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Past Events


Speaking Greek at the American University Over the Last Two Centuries

15th Annual Dimitris & Irmgard Pallas Modern Greek Lecture

January 26, 2017

Yiorgos Anagnostou, Professor of Modern Greek, The Ohio State University

Celebrating the continuous presence of Greek as a language and a subject of learning on the Michigan campus since 1817 offers an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of "Greek." A host of questions arises: What do Ancient and Modern Greek studies have to say to each other?  What kind of conversation have Modern Greek studies–where Modern Greek is spoken–and Classics–where Ancient Greek is read–been carrying on over the lastcouple of centuries? What tensions, silences, and mutualities have defined this relationship? The lecture traces the history of this relationship, and focuses on ways in which academic multiculturalism has fostered intellectual exchange among scholars of Ancient and Modern Greek. It discusses institutions, scholars, films, fiction, and poetry that bring Classics into conversation with Modern Greek Studies, and develops its own word play on this relationship. It concludes by proposing a framework for future collaboration between the two academic fields: cultivation of a particular ethos of citizenship among students and the wider public.

Poster / Video


Areta Zhulla Plays Greek Composers, Accompanied by Dr. Andrew Lenhart 

May 29, 2016, Stamps Auditorium

A concert to honor the work of violinist Georgios Demertzis and to benefit the an arts program and festival in Greece.

Areta Zhulla, a world-class violinist and Lincoln Center Chamber Musician, is the recipient of the Motsenigos National Prize, a top distinction in Greece, and of the Vergotis scholarship at Julliard. She was spotted by Itzhak Perlman when she was about thirteen, and he brought her from Thessaloniki, Greece to study with him. Dr. Lenhart is a UM and Juilliard graduate. Come enjoy these wonderful musicians. We would love to see you and your loved ones and friends there. The lovers of classical music or everything Greek will not be disappointed.

The Modern Greek Program was pleased to co-sponsor this Greek cultural event, organized by Iambus Music, a non-profit serving Hellenic music and Greek classical musicians by increasing their exposure in the USA and the world.



History and Culture in Chinese and Greek Film

Presenters: Jing Zhang, New College of Florida & Vassiliki Rapti, Harvard University

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The U-M Confucius Institute and Modern Greek Program at the Department of Classical Studies present its fourth joint exploration of modern Chinese and Greek cultures, comparing these two countries' rich cultures and histories in the global context. This unique collaboration is to compare the ways contemporary Chinese and Greeks engage with their respective histories, cultures, performing arts, and films. This year "History and Culture in Chinese and Greek Film" will be discussed via two lectures and two film screenings on March 31 and April 1 respectively.

5 - 5:50 pm: "Lost Child or Lost Fatherhood?: Confucian Structure of Feeling Reinterpreted in Contemporary Chinese Language Cinema" by Jing Zhang

Filial piety and the father-son relationship constitute the core of the "Confucian structure of feeling" in traditional China. While the last two decades saw a rapid economic growth and cultural globalization in China, they also witnessed a revival of traditional values, promoted through state propaganda and education, elite discourse, popular culture, and even legalization. It is in this context that I will discuss the theme of parental love in recent Chinese language films, examining it as an inversion or reinterpretation of filial sentiment pervasive in early modern Chinese literature. I will focus on two recent films of China and Hong Kong collaboration, Dearest (2014) and Lost and Love (2015), one made by the Hong Kong director Peter Chan and the other by novelist and television screenwriter Peng Sanyuan as her directorial debut. Both films base their stories in news reports of child abduction, focus on the parents' relentless search for their lost kids, and dramatize the multilayered tension between parental relationship, morality, and law. I will also trace the motif of "looking for a lost child/father" back to the early Modern Chinese narratives and its reincarnations in several films made at critical historical moments.

6 - 6:50 pm: "In Her Own Voice: History, Memory and Female Subjectivity in Greek Cinema" by Vassiliki Rapti, Harvard University

Within the male-dominated Greek cinema, several pioneering women directors made their appearance in the 1980s and distinguished themselves to the point that we can talk about a feminine Greek cinematic vision. This talk will focus on the distinct features of this powerful yet little known cinematic vision, and tackle female subjectivity as caught up in between History and memory. By analyzing several path-breaking films such as The Price of Love (1984) and Crystal Nights (1992) by Tonia Marketaki, Love Wanders in the Night (1981) andThe Years of the Big Heat (1991) by Frieda Liappa, and Hold Me (2006) and the documentary The Aegean in the Words of Poets (2003) by Loukia Rikaki, where the personal drama is conditioned by the larger circumstances, it will show how female subjectivity is shaped by desire nurtured by memory and agency against History.

Watch Rapti Lecture / Watch Zhang Lecture


Screenings April 1, 2016 / History and Culture in Chinese and Greek Film

6:00 - 8:10 pm : Dearest (2014)
Directed by Peter Chen. 130 min.

Following years of unrelenting search, Tian Wenjun and ex-wife Lu Xiaojuan finally locate their abducted son in a remote village. After the boy was violently taken away from the village, the abductor's widow Li Hongqin- the boy's foster mother - also loses her foster daughter to a state-owned orphanage in Shenzhen Heartbroken, Li goes on a lone but determined journey to get her daughter back. The movie was based on a real life story of a father who used social media to find his missing boy. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

8:10 - 9:10 pm: The Aegean in the Words of the Poets (2003)
Directed by Loukia Rikaki. 61 min.

A cinematic voyage based on the words of travel writers and poets from around the world who visited and wrote about the Aegean archipelago over the centuries. Images from most of the Aegean islands and the sea that links them. These texts blend poems and records of journeys from most of the writers who visited the Aegean over the centuries, and who felt compelled to share the emotions the archipelago inspired in them. We are confronted with vivid descriptions of those same emotions which the Aegean triggers in visitors today. Apart from their literary revelations, these texts  weave a complex tissue of travellers' impressions of the Aegean over the centuries. Different opinions ,meanings and formats blend into a common experience of the archipelago through several languages. Courtesy of International Documentary film Festival Amsterdam.



Language and Politics in Greece Today: The New Face of an Old Problem

14th Annual Dimitris & Irmgard Pallas Modern Greek Lecture

March 10, 2016

Marina Terkourafi, Associate Professor, Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A disconcerting outcome of the last two parliamentary elections in Greece has been the rise of the far-right party Golden Dawn into third position and its entry into parliament. Analysts have identified a range of endemic causes that underlie this success - economic, political, social, and other. The lecture proposes some further explanations of this phenomenon by discussing nationist discourses also manifested in ideologies about language in Greece over the 19th and 20th centuries. While these discourses were part of the nation-building process at the time, they left society vulnerable to political extremes when faced with emergency circumstances.

Poster / Program


Greece & Eurozone: Where to?

February 9, 2016

Stathis N. Kalyvas, Yale University, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science

In this lecture, Professor Kalyvas will review and discuss the various stages of the “Greek Crisis” from its eruption in 2009 to the present. He will consider its place in the broader context of Greek history and the process of European integration, both monetary and political, comparing and contrasting political and economic dynamics, as well as domestic, European, and international ones. This lecture will draw on the arguments of his recently published book, Modern Greece: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Stathis N. Kalyvas is Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University. He is the author of Modern Greece: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2015), The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe (Cornell University Press, 1996), and the co-editor of Order, Conflict & Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2008). He has received several awards, including the Woodrow Wilson Award for best book on government, politics, or international affairs (2007), the Luebbert Award for best book in comparative politics (2008), the European Academy of Sociology Book Award (2008), the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history (1997), and the Gregory Luebbert Award for best article in comparative politics (2001, 2009, and 2011). He is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the European University Institute, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Peace Institute, and the Folke Bernadotte Academy; and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Sponsored by the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Center for European Studies, & the Modern Greek Program

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Greek Art and Mythology; In the Making of Constantinople

February 3, 2016 

Anthony Kaldellis, Ohio State University, Professor and acting Chair, Department of Classics

For centuries, Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire, was the largest and most impressive open-air museum of classical art in the world. In the two centuries after its foundation in 330 AD, it was gradually endowed with imperial monuments and public spaces that made it the equal of ancient Rome. By looking at the forum of Constantine, the forum of Theodosius, the hippodrome, and others this talk will uncover the City’s cosmic symbolism: public spaces were designed to function syntactically as architectural maps of the cosmos and the whole empire, and their symbolic language was mostly that of ancient mythology.

Co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Modern Greek Program, and the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)

Watch Lecture


Power and the Mediterranean Conference

November 13-15, 2015

Co-sponsors of this Meditopos event: the departments of Classics, History of Art and Architecture, Comparative Literature, Screen Arts and Cultures, History, and English, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Modern Greek Program, the college of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Institute for the Humanities, and the International Institute.Keynote speaker: Julia Clancy-Smith, University of Arizona. 






The Audacity of Truth: Aris Alexandrou's Modern Greek Antigone

Gonda Van Steen, Cassas Professor in Greek Studies, University of Florida

Nov. 2, 2015, Michigan League

A Talk on a little-known Greek Historical tragedy that takes place during the 1940s.  Two U-M theater studens, John-Alexander Sakelos and Anastasia Zavitsanos, perform excerpts from the play.

Co-sponsored by Contexts for Classics

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Xenitia or the State of being a Foreigner: Juxtaposing Realities, Interpreting Encounters

October 30, 2015

Pavlos Kavouras, Chair of the Dept. of Ethnomusicology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Athens

The idea of ξενιτιά/xenitia, the state of being a foreigner, in addition to its historical importance for Greek culture, bears an ecumenical significance.  Actually lived experiences of otherness, be they of practical, reflexive or spiritual nature, are differentiated instances of a response of humanity against itself in the context of its constant and dynamic encounter with nature, society and self-awareness. The condition of foreign-ness may be seen as a symbolic bridge bringing together different cultural aspects of the contemporary globalized world. This talk, illustrated with musical examples, will be of interest to people in fields such as anthropology, classics, archaeology, sociology of religion, cultural and literary studies, and ethnomusicology. 

Co-sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA). Photo in poster taken by Constantine Manos.



Screening of Kisses to the Children, a documentary by Vassilis Loules

October 22, 2015

The documentary reveals the experiences of 5 Greek-Jewish children during WWII who were hidden by Christian families and "missed the train to Auschwitz."  Now elderly, these five survivors, relate their experiences of the war, the German occupation of Greece (1941-44), and their years in hiding. 

This events was co-sponsored by the Modern Greek Program, the Holocaust Memorial Center, and the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Jewish Studies.







Visually Demolished and Textually Reconstructed: The Middle Ages in Contemporary Crime Fiction

October 12, 2015

1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University


Panagiotis A. Agapitos, professor of Byzantine literature, University of Cyprus

Despite the growing interest in medievalist (re)constructions of the Middle Ages (e.g. in film, theater, and fiction), the image of the “Middle Ages” in contemporary crime fiction has not been studied at all despite the immense popularity of this subgenre of crime writing. This talk will take a look at this production that, more or less, began in the late 1970s and has grown into a vibrant industry encompassing a variety of periods from the 7th to the 15th century, mostly placed in England, but also in France, Germany, and Italy. An attempt will be made to recognize the narrative mechanisms of “medieval mystery novels,” their literary models; their ideological approaches to various medieval societies; and their depiction of violence, sex, power, and friendship. A brief look will be offered to crime fiction dealing with cultures outside the conventional frame of the (Western) Middle Ages, such as, China, Japan, and Byzantium. Ultimately, it will be proposed that the “new” Middle Ages of contemporary crime fiction are an exotic locus of intertextual and intervisual fantasy, rather than an academic archeological recostrunction of a clearly defined medieval past.

Panagiotis A. Agapitos is professor of Byzantine literature at the University of Cyprus. His research interests focus on textual and literary criticism, with an emphasis on Byzantine rhetoric and its performance, poetics, erotic fiction, and the representation of death in Byzantine literature. Beyond his scholarly papers, he has published Narrative Structure in the Byzantine Vernacular Romances (Munich 1991); Theodoros Metochites on Greek Philosophy and Ancient History (Gothenburg 1996); the first critical edition of the thirteenth-century verse romance Livistros and Rhodamne (Athens 2006); and, most recently, Between History and Fiction: Medieval Narratives between History and Fiction: From the Centre to the Periphery of Europe, 1100-1400 (Copenhagen 2012), edited with L. B. Mortensen. He is currently preparing an English translation with introduction and notes of Livistros and Rodamne for Translated Texts for Byzantinists (Liverpool University Press), and a study on the periodization of Byzantine literature. Parallel to his scholarly activities, he is a writer of historical crime fiction, having published sofar three novels set in 9th-century Byzantium.

Sponsors: CES, Department of Classical Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, Modern Greek Program

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Manos Hadjidakis -- A New Generation of Musicians Pay Tribute to the Composer

April 18, 2015

Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104

A concert generously sponsored by the Modern Greek Program — University of Michigan

The Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis (1925 - 1994) is beloved worldwide for his compositions, which range from classical music to folk music to film music. His most famous composition, 1960’s Never On A Sunday, was composed for the film of the same title, and garnered him an Academy Award for Best Original Song. That song would go on to be his most famous, and would become the definitive sound of Greek music to an international audience for generations to come. But he wrote prolifically, both in Greece and in America, where he lived 1966 to 1972.

Hadjidakis was deeply influenced by the American culture he loved — the cities, the life, the music, the artists. In turn, American musicians performed, adapted, and popularized his music through movies, musicals, concerts, and records. Today, twenty years after his death, a new generation is re-discovering his work, approaching it in innovative and exciting ways. This special concert will present the new Hadjidakis of the 21st century, who is still inviting us all to go with him "for a walk on the moon.”

Composer, pianist, and improvising musician Michael Malis spearheaded this concert in a program that provided new adaptations of some of Hadjidakis’ best known compositions, as well as some of his lesser-known gems. Malis, who is of Greek-American descent, brought a unique perspective to this music. The program was diverse, featuring a range of instrumentations, from solo piano to chamber ensembles. Malis was joined by special guests, including flutist Ellie Falaris Ganelin, the founder of the Greek Chamber Music Project, as well as cellist Abby Alwin, an improvising musician with a deep affinity for Greek music. 

Also featured on the program was Ann Arbor’s own OrnämatiK, a “Balkan funk band” featuring popular area musicians. Well known for their legendary festive performances around Ann Arbor, Southeastern Michigan, and across the Midwest, OrnämatiK consistently delights dancers and audiences alike.

More Information


Performance: Chinese and Greek Dances,

April 2, 2015

Continuing the shared exploration of modern Chinese and Greek cultures that started at U-M three years ago, dancers from the Midwest came together to showcase representative works from their rich traditions.  A unique event introduced by Michigan faculty who helped a broad audience enjoy song, music, and dance and perhaps join the festivities.  (Co-sponsors:  the Confucius Institute and the Modern Greek Program)

Moli Performing Arts Ensemble, U-M Hellenic Student Association, the Yassou Dancers of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Ann Arbor, and Hellenic Dance Company of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Toledo, Ohio presented a program of the "Dancing Together: Chinese-Greek Dances."



Screening of "Palikari - Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre,"

March 12, 2015

Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre tells the story of Greek immigrant and labor leader Louis Tikas (Elias Spantidakis) and one of the decisive moments of the American labor movement. Filmmakers Lamprini Thoma and Nikolaos Ventouras examined the memories, the history and the legacy of Tikas and those involved in the bloody events called the Ludlow Massacre, interviewing prominent historians, artists and descendants of Ludlow miners and incorporating archival footage and photographs that share an unknown American story.  (Co-sponsors: the Modern Greek Foundation, the UM Modern Greek Program, and ThePressProject)





How Greek was El Greco?

January 22, 2015, Michigan Union

13th Annual Dimitris & Irmgard Pallas Modern Greek Lecture

Speaker: Andrew R. Casper, Miami University

ABSTRACT: Born in Crete around 1541, there is no doubt about the ethnic origins of the painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as “El Greco” (“The Greek”). And yet the issue becomes much more complex when we take into consideration the painter’s artistic output and the multicultural path that he followed throughout his career. For an artist whose career spanned Crete, Venice, Rome, and Toledo (Spain), the issue of his “Greekness” results in something of a conflict between his own self-conception and the expectations of his audiences. This paper will examine the diversity of El Greco’s painting styles as well as the communicative goals of his signatures to explore the fraught issues of his Greek identity in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe.

BIO: Andrew Casper earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Assistant Professor of art history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art in southern Europe. He is the author of numerous articles on sixteenth-century icons and the religious paintings from El Greco’s Italian period. His book Art and the Religious Image in El Greco’s Italy (Penn State University Press, 2014) uses El Greco’s early paintings to advance new ideas concerning the conception of religious imagery after the Council of Trent.  His current research examines the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century artistic conception of the Shroud of Turin as a divine painting. His research and publications have been supported by grants from the American Philosophical Society, Art History Publication Initiative, College Art Association, Fulbright, Italian Art Society, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Newberry Library. Professor Casper is the winner of the 2014 Miami University Distinguished Teaching Award.

Program / Watch Lecture




Media Representation of the Greek Crisis

October 9, 2014

A Lecture by Maria Kakavoulia, Onassis Senior Visiting Scholar and Associate Professor in Rhetoric, Stylistics and Narratology, main coordinator of the Speech and Rhetoric Lab Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens Greece

This lecture discussed how the international and the Greek media have portrayed the Greek crisis over the last few years. How did the media represent the renegotiation of values involved in Greece's relation to Europe? Does the international press stereotype Greece, or does it contribute to the internationalisation of the crisis and the illustration of the social and humanitarian dimensions of the crisis often ignored by the European Union?  How has the foreign representation of Greek crisis been received by the Greek media? The lecture also focused on the plurality of new and old media used by Greek citizens  to report  stories about the human impact of the austerity measures and the collective anger of the Greek people.

This event was sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)




Fact of Fiction: What More Do We Know about American Involvement in the 1967 Greek Military Coup?

12th Annual Dimitris & Irmgard Pallas Modern Greek Lecture

March 26, 2014, Michigan Union, Anderson Room

Speaker: Neovi Karakatsanis, Indiana University South Bend

A lack of scholarly and journalistic objectivity has long been a stumbling block in our understanding of the Greek military dictatorship of 1967–74. In Greece, one of the most commonly held beliefs is that the United States was actively involved in launching and maintaining in power the Colonels’ regime. Given the close relationship between the U.S. government and the Greek right (including the Greek military establishment) during the 1940s–1960s, one can easily understand the origin and plausibility of this perception. However, despite the nearly universal Greek acceptance of U.S. involvement, little to no evidence has been provided in either the scholarly or popular literature to substantiate (or refute) this claim. This presentation will attempt to do just that: by calling attention to recently declassified State Department, U.S. Embassy and National Security Council files, as well as documents from the British Foreign Office, Karakatsanis will analyze and assess the U.S. perspective and its reaction to the Colonels’ coup of 1967. Highlighting the complex, contradictory nature of the U.S.-Greek relationship, this presentation sets forth a nuanced understanding of the actors, strategies and interests involved in the run up and immediate aftermath of the colonels’ 1967 coup.

Neovi M. Karakatsanis is a Professor of Political Science at Indiana University South Bend, where she has taught since 1998. She has written on the Greek transition to democracy, the southern European welfare state, Greek unemployment, and the issue of women migrants and attitudes towards migration in Greece.

Poster ° Photos


Civilization Gone Awry: Culture, Capitalism, and Conflict in Contemporary Europe 

The Modern Greek Program is a proud co-sponsor of the Conversations on Europe lecture series, brought to you by the Center of European Studies.

February 20 · International Institute

Assistant Professor Peter Bratsis, teaches political science at the City University of New York.  He is a founding editor of the journal Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination; author of Everyday Life and the State (Paradigm, 2006; and editor, with Stanley Aronowitz, of Paradigm Lost: State Theory Reconsidered (Minnesota, 2002).  His most recent publication is "Political Corruption in the Age of Transnational Capitalism: From the Relative Autonomy of the State to the White Man's Burden" in Historical Materialism (2013).

Poster / Watch Lecture


"Smyrna: the Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City 1900-1922"

Presented by Director, Maria Iliou

January 26, 2014, Angell Hall, Auditorium A

The Film (87 minutes), focuses on the cosmopolitan character of the city and how it was destroyed in an era of nationalist conflict. It seeks to present a balanced narrative that honors the discipline of history as well as all the victims of the city's destruction. It premiered at the Benaki Museum in Athens in January 2012 and in New York City in October 2012 as part of the Greek Film Festival and was screened in film theaters in Athens, Thessaloniki, London, Paris, and New York City. It was met with wide acclaim and warm praise by audiences and film critics.

The documentary film (directed by Maria Iliou, historical consultant Alexander Kitroeff, produced by Proteus) is based on a broad range of unknown footage and photographs discovered in archives in the United States and Europe and preserved by the non-profit organization Proteus. It includes appearences by Giles Milton, author of the best-selling Paradise Lost who is the film's main narrator and Eleni Batsea (University of New Mexico), Jacques Nalbantian (who escaped from Smyrna as a child in 1922), Leyla Neyzi (Sabanci University), Vana Solomonidou (whose London University doctorate dissertation is on Smyrna's governor Aristides Stergiades) and Thanos Veremis (University of Athens).

This screening has been made possible thanks to a grant from the STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATON.

Poster ° Photos


Adventures at the Greek Table

November 18, 2013

A reading by Christopher Bakken, Associate Professor in the Department of English, Allegheny College

Literati Bookstore

Bakken is the author of two poetry collections, “After Greece and Goat Funeral,” and “translator of the poetry of Titos Patrikios.”  His new book, combining the genres of memoir, travel literature, and food writing, explores the traditions and history behind eight elements of Greek cuisine--olives, bread, fish, cheese, beans, wine, meat, and honey--and journeys through the country searching for the best examples of each.

 Poster ° Photos




Dead Yet Alive!  The Resurrection of Cappadocian (Asia Minor Greek)

November 7, 2013

Mark Janse, Research Professor in Asia Minor and Ancient Greek, Ghent University

Classics Library, 2175 Angell Hall

In 2005 Hellenist and linguist Mark Janse discovered speakers in the Misiotika dialect of Cappadocian (Asia Minor Greek), a language until then believed to have died out in the 1960s.

Photos ° Poster



Queering Time and Affect: C.P. Cavafy and

E.K. Sedgwick on Ethics

Oct. 23, 2013


Prof. Dimitris Papanikolaou, Associate Professor in Modern Greek and Fellow of St. Cross College of Oxford University

Classics Library, 2175 Angell Hall




An open mic event at the University of Michigan celebrating the Year of C. P. Cavafy!

April 29, 2013

Gallery (room 100), Hatcher Graduate Library

Constantine P. Cavafy (b. April 29, 1863, d. April 29, 1933) is the most important Greek poet since antiquity and one of the greatest modern poets.  On April 29, 2013, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of Cavafy's birth and the 80th anniversary of his death with an open mic event. 

Everyone on campus and in the broader community were invited to participate or simply attend this once-in-a-lifetime occasion:  Options of participation included:
Reading a Cavafy poem.
Discussing a work.
Giving a personal testimony.
Playing or singing a song.
Bringing a drawing.
Listening and enjoying the occasion.
Browsing an exhibit of Cavafy books.
Sharing in the Greek delicacies that were available throughout the event.

The Departments of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan are home to the C. P. Cavafy Professorship in Modern Greek.

poster ° photos ° Video



Cavafy's Debt

11th Annual Dimitris and Irmgard Pallas Modern Greek Lecture
Speaker: Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University
Monday, February 25, 4:00 PM, Classics Library, 2175 Angell Hall

    An examination of poetic indebtedness in a context that defies calculation. What do societies owe to their poets? What does it mean for societies to lay claim to poets? What do poets owe to their language? What does it mean for poetry to exist beyond its language? Why is Greek indebted to Cavafy? What does Cavafy owe to James Merrill?

poster ° brochure ° lecture ° photos  



Between Two Patriae: Transnational Patriotism in the Adriatic, 1800-1830

Konstantina Zanou, Center for European Studies, New York University                     

November 7, 2012 · 4PM Classics Library

This lecture is about the story of three poets who set off from the same island in the Adriatic Sea, Zante, and end up becoming the ‘national poets’ of two different countries, Italy and Greece. Ugo Foscolo, Andrea Calbo and Dionisios Solomos were born within years of each other (Foscolo in 1778, Calbo 1792, and Solomos 1798), but enough to inculcate in them different choices regarding language, poetry and, finally, national identity. Their divergent routes are seen as a metaphor for the dissolving Venetian ‘cultural continuum’ of the Adriatic.

Lecture Excerpt



Sam Karres: Sketchbooks

October 24, 2014 / Hatcher Graduate Library

Urban Expressionist painter Sam Karres has spent his life deriving his inspiration from the city of Detroit.  He captured Greektown before the casino, at a time when it was truely a Greek neighborhood and the known Greek hang out was the Macedonia Coffee house.  This reception was to honor Sam Karres and his gift of sketchbooks dating from 1975-1996 to the Hatcher Graduate Library.  

The collection will support the study of both Greek America and Detroit. 


                                  Photos | Postcard



Translating Echoes from the Past: Music-making and the Politics of Listening and Relatedness in Turkey

Monday October 8, 2012  °  4 PM Kalamazoo Room, the Michigan League 

Nikolaos Michailidis, a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at Princeton University, delivered a combined lecture and musical performance exploring the centrality of music in historical and contemporary practices of assimilation and cultural revival in Turkey.

Presented by the Mediterranean Topographies Workshop, co-sponsored by the Modern Greek Program, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and the LS&A "Translation" Theme Semester.

Poster  Nikos performance 10-8-12



Athens, Notice Your Poet

October 4 · 4PM / 1636 International Institute       

Natalie Bakopoulos is a novelist; lecturer in English and affiliated faculty in Modern Greek, U-M. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Michigan, where she now teaches.  Her work has appeared in Tin House, Ninth  Letter, and Granta Online, and received a 2010 O. Henry Award, a Hopwood Award, and Platsis Prize for Work in the Greek Legacy.

The Modern Greek Program is a proud co-sponsor of the Conversations on Europe lecture series, brought to you by the Center of European Studies.




The Colonial Mediterranean and Its Place in European History

November 1 · 4PM / 1636 International Institute

Sakis Gekas is an assistant professor teaching Modern Greek and Mediterranean History at York University, Toronto. He has taught Economic History at the LSE and the University of Manchester and was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.  He has published on the economic and social history of Mediterranean ports, and he is completing a history of the Ionian State and British colonialism in the Mediterranean.

The Modern Greek Program is a proud co-sponsor of the Conversations on Europe lecture series, brought to you by the Center of European Studies.



C.P. Cavafy in Music: A Recital of Songs and Reflections

April 16, 2012 · Stern Auditorium · Museum of Art  


Alexandra Gravas, Mezzo Soprano

Pantelis Polychronidis, Pianist

Vassilis Lambropoulos, Speaker

Program · Poster · Video



Photos from Past Events