Modern Athens: Space, Art and Urban Cultures

Major Discipline(s):
Anthropology, Art History & Archaeology
Related Disiplines:
Urbanism & Sustainability
Fall Semester

The primary representation of Athens, a city understood as both modern and ancient, is globally familiar. And yet, though physically and symbolically dominated by the Parthenon on the Acropolis hill, the Athenian urban fabric teems with diverse spaces, cultures and artistic practices that often complicate and contradict dominant narratives surrounding this metropolis. Through a cultural studies approach that traces the city’s history from its neo-classical beginnings to its present economic and social crises, this course will critically engage with the artistic, cultural and architectural formations of contemporary Athens in relation to larger questions surrounding nationhood, identity, and modernity. An in-depth analysis of various forms of artistic expression including but not limited to music, graffiti, performance, and film, will be combined with fieldwork offering students the opportunity to engage with the myriad aspects of the city and its inhabitants in order to produce a deeper understanding of everyday Athenian life.

Course Objectives

  • Gain knowledge of the varied manifestations and historical development of modern Athens;

  • Critically evaluate visual and material culture in the context of current Greek and larger European issues;

  • Acquire the ability to formally analyze and discuss specific works and different media;

  • Become more fluent in critical discourse during fieldtrips and classroom sessions;

  • Enable students to elaborate, in written and oral assignments, contexts of varying cultural and artistic practice.