Winter or May Term off-campus study project on a theme related to classical studies.
Winter Term informationRebecca Schindler
183A: Greece:Heritage in Context and Conflict (off-campus)
Who owns the past? Who gets to decide what is preserved and how it is presented? An object of fascination for early European travellers, Greece is looked upon as the birthplace of western civilization and historically archaeological work there has focused on the 'Classical' period. Modern Greek identity has been constructed around its connection to the classical past, ignoring or pushing to the side other facets of Greek history, such as its Christian tradition in the Byzantine Church, and its Muslim past as a subject of the Ottoman empire . This course explores the ethics of cultural heritage in Greece through the first hand study of archaeological sites, museums, and churches. We will explore the construction of the Classical past in Athens, looking in particular at the controversies surrounding the Parthenon marbles and the New Acropolis Museum. Then, we will turn our attention to Thessaloniki, one of the most important cities of the Byzantine and Ottoman worlds. There we will focus on Greece's post-classical history as well as the 'Macedonian question,' that is, who owns the legacy of Alexander the Great. Controversies in cultural heritage bring the past into the present in multiple vivid ways that this course will explore. Students are expected to participate in all aspects of the course: research, writing, and presentation work, as well as the efforts of being members of an itinerant intellectual community. There will be significant walking and some hiking. Our itinerary also includes opportunities for cultural experiences, such as meals at traditional Greek tavernas.