M. Karaiskou, Assistant Professor of Modern Greek Literature, Department of Preschool Education, University of Crete
Course Title: An approach to modern Greek culture through the lens of literature
Course Outline: the course aims at the introduction of students to various aspects of modern Greek culture through the selection of literary texts that have been generally perceived as landmarks in the history of modern Greek literature and may be classified either in the genre of poetry or in that of prose fiction. It aspires to offer an overview of how Greek cultural identity has been developed from the medieval period up to our contemporary era. It will particularly focus on aspects of the texts that may be related to important facts of modern Greek history as well as on those elements that reflect the ideologies shaped in each different period which may illustrate the complex issue of the formation of modern Greek national character. The course will also attempt to approach the major subject of the so-called Greek “language question”, as this is reflected in the literature of these years, and at the same time to pinpoint the alterations that the Greek literary language has undergone from the nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century. In our examination we will use an interdisciplinary approach, as parallels will be often drawn with other arts, such as theatre, painting, sculpture, music, cinema. At the same time the case of modern Greek literature will be closely discussed in connection to other foreign literary traditions with which it had often opened a creative dialogue. The following literary works are proposed to be discussed, most of which may be also traced in an English translation: greek folk songs, V. Kornaros’ Erotokritos, E. Roidis’ Pope Joan, D. Vikelas’ Loukis Laras, Y. Vizyinos and A. Papadiamantis’ selected stories, Cavafy’s selected poems, Seferis’ and Elytis’ poetry, K. Politis’ Eroica, G. Ioannou’s selected prose pieces, M. Anagnostakis’ selected poetry.
The lectures will be given in English.
Curriculum Vitae: Maria Karaiskou studied Modern Greek Literature in the Department of Philology in the University of Crete (1995). She continued her studies by successfully attending an MA program in Modern Greek Studies in the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at King’s College London (1996). She submitted a PhD thesis in the same department under the title “The formation of the modern Greek short story (διήγημα): critical perspectives and narrative practice (c. 1880-1920)” (2002). Since 2003 she has been teaching in the Department of Preschool Education of the University of Crete, first as an adjunct professor, then as a lecturer (2005-2012) and after that as an assistant professor. The courses she teaches are related to modern Greek literature of the 19th and the 20th century (prose fiction and poetry) as well as to Children’s literature. Her research interests evolve around modern Greek prose fiction, modern Greek poetry, modern Greek criticism, comparative literature, theory of literature, children’s literature.