DSC - FIELD CLASSES
The classroom and the community both offer valuable
experiences, and the DSC encourages all students
to explore the landscape, sites, and history of
Corfu. Less formal field classes include walking tours
of the city, which focus on its colonial architecture
and cultural sites. Local museums are rich in
materials, ranging from Corfiot antiquities,
Byzantine artworks, and Indian and Asian artifacts.
Major field classes to Lia (mainland Greece) and Butrint,
Albania, also form a valuable part of the programme. In 2002,
Nicholas Gage led an all-day trip to his home village,
Lia, on the Greek mainland. Likewise, David Bellamy took the
school on an exploration of Corfiot ecology, including olive
groves, the chessboard-patterned marsh fields Gerald Durrell
wrote of, and other sites.
The stunning Butrint archaeological site in Albania
- a World Heritage site that has Greek, Roman, Venetian and Ottoman remains
- has also been the focus of an all-day
Other local field classes include sites on Corfu,
such as the White House in Kalami, where Lawrence
Durrell lived during his residence on the island, and
the nearby Shrine of Saint Arsenius. Old Perithea is a
major excursion in 2003 and 2004. A deserted village
high in the mountains of Northeastern Corfu, Old Perithea
was originally built as a refuge from coastal invasions
and pirates. Today this UNESCO site is being restored.
The excursion includes a lunch featuring a traditional
village menu prepared in accord with historical Corfiot
CORFU IS BEAUTIFUL, AFFORDABLE AND SAFE!!
The Theatre of Asclepius at Butrint
Dating to the 8th Century BC, Butrint is a unique
archaeological site and the field class also offers DSC
students a direct experience of modern Albania. Variously
under Corfiot, Byzantine, Roman, and Venetian Rule (much
like Corfu), Butrint is one of the great Classical
sites in the Mediterranean.
Baptistery at Butrint
The 6th century AD Baptistery shows the richness
of cultural influences during Butrint's history,
as does the basilica from the same period.
Nicholas Gage discusses the history of
his home village, Lia, during WWII and the Greek civil
war. A New York Times investigative reporter, Gage
tells the story of his mother's death and his search
for answers in his book Eleni. Gage is the
author of numerous books on Greece and has been
translated into 26 languages, motivating his
participation in the DSC translation seminar.
Students interacted with Gage and learned about his effort to
rebuild his family's homes in Lia, while hearing his stories of
the Greek civil war and his mother's sacrifice for her children.
His book Eleni recounts his return to Greece and Lia to
find his mother's murderers.
Professor David Bellamy, one of Britain's best-known
environmental campaigners, leads an
ecology field class through olive groves and the
'chessboard fields,' ending at the Silva Estate's breeding
project for Skyros Ponies, an endangered species. A
supporter of the Green Renaissance, Bellamy has fought on
ecological matters ranging from Burns Bog in Canada, the
British Uplands, and Australian dryland agriculture.
The trip by caique (traditional fishing craft) to the White
House in Kalami and the Shrine
of Saint Arsenius traces the locations in Lawrence Durrell's
Prospero's Cell, and to which he imaginatively returns
throughout his works. Durrell described the Shrine of Saint
Arsenius (right) as his second birthplace, his place of
The White House, from which the Albanian coast can
be seen, was also the location where Durrell wrote The Black
Book, a work greatly praised by T.S. Eliot and Henry Miller.
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