Scholars of Greece from across North America and the world will gather Nov. 14-16 at Indiana University Bloomington for the 23rd Biennial Symposium of the Modern Greek Studies Association.
About 140 scholars are expected to attend, including close to 80 presenters. The Modern Greek Studies Association also will present awards for books, research publications and translations in the discipline.
Highlights also will include a talk by Yanis Varoufakis, one of Greece’s most prominent economists and public intellectuals; an evening of literary readings and a discussion of contemporary Greek-American creative writing; and a dinner concert by one of Greece’s finest rembetika folk music bands.
“It is a tremendous honor for our program to host an event of this scale,” said Franklin Hess, coordinator of IU’s Modern Greek Program and a lecturer in European Studies in the School of Global and International Studies.
“This is the largest conference in North America dealing with modern Greece and it demonstrates why modern Greek is a vital part of the new school.”
“We very much look forward to attending this symposium, which only comes around every two years,” added Gonda Van Steen, president of the MGSA and the Cassas Professor in Greek Studies at the University of Florida.
“It is such an ideal forum where we catch up with colleagues, meet junior people in the field, and get plenty of exposure to truly interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Greece and Cyprus.”
The symposium is being hosted by the Modern Greek Program and the Institute for European Studies at IU.
The public is welcome, but registration is necessary to attend. The cost of the conference is $60 for a single day or $160 for the entire conference.
Most of the conference will take place in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. Two major events — the evening of readings and a concert by Rembetiki Istoria — will take place in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.
There is no cost to attend the concert.
On Nov. 14, the Modern Greek Studies Association will present the following awards:
The Edmund Keeley Book Prize will be presented to Vangelis Calotychos, author of “The Balkan Prospect: Identity, Culture and Politics in Greece after 1989;” Loring Danforth and Riki van Boeschoten, authors of “Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees and the Politics of Memory;” Theodora Dragostinova, author of “Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949.”
The Elizabeth Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize will be presented to Patricia F. Barbeito, professor of literary arts and studies at the Rhode Island School of Design.
The John O. Iatrides Best Dissertation Prize will be presented to Stefan Papaioannou, a professor of history at the University of Virginia and author of “Balkan Wars between the Lines: Violence and Civilians in Macedonia, 1912-1918.”
The Graduate Student Essay Prize will be awarded to Katerina Stergiopoulou, a student at Princeton University for her essay “Μetagrafontas: Giorgos Seferis Writing with the Song of Songs.”
Also that evening, Vassilis Lambropoulos, a professor at the University of Michigan, will lead a discussion of new Greek creative writing and introduce Natalie Bakopoulos, a professor at the University of Michigan and author of the acclaimed novel, “The Green Shore,” and Christopher Bakken, a professor at Allegheny College and author of several books, including the 2013 book, “Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table.”
The following evening, at 7 p.m. in the Georgian Room of the IMU, Varoufakis, a professor of economic theory at the University of Athens and a visiting professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, will speak on the topic, “Being Greek and an Economist While Greece Burns: An Intimate Account of Peculiar Tragedy.”
He is author of several books, including “The Global Minotaur: America, the True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy,” and a frequent commentator on the BBC and Skai TV in Greece.
Varoufakis also on Nov. 14 will present a free lecture for The Tocqueville Program and the Institute for European Studies, “Democracy: Its Future in the Midst of Rapid Technological Progress and Chronic Economic Crisis.” It will begin at 4 p.m. in the Bridgewaters Lounge of the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center.
The IU Modern Greek Program also will present Rembetiki Istoria in a public concert at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22 at Avalon Manor in Merrillville, Ind.