by Barbara Black
Thirteen Concordia students left Mirabel Airport on Friday on Concordias
first undergraduate study trip to Greece, cradle of Western civilization.
They are taking a new three-credit summer course, INTE 298G-1, titled
The Odyssey Revisited. After an intensive week of preparatory lectures
in Montreal, they are spending three weeks in Athens and the surrounding
region, soaking up classical and Byzantine architecture and art, plus
contemporary Greek culture and some of the language.
Overview of Greek history
The course, given by Professor Lambros Kamparides, was offered this summer
through Concordias Interdisciplinary Studies unit.
Professor Kamparides says that it is a challenge to give students an overview
of classical, Byzantine, medieval and modern Greece in a few short weeks.
I wouldnt attempt if it we were not there, he said.
However, when you see a site that has been successively inhabited throughout
those periods, it makes history and culture come alive, he added.
Kamparides also wants to show the students how Greece sits at the crossroads
of East and West, and became a link between Europe and the Orient. It
accounts for the Greek concern with moderation, with seeking, whether
in diplomacy or philosophy, the golden mean, a balance between
The course is an initiative of the Hellenic Academic Foundation, part
of the Hellenic Congress of Quebec. Nikos Katalifos, president of the
Hellenic Congress, said, The idea has been around for some time,
but its thanks to Dr. Kilgour that its up and running now.
Dr. Robert Kilgour is Vice-Dean, Curriculum and Appraisals, in the Faculty
of Arts and Science.
John Papadimas, who, like Kamparides, is doing his PhD in modern Greek
history at the Université de Montréal, will also go with
the students. He promised that the students will work hard.
While theyre in Greece, theyll have lectures, and theyll
be expected to prepare course materials and a term paper. Its also
an opportunity for interaction among the students.
Although Concordia has perhaps thousands of students of Greek origin,
this small group is surprisingly diverse. Kamparides noted that three
of the students are in Classics, three from English literature, and three
from Art History, all subjects strongly linked to the contributions of
Concordia does not yet have a Hellenic studies program, but Dr. Nikos
Metallinos, coordinator of Hellenic Studies in the Faulty of Arts and
Science, is building links with McGill University and the Université
de Montréal to establish an inter-university program in Hellenic
Studies. He is also organizing a series of lectures by Greek authors and
The Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics offers several
courses in the Greek language: Hellenic Studies, MODL 399A, Structure
of Modern Greek (six credits), intended for students with no knowledge
of the language: MODL 498A, Modern Greek Language and Culture (three credits),
which requires a prerequisite course or permission and is intended for
students with some knowledge of modern Greek; and MODL 498C, Greek for
Native Speakers (three credits). Its Web site is http://www-cmll.concordia.ca/.
The university also offers an interdisciplinary cluster in Hellenic Studies,
with courses from the departments of CMLL, History, Philosophy, Political
Science, and Religion.