John Nordin   >
COMM 3110: Greek Intellectual Revolution

And we're back after a great (but cold) 3 weeks. Look for pictures soon.

What is it about?

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 related sites in 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 the 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 30 years ago and have studied it from many angles as well as led student groups there. Check out 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.

Why should you go?

A truly remarkable community came into being in classical 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 sport and religion and women's complex role in this society also help us understand these revolutions.  As we visit sites and consider texts these various themes keep reappearing in various aspects and combinations. More on the themes of the class is here.

One way to pose those 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.

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.

Watch for announcements about informational meetings.

Check out the flyer


Who can go? Anyone! Don't even have to be a current U student. A 2.4 GPA or higher is recommended.

Get your application in!

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.

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.

After you complete the steps at Learning Abroad, you will be allowed to register for the special section of Comm 3110. You will receive an email from Learning Abroad with information on how to do this. Remember: this is different than registering for your other classes. Class registration does not occur until close to the time of the course.

Learn more

Course themes and goals

Application details

Planning, packing and Practicalities

Schedule and hotels

The fine print, the bad news, and things that might trip you up


See what previous classes did

2015-16 winter break class

2013 Mayterm class

2012 Mayterm class

2009 Mayterm class



The Plaka - my personal website on Greece

Learning Abroad - our course page at the U of M site


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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.