Courses

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.

For more information please visit www.yale.edu/classics

Hellenic Studies Program Course Descriptions

Fall 2013

L1/MGRK 110: Elementary Modern Greek I
Maria Kaliambou
M-F 9:25-10:15
An introduction to modern Greek with emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension. The course will cover all major noun and adjective groups and their declension; the basic verb conjugations, all tenses, active and passive voice as well as the basic uses of the subjunctive mood; basic daily vocabulary; the basic syntactical structure of Greek.

L3/MGRK 130: Intermediate Modern Greek I
Maria Kaliambou
M-F 10:30-11:15
The intermediate Modern Greek course is for students who have successfully completed two semesters of Yale College Modern Greek. Students will improve their proficiency in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Through a variety of authentic readings and audio-visual material students will be more familiarized with contemporary Greek culture.

L5/MGRK 150: Modern Greek Oral Literature
Maria Kaliambou
MW 1:00-2:15
The course is for advanced students of modern Greek with further development in reading, writing, speaking and listening of modern Greek. Through the use of folklore texts the students will expand their cultural awareness of modern Greece. The readings cover a variety of oral literature genres, such as folktales, legends, myths, ballads, and folk songs. The main focus will be on folk and fairy tales published in Greece since the 19th century. The students will be familiarized with both the standard and idiomatic Greek. Oral presentations as well as written essays should address the cultural aspects of the readings.

MGRK 201: Cinema and Migration
George Syrimis
F 1:30-3:20
The age of Globalization has been characterized not only by an explosion in the transfer of information but also in the movement of people across the planet.  Focusing primarily on the Greek and southern European contexts, the course examines the rich and complex tradition of cinematic representations of the migrant experience. Refigured as agents of modernity, transnationalism, mobile human capital, and sexual objects, the immigrant is examined through the prisms of identify, gender, sexual exploitation and violence, nationalism and ethnicity with an emphasis on last decades of the 20th century. The course is structured around the themes of ethnicity, matrimony, sexuality, and aesthetics. Download Syllabus.

MGRK 213: Family in Greek Literature and Film
George Syrimis
T 2:30-4:20
Focused on the Greek tradition, the course examines the structure and multiple appropriations of the family unit by aesthetic forms (folk literature, short stories, novels, and film) and political ideologies (nationalism, Marxism, and totalitarianism). Attention will be paid to questions of gender, violence within and beyond the family (sexual and/or social), incest, sibling rivalry, economic factors (dowry), allegories of political ideologies, and feminism. Traditionally, families have been the symbolic and practical nexus of a number of factors that intervene in this most central of social units, predicated on the union of two individuals. These factors include state or nationalist demographic concerns, tribal, clan, racial or class affiliations, inheritance and property transfers, physical or symbolic mechanisms of coercion and violence, inter-family rivalry and differential statues of its members according to gender and sexuality. The course aims to familiarize students with the complexity of issues by exposing them to the constitution of this social contract in the Greek tradition of the last two centuries and in a country where tradition and modernity are still in negotiation and flux. Download Syllabus.

MGRK 225: Occupied Europe During WWII
Konstantina Maragkou
TTh 11:35-12:50
The Second World War has been one of the most extensively studied periods of modern history. During this war, the worse ever recorded in the history of humankind, the vast part of the European continent was subjected to a long and traumatic series of foreign occupations. Against conventional wisdom in the West, which associates the occupation of Europe with the Nazi regime almost exclusively, this course aims at surveying the experience of every occupied European country under a number of different conquerors, including Stalin’s USSR and Mussolini’s Italy, as well as the Allied powers at the concluding phases of the war. Moreover, this course will not only span over the whole course of the war but would also incorporate those cases of European occupation, which although linked to the war era, took place outside the official duration of the war, for instance Czechoslovakia. Its focus will lay on surveying the national destinies and exploring the conduct and effects of occupation of the European countries under the different conquerors, although substantial emphasis will unavoidably be placed on the prevailing Nazi and USSR rule. While its emphasis will be placed on the social, cultural and political history of Europe during the Second World War, military history per se will remain in the background. The prevalent themes, which this course aspires to address, are the experience of occupation by all occupied European countries, resistance and genocide, both from the conquerors point of view and the seized countries’ angle.

SPRING
L2/MGRK 120: Elementary Modern Greek II
Maria Kaliambou
M-F 9:25-10:15
An introduction to modern Greek with emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension. The course will cover all major noun and adjective groups and their declension; the basic verb conjugations, all tenses, active and passive voice as well as the basic uses of the subjunctive mood; basic daily vocabulary; the basic syntactical structure of Greek.

L4/MGRK 140: Intermediate Modern Greek II
Maria Kaliambou
M-F 10:30-11:15
The intermediate Modern Greek course is for students who have successfully completed two semesters of Yale College Modern Greek. Students will improve their proficiency in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Through a variety of authentic readings and audio-visual material students will be more familiarized with contemporary Greek culture.

MGRK 216: Dionysus in Modernity
George Syrimis
F 1:30-3:20
The course examines the fascination with the myth of Dionysus in the modern age by focusing on questions of agency, identity and community, psychological integrity, and the modern constitution of the self. It examines the 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 twentieth-century variations of the same themes in psychoanalysis, surrealism, and magical realism.

MGRK 232/HIST 237J: Greece and the Balkans in Cold War History and Culture
Konstantina Maragkou & George Syrimis
TTh 11:35-12:25
The course aims to familiarize students with the basic background on Cold War history as it informs the literature and film that engage with the Cold War experience of Europe. In examining European culture during and after the Cold War, the course seeks to assess the interconnectedness of politics and dominant ideologies with their correlative literary and cinematic aesthetics models and with popular culture. At the same time it questions the cliché universality of the Cold War experience by focusing on the specific operative factors and divergences of certain countries particularly in southeastern Europe. Themes explored include totalitarianism, Eurocommunism, decolonization, espionage, state surveillance, the nuclear threat, as well as literary and cinematic aesthetics.

MGRK 230: Greece in the 20th Century
Konstantina Maragkou
W 1:30:3:20
The seminar is devoted to the critical study of the landmarks in the history of Modern Greece, a country often referred to as Southern European, Balkan, Mediterranean, Near Eastern. It will examine in details aspects of Greek society, politics, economics and foreign policy during the formative twentieth century, while a synoptic study of earlier periods will be also undertaken to place the present in its proper historical context. The main aim of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the interplay between domestic and international factors and developments in the shaping of Greece’s contemporary history and the multitude of challenges, which Greek society experienced during the 20th century.

Past Courses