Online seminar “Ancient Greek tragedy in the modern cultural space: based on the tragedy of Euripides” Medea “

In March-April this year, the Department of Russian Philology and Slavic Studies of the Athens National University together with the Department of Classical Philology, Russian Literature and Journalism of the Institute of Philology of PetrSU initiated a seminar “Ancient Greek tragedy in the modern cultural space: based on the tragedy of Euripides” Medea “.
In March-April this year, the Department of Russian Philology and Slavic Studies of the Athens National University together with the Department of Classical Philology, Russian Literature and Journalism of the Institute of Philology of PetrSU initiated a seminar “Ancient Greek tragedy in the modern cultural space: based on the tragedy of Euripides” Medea “.

The seminar was held in Russian in a distance format using the Zoom platform, was addressed primarily to 1st and 2nd year students of the “Classical Philology” direction, but students of senior courses of general philological training also became participants.

The curator and moderator of 8 meetings from the Greek side was D. philol. D., Associate Professor of the Department of Russian Philology and Slavic Studies of the University of Athens Tatiana Stanislavovna Borisova, from the Russian side – Associate Professor, Cand. philol. E.P. Litinskaya. The seminar was conducted by Maria Amanaki, a graduate of the Higher Theater School and a graduate student in the Department of Russian Philology and Slavic Studies.

Before the start of practical classes, students were provided with textual preparatory information on the history of ancient literature, drama, the organization of ancient theater, the work of ancient tragedians. The main attention was paid to the analysis of the tragedy of Euripides “Medea” in the historical and linguoculturological aspects. Seminar meetings were built using slow reading techniques. Thoughtful reading made it possible to plunge into the element of the ancient Greek language, to reveal the relevance of the moral and ethical problems of ancient drama in a historical and cultural context.

Classes began with the recitation by students of a given passage of the tragedy in Russian, followed by primary commentary. The teacher asked questions about understanding the text, provided an opportunity for interpretation, analyzed the concepts of ancient culture (hybrid, kalokagatiya, kleos, catharsis, etc.), in parallel turned to the ancient Greek version of the tragedy. As a control task, the students prepared a short essay, choosing the most characteristic quotation from the text, reflecting, from their point of view, the problems of the tragedy as a whole.

At the final meeting, students made speeches and a discussion of selected quotes took place. All students who have mastered the course in full and completed the test task will receive a certificate.

The organizers of the seminar noted the high level of training of students of the Institute of Philology of PetrSU, the independence and originality of their statements, and also expressed their hope for continued cooperation. There was a positive response from the participants of the seminar, who appreciated the advantage of the remote format of the seminar, as well as the opportunity to ask questions to the lecturer and compensate for the lacunae arising from the language and cultural barriers. The main advantage of the students indicated the interpretation of the content of the tragedy from a native speaker with a theater education. The guys shared that the actual reading of the ancient Greek classics changed their perception of ancient literature, and expressed their hope for a repetition of such a learning experience.

M. Amanaki, organizer of the seminar, noted:

A special course on the analysis of the ancient Greek tragedy of Euripides “Medea” online, and even in Russian, delighted me from the very beginning! Due to various reasons.

Such large-scale works have something in common with our time, after 2500 years, and their study does not end with a one-time approach. In fact, they are constantly being studied, presented in theatrical, cinematic and operatic productions around the world, with different views and constantly opening new gaps in semantic depth. So that Medea made me think about new questions not only students, but me too.

On the other hand, the need to think and express exclusively in Russian, the need to transmit a part of the ancient Greek mentality to a foreign language public, and the indirectness of remote contact raised the appeal of the whole project for me.

The initial goal on my part was to develop in the participants of the special course the ability to consider the subtext found in each verse, since it is in every word of real life, and to show the way of its interpretation, through numerous layers of processing. I also wanted to breathe in them a connection between the same subtext and modern reality. Thanks to this connection, 32 ancient Greek tragedies that have come down to us shine despite the chaotic period of time!

With each meeting, the contact and interest on the other side of the screen strengthened, the questions became more complex and the desire to understand the diverse Medea, and perhaps argue with her, increased.

By our last meeting, the guys had to choose one quote from the whole tragedy, which they considered characteristic of this work, and explain the reasons for their choice. They presented their essays and shared their thoughts, among which one could find new approaches of interpretation, and sometimes even clashing with each other, which is an indicator of their response to the call of the Medea project.

Similar initiatives, despite the complexity they can cause, are worth supporting and trying to organize them, as they provide an opportunity to expand the worldview, and also intensively help to gain experience in the field of teaching in the new era of distance education, for which we also have to prepare. …

I am grateful for the opportunity to host this special course and I think the goal has been successfully completed!

S. Matveeva, 1st year student:

It was very interesting to attend the seminar, as it allowed looking at the work from the perspective of a resident of Greece. The realities of our countries are different, and the past even more so. I would like to repeat this experience. As for the format, it was convenient, because at any moment you can ask a question or clarify something, which is impossible in a lecture. A seminar is the most convenient option, in my opinion.

A. Garipova, 1st year student:

The seminar devoted to the study of the ancient Greek tragedy “Medea” by Euripides was my first experience. Thanks to the leading Maria, we were able to look at the work from the perspective of a different culture, different from ours.

A. Trofimenko, 2nd year student:

Distance learning has become almost the norm these days. One of its advantages is learning in situations where face-to-face communication is difficult. And listening to lectures while in different countries is an interesting experience. Usually we hear about foreign works from Russian teachers, so it was interesting to look at Medea from the side of a representative of Greek culture.

P. Vakulina, 1st year student:

I would like to express my special gratitude for the organization of the course on the tragedy of Euripides “Medea”. I really liked the format of the classes and the presentation of the material, thanks to Maria for the opportunity to get acquainted with the work, which remains relevant today. I would love to join a similar course again.

P. Gavrilova, 3rd year student:

It was especially interesting to communicate with a person who is a bearer of a different culture. The past classes are an excellent example of fruitful cooperation between educational institutions from different countries! I hope that in the future there will be other similar courses, which I will attend with sincere joy!

 

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