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Yale Hellenic Studies Program Virtual Conference on Greek Revolution and Diaspora

October 19, 2021

NEW HAVEN, CT – The Hellenic Studies Program at Yale University presented The Greek Revolution and the Greek Diaspora in North America, a virtual conference on October 16. Three panel discussions featured distinguished speakers highlighting various aspects of this fascinating subject. The speakers shared insights that add depth to our understanding of the Revolution, the evolution of the commemorations over the years, and the ways the history of the Revolution has been taught in Greek schools and has been co-opted by various groups to further agendas that may or may not align with the true spirit of 1821. The research is, of course, ongoing and will serve to expand our knowledge and complicate how we view the Greek Revolution, bringing to light the contributions of lesser known figures and unheard voices while giving a more well-rounded view of the Revolution and the heroes of 1821 along with a more thoughtful approach to commemorations and celebrations, especially in the diaspora communities around the world.

Panel I on Communities and Associations began with Alexander Kitroeff of Haverford College discussing AHEPA’s Commemorations of 1821. The event continued with Nick Alexiou of Queens College, City University New York (CUNY), on Commemorating the Revolution in New York: A Historical Overview, and Athanasios Gekas of York University, Toronto, Canada on Perceptions of the Greek Revolution and the Greek Communities of Canada,1920s-2021.

Panel II on Literature and Art, featured Dan Georgakas of Queens College, CUNY, and a longtime contributor to The National Herald, on Harry Mark Petrakis’ Novels Chronicle the Greek War of Independence. He noted that Petrakis identified with the heroes of 1821 but he understood that they were complicated, they could be cruel, but they also took on the biggest military power in the region and won. Petrakis’ novels are unique in Greek-American literature and in American literature as well, Georgakas said.

The Hellenic Studies Program at Yale University virtual conference, The Greek Revolution and the Greek Diaspora in North America, included Alexander Kitroeff of Haverford College discussing AHEPA’s Commemorations of 1821. Photo: TNH Staff

Kostis Kourelis of Franklin & Marshall College presented Architecture, Abolition, Revolution: A Greek American Revival (1920s) of the American Greek Revival (1820s); and April Kalogeropoulos Householder of Honors College, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, presented Reflections on Greek Nationalism and the Making of a Documentary Film about Bouboulina.

Panel III on Culture and Education, featured Maria Kaliambou of Yale University discussing Like Another Rigas Feraios: Reviving the Revolution in Greek American Publications, Fevronia Soumakis of Queens College, CUNY, on Celebrating the 1971 Greek Independence Day Jubilee through Greek Orthodox Schools in the United States, and Yiorgos Anagnostou of the Ohio State University on The Bicentenary across Greece and the Diaspora: Toward the Making of a Global Greek Civic Identity.

The conference was organized by Kaliambou and sponsored by The Hellenic Studies Program, Yale University.

The activities of the Hellenic Studies Program are generously funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Hellenic Studies at Yale University, the Modern Greek Studies Association, Innovative Initiative Grant, The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund, and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, and The European Studies Council, Yale University.

More information is available online: https://hsp.macmillan.yale.edu.


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