Images of Balkans in Modern Greek Literature

1 Jul 2022

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The course examines representations of the Balkan Other and the Balkans. Using the theoretical tools of Imagology, the aim is to highlight the stereotypical constructions and the main connotations of the term "Balkans" in 19th and 20th century Modern Greek literature.
Focusing mainly on literary texts, but also referring to other types of sources, the course aims to reconstruct the way in which the Balkans were perceived in the Μodern Greek imaginary. Moreover, the process by which the individual stereotypical constructions concerning the Balkan nations led to the identification of the Balkans with the notions of backwardness, anti-Westernism, exoticism and inferiority are discussed. At the same time, the course examines aspects of Greece's self-perception as a European, Western space, imaginatively distanced from the Balkans.

After completing the course, a student will be able to:
- identify images of the Balkan Other in 19th and 20th century Greek texts
- understand the formation of ethnic stereotypes in literature in relation to historical discourses, memory, politics and ideology
- use the theoretical tools of Imagology and distinguish the differences between 'national stereotypes', 'literary images' and 'literary motifs'.
- summarize the main historical and political events in the Balkan Peninsula of the 19th and 20th century, such as, among others, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the building of the contemporary Balkan states, the period of Balkan socialism, the post-communist era, as well as the historic relations of the Balkan states with European Union
- describe the main aspects of Orientalism and Balkanism, as well as the role of the aforementioned phenomena to the representations of Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

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