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Modern Greek

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Modern Greek Events

(c) Benjamin Powell

Upcoming Events

Archaeo-politics and the Greek crisis

Dimitris Tziovas (University of Birmingham)

Thursday March 1, 2018 17:15 - 19:00 pm

Room G.21

Faculty of Classics

The crisis has induced Greek society to rethink its values, to revisit its founding myths and to re-examine its earlier certainties. This involves to a certain extent a narrativisation of the traumas of history, an interrogation of past practices and a critical search for what went wrong using the past as a guide.  It is also common for people to try to draw parallels between past and present momentous events and compare the present crisis with other debt crises or traumatic experiences. History plays a significant role in the way Greeks negotiate the crisis. On the other hand, many foreign commentators and journalists have used ancient Greek mythology or imagery in order to illustrate the country’s dire economic situation and the predicament of its people. Embodying the past in the present suggests that the experience of the crisis is ‘polytemporal’, involving past instances of suffering and hardship.  Through affective references to those moments, the crisis is historicised and temporalities collapse. This paper aims to explore how and to what extent Greeks and others read, revisit or revise the country’s ancient past in the light of the crisis. The past is destabilised and at the same time acts as a source of strength. The aim is to explore the ways the crisis has made the ancient past more public, more controversial and more relevant. 



Previous Events

MODERN GREEK ALUMNI LUNCH - Saturday 23rd September 2017

As promised, we have arranged another reunion event for all former students of Modern Greek. It will centre around an Alumni Lunch and will take place at Selwyn College on Saturday 23rd September 2017.

After lunch there will be short talks given by two of our Alumni on the theme of "Greece and Europe". Cecily Arthur (Selwyn 2004-2008), who works in the Translation Service of the European Commission, will speak on "Cucumbers, gherkins and other challenges: translating Greek for the EU". Timon Karamanos (Robinson 1997-2001), a commercial lawyer based in Piraeus, has offered  "'Η Ελλάς ανήκει εις την δύσιν' - was there really any need? Greece and Europe from a legal perspective". Both have promised to make their talks easily digestible!

We hope to welcome back as many former students as possible. You are also very welcome to bring a partner or guest. As you may be aware, the lunch will coincide with the University's Alumni Weekend, so it will be very easy to combine our lunch with attendance at other events in the course of the weekend (see the University's website for details of the events). The event can also be found on the University's Alumni website.

Please use the booking form to reserve your places.

Antony and Cleopatra and Cavafy Talk

THIS PRESENTATION examines C. P. Cavafy's interest in Shakespeare (which perhaps dates from Cavafy's early teenage years in England) and focusses on the Alexandrian Greek poet's adaptations, in several poems, of elements of Shakespeare's Alexandrian play, Antony and Cleopatra. Behind this play, of course, lies Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Marcus Antonius; and  in his Antony-related poems (and others) Cavafy also draws directly on Plutarch, short-circuiting what is elsewhere the tortuous linguistic journey from Plutarch's Greek prose through Jacques Amyot's French translation of Plutarch and North's English translation of Amyot (both sixteenth-cetury) to Shakespeare's seventeenth-century transformation of North's text into an English verse drama, and back to Greek in the twentieth-century poetry of Cavafy.

Tuesday 28th February 2017     5:15pm    Room G.21, Faculty of Classics


Festival of Ideas 2016 

Taster Session in Modern Greek

Saturday 22 October 2016: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

The Linguistics of Modern Greek

A series of open lectures, Fridays at 1pm room 327 of the Raised Faculty Building.

"Nikos Kazantzakis in search of the Cambridge 'intelligentsia' (summer 1946)"

Professor David Holton. Monday June 13th at 3pm in Lecture Block room 1. 'Alluding to Thucydides: George Seferis, modernist poetry and the historical sense'. Dr Polina Tambakaki, Monday 22nd February at 5pm in LB1

The Caryatids’ lament: the 'Elgin Marbles' in modern Greek literature

30th November at 5pm in Lecture Block room 1

Alumni Lunch

Saturday 26 September 2015, 12.00 for 12.45, Selwyn College Cambridge.

Masculinities and gender relations in the Old Greek Cinema: A lecture by Dr A. Hadjikyriacou

12 May 2015, Lecture Block room 2. A video recording of this lecture can be found here

"'From Kornaros to Kazantzakis: Language, Culture, Society, and History in Crete." 

Conference in honour of David Holton, Selwyn College, 30th June and 1st July 2014. Event details can be found here

"'Crisis Cinema: The Politics of Greek Cinematic Production from 2008 to the Present." 

Dr Rosa Barotsi. 12th March 2014, 5pm, MML room 142. 

"'Being happy in Greek Way' Lawrence Durrell in Greece and Cyprus." 

Professor David Roessel. 11th March 2014, 5pm, Alison Richard Building.

Cavafy in Cambridge: A celebration of the poetry of C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) 

Divinity School Theatre, St John's College, Cambridge, Wednesday 20 November 2013. Event details can be found here

Greece and Britain in Women's Literary Imagination 1913-2013 

Selwyn College, Friday 12 April 2013. Event details can be found here

Modern Greek lecture series

Programme for 2012-13 can be found here