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  • Locations: Athens, Greece
  • Program Terms: January Term
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: UMAIE 
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Temple of Apollo
Epic Story-Making: The Olympic Games in Literature and Media

UMAIE Scholarship

Explore and experience the literature and media coverage of the ancient and modern Olympic Games while visiting the ruins, temples of the gods, and stadiums of Greece, the very sites where Olympic competition began: Isthmia, Nemea, Delphi, Athens, Epidaurus, and…Olympia!  

Academic Overview
Are sports just fun and games?  We’ll make the case, through studying sports literature and media, that sports are much, much more.
Since ancient times, the Games have been much more than athletic competition. Ancient Greek city-states tied together politics, religion, culture, and sports in celebrated Games that took place every four years in the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. Centuries later, in 1896, in Athens, the first modern Olympic games resumed the tradition, with some contemporary shifts. The Olympic games have been a site through which we have witnessed social power and social change. Political conflicts have manifested in Olympic boycotts and terrorism; racism and sexism (who gets to play what?); and, the cultural complexity of fame and fortune. Through literature about the Olympics and the mediated spectacle that is Olympic coverage, we will trace metaphors and symbols embedded in the political and cultural drama of the Olympic Games.  After all, what is any sporting event, but a story – conflict and drama – playing out before our eyes. In studying the Olympic games, past and present, we can see how this sporting event, like all sports, represents more than the achievements of winning athletes.
Specifically, we will read and write about fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and experience documentaries and news coverage that give us critical insight into the literature and media coverage of the Olympic Games. The course is three parts: History of the Olympic Games; the Olympics and Politics; and, the Olympics and the Pure Love of Sport. We will coordinate our readings with site visits: Olympia, of course, to see the ancient stadium and the Museum of the Olympic Games; the Pan-Athenaic Stadium in Athens, with a trip to nearby Marathon; the Roman-built stadium at Delphi; the stadium in Nemea, plus trips to Mycenae and Nafplio; and, the ancient stadium of Epidaurus. This is a designated Writing-to-Learn course.
Program Fee/Cost
Estimated Program Cost  Included in Program Cost  *Tuition Notice
Program Estimate: $7,772 - $8,072
Includes Tuition* and Administrative Fee

The final program fee will be published here in early December, 2018

There is a $500 deposit - $250 due at the time of application and $250 due by July 31st.  Students who begin an application after July 31st will need to submit the full $500 deposit at once. The deposit will be deducted from the total program cost when it is billed in January.
  • Transportation
  • course arrangements 
  • hotel accommodations -  twin, triple, and multi-bedded rooms,
  • continental breakfast daily,
  • 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners, plus kitchen facilities in Athens
For this J-Term Global Studies Course, students will receive 4 credits, but will only be charged for one credit of tuition.  The tuition charge is included in the estimate listed, but will appear separately on your bill.

Program Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, apartment and hotel accommodations in multi-bedded, twin and triple rooms; 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and six dinners (subject to change).  While in Athens for 18 nights, you’ll have access to kitchen facilities in the apartments.
Students will have to have taken or have tested out of their core English courses. For UST, this is English 121 and 201-204.

Course Equivalency

Major/Minor: ENGL 2000 Level Elective OR Literature Course
Core Liberal Arts Requirement: Literature
Required Readings
The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
Course Reader to include poetry and articles by Frank Deford, Sally Jenkins, Lisa Bier, Dave Zirin, Pindar, etc.
Exerpts from Ancient Greek Athletics by Stephen Miller
The Salute a documentary film by Matt Norman (son of Peter Norman)

30% Travel Journal and Class Discussion             
30% Writing to Learn (WtL) assignments               
10% Pindaric Ode Contest                             
30% Synthesis Project                                   

Faculty Directors
Liz Wilkinson, University of St. Thomas (651) 962-5632, email:
Dina Gavrilos, University of St. Thomas (651) 962-5204, email:

Description of Faculty Directors:
Liz Wilkinson Dr. Liz Wilkinson is a professor of American Literature at the University of St. Thomas, with a focus on Native American, Women’s, and Sports literatures. Her current book project is Women, Sport, and the Body: Claiming the Title. She began competing in both sports and writing at age four and she hasn’t stopped.
Gina Gavrilos Prof. Dina Gavrilos teaches courses in the Department of Communications & Journalism at the University of St. Thomas, including Media, Culture, Society and Race, Class, Gender. She studies how media construct national identity via representations of ethnic/racial and other intersecting identities. This research stems from her background as a first-generation American, raised bi-culturally in Chicago and through months-long stays in Greece.
Travel Advisories Button Please note that the United States Department of State has updated their travel advisories.  Click here to see the updated information on the advisory levels for each of the countries this course will visit.

 Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the Apply Now button at the top to start your online application.
· Login using your username and password.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2018.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2018

For more information on course content, contact: Prof. Liz Wilkinson
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.