GREEKMOD 325 - Athens, Present and Past
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Modern Greek (GREEKMOD)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Athens is both a museum of Greek history and a living entity: a laboratory for social experiments in politics and culture. A defining feature is the city’s continuous dialogue with the past and with competing claims on that past: museums, cities, corporations, writers, artists, thinkers, immigrants, and tourists claiming pieces of Athens’ legacy.

This course studies that ongoing dialogue. We can think of Athens as a “palimpsest,” a surface that has been scraped and reused again and again from prehistory, classical, and imperial (Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine, Florentine, and Ottoman) to modern times. The most far-reaching interventions take place in the modern era, when a provincial town of 10,000 inhabitants grows into an expansive, chaotic capital city of Greece.

The dynamic elements of the city’s modern fate take center stage in this class. Beginning with the Acropolis, the heart of the city, and expanding outward, we look at the contemporary city as a layered fabric of successive interventions related to politics, power, function, aesthetics, changing socioeconomic forces, and revisions of the city’s image. We study cycles of destruction and rebuilding from antiquity to the present as we also attend to competing forces governing the city’s changing form. We occupy ourselves with questions of the meaning and uses of the Greek past in the construction of city space, city life, group image, and modern ideas in the West. How the ideas and artifacts identified with ancient Athens circulate worldwide and how modern inhabitants deal with competing local and global claims on their city are important themes. Sources are archaeology, history, fiction, poetry, maps, city plans, photographs, art, music, films, travelers’ texts, and popular culture.

Course Requirements:

Three (3) Essays with self assessment, 1 Short essay (on multimedia texts), 2 Challenge Image Quizzes

Intended Audience:

The class assumes no prior knowledge of Greece, Greek, or the history or archaeology of Greece and is open to anyone interested in modern cities, Athens, and modern receptions of Greece.

Class Format:

Two 1-1/2-hour class meetings per week. Four of these meetings are writing workshops designed to help students develop their writing and papers for the course

GREEKMOD 325 - Athens, Present and Past
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9781859735909
The Acropolis : global fame, local claim, Author: Yalouri, Eleana., Publisher: Berg 2001
ISBN: 9780674055636
The Parthenon, Author: Mary Beard., Publisher: Harvard University Press Rev. ed. 2010
ISBN: 0300101511
The archaeology of Athens, Author: John M. Camp., Publisher: Yale University Press 2004
ISBN: 9781590518366
The Parthenon Bomber, Author: Christos Chrissopoulos, Publisher: Other Press 2017
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