Delphi Academy of European Studies 2019

The content of the seminars of 2019 covered environmental studies, climate change and environmental policy at European and global level.

Instructors :

John Barry (Queen’s University) : “Responding to the Anthropocene, unsustainability and climate breakdown: Philosophy, politics ane economics for the 21st century”

Verena Conley (Harvard University) : “Environmental humanities and new materialisms”

James Engell (Harvard University) : Writing Nature : literature, science, ethics”

Delphi Academy 2019

Delphi Academy 2019

Comments from participants of 2019

The two weeks at the Delphi summer school was one of the most intense and productive teaching experiences I have had.  The small student and faculty community that was created meant conversations could continue outside the classroom, making the entire two weeks a memorable teaching and learning experience.  The engaged and motivated student body brought a lot of energy to classroom debates, as did the relaxed ‘Delphi atmosphere’ of the European Cultural Centre. This enabled a variety of perspectives and arguments to emerge and enriched students’ learning.  It was perhaps the nearest I will ever get to the ancient Greek symposium -dialogic style of teaching and it will long stay with me.  While it was work, it was also a pleasure. I was only in Delphi for 2 weeks but came away enthused and energised and will long remember it… and am keen to return!

John Barry

Professor, Queen’s University, Belfast

I knew that I’d be teaching at the Delphi Academy but wasn’t prepared for how much I would learn, too.  To have students from varied backgrounds and fields of interest, as well as colleagues whose work was related to my own though not in the same field, enriched the experience enormously.  We were all addressing issues of the environment, climate, social justice, and human rights.  It was one of the most stimulating two weeks I’ve ever had in forty-two years of academic settings.  And what a larger setting!  The pace of the seminar at the Academy permitted us to enjoy the spectacular and profound treasures of Delphi and nearby locales, such as the monastery of Hosios Loukas.  Unforgettable, and it has changed the way I’ll teach in the future.

James Engell

Professor, Harvard University

There are many reasons why I deeply appreciated my experience at the Delphi Academy. Not only did it give to me the opportunity to read and discuss texts and cultural objects that I could have hardly encountered in my academic studies, but I could do so in dialogue with talented students and prominent professors and in the beautiful context of the village of Delphi, where nature, history and myth are one thing. The European Cultural Centre of Delphi offers everything a community of scholars might need: spacious rooms, a small library, great food, and a beautiful panorama. It is impossible to imagine a better place where to study the cultural and philosophical tradition of the European continent than in this small green corner of history in Greece.

Alberto Parisi

Harvard University

I feel that this is one of the rare moments in life that words of gratitude seem plain; for the Delphi Academy’s Seminar Program has surpassed its ‘original intention’ to be merely a selection of seminars centering on the topic of the environment. Indeed, the three carefully curated seminars have gelled with each other seamlessly, resonating with each other on both content level and overarching ideas. As a result, these three courses, focusing on politics, literature, and critical theories, respectively, have achieved something beyond simply driving home the green message. Instead, it has effected a fundamental shift in my consciousness regarding environmental issues, for which I am grateful to you, the professors, and all those who made the program possible.

Then there are the friendships that were forged during the program. I cannot remember when was the last time that I felt–and yes it is about feeling and affect–that I have resonated with fellow scholars on both intellectual and emotional levels. And these personal sentiments and feelings of mine are corroborated through my conversations with other program participants as well. 

[..]I am certain that many years later when I look back upon my younger days in Greece, I will think of Delphi. […] Thank you for making the Delphi Academy so special!

Jannis Jizhou Chen

Harvard University

The Delphi Academy of European Studies promotes deeply interdisciplinary exchanges between researchers from different academic fields, but this quality resonates into other layers of experience and intellectual growth. The landscape changed my way of learning, being connected with what we call nature, one of the subjects studied this year, contrasted with the perfectly planned constructed environment of the Delphi Academy when approaching knowledge. But most of all, the effort to understand each other and to appreciate what we are not able to fully know also made this experience a special memory for my intellectual path.

Ana Malmaceda

Harvard University

The Delphi Academy of European Studies has the merit of gathering, for two weeks, many enthusiastic and brilliant minds. The sharing of knowledge and experiences, helped by the amazing location and the natural background, is the most powerful laboratory to produce new ideas, positive feelings, and revolutionary thoughts. The professionalism, energy, and passion of our three excellent professors made our experience at the Delphi Academy precious and successful.

Emma Paladino

University of Bologna

During the Delphi Academy Summer seminar programme 2019 we had the opportunity to reflect on the current environmental issues and examine the topic from different perspectives, ranging from politics to literature to philosophy. Having a background in Law and Classics, I feel that the Delphi Academy has helped me realise how closely theory and praxis may be associated and that holistic and interdisciplinary approaches must be cherished in order for us to fully grasp the whole spectrum of the environmental threat. My experience was unprecedentedly moulded by attending instructive seminars conducted by leading scholars, whose research and pioneering insights directed our contemplation towards new horizons of thought. Learning alongside young and talented students, who gathered from all around the world in the “Navel of the Earth”, contributed to thoughtful discussions that more often than not extended over the meals. Within two weeks, not only have I broadened my academic interests, but I have also gathered some wonderful memories which I will always carry with me.

Vassilis Sazaklidis,

University of Cambridge

The experience at Delphi Academy has been unique, to begin with the location, the history, the natural beauty and the architecture of the setting to the accommodation, the dining, and the general hospitality.  Unlike any other site of its kind, Delphi welcomes a residential seminar where life and learning become one and the same. Professors talk to students outside of class, over meals, which enables informal discussions of ideas presented in class to extend into a relaxed ambiance where new and exciting reflections are essayed over delightful fare.  The informal exchange between both different faculty members and students much drew everyone together while furthering the scope of individual seminars and projects. To have a general theme also helped making intellectual inquiry more intense and, above all collegial. Intersections and animated discussions became a norm.  Given their different geographical and disciplinary backgrounds, the students brought to the table perspectives that further contributed to the success of this wonderful program.

Verena Conley

Professor, Harvard University

This summer, I was offered the unique opportunity to attend a two-week programme on climate change and the environmental humanities at the Delphi Academy of European Studies. There could not have been a more fitting place to appreciate nature and consider her future than in the picturesque and historical mountains of Delphi. Each of the seminars were very engaging and had fascinating and unexpected overlaps. That was perhaps the best part of the programme—the cohesion and harmony in which the diverse elements came together. This included the distinct readings and topics, but also the blurring of classroom walls and mixing of types of people. Our discussions seamlessly continued into mealtimes, hikes, and evening walks, in which the small group of students from widely differing backgrounds and professors all engaged. I became close friends with literature, classics, philosophy, biology, and economics students, and appreciated multi-disciplinary studies more than ever before. I highly encourage all interested students to apply for seminars in the future!

Julia Bunte-Mein

Harvard University

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to attend the seminars of the Delphi Academy and to spend two weeks in such a wonderful setting, with a view over the Gulf of Itea and the centuries-old olive groves of Amfissa. The European Cultural Centre of Delphi not only provides superb food and accommodation, but it enables students and professors to fully immerse into an intense and rewarding communal experience. Thanks to the Delphi Academy, I had the opportunity to look at the topic of climate change from a new and refreshing perspective. The three seminars, with their different approaches, complemented each other well, offering an insight on what the future of interdisciplinary studies could look like. Indeed, the interplay between the seminars triggered inspiring and fruitful discussions which often continued outside of class as well. It is hard to describe what a wonderful experience it was, and what an impact these two weeks have had: the Delphi Academy has given me seeds, which I am sure will germinate and give life to new ideas and opportunities.

Martino Kuntze

University of Bologna

Overall, the Delphi Academy was quite an enriching experience. As a classicist in a department that foregrounds technical competence over comparative perspectives, the opportunity to engage withWhen I arrived at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi for the first time, I was in awe of its natural beauty. From the architecture to its setting on the side of Mount Parnassos, the Center immediately overwhelmed me with a feeling of reverence. That feeling continued for the remainder of the program. Whether I was listening to my fellow students and professors speak about environmental justice in the classroom or hiking the footpath from Delphi to Kirra in my spare time, the Delphi Academy left me constantly speechless. The relationships I built with other students in the program will last a lifetime, and they have served to enrich both my intellectual pursuits and my personal life. My two weeks in Delphi were some of the most rewarding of my life, and I would recommend the program to anyone! currents of reception studies outside of the usual frameworks was rewarding. I appreciated the diversity of approaches to the format and structure of the daily seminars, all of which were quite interesting and useful, and the many readings… One important function of the seminar was the opportunity to meet with scholars of varying fields of expertise, and to that end there were many productive discussions throughout the two weeks.

Lexi Mealeυ

Harvard University

The two-week seminar programme of the Delphi Academy on climate breakdown and the anthropocene was a very revealing experience for me. I doubt that someone could find a more fitting place than the very “centre of the earth”–the Omphalos–surrounded by the mountain beauty of Mt. Parnassus, for reading and contemplating on the relationship between humans and their environment, one of the hottest issues of our era. The interdisciplinary approach to the topic was the most important element of these two weeks for me. Professors and students with different cultural backgrounds and with different approaches came together and tried to form a more holistic view on the interactions between nature and society. We had the opportunity to attend three courses that at first sight would seem as three distinct and unrelated disciplines (Political Economy, Literary studies, Philosophy) and we experienced the beauty of their ultimate synthesis into a single unified understanding of nature as a whole. I believe and hope that this experience will inform my studies from now on, and I will hold dear these two weeks as a reminder of the need for collaboration between “hard science”, social sciences, and the Humanities as well as their inseparability in our search for answers to questions of “being” and “becoming.”

Yorgos Pisinas

University of Athens

The 2019 Delphi Academy was truly an all-around enriching experience. After the engaging seminars both students and teachers were nourished with incredible food (for thought) in the magnificent setting of the European Cultural Centre which has a beautiful view over the olive groves and gulf of Corinth. The group quickly became a tight-knit community as we shared discussions, stories, meals and drinks together.  It felt like a real privilege to be discussing some of the most pressing topics of our time such as environmental justice, communicating climate science and radical hope at a location with such a wealthy history. 

Julian Swinkels

University College, London