[MGSA-L] University of Michigan Modern Greek Program: Courses, Fall 2014

Despina Margomenou margomen at umich.edu
Sat Aug 23 17:07:22 PDT 2014




*ELEMENTARY FIRST-YEAR MODERN GREEK 101 & 501* is designed for students
with no previous exposure or only basic understanding of Modern Greek.  The
course provides students with basic skills in reading, speaking, and
writing and introduces them to Modern Greek history and culture through
media such as film and music.

* SECOND-YEAR MODERN GREEK 201 & 503 *assumes familiarity with the basics
of reading, writing, and speaking. Through films, music, literature,
poetry, newspapers and surfing the web, students enrich their vocabulary,
improve fluency in speaking, and discover their means of personal
expression in Modern Greek.  Enrollment in the second year Modern Greek
courses requires Modern Greek 101/102 or placement by exam.

*THIRD-YEAR MODERN GREEK 301 & 505 *builds on the language skills acquired
in Modern Greek 101/102 and 201/202. The course is a thematic survey of
Modern Greek culture through literature, theater, film,  music, newspapers,
TV, and the web, focusing on such topics as diaspora, politics,  identity,
and current events.  As part of this course students are also exposed to
the contemporary pop-culture of Greece through movies, newspapers, music,
TV programs, the web, and cartoons. Two-year language sequence or placement

culture as manifested in the Greek nation-state, with its idea of a Greek
destiny in time and space, transmitted in the media, politics, the arts,
and everyday practices and beliefs. Sources are films, photographs,
stories, essays, poems, spectacles, websites, blogs, newspapers, etc. These
days Greece is a paradigm of crisis, with people frequently expressing the
fear that a “Greek tragedy” will spread and the U.K., or Spain, or
California, or some other place, “will become the next Greece.”  Just 9
years ago in 2004 Greece was the paradigm of unexpected success:  “The
Olympics came home and Greece showed the world the great things Greeks can
do.” Why does Greece, a very small country with just 11 million people,
occupy such a big place?  Who are these “Greeks”?  How do they see
themselves? How do they behave? And how do they deal with expectations of
who they are supposed to be?

Cinema has often tried to depict the Greek gods, heroines, and lands in the
same terms as the ancients talked about them. But it has also often tried
to update them and bring them closer to our own reality. What happens when
films adapt Greek tales to modern times? When Medea, Antigone, and Electra
appear in South Africa, Poland, or Tunisia? When Orpheus, Ulysses, and
Oedipus suffer in the American South, Yugoslavia, or Italy? This course
will examine the uses of Greek myth in movies that remove the stories from
their original setting and take them to different lands and times. The goal
of the course is to examine the mutually reinforcing overlap between myth,
literature, and cinema. The movies will have neither ancient columns nor
mythical monsters but they will show how fate can still turn us all into
wandering, questioning Greeks.


*Dr. Despina MargomenouDepartment of Classical Studies Lecturer IV*

*Modern Greek Program CoordinatorResearch Associate, Kelsey Museum of
Archaeology University of Michigan2160 Angell Hall, 435 S. State Street Ann
Arbor, MI 48109-1003734-7640112*
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