AMCULT 318 - Greek-American Culture
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
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Details

Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
RE
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

Who and what is “Greek” in America, and how did Greeks who immigrated to the United States and their descendants become American? This class works through the complexities of the hyphen between the “Greek” and “American” to explore questions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social class, labor conditions, power, privilege, belonging, and constructions of whiteness. Students engage directly with the materials of Greek immigration and acculturation to contribute actively to deepening and broadening the view of hyphenated Americans.

The first half of the course draws attention to the unique situation of the “Greek” in the United States. While ancient Greek culture was revered and imitated by the country’s founders, actual people who immigrated from Greece and the Ottoman Empire beginning around 1900 faced many forms of discrimination. The story is one of xenophobia and racism, as the American public distinguished the cultural legacy of Hellenism from the immigrating Greeks, who were considered nonwhite when they first arrived and spurned for their inferior biology, peculiar religious practices, and intemperate ways for decades until they proved their whiteness. What historical circumstances shaped Greek immigration to the US? How does the “Greek” fit into the US racial classification systems? What was anti-Greek racism? What forms of collective action and alliance building did Greeks participate in? How did Greeks become ethnic, and how do markers such as language, religion, food, family, community, and success function as signs of Greek assimilation? How do the experiences of discrimination and acculturation of Greeks compare with those of other southeast European immigrants and of BIPOC?

The second half explores the pluralism of Greek-American experiences, cultural expressions, concerns, and debates. Students develop tools for analyzing ethnic representations in films, books, TV shows, and other sources. They learn to recognize standard narrative tropes of assimilation and to move beyond them to find gendered pasts and polyphonies of belonging. They take time to explore their own positionality with respect to migration. The course is enriched by the plurality of student histories and their multifaceted lives within and across national borders. It gives space for exploration of their experiences in relation to others. As a final project, students make their contribution to the digital archive of Greek America through acts of cultural recovery: field collection, recollection, reclamation of cultural practices, and comparative explorations of family and community life.

Course Requirements:

Assessment is based on:

  • preparation for and engagement in classroom work
  • 4 discussion responses to assigned sources
  • midterm exam
  • group timeline
  • individual digital archival project.

Intended Audience:

Any interested student

Class Format:

Two meetings per week

Schedule

AMCULT 318 - Greek-American Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
33175
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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