Becoming a Citizen and Leader in Ancient Greece and Modern America
August 1-2, 2014
This two-day workshop will introduce those with an interest in civic participation and leadership to aspects of democracy, one of the ancient world’s most lasting legacies. We will focus on the type of democracy, which the Athenians developed and practiced during the fifth and fourth centuries BCE.
No prior knowledge of the ancient world is required. Preparation will involve reading Philoctetes, a play by Sophocles, which Athenians experienced during the Festival of Dionysus in 409 BCE. The Center for Hellenic Studies will make the text available online for participants. Philoctetes depicts the coming-of-age story of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, who wrestles with ethical and political questions about how best to serve his community’s cause in the Trojan War. The play has seen new attention in recent years because it treats such civic questions as, what is a young person’s role in a political community? how does one prepare for such a role? how do democracies use and misuse information? and how do we reconcile the needs of the community with self-interest?
The workshop will conclude with discussion about the importance of the humanities especially within the context of national conversations about leadership and citizenship. Space is limited; college students and recent graduates who are working at policy institutions and congressional offices for the summer in Washington, DC, will have priority.
For the link to Sophocles’ Philoctetes and the Schedule of Sessions visit the Sunoikisis website.
The deadline for applications is July 11, 2014.
To apply for this workshop, please fill out the Ephebe’s Journey Registration Questionnaire. If you have any questions about the workshop or the application, please contact us.