Rafail Zoulis

Classics, Class of 2019

I’m a member of the Class of 2019 from Athens, Greece, majoring in Classics and pursuing certificates in Hellenic Studies, European Cultural Studies and Medieval Studies.

Role(s) held in the Humanistic Studies Program:

Student mentor (Symposiarch)

Activities on campus:

MUN, Classics Club, Student Tour Guide in the Art Museum, Princeton Undergraduate Research Journal

Why I decided to study the humanities:

I decided to study the humanities because I was and continue to be fascinated by the human subject: its unlimited creativity, innovative ways of operation, strengths, weaknesses and most importantly its self-awareness. This may sound frightening and academic but it includes a huge array of questions that focus on daily concerns regarding art, ideology, interpersonal relations. Most importantly, however, for me was the questions of identity: who am I, what makes me what I am, and how do I interact with the Other (if there is such a thing)? So, I would say that I was drawn in the humanities for purely academic reasons but also in order to reach some level of personal self-awareness.

What I have gained from the humanities:

The study of the humanities has provided me with a methodology that stresses the idea of interconnectivity among all of human activities, thus broadening my perspective as well as ability to comprehend the world around me. For example, it has given me the tools to analyze a text not solely from a literary prospective but also in an aesthetical, philosophical and sociopolitical context. Most crucially, however, this methodology can be utilized not only for the benefit of academic research but also for framing and understanding every aspect of human endeavor, form our interpersonal relations to grand geopolitical conflicts.

Independent work:

I am interested in identity construction and cultural history as well as history of ideas in the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean Basin and specifically during Late Antiquity (3rd-6th centuries CE).


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