Courses in Hellenic Studies
- Freshman Seminars - Fall 2015
- Undergraduate Courses - Fall 2015
- Graduate Courses - Fall 2015
- Courses of Interest - Fall 2015
- Summer Courses - Summer 2015
- Previous Semesters
FRESHMAN SEMINARS Fall 2015
UNDERGRADUATE COURSES Fall 2015
Elementary Modern Greek
HLS 101/MOG 101
This course is the first part of the Modern Greek language sequence regularly offered every year. It aims to set the foundations for acquiring a command of spoken and written Modern Greek. The pace is intensive: readings and grammar from textbook, with accompanying daily exercises, and regular language laboratory attendance. Auditors welcome with instructor's permission.
Vasiliki Kantzou Class: 11:00-11:50 am MTWTh
Intermediate Modern Greek
HLS 105/MOG 105
This course is the third part of the Modern Greek language sequence offered every year. It will introduce students to themes in the Hellenic tradition through readings in Modern Greek literature (Cavafy, Seferis, Ritsos). We will read newspaper articles, listen to Greek songs, and study documentary films. The emphasis will be on improving students' oral and written skills. Classes will be held entirely in Greek. Auditors welcome with instructor's permission.
Vasiliki Kantzou Class: 12:30-1:20 pm MTWTh
The Classical Roots of Western Literature
COM 205/HLS 203
An introduction to comparative literature through readings of major works of the classical Greek, Roman, and European traditions.
Leonard Barkan Class 1:30-2:20pm TTH
Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
PHI 205/CLA 205/HLS 208
This course discusses the ideas and arguments of major ancient Greek philosophers and thereby introduces students to the history and continued relevance of the first centuries of western philosophy. Topics include the rise of cosmological speculation, the beginnings of philosophical ethics, Plato's moral theory and epistemology, Aristotle's philosophy of nature, metaphysics and ethics. The course ends with a survey of philosophical activity in the Hellenistic period.
Hendrik Lorenz Class: 11:00am-11:50 am MW
CLA 212/HUM 212/GSS 212/HLS 212
An introduction to the classical myths in their cultural context and in their wider application to human concerns (such as creation, sex and gender, identity, transformation, and death). The course will offer a who's who of the ancient imaginative world, study the main ancient sources of well-known stories, and introduce modern approaches to analyzing myths.
Staff Class: 1:30pm-2:20pm MW
Greek Politics in Practice and Theory
CLA244/CHV244/HLS 243/POL 337
This course will approach select classics of Greek political thought (Plato's Statesman and Republic, Aristotle's Politics) through a scrutiny of Greek social and political institutions. Students will be introduced to basic principles such as the distinction between free and unfree, the social and political status of male and female, and the distribution of political power and access to political participation in the Greek polis, in order to be in a position to observe how the ideas of Greek political thinkers map onto this reality.
Nino Luraghi Class: 11:00-11:50 am TTh
Sex and Salvation in Early Christian Literature
CLA 245/HLS 244/GSS 245/MED 245
Why did sex become so prominent in the moral imagination of early Christianity? How did the fate of the soul become so dependent on the sexual discipline of Christians? We will read a wide variety of late antique and early medieval texts which explore, prescribe, and aestheticize physical love and relate its consequences for sin and salvation in later Roman society. The course will emphasize literary as well as social history.
Emmanuel Bourbouhakis Class: 3:00pm-4:20pm MW
The Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece
ART 301/HLS 301
Survey of the art and archaeology of Greece during the Archaic period, considering social, economic, and political contexts. Topics include monumental architecture; colonization; landscape archaeology; trade and exchange; text and image; vase painting; funerary sculpture; and "orientalizing." Developments in Greece discussed in relation to the material culture of Egypt, the Near East, and the wider Mediterranean. New archaeological discoveries highlighted.
Nathan Arrington Seminar: 11:00 am – 12:20 pm W
Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
POL 301/CLA 301/HLS 303
A study of the great works of political theory in four periods: ancient Greece, including Athenian democracy, Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle; ancient Rome from republic to empire, including Polybius, Cicero, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius; medieval Christian political thought in Augustine, Aquinas, Marsilius, and others; and a brief survey of Renaissance meditations on classical themes. Fundamental topics are examined, including nature and convention; constitutional analysis, including democracy, oligarchy, tyranny, kingship, and the mixed constitution; property, virtue, law, and republicanism; church and state; consent and representation.
Melissa S. Lane Class: 9:00am-9:50am TTH
Classical Historians and Their Philosophies of History
CLA 324/HIS 328/HLS 322
What philosophy of history belongs to Greek and Roman historians? How did the ancient historians themselves ask this question? Was their theory and practice as marked with change as has been European and American historiography since the 18th century? Finally, why has contemporary practice begun a turn back to classical narrative historiography? This course will cover major Greek and Roman historians, ancillary classical theory, and some pertinent contemporary philosophers of history.
Marc Domingo Gygax Seminar: 1:30-2:50 pm MW
Religion and Philosopy in the Roman Empire
CLA 333/HLS 333/PHI 331
This course continues the narratives of the history of classical and Hellenistic philosophy by introducing students to the fascinating intellectual world of Late Antiquity, roughly from the beginning of the Common Era to the middle of the sixth century. Although it is rarely acknowledged, this was the all-important period that forged the terms in which Greek philosophy and science should exercise their lasting influence on the Middle Ages and Modernity. Students will read pagan and Christian philosophical texts side by side and thus reconsider the high stakes that defined the greatest intellectual conflict of all times.
Christian Wildberg Seminar: 1:30-4:20pm Th
Reading the Greek Crisis
COM 369/HLS 361
This course will offer a comparative approach to the cultural production of contemporary Greece, investigating the "Greek crisis" through literature and film of the past decade, as well as writings drawn from history, anthropology, political science, and economics, contemporary news sources, political and cultural blogs, and even the fast-changing landscape of Athenian graffiti. Students will face the comparatist's challenge of encountering not only an unfamiliar literature as it unfolds in a time of crisis, but also an unfamiliar culture, history, and society, mediated not just by linguistic translation but by market forces and media spin.
Karen Emmerich Seminar: 1:30-2:50pm TTh
Empire and Catastrophe
HIS 428/HLS 428/MED 428
Catastrophe reveals the fragility of human society. This course examines a series of phenomena--plague, famine, war, revolution, economic depression etc.--in order to reach an understanding of humanity's imaginings of but also resilience to collective crises. We shall look in particular at how political forces such as empire have historically both generated and resisted global disasters. Material dealing with the especially fraught centuries at the transition between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period will be set alongside examples drawn from antiquity as well as our own contemporary era.
Teresa Shawcross Seminar 1:30-4:20pm Th
Medieval Art: Writing on the Image
ART 430/HLS 430
This seminar investigates the presence of words on images. It will ask how signatures, titles, epigrams, quotations, names, prayers, graffiti and other verbal traces on the surface of the work of art challenge our assumptions of representation, introducing speech acts, memorials, frames, possession, and origins into this visual economy. Our focus will be on Byzantine art, using a range of media: icon, ivory, enamel, manuscript, architecture. No previous knowledge of Byzantine art is necessary. Students will be able to write on non-Byzantine topics.
Charles Barber Seminar: 1:30-4:20pm T
GRADUATE COURSES Fall 2015
Greek Tragedy: Tragedy, the Tragic, and the Nonhuman: The Bacchae
CLA 506/HLS 506
What is tragic about tragedy? The stakes of this question are as high as ever as critical theorists continue to engage actively with Greek tragedy, the legacies of German Idealism, modernism, and postmodernism have received new attention, and Hellenists seek out less contextualizing and historicist models of interpretation. A spike of interest in the posthuman and the nonhuman has also created new frameworks for thinking about the daemonic, the divine, and the embodied subject of tragedy. We will read the Bacchae against this background. Non-departmental students interested in working in translation should contact the instructor.
Brooke Holmes Seminar 1:30-4:20 pm T
Texts in Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
POL 510/CLA 527/HLS 509
This course covers selected ancient and medieval political theory texts in depth, beginning in ancient Greece and ending in the early Renaissance. Authors to be covered include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and Marsilius. Students are required to attend the twice weekly lectures for POL 301, in addition to a eighty-minute graduate meeting in which secondary as well as primary readings are discussed.
Melissa S. Lane Seminar 10:30am-11:50am W
Problems in Early Christian Music: Music and the Medieval Memory
MUS 511/HLS 511
Course explores the art of memory in music culture from the ninth through the fourteenth century, and considers how medieval memory practices bridged oral and written domains of musical knowledge. Topics include the influence of mnemotechnics on: the oral transmission of chant; the early development of notation; theory treatises; composition; aesthetics; and spirituality. Course provides an introduction to the study of medieval musical manuscripts and notations, and familiarizes students with major research questions, tools, and methods for the study of the medieval culture of memory.
Jamie Greenberg Reuland Seminar 10:00 am-12:50 pm Th
Topics in the Hellenic Tradition: German Perceptions of Classical Greece
CLA 529/HLS 529
In the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, ancient Greek culture exerted such a powerful influence on German intellectuals that in 1935 Eliza M. Butler could describe this phenomenon in the title of her book as The Tyranny of Greece over Germany. In this seminar, we will study some of the major figures discussed by Butler (Winckelmann, Goethe, Nietzsche), but also aspects of the Greek influence on German culture that she did not consider, in particular contributions by artists, architects and historians. The course examines both the intellectual, cultural and social changes in Germany itself and the interpretations of ancient materials, works and authors that resulted from these changes.
Marc Domingo Gygax Seminar 7:30pm-10:20pm T
After Odysseus: Hospitality, France, and the Mediterranean
FRE 529/HLS 528/COM 529
After the Revolution, France embraced the role of a universal beacon for refugees. Yet, many modern laws and debates have challenged this altruism. After revisiting ancient Greek and biblical traditions, we journey through France and the Mediterranean to reflect on ethical and aesthetical, individual and collective models of hospitality. Using literature and philosophy, linguistics and the visual arts, from canonical to popular culture, we ponder the notions of cosmopolitanism and borders, address issues such as colonization, immigration and citizenship, wondering what is at stake in the welcoming of a stranger.
André Benhaïm Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm T
Problems in Ancient History: Sacred Space
CLA 547/HLS 547
This interdisciplinary seminar explores the nature of "Sacred Space" in a cross-cultural perspective. In addition to addressing large theoretical questions (What makes a space "sacred"? What are its functions and uses? How do these evolve over time?), we examine specific locales and case studies. These include temples and sanctuaries as well as natural locations, such as mountaintops, caves, and springs. The temporal and geographical range will be broad, including the Near East, Greece and Rome, from early times to Late Antiquity.
Michael Flower and Moulie Vidas Seminar 9:00am-11:50am T
COURSES OF INTEREST Fall 2015
History of Anthropological Theory
ANT 390 A-B
After the Revolution, France embraced the role of a universal beacon for refugees. Yet, many modern laws and debates have challenged this altruism. After revisiting ancient Greek and biblical traditions, we will journey through France and the Mediterranean to reflect on ethical and aesthetical, individual and collective models of hospitality. Using literature and philosophy, linguistics and the visual arts, from canonical to popular culture, we will ponder the notions of cosmopolitanism and borders, address issues such as colonization, immigration and citizenship, wondering what is at stake in the welcoming of a stranger.
Elizabeth A. Davis Seminar: 1:30-2:50pm MW
The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
Behind the awe-inspiring monuments, the complex religious cults, and the intimations of wealth and a taste for the good life found in the surviving remnants of ancient Egypt lie real people concerned with spirituality, economics, politics, the arts, and the pleasures and pains of daily life. In this course, we will examine the art and architecture created in the ancient Egyptian landscape over 4 millennia, as well as the work of archaeologists in the field, including up-to-the-minute finds from on-going excavations.
Staff Class: 12:30-1:20 pm MW
The Shape of Narrative: Story and Form in Western Medieval Art
ART 317/ MED 317
We discuss narrative strategy in the Middle Ages by examining artistic media and visual storytelling as a pair. We consider what "narrative" means in the medieval visual context and how we distinguish it from the contrasting visual mode often called "iconic." We investigate the functions of storytelling in medieval art, how verbal narratives relate to visual ones, and how the context of a story affects its meaning. We approach these questions through examples that differ in their materiality, medium and cultural context, including stories both secular and religious. Readings include medieval textual narratives, historical and critical works.
Beatrice Kitzinger Seminar: 3:00-4:20 pm TTh
Egyptian Architecture: The Monumental Landscape
ART 481/REL 481
In this seminar we will examine a variety of forms of ancient Egyptian architecture, primarily from the pharaonic period, through the lense of landscape. We will examine god's temples, funerary temples, and burial monuments within the larger context of their settings, including the surrounding landscape and their relationships to other monuments. A number of themes will be addressed, including the sacred landscape, architecture as microcosm, architecture and performance, ancestry and memory, the temporality of landscape and monument, and locality and community.
Staff Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm T
The Geography of Art
The logic of the discipline points to world art history. This seminar will discuss the possibilities of a global history of art and architecture. Questions will be considered in relation to historiography and theory of the geography of art.
Thomas D. Kaufmann Seminar: 9:00-11:50 am Th
Introduction to Indo-European
CLA 336/LIN 336
This course provides an introduction to the study of the Indo-European language family from both a historical and a comparative perspective. The emphasis will be on the phonology, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary of the earliest representatives (Ancient Greek, Latin, Vedic Sanskrit, Hittite, Old Irish, Old English, etc.) and what they have to tell us about Proto-Indo-European and the culture of the speakers of this reconstructed "mother tongue."
Joshua T. Katz Seminar: 8:30-9:50 am MW
Radical Poetics, Radical Translation
COM 402/TRA 402
This course invites students to think not just about what poems mean but also how they mean—and how that complicates, challenges, obscures, enlivens, or collides with the task of translation. We will look at modes of poetic composition that challenge the limits of the translatable, as well as radical translation methods that expand our notion of what translation is. Can we translate a poem written in a made-up language? How do translators deal with unstable texts? How does homophonic translation change our understanding of the role of sound in translation? Are visual translations simply works of art? At what point do traditional concepts of originality and derivation break down, helping us revise our notions of poetic composition and translation alike?
Karen R. Emmerich Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm W
ECO 372/EPS 342
Europe is at a crossroads. Political and economic integration in the European Union (EU) exceeds levels reached in other parts of the world. Economic integration not only affects trade but agriculture, competition, regions, energy, and money. Most euro areas economies have been struggling with interlocking crises involving debt, banking and growth, which challenge the viability of monetary union and threaten much of what has been achieved since 1945. This course studies economic integration in Europe, the ongoing euro crisis, and economic challenges facing EU member countries. It uses economic analysis to study policy issues.
Silvia Weyerbrock Seminar: 8:30-9:50 am TTh
Turning Points in European Culture
ECS 301/EPS 301
Co-taught by Professors Michael Jennings (German) and Anson Rabinbach (History), and drawing on the expertise of distinguished Princeton faculty and visitors, this seminar aims to provide a broad, multidisciplinary perspective on turning points in European culture from the early modern period to the present. It serves as the core course for the Program in European Cultural Studies (ECS) and the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society (EPS).
Michael W. Jennings/ Anson Rabinbach Seminar: 1:30-4:20 p.m. M
Europe from Antiquity to 1700
This course shows how Greeks and Romans, Jews and Christians, nobles and merchants built the civilization of the west.
Anthony T. Grafton Class: 11:00-11:50 am MW
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture I: Literature and the Arts
This course, along with HUM 217, forms the first part of an intensive year-long exploration of the landmark achievements of the Western intellectual tradition in literature, philosophy, and history. With an interdisciplinary team of faculty drawn from the humanities and social sciences, students are introduced to a variety of perspectives on pivotal texts, events, music and art of European civilization from antiquity to the middle ages. The course is enhanced by guest lectures and class trips to museums, concerts, and plays. This double-credit course meets for six hours a week and fulfills distribution requirements in both LA and HA.
Yelena Baraz/ Leonard Barkan/ Class: 10:00-10:50 am TWTh
Simone Marchesi/ Benjamin C. Morison/
Helmut Reimitz/ Alberto Rigolio
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture I: History, Philosophy, and Religion
In combination with HUM 216, this course explores the landmark achievements of European civilization from antiquity to the middle ages. Students must enroll in both 216 and 217, which constitute a double-course. The lecture component for HUM 217 is listed as TBA because all meetings are listed under HUM 216. There are no separate meeting times for HUM 217.
Deciphering Ancient Languages
LIN 350/CLA 351
This course is an introduction to linguistics decipherment. We will survey cases of successful - and unsuccessful - decipherment, beginning with Ancient Egyptian and covering such languages as Old Persian, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Mycenean Greek and Mayan. Throughout the focus will be on the methodologies employed, and on the conditions that need to be present for decipherment to be possible.
Timothy Barnes Seminar: 11:00 am-12:20 pm TTh
The World of the Middle Ages
MED 227/HUM 227
An introduction to medieval culture in Western Europe from the end of the classical world to ca. 1400. The course focuses on themes such as the medieval concepts of self, humanity, and God; nation-building, conquest and crusade; relations among Christians, Jews, and Moslems; literacy, heresy, and the rise of vernacular literature; gender, chivalry, and the medieval court. Material approached through various cultural forms and media; some lectures by invited guest lecturers. Seminar discussion format with some lecturing.
Sara S. Poor Seminar: 11:00 am-12:20 pm TTh
Jerusalem Contested: A City’s History from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives
NES 221/JDS 223/REL 216
Jerusalem is considered a holy city to three faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In this course, students will learn the history of Jerusalem from its founding in pre-biblical times until the present. Over the course of the semester, we will ask: What makes space sacred and how does a city become holy? What has been at stake - religiously, theologically, politically, nationally - in the many battles over Jerusalem? What is the relationship between Jerusalem as it was and Jerusalem as it was (and is) imagined?
Jonathan M. Gribetz Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm Th
World Order, Global Regimes, and Empire: Competition, Norms, and Institutions
Course investigates the question of how empires create and disrupt global orders. Students apply theoretical perspectives on empires and global regimes drawn from the disciplines of history, political science, and sociology, and seek to develop their understanding of the role of empires as mantles of global exchange and as sources of the rules and norms that have governed global affairs. Offered as part of a John E. Sawyer Seminar, the course features six guest lecturers. Students write weekly response papers and a seminar paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.
Michael A. Reynolds Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm W
Introduction to Syriac
A systematic introduction to Syriac language. Close reading of selected passages of Syriac texts.
Emmanuel Papoutsakis Seminar: 11:00 am-12:20 pm MW
The Philosophy of Aristotle - Value, Motivation, and Agency in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
PHI 501/CLA 519
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, with special focus on questions about the nature of value, motivation, and agency.
Staff Seminar: 10:00 am-12:50 pm W
Comparative Ethnic Conflict
This course introduces students to the study of ethnic conflict. We will examine different theories of ethnically-based identification and mobilization; cover different types of ethnic conflict such as riots, genocide, hate crime and war; and study past and present cases of ethnic conflict around the world.
Deniz Aksoy Class: 10:00-10:50 am TTh
Architecture and Democracy
What kind of public architecture is appropriate for a democracy? Should public spaces and buildings reflect democratic values - such as transparency and accessibility - or is the crucial requirement for democratic architecture that the process of arriving at decisions about the built environment is as participatory as possible? Is gentrification somehow un-democratic? The course will introduce students to different theories of democracy, to different approaches to architecture, and to many examples of architecture and urban planning from around the world, via images and films. Might include a field trip.
Jan-Werner Müller Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm T
Seminar in Comparative Politics - Europe and the World
This course covers Europe's historical and contemporary role in world politics. Topics include the legacy of the two world wars, the Cold War, colonialism and decolonization, the genesis and subsequent development of the EC/EU, and the challenges confronting present-day Europe. These challenges include immigration, enlargement, the Euro, democratization. Particular emphasis will be placed on defense and security policy.
Ezra N. Suleiman Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm T
Christianity: From Illegal Movement to World Religion
How did the movement that began with a few followers of Jesus of Nazareth become a world religion? We will investigate the earliest primary sources, gospels and historical accounts, Jewish and Roman, showing what was known about Jesus--including secret gospels; letters written to and from Roman emperors about whether to kill Christians in order to stop the movement; trial accounts, prison diaries, and martyrdoms; what Jesus and Paul said about sexual practices and gender; what converts said about why they chose Christianity, despite the dangers; how emperor Constantine--and his allies shaped Christianity as we know it today.
Elaine H. Pagels Class: 1:30-2:20 pm MW
Studies in Greco-Roman Religions: Introduction to Judaism in the Greco-Roman World
The goal of this course is to introduce a significant part of the literature of the Jews of Palestine and Egypt in the period from Alexander to the destruction of the Second Temple, together with a sampling of some recent scholarship on these works. The introduction is necessarily selective, and it will thus reflect to some degree my interests and preoccupations, but I have made an effort to give you some sense of the range of Jewish texts in the period. I hope that this breadth of coverage will provide the background you need for your own work.
Martha Himmelfarb Seminar: 1:30-4:20 pm Th
Religions of Late Antiquity
A weekly, year-long workshop providing students in the Religions of Late Antiquity with the opportunity to present their current research for discussion. Note: REL 525 (fall) and REL 526 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop. In order to receive credit and/or a grade, students must take the course both semesters.
Moulie Vidas Seminar: 11:00 am-12:20 pm W
Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication
TRA 200/COM 209/HUM 209
What is translation? What is a language? So essential and widespread is translation today that it has become a central analytic term for the contact of cultures, and a paradigm for studying many different aspects of our multilingual world. This course will consider translation as it appeared in the past, but especially as it constructs everyday life in the contemporary world. It will look at issues of anthropology, artificial intelligence, diplomacy, film, law and literature that involve interlingual and intercultural communication. Students should acquire an understanding of the problems and practices of modern translation.
Thomas W. Hare Seminar: 11:00 am-12:20 pm T and 3:00-4:20 pm Th
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