[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies: Courses Offered, Fall 2014

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Thu Aug 21 13:18:58 PDT 2014


Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies




FRS 119: Socrates: Moral Philosophy and the Philosophical Life
Socrates, who lived in the second half of the fourth century B.C.E, is often regarded as the first philosopher to devote his attention to any of the main questions that we now are familiar with as the subject matter of moral philosophy or ethics: the human good, moral obligation, social and political justice, and the life of virtue and its value for the individual virtuous person. He famously devoted himself to discussing and thinking about these questions entirely through oral discussion in his home city of Athens during the peak of its military and cultural hegemony. He did not write any philosophical works; we know of his philosophical ideas only through the writings of those who engaged with him as devoted students in his discussions - the famous philosopher Plato primary among them. In Plato's dialogues Socrates also famously insisted that philosophy should not be merely a theoretical study of such issues, but that one ought to live one's philosophy, that philosophy should become one's whole way of life. This seminar offers a concentrated study of the life of philosophy as Socrates proposed and lived it, together with the philosophical ideas about morality that lie behind the life he led, through a close reading of some of Plato's perennially most engaging works, his so-called Apology of Socrates, and the dialogues Protagoras and Crito, as well as a related excerpt from another dialogue, Euthydemus.
John Cooper, Seminar: 1:30-2:50 pm MW

FRS 147: Elektra (and Her Family) from Homer to Freud
The family of King Agamemnon is one of the first and most memorable dysfunctional families in the Western tradition. The king sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia so his army could go to war. His adulterous wife, Clytemnestra, killed him and his mistress with an axe on his return home. Their son Orestes was driven by the god Apollo to avenge his father's death by killing his mother. Elektra, Iphigenia's sister, waited and yearned for this revenge. We first hear of them in Homer's Odyssey, but Elektra's family continued to fascinate writers and thinkers, with the eerie silent girl herself often taking center stage. In the course of the seminar, we will examine versions of the myth across centuries, genres, and media. We will ask what remains stable and what invites innovation and change, and we will think about the appeal of different stages of the story depending on the type of project in which it is evoked.  We will begin with Homer and the three Greek tragedians - Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides - whose versions of the myth we are lucky to possess. We will then study other texts (among them Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialist rewriting of the Elektra myth in his play The Flies and playwright Eugene O'Neill's Freudian trilogy Mourning Becomes Electra) as well as opera (from Gluck's two baroque operas Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia in Tauris to Strauss' modernist Elektra), film (Michael Cacoyannis' Iphigenia and Elektra), and psychoanalytic thought (Carl Jung attached the name "Electra complex" to Freud's tentative development of an Oedipus complex equivalent for the female). Throughout the seminar, we will consider what gives these stories staying power and try to locate the source of their creative energy.
Yelena Baraz Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm W

FRS 163: Narratives of Identity in the "Other" Europe: Reading Culture in the Balkans
Why has "balkanized" come to mean divided into small, mutually hostile units? Why have the narratives of balkanized/Balkan identity characterized so much of the southeast European experience? And how, for the West, is the study of the "Other" Europe so often implicitly a contemplation of Self?  The Balkans, the quintessential "Other" of Europe, conjure up a faraway realm on the edge of civilization - the proverbial crossroads between East and West. For Westerners, it is often an exotic, even mysterious, corner of the world, rich with ethnic, religious, and especially cultural diversity. Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, and Albania will provide the backdrop in this seminar for examining a multitude of narratives in which voices of ethnicity, religion, gender, class, and place all speak forcefully and poignantly.  Through literature, language, music, folklore, and popular culture, we will explore how these frames of identity inform contemporary Balkan culture. We will investigate how the past has sometimes been imagined and the present constructed to accommodate deeply held national, local, ethnic, and religious convictions. Moreover, we will view how attempts to perceive the "Other," coupled with associations of the Orient, have often been critical to the West's recognition of southeastern Europe and, in turn, itself.  Southeastern Europe is marked, as a prominent Balkanologist has aptly noted, by a "baroque complexity" that both charms and bewilders us. On the one hand, the Balkans boast Nobel Prize-winning novelists and some of the most daring literary innovations in all of Europe; world-class musicians; complex oral epic songs the length of Homer's Odyssey; rich collections of folk lyric, ritual songs, and tales; and sensual traditional and popular music and dance (much of it performed by Gypsies). On the other hand, the region has had a complicated and troubling past - and present. Fought over (and conquered) at one time by three multinational empires, later ruled by fascist dictators and then communist ideologues, the Balkans have also generated peasant uprisings, local and interethnic civil wars, and revolutions. How do we understand a world that resonates simultaneously as both, familiar and foreign, endearing and brutal, cultivated and parochial; and how does culture reflect these many different narratives?  Balkan culture of the 20th- and 21st centuries will comprise the main focus of this course. Narratives of nationalism and their cultural manifestations - the development of languages, literatures, and discovery of folklore - along with inventive recollections of history and the use of historical consciousness will anchor our explorations. We will be concerned with how ethnicity and religion have spawned both conflict and creative diversity and how they are realized in narratives and cultural productions. How patriarchal structures and traditional gender roles characterize Balkan society and permeate everyday life - past and present, as well as public and private - will also engage us. Ties and tensions between urban and rural society likewise inform culture in the Balkans; the village as icon has permeated inventions and reinventions of national collectives, while the 20th-century city eventually brought modernity and urbanization to burgeoning industrial societies.

Margaret Beissinger Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm Th


HLS 101/MOG 101: Elementary Modern Greek I
This course is the first part of the Modern Greek language sequence regularly offered every year. It aims to set the foundations for acquiring a command of spoken and written Modern Greek. The pace is intensive: readings and grammar from textbook, with accompanying daily exercises, and regular language laboratory attendance. Auditors welcome with instructor's permission.
Vicky Kantzou     Class: 11:00-11:50 am MTWTh

HLS 105/MOG 105: Intermediate Modern Greek

This course is the third part of the Modern Greek language sequence offered every year. It will introduce students to themes in the Hellenic tradition through readings in Modern Greek literature (Cavafy, Seferis, Ritsos). We will read newspaper articles, listen to Greek songs, and study documentary films. The emphasis will be on improving students' oral and written skills. Classes will be held entirely in Greek. Auditors welcome with instructor's permission.
Vicky Kantzou    Class: 12:30-1:20 pm MTWTh

PHI 205/CLA 205/HLS 208: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
This course discusses the ideas and arguments of major ancient Greek philosophers and thereby introduces students to the history and continued relevance of the first centuries of western philosophy. Topics include the rise of cosmological speculation, the beginnings of philosophical ethics, Plato's moral theory and epistemology, Aristotle's philosophy of nature, metaphysics and ethics. The course ends with a survey of philosophical activity in the Hellenistic period.
Hendrik Lorenz      Class: 11:00 am - 11:50 MW

COM 205/HUM 205/HLS 203: The Classical Roots of Western Literature
An introduction to comparative literature through readings of major works of the classical Greek, Roman, Arabic and medieval European traditions.
Daniel Heller-Roazen, P. Adams Sitney      Class: 12:30-1:20 pm MW

CLA 212/ HUM 212/GSS 212/HLS 212:  Classical Mythology
An introduction to the classical myths in their cultural context and in their wider application to human concerns (such as creation, sex and gender, identity, transformation, and death). The course will offer a who's who of the ancient imaginative world, study the main ancient sources of well known stories, and introduce modern approaches to analyzing myths.
Melissa Haynes    Class: 10:00-10:50 am MW

CLG 240/HLS 240: Introduction to Post-Classical Greek from the Late Antique to the Byzantine Era
This course will focus on the Greek Bible and the emergence of a 'common' Greek language. We will read excerpts from the Septuagint (the Greek transl. of the Hebrew bible) and from the New Testament in order to understand how Greek evolved from the time of Alexander the Great to the Roman emperors so as to become the 'common tongue' (koinê) of a Hellenized eastern Mediterranean world of Jews, Pagans, and Christians.
Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis       Seminar: 11:00-12:20 TTh

CLA 320/HLS 320/MED 320: Medieval Greek Literature
The subject of this course will be medieval Greek Romantic fiction. We will read translations of the four surviving novels written in twelfth-century Constantinople in a bid to answer questions about the link between eroticism and the novel, truth and invention in the middle ages, who read fiction and why, and what role, if any, did the medieval or Byzantine Romances have in the story of the European novel. Above all, we will seek to recover some of the pleasure felt by the medieval readers and audiences of these novels.
Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis     Seminar: 3:00-4:20 pm TTh

HIS 343/CLA 343/ HLS 343: The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages
This course will survey the "Dark Ages" from the end of the Roman Empire to the end of the first millennium (ca. 400-1000 AD), often seen as a time of cultural and political decline, recently even labelled as the "end of civilization". The complex political and social landscape of the Roman Empire, however, had more to offer than just to end. This course will outline how early medieval people(s) in the successor states of the Roman Empire used its resources to form new communities and will suggest to understand the "Dark Ages" as a time of lively social and cultural experimentation, that created the social and political frameworks of Europe.
Helmut Reimitz     Class: 11:00-11:50 am TTh

REL 355/HLS 356: The Apostle Paul in Text and Context: His Letters, His Communities, and His Interpreters
In this seminar we will: 1) study the New Testament letters of the apostle Paul in their first-century context and their earliest interpretations; and 2) explore recent trends in Pauline scholarship, including the New Perspective. We will pay special attention to archaeological finds from the Pauline cities, which help us understand better the cultural, political, and religious milieu in which the letters were received and read. Over Fall break (October 23- November 2) the class will travel to Greece and visit the archaeological sites of the cities with early Christ-communities and other important or relevant sites.
AnneMarie Luijendijk    Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm T

HIS 428/HLS 428: Empire and Catastrophe
Catastrophe reveals the fragility of human society. This course examines a series of phenomena--plague, famine, war, revolution, economic depression etc.--in order to reach an understanding of humanity's imaginings of but also resilience to collective crises. We shall look in particular at how political forces such as empire have historically both generated and resisted global disasters. Material dealing with the especially fraught centuries at the transition between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period will be set alongside examples drawn from antiquity as well as our own contemporary era.
Teresa Shawcross      Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm Th



CLA 502/HLS 502: Survey of Selected Greek Literature
A survey of major literary forms and works from the Archaic to the Greco-Roman period.
Andrew Ford       Seminar: 9:00-10:20am TTh

REL 504/CLA 516/HLS 505: Studies in Greco-Roman Religions From Jesus to Constantine: The Origins of Christianity
We read basic primary sources, both Greek and Latin, that offer evidence for the origins of Christianity. To allow for breadth of reading, one may read in English, with reference to the original texts as necessary.
Elaine H. Pagels      Seminar: 9:00-11:50am T

REL 513/HLS 510: Studies in Ancient Judaism - Apocalyptic Literature of the Byzantine Era
The events of the seventh century--the wars between Byzantium & Persia followed by the Muslim conquest--seemed to some Jews to signal that the messianic age was about to dawn. From a very different angle of vision Christians felt called upon to explain the significance of the Muslim conquest for their eschatological expectations. This course considers the literature produced by Jews and Christians in response to these events & the impact of Jewish & Christian texts & traditions on each other against the background of earlier Jewish & Christian apocalyptic literature & the messianic expectations of the centuries before the rise of Islam.
Martha Himmelfarb    Seminar: 1:30-4:20pm T

CLA 526/HLS 527: Problems in Greek & Roman Philosophy: Isocrates, Against the Sophists
Eminent educator and rhetorician, influential political thinker, and arch-enemy of Plato, Isocrates was a towering intellectual figure of 4th century Greece. After a brief introduction to the political situation and cultural developments after the Peloponnesian War, this seminar focuses on a close reading of two or three of Isocrates' major philosophical speeches, Oration 13 Against the Sophists, Oration 10, Encomium of Helen, and Oration 11, Busiris.
Christian Wildberg     Seminar: 9:00-11:50am F

HIS 542/HLS 542/MED 542: Problems in Byzantine History: Formation of Byzantium 600-850: Sources & Problems
Between the later sixth century and the middle of the ninth century eastern Roman state, society and culture experienced a series of substantial transformations which resulted in what we call today 'Byzantium'. This course looks at some of the key sources for this process and analyses both the ways in which they have been interpreted and the questions those interpretations raise. Particular attention will be paid to the issues associated with relating written textual evidence to archaeological data and interpretation.
John F. Haldon    Seminar: 1:30-4:20pm W

CLA 547/HLS 547: Problems in Ancient History: Politics & Religion
This interdisciplinary seminar explores the intersection of politics and religion in the ancient world. The special case to be studied, exempli gratia, will be Augustus' Res Gestae, although individual projects may range across the Mediterranean throughout Antiquity, and may focus on any form of surviving evidence (historical, literary, monumental, numismatic, etc. etc.).
Ted Champlin and Michael Koortbojian

CLA 548/HLS 548/PAW 548/ART 532: Problems in Ancient History - Ancient and Medieval Numismatics
A seminar covering the basic methodology of numismatics, including die, hoard and archaeological analysis. The Western coinage tradition is covered, from its origins in the Greco-Persian world through classical and Hellenistic Greek coinage, Roman imperial and provincial issues, the coinage of Byzantium, the Islamic world and medieval and renaissance Europe. Students research and report on problems involving coinages related to their own areas of specialization. Open to undergraduates by permission of the instructor.
Alan M. Stahl Seminar: 1:30-4:20pm Th
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