Greek culture and language

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3 semester credits

Summer Session: July 5-July 19

Journey to Greece Program

University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus

Course Description: “Modern Greek Society and Culture” is a course that involves daily class sessions and readings. In addition, the program will provide a variety of specially arranged excursions, outings, visits and receptions that will immerse students in modern Greek life and society. This unique arrangement will offer students many opportunities to actively learn about Greek culture and society through total immersion in daily activities. The course is designed as an intensive course exploring the ethnographic elements that serve as a basis of modern Greek life. Cultural trends will be explored through their historical inception and influence today. The course focuses on the question: "What are the cultural elements that help form Greek national identity?" The course will utilize anthropological analysis of the traditions and trends that have evolved from the past to the present. The emphasis of the course will be on the most recent period, but a survey of earlier periods will be necessary to place the present in its proper sociological-historical context.

Instructor: Professor James F. Dimitriou,


Telephone: 310-375-5544 Fax: 310-378-7596

Class Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00 AM-12:50 PM
Required Text:

Richard Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, 2nd Edition,

Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Supplemental Reading:

Rouvelas, Marilyn, A Guide to Greek Traditions and Customs, Second Edition, Nea Attiki Press, 2002.
In addition, selected readings from additional anthropological sources will be used in the course.
Students would be advised to get a copy of the Clogg book prior to arrival in Athens and to begin reading early. Please be sure that you get the Second Edition, as it is more up to date!
Student Responsibilities

Students will be expected to attend all scheduled classes and to read all assignments (including handouts) on time. In addition to these common requirements, the course will encourage each student to investigate one aspect of Greek culture and society that interests them. Students are advised to read the “Herald Tribune” newspaper on a daily basis and review, Part II: The English Edition of “Kathimerini,” for daily class discussions.

Cultural Journal:

Students are to keep a daily Cultural Journal of observations, activities and customs encountered while in Greece. Please include your encounters with Greek customs and traditions that you are able to observe and participate. Include such things as Religious Observances; Cultural Events and Activities; popular Greek activities; Food and Drink; Popular Greek Music; Greek Dancing; Greek Proverbs and Sayings; Greek Superstitions; Greek Community Life; Greek politics and political parties; Greek student lifestyles, etc. You should include at least one observation from the daily Greek newspaper (English edition).

Your Journal will conclude with a brief summary on how you would describe Greek culture and society through your actual experience and observation during your stay in Greece. Your report should give the background of what influenced your interpretation of Greek culture the most through your experiences.
Class Project: Interview:

Each student will investigate one person’s view of Greek culture and society through a personal interview. This is a personalized biographical report of an individual, family member, student, or friend. Students are encouraged to do their research prior to coming to Athens. They can interview a Greek immigrant or friend prior to coming or wait and do this upon arrival.

The report will be 3-4 pages long and include personal anecdotes, accounts and history of the individual. The central question will be: “What are the basic elements of Greek society and culture that make it unique?” Include, from their experience: Family history; Greek Orthodox traditions; Folk dance, customs & music; Greek food & drink; Greek holidays and customs; Greek political life; and Greek community life. Conclude, with what you believe are the basic ingredients of Greek culture.

The following represents how the final grade for the course will be determined:

Cultural Journal 25%

Class Project: Interview 25%

Final Examination 25%

Class Participation 25%

Syllabus and Reading Assignments

The Byzantine and Ottoman Legacy

Reading: Clogg: Chs.1-3


The Legacy of Byzantium & Greek Orthodox Church

333 AD to 1453
The Ottoman influence during “Tourkokratia”

1453 to 1821

Village and folk traditions of Greece
The Greek Revolution, the Modern Greek State & National Identity

Reading: Clogg: Ch. 4-5


The Greek Revolution & “Megali Idea”

A Modern Greek National Identity
The role of language, history & music traditions.

World War II & the Communist Civil War

The Truman Doctrine and Post War Greece

Reading: Clogg: Chs. 5-6


The Truman Doctrine, the UN and the Civil War


NATO, the Military Junta: Division & hardships


The Restoration of Democracy: unity & direction

The European Union and the New Greek Identity

Reading: Clogg, Ch. 7


Greece and the European Union (EU)


A New Greek Identity and the future?

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