Home > Departmental History at UND, Mediterranean Archaeology in North Dakota > What has Athens to do with North Dakota?

What has Athens to do with North Dakota?

After a couple false starts I have managed to make it to Athens and my accommodations for the 2007/8 academic year at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  At first blush, one would not expect that American School to have much in common with the University of North Dakota, and that impression would, by-and-large, be true.  But there are points of confluence.  Both are institutions that emerged in the important decades before the turn of the century: 1883 for UND as we should all now know and 1881 for the American School.  Both had their roots, in many important ways, in the intellectual culture of New England.  The influence of Yale men like Homer Sprague and Webster Merrifield at UND finds a parallel with cadre of Ivy League scholars (and others) who worked to establish the  American School.  In both cases, the men were aware of developments in Europe, sought to transform the educational structures in the United States by combining American and European models (and, it is important to note, met resistance), and deeply committed to Classical Studies (for all its good and bad). 

So, for the next eight months or so, I will correspond from Athens at what I will think of as UND’s long-lost Athenian cousin, the American School.


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