Harvard prof to lecture tomorrow on heritage preservation in Greece

Harvard University anthropology Professor Michael Herzfeld will discuss heritage preservation in Greece tomorrow at York.

“The Corruption of the Past: Greek Heritage Politics in Global Perspective” will take place April 7, at 7pm, in the Seymour Schulich Building, Room W132, Keele campus. The lecture will be followed by a reception at 8:30pm with Herzfeld.

 Michael HerzfeldRight: Michael Herzfeld

The event, hosted by the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History & Hellenic Studies in the Department of History, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, is part of the Hellenic Canadian Academic Association of Ontario’s Distinguished Guest Speaker Series.

Herzfeld will address questions of heritage preservation in Greece from the perspective of his social anthropological research on Crete and elsewhere, and from the perspective of Benedict Anderson’s celebrated analysis of nationalism, which is motivated in part by a collective desire for immortality. Anderson is the author of Imagined Communities.

By placing these ideas in a shared framework and introducing comparisons with Italy and Thailand, Herzfeld will show how the Greek concern with the ancient past belongs to a broader pattern of western cultural politics, while characterized by many elements that are distinctive to the Greek case.

A past president of both the Modern Greek Studies Association and the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, Herzfeld was editor of American Ethnologist from 1994 to 1998 and is now editor-at-large with specific responsibility for the feature “Polyglot Perspectives” in Anthropological Quarterly. He is the author of several books, including Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Ours Once More: Folklore, Ideology, and the Making of Modern Greece (University of Texas Press, 1982) and The Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village (Princeton University Press, 1985).

For more informationĀ or to RSVP, contact York history Professor Sakis Gekas at agekas@yorku.ca.