Nina Papathanasopoulou


Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Joined Connecticut College: 2013

Education
B.A., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University


Specializations

Greek drama and performance

Classical mythology and its reception

Greek art and architecture

Greek and Latin poetry

Nina Papathanasopoulou, a native Greek, studied Classics in Athens and New York. She completed her Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2013, where she also served as chorus director and choreographer for productions of Greek tragedies, performed in ancient Greek.

Her dissertation explored the treatment of space in Aristophanes’ comedies, along with the historical and political significance of the plays’ staging.

In addition to Greek drama, Nina's research interests include classical mythology and its modern reception. For her next project, she aims to explore interpretations of Greek myths through modern dance, especially the choreographies of Martha Graham.

A strong believer in pedagogy and effective teaching strategies, Nina has participated in pedagogy colloquiums both at Columbia University and Connecticut College. At Connecticut College, she has taught courses on Ancient Drama (Tragedy and Comedy), Classical Mythology, and 'Facing Death in Ancient Greece,' as well as Latin and Greek language courses at all levels.

In her literature and mythology courses, Nina focuses on interpreting Greek and Roman texts and works of art, and helps students understand the thoughts and values of the Greeks and Romans. She engages students in comparing Greek and Roman values to contemporary ones and believes that the study of the ancient world provides opportunities for meaningful discussions on a number of issues that are still important for us today, including: relationships between individuals, between communities, and with the divine; concepts like justice, fate, and free will; the best forms of governance; mortality; and purpose in life. Nina believes that studying Classics offers not only a basis for critically assessing the problems and achievements of Western culture, but also a gateway to consideration of these larger issues.

In her Elementary Greek and Latin language courses, Nina provides both a rigorous and in-depth study of Greek or Latin, and information about the use and influence of these languages in a number of areas and fields across time. A student wrote about her experience taking Latin with Nina. 

In addition to presenting her original research on Greek drama at scholarly conferences, she has enjoyed giving presentations at public libraries and pre-performance talks in local theaters. She regularly aims to enhance student learning by organizing Classics-related events on and off campus. Recent trips include seeing Martha Graham’s choreographies inspired by Greek myths at the New York City Center, Strauss’ Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera, and Aquila Theatre’s Our Trojan War at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Connecticut College student blogs and reviews about some of these trips:

"The Experience: Studying Latin"

"The Experience: Elektra" 

"The Experience: The Odyssey to New York"

"Trials of Our Trojan War," an article in the student newspaper, The College Voice.

Courses taught

Spring 2017

  • Elementary Greek II (GRK 102) - the second semester of a year long Elementary Ancient Greek course
  • Ancient Comedy (CLA/THE 222) with readings from Greek and Roman comic poets
  • Latin Epic Poetry (LAT 328) - an exploration of the epic genre with readings from Lucretius' De Rerum Natura and Ovid's Metamorphoses

Past Courses

Latin

  • Elementary Latin (LAT 101-102): Fall 2013-Spring 2016
  • Roman Comedy and  Tragedy (LAT 223/323): Spring 2015
  • Botanical Latin (BOT 299) - a one-credit Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) section designed specifically for Botany students. Fall 2016

Greek

  • Elementary Greek (GRK 101): Fall 2016
  • Greek Drama (selections from Euripides’ Medea and Sophocles’ Philoctetes (GRK 225/325): Fall 2016
  • Greek Oratory (GRK 231): Fall 2015
  • Plato and Attic Prose (GRK 211/311): Fall 2014
  • Xenophon and Attic Prose (GRK 312): Fall 2013

Classics

  • Facing Death in Ancient Greece (CLA 215) - an exploration of ancient Greek beliefs, attitudes, and rituals regarding death. Fall 2016
  • Classical Mythology (CLA 104): Fall 2014 and Spring 2016
  • Greek Tragedy (CLA 204): Fall 2015
  • Ancient Comedy (CLA 222): Spring 2014

Selected Presentations

  • "Strong Household, Strong City: Exploring Space in Aristophanes’ Acharnians, Classical Association of Connecticut Annual Meeting, Hartford, Connecticut, October 2016
  • “Visions of the Oikos in Aristophanes’ Wasps, ”International Conference on “Aristophanes and Politics”, Columbia University, September/October 2016
  • “Diving Deep into the Odyssey,” West Hartford Public Library, September 2015
  • “Aristophanes’ Lysistrata,” Columbia University, October 2014
  • "The Importance of the Oikos in Aristophanes’ Acharnians," Yale University, May 2014

Visit the classics department website. 

Majoring in Classics.

Contact Nina Papathanasopoulou

Mailing Address

Nina Papathanasopoulou
Connecticut College
Box #5403
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320

Office

328 Blaustein

Office Hours

Wednesday 1.30-2.30 Friday 11.45-12.45