Below you can find a list and short description of all the courses offered by the Hellenic Studies Program.
You can download the list as a pdf file by clicking here.
Modern Greek V1101. Introduction to Modern Greek language and culture/ part I. 4 pts. Karen Van Dyck, & GRKM W1111.
This is the first semester of a year-long course designed for students wishing to learn Greek as it is written and spoken in Greece today. As well as learning the skills necessary to read texts of moderate difficulty and converse on a wide range of topics, students explore Modern Greece’s cultural landscape from “parea” to poetry to politics. Special attention will be paid to Greek New York. How do “our,” “American,” “Greek- American” definitions of language and culture differ from “their,” “Greek” ones? Students will participate in The Greek Diner Project which interviews, photographs and maps the world of Greek diners in New York City. Students are also required to take the conversation class, GRKM W1111.
Modern Greek W1111: Elementary Modern Greek Conversation. Staff, 1 pt.
Provides elementary conversational practice to students enrolled in V1101 as well as to other students wishing only to take this weekly class.
Modern Greek V1201. Intermediate course in Modern Greek language and culture/ part I. 4 pts. Vangelis Calotychos, & GRKM W1211.
This course is designed for students who are already familiar with the basic grammar and syntax of Modern Greek language and can communicate at an elementary level. Using films, newspapers and popular songs, students engage the finer points of Greek grammar and syntax and enrich their vocabulary. Emphasis is given to writing, whether in the form of film and book reviews or essays on particular topics taken from a selection of second year textbooks. Students are also required to take the conversation class, GRKM W1211.
Modern Greek W1211: Intermediate Modern Greek Conversation Staff, 1pt.
Provides intermediate conversational practice to students enrolled in V1201 as well as to other students wishing only to take this weekly class.
Modern Greek V1102. Introduction to Modern Greek language and culture/part II. 4 pts. Karen Van Dyck, & GRKM W1112.
This second semester course is designed for students who have taken the first semester course V 1101 or the equivalent. It focuses again on Greek as it is written and spoken in Greece today. As well as learning the skills necessary to read texts of moderate difficulty and converse on a wide range of topics, students continue to explore Modern Greece's cultural landscape. Highlights this semester include performing a shadow puppet play and compiling oral histories in Astoria. Students are also required to take the conversation class, GRKM W1112.
Modern Greek W1112: Elementary Modern Greek Conversation. Staff, 1 pt.
Provides elementary conversational practice to students enrolled in V1102 as well as to other students wishing only to take this weekly class (Spring semester).
Modern Greek V1202y. Intermediate course in Modern Greek language and culture/ part II. 4 pts. Vangelis Calotychos.
In the spring term students complete their knowledge of the fundamentals of Greek grammar and syntax while continuing to enrich their vocabulary. The aim is to be able to read simple Greek newspaper articles, essays and short stories and to discuss and summarize them in Greek. Students also research a topic of their choice and present it in Greek to their classmates as well as write up a final research paper in Greek (Dimitra and Paphimona, Greek Now 2+2 and assorted other materials). Students are also required to take the conversation class, GRKM W1212.
Modern Greek W1212: Intermediate Modern Greek Conversation Staff, 1pt.
Provides intermediate conversational practice to students enrolled in V1101 as well as to other students wishing only to take this weekly class (Spring semester).
Modern Greek V3308. Modern Greek for the Bilingual Speaker: Cultural Studies I.
3 pts. For students who have grown up speaking Greek but have difficulties reading and writing at an intermediate-advanced level. Emphasis is placed on bringing reading and writing skills up to the level of students’ conversational fluency. Comprehensive grammar review; attention to individual needs through analysis of newpapers, films and literature. This course is taught by a visiting scholar who teaches the course through his or her speciality i.e. Greek cinema, history, music.
Modern Greek V3135. Topics through Greek Film: Cultural Studies II. 3 pts. Vangelis Calotychos.
This course introduces students to major literary, cultural, and political issues in modern Greece throuhg Greek film. Discussion of films are placed alongside weekly readings in the novel, history, politics, film criticism. All films have English subtitles. There will be a Greek and English section. Films by Angelopoulos, Cacoyannis, Coulgaris, Marketaki, Koundouros, Costa-Gayras, Giannaris, Papatakis, and Dassin.
Modern Greek V3997. Directed Readings.
1-4 pts. This option is designed for students who want to do directed reading in a period or on a topic not covered in the curriculum. It is also used by students who wish to read some relevant texts in Greek for seminars on Greek topics that are taught in English.
Modern Greek V3998. Senior Research Seminar.
1-4 pts. This seminar is designed for students writing a senior thesis or doing advanced research on Greek or Greek- American topics and connecting their interest in Modern Greece with their chosen field of study (Literature, History, Anthropology, Architecture etc.). The course of study and amount of credits will be determined by instructor in consultation with student/s.
Modern Greek W4997. Directed Readings. 3 pts.
Designed for graduates who want to do directed reading in a period or on a topic not covered in the curriculum.
Comparative Literature: Modern Greek GRKM 84290 (also CLGM W4290 ). Area and Interdisciplinarity: Greece at the Crossroads. Karen Van Dyck, with visiting faculty. 3 pts
This course sets out to examine the kind of analytical frame a particular area (Greece, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Europe, Greek-America) provides for interdisciplinary work, also how different disciplines understand this frame. Students will be introduced to key aspects of Greek culture as well as to faculty at Columbia working on Greece in different departments. The focus will be on literature as a discipline works comparatively and how it borrows and differs from other disciplines in its forms of comparativism. Readings focus on moments when Greece's position at the crossroads (between East and West, the Balkans and Europe, Greece and America) become comparatively relevant to particular disciplines. Students study works by poets, novelists, filmmakers, literary critics, historians, sociologists, anthropologists and architects. Columbia professors discuss their own scholarship in these fields. Undergraduates and graduates welcome. Students in other area studies programs encouraged to participate. Texts are available in both English and Greek. The course can be taken with an extra credit tutorial for students reading materials in Greek.
Modern Greek V3306. The Making of Modern Greek Poetry. 3 pts. Karen Van Dyck.
A retrospective survey of Modern Greek poetry. Students read back through Greek literary history from the present to the 1930s, 1920s, 1880s and 1820s mapping contemporary critical concerns and contemporary literary works onto earlier works. This course is organized inversely, moving from what is linguistically most familiar to what is more foreign about earlier literature. The shift from a predominantly oral culture to a written one is also examined in reverse. This method of reading makes questions of canon formation and literature as a national institution integral to the process of studying Modern Greek literature. Authors include Laina, Ritsos, Karelli, Seferis, Cavafy, Vizyenos, Palamas and Solomos.
Modern Greek V3100. Myth, History, and the Modern Greek Novel. Vangelis Calotychos.
The Greek word for “novel,” mythistorema, incorporates notions of myth and history (or story). This course considers the significance of this relation for surveying the development of the modern Greek novel from the late eighteenth-century to the present. It will especially investigate the nature of history in a work of fiction and ask if there is a place, and just what kind of place, for fact in fiction as well as for fiction in historical fact? What does storytelling add or detract from the claims of history, of knowing what happened? And how have Greek prose writers conveyed (their) historical ‘truth’ in the modern period, in different narrative modes, and from different ethnic, gendered, and linguistic positions? Such questions are to be explored in novellas and short stories that may include works by Makriyiannis, Martinengou, Papadiamantis, Vizyenos, Karkavitsas, Myrivilis, Soteriou,Terzakis, Valtinos, Kotzias, Dimitriou, Koumandareas, Galanaki, Douka.
CL-Modern Greek W4430. Greece and the Modern Imagination. 3 pts. Stathis Gourgouris.
This course reopens the longterm debate on the symbolic significance of things "Hellenic" in the construction of modernity in the so-called "Western" world. Covering a range from the Enlightenment and Romanticism to contemporary manifestations, we will examine texts that are either derived from or respond to the Hellenic, whether as mimetic ideal, symbolic inspiration, narrative location, or occasion for cultural reflection. We will explore ways in which the "Greeks" have been constructed in various national contexts through explicit figurations, interpretations, or incarnations of the Hellenic, including the self-constructions of contemporary Greeks as response to European Philhellenism. Theoretical emphasis will be placed on the relation between aesthetics and politics, from the Age of Revolution to the Age of Empire, from the early nationalist imagination to contemporary "Culture Wars". Material will be drawn primarily from literature and philosophy, but will also include travel literature, historiography,political theory. The course is geared to students with interests in both humanities and social sciences.
V3400/W4997 Greek American Culture: Diaspora Literature, Multilingualism and Translation. Karen Van Dyck.
This course introduces students to the rich tradition of literature about and by Greeks in America over the past century, exploring questions of multlingualism, translation and gender. Students examine how contemporary debates in diaspora studies and translation theory can inform each other and how both, in turn, can inform a discussion of the writing of the Greek American experience in histories, novels, poetry, and films. Authors include Broumas, Cicellis, Eugenides, Kazan, Papadiamantis, Selz, Spanidou, and Valtinos. Theoretical texts include Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator,” Chíen's /Weird English/, Derrida's /Monolingualism of the Other/ and Wirth- Nesher’s /Call It English/. No knowledge of Greek is necessary, although an extra-credit tutorial is available for Greek speakers. Students with a comparative interest in Diaspora and ethnic literature are encouraged to enroll.
Modern Greek-Comp. Lit. V3200. Immigration, Travel, and Translation. 3 pts. Karen Van Dyck.
Greek literature is a literature of immigration, travel, and translation. Major Greek writers have found questions of moving between two languages and cultures fundamental to their writing. This course will focus on Greek texts (mostly novels and short stories but also poetry, songs and films) that approach the topic of immigration placing them in the larger context of literature of travel, exile, and diaspora. Students will also have the opportunity to work with primary sources such as primers, handbooks for immigrants, and diaries.
History W4304. Modern Greece. Mark Mazower. 3 pts.
This undergraduate seminar focuses upon the emergence in the first half of the 19th century of an independent Greek nation-state. It pays particular attention to the broader Ottoman context, and to the merchants, brigands, architects and seamen who continued to move between between the empire and the new Kingdom of Greece. Topics covered include: the Phanariots, the war of independence, the church and the constitution, urban planning and state formation, brigandage, peasant life and political violence.
W4420 Modern Greek: Greece and Turkey: Literature and Politics. 4 pts. Vangelis Calotychos.
The relationship between Greece and Turkey, as well as between Greeks and Turks (and Cypriots), has traditionally been considered one of animosity and mistrust. This perspective fall short of capturing the complexities of a long history of encounters—literary, cultural, linguistic, political, musical, architectural—in a variety of contexts—Byzantine, Ottoman, colonial (e.g. Cyprus), national, transnational. Very recently there has been talk of a new Greek-Turkish rapprochement as writers, politicians, scholars, pedagogues, and artists have begun reflecting on mutual representations as a way of rethinking relations between the two countries, two cultures and two peoples. This course will consider the nature of these contacts in their literary and cultural representation, their wider rhetorics and fundamental (meta)narratives in the modern period. All texts available in English translation. Though this course presupposes no knowledge of Greek, students wanting to read in the original are encouraged to take the 1-credit tutorial offered simultaneously through the Program in Hellenic Studies.
Comparative Literature: Modern Greek GRKM 83390 (also CLGM W4390): The Politics of Poiein: Greek Poets and their Interlocutors. Stathis Gourgouris. 3 pts.
This course stages an imaginary dialogue between certain Greek poets, whose work spans the 20 century, and poets of the same era from other parts of the world, for whom Greek motifs are crucial to their poetic sensibility. These motifs may pertain to both ancient and modern figures of Hellenism, but even when the figures are recognizably ancient the assumption is that they extend themselves to an outmaneuverable modernity. Indeed, by staging this dialogue, the course will engage in interrogations of modernity and, moreover, the specific ways in which figures of modernity and figures of Hellenism are entwined. At the same time, we will pay close attention to different articulations of poiēsis, especially as they pertain to a certain politics. The literary historical sphere spans the range of early modernism to postmodernism and postcolonialism, as well as specific poetic-political sensibilities, whether aestheticist or Marxist, feminist or queer, etc.
The methodological emphasis will be determined by reading the poems themselves, with just a few key essays on poetics as supplemental framework. This course is given with a bilingual option (1 hr per week) for those students who have the skills to discuss the Greek poems in the original. But also, students who come from language departments, whose literature may be represented in the selection, will be expected to work on the non- Greek poems in the original language as well.
W4085 Modern Greek (Same as Anthropology G 4085): Athens Imagined: The Space of Politics and the Politics of Space. 3 pts. Neni K. Panourgia.
The city of Athens has occupied a specific and symbolic space in modern European thought that transcends the place itself to produce a space of deep meaning where different significations of “Westerness” occur. From “the beginning of civilization” to “a backward small village” Athens has been enveloped in the visions of an increasingly decentralized global imaginary about what constitutes modernity and Europeanness. In this course we will look at the parameters that were responsible for the creation of Athens as an imagine space. All texts available in English translation. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Though this course presupposes no knowledge of Greek, students wanting to read in the original are encouraged to take the 1-credit tutorial offered simultaneously through the Program in Hellenic Studies.
Modern Greek V4200. Travellers, Migrants, and Refugees in the Modern Mediterranean. 3 pts. Vangelis Calotychos.
Explores the literary representation of movement from multiple perspectives in the modern Mediterranean, primarily the Eastern Mediterranean. Of special interest are the mythologies of western travelers and their reception in the host culture; orientalism, classicism, colonialism and the notion of the 'expat'; the representation of immigrants in cultures of emigration; the exchange of populations provoked by the violent passage from Empire to nation-statism; the effects of multiculturalism and globalization on notions of space and identity in postmodern novels of the region.
Modern Greek W4250. The Greek Islands: 1600-present: Literature, Culture, and their Mythologization. 3 pts. Vangelis Calotychos.
Texts in Greek and English Selective survey of key literary texts from Crete, the ionian Isles, the Cyclades, and the Dodecannese as well as western texts about these topoi. Sometimes island paradises and retreats; othertimes sites of political internment or occupation, texts will be read in historical specificity, in linguistic, cultural, political, utopic terms. How do these seemingly isolated places in many instances, and at some periods, contribute to national formation and self-(re)definition. Texs will include selections from Kornaros's Erotokritos, Jesuit Cycladic theater, folksongs, Solomos, Papadiamantis, Theotokis, Venezis, Elytis, Ritsos, Karapanou as well as some Greek and foreign contemprary films.
History W3376. The Balkans since 1800. 3 pts. Mark Mazower.
This lecture course aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the history of the Balkans over the past two centuries, beginning with the social and political history of the peninsula under Ottoman rule and bringing the story up to the aftermath of the wars in Yugoslavia. It assumes no prior knowledge of the region nor any knowledge of other languages. Through a range of sources – including travellers’ accounts, journalistic reports, eye-witness testimonies as well as government papers and scholarly studies – it hopes to provide students with the tools to analyze the underlying long-term dynamics which have helped to shape the political evolution of this turbulent part of the world.
Anthropology G4007. The Culture of Oedipus. Neni Panourgia.
Is there Oedipus outside of psychoanalysis? Even though psychoanalysis has made “Oedipal” culture paradigmatic is there a culture of Oedipus that can be read against it? And if read against or outside psychoanalysis is there still an Oedipus to be considered for anthropology? Going against the current this course considers the mythical figure of Oedipus as a paradigmatic metaphor for the development of the modern subject, the inaugural anthropologist, the syntactic character for Homo Sacer. Through anthropology, philosophy, literature, and popular culture we will confront foundational questions about the fragmented body, biopolitics, violence and the state, Oedipus in the concentration camp. Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud with Westermarck, Malinowski, and Spiro, Benjamin, Levi-Strauss with Terry Turner, Horkheimer and Adorno with Rabinbach, Deleuze and Guattari, Agamben, Goux, Butler.
Anthropology V3917x. Urban Guerrillas: The Anthropology of Political Resistance. Neni Panourgiá. M 4:10 – 6:00.
Started in antiquity, practiced as ideology in the 19th century, but acquiring a discourse in the 1960s, urban guerrilla movements became emblematic of political praxis of the youth. In this course we will address issues that are to do first with the conceptualization of youth as a category, the political and cultural movements that made such a conceptualization possible, the ideologies that inform such political action, and the development of these ideologies as youth become middle-aged. Material drawn from literature, political theory, anthropology from Europe (Greece, France, Germany, Spain, UK, Italy), Latin America (Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru), the Middle East, and the current international anti-globalization movement.
Modern Greek V3120. The Social Function of the Short Story. 3 pts. Staff.
This survey course examines the development and evolution of the short story in 19th- and 20th-century Greece. It focuses on the relation between social structures and narrative techniques. The question of genre is explored (i.e. difference between the short story, novella and the novel, formal experimentation, etc.). Special emphasis is placed on reception, the social issues the short story addresses and how it functions within a changing society. Authors include Karkavitsas, Theotokis, Tsirkas, and Hadzis.
Modern Greek-Comp. Lit. V3305. Writing and Censorship. 3 pts. Karen Van Dyck.
This course is an interdisciplinary investigation into Greek culture and society under and after the dictatorship (1967-1974). Reading political speeches, historical analyses, literary texts, cartoons, films, popular songs etc., students explore a wide range of texts in relation to a specific period of recent Greek history. In the first part of the course we analyze different writers' responses to censorship, in the second we focus on the sexual politics of censorship, while in the third we theorize the effects of censorship on writing more generally. Authors include Seferis, Ritsos, Anagnostakis, Cicellis, Valtinos, Kotzias, Karapanou, and Mastoraki.
Modern Greek-Comp. Lit. V3150 Modern Greek Theater: Karaghiozis and the Folk Tradition. 3 pts. Staff.
This course introduces students to the rich popular tradition of the Greek shadow puppet theater. Focus falls on exploring the theatricality of this genre. Questions to be considered include the relation between convention and innovation in this form, the role of the Karaghiozis player as a performer and the contribution of the audience to the creation of the spectacle. The course also explores how Karaghiozis is related to other forms of shadow puppet and popular theater, such as as the Turkish Karagoz and Aristophanes. Discussion will draw on performance related material such as set and puppet designs, as well as auditory and visual documents from actual productions.
Modern Greek-Comp. Lit.W4165 The Erotokritos: Literature and Society in Renaissance Crete. 4pts.
A cross-disciplinary examination of literature and society in Renaissance Crete through a reading of Vitsentzos Kornaros's Erotokritos. Students will be expected to do close textual analyses as well as pursue final projects on broader aspects of Venetian and Cretan culture. Particular attention will be paid to questions of gender.
Modern Greek-Women’s Studies V3312. Gender and Ideology in the Modern Greek Novel. 3 pts.
This course investigates the relation between gender and ideology in postwar Greek narrative. It focuses on the way sexual politics function in the "popular" novel and determine the conditions of its reception. It also examines how history is narrated in the form of gender and ideology. Authors include Seferis, Taktsis, Tsirkas, Sotiriou and Missios.
Modern Greek-Women’s Studies V 3315 Women, Sex and Politics in Turn-of-the- Century Greece. 3 pts.
This seminar explores how women are portrayed in early Modern Greek literature. In Greece, as in the rest of Europe, the women’s emergence in the public sphere at the end of the nineteenth century inspired a keen literary and theatrical interest that has only recently begun to be appreciated. The course investigates how traditional and non traditional female roles are presented emphasizing the impact of Ibsen on Greek playwrights. Readings are drawn from both the well known, canonized work by major authors of the period, as well as from less known material. Selections include Palamas, Parren, Papadopoulou, Xenopoulos, Theotokis and Kazantzakis.
Religion V3418 Orthodox Christianity. 3 pts.
A survey of Orthodox Byzantine Christianity from the early period (4th century) to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Examines those chracteristics that distinguish Orthodox Byzantine Christianity from other Christina denominations, as well as other aspects of the faith, such as dogma, tradition, church and state, and church institutions.
Religion V3280 History of the Byzantine Empire. 3 pts.
A survey of the history of the Byzantine Empire from the inauguration of Constantinople as the capital of the Empire (324-330) until its fall to the Ottomans (1453). The course will examine the political, social, religious, and cultural developments that took place in this period among the peoples of the Empire.