Truth | Beauty | Goodness: Illustrating Mythologies in Contemporary Greece

How is the idea of “Beauty” embodied in the ruins of Athens, and what does it mean to us today? What are contemporary notions of “Truth” and how have they been shaped by the ambiguous concoction of history and myth in Delphi, whose Oracle prophesied for hundreds of years? What impact has the mashup of pagan and Christian belief systems had on modern notions of “Goodness” in the unique Cycladic island culture of Naxos?

This studio course–set against the backdrop of three inspiring sites in Greece–examines the intersection of mythology, literature and visual arts in Athens, Delphi and Naxos. In a partnership between studio and liberal arts faculty, this course encourages students to consider the development of three interrelated ideas–Beauty, Truth and Goodness–through illustration projects that trace their manifestation in the contemporary Greek visual and literary lexicon. Tours, lectures, journaling and on-site making will culminate in independently defined projects in this three-week course.

This course has reached capacity. Please indicate in the application if you would like to be added to the waitlist.


Global Summer Studies
  • Athens, Greece
  • Delphi, Greece
  • Naxos, Greece
Summer 2024

Course Dates: Jun 9, 2024 — Jun 30, 2024

Open to RISD students, Brown University students, non-RISD students

2.5 GPA required. Non-RISD participants see eligibility requirements below.

Academic Credits
  • Literary Arts & Studies

Included tuition, accommodation, in-country transportation, field trips, entrance fees, some group meals and international travel health insurance.

Truth | Beauty | Goodness: Illustrating Mythologies in Contemporary Greece 2024
Naxos, Greece

About this Travel Course

Course Description

In this combined studio/liberal arts course, three interrelated philosophical ideas—Beauty, Truth, and Goodness—frame the study of mythologies in contemporary Greece. Cornerstones of western philosophy and art, Beauty, Truth, and Goodness are concepts that hail back to classical Greek traditions of art, literature, philosophy and cosmology. For contemporary Greeks, this legacy is both a blessing and a curse, one that, while identifying Greek culture as central to the western tradition, both erases the complexities of their history and lived experience and dooms them to be forever overshadowed by their “glorious,” classical past. This class therefore examines the rich history of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness as particularly complex and thorny myths that continue to be addressed and problematized in the contemporary Greek literary and visual lexicon. We will do so by looking at a range of material that attests to the enduring influence of classical models in the contemporary arts – from theater to statues and unique folk tales of good and evil on the Cyclades islands— contextualized through discussion of some of the country’s greatest monuments and natural surroundings. By framing Athens, Delphi, Epidaurus, and Naxos in discussions and illustration projects about three great ideas of western philosophy, the course considers the intersection of mythology, philosophy, literature and visual art. Students may elect to have three credits granted for LAS, LAEL, ILLUS or NMSE. Students must seek pre-approval from their department head and/or the Dean of Liberal Arts for credit assignment and indicate the decision in the course application.

With ARCAthens as our collaborative partner, we will experience tailored cultural tours of Athens, guided by staff and alumni, along with special access to the renowned facilities of the Athens School of Fine Arts.



RISD Students

If your current cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above, you are eligible for registration. If your current cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, you must first contact the Registrar at to seek exception to this academic policy.

Non-RISD Participants

If you are a college student currently enrolled in another art/design college or institution around the world, or a professional practicing in the field, you are eligible for registration. We will collect a recommendation/support form from your institution/workplace.

In order to register for RISD Global summer studies, you are expected to have a high level of English (speech, writing, and comprehension) as all coursework and critique is delivered in English.

Attendance Policy

Global Summer Studies are three weeks long and take place in June/July, and you are required to attend all program activities scheduled during the travel course. RISD Global Summer Studies comply with RISD class attendance policy. In case of unexcused or multiple absences, you may be removed from the course, given a grade of “W" (withdrawal) or a grade of “F” (fail).

Withdrawal Policy

Requesting to withdraw from a RISD off-campus global learning program, including RISD Global Summer Studies, prior to the start of the course is highly discouraged and requires a formal process outlined in the RISD course withdrawal policy. It is not possible for a student to drop a RISD Global Summer Studies travel course via the standard Add/Drop process after it has commenced. In the case of unforeseen and extenuating circumstances (and only after students have spoken with the faculty lead and RISD Global for approval to withdraw from the program), students should be aware that no refund will be issued.

More Info

In order to reserve a seat, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is required at the time of application submittal. Students who apply between February 1, 2024, and March 1, 2024, will have until March 1, 2024, to submit full payment. Student who apply between March 2, 2024, and the application deadline, March 15, 2024, will make full payment within 24 hours of the application being submitted. Students that fail to make full payment by their deadline will forfeit their $500 deposit and their seat in the course.

All RISD students enrolled in RISD and other full degree schools/universities are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in Global Summer Studies. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for all RISD students. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course.

In cases where summer travel courses and studios do not reach full capacity, the course may be canceled after the last day of registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Global Summer Studies courses until the course is confirmed.

Apply to Global Summer Studies

The deadline for Global Summer Studies 2024 has now passed.

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1:1 Advising Session

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for a 1:1 advising session. We can give you more information about your study options, help you figure out which program makes sense for you, and assist you with the application process.

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