The Major in Ancient and Modern Greek
Offered by the Classics Department

The major in Ancient and Modern Greek is designed to offer students an opportunity to integrate the study of post-classical Greek language, history, and culture into the departmental program in Ancient Greek and Classical Civilization. The program covers Hellenic civilization from the Bronze Age to the modern day, and traces the development of the language and the culture across traditionally-drawn boundaries. The study of both ancient and modern Greek allows the student to appreciate how familiarity with one enriches understanding of the other, and to chart the development of a language which has one of the oldest continuous written traditions in the world. The literature, history, philosophy, religion, and art of the ancient Greek and Greco-Roman worlds are studied both as an end in themselves and also as a foundation for appreciating later (medieval, Ottoman and modern) developments in these areas. Students are encouraged to develop a sense of the continuity of Greek language and culture, and an understanding of how Byzantine and modern forms relate to their ancient forebears.

Admission to the major. There are no formal pre-requisite courses. Students may start both Ancient and Modern Greek from scratch at Yale. Students who take MGRK 130 must either have completed MGRK 115, or must be able to satisfy the director of the program in Hellenic Studies that they have the required proficiency. All students interested in the major should meet with the program directors of both Classics and Hellenic Studies as soon as possible to discuss a program of study.

The Standard Major. The requirements for the standard major are:

Candidates must complete at least ten term courses as follows:

* No fewer than six term courses at the level of 390 or above in Ancient Greek, of which four are the double-credit Survey for the Major in Ancient Greek. The language courses should include GREK 390.
* One additional course in Ancient Greek history.
* No fewer than two term courses in Modern Greek must be elected, at the intermediate level (MGRK 130) or above
* At least one term course in the history, art history, literature or culture of the Greek-speaking Balkans (or the Hellenic diaspora) in the medieval, Ottoman, or modern period.

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Hellenic Studies Program Course Offerings 2017-18

Fall 2017

Elementary Modern Greek I, Maria Kaliambou
MGRK 110
M-F 9:25-10:15

An introduction to modern Greek, with emphasis on oral expression. Use of communicative activities, graded texts, written assignments, grammar drills, audiovisual material, and contemporary documents. In-depth cultural study.

Intermediate Modern Greek I, Maria Kaliambou
MGRK 130
M-F 10:30-11:20

Further development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Greek. Presentation of short research projects related to modern Greece.

Advanced Modern Greek, Maria Kaliambou
MGRK 151
MWF 11.35-12.25

Advanced language course intended to further develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, while sharpening students’ sensitivity toward modern Greek culture.

Dionysus in Modernity: The Irrational in the Age of Reason, George Syrimis
MGRK216/LITR239/CLCV216/ WGSS209
F 2:30-4:20

The seminar examines modernity’s fascination with the myth of Dionysus by focusing on questions, of agency, identity and community, psychological integrity and the modern constitution of the self. The course examines various manifestations of the ‘Dionysiac mode” in literature, anthropology, and music and historicizes the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy as a modern configuration and constitution of the tension between rationality/law and emotion/chaos, its cultural manifestations as the antithesis of the Enlightenment and Romanticism as well as 20th century variations of the same themes in psychoanalysis, surrealism, and magical realism.

The Culture of the Cold War in Europe, George Syrimis
Th 1.30-3.20

The course examines the common assumption that culture mirrors or reflects its historical circumstances by focusing on the diverse ways the experience of the Cold War informs the literature and film of the period in Europe. In examining European culture during and after the Cold War, the course seeks to assess and question the interconnectedness of politics and dominant ideologies with their correlative literary and cinematic aesthetics models and with popular culture. Though the historical milieu is the primary mimetic object of such politicized art, the course argues that artistic expression also reflects and negotiates the conventions of its own tradition. At the same time it questions the cliché universality of the Cold War experience by focusing on the specific local factors and divergences of certain countries particularly in southeastern Europe. Themes explored include totalitarianism, Eurocommunism, decolonization, espionage, state surveillance, the nuclear threat, sports, propaganda, as well as literary and cinematic aesthetics.

The Euro Crisis, Paris Aslanidis
Th 2.30-4.20

The United States of America managed to overcome the financial crisis that erupted after the Lehman Brothers collapse in late 2008, quickly returning to growth and economic stability. Europe, on the other hand, is still in turmoil. The continent is struggling with the grave repercussions of the Great Recession, facing a sovereign debt crisis and a banking crisis that strangles many Eurozone economies and undermines their growth potential. Apart from their economic woes, European states have also undergone seminal political changes, with the European Union having lost much of its appeal among citizens, raising doubts about its future as a political and economic union. This seminar attempts to shed light on the many facets of the Euro crisis and to encourage debate on its causes and impact on countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Greece. Employing a political economy perspective, students will identify the main actors of the drama and study why and how the Euro crisis erupted and spread, and whether this catastrophe could have been predicted and averted.

Populism: From Chavez to Trump, Paris Aslanidis
T 2:30-4:20

Populism is a trending political term, invoked to denote a wide spectrum of political parties, leaders, and social movements, originating from both the Left and Right. Despite its pervasiveness, populism’s exact meaning and usefulness for political science – as well as its impact on the quality of democratic regimes – are hotly contested among the ranks of academics and pundits. This course will disambiguate the concept and help students determine its presence and intensity in the political field by use of a mixture of methodological approaches. To benefit from an empirical backdrop, we will investigate significant instances of populist politics across Europe and the Americas, from the US Populist Party of the 1890s to the recent campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, and from Argentina’s Juan Peron to Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, Spain’s Podemos, and Greece’s SYRIZA. Students will study textual, oral, and video sources, and learn to identify populist discourse as employed by political agents. Moreover, populism’s relationship with (liberal) democracy will be analyzed and their degree of compatibility thoroughly debated. By the end of the course students will have built an understanding of the mechanisms of populist mobilization, the causes of its broad appeal, and its influence on democratic politics at a global scale.