SPGH Presents In Search of a Modern Greek Identity, Oct. 27

October 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – The Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage (SPGH) presents In Search of a Modern Greek Identity: The Contribution of Monuments, Building Identity in a Greek Village on Wednesday, October 27, 7:30-9 PM EDT.

After the success of two prior events exploring lessons from history and geopolitics in the formation of modern Greek identity, SPGH announced the third event of their 1821-2021 series which will explore the continuity of Greek identity in the legacy and enduring role of ancient, medieval, and modern monuments.

In this lecture event, Professor Sharon Gerstel will discuss her long-term project concerning the restoration of an 11th-century village church in Vamvaka, Mani. The study of the church presents a fascinating history that starts in the ancient world and ends in the present day. What does this church mean to a community over time, and how do we, as modern visitors encounter and appreciate such buildings, which are frequently locked? Are they relics of the past, or do they hold some greater meaning for our understanding of Greek culture and identity through the ages?
Sharon E. J. Gerstel is Director of the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History at UCLA, and the George P. Kolovos Family Centennial Term Chair in Hellenic Studies. Trained in art history, religious studies, and archaeology, Gerstel investigates ritual, art, and material culture as well as acoustics and cultural heritage in her work. As an archaeologist, Gerstel has been involved in numerous excavations in Greece, both as a field director and as a ceramics specialist. Her ongoing research focuses on acoustics, architectural design, and chant in medieval churches. She has also worked intensively to preserve medieval buildings in Greece, particularly in rural settings. For her contributions to the promotion of Hellenic Culture, she has recently been named a Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, one of Greece’s highest honors, and has also been naturalized as a Greek citizen.

More information is available on Eventbrite, search: In Search of a Modern Greek Identity: The Contribution of Monuments.


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