Two events on April 4 and 5 will mark the launch of a new book authored by York University Professor Sakis Gekas, associate professor of history and Hellenic Heritage Foundation chair.
The book, Xenocracy: State, Class and Colonialism in the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864, will be presented on April 4 by Professor Deborah Neill in 305 Founders College, York University. The event is open to everyone and runs from 3:30 to 5:30pm.
On April 5, the Canadian Institute of Mediterranean Studies invites the public to mark the book’s launch at the University of Toronto, in 102 Teefy Hall, located at 57 Queen’s Park Cres. E., St. Michael’s College. This event will feature Tassos Theodoridis, managing editor of Greek Press, and Michalis Sotiropoulos, postdoctoral fellow, Princeton University, as presenters of the book. The event takes place from 7 to 8pm.
Of the many European territorial reconfigurations that followed the wars of the early 19th century, the Ionian State remains among the least understood. This book offers an account of the region during its half-century as a Protectorate of Great Britain – a period that embodied all of the contradictions of British colonialism. A middle class of merchants, lawyers and state officials embraced and promoted a liberal modernization project. Yet despite the improvements experienced by many Ionians, the deterioration of state finances led to divisions along class lines and presented a significant threat to social stability. In this book, Gekas shows the ordeal engendered dependency upon and ambivalence toward Western Europe, anticipating the “neocolonial” condition with which the Greek nation struggles even today.