Brown University shieldBrown University

Courses in Modern Greek and of Interest to Modern Greek

Modern Greek Studies offers a variety of courses each semester. There are seven semesters of language teaching, as well as courses in comparative literature, Byzantine Literature and history. Courses taught in anthropology or other departments will be cross-listed with Modern Greek when they are taught. 

Fall 2023

Introduction to Modern Greek 

Designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of Modern Greek. The aim is to introduce students to basic linguistic structures and develop the ability to comprehend and produce text, as well as to speak and understand speech, in a variety of contexts and registers. The course objectives are to enable students to perform a range of tasks, master a minimum core vocabulary and acquire knowledge and understanding of various forms of Greek culture.

MGRK 0100

Intermediate Modern Greek

Develops linguistic and cultural competence and may be taken by anyone who has completed MGRK0200 or after consultation with the instructor and/or a placement exam. It focuses on further development of the four language skills as well as knowledge and understanding of various aspects of Greek society. It employs a variety of materials, including film, digital stories, internet-based sources, music, art, and literature.

MGRK 0300

Third Year Modern Greek

May be taken by students who have completed the previous sequences or by anyone who places successfully into the course. The course places emphasis on the improvement of writing and oral skills, via presentations, collaborative projects, conversations and assignments based on topics and texts, drawn from a variety of sources and cultural forms of expression.

MGRK   0500

In other words: Translating Greece

This is an advanced undergraduate seminar that will offer students the opportunity to build on their linguistic, cultural and critical literacies, by translating from Greek into English. Over the course of the semester, we will be thinking critically about texts, their ideological, historical and social coordinates and their embedded discourses of Greekness, community, diglossia, identity and gender, among others. In addition to translating from Greek into English, we will read and discuss essays on translation, in order to consider in an informed way, the issues (untranslatability?) and types of decision making associated with the practice of translation.

MGRK 1800


The Classical World in Film

Why do film directors, Hollywood moguls, and TV executives hark back to antiquity? This course introduces spectacular, epic representations of classical literature, myth, and history alongside more
understated, tongue-in-cheek—occasionally hyperbolic—adaptations of that world in the present. Explores how narrative, cinematic technique, audience reception, and political context produce desired effects and elicit incisive commentary on modernity, race, ethnicity, gender. Analysis centered around a cluster of classical texts, heroic and mythic figures, and truly “historical” events. No prior knowledge of classical literature required. Films range from silent movies, Hollywood epics, European auteurism, anti-colonial Third Cinema, gladiatorial kitsch, and sci-fi franchise.

MGRK 1010


Making Modern Monuments: Race, Coloniality, and the Athenian Acropolis

How does modernity construct monuments and monumental landscapes, out of the multi-temporalremnants of various pasts? How do coloniality and race shape this process? What is the role of disciplinary apparatuses, especially archaeology, classics, architecture, and history of art? How do modernist sensorial regimes, particularly technologies of vision, co-constitute such “significant”monuments? Exploring these key questions, this seminar takes a close and sustained look at one iconicspecimen, a sacred locus of western, racialized modernity: the Acropolis of Athens.

ARCH 2420


The Balkans, Europe's Other?: Literature, Film, History

Introduces the modern Balkans through a critical examination of literary and visual, historiographic and political, narratives. The course considers the contestation over a shared historical past and interreligious geographic space through common and divergent master narratives, motifs, myths, and recurring discourses. It also examines the region’s aesthetic, religious, and political relation to Europe. Do the Balkans constitute a traumatized, “balkanized,” self-colonized, abject modernity at Europe’s edges, its inner alterity? Given the acclaim achieved by Balkan filmmakers since 1989, the course also asks how Balkan artists, caught in-between nationalism, Orientalism, Eurocentrism and globalization, assert agency and subjectivity and captivate our imaginations.

COLT 1814S


Travelers in Greece: from Pausanias to Shirley Valentine

Ever since Pausanias the Periegete wrote his "Description of Greece" in the 2nd century CE, travelers have been inspired both to see the sights of Greece and to narrate their travels. The subject of this course is travel narratives about Greece, and our own journey will lead us to sites throughout the country. Yet we will also be using these narratives as launchpads for exploring the imaginary and imagined power of the Greek landscape: from its ancient status as seat of the gods to its modern appeal as a land of anonymity, relaxation and freedom for the wearied 'westerner'.

CLAS 0210T