2017 Seminar

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

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.

Seminar Directors
   Nikolaos Bakirtzis (Professor, The Cyprus Institute)
   Dimitri Gondicas (Professor, Hellenic Studies)

Seminar Coordinators
   Vicky Hioureas (History)
   Alex Raiffe (French)
   Joe Glynias (History

Princeton Faculty
   Elizabeth A. Davis (Professor, Anthropology)
   Kathleen Crown (Executive Director, Council of Humanities)   

Greek Archaeological Service Participant:   
   Xenophon Moniaros (9th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities)

Princeton Graduate Students
   Richard Calis (History)
   Ambra Casonato (Music)
   Elizabeth Durham (Anthropology)
   Thalia Gigerenzer (Anthropology)
   David Salkowski (Music)
   Hollis Dvorkin Shaul (History)

Princeton Undergraduate Students
   Carolyn Beard, Paper | Journal
   Pria Louka, Paper | Journal
   Ashley Stone, Paper | Journal
   Laurie Zielinski, Paper | Journal