Day 1 (Friday, June 28th)
Location: Poseidon Conference Room
10:00 am ― Welcome
Representatives from Municipality of Paros.
Members of the Paros Chamber of Commerce/Tourism Authority.
Senty Haniadaki, Kalyvia, Greece: Ancient Greek Art Inspiration, an exhibition available for viewing throughout the Symposium.
11:30 am – 2:30 pm ― Plenary Session in the Poseidon Conference Room
11:30 am ― Dr. Steve Edwards, Professor of Clinical, Educational and Sport Psychology, University of Zululand, South Africa: Reflections on Divine Healing with Special Reference to Zulu and Greek Culture.
Occasioned by an international meeting involving an Australian shaman and a Zulu divine healer, this article explores some universal themes in divine healing as revealed in traditional Zulu and classical Greek culture. Themes include indigenous knowledge, ancestral and divine consciousness, truth, harmony, ecology, transformation of the psyche and energy healing. The article calls for further research into divine healing with special reference to perennial healing components such as empathy, intuition and transpersonal spirituality.
12:00 pm ― Dr. Leon Burnett, University of Essex, UK: Tracing Ariadne.
The Cretan princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, eloped to the island of Naxos with her lover Theseus in a time before time, only to be abandoned while she slept. Theseus sailed to Athens to fulfil his destiny, while it was Ariadne’s fate to be taken up by the god of the island, Dionysus. The story has been told and retold endless times, each retelling subtly modifying the parameters of the original myth according to the social and political demands of the period. This presentation will review some recent depictions of the mythological princess in literature, art and performance in order to ask what traces still remain of Ariadne in the Cyclades and elsewhere, and whether they point more generally to a revival of interest in Greek myths in the twenty-first century.
12:30 pm ― Break
1:00 pm ― Pamela Schaeffer, St. Louis, Missouri: Theosis: A Concept Whose Time Has Come.
God became human that humans might become God.
This vision, known to theologians as theosis (sometimes deification, or divinization), posits a construct of personal and social identity that links the human and the divine within the structure of an individual personality. This paper briefly surveys the history of theosis from biblical, Eastern and Western theological, philosophical, psychological and ecumenical perspectives, and argues that this great gift from the Greek world has the potential to meet contemporary spiritual yearnings, reinvigorate Christianity, and offer a path to wholeness in a world that increasingly seems to be coming apart at the seams.
1:30 pm ― Areti Katsigianni, Athens, Greece: H.D.’s “Helen in Egypt”: The Greeks and Our Present: An Interaction.
Many female artists have utilized Greek myths as a means to raise political questions and castigate patriarchy. This presentation shows that H.D.’s “Helen in Egypt” is a fragmented mythopoeia which incorporates “snapshots” from the story of the Trojan war, Euripides’ Helen and Egyptian myth and accordingly re-informs Helen’s narrative and past, which appears to converse implicitly with the historical and socio-political context of H.D.’s present. Furthermore, focusing on the figure of Helen, renders apparent how Helen’s claims constitute a claim for the poet’s right to life, love and art as a female individual and artist. In this context, H.D.’s attempt to emulate the Greek tragedians, in the sense that her work entails “the capacity of tragedy to constitute critique,” will also be shown and further discussed as a tradition that is followed by critics nowadays, who use Greek myth and drama in their essays as a means to criticize any politics of exclusion or injustice.
2:00 pm ― Professor Cynthia Jacqueline Alexander, Department of Politics, Acadia University, Canada: Decolonizing the Boundaries of Belonging: Rerouting Citizenship via Hellenic Cosmopolitanism and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in an Era of Climate Change.
This paper offers initial reflections on eco-cosmopolitanism, informed by cultures that, at first glance, seem to be worlds apart. The goal of this presentation is to explore ‘belonging’ and citizenship, drawing from Hellenic cosmopolitanism on the one hand, and, on the other hand, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) an ancient Inuit knowledge system that is multi-disciplinary and holistic in approach. The principles and processes, values and ways of being represented in the concept of IQ have been evolving over millennia in Canada’s eastern Arctic. Even an initial rudimentary exploration of Inuit principles and practices of interdependence, interconnectedness among humans and more-than-humans, and on respect for intergenerational relationships, reveals a simple thesis: dominant ideas about citizenship go against the flow of current environmental realities. Decolonizing ourselves necessitates fundamental shifts in ideas about belonging. Situating Hellenic insights about cosmopolitanism alongside IQ illustrates the need to decolonize theoretical principles relating to citizenship, political formulae about eco-justice, and policy action regarding sustainability.
2:30 – 4:00 pm ― Symposium Lunch in the Poseidon Conference Room
6:00 pm ― Optional Event in the Poseidon Conference Room
Special “Yogalates” Session: What joy and wonder to enjoy a fusion of Yoga and Pilates on the island of Paros, exploring and applying the principles of this mind-body practice developed by Joseph Pilates, who was of Greek heritage. Instructor: Dr. Cynthia J. Alexander.
Day 2 (Saturday, June 29th)
10:00 am – 2:30 pm ― Plenary Session in the Poseidon Conference Room
10:30 am ― Dr. Alexander Nagel, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York; and Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History: Developing an Archive on Ancient Greek Art in Washington, D.C: The Past, Present and Future of the Ancient Mediterranean Collections and Materials in the Smithsonian Institution.
Since the mid-19th century, materials from Greece have found their way into public museums in Washington, D.C. At times donated by Greeks, at times gifted by antiquarians, diplomats and archaeologists, these materials and their histories have been the focus of new intensified research since 2015. This presentation will provide an introductory overview of a set of projects highlighting the history, development, individual personalities connected, as well as the roles the materials played in diplomatic exchange and exhibition cultures between Athens and Washington. Which roles did individuals connected with the Embassy of Greece play in the creation and dissemination of knowledge on ancient and modern Greece in Washington since the late 19th century? How were ancient Greek materials such as sculptures and vases displayed and how could these materials be better integrated into local, regional and international class-room education today? Highlights to be introduced include a new project on a beautiful book donated by the Greek Elizabeth Contaxaki, a project highlighting the formation of a collection of sculptures, terracotta figurines and lamps; and a project highlighting Greek-American scientific exchange on excavations in Greece, introducing archival materials of Smithsonian Institution curators such as Lawrence Angel and Richard Howland.
11:00 am ― Dr. Thomas Gerry, Laurentian University, Canada: Still Speaking Amid the Noise: Ancient Figurines, Contemporary Museums.
Central to this presentation are small terra-cotta figurines created during the Neolithic Era, from about 7000 to 3000 BCE, in what is now Greece and neighbouring areas. Generally, the figurines are shaped as miniature human female bodies, often incised with symbolic markings, and with exaggerated features to indicate, for example, pregnancy, birthing, lactating. Archaeologists have excavated thousands of the figurines, and many are now in museums. Interpretations of the figurines range from comparing them to Barbie Dolls, to regarding them as sacred articles used in religious rituals. Copious evidence substantiates the latter position; nevertheless, the trivializing comparison is closer to the impression created by numerous important museums’ displays. Photographs will be shown in order to illustrate how and to what end museums minimize the significance of these ancient objects.
11:30 am ― Katie Kolberg, Ontario College of Art and Design, Canada: Enduring Naïveté: Art and Hellenism in a Global Turn.
From the Renaissance to the present day the cultural west has repeatedly confessed its Hellenist affinity – its approbation of ancient Greek culture and intellect. While by nature this implies a favourable image of Greece, these expressions often more accurately reflect a Neoclassical, idealized version of antiquity disseminated during the Enlightenment that has ties to colonial and cultural imperialism. Focussing on documenta 14, from the 2017 German exhibition “Learning from Athens,” this research thus examines how continuations of Hellenism function today, specifically in their relation to the pluralistic ideologies of the art world in a global-turn.
This research is significant because it highlights the importance of divorcing Hellenism from Classicism, in order to further consider the distinction of Greece itself from the intellectual, and often ideological, treatments of its ancient developments.
12:00 pm ― Lisa Camichos, Hickory High School, Hickory, North Carolina, USA: John Camichos and the Orlando Plan: Saving Volos.
In 1946, Greek immigrant John Camichos, rallied the citizens of Orlando, Florida to save 60,000 people in Volos, Greece. This presentation examines Camichos’s work to raise relief supplies for people trapped in Volos.
12:30 pm ― Break
1:00 pm ― Georgia Simakou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece: “It wasn’t like this at all”: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Revision of the Trojan War.
This paper examines the intersection of gender, religion, and power in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s novel The Firebrand (1987), showing how the author, by retelling the well-known story of the Trojan War through the prophetess Cassandra’s point of view, not only questions the Homeric epics, but also writes her own epic of female subjectivity. Drawing on Joseph Campbell’s concept of the monomyth and the hero’s journey, as well as on the writings of Alicia Ostriker and Giorgio Agamben, I focus on the novel’s portrayal of Cassandra as a heroine embarking upon a quest for gender identity and social fulfillment. This paper also shows how the Trojan War as state of exception is a device for the subjugation and silencing of women, something which prevents Cassandra from bringing the ultimate boon to her community. Still, through a final reconciliation of opposites within herself, Cassandra does manage to resist the transition from matriarchy to patriarchy, and to attain a sort of ultimate boon. Her final decision to return to Asia Minor in order to establish a matriarchal kingdom, in conjunction with her decision to marry, constitutes simultaneously an opening and a compromise, confirming, thus, Cassandra’s status as a liminal heroine.
1:30 – 2:30 pm ― Dr. Ioannis Andronoglou, Greece: The Inspirational Role of the Greek Musical Tradition in the Composition of Classical Guitar Repertoire, with Compositional Samples of the Modern Greek National Music School to a Postmodern Approach.
The research challenge addressed in this pesentation lies in the relations among contemporary Greek guitarist–composers and the Greek tradition, paying particular attention to the borrowing of musical elements, both directly, in the form of musical themes, rhythms and techniques, and indirectly, as allusions to traditional works.
Koyunbaba suite, op. 19 – Carlo Domeniconi
Sogne Capricorne – Roland Dyens
Travelling – Yiannis Andronoglou
Fantasia on a Thracian folksong – Yiannis Andronoglou
Mandilatos Impressions – Yiannis Andronoglou
2:30 – 4:00 pm ― Symposium Lunch in the Poseidon Poolside Dining Room
6:00 pm ― Optional Event in the Poseidon Conference Room
Special Yogalates Session II: Dr. Cynthia J. Alexander offers a second session fusing Yoga and Pilates.
Day 3 (Sunday, June 30th)
10:00 am – 2:30 pm ― Plenary Session in the Poseidon Conference Room
10:30 am ― Helen Vatsikopoulos, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia: Writing Greek in the Diaspora.
The people came from all over Greece: Macedonia, Limnos, the Peloponnese, among other places with strong regional identities, escaping a war-ravaged country, political persecution and poverty. Peasants hoping for a better life. But it was in Australia that we, the children of migrants became Greek. The meanings of Bouboulina, Kolokotronis, Oxi Day and the 25th of March were all instilled in us in Saturday Greek schools. But hidden from us were the true stories of our parents– silence was the price they paid for a new start in the “lucky country.” As an established journalist for Australia’s two public broadcasters, telling other people’s stories was my life’s work. But the best story of all was hidden in my own family. Civil war, stolen children and a complex hybrid ‘endopyia’ identity. My family came from the border regions of north-western Greece in the wetlands region of Prespa. It remained obscure until the recent negotiation of the controversial Prespa Agreement. Through photographs, testimony and an exploration of identity theory, I wilI reflect on the toll of researching and writing an ethnographic memoir on place, memory and being the “Other.” I will also reflect on the familial cost of undertaking such a project.
11:00 am ― Gabrielle Moyer, Stanford University, California, USA : On the Difficulty of Seeing Particular People: From Nicomachean to Neoliberal Ethics.
What is the relationship between Aristotelian ethics, modernist literature and contemporary neoliberalism? In this talk, I consider the strain of humanist thought that defines Aristotle’s philosophy as a thread that weaves in and out of history, appearing in the Renaissance, disappearing in the 17th century, and reappearing again, surprisingly, in the titanic works of modernists like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. In deliberate contest with their century’s scientistic essentializing, these authors take as their subject the radical complexity of the individual. I argue that their striving to see human experience in its varied, concrete detail—and the conception of this as an ethical project—is Aristotelian to its core. More than just another link in humanist history, though, Modernist writers picture the attempt to see others with all the linguistic care of poetry and all the burden of uncertainty. Reading their texts against what Henry Giroux describes as the “[neoliberal] practice of disposability,” I consider how far the West has strayed from an Aristotelian project. What happens, for example, when we put Ulysses’ bawdy humor against the working conditions of an Amazon warehouse? From this and similar juxtapositions, I ask: What is the human cost and economic benefit of an Anti-Aristotelian geopolitical model? Can we conceive of a global policy informed by Aristotelian ethics and how might this shape a counter narrative that might succeed the dominance of neoliberalism?
11:30 am ― Sahar Siavashi and William Ramp, University of Lethbridge, Canada: Pedagogies and Possibilities of Crisis in Greek and Iranian Film.
We will discuss how Greek and Iranian film reflect and respond to crises of everyday life and nationhood under austerity. How are the same imperatives imposed and reproduced differently in national, local, even intimate contexts? We link film to political theory and collective psychology via three propositions about austerity regimes derived from Yanis Varoufakis and Adam Kotsko: (1) the imposition of austerity isn’t “neoliberal” in the classic sense of minimalist government and free markets; it re-purposes government to expand commodification, protect cronies and police economic discipline; (2) a primary mechanism of this discipline is debt, and (3) neoliberalism works as a political theology of subject-formation, demonizing those under economic discipline as contractually responsible for their own disadvantage. These propositions delineate an austerity meta-narrative that lends itself to cinematic representation. Iranian and Greek film illustrate different instances in which economic discipline is mobilized to de-mobilize: to block resistance; divert agency into fatalism or opportunism; normalize exploitation or disruption. Its successes and failures shape personal fates and national histories.
12:00 pm ― Dr. Velvet Yates, Distance Learning Director, Department of Classics, University of Florida, USA: The Greeks of Tarpon Springs in the Hollywood Imaginary.
Tarpon Springs, Florida, is home to the largest concentration of Greek-Americans in the United States. Until the 1950s, sponge diving was a major industry, and the sponge divers were Greeks.
Hollywood was attracted to these sponge divers. I will argue that the Greek characters in these films and TV shows, spanning 1932 to 1961, were as imaginary, exotic, and dangerous as the underwater monsters and geography. Greeks, rarely played by actual Greeks, were stereotyped as boastful, passionate, religious, and violent.
Likewise, the geography is exotic but hazy: Greece is just “The Old Country” in one film; in another, Tarpon Springs is a short sail from Key West. The sea monsters, including a giant clam, were even more unlikely. The locations for the ‘undersea’ sequences were often freshwater Florida springs. Nothing is what it seems: a rare coelacanth swimming 150 feet deep off the coast of Madagascar is really a blowfin, a common springs fish, swimming 10 feet deep in Silver Springs.
The actors playing Greeks in these shows are blowfins pretending to be coelacanths, populating a wrongly imagined ‘Tarpon Springs’ in the Hollywood dreamscape.
12:30 pm ― Break
1:00 pm ― Tatyana Mikhailova, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow: “Exagoge” of Ezekiel: the Unique Specimen of Hellenistic Tragedy.
The tragedy entitled “Exagoge,”by the author named Ezekiel, retells the Biblical story of Moses. It is written in the form of a Greek tragedy, with obvious influences of Aeschylus and Euripides. An approximate dating of the text is II BCE. The work may be examined both as a development of classical Greek tragedy, and also as an isolated case of Hellenistic tragedy which is very little known to us due to the lack of evidence.
Because of the incompleteness of the play, and because of its existence within the frame of another literary work, there has been a lack of scholarly attention to “Exagoge.” However, the marginality of this text, located at the intersection of several traditions, makes it unique, and offers us the possibility of making further steps in the study of Judeo-Hellenistic literature, classical Greek tragedy, Hellenistic tragedy, “Jewish drama” and other extra-Biblical genres.
1:30 pm ― Dr. Hélène Jeannin, Orange Eco-Campus, Orange, France: Exoskeletons and Robots: Technology from Antiquity until Now.
Through reviewing several examples, this presentation focuses on technologies of Antiquity and their impacts on today’s culture. The name Talos, for instance, officially pays tribute to the first exoskeleton (robot) ever used as a means for defense. Hephaïstos (Vulcan) created Talos in his forge. This giant robot would circumnavigate the island of Crete several times per day at high speed, thus guaranteeing territorial security. Nowadays, researchers derive knowledge and inspiration for conceiving revamped weaponry from Talos in an attempt to improve effectiveness but also to open up new markets and application fields. Further to iconography and illustrations, Talos also inspired a video game with a Deluxe edition, and several Marvel super heroes.
2:30 – 4:00 ― SYMPOSIUM LUNCH in the Poseidon Poolside Dining Room
8:00 pm ― Special Presentation: Odysseus Returns
Location: Poseidon Conference Room
Odysseus Returns is the signature performance of musician and artist, Yannis Pantazis’ of La Ponta Symposium, Santorini. Odysseus Returns is comprised of ten original musical compositions, each featuring a different instrument. The performance recounts the journey of Odysseus, King of Ithaca, as he returns home from the Trojan War to reclaim his kingdom and free his people from their oppressors. The performance is theatrical in spirit, and is sporadically narrated in the original Greek.
9:00 pm ― FAREWELLS in the Poseidon Bar