The Parthenon hosts Symposia through the year. Each symposium is an opportunity to gain knowledge of the ancient civilizations that underpin our own, the Parthenon, and contemporary fine art.

Two organizations provide the funding for these lectures: The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park and the Archaeological Institute of America. All lectures are provided free to the community and generally take place at the Parthenon at 6:00 p.m. followed by a reception. Seating is not reserved, but please call 615-862-8431 to RSVP.


From Nashville to Dollywood

Guests/Lecturer: Dr. Helen Morales, University of California, Santa Barbara

Date: October 2

Time: 6 PM

Location: Parthenon

Details: In 2010 Helen Morales made a pilgrimage to Dollywood. Morales was a recent transplant from England to the United States, a Classics Professor, and a huge Dolly Parton fan. She traveled from Graceland to Pigeon Forge, via Nashville, asking questions about what it means to make such a journey, what an outsider's eye sees (and misses), and how visiting the Nashville Parthenon and Dolly Parton's Stampede made her reevaluate ancient Greek and Roman institutions. She published these stories in Pilgrimage to Dollywood (University of Chicago Press (2014). Now, nearly ten years after her original journey, Morales is traveling again to Nashville and Dollywood. In this lecture, Morales will intersperse readings from her book with reflections on how things have changed since her original pilgrimage.

"The Destruction of Memory" documentary screening followed by panel discussion with filmmaker Tim Slade and Vanderbilt faculty

Guests/Lecturer: Director Tim Slade

Date: October 10

Time: 6 PM

Location: This lecture will take place on the Vanderbilt campus: Vanderbilt Cohen Hall 203

Details: Over the past century, cultural destruction has wrought catastrophic results across the globe. This war against culture is not over it's been steadily increasing – but the push to protect, salvage and rebuild has moved in step with the destruction. Legislation and policy have played a role, but heroic individuals have fought back, risking and losing their lives to protect not just other human beings, but our cultural identity - to save the record of who we are. Based on the book by Robert Bevan, The Destruction of Memory tells the whole story - looking not just at the ongoing actions of Daesh (ISIS) and at other contemporary situations, but revealing the decisions of the past that allowed the issue to remain hidden in the shadows for so many years. The film has screened in more than 40 countries, and been the recipient to date of 4 film festival awards.

Saving Archaeology in Crisis Areas

Guests/Lecturer: Dr. Laurie Rush, Fort Drum, NY and U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield

Date: November 14

Time: 6 PM

Location: Parthenon

Details: The events of unspeakable destruction emerging from the Middle East are reminding us of the global importance of our shared humanity and heritage. Preservation of cultural property provides opportunities for cross cultural and trans-national dialogue, and archaeologists, museum professionals, and military officers are working together at the national and international level to develop teaching materials and planning resources specifically designed to help members of military forces identify and respect cultural property and the heritage of citizens of host nations. Like it or not, members of fighting forces are often the very people humanity must rely on to save sacred places, historic structures, collections of cultural property such as museums and libraries, and even archaeological sites from the ravages of disaster both natural and man-made. From heritage mapping, to archaeology awareness playing cards, to video games and lectures, this lecture describes teaching methods, preservation accomplishments in conflict and disaster areas, plans for future effort and international cooperation, and the potential implications of these efforts for peace keeping and peace-making.