2017 Seminar

"Health and Sickness"
June 15 - 26, 2017
Seminar Application Deadline: Monday, March 6, 2017

The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies invites Princeton student applicants for our 13th annual summer seminar at the Monastery of Hagios Ioannis Prodromos at Mt. Menoikeion in northern Greece.  Since the summer of 2005, the Mt. Menoikeion Summer Seminar has provided members of the Princeton community the opportunity to learn about various aspects of Byzantine and Modern Greek culture and to experience these rich traditions firsthand. This summer, we will celebrate thirteen years of this unique partnership linking Princeton and the monastic community (nunnery) with a series of workshops and presentations united under the theme of “Health and Sickness.”

This year’s theme is open to Princeton students from across the disciplines. The terms “health” and “sickness” immediately evoke physical well-being, healing, and curing, on one hand, and spiritual “health” and the seeking thereof, inherent in the idea of religious orthodoxy that the Greek Orthodox Church promotes. Such questions are central to this year’s seminar. How are monasteries seen as sources of spiritual or physical healing? What is the monastic’s role in spiritual and biological health through prayer, food, medicine, etc.? And what is the role of “orthodox” belief in these areas? What is the meaning of pain and sickness in various religious and cultural contexts?

This theme is also open to questions drawn from the fields of material culture, literature, and philosophy. We can reflect on the definition of the concepts of “health” and of “orthodoxy” themselves. What does it mean to be “healthy” and what does it mean to be “orthodox” (ὀρθοδοξία, correct/straight belief), or alternatively, to be “sick” or to be “heterodox.” In what ways does material culture influence and even determine spiritual health and condition the possibility of a correct belief. Questions of the conformity of “copies” of inherited dogma, praxis, and text to a hypothetical “original” are within the scope of this year’s seminar as well.

Sponsored by Princeton’s Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, the seminar is a unique academic experience that allows for exchange with fellow graduates and undergraduates across departmental boundaries. It is also a very rewarding opportunity to investigate Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek history, art history, architecture, musicology, anthropology, religion, politics, and culture at a historic monastery in near continuous, active use since the thirteenth century. A brief description of the site, its history, and past Seminar programs may be found at http://www.princeton.edu/menoikeion.

If you are interested or have any questions about participating in the Seminar this summer, please e-mail us at araiffe@princeton.edu, hioureas@princeton.edu, and jglynias@princeton.edu.

We will be holding an information session on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. in 103 Scheide-Caldwell House in order to provide details about the Mt. Menoikeion Seminar and its history, an outline of the seminar’s objectives and schedule, as well as all necessary application instructions.

Applications are available on the Mt. Menoikeion website http://www.princeton.edu/menoikeion. The application deadline is Monday, March 6, 2017. Applications should be sent via email to Chris Twiname in Hellenic Studies at ctwiname@princeton.edu.

This is a “funder-initiated” opportunity, therefore admitted applicants will receive notification from SAFE regarding funding.  Funding received from Hellenic Studies should cover the cost of travel to Thessaloniki, Greece.  Most expenses (lodging and most meals) are provided at no cost to participants. 

We look forward to hearing from you! In the meantime, all best wishes.

Alexander Baron-Raiffe (French and Italian), Vicky Hioureas (History), Joe Glynias (History)
Mt. Menoikeion Seminar 2017 Coordinators