Olga Faccani is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Classics specializing in ancient Greek theater, performance, and the way in which bonds are established or broken on stage. She is interested in the intersection between Classics and social activism, and in the power of storytelling to connect different audiences. She was Graduate Teaching Fellow for the 2017-18 IHC Foundations in the Humanities prison correspondence program. For the past two years, she has worked as Social Media Manager and Teaching Assistant for The Odyssey Project, a collaborative theater process between incarcerated youth and undergraduate students. In Summer 2019, she worked as Communications Fellow for the Santa Barbara nonprofit New Beginnings, to implement at a local level their Safe Parking Program®, the nation’s leading solution to vehicular homelessness.
Olga, alongside Dr. Michael Morgan (creator of The Odyssey Project), will be presenting at the 2020 Semana Internacional de Estudos Clássicos do Amazonas (SECLAM) conference, “The Pedagogy of Conflict Resolution.” The SECLAM is an international conference that brings together Classical scholars under the shared goal of finding conflict resolution patterns in ancient and modern contexts. In April 2021, Faccani and Morgan will present their research on “The Man of Twists and (Re)turns: Conflict Resolution Structures in the Odyssey” in Manaus, Brazil. You can view their abstract here.
In 2019, Olga collaborated with The Odyssey Project, a theater process between incarcerated youth from the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility and undergraduate students from UCSB. Using the template of Homer’s Odyssey, the participants explore the mythic elements in their lives in order to reconstruct the epic poem in their own voices. You can learn more about The Odyssey Project by watching the web documentary “Inside the Odyssey Project,” filmed by Luc Walpoth in 2019 at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, and by following The Odyssey Project on Instagram.
In Summer 2020, Olga taught a newly created course with The Odyssey Project, in collaboration with the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, centered on Euripides’ ancient Greek play Trojan Women.
In Summer 2020, Olga participated in Harvard University’s Institute for World Literature (IWL), a four-week program that explores the study of literature in a globalizing world, and how world literature travels across cultures. Read more about her involvement in the program on the UCSB Humanities and Fine Arts website.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Goleta Valley Library asked UCSB Classics Graduate students to contribute clips of Greek Myth stories to add to the Library’s resources for children. You can learn more about this initiative and about Olga’s video recording from Yung In Chae’s children’s book “Goddess Power: A Kids’ Book of Greek and Roman Mythology: 10 Empowering Tales of Legendary Women” on the Goleta Valley Library website and Facebook page.
In 2019, Olga participated in the Graduate Student Teaching Symposium and presented on “Fostering a Community of Learning-Creative Methods to Engage Students.” Watch Olga’s presentation, along with the other presentations.
Watch Olga’s Fall 2020 Public Humanities Graduate Fellows Program Capstone Presentation: