SLAVIC 151 - First Year Seminar
Section: 003 Myth and History in Contemporary Balkan Literature
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLAVIC)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The region of the Balkans includes Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Named during the centuries-long Ottoman occupation, the region has politically been defined as the periphery of civilized Europe.

Through the literary renditions and theoretical elaborations of myths created in the region, as well as those created about the region by the Western literature, film industry, and in the recent years, media, we will delve into the problematics of identity, ethnicity, gender, body, memory, totalitarianism, violence, exile, and the gaze. Simultaneous with our mythical journey through history will be our historical journey through myth, as we follow the development of pertinent mythical themes from classical antiquity to modern times. Central to our discussion will be the key metaphor of the Balkans as a bridge between East and West


  • Ivo Andrić, The Bridge on the Drina (Yugoslavia, 1945, Nobel Prize 1961);
  • Ismail Kadare, The Three-Arched Bridge (Albania, 1978);
  • Rhea Galanaki, The Life of Ismail Ferik Pasha (Greece, 1989);
  • Orhan Pamuk, White Castle (Turkey, 1985); B. Wongar, Raki (Australia, 1994).

OTHER READINGS: Select poetry and short fiction by the following authors: Constantine Cavafy, Odysseus Elytis (Nobel Prize, 1979) (Greece), Marin Sorescu, Lucian Blaga (Romania), Nazim Hikmet (Turkey), Elisaveta Bagryana (Bulgaria), Danilo Kiš (Yugoslavia).


  • Ulysses’ Gaze (Theo Angelopoulos, Greece, 1995),
  • Before the Rain (Milčo Mančevski, Macedonia, 1994), and
  • The Time of Gypsies (Emir Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1989).

SLAVIC 151 - First Year Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
6Enrollment Management
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (SEM)
6Enrollment Management
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
003 (SEM)
6Enrollment Management
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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