Painted woman standing in front of graffiti and blending in

Columbia Summer in Greece: Athens Curatorial Project

Language of Instruction: English
Multiple Locations,
Term: Summer

Engage in cross-disciplinary study of Greece and work with artists and curators to organize an art exhibition in Athens

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Columbia Summer in Greece: Athens Curatorial Project invites students to engage in the cross-disciplinary and diachronic study of Greece and to organize an exhibition in which they participate as both artists and curators. The program is structured around the study of texts, films, and cultural artifacts that offer a lens onto Greek history and culture and links between past eras and the present; site visits, fieldtrips, and walking tours that explore remnants of the past (classical, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman) in contemporary urban settings; and workshop sessions in which students learn the stages of curating and creating art for an exhibition. Working closely with Columbia faculty and Greek artists and curators, students gain first-hand experience in the theoretical and practical challenges of organizing and presenting an exhibition.

Program Overview

  • Intensive summer curatorial workshop grounded in a seminar highlighting historical, anthropological, and literary approaches to examine aspects of Greek history and culture
  • Earn 6 points of credit upon the completion of the course
  • Travel to locations in the region to explore sites relevant to the course themes
  • Live in local apartments in Athens
  • Present work at final public art exhibition

Eligibility and Application

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students of any institution may apply
  • All students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA


Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application” button above. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:

  • Application questionnaire(s)
    • Personal Statement
  • Letter(s) of recommendation

NOTE: This program includes an interview process for admission.


Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary. All students will be enrolled in the following course:

GRKM 3930. A History of the Greek Present. 6 points
Instructors: Dimitrios Antoniou, Soo-Young Kim, Ioannis Mylonopoulos

In this course students engage with historical, anthropological, literary, and artistic approaches to examine Greek history and culture, and they are given the opportunity and training to present their acquired knowledge in an art exhibition. Through a focus on this year’s theme of “expeditions,” we will consider how Greek society, history, and landscape have been imagined and studied from perspectives ranging from Ottoman travelers and Bavarian botanists to European Union technocrats and contemporary art curators. The course is structured around classroom seminars centered on the study and discussion of texts, films, and cultural artifacts; site visits, fieldtrips, and walking tours; and workshop sessions in which students learn about and gain experience in all stages of curating and creating art for an exhibition. Students can expect to develop a historically, socially, and politically informed understanding of Greece; learn through cross-disciplinary and multi-modal exploration, collaborative work, and a project-based approach; and gain broadly applicable skills in curation, artistic practice, and social scientific research.

The program is based in Athens and includes visits to Nafplio in the Peloponnese, the Cycladic island of Syros, and an archaeological excavation in Thebes.

This course counts towards the Hellenic Studies major/concentration and the Art History major/concentration. Other departments (history, sociology, anthropology) may grant credit upon review of the syllabus.

**Please note that attendance at all class meetings, workshops, and fieldtrips is mandatory.

Academic Schedule

Prior to the start of the program in Greece, there will be three pre-departure seminars to prepare you for the work you will do once in Athens.

Once on-site, the program involves a full schedule of activities and students should expect to devote their time in Greece to the program and complementary activities. Weekday seminars dedicated to the discussion of assigned materials (ranging from Homeric poetry to Freud to contemporary film). Seminars are followed by walking tours (led by faculty, artists, architects, and curators) and afternoon workshop sessions focused on exhibition preparation. Weekends are reserved for field trips. Please see the syllabus for more details.

Grades and Credit

Upon successful completion of the full program, Columbia students will receive both credit and grades directly in SSOL. Barnard students should review the guidelines for Credit and Transcripts.

Life in Greece


In Athens students share furnished apartments in the city center, within a walking distance to the program’s premises. During the trips to Nafplio and Syros, students stay in hotels.


No meals are included in the program fee and there is no meal plan. However, there are grocery stores, pastry shops, delis, and bakeries where students can buy food supplies for casual dining. A week before the beginning of the course, participants will receive a list with restaurants, diners, and supermarkets located in the center of Athens and its immediate vicinity.


As part of the course, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves into the vibrant Athenian art scene, visit museums, art galleries, and artists’ workshops, and explore sites rarely seen by visitors to Greece (such as the former industrial center of Elefsina and the Byzantine chapels in Mesogeia).

Daily Living and Schedule

Schedule for a typical day:

9:00-10:30: Seminar: “Nation-building and Classical Heritage” (19th century Greek political history)
10:30-1:30: Field visit: Walking tour of Athens “Making the Greek capital” (Syntagma Square; Athenian Trilogy, Omonoia Square, National Archaeological Museum) with architect Paschalis Samarinis
1:30-3:00: Lunch
3:00-4:30: Project: “What is Curation?” Discussion with curator Galini Notti (American College of Greece)


Seminars take place at Elika Gallery, a contemporary art gallery that we refashion into a learning lab for the duration of the program. Workshops take place at 3 137, an artist-run space that also hosts the final exhibition. Walking tours and fieldtrips introduce students to diverse neighborhoods in and around Athens, and each explores a different theme (e.g., the Ottoman past, the military regime, the Greek ‘60s)..



Ioannis Mylonopoulos is an Associate Professor of Classical art and archaeology at Columbia University, where he has taught since 2008. His research focuses on sacred space, the archaeology of religion, the iconography of the Divine in ancient Greece, as well as the visualization of emotions and violence in Greek art. Educated at the University of Athens and the University of Heidelberg, from which he received his Ph.D., Dr. Mylonopoulos began his academic career in 2001 at the University of Heidelberg’s Institute of Classical Archaeology and has subsequently taught at the University of Vienna, the University of Erfurt, and Columbia University. He has also been a senior research associate at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford, a Fellow at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and twice visiting professor at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Dr. Mylonopoulos has been the director of the excavation of the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos on Boeotia since 2014. Dr. Mylonopoulos has received more than a dozen fellowships, grants, and awards and is the author of numerous scholarly articles, bulletins, review articles, and translations, as well as books including his award-winning book on sanctuaries and cults of Poseidon on the Peloponnese.

Dimitrios Antoniou (D.Phil., University of Oxford, 2011) is Lecturer in Modern Greek History and Culture in the Department of Classics. He studied theology at the University of Athens, anthropology at Princeton, and oriental studies at Oxford. His research draws on anthropological and historical approaches to examine the urban landscape, state operation, and the making of public history in Greece. His first book, The Mosque that wasn't There: An Ethnography of Political Imagination in Contemporary Greece is forthcoming with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Dimitris teaches courses in Greek film, history, and anthropology in the Classics department, curates the collection “Zines of the Greek Crisis” at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, and writes frequently on contemporary Greek art. His most recent art-related publications include an essay titled "Crisis, History, Complicity" discussing the work of film artist Stefanos Tsivopoulos (in Archive Crisis: Shaking up the Shelves of History, Jap Sam Books 2015) and the essay “The Mosque and the Church: Structures, Counter-Structures, and the Topology of Identity” for the catalogue of the Culturescapes: Greece exhibition in Switzerland.

Soo-Young Kim is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton University and will take up the position of Lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program in the fall. She received her B.A. in Classics from Harvard College (2006), M.A. in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research (2009), and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University (2017). Her work draws on diverse approaches to economics, epistemology, and the everyday in order to examine the interplay between the economy and the future. She is writing a book about how the future is thought about and acted upon through the frame of the economy, while also developing new research projects on the social life of economic statistics and on education and debt. In 2017-2018 she was a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Whitman College, where she taught courses in economic anthropology, nation making and nationalism in Greece, and the anthropology of the future.

Financial Considerations

Program Fee Summer 2019: $6,000
Includes tuition, housing, and course-required excursions.

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information on additional estimated expenses.


If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to studying abroad. In general, summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students. Non-Columbia students should check with their home schools for funding availability.

Funding Your Summer in Greece

For more general information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:


If you decide to withdraw from the program once it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.

Resources for Accepted Students

Fact Sheet

Arts and Architecture, Humanities
Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Graduate Students, Non-Columbia Graduate Students, Non-Columbia Undergraduates
Language of Instruction:
Multiple Locations,

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Program Dates: 
Sunday, June 30, 2019 to Friday, August 2, 2019
Classes will start on July 1, 2019 and end on August 1, 2019. Students will depart by 12:00 noon on August 2, 2019.