Creative Writing & Classics

In and Beyond the Great Classrooms of Athens

This program is open to all eligible Bucknell students. It will be particularly attractive to creative writing and classics students in addition to students in history, literary studies, art & art history, comparative humanities, philosophy, geography, political science, and theatre but may also accommodate students enrolled in BS programs in the sciences, management and education.

  • Experience the spectacular archaeological sites of Greece.
  • Live as a writer at large in the world!
  • Explore the beauty of the islands, the Peloponnese and Central Greece.
  • Volunteer with the refugee community in and beyond Athens.


Download the program brochure (pdf).


Writing Greece (ENCW 210) 1 credit (Closson Buck)
(CCC requirements: AHLG ARHC GBCC W2)
Whether we’re working with refugees in Athens, exploring the excavation of ancient Olympia, or discovering the wild beauty of a Cycladic island, making art out of life and writing toward understanding will be our primary endeavor in this workshop-based course in writing creative nonfiction (narrative essay) and poetry. In this context, Students will have an opportunity to process their individual experiences of Greece and their changing ways of seeing the world around them. We will read as models memoirs, essays, and poems in English by writers who have also come to Greece as foreigners.

Love and War in the Literature of Greece (ENLS 290) 1 credit, REQUIRED (Closson Buck)
(CCC requirements: AHLG ARHC GBCC)
Pairing ancient literary texts with modern/contemporary ones, this course in poetry, fiction, and drama by Greek writers as well as outsiders will explore the themes of love, war and the politics of identity as they take shape in the literary imagination. In this context we might read Aristophanes’ Lysistrata—a drama of political resistance—alongside Iannis Ritsos’ poems written when he was a political prisoner during the time of the military Junta. Or we might consider Euripides’ Women of Troy opposite de Berniere’s Corelli’s Mandolin as a way of thinking about the costs of war. Sappho might be played opposite Cavafy for themes of love and sexuality, and Oedipus Rex opposite Rhea Galanaki’s novel Eleni, or Nobody and Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, as all three explore the consequences of sexual transgression and the ways fate and genetics determine us.

Archaeology of Ancient Greece (CLAS 250) 1 credit
(CCC Requirements: ARHC, EGHU)
A survey of the major historical monuments and sites, from the prehistoric period to Classical times. In this course we journey to the key sites and museums in Attica, the Peloponnese, and central Greece to examine the art and archaeology of prehistoric and classical Greece in its original setting. Students will explore first-hand the celebrated monuments and masterpieces of the Minoan, Mycenaean and Greek civilizations and will study the changes from palatial Bronze Age society to Greek city-state democracy. As students acquaint themselves with the most influential landmarks in Greek art and architecture, they will take a critical and reflective look at their discoveries and re-evaluate the fundamental bases of Greek archaeology.

Sport, Competition and Spectacle in Ancient Greek Society (CLAS 250) 1 credit
(CCC Requirements: ARHC, EGHU)(CCC Requirements: ARHC, EGHU)
Exploring the emergence and evolution of athletic competitions and spectacles from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity, this course draws on a variety of disciplines, from history and archaeology to modern sports studies. The course will examine the role of games and spectacles within broader social, political, religious, cultural, and intellectual contexts, as well as their significance in the daily lives of the ancients. In addition to classroom lectures and discussions, field trips to archaeological sites and museums (Olympia, Delphi, and others) will provide opportunities for interpretation of physical evidence.

Culture and Issues in Contemporary Greece (UNIV 200-level) REQUIRED 1 credit
(CCC Requirements: GBCC, EVCN)
In the context of major events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that continue to shape Greek life and culture, this course will expose students to the many issues Greeks are presently facing in relation to migration, economy, environment, tourism, and the urban/rural split. The course will be built around a whirlwind modern history followed by a series of guest lectures and field trips, as well as volunteer experiences with the refugee community. Events at the Athens Centre will also give students a taste of contemporary Greek culture as they sample Greek food, films and music.

Beginning Modern Greek (CLAS 150) 1 credit
(CCC Requirement: ARHC, EGHU, Foreign Language)
In this intensive introduction to spoken modern Greek, students will learn to use the language in their daily lives, coming to a deeper and more complex understanding of the people and culture of Greece along the way.

Program Contacts

Prof. Paula Closson Buck (creative writing)
4 Bucknell Hall

Jennifer Ellis Fritz (global & off-campus education)
1A Botany Building, 570.577.3743

Information Sessions

Please attend one of the 50 minute information sessions in Willard Smith Library (125 Vaughan Literature Bldg.):

  • Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 20, noon
  • Thursday, March 23

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