Hellenic Studies Announcements, November 2008
- Group for the Study of Late Antiquity Seminar - Sunday, November 2, 1:30 p.m. Albrecht Diem - "Inventing Monasticism"
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Albrecht Diem (Syracuse University)
Place: 211 Dickinson Hall
Reading packets are now available in the departments of History and Classics. If you are interested in receiving the packet as a pdf file, please contact Kevin Kalish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lecture - Wednesday, November 5, 4:30 p.m. Michael Paschalis: "The Latin Intertexts (Virgil, Ovid) of Alexandre Dumas' Queen Margot"
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Michael Paschalis (University of Crete; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Location: 161 East Pyne
Lecture - Wednesday, November 5, 6:00 p.m. Pagona Papadopoulou: "Coins as Evidence of Shifting Dynamics in Medieval Anatolia, 12th – 13th centuries"
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Pagona Papadopoulou (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Alan Stahl (Curator of Numismatics)
Room 103 Scheide Caldwell House
The capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 led to the dismemberment of the Byzantine Empire and the creation of a new status quo in Anatolia. Power dynamics between Anatolian states –both Christian and Muslim– became crucial for their survival. This fact was also reflected on their coinages, initially echoing different traditions and monetary systems. However, despite differences in iconography and appellation, by the mid-thirteenth century they all converged to a common system based on a silver flat coin weighing three grams. Archaeological and literary evidence suggests that the origins of this convergence should be traced earlier, namely in the twelfth century. By taking into account the numismatic, literary and iconographic evidence, this paper investigates the monetary situation in twelfth and thirteenth century Anatolia in order to better understand the shift in monetary dynamics before and after 1204.
Pagona Papadopoulou holds a B.A. in Archaeology and Art history from the University of Athens and a Ph.D. in Archaeology with a specialisation in Byzantine numismatics from the Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne. She has been a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, D.C.) and a post-doctoral fellow at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Koç University, Istanbul. She has worked as a coin specialist in excavations in Albania (Butrint) and Ukraine (Chersonesus). She is currently revising her dissertation, a study of money and its use in the Balkans, the Greek islands, Asia Minor and Cyprus in the twelfth–thirteenth centuries, to be published in the series Monographies du Centre d’Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, Paris. [last updated 2008]
- Workshop - Friday, November 7, 1:30 p.m. Martin McKinsey - "When English Meets Greek: Bilingual Perspectives on Cavafy"
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Martin McKinsey (University of New Hampshire; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Alexander Nehamas (Department of Philosophy and Comparative Literature)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
This paper reviews the evidence of the Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy’s relation to British literature and the English language, asking how an understanding of his biculturalism and bilingualism can aid in the interpretation and translation of his work into English. Particular reference is made to the places in his prose where texts in the two languages appear side-by-side. What sorts of parallel readings does this make possible? Is Cavafy’s essentially Victorian English commensurate with the distinctive version of Alexandrian demotic that he developed at the turn of the last century? To what degree can the vocabulary of British aestheticism be used as a guide when rendering in his poetry or prose into English? In addition to Cavafy’s own texts, this paper considers the recently published English translations of his verse by his brother John Cavafy.
Martin McKinsey teaches modern British and Irish literature at the University of New Hampshire. He has been awarded a Fulbright for Greece, the Greek National Prize for Translation, and the Pavlos Zanas Translation Prize from the Greek Writers Association. His translations from modern Greek include Late Into the Night: The Last Poems of Yannis Ritsos (1995), The Courtyard by Andreas Franghias, The Wavering Scales by Yannis Ritsos (with Scott King, 2006); and Acropolis and Tram: Poems 1937-1977 by Nikos Engonopoulos (2008). He is also the author of Hellenism and the Postcolonial Imagination: Yeats, Cavafy, Walcott (Fairleigh Dickinson University, in press), and is currently at work on a book involving Cavafy’s poetry and prose from 1902-1911. [last updated 2008]
- Lecture - Tuesday, November 11, 6:00 p.m. Dimitris Xygalatas: "Firewalking in Greece: History and Present"
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Dimitris Xygalatas (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
This paper discusses the Anastenaria tradition of northern Greece, the bi-annual firewalking rituals in honor of Saints Constantine and Helen. Specifically, this paper examines the origins of the tradition and its alleged relation to the ancient cults of Dionysus. This relation seems to be taken for granted by the vast majority of Greek ethnographers. However, a more careful examination reveals that this theory was constructed in the late nineteenth century and served specific political agendas. This paper also aims to identify some of the motivational factors that contribute to the transmission and survival of this tradition. Data from the fields of Psychology and Cognitive Science contribute testable ethnographic and experimental evidence to the study of this tradition and ritual behavior in general.
Dimitris Xygalatas is an anthropologist with a special interest in ritual behavior, and particularly high-arousal rituals. He has studied at the universities of Thessaloniki, Aarhus, and Belfast. He received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Cognition and Culture, at the School of History and Anthropology, Queen’s University Belfast. His book Children of Fire: Emotion and Meaning in Greek Firewalking Rituals is currently being reviewed for publication. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Greece, Bulgaria and Spain and has taught Modern Greek at Queen’s University. He has worked as a Research Fellow at Aarhus University and has translated several academic books into Greek. [last updated 2008]
- Workshop - Friday, November 14, 1:30 p.m. Irini Leontakianakou: "Radical Transformation in Icon Painting in the Ionian Islands: Votive Icons and 'Thorakia'"
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Irini Leontakianakou (Hellenic Ministry of Culture; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Patricia F. Brown (Department of Art & Archaeology)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Religious icons in the Ionian islands during the last decades of the seventeenth and the first half of eighteenth century tend to renounce most modes inherited from the Byzantine tradition. Several radical developments may be seen in the evolution of these icons. They include a breakaway from the strict adherence to symbolic representation, the increase of narrative scenes, a new emphasis on didactic and moralistic aspects, as well as the enrichment of the iconography with elements inspired from everyday life. In addition, there is a tendency towards a more naturalistic style. To examine this phenomenon, this paper focuses on two representative categories of religious artwork, pertaining to public and private worship respectively: panels (“thorakia”) from Zakynthos from the lower part of the iconostasis reproducing to a large extent western engravings, and votive icons that include features from the commissioner's environment, which are quite often rendered with naturalistic precision. These elements reveal that the morphological and devotional aspects of traditional icons gradually became old fashioned and incompatible with the religious feelings of an evolving society. After the second quarter of eighteenth century the Greek-speaking Orthodox painters of the Ionian School finally abandoned post-Byzantine styles in favor of oil-painting technique and naturalism - means and modes of painting based entirely on Western models.
Irini Leontakianakou holds a curatorial position at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Since earning her Ph.D. in History of Art from the Universite de Paris I - Sorbonne (2000), she has of been teaching a range of undergraduate and master's level courses on the history of art, aesthetics, and methodology, at various academic institutions, including the Technological Institute of Athens and the Hellenic Open University. Her scholarly articles and her dissertation focus on various aspects of post-Byzantine painting. Her recent research interests include the latent evolution and limitations of post-Byzantine icon painting in the Ionian Islands, with special attention to social and ideological aspects of post-Byzantine art. [last updated 2008]
- Theatre Production - November 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 8:00 p.m. "Troy: After and Before"
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McCarter Theatre Center
For more information please visit the Lewis Center.
- Class Presentation - Tuesday, November 18, 6:00 p.m. "Field Work in Corfu"
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Field Work in Corfu
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Jessica Frey ’09, Mark Guiducci ’10, Monika Jasiewicz ’10, Elizabeth Kassler-Taub ’10, Victoria Lewis ’10, Erin Mills ’09, Jacqueline Thomas ’09
Graduate Students: Grace Catenaccio (Architecture), Jamie Greenberg (Music), Matthew Milliner (Art & Archaeology), Jennifer Morris (Art & Archaeology), Abigail Newman (Art & Archaeology), Elizabeth Petcu (Art & Archaeology), Emily Spratt (Art & Archaeology)
Patricia Fortini Brown, Department of Art and Archaeology
Christopher Petty Heuer, Department of Art and Archaeology
Students enrolled in the ART 430/HLS 430 seminar on "Venice and the Mediterranean: The Island of Corfu," taught by Patricia F. Brown and Christopher Heuer, travelled to Corfu over the fall midterm break. The class trip was funded by the Program in Hellenic Studies, with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund. The students will present their findings based on their fieldwork in Corfu.
- Workshop - Friday, November 21, 2:00 p.m. Vana Tentokali: "Leading to the Vacuum: The Process of "Undoing" in Architectural Design Greek Cities as Case Studies"
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Vana Tentokali (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Spyros Papapetros (School of Architecture)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Only in the last decade has architecture discovered that the notion of the void (unbuilt) constitutes a research and design subject of equal importance to the notion of the solid (built). The void is now considered its own avenue of epistemological inquiry, and the ensuing architectural discussion is being approached from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, such as landscape architecture, environmental studies, and geography. Topics discussed include the formation of the void, land, landscape, ground and place. This paper introduces the notion of void as a structural element within the architectural design process of "undoing," as this process is perceived, translated and applied by an experimental educational program of diploma theses at the Department of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1998-2008). These diploma theses play the role of case studies, and are based on the real context of contemporary Greek cities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Argos, Edipsos, Chalkida, Chios, Irakleio and Rethymno). In the urban fabric of such environments, the structural role of the void becomes a unique condition and operational food for the revelation of a city’s “historical palimpsest.”
Vana Tentokali is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she received her doctorate in architecture in 1988. As a research fellow in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983-1986), she studied behavioral science in architecture, in collaboration with the Women's Studies Program. As a postdoctoral visiting scholar, also at M.I.T., her research focused on the deconstruction of space and gender. She has lectured at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Tampere University of Technology (Tampere, Finland), the Master Program of Semiotics of the New Bulgarian University (Sofia), the Sushant School of Art and Architecture and I.P. Estate (New Delhi), and M.I.T. She has also taught the social aspects of architecture at Roger Williams College. Tentokali contributed to the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women on "Built Environment," and her recent research interests focus on the theory and practice of the architectural design process from a "textual" perspective. [last updated 2008]
- Workshop - Monday, November 24, 6:00 p.m. Alicia Walker: "Defining Foreign Impact on the 'Unofficial Image' of the Middle Byzantine Emperor"
<Posted on 11/18/2008 12:15>
Alicia Walker (Washington University in St. Louis; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Oleg Grabar (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Between the end of Iconoclasm in 843 and the Fourth Crusade in 1204, a concept of divine endorsement dominated the ideology of Byzantine rule and its official representation. Works of art clearly proclaim the Christian nature of imperial power through highly conventional visual formulae. Historians of Byzantine art rightly note that this imagery projects an impression of political conservatism and cultural hermeticism. Yet, reconsideration of the literary and artistic record reveals that Byzantine imperial ideology and its visual manifestations were more versatile than they at first appear. This paper explores how select "unofficial" visual representations of the emperor - which circulated among a limited audience of the courtly elite - depart from an exclusively Christian paradigm through the incorporation of foreign artistic elements. By actively responding to the changing circumstances of the medieval world and Byzantium's position within it, these works of art question the presumed immutability and imperviousness of the Middle Byzantine imperial image and the ideologies it reflects.
Alicia Walker is Assistant Professor of Medieval Art at Washington University in St. Louis. Her primary topics of research include cross-cultural artistic interaction in the medieval world and gender issues in the art and material culture of Byzantium. She received her Ph.D. (2004) and M.A. (1998) from Harvard University, where she specialized in Byzantine and medieval Islamic art and architecture, and her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College (1994). She was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University (2004-2006) and has held numerous research awards including a Dumbarton Oaks Junior Fellowship (2004) and a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Travel Grant (2003). Alicia Walker has contributed to several museum and exhibition catalogues and has published articles in scholarly journals including The Art Bulletin and Gesta (forthcoming, 2009). She is also the co-editor of a collection of essays, Negotiating Secular and Sacred in Medieval Art (forthcoming, Ashgate 2009). She is currently completing a book-length study on the impact of foreign artistic styles and iconography on the middle Byzantine imperial image. [last updated 2008]
- Exhibit - Dimitris Xygalatas: "The fire-walking rituals of the Anastenaria"
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Dimitris Xygalatas (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Scheide Caldwell House, First Floor Lobby
"In five villages of Northern Greece, fire-walking rituals are performed by the communities of the Anastenaria. This tradition started by Greek populations at the Black Sea coast of Eastern Thrace, an area that was then part of the Ottoman Empire and today belongs to Bulgaria. After the Balkan wars, the Anastenarides came to Greek Macedonia, where they keep performing their rituals until today, while fire-walking is still performed in its original location in Bulgaria by a few people.
The Anastenarides, are Orthodox Christians. However, in addition to the Church rituals, they observe a separate annual ritual cycle, focused on the worship of saints Constantine and Helen. The most important event in this cycle is the festival of the two saints every May, which lasts for three days and includes various processions around the village, an animal sacrifice, music, and ecstatic dancing. The most dramatic moment of the festival is the firewalking ritual itself, where the participants, carrying the icons of the saints, dance over the glowing coals. Firewalking is also performed indoors in January.
The photos are from my ethnographic work in the Greek village of Agia Eleni. Fire-walking is also performed every June at the Spanish village of San Pedro Manrique, as part of the festival of San Juan."
- Classics Lecture - Tuesday, November 25, 4:30 p.m. George Karamanolis: "The Place of Ethics in the Philosophy of Aristotle"
<Posted on 11/17/2008 16:36>
George Karamanolis (University of Crete, Program in Hellenic Studies)
East Pyne 161
The paper will argue that Aristotle differs from both Socrates and Plato who consider the end of philosophy to be ethics and that philosophy should have a practical end or bear on such end. Aristotle argues that the theoretical life is superior to the life of practical virtue. The paper will discuss the content of Aristotle’s claims and how they shape a conception of philosophy which seems to be quite distinct in antiquity.
Sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Program in Classical Philosophy