Courses in Hellenic Studies
UNDERGRADUATE COURSES - Fall 2017
Elementary Modern Greek
HLS 101/MOG 101
To set the foundations for acquiring a command of spoken and written Modern Greek. Equal emphasis will be given to speaking, reading, and writing.
Staff, Class: 11:00 – 11:50 am MTWTh
Intermediate Modern Greek
HLS 105/MOG 105
To improve the students' oral and written skills and introduce them to themes in the Hellenic tradition through readings in Modern Greek literature.
Staff, Class: 12:30 – 1:20 pm M TWTh
Greek Archaeology: The Classical Period
ART 204/CLA 204/HLS 204
A survey of the material culture of the Greek world, from the Persian invasions until the death of Alexander the Great (ca. 500-323 BC). Works analyzed in their social, political, and archaeological contexts. Topics include: urbanism and the Greek house; the concept of the artist in antiquity; the archaeology of death; the divine image. Study of monuments, artifacts, and sites integrated with the reading of primary literary sources. Frequent hands-on experience with artifacts in the Princeton University Art Museum.
Nathan T. Arrington, Class: 11:00 am – 11:50 pm M W
Classical Roots of Western Literature
COM 205/HLS 203/HUM 205
A reading of some of the greatest works of literature in the European tradition from Homer to Shakespeare. The course is also designed as an introduction to Comparative Literature--that is, a reading of literary works across the boundaries of time, geography, and language. All works taught in English.
Leonard Barkan, Class: 12:30 – 1:20 pm MW
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: 1:00 – 2:20 pm T T
Art and Power in the Middle Ages
ART 228/HLS 228/MED 228/HUM 228
In twelve weeks this course will examine major art works from the twelve centuries (300-1500 CE) that encompass the European Middle Ages. Presenting works from Europe and the Middle East, the course will introduce students to the art of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam; the great courts of the Eastern- and Holy Roman Empires, and the roving Vikings, Celts and Visigoths. Students will not only be invited to consider how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power, but will also come to understand how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous.
Charlie Barber, Class: 12:30 – 1:20 pm M W
Greek Politics in Practice and Theory
CLA 244/CHV 244/POL 337/HLS 243
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 T Th
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.
Staff, Class: 11:00 – 11:50 am T Th
The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages
HIS 343/CLA 343/HLS 343
This course will survey the "Dark Ages" from the end of the Roman Empire to the end of the first millennium (ca. 400-1000 AD), often seen as a time of cultural and political decline, recently even labelled as the "end of civilization". The complex political and social landscape of the Roman Empire, however, had more to offer than just to end. This course will outline how early medieval people(s) in the successor states of the Roman Empire used its resources to form new communities and will suggest to understand the "Dark Ages" as a time of lively social and cultural experimentation, that created the social and political frameworks of Europe.
Helmut Reimitz, Class: 11:00 – 11:50 am M W
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 – 4:20 pm Th
Medieval Art: Emperors, Angels and Martyrs: Bodies in Byzantium
ART 430/HLS 430/MED 430
This course will explore the modes and meanings of representations of different types of bodies in the art of the East Roman Empire (ca. 700 to 1453). Weekly meetings will center around a group of readings and images that focus on a particular type of body within the Byzantine world. The course will begin with the imperial body, cover Christ, martyrs, and saints, and conclude with the bodies of Byzantine and modern viewers. The textual and visual material in discussion will prompt students to think critically about the relationship between historical and represented bodies and the kinds of signification the body was and is made to bear.
Charlie Barber, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm T
GRADUATE COURSES - Fall 2017
The Philosophy of Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics Book V
PHI 501/CLA 519/HLS 508
An exploration of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics book V, with special attention to the theory of justice that emerges in that book.
Hendrik Lorenz, Seminar: 10:00 am – 12:50 pm F
Greek Tragedy: The Oresteia and Tragic Criticism
CLA 506/HLS 506
We attempt a synoptic reading of the Oresteia, paying particular attention to the trilogy's structure, staging, and theology. Alongside the text, we consider a selection of critical approaches to Greek tragedy from the nineteenth century to the present, while trying to formulate the critical approaches of the future.
Joshua H. Billings, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm M
The Orientalizing Phenomenon in Greek Art and Archaeology
ART 519/CLA 523/HLS 519
A study of the origins, nature, and impact of Greek contact with the Near East in the Iron Age. Course examines chronology; regional variation and distribution; technology and innovation; differences across media; modes of communication and exchange; patterns of consumption and display; and the social function of the "exotic." Analyzed with a view to changes and developments in settlement and society, particularly migration, colonization, social stratification, and the rise of the polis.
Nathan T. Arrington, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm F
Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean
HIS 536/HLS536/MED 536
The littoral of the Great Sea has long been viewed as a major place of contact, conflict and exchange for groups belonging to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course approaches the encounters of different religions and ethnicities in such a manner as to introduce students not only to the classic historiography on the subject, but also to the main controversies and debates now current in scholarship. Our analysis and evaluation of the connections that developed between individuals and communities will focus on the High Middle Ages.
Teresa Shawcross, Seminar: 9:00 – 11:50 am Th
Problems in Greek and Roman Philosophy: Philo of Alexandria
CLA 526/HLS 527
This seminar is dedicated to the discussion of the natural philosophy and metaphysis of one of the least studied yet major philosophers of antiquity, Philo of Alexandria.
Christian Wildberg, Seminar: 10:00 am – 12:50 pm W
Problems in Ancient History: Transformations of Culture in Late Antiquity
CLA 547/PAW 503/HLS 547/HIS 557
Relying on material and textual evidence, the seminar explores the cultural history of the Mediterranean World in the Late Antique period by focusing on continuities and transformations in fields such as literate education, transmission of knowledge, religious change, formation of identity, and legal practice. We discuss key concepts such as Romanization, paideia, religious conversion, democratization of culture, centre and periphery from the early Empire to the emergence of post-Roman cultures and societies. Attention is paid to past scholarship as well as to innovative approaches based on new evidence and methods.
Helmut Reimitz and Alberto Rigolio, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm T
Problems in Ancient History: Scenes of Subjection
CLA 548/HLS 548/PAW 548/ART 532
The title of this course is taken from Saidiya Hartman's pathbreaking investigation into the techniques of psychic control that patterned the master-slave relationship in ante- and postbellum America. This seminar attempts to undertake such an investigation for the Roman world, making use of comparative evidence as necessary. Does Roman culture produce a "doulology" [De Wet]? What about a "hauntology" [h/t Derrida] of enslavement?
Dan-El Padilla Peralta, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm W
COURSES OF INTEREST - FALL 2017
Great Books from Little Languages
COM 351/TRA 351/ENG 361
For historical reasons most books that come into English are translated from just a few languages, creating a misleading impression of the spread of literature itself. This course provides an opportunity to discover literary works from languages with small reading populations which rarely attract academic attention in the USA. It also offers tools to reflect critically on the networks of selection that determine which books reach English-language readers; the role of literature in the maintenance of national identities; the role of translation; and the concept of "world literature" in Comparative Literary Studies.
David M. Bellos, Lecture: 3:00 – 4:20 pm M
Economics of Europe
ECO 372/EPS 342
Europe is at a crossroads. Political and economic integration in the European Union (EU) exceeds levels reached in the rest of the world. Economic integration not only affects trade but also migration, agriculture, competition, regions, energy, and money. Most euro area economies have been struggling with interlocking crises involving debt, banking and growth. The EU is facing a migration crisis. The UK voted for Brexit, and other countries may follow. This course studies economic integration and the ongoing crises. It uses economic analysis to study policy issues.
Silvia Weyerbrock, Lecture: 8:30 – 9:50 am T Th
Turning Points in European Culture
ECS 301/EPS 301
Co-taught by Professors Spyros Papapetros (Architecture) and Eileen Reeves (Comparative Literature), 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).
Spyros Papapetros and Eileen A. Reeves, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm M
Problems and Sources in the Study of Late Antique Iran: Sasanian History
This graduate seminar is meant as both an overview of Sasanian history as well as an introduction to its historiography. It is organized based on the study of sources and addresses the issue of the diversity of languages, types of evidence, and variety of approaches. It additionally aims at connecting Sasanian history to the greater issues of late antique and world history and emphasizes similarities and mutual influences with other late antique civilizations and entities.
Khodadad Rezakhani, Seminar: TBA
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture I: Literature and the Arts
Humanistic Studies 216-219 is an intensive yearlong exploration of the landmark achievements of the Western intellectual tradition. With a team of faculty drawn from across the humanities and social sciences, students examine pivotal texts, events, and artifacts of European civilization from antiquity forward. The course is enhanced by guest lectures from preeminent scholars and by excursions to museums and performances. Our themes are the great ones, ethics, politics, beauty, truth, and--in a year when Princeton will make a formal reckoning with its historical debts to slavery--European legacies of bondage and freedom.
Katie Chenoweth, Jeff Dolven, Denis Feeney, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Moulie Vidas, Class: 10:00 – 10:50 am T W Th
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-credit 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.
Katie Chenoweth, Jeff Dolven, Denis Feeney, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Moulie Vidas, Class: TBA
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: How the Past Became History - East Asia and the Ancient Mediterranean
HUM 470/CLA 470/EAS 470/HIS 301
This course explores the emergence of history as a field of knowledge in the ancient Mediterranean and in East Asia. It will guide students to investigate the cultural presuppositions for historiography, comparing two cultures that created their own indigenous tradition, China and Greece, and two that borrowed and adapted foreign traditions, Japan and Rome. We will discuss the specific nature of historiography, comparing it with other ways of transmitting and/or constructing memories of past events, and reflect on the respective historical and cultural implications of these different ways of dealing with the past.
Nino Luraghi and Federico Marcon, Seminar: 1:30 – 2:50 pm T Th
International News: Migration Reporting
This seminar will focus on journalism and the global migration crisis, as more than 65 million people are on the move, with forced displacements at a record high. At the same time, refugee resettlement in the United States is contentious. We will examine journalism's approach to the crisis in photos, text, and radio, considering the conflict between national security, international responsibility, and America's historic role in resettlement. Students will visit ethnic and refugee communities, write stories on topics as diverse as social media, education, and entrepreneurship, and produce multimedia assignments and a long-form final project.
Deborah Amos, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm T
The Ethics of Borders and Migration
POL 405/CHV 406
Migration places into sharp relief the question of how to balance the rights of sovereign states and their citizens against the claims of (often-needy) foreigners. Should self-governing peoples be free to set their own migration policies and control their territorial borders without interference? Or ought they instead to be constrained by a "human right to immigrate?" This course will attempt to answer these questions, in part by theorizing foundational issues of self-determination, boundaries, national culture, and membership. We will also take up contemporary debates about guestworkers, irregular migrants, refugees, and brain drain.
Anna B. Stilz, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm Th
Jesus: How Christianity Began
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: 11:00 – 11:00 am M W
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 thus reflects to some degree my interests and reoccupations, but I make an effort to give you some sense of the range of Jewish texts in the period. I hope that this breadth of coverage provides the background you need for your own work.
Martha Himmelfarb, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm T
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, Lecture: 11:00 am – 12:20 pm T
Senior Seminar in Translation and Intercultural Communication
TRA 400/COM 409
A required course for students taking the certificate in Translation and Intercultural Communication but open to all who are interested in translation or any of its aspects, that is in movements between languages of any sort. Readings will focus on recent contributions to the emerging disciplines of translation studies across a wide spectrum of thematic fields (science, law, anthropology, literature, etc.). The seminar will incorporate the individual experiences of the students in their contact with different disciplines and idioms and, where relevant, in developing their senior theses. One three-hour seminar.
Sandra L. Bermann, Seminar: 1:30 – 4:20 pm W
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