WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) on February 23 announced its newest publication, The Future of Hellenism in America: Selected Conference Papers, edited by Van Coufoudakis with Foreword by Constantine G. Berbatis, PhD, and Introduction by Nick Larigakis, AHI president. The 500-page volume is a compilation of 68 selected papers presented at conferences organized by the AHIF and held annually in fourteen different U.S. cities between 2002 and 2018. The conferences on The Future of Hellenism in America aimed to provide an opportunity for critical evaluation of and reflection on Hellenism and its application and meaning to the Greek American and American community today.
“For 17 years, the AHIF led and kept the discussion of the promotion and preservation of Hellenism at the forefront of the community nationwide through The Future of Hellenism in America conferences,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “The conferences achieved their goal to provide a forum for the critical discussion and reflection on Hellenism, which the reader will take away after reading the volume. We are thankful to the Foundation and to all the conference participants who contributed to the conference’s success, annually.”
Larigakis added: “Furthermore, we are extremely grateful to Dr. Constantine Berbatis for his unselfish and generous gift to underwrite the publication of this volume, to which he also contributed as an author of its Foreword.”
“We are proud of the Foundation’s contributions to the community’s discourse on the topics and trends impacting Greek America and Hellenism that are now encapsulated in our new publication,” AHIF President Leon Andris said. “We sincerely appreciate the extensive work of Dr. Coufoudakis, who edited the publication, and the contributions of Dr. Constantine Berbatis, Nick Larigakis, and of course, the authors of conference papers that comprise our publication.”
David R. Weinberg, an educator and scholar of Hellenism, who presented at the first Future of Hellenism in America Conference in 2002 in Washington, DC, offered probably the best explanation of Hellenism. He said: “The phenomenon of Hellenism is indeed unique to the world. There is no other ‘ism’ which has commanded so much admiration and praise for so many centuries of human history. There is no other word in the collected pool of language that signifies so much idealism, perfection, arête, beauty, and excellence. There is no other ‘ism’ in history which so enflamed idealistic hearts and minds to sacrifice their lives for another’s cause as did thousands of philhellenes in the Greek War of Independence. This was truly an historic phenomenon: Frenchmen, Englishmen, Germans, and Italians; Austrians and Spaniards; Dutchmen and Americans rose up behind the blue and white standard to secure the freedom of Greece. This, because there is no other ‘ism’ to which we all feel members and inheritors of, regardless of race, creed, religion, or national origin.”
The papers are organized along eight themes: Defining and promoting Hellenism in the United States, The role of the media, The importance of participation in the political process, The future of Greek American organizations, Modern Greek Studies programs in American universities, The teaching of the Greek language, Issues affecting Greek American identity, and Hellenism and the role of the Orthodox Church.
These conference presentations showed the growth, evolution, and success of an immigrant community that confronted serious discrimination in the first quarter of the twentieth century but rose to prominence in all aspects of American life through its own efforts. Today, Greek-Americans are present in and contributing to all aspects of American life, in the arts, the sciences, in business, and politics.
About the Editor:
Van Coufoudakis is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University – Purdue University. Following his retirement from the Indiana system he served as Rector of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus and later as President of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency, an independent agency of the Government of Greece. His involvement in Cyprus dates back to the early 1960s. He became a member of the American Hellenic Institute soon after its founding in 1974. He has written extensively on U.S. foreign and defense policy in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. His most recent books include Cyprus a Contemporary Problem in Historical Perspective (University of Minnesota, 2006), which has been translated in Spanish, Arabic and Greek, and International Aggression and Violations of Human Rights – The Case of Turkey in Cyprus (University of Minnesota, 2008). For his contributions to Hellenism and Hellenic letters, Dr. Coufoudakis was awarded the title and the decoration of Commander of the Order of the Phoenix by the President of the Hellenic Republic in 1998.
The Future of Hellenism in America: Selected Conference Papers is available in hard cover. The 500-page book includes a 24-page photo section with 54 photographs from the 14 conferences on the Future of Hellenism in America.
The cost of the book is $40 plus $8 for postage and handling. For the shipping cost for multiple copies and for international orders please contact the AHIF offices at [email protected] or 202-785-8430.
The books are available in the AHIF online bookstore or by mailing the order form to: AHIF, 1220 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 or emailing: [email protected]