Summer Seminars

COVID-19 and the ASCSA: Policies and Current Status 

The Summer Seminars of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens are 18-day programs that focus on specific cultural themes, historical periods, or geographical regions. The Seminars are led by exceptional scholars of Classics and related fields. Under their direction, participants study texts, visit archaeological sites and museums, and engage with expert guest speakers in order to deepen their understanding of Greece’s landscape, history, literature, and material culture.

Past seminars include Greek Sculpture, Myth on Site, Greek Religion, and Finding the Spartans.

Application Deadline: January 7, 2022 

Summer Seminars

COVID-19 and the ASCSA: Policies and Current Status 

The Summer Seminars of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens are 18-day programs that focus on specific cultural themes, historical periods, or geographical regions. The Seminars are led by exceptional scholars of Classics and related fields. Under their direction, participants study texts, visit archaeological sites and museums, and engage with expert guest speakers in order to deepen their understanding of Greece’s landscape, history, literature, and material culture.

Past seminars include Greek Sculpture, Myth on Site, Greek Religion, and Finding the Spartans.

Application Deadline: January 7, 2022 

Aegean Networks of Technology (June 6-24, 2022)

Acropolis column base detailThis seminar will explore four fundamental technologies in ancient Greece (ceramics, wood-working, stone carving, and bronze-casting) and how craft practitioners shared their expertise in multi-craft projects, such as building a boat or a temple. Participants will discover how these networks of technology developed in a broad Aegean context, from Athens and Corinth on the mainland to the Cycladic islands of Naxos, Paros, and Santorini, and in a deep time frame, from prehistory to contemporary traditional practices. Taught by Professor Eleni Hasaki, University of Arizona.

Participants will follow the journey of an artifact, be it a ceramic pot or a marble pediment from the raw material procurement, to its transformation into a finished object, and its role within the private or public life of Ancient Greece. When studying marble working, from the marble quarries to the modern restoration workshops, participants will witness the entire manufacturing chain from extracting the marble to putting the finishing touches on a column capital for the iconic Parthenon. For the study of ceramics, participants will visit clay quarries, interact with modern-day potters, and examine first-hand the skill of composing a painted scene. With the extensive museum collections in Athens and the islands, as well as the restoration facilities at the Athenian Agora, participants can see several flaws in finished products and better understand their original construction through reverse engineering.

The course closely examines the interconnectedness of several crafts, as well the learning curve in craft apprenticeship especially as artisans worked in different scales, from the miniscule to the monumental. Participants will interact with traditional craftspeople and with scholars of ancient Greek industries. This immersive learning with scholarship, hands-on replication projects, and interviews with craft practitioners will provide unique experiences and critical skills that can be used to study ancient and modern societies, and industry and economy in the ancient world.
 

The Northern Aegean: Macedon and Thrace (June 30 - July 18, 2022)

Amphipolis LionIn this seminar, participants will explore the Northern Aegean region during various time periods. The history of Macedon and Thrace bridges the East and West and offers a glimpse into some of the most significant developments in Greek history, such as colonization, cross-cultural relations, the Persian Wars, Athenian hegemony, and the rise of Macedon. Taught by Professors Amalia Avramidou, Democritus University of Thrace, and Denise Demetriou, University of California, San Diego.

The history of Thrace and Macedon bridges the history of East and West and offers a glimpse into some of the most significant developments in Greek history, such as colonization, cross-cultural relations, the history of the Persian Wars, Athenian hegemony, and the rise of Macedon. The seminar offers a window into the complexities of the region by experiencing and learning about topography and settlement patterns, interconnectivity and trade, and local pottery workshops. The field seminar touches upon political institutions (democracy, kingdoms and dynasties, and tribal stateless societies), questions of identity (Thracians, Macedonians, Athenians, Ionians), religion (state vs local cult), and trade (local vs imported). 

Participants will visit sites and museums that complement the surviving literary sources in Athens, Macedonia, and Thrace, and highlight their intricate relations. Many sites will be visited, ranging from Greek colonies and Thracian forts to Macedonian foundations, and from urban sanctuaries to open-air cult sites and tumuli. After spending a few days in democratic Athens, participants will discover the material remains of the Macedonian royal court in Vergina. They will also compare the urban environment of the Athenian colony of Amphipolis to the multicultural sites of Zone and Abdera, experience the royal sanctuaries at Dion and Samothrace and visit the spectacular burials of elite Thracian tumuli by the Hebros River. Such an exploration of the topography and sites of the North Aegean coast will facilitate the visualization of the multilayered past of Macedon and Thrace and elucidate these regions’ interactions with the rest of the Greek world.

Structure of the Program

The ASCSA Summer Seminars offer unparalleled opportunity to experience the ancient sites, monuments, and culture of Greece first-hand, focusing on specific topics, under the guidance of expert professors deeply familiar with the country and topic, and up-to-date with the latest research.

When in Athens, the Summer Seminars are based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Roughly half of the program is spent in travel throughout Greece, and participants are housed in hotels. The program's commitment to presenting a detailed view of the seminar topic, and Greece's rich history, leads to long days and extensive walking in the hot Mediterranean summer. Participants should be prepared for a rigorous program of study.

Seminar participants receive exclusive access to archaeological sites and storerooms inaccessible to others and enjoy presentations on ongoing excavations by preeminent scholars. Internationally known scholars of Greek history, art, and archaeology will participate as guest lecturers in both seminars. Students are expected to give on-site reports, which they will prepare in their home libraries before the program begins. 

Want to know more? Visit the FAQ page!

A Typical Day

A typical day starts at 7:00AM and ends at 7:00PM. A group will typically visit 3 to 7 archaeological sites and/or museums during the day. Each visit
 may include a director’s presentation, tours by invited specialists, and one or more student reports. There is much standing and walking, many sites have steep inclines, and the Mediterranean summer sun is intense, so participants should be prepared for the rigors of the program.

In Athens travel is by walking or public transport (including the efficient metro system). On day trips and extended trips most travel is by private chartered bus with a licensed professional driver; island trips involve ferry rides. Lunch may be picnic style or at local eateries depending on the day’s schedule. Beach stops for swimming are scheduled whenever possible. Continental breakfasts are provided at the hotel every morning. Participants eat dinner on their own at local eateries within walking distance of the hotel. Dinner hour in Greece is typically later than in North America, with many people eating between 8-11pm.

Facilities

When Summer Seminars are based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  Participants enjoy 24-hour access to the world-class Blegen Library, including a computer lab, wireless internet access, archives, and individual study space. Participants will be housing in Loring Hall while in Athens, and have access to our welcoming and supportive staff, home-style Greek cooking, gardens, and verandas that look out onto Mount Hymettus. The School also offers numerous opportunities for informal conversation, learning, and networking with professors and students working at the ASCSA, and with members of the international scholarly community in Athens.

Outside of Athens, participants will stay in hotels. Hotels are typically C class, clean and secure establishments with private bathrooms and A/C available. Most hotels have wi-fi. Continental breakfasts are provided at the hotel every morning.

Participants/eligibility

Enrollment is open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as to high school and college instructors of classics and related subjects. Each seminar is limited to twenty participants. The language of instruction is English. Applicants who are not enrolled or teaching at English-speaking institutes, or schools, may be required to supply evidence of proficiency in English.

The program is intellectually absorbing and can be physically challenging.  Museum visits may involve long periods of standing, while many site visits require hiking uphill in the Mediterranean summer heat.  Participants should be ready to work cooperatively as part of a close-knit Summer Seminar group.

Summer Seminar participants become part of the ASCSA alumni/alumnae community, with more than a thousand members around the world. Summer Seminar participation can open the doors to professional connections, mentoring, fieldwork opportunities, and scholarly support for years to come.

An attempt is made to ensure that the session includes undergraduate students, graduate students, high school teachers, and college professors, though there is no quota for any category. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.

Costs

The fee for each summer 2022 Seminar is $2,750. This includes tuition, room for the entire 18-day period, partial board in Athens, travel within Greece, and museum and site fees. International airfare, most meals outside Athens, and incidental expenses are the participant's responsibility. Financial aid is available in the form of ASCSA scholarships, awarded on the basis of academic merit, and many classical professional organizations have funding opportunities. (Rates and fees are subject to change without notice.)

Financial Support

The ASCSA offers a range of Summer Seminar fellowships.  Several national and regional Classics organizations also offer scholarships specifically for Summer Seminar participants. 

Click Here for Scholarship Information

Academic credit

The American School is not a degree-granting institution. No grades are given for its programs, nor are transcripts provided. An optional final exam at the end of each seminar can given (upon discussion with the Seminar Director), and the director of a seminar will, upon request, write a letter to the member’s home institution recommending that credit be granted, provided that the member has satisfactorily participated in the program and passed the final exam. Inquire about course credit option.

Application

Deadline for the online application and two recommendations is January 7, 2022

Link to the online application: https://ascsa.submittable.com/submit/115820/ascsa-summer-seminar-application-18-day-sessions

Admission to the Summer Seminar is granted on the basis of academic performance and letters of recommendation. 

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Submit the online application form by the deadline.
  • Applicants for School scholarships must review the program material on the website to learn about the requirements.
  • High school teachers and college professors should be prepared to attach a copy of their curriculum vitae to the application form.
  • Student applicants are required to submit scans of undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) as part of the online application. Please be sure to name the file "LastnameTranscripts.pdf" 
  • Applicants arrange for two letters of recommendation to be submitted online by their recommenders. After the online application is submitted, the recommenders will automatically be sent instructions about how to upload their recommendation. Recommendations are due the same date at the deadline for applications.

All applicants will be notified in February. 

Apply Now

Visas

Any U.S. or Canadian citizen who plans to spend more than 90 days in Greece and/or any other member of the Schengen block of countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) within a six-month period must obtain a special visa BEFORE entry into the Schengen zone. This visa must be issued by a Greek consulate/embassy in a country where the applicant is a resident, and the application process can take two or more months. Any participant who plans to combine, for example, a spring or fall study abroad program with the ASCSA Summer Seminars may exceed the 90-day limit.  For further information, click here.

Ready to apply?

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.
Apply Now

Testimonials from previous participants

Hear about the Seminars

For additional questions or information:

Contact Professor Elizabeth Baltes (Coastal Carolina University), Chair of the Committee on the Summer Sessions at ssapplication@ascsa.org.

Summer 2023 Seminars

The next new set of seminars (offered in summer 2023) will be "Locating Ancient Gender and Sexuality" (led by Kate Gilhuly and Bryan Burns) and "The Archaeology of Caves in Greece: Cult and Life through the Ages" (led by Amy and Nassos Papalexandrou).