christianity. Readings include Homer, Plato, Thucydides, Herodotus, Aristophanes, the New Testament, and others. 

Get credit

This three credit Communication Studies course has been approved both for Liberal Education Arts and Humanities core and Global Perspectives theme. You can (probably) earn honors credit as well.

Who is leading this?

I first went to Greece over 35 years ago and have studied it from many angles as well as led student groups there. Check out the rest of my personal web site on Greece, The Plaka, or my U of M bio page.

TA Alyssa Ramsden (future archeologist) and me in front of Mt. Olympus.

What is it about?

One way to pose fundamental questions about our own lives and culture is to explore how another culture (or cultures) grappled with them.  That is the purpose of this class.

A truly remarkable community came into being in ancient Greece.  This community thought long and hard about itself: how should it be governed? How should it tell its own story? Out of this came revolutions in thought about democracy, drama, rhetoric and art that still impact our culture today.

Examination of women's surprisingly complex role in this society as well as sport and religion also help shape our thinking. 

We have the same fundi mental questions: how do we become contributing citizens in a complex, multicultural, globalizing world? How do we govern a community, shape the values of a community, express these values with creativity, live with respect for others? Ancient Greece considered all these questions and even if we reject their answers, we gain by considering their approach to them.

As we visit sites and consider texts these various themes and questions keep reappearing in various aspects and combinations. More on the themes of the class is here.

Curious? Have questions?

Email to ask questions and get put on the mailing list for course related announcements. Or drop my my office at Room 288 Ford Hall.


Who can go? Anyone! Don't even have to be a current U of M student. A 2.5 GPA or higher is recommended.

You enroll for study abroad in a different way than for normal U of M classes. You begin at the Learning Abroad Center's site. Go here. [site not active now]

When you're ready, take the "Apply" link from that page. Fill out those forms. That puts you into "the system" and the U (and I) can track you.

Once you start applying, you have several steps to go through. You can find more details on the application process here.


Learn more


See what previous classes did