Humanities Impact Program

2019 Projects

Classical Association of New England (CANE)

Dr. Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Denison University, was the Onassis Lecturer at the 2019 CANE Summer Institute. Transcripts of her lectures are available here.

Staged Reading of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey

Together with the Aquila Theatre and the Society for Classical Studies, Onassis USA is co-presenting a staged reading of Emily Wilson’s groundbreaking translation of the Odyssey, followed by a post-show discussion with Dr. Wilson, an actor and veteran from Aquila Theatre’s Warrior Chorus, and a veterans’ partner, to explore the themes of war, trauma, family dynamics, and homecoming. The event will be held at the BAM Fisher, Fishman Space, on March 15, 7:30 PM.

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Euripides’ Herakles

In April 2019, Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama is producing Euripides’ Herakles with a focus on musical design. Featuring live performance on reconstructed models of the ancient Greek double-pipes or auloi, this will be the first modern production of a Greek tragedy in its original tongue to incorporate a full score on tragedy’s historic instrument. 

Euripides’ Herakles stages the fall of Greece’s greatest hero. While Herakles is completing the last of his twelve mythical labors in the underworld, the usurper Lykos has overtaken his palace in Thebes and prepares to murder Herakles’ wife Megara and their three sons. Herakles returns just in time to save them, but the gods plot another twist of fate.

This event is supported by Onassis Foundation USA.

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Aquila Theatre 

Onassis USA is pleased to co-present with Aquila Theatre a production of Aeschylus’s Suppliants. Under the academic direction of Professor Peter Meineck (NYU) and artistic direction of Desiree Sanchez, the Aquila Theatre will work with students from the Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) in Harlem to develop and produce the ancient drama, to be performed in spring and summer 2019. The FDA Classical Training Program has produced thirteen shows and has reached over 10,000 people with the dramatic tradition of ancient Greece, and students, performers, teachers, staff, family, and members of the general public have all benefitted from this educational arts program. 

New-York Historical Society

“We the People: Democracy from Athens to America” is a new curricular unit for the NYHS Student Historian High School Internship Program, which provides 80 New York city students vocational and academic training. By utilizing the rich and diverse resources at the NYHS, including its world-class museum collection and its recently inaugurated Tech Commons, participating students (60% of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds) will learn about the origins of democracy in ancient Greece to better understand how the Founding Fathers developed their own concept of shared governance in the great American experiment and what their own responsibilities should be as informed citizens. Instruction from highly qualified staff from NYHS and Onassis USA, and careful/critical examination of ancient and modern primary sources, will lay a strong foundation of knowledge, upon which participating students will develop their own research projects, to be shared with other students, teachers, family members, and the larger public. Student work will be presented to the public on digital platforms as well as at the NYHS.

Leadership Alliance 

The Leadership Alliance, housed at Brown University, is a summer research internship program designed to introduce underrepresented students to research in a specific academic discipline and to empower them to work closely with leading scholars at partner universities. The ultimate goal is to prepare these students to pursue graduate studies and enter into both academic and non-academic public and private sector positions and bring greater diversity and representation. The Onassis USA - Leadership Alliance Diversity Fellowship in Hellenic Studies will enable students of diverse backgrounds to study and conduct research on the Hellenic tradition, from antiquity to the present.

Luis Alfaro Lecture

As part of the SCS Sesquicentennial meeting in San Diego, famed playwright Luis Alfaro presented his work to AIA/SCS attendees and the general public on January 3rd. 

This event is organized by Classics and Social Justice, the Onassis Foundation USA, and hosted by the Society for Classical Studies.

Director of Educational Programs Dr. Young Kim wrote about the event for the SCS blog.

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2018 Projects

Bard Prison Initiative (BPI)

The Onassis Foundation-BPI Humanities and Classics Collaboration will support the expansion of courses in Greek culture, philosophy, humanities, arts, and politics, both within the BPI campuses and at BPI’s Microcollege program at the Brooklyn Public Library. The collaboration also offers support for two Onassis Foundation Teaching Fellowship in Culture and Humanities for instructors to teach in BPI’s national consortium of prison education programs, as well as support for a series of distinguished lecturers across BPI’s programs.

Bard College

Washington University in St. Louis

Wesleyan University

The Paideia Institute

The Onassis Postdoctoral Fellow for Humanities Education and Outreach will work closely with the Paideia staff to develop an educational curriculum based on ancient Greek language and culture for K-12 students. Building on its successful Aequora after-school enrichment program, the Paideia Institute will produce Greek-based outreach materials to be piloted at select public schools and afterschool programs, especially in economically distressed areas in New York City, ultimately to provide free access to high-quality educational materials for teachers, to hone students’ English literacy through the study of ancient Greek, and to generate excitement and lasting interest in the rich heritage of Greece.

Richard Stockton University

The Onassis Diversity Scholarships in Hellenic Studies Fund will offer scholarships to minority undergraduate students to travel to Greece and Cyprus to participate in short exchange programs with students in partner institutions, including the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Athens, and the European University of Cyprus. The opportunity to travel and to engage in cultural exchange without the heavy burden of financial concerns will enable diverse students of all major fields of study to engage with and learn about Hellenic Studies.

University of Michigan

The Onassis Distinguished Diversity Scholarship for Graduate Study Fund will provide scholarships to students in the Department of Classical Studies’ Bridge M.A. program, which is designed to prepare graduate students of diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds to enter doctoral programs in Classics. The scholarships will enable these students to engage in overseas research, archaeological projects, and further language study.  

Maryland Odyssey Project

Building on the broad interest in and success of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey, the Maryland Odyssey Project seeks to the introduce this ground-breaking translation of the epic initially in four Baltimore public schools, which serve a significant population of underprivileged and disadvantaged students. Students are learning about the history and culture of ancient Greece through a study of the Odyssey and producing their own written and artistic interpretations. The kick-off symposium was held on October 12, with Professor Wilson as the keynote speaker, and over one hundred students, teachers, and members of the public in attendance. A panel of scholars also contributed to a lively discussion of Dr. Wilson’s innovative translation of the Odyssey.

Watch here

Read about the project here

Classical Association of New England (CANE)

Dr. Emily Greenwood, Professor of Classics, Yale University, was the Onassis Lecturer at the 2018 CANE Summer Institute. Her lectures are available here: 

1. “Herodotus: Observing Ancient Empires in the Contact Zone

2. “Thucydides: Imperial Self-Knowledge and Its Effects

3. “Post-imperial Classics?