Nina Papathanasopoulou

Nina Papathanasopoulou

Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics in Theater

Joined Connecticut College: 2013

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


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. Her current project explores 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 Theater (tragedy and comedy), Classical Mythology, and 'Facing Death in Ancient Greece,' as well as Latin and Greek language courses at all levels.

In her drama, 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.

Most recently, in Spring 2018, Nina received an $18,000 grant from the Travel Research Immersion Program (TRIP) and organized a week-long trip to Greece for her intermediate and advanced Greek students, where they visited Athens, Cape Sounion, Brauron, the Isthmus at Corinth, Epidauros, Mycenae, Pylos, Olympia, and Delphi.

In 2019 Nina is also working as the Public Engagement Coordinator for the Society for Classical Studies, the national organization of Classics in the US, overseeing their new "Classics Everywhere" initiative and finding opportunities to bring together scholars and students of Classics with the broader community.


Nina writes about her experience teaching Classics in the 21st century at the Conn College magazine.


Connecticut College student blogs and reviews about their Classics experiences with Nina:

A review of black odyssey in the student newspaper

"The Experience: Studying Latin"

"The Experience: Discovering the World of the Ancients," about taking Classics courses and engaging in co-curricular events.

"The Experience: My TRIP to Greece" 

"The Experience: Elektra"

"The Experience: The Odyssey to New York"

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

A student makes connections between China and Ancient Greece in "From the East to the West, an Odyssey, in The College Voice.


Courses taught

  • First Year Seminar: Exploring the Greeks, their values and monuments (FYS 108V) - Fall 2018


  • Greek Theater and Contemporary Adaptations (THE 220): Spring 2019
  • Greek Mythology in Performance (THE 102) - Fall 2018
  • Greek Tragedy (THE 204) - Fall 2015 and Spring 2018
  • Ancient Comedy (THE 222) - Spring 2014 and Spring 2017


  • Classical Mythology (CLA 104): Fall 2014, Spring 2016, and Fall 2017
  • Greek Tragedy (CLA/THE 204): Fall 2015 and Spring 2018
  • Ancient Comedy (CLA/THE 222): Spring 2014 and 2017
  • Facing Death in Ancient Greece (CLA 215) - an exploration of ancient Greek beliefs, attitudes, and rituals regarding death. Fall 2016 


  • Elementary Latin (LAT 101-102): Fall 2013-Spring 2016; Fall 2017-Spring 2018
  • Roman Drama (LAT 325) - readings from Plautus and Seneca: Fall 2017
  • Latin Epic Poetry (LAT 328) - an exploration of the epic genre with readings from Lucretius' De Rerum Natura and Ovid's Metamorphoses: Spring 2017
  • 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 and 2017


  • Elementary Greek (GRK 101-102): Fall 2016-Spring 2017
  • Homer's Odyssey: a TRIP course (GRK 233/333): Spring 2018
  • 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 


  • "Strong Household, Strong City: Exploring Space in Aristophanes’ Acharnians"  in Aristophanes and Politics, eds. Foley, H. and Rosen, R. (Brill, forthcoming in 2019)
  • "Tragic and Epic Visions of the Oikos in Aristophanes’ Wasps" in Classical World 112.4 (forthcoming 2019)

Selected Presentations

  • "Serpent Heart: Animality, Jealousy, and Transgression in Martha Graham’s Medea" – Boston University, November 2018 (upcoming)
  • "The Empowered yet Inhuman Medea in Martha Graham’s Cave of the Heart" - PAMLA conference, Bellingham, WA, November 2018 
  • "Cave of the Heart: Animality and Transgression in Euripides' and Martha Graham's Medea" - Classical Association of Connecticut Annual Meeting, New Britain, CT, November 2018
  • "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.

Nina Papathanasapoulou Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Contact Nina Papathanasopoulou

Mailing Address

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


Blaustein 312

Office Hours

Wednesday 1.30-2.30 Friday 11.45-12.45