Pivotal symposium taking place at York University explores Modern Greek Studies

Shows a Greek village

Faculty and graduate students from York University will be among a distinguished cohort of presenters at the Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium that will take place Oct. 13 to 16 at the Keele Campus.

The Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium is considered to be the world’s pre-eminent conference on Greece. The event is held every two years and is organized by the Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA) at locations across North America. This year marks the 27th symposium and it will be held at York University. An international cohort of accomplished scholars from all disciplines will be attending the conference.

A photo of Sakis Gekas
Sakis Gekas

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies history Professor Sakis Gekas, who is the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair of Modern Greek History at York University, has led the planning and organizational efforts to bring this pivotal event to the University. A full program is available and can be viewed at https://mgsasymposium.org/.

The event is open to academics, experienced and novice, from all disciplines. The range of topics explored during the symposium has evolved over the years and represents the growth and diversity of Modern Greek Studies. The human and social sciences, the arts and professional schools will be well represented in the proceedings. Many of the papers presented at this year’s symposium will be published in the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, either individually or as entire panels.

In addition to rich schedule of presentations and papers, this event will also feature musical performances, Greek cuisine, an intriguing keynote address and other cultural offerings.

The Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium will feature a keynote address that will be delivered by Christina Koulouri, professor of modern and contemporary history and the Rector of Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences, located in Athens, Greece. Koulouri’s lecture is titled, “Greek Centennials: Commemorating Victories and Defeats.” The keynote lecture will take place on Oct. 14, from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. in the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre, main floor, Accolade East Building Keele Campus.

An accomplished scholar, Koulouri studied at the University of Athens (Department of History and Archaeology), the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne where she also received her PhD. She was Visiting Research Fellow at Université de Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne (2010), Princeton University (2017) and the University of Regensburg (2019). She was awarded with the Nikos Svoronos Prize (1993), the Delphi Prize (2012), and the Vikelas Plaque (2018). Koulouri is the author of several books and articles on the teaching of history, the history of historiography, national identity, memory, public history, and the history of sports and the Olympic Games. Her last book received the National Essay Prize in Greece and was translated in English and is titled Historical Memory in Greece, 1821-1930. Performing the Past in the Present (Routledge 2022).

Among the cohort of accomplished academics presenting at the symposium are a number of York University scholars.

Presenting from York University at the event are:

Alexander Harmantas – Historical and Contemporary Interactions between Aromanian and Greek Identity, 19th c. – Present

Iason-Nikolaos Rodopoulos – The Marshall Plan and Greek Industry: The Financing of Peiraiki-Patraiki and Titan Cement

Sakis Gekas, moderator – The Greek Experience in Canada

Angelo Laskaris – Childhood Narratives of Greek Canadians from the 1940s: Trauma and Resilience

Alexandros Balasis – Greek Migration to Canada During the 1950s and 1960s: The Canadian and Greek Migration Policies and the Immigrants’ Place Within Them

Theodore Xenophontos – Film as History: Struggling to Create a Community-Based Audiovisual Archive Amidst a Pandemic

Othon Alexandrakis, moderator – Contours of Memory and Knowledge

Efrosyni Rantou – Subterranean Politics and Political Subjectivities: The Case of the Kassandra Mines in North Greece

To learn more about the work of the Modern Greek Studies Association, visit https://mgsa.org/.