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Lectures at U-M

A Conversation on the Bicentennial Celebrations of the Greek Revolution of 1821

Participants: Yannis Hamilakis (Brown University) and Vassilis Lambropoulos, with Artemis Leontis and Will Stroebel (University of Michigan)

October 25, 2021 | Watch Recording


18th Annual Pallas Lecture: Archaeologies of Contemporary Migration: Border Assemblages, Global Apartheid, and the Decolonial Potential

Speaker: Yannis Hamilakis, Professor, Brown University

Summary: Since 2016, I have been carrying out an archaeological ethnography project on contemporary migration, focusing on the border island of Lesvos. In this talk, I will report on some of the findings of this project, showing how a sustained and detailed attention to the materiality and temporality of the phenomenon, to the sensorial, affective, and temporal properties of things, can offer insights that elude other kinds of research. Objects, spaces, buildings and landscapes are essential components in the formation of border assemblages, together with border crossers, volunteers, as well as border guards and security apparatuses. I will explore how the attention to such assemblages can not only help us understand what some scholars have described as the new Global Apartheid, but more positively, allow us to imagine a decolonial present and future.

February 3rd, 2020 | Watch Lecture


17th Annual Pallas Lecture: Excavating Home: Archaeologies of the Greek American Experience

Speaker: Kostis Kourelis, Associate Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College

Greek migration to the United States maintained two separate domestic environments, the Greek towns in urban America and the remittance villages in rural Greece. Both spaces played a central role in each country’s socio-economic modernization in the 1900s-1920s. Both spaces of this shared transformation were abandoned in the 1960s through urbanization, deindustrialization, suburbanization, white flight, and urban renewal. With the progressive passing of lived memories, archaeology must make increasingly important contributions in reconstructing the immigrant lifeworld of a century ago. By placing all of its archaeological resources into the idealized Classical period, the Greek diaspora has not yet fully embraced its own archaeological potential as a vehicle of self-understanding. The lecture presents recent fieldwork in the Greek towns of Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Harrisburg and in the villages of the Peloponnese, Phocis and Epeiros. It calls for a transnational perspective that provides comparative tools through which to address forced migration today.

Kostis Kourelis is an architectural historian who specializes in the archaeology of the Mediterranean from the medieval to the modern periods. He also investigates how medieval material culture has shaped modern notions of identity, space and aesthetics particularly during the 1930s. His recent fieldwork has focused on the archaeology of the contemporary world, labor, housing, and immigration. In Greece, he directs archaeological surveys of deserted villages and refugee camps; in the U.S., he directs projects on Philadelphia’s Greek town, North Dakota’s man camps and Japanese internment camps. He is Associate Professor of Art History at Franklin & Marshall College.

Publications include Houses of the Morea: Vernacular Architecture of the Northwest Peloponnesos (1205-1955), The Archaeology of Xenitia: Greek Immigration and Material Culture, Punk Archaeology, “Byzantium and the Avant-Garde: Excavations at Corinth, 1920s-1930s,” “‘If Space Remotely Matters: Camped in Greece’s Contingent Countryside,” and “North Dakota Man Camp Project: The Archaeology of Home in Bakken Oil Fields.”

March 21st, 2019 | Watch Lecture


16th Annual Pallas Lecture: Philhellenism and the Invention of American History

Speaker: Johanna Hanink, Associate Professor of Classics, Brown University

What does the landing of the Mayflower in Plymouth have to do with the Battle of Marathon? When the Greek revolutionaries declared independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, to which American citizen did they first send their proclamation? How did the Greek War of Independence shape American identity on the eve of the United States' 50th anniversary celebration in 1826? This presentation will explore intersections between philhellenism and nationalism, European and American identity, and ancient and modern Greece in early republican America. It will argue that the era's patriot-orators drew heavily on Greece, both ancient and modern,as they drafted new--and enduring--blueprints of U.S. patriotism. 

Johanna Hanink holds a BA in Classics from the University of Michigan, an MA in Latin from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MPhil and PhD in Classics from the University of Cambridge (Queens' College). She works primarily on theater and performance, literary biography, the cultural life and afterlife of classical Athens, and the historical notion of an ancient "Greek miracle." 

The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity (Harvard University Press 2017) is her latest book; it explores how Western fantasies of classical antiquity have created a particularly fraught relationship between the European West and the country of Greece, especially in the context of Greece's recent "tale of two crises." She is also author of Lycurgan Athens and the Making of Classical Tragedy (Cambridge University Press 2014) and co-editor, with Richard Fletcher, of the volume Creative Lives in Classical Antiquity: Poets, Artists, and Biography (Cambridge University Press 2016). 

She is active in Brown's Program in Modern Greek Studies and is on the board of the Modern Greek Studies Association. She is also on the editorial boards of The Journal of Modern Greek Studies and Eidolon.

January 29th, 2018 | Watch Lecture


Translating Greek Poetry Under Crisis

Two events with Theodoros Chiotis, Editor of Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis

March 13 & 14, 2017 | Listen to Lecture at the Literati bookstore or to the Interview in the radio series "Living Writers" on WCB FM.


15th Annual Pallas Lecture: Speaking Greek at the American University Over the Last Two Centuries

Speaker: 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 last couple 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.

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | Watch Lecture | Read Lecture


The Rhetoric of Crisis and the Grammar of Resistance in Greek Wall-Writings and Spain’s Hologram Protest

Maria Boletsi, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Film and Literary Studies, Leiden University

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Watch Lecture


History and Culture in Chinese and Greek Film

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

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.

March 31, 2016 | Watch Rapti Lecture / Watch Zhang Lecture


Greece & Eurozone: Where to?

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

February 9, 2016 | Watch Lecture


Greek Art and Mythology; In the Making of Constantinople

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)

February 3, 2016 | Watch Lecture


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

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

A talk on a little-known Greek Historical tragedy that takes place during the 1940s. Two theater stdents, John-Alexander Sakelos and Anastasia Zavitsanos, perform excerpts from the play. Co-sponsored by Contexts for Classics.

November 2, 2015 | Watch Performance


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

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.

October 12, 2015 | Watch Lecture


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

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).

February 25, 2014 | Watch Lecture


13th Annual Pallas Lecture: How Greek was El Greco?

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.

January 22, 2015 | Watch Lecture


Media Represantation of the Greek Crisis

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)

October 9, 2014 | Watch Lecture


An Open Mic Event Celebrating the Year of C.P. Cavafy 

On April 29 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of Cavafy's birth and 80th anniversary of his death with an open mic event.  

April 29, 2013 | Watch Event


11th Annual Dimitris and Irmgard Pallas Modern Greek Lecture: Cavafy's Debt 

Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University 

February 25, 2013 | PDF


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

Nikolaos Michailidis, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Princeton University 

October 8, 2012 | Watch Lecture


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

Konstantina Zanou, Center for European Studies, New York University

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.

November 7, 2012 | PDF & Poster


The Colonial Mediterranean and Its Place in European History

Sakis Gekas, Assistant Professor teaching Modern Greek and Mediterranean History at York University, Toronto.

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.

November 1, 2013



Sam Karres Reception

Sam Karres, Urban Expressionist painter, Detroit

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.

October 24, 2012 | Photos & Poster


Athens, Notice Your Poet

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.  

October 4, 2012 | Poster


Hellas Essentialized: Antiquity, the Greek Crisis, and Political Cartoons in the Global Marketplace 

Dr. Lauren Talalay, Associate Director and Curator of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan, 

Monday, February 20, 2012 |PDF


On the Clinical Picture of Nostalgia - and a Remote Literature

Prof. Maria Oikonomou, University of Vienna, Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
Monday, November 28, 2011 | PDF


9th Annual Dimitris and Irmgard Pallas Lecture in Modern Greek: On Greek Friendship

Professor Gregory Jusdanis, Ohio State University

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 


The Balkan Sight of the Mediterranean 

Gazmend Kapllani
Thursday, February 3, 2011 Video | Audio


Hellenism and Modernist Performance

Dr. Olga Taxidou, Reader in Drama, University of Edinburgh

Thursday, November 17, 2010 


2nd Annual Demetrios and Demetra Partalis Kales Lecture in Modern Greek History: Memory and Religious Culture: Greek Orthodox Life in Ottoman Empire

Professor Tom Papademetriou, Richard Stockton College, New Jersey 
Wednesday, December 1, 2010 | PDF


Archaeology and National Identity in the Greek Museum

Professor Dimitris Damaskos, University of Ioannina/Western Greece
Monday, October 4, 2010 | PDF


Alas we went bankrupt...again: The Greek Economy in Turmoil

Stefanos Delikouras, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Audio


Conversations on Europe: The Financial Crisis in Greece: Causes and Social Consequence

Harris Mylonas, Assistant Professor of Political Science, George Washington University
Thursday, September 16, 2010 Audio | Video


Past (Im)perfect or Present Continuous? The Greek and Spanish Democratic Transitions in Retrospect

Konstantinos Kornetis, Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Brown University
Thursday, March 11, 2010 Audio


8th Annual Dimitri and Irmgard Pallas Lecture in Modern Greek:Translations and Anthologies and their Critical Excess 

Karen van Dyck, Professor of Hellenic Studies at  Columbia University
Thursday, February 22, 2010 | Audio


The Inaugural Demetrios and Demetra Partalis Kales Annual Lecture in Modern Greek History - America’s Relations with Greece to 1945: From Aloof Soft Power to the Onset of Regional Hard Power

S. Victor Papacosma, Emeritus Professor of History and Director of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies at Kent State University, Executive Director of the Modern Greek Studies.
Thursday, November 12, 2009 | PDF


Displaying Modernity: Cycladic Art as a 20th-Century Cultural Phenomenon

Dimitris Plantzos, Professor at the University of Ioannina
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | weblink


The Least Ancient Greek Poet

Vassilis Lambropoulos

Traianos Gagos,

Yopie Prins

Tim Whitmarsh

George Economou

Monday, November 23, 2009


Fragments of Greek Desire

Tim Whitmarsh, Fellow and Tutor, University Lecturer (CUF) in Greek, EP Warren Praelector, at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University

Monday, November 23, 2009 | PDF


Reflections on a Changing Landscape: Rethinking 'Greece' in a Comparative Frame 

Michael Herzfeld, Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University
Thursday, October 1, 2009 | Audio


Mediterranean Modernisms: Towards a New Mediterranean Identity

Marinos Pourgouris, Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University
Tuesday, January 28, 2009 | PDF


Conversations on Europe: Mediterranean Entrepreneurial Diaspora Networks during the Long Nineteenth Century

Gelina Harlaftis, Associate Professor, Department of History, Ionian University, Corfu
Thursday, October 30, 2008 | Audio


The Modern Greek Devil: Cosmology or Rhetoric?

Charles Stewart, Department of Anthropology, University College London | PDF


Democracy as a Tragic Regime

Nathalie Karagiannis, Research Fellow in Political Sociology, University of Sussex | PDF


A Heretical (Orthodox) History of the Parthenon

Anthony Kaldellis, Associate Professor, Department of Greek and Latin, The Ohio State University | PDF


Enlightenment, Emancipation, and National Identity: Koraes & the Ancients

Ioannis Evrigenis. Prof. Evrigenis's lecture was delivered as part of the European Union Center's Conversations on Europe lecture series.

January 11, 2007 | PDF


The Restoration of the Athenian Acropolis (1834 - 2005)

Dr. Fani Mallouchou-Tufano, head of the Documentation Office at the Acropolis Restoration Service. Copyright 2006 Dr. Fani Mallouchou-Tufano
January 18, 2006 | PDF


The Moderns between the Greek and Romans: Tony Blair's Athenian Birthday

Sir Peter Stothard



Haunting Europe: Some Modernist Uses of Hellenism

Vassiliki Kolocotroni, University of Glasgow, UK.

2005 | PDF


DOW CEO Andrew Liveris Talks to Class on Modern Greek Culture

Notes from talk and written text delivered on March 17, 2005 | PDF


The 3rd Annual Pallas Lecture

Kevin Featherstone of the London School of Economics and Political Science discusses the state of Greek governance
Feburary 17, 2005 | PDF


Interiority in Greek Rap, Television, and Film

Prof. Franklin Hess, University of Iowa. Copyright 2006 Franklin Hess
November 5, 2004 | PDF


Moderns between the Greeks and Romans Roundtable Talks

Compiled in this one pdf file are four talks recently given at a roundtable discussion of the Moderns between the Greeks and Romans series | PDF


The Now and Future Greek America Strategies for Survival

Dan Georgakas, Director of the Greek American Studies Project of the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Queens College, CUNY | PDF