Related Programs and Institutions

Related Programs and Institutions
The Classical Studies Program at Bard is affiliated with a number of programs at other instiutions including: Bard College at Simon's Rock; Ithaka; Smolny College.


Bard is one of fifteen or so top American liberal arts colleges which grant academic credit for participation, either a semester or a year, in the "Ithaka Program" in Crete. Consisting each semester of 12 American students (typical ages 17-20), it is both a rigorous academic program and a total cultural immersion involving internships with local artistans, craftspeople, farmers and families. The core courses of the academic program are Modern Greek Language, Greek History, Greek Poetry, Greek and American Prose: Writing, and Cultural Anthropology. Guest courses by visiting professors from Greece and America are on such subjects as Archaeology, Current Affairs, or Greek Folk Music and Dance. Students keep a journal which they show weekly to their Mentor, a tutor who lives and works with them, and the Mentor responds in writing.

The internships are in such activities as weaving, carpentry, bakeries, potteries, smithies, farming or shepherding. There are also group work projects varying with the season: in spring these may be reaping with sickles, sheep or goat round-up, refittting fishing caiques; in autumn, planting trees, harvesting olives, oranges or grapes, treading grapes in footpresses to make wine. Students are expected, both among themselves and in their interaction with the local community, to abide by that community's "shame culture", which varies significantly from the American "guilt culture" in matters such as sex, alcohol and drugs.

Students and faculty together constitute what in Greek is called a "parea", a community of friends bound together by common purpose, common laws, loyalty and affection. The semester or year at Ithaka, because of close and constant association both with the parea and with members of the community which is its host, and because of the inner self-discovery and testing to which the experience leads, is more intense than a normal academic semester. Its name, the "Ithaka" which was the goal of Odysseus' long journey, points to the nature of the experience as a journey which is a quest and, like every true journey, a rite of passage.

Prof. Mullen has taught at Ithaka ten years ago and also revisited it in its present location in Kolimbari, Crete, this summer. He is well acquainted with its founder and president, Nick Germanacos. Students who wish to learn more about the possibilities of taking time off from Bard to participate in the Ithaka Program may consult its website and then e-mail for further information to, and they may also speak at any point with Prof. Mullen (Aspinwall 307, x. 7271,

Smolny College

Bard students who are able to speak Russian may spend a semester at Smolny College in St. Petersburg, Russia, which is the first liberal arts program in Russia and grants degrees under the aegis of Bard College and the St. Petersburg State University. Though there is no Classics Program as such at Smolny, classical studies form a part of the European Studies Program, and there is an ongoing exchange of faculty between Smolny and Bard classics professors. In Spring 2002 Prof. Dmitri Panchenko, a distinguished classicist who is a member of the Smolny faculty, will be spending a semester at Bard giving courses in Bard's Classics Program. It is hoped that Bard classic professors will be guests at Smolny in subsequent years. For further information speak with Prof. Mullen, Aspinwall 307, x. 7271,