Current Courses


Spring 2018 

CLGM GU4150 
C.P. Cavafy and the poetics of desire
Nikolas P. Kakkoufa
This course takes C. P. Cavafy’s oeuvre as a departure point in order to discuss desire and the ways it is tied with a variety of topics. We will employ a number of methodological tools to examine key topics in Cavafy’s work such as eros, power, history, and gender. How can we define desire and how is desire staged, thematized, or transmitted through poetry? How does a gay poet write about desired bodies at the beginning of the previous century? What is Cavafy’s contribution to the formation of gay identities in the twentieth century? How do we understand the poet’s desire for an archive? How important is the city for activating desire? How do we trace a poet’s afterlife and how does the desire poetry transmits to readers transform through time? How does literature of the past address present concerns? These are some of the questions that we will examine during this course.


The Ottoman Past in the Greek Present
3 pts 
Dimitrios Antoniou
Almost a century after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman past lives on in contemporary Greece, often in unexpected sites. In the built environment it appears as mosques, baths, covered markets, and fountains adorned with Arabic inscriptions. It also manifests itself in music, food, and language. Yet Ottoman legacies also shape the European present in less obvious ways and generate vehement debates about identity, nation-building, human rights, and interstate relations. In this course, we will be drawing on history, politics, anthropology, and comparative literature as well as a broad range of primary materials to view the Ottoman past through the lens of the Greek present. What understandings of nation-building emerge as more Ottoman archives became accessible to scholars? How does Islamic Family Law—still in effect in Greece— confront the European legal system? How are Ottoman administrative structures re-assessed in the context of acute socio-economic crisis and migration? This course fulfills the global core requirement.


The World Responds to the Greeks – Modernity, Postcoloniality, Globality
3 pts
Stathis Gourgouris
This course examines various literary, artistic, and cultural traditions worldwide that respond to some of the most recognizable Greek motifs in myth, theater, and politics. The aim is to understand both what these motifs might be offering specifically to these traditions in particular social-historical contexts and, at the same time, what these traditions in turn bring to our conventional understanding of these motifs, how they reconceptualize them and how they alter them.The overall impetus is framed by a prismatic inquiry of how conditions of modernity, postcoloniality, and globality fashion themselves in engagement with certain persistent imaginaries of antiquity. Pending approval to fulfill Global Core requirement.


The Age of Romanticism Across the Adriatic
3 pts
Konstantia Zanou
This interdisciplinary seminar will study Romanticism as a literary trend, as much as a historical phenomenon and a life attitude. Romanticism is viewed here as the sum of the different answers to the sense of insecurity, social alienation and loneliness, provoked by the changing and frail world of the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. We will investigate the Romantic ideology in relation to the trans-Adriatic world of Italy and Greece, an area that entered modernity with the particular lure and burden of antiquity, as well as through revolutionary upheaval. Students will be invited to read authors like Vittorio Alfieri, Ugo Foscolo, Silvio Pellico, Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Massimo d’Azeglio, and to reflect on themes such asNostalgia and Nationalism, the Discovery of the Middle Ages, the Historical Novel, the Invention of Popular Tradition, the Fragmented Self, Autobiographical and Travel Writing, the Brigand Cult, Hellenism, Philhellenism, Orientalism and Balkanism, and others.


Thessaloniki Down the Ages
3 pts
Paraskevi Martzavou
This course will explore the fascinatingly layered and multicultural history of Thessaloniki, the great city of Northern Greece and the Balkans. We will examine texts, archaeological evidence, literature, songs, and movies and in general the materialities of the city. We will examine this material from the 6th century BCE down to the the 21st cent. CE. We will notably think about the problems of history, identity, and cultural interaction in reaction to recent work such as Mark Mazower’s well known Salonica, City of Ghosts [2004].


Dictatorships and their Afterlives
3 pts
Dimitrios Antoniou
What does the investigation of a dictatorship entail and what are the challenges in such an endeavor? Why (and when) do particular societies turn to an examination of their non-democratic pasts? What does it mean for those who never experienced an authoritarian regime first-hand to remember it through television footage, popular culture, and family stories? This seminar examines dictatorships and the ways in which they are remembered, discussed, examined, and give rise to conflicting narratives in post-dictatorial environments. It takes as its point of departure the Greek military regime of 1967-1974, which is considered in relation to other dictatorships in South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. We will be drawing on primary materials including Amnesty International reports, film, performance art, and architectural drawings as well as the works of Hannah Arendt and Günter Grass to engage in an interdisciplinary examination of the ways in which military dictatorships live on as ghosts, traumatic memories, urban warfare, litigation, and debates on the politics of comparison and the ethics of contemporary art.


GRKM UN1102 
Elementary Modern Greek II 
4 pts
Nikolas P. Kakkoufa
Intermediate Modern Greek II 
4 pts
Nikolas P. Kakkoufa
A continuation of UN1101 but new students may place into it, after special arrangement with the instructor. The students are expected to be able to read texts containing high frequency vocabulary and basic structures; understand basic conversations or understand the gist of more complex conversations on familiar topics; produce simple speech on familiar topics; communicate in simple tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters; write short texts or letters on familiar subjects. In parallel, the students continue to explore Modern Greece’s cultural landscape and deepen their understanding of Greek culture.
Prerequisites: UN1101 or the equivalent.
A continuation of UN2101 but new students may place into it, after special arrangement with the instructor. Upon completion of the course, the students are able to read simple Greek newspaper articles, essays and short stories and to express their opinion on a number of familiar topics. In addition to these skills, students will be exposed to a number of authentic multimodal cultural material that will allow them to acquire knowledge and understanding of the vibrant cultural landscape of Greece today. Weekly assignments and an oral presentation on a topic of their choice at the end of the semester. Prerequisites: UN2101 or the equivalent.


GRKM  UN3998 
Senior Research Seminar 
1-4 pts
Nikolas P. Kakkoufa
GRKM UN3997 
Directed Readings
1-4 pts
Paraskevi Martzavou
This course is primarily designed for students writing  a senior thesis or undertaking advanced research  on modern Greece or Greek Diaspora topics in  all disciplines. The course of study and reading  material will be determined by the instruct or in consultation with the students; and it will be made relevant to the theoretical and practical requirements of their research topic. 

Designed for undergraduate and graduate students who want to do directed reading in a period or on a topic not covered in the curriculum.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



GRKM GU4135 Topics Through Greek Film. 3-4 points.

Optional 1-point bilingual guided reading.

This course explores issues of memory and trauma, public history and testimony, colonialism and biopolitics, neoliberalism and governmentality, and crisis and kinship, all through the medium of Greek film. It brings the Greek cinema canon (Angelopoulos, Gavras, Cacoyiannis, Koundouros, et al.) into conversation with the work of contemporary artists, documentary filmmakers, and the recent “weird wave” and asks: what kind of lens does film offer onto the study of a society’s history and contemporary predicament? The viewing and discussion of films is facilitated through a consideration of a wide range of materials, including novels, criticism, archival footage, and interviews with directors. The course does not assume any background knowledge and all films will have English subtitles. An additional 1-credit bilingual option (meeting once per week at a time TBD) is offered for students who wish to read, view, and discuss materials in Greek.

Fall 2018: GRKM GU4135
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
GRKM 4135 001/65707 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Dimitrios Antoniou 3-4 0/20

GRKM V3001 Advanced Modern Greek I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GRKM V2101 or the equivalent.

This semester we will continue to build language skills but with particular attention to speaking and writing Greek at the university level. We will focus on such topics as diaspora, history, politics, and identity. We will use materials from literature, critical essays, historiography, film, and mass media as a way to advance knowledge in Modern Greek literature and culture. In addition we will explore the diversity of Greek language as it is spoken in different regions and gain understanding of its evolution through time. Materials include: essays (Seferis, Theotokas); newspaper articles; television interviews (Flessa and Papanikolaou); advertisement; stand-up-comedy (Lazopoulos); music (art-song, rebetika, hip-hop); theatre (Demetriades); literature (Roides, Papadiamantis, Kazantzakis, Lymberaki, Karapanou, Galanaki, Charalambides, Chatzopoulos, Chouliaras).

GRKM V3002 Advanced Modern Greek II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: GRKM V2101 or the equivalent.

This semester we will continue to build language skills but with particular attention to speaking and writing Greek at the university level. We will focus on such topics as diaspora, history, politics, and identity. We will use materials from literature, film and mass media as a way to advance knowledge in Modern Greek literature and culture. We will explore the diversity of Greek language as it is spoken in different regions and gain understanding of its evolution through time. The focus is on the Modern Greek Poetry. Materials include: music (Theodorakis, Chatzidakis); interviews (Flessa); essays (Garantoudes); poetry (Erotokritos, Solomos, Kalvos, Palamas, Sikelianos, Varnalis, Karyotakis, Cavafy, Seferis, Ritsos, Embeirikos, Elytis, Gatsos, Sachtouris, Vakalo, Anghelaki-Rooke, Mastoraki, Montis, Dimoula, Chouliaras, Calas.)

GRKM W2112 Intermediate Modern Greek Conversation. 1 point.

For students in GRKM V2102, but also open to students not enrolled in GRKM V2102, who wish to improve their spoken Modern Greek. For more information, contact Dr. Maria Hadjipolycarpou at

CLGM G4290 Greece at the Crossroads. 3 points.

Human mobility in the Greek context covers a wide range of practices and historical experiences: labor immigration, diaspora, political exile, mandatory expulsions, repatriation and, more recently, migrations and diasporas from Eastern Europe and non-European countries to and via Greece. In this course, we will study various cases of population movements though the Greek national and other European borders. Our particular points of interest will include: a. the connection between human mobility and notions of Europeaness, b. the impact of human mobility on politics and culture and c. the impact of migrations and diasporas on the historical development of notions of self, nationhood, community and civil and human rights. Students will be invited to approach these issues through the exploration of specific case-studies, the study of bibliography and the use of a variety of primary sources (legal texts, autobiographical narratives, literature, films, artistic creation, performative arts etc.).

CLGM W4290 Greece at the Crossroads. 4 points.

This course introduces students to key aspects of Modern Greek culture as well as to faculty at Columbia working on Greece in different departments. Readings focus on moments when Greece's position at the crossroads between East and West become  comparatively relevant to particular disciplines. Students study works by poets, novelists, filmmakers, literary critics, historians, anthropologists and architects; Columbia faculty and invited guests then discuss their own scholarship in these fields. Texts are available in both English and Greek.  The course can be taken with a one-credit extra hour tutorial for advanced students reading materials in Greek.