Seminars

  • Founded
    2005
  • Seminar Number
    703

The seminar’s title emphasizes the language—modern Greek—over the metropolitan nation-state, modern Greece. By so doing, the seminar uses the enduring and versatile nature of the language as a symbol for broader themes that, both diachronically and synchronically, depict the tension between sameness and difference, between the continuities and discontinuities that comprise the Hellenic world. The seminar does not limit its focus to Modern Greece, even though it remains its foremost concern, instead it seeks to provide a forum for original interdisciplinary perspectives on Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greece and the Greek diaspora. Seminar participants from a wide variety of fields consider all aspects of the post-classical Greek world as well as the reception and creative appropriation of the classical Greek tradition both in Greece and abroad. The seminar examines Greek relations with Western Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Caucasus and the Middle East, tracing also the cultural presence of historic Greek communities in these areas as well as in more recent diasporas, in the United States and Australia. The seminar also examines the presence of diverse communities within Greece.

Website

Past Meetings


Co-Chairs
Professor Dimitrios Antoniou
da2500@columbia.edu

Professor Karen Van Dyck
vandyck@columbia.edu

Rapporteur
Chloe Howe Haralambous
chh2124@columbia.edu


All seminars will meet over Zoom for the 2020-2021 academic year. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. 

Meeting Schedule

10/22/2020 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
An Evening in Pangrati: Revisiting the AIDS epidemic in 1980s Athens
Dimitris Xanthoulis, Journalist and Activist
Abstract

Abstract

The current pandemic has brought renewed interest in the ways in which members of LGBTQ communities dealt with uncertainty and silence in the early stages of the AIDS epidemic. In this seminar journalist and activist Dimitris Xanthoulis shares his recollections of an evening in the early 1980s when members of AKOE (the Greek Homosexual Liberation Movement) gathered to collect information about the new virus and organize the gay community.





Notes: In collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative. This meeting will be conducted in Greek.
11/19/2020 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Extra-terrestrial Ethnographies of the Future-Present (Part I: Writing Workshop)
Alexandra Siotou, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Giorgos Mantzios, University of Toronto (Canada)

Penelope Papailias, University of Thessaly (Greece)
Abstract

Abstract

Taking the contemporary moment as an alien world, participants in this two-part workshop will embark on "tracking" missions, use memes, news media, vlogs, archival images, political satire, peer commentary, and works of fiction (e.g., plague literature) as “data” to create a collaborative sci-fi ethnography. The resulting textual body—an extra-terrestrial account of our “new normal”—will evolve online through a collaborative platform and result in a zine publication prepared by participants in January 2021. The workshop will be conducted in Greek, with an Εnglish option.



Notes: In collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative and the University of Thessaly's Greek Future Archive of Socialities Under Quarantine research project and Anthrobombing platform.
12/10/2020 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Online screening of the film Third Kind (Yorgos Zois, 2018) and discussion with the director
Yorgos Zois, Film Director
Abstract

Abstract

The screening of Third Kind and the discussion with Yorgos Zois is the perfect follow up to our October collaborative writing workshop. With abandoned Ellinikon airport in the background, this sci-fi film invites us to contemplate ruination, nostalgia for a future-present, economies of abandonment, and collateral populations and spaces. The director describes Third Kind as follows: “Earth has been abandoned for a long time and the human race has found refuge in outer space. Three archeologists return to Earth to investigate where a mysterious five tone signal is coming from…"

Third Kind was Greece’s official selection for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival’s La Semaine de la Critique. Shot exclusively at Ellinikon airport during the summer of 2017, Third Kind features the airport at a critical moment in the decades-long history of its abandonment. Surveying the airport shortly after the last refugees encamped there were forcibly evicted, Zois describes being haunted by what remains, their abandoned belongings: “It was like a civilization that was lost from one day to the next.” In this short sci-fi film, the viewer is confronted with the mass displacement of humankind into outer space, which works as an uncanny metaphor for the displacement of actual refugees from both their homelands and the airport. Three archaeologists return to Earth to investigate a mysterious five-tone signal...


Discussant: George Μantzios, University of Toronto



Notes: In collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative and the University of Thessaly's Greek Future Archive of Socialities Under Quarantine research project and Anthrobombing platform.
12/17/2020 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Extra-terrestrial Ethnographies of the Future-Present (Part IΙ: Ζine Workshop)
Alexandra Siotou, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Giorgos Mantzios, University of Toronto (Canada)

Penelope Papailias, University of Thessaly (Greece)
Abstract

Abstract

How might we turn collaborative writing and online data expeditions into zines? How might zines become vehicles for documenting the present? This workshop will draw on ideas and data produced in the context of SNFPHI's sci-fi ethnography workshop (in November 2020) and the screening of Υorgos Zois' Third Kind (in December 2020) to produce a collaborative zine reflecting on COVID19 from the perspective of an alien future.



Notes: In collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative and the University of Thessaly's Greek Future Archive of Socialities Under Quarantine research project and Anthrobombing platform.
02/17/2021 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Performing the Index
Elpida Karaba, Temporary Academy of Arts (Greece)

Yota Ioannidou, Temporary Academy of Arts (Greece)

Despina Zefkili, Temporary Academy of Arts (Greece)

Vangelis Vlahos, Temporary Academy of Arts (Greece)
Remodal Abstract

Abstract

Who and what is considered “waste(d)” in the current moment? What forms of cleansing are they subjected to? In this workshop the Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT, Elpida Karaba, Yota Ioannidou, Despina Zefkili, and Vangelis Vlahos) and fellows from Columbia’s Institute of Ideas and Imagination come together to discuss these questions, develop a lexicon of relevant terms and concepts, and examine people, times, and places that often elude investigation.


To register for the workshop and receive the Zoom link contact ideasimagination@columbia.edu.


Notes: In collaboration with the Institute for Ideas and Imagination and the Temporary Academy of Arts.
03/19/2021 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Curating Greek Independence
Ioulia Pentazou, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Alexandros Teneketzis, Hellenic Open University (Greece)

Konstantina Zanou, Columbia University
Abstract

Abstract

How do Greek museums tackle thorny issues in the history of the Greek independence movement? How can curation challenge our understanding of the national past, shed light on blind spots, and place the study of Greek independence in a larger transnational context? In this seminar Ioulia Pentazou (University of Thessaly), Alexandros Teneketzis (Hellenic Open University), and Konstantina Zanou (Columbia University) discuss new curatorial approaches to 1821 and its legacies.



04/15/2021 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Walking through History: Tracing Resistance and the Great Famine in Athens
Menelaos Charalambidis, Independent Writer and Historian
Abstract

Abstract

The first winter of the German and Italian occupation of Greece (1941-1942) saw a famine that cost the lives of at least 45,000 people in Athens and Piraeus. Although the word “hunger” is etched on Greek collective memory of the Second World War, there are no commemorative traces in the urban landscape marking this traumatic experience. The particular circumstances that led to the famine and its connection to the growth of the resistance movement are also not widely known. How might we cultivate public awareness of the realities of this troubling period in Greek history? In this seminar historian Menelaos Charalambidis draws on his experience leading walking tours in Athens since 2013 to consider effective ways to communicate expert knowledge on the famine, urban resistance, and collaboration with the occupiers to a lay audience.