Hellenic Studies Program Fall 2021 Course Offerings
Elementary Modern Greek I, Maria Kaliambou
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
Further development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Greek. Presentation of short research projects related to modern Greece.
Dionysus in Modernity, George Syrimis
Modernity’s fascination with the myth of Dionysus. Questions of agency, identity and community, and psychological integrity and the modern constitution of the self. Manifestations of Dionysus in literature, anthropology, and music; the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy; twentieth-century variations of these themes in psychoanalysis, surrealism, and magical realism.
Investigation of the populist phenomenon in party systems and the social movement arena. Conceptual, historical, and methodological analyses are supported by comparative assessments of various empirical instances in the US and around the world, from populist politicians such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, to populist social movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.
The Age of Revolution, Paris Aslanidis
The course is a comparative examination of the international dimensions of several revolutions from 1776 to 1848. It aims to explore mechanisms of diffusion, shared themes, and common visions between the revolutionary upheavals in the United States, France, Haiti, South America, Greece, and Italy. How similar and how different were these episodes? Did they emerge against a common structural and societal backdrop? Did they equally serve their ideals and liberate their people against tyranny? What was the role of women and the position of ethnic minorities in the fledgling nation-states? As the year 2021 marks the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution of 1821, special attention is given to the intricate links forged between Greek revolutionary intellectuals and their peers in Europe and other continents.
Weird Greek Wave Cinema
The course examines the cinematic production of Greece in the last fifteen years or so and looks critically at the popular term “weird Greek wave” applied to it. Noted for their absurd tropes, bizarre narratives, and quirky characters, the films question and disturb traditional gender and social roles, as well as international viewers’ expectations of national stereotypes of classical luminosity―the proverbial “Greek light”―Dionysian exuberance, or touristic leisure. Instead, these works frustrate not only a wholistic reading of Greece as a unified and coherent social construct, but also the physical or aesthetic pleasure of its landscape and its ‘quaint’ people with their insistence on grotesque, violent, or otherwise disturbing images or themes (incest, sexual otherness and violence, aggression, corporeality, and xenophobia). The course also pays particular attention on the economic and political climate of the Greek financial crisis during which these films are produced and consumed and to which they partake.