2013 Special Issue of Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand) - Crossing Boundaries

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Entitled Crossing Boundaries: Greek Textual and Cultural Landscapes, this Special Issue of Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand) contains papers which discuss many issues in Greek Studies. The papers deal with ancient Greek and Byzantine philosophy, philology, the history of Greece and the Greek world, the history of the Greek Diaspora, and the teaching of the Greek language. They cover a considerable span of time and space, crossing the boundaries of various fields of research.


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    Πρωτόγονη ευαισθησία και νεωτερική διάνοια στο Βίος και πολιτεία του Αλέξη Ζορμπά του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Vogiatzaki, Evi
    Please note: This article is in Greek. Primitive sensibility and modernist mentality in N. Kazantzakis’ Zorba the Greek: This paper explores the recreation of mythic or primitive sensitivity and the dissociation of rational thought and subjective feeling in the dialogical novel of Nikos Kazantzakis, Alexis Zorbas. It contends that the novel dramatizes the contrast between mythic sensibility and mental civilized self-reflection, revealing not only aspects of the modernist understanding of subjectivity but also the kind of imaginative creation which the narrative enacts reflecting the poetics of the twentieth-century primitivism. Mythic sensibility manifests itself as a form of otherness which motivates the subject’s nostalgic and tedious journey of return to archaic origins relating to the collective unconscious of the race. Drawing upon Michael Bell’s study on Primitivism and the inferences of anthropological studies in the beginning of the 20th century, it explores animism, natural or cosmic piety and rituals as the most pervasive manifestations of primitive sensibility which are opposed to the civilized mentality of the novel. Alexis Zorbas’ life and ideas substantiate the primitive urge of the novel which challenges the modern skepticism of the character-author, thus evoking the ancient response to life which occupies the kernel of the novel. Accordingly it concludes that Kazantzakis’ novel is constructed as great allegory about the destiny of the civilized man of the twentieth century. Reflecting on and longing for the unsearchable and grandiose moments in the history of human civilization, the author is in quest of a spiritual and philosophical recreation of the human consciousness whereby soul and body, spirit and matter would reconcile recovering their lost unity.
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    Βυζαντινός Κόσμος και Εννοιολογική Ιστορία
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Arabatzis, Giorgos
    Please note: This article is in Greek. The Byzantine World and Conceptual History: The article examines the idea of the Byzantine world through the methodologies of conceptual history and socio-history. A criticism of the positivist stand and its scientific segmentation offers the starting point and the analytical tools provided by the postmodern literature are briefly overviewed. The concept of the Byzantine Ego appears to be central in the related research because it permits to empathize with this Ego’s life-world. The notions of “power”, “meta-narration”, “normativity”, “post-structuralism”, “modernism” and others are central for this study if we wish to escape the narrowing positivist imperative and approach the Byzantine world with a fresh look. The cultural logic of the Byzantine world is seen through a processual approach that combines the ideas of critique, structure and, to some degree, postcolonialism with the purpose to understand alternatively the cultural entities that populated the Byzantine sphere.
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    Auto/biographical writing and Greek-Australian historiography
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Nicolacopoulos, Toula; Vassilacopoulos, George
    This paper outlines a methodology for 'auto/biographical' life-history writing and argues for its merits based on a particular case study. In the present context 'auto/ biographical life writing' refers to life writing that is produced collaboratively by the participants, the researchers and research subjects, who are respectively positioned as writers/editors and narrators. We will propose an account of the dialogical structure that informs this inter-subjective interaction as developed in our collaboration with one Greek-Australian political activist. In our collaboration with George Gotsis on his auto/biography we have been taking what we call an ontological approach, in the sense of addressing the conditions of being in a collaborative researcher–researched relationship. We present the main features of this approach and discuss its merits and connection with our Greek-Australian historiography more broadly.
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    Blending Greek with Aboriginal Australian cultural elements in artistic expression
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Kanarakis, George
    This paper pursues another transnational course extending the paper I presented at the Eighth International Conference on Greek Research, where the influence of cultural aspects of Aboriginal Australians upon a variety of first generation Greek Australians’ artistic expression was examined. Exploring both direct and indirect influence of elements of Greek and Aboriginal Australian cultures evident in artistic works (including theatre arts, painting, photography, music and dance), my current research focuses on how this blending has transcended through the filter of second generation Australians of Greek and Koori parentage, as well as of Aborigines, Anglo-Australians and members of other immigrant groups, and how this has been transformed and exhibited by them, thus being “recreated” artistically.
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    Faces beyond the Greek café: the traditional diversity of Greek-Australian occupational pursuits, 1820s–2010
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Janiszewski, Leonard; Alexakis, Effy
    From the late nineteenth century until the closing decades of the twentieth century, Greeks played a large part in Australia’s food catering industry. They continued, nevertheless, to enter a wide variety of occupations. These included: agricultural and pastoral activities, mining, sea-related industries, itinerant work, secondary industries, public life, professional fields, and artistic and sporting avenues. Moreover, their contribution in some activities proved significant. This paper firmly challenges the entrenched, popular stereotype of Greek-Australians as being historically defined as essentially a collection of fish’n’chip shop owners and café and milk bar proprietors. Rather, their complex and broad involvement in Australia’s mainstream development over the last two hundred years is clearly revealed, acknowledged and celebrated.
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    Never to return: migration and old age in Venezis’s “The State of Virginia”
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Dova, Stamatia
    This paper discusses Ilias Venezis’s short story “The State of Virginia” with special emphasis on the themes of migration and old age. Published in 1954, in the aftermath of WWII and the Greek Civil War, “The State of Virginia” captures the drama of an elderly woman victim of the Asia Minor Catastrophe, as she is migrating to Virginia, U.S.A. after thirty years of temporary residence in a refugee village in rural Attica. My analysis focuses on the protagonist’s reluctant migration as it emerges from the farewell scene between her and her life-long friend; their conversation on the irreversibility of their separation, the challenges facing elderly migrants, and the significance of native soil voices an insightful discourse on belonging and rootedness that transcends many socio-temporal limits.
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    Ageing and immigration in the Greek capital. Policy issues and developments since the early 1990s
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Maloutas, Thomas
    The paper deals with socio-demographic change and spatial transformation in Athens during the post war period and, in particular, since the early 1990s. It focuses on the interaction of two parallel processes — the precipitated ageing of the native Greek population and the rapid increase of the city’s immigrant population — in terms of residential patterns that enable contact between the two groups, and of the poorly developed local welfare state, within which immigrants have been acting as a substitute for the underdeveloped services for the elderly. The paper draws attention to recent changes in immigrants’ profiles and especially to the decreasing inflow — and more recently the outflow (GSPSC, 2011) — from neighbouring Balkan countries and the parallel increase of asylum seeking migrants and refugees from war zones in the broader Middle-East, Afghanistan and the Indian peninsula. These changes have led to a potentially less beneficial co-existence between ageing and immigration for both sides in a period where public funds for social policies as well as private funds for substitute solutions become scarce.
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    The Greek audience 'discovers' the Turkish soap-series: Turkey’s 'soft power' and the psyche of Greeks
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Mihalakopoulos, Georgios
    Today’s world is mainly characterised, among other things, by interdependence and confusion. And the best way for a state to distinguish itself from the others is to promote globally a “shiny image”. This kind of strategy focuses on persuasion aiming at the gaining of influence. And this is the rationale behind the promotion of the Turkish TV series globally and especially in the Balkans and the Middle East. This paper tries to elucidate some of the aspects related to the extraordinary, albeit unexpected, success of this “goldmine” called Turkish soap-operas.
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    “Remember the Greek and Armenian Refugee Children”: South Australian relief efforts in the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Diamadis, Panayiotis
    Even the most sweeping mega-narratives are composed of collections of micro-narratives, the stories of actions and experiences of individuals. By blending the stories of individuals and organisations from South Australia with the events that swept the Hellenic world in the first part of the 20th century, the result is a powerful testament to the ability of individuals to enact change under any circumstance. When it is taken into account that these efforts to collect money, food and clothing occurred at a time when South Australia was endeavouring to recover from World War One, the story of the campaign to save lives on the other side of the globe becomes even more amazing. South Australian efforts on behalf of the genocide survivors — either through humanitarian relief or through active rescue — are one of the “lighter” aspects of the history of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides. Rev. James E. Cresswell, Ethel Cooper and their supporters serve as reminders that even amidst the darkest episodes of human existence, there are sparks of light. Despite being enveloped by inhumanity, some retained their humanity.
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    Copper and foreign investment: the development of the mining industry in Cyprus during the Great Depression
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Apostolides, Alexander
    This paper evaluates the impact of the rapid growth of mining on the Cypriot economy during the period 1921–1938, with special focus on the expansion of copper sulphate mining. During this period the industry was transformed by companies such as the Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) and this affected the whole economy and society. The island was for the first time inundated with substantial foreign direct investment, which encouraged technological adaptation and altered labour relations; as such there has been a debate on how beneficial was mining for the economy at that time. Using substantial primary data we estimated output (GDP share), employment and productivity estimates for the mining industry, as well as profit estimates for the foreign mining firms through the use of a counterfactual. The data allows us to argue that mining was very beneficial in increasing labour productivity and earning foreign exchange, but also highlights that the economic and social benefits for the economy were less than those suggested by the colonial authorities due to mass exports of profits.
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    Harbours, harbour works and commerce in Cyprus, 1878-1910
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Panayiotou, Maria
    The lack of harbour facilities was always a setback in the financial development of Cyprus. The paper aims to describe the harbour facilities of the island in 1878–1879, and to analyse how the harbour works in Limasol, Larnaca and Kyrenia in 1881, 1882 and 1890 respectively and in Famagusta harbour in 1905, affected the shipping and commercial activity of the coastal towns. At the same time it will outline how much was spent on the harbour works and its authorisation. All of these factors will highlight to what extent the harbour works contributed to the economic development of Cyprus.
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    Aristotle and the intuitionists
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Mortensen, Chris
    Intuitionist mathematics has claimed a philosophy deriving from Kant. This paper aims to draw attention to significant similarities with a much older source, Aristotle. At the same time, the connection should not be over-stretched, given two millennia between them.
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    Aristotle's four conceptions of time
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Quigley, Peter
    In this paper I will describe four theories of time that can be found in Aristotle. I will compare these four theories with modern notions of time, and propose that the ancient and modern views are substantively the same. Of course, all four theories cannot be true together. I will present four ways to resolve the inconsistencies, and conclude that the contradictions can be resolved.
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    Myth, dialogue and the allegorical interpretation of Plato
    (Flinders University Department of Language Studies - Modern Greek, 2013-06) Benitez, Eugenio
    From the late Classical period until the Nineteenth Century, Plato was admired for his inspiration and vision, rather than for his theories and argumentation. Then with the advent of analytic philosophy in the Twentieth Century, the pendulum swung hard in the other direction. Plato’s myths were largely ignored. The drama of his dialogues was considered insignificant. The theory of forms and the theory of recollection (as a gloss on immortality) became the pillars of Platonism, and the journals became filled with careful, logical analyses of Platonic principles, theories, and hypotheses. Recently even mainstream Plato scholars have tried to redress the overemphasis on Platonic theory, but they have limited themselves mostly to arguing that image, myth, and characterisation are important to the interpretation of Plato in addition to concepts, theories, and dialectic. This paper argues that myth and dialogue play a much more central role in Platonic philosophy than is currently accepted. There is evidence that Plato treats the dialogues themselves as framing myths, within which all action and dialogue is treated as mimesis, rather than as direct presentation of Plato’s logoi. If this is correct, then each of Plato’s works is organised around the representation of a comprehensive poetic vision not stated in, but rather only through, the action of the dialogue.
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    Modern Greek in Australia: a study of the current situation and future perspectives
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (MGSAANZ), 2013-07) Tsianikas, Michael; Maadad, Nina
    This study, completed in September 2011, examines the situation of Modern Greek in Australia. After a lengthy research the authors were able to find out the exact number of all Modern Greek students in Australia. The authors, in order to make the study more relevant and place it in the wider Australian context, decided to incorporate information regarding the historical settlement of Greeks in Australia as well as the sociocultural dynamics which are influencing the maintenance and teaching of the Greek language. The findings and the analysis clearly indicate that Modern Greek in Australia will face a lot of challenges in the near future and that it is urgent for all parties concerned to come up with practical strategies if this important language for Australia is to stay alive and well in the antipodes.
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    Η Διαγενειακή Αλληλεπίδραση Τρίτης Γενιάς και Τρίτης Ηλικίας και οι Αντοχές της Ελληνοαυστραλιανής Ταυτότητας
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (MGSAANZ), 2013-07) Kyriakopoulou-Baltatzi, Chrysanthi
    Please note: this article is in Greek. The aim of the present paper is to present results and to explore questions regarding the contribution of the family factor and especially first generation migrants towards the formation of ethno-cultural identity of Greek Australian adolescents. The three thematic areas that are explored in the light of this presentation are (a) the ethno-cultural characteristics of the Greek Australian family, (b) the intergenerational relationships between adolescents and their grandparents, and (c) the ethno-cultural transformation of Greek Australian adolescents. The contemporary Greek Australian family is distinguished for its pluralistic character in its composition and the values that it displays, having as a central feature the intergenerational co-existence of three generations. Greek cultural continuity in the Antipodes is being challenged during the transmission of the core Greek cultural values from one generation to another; with the third generation exhibiting a distinct cultural and linguistic identity compared to the first generation and an apparent departure from the tangible elements of Greek culture. This transition is being shaped by inter-family and inter-generational factors, as well as external forces. Despite these trends, the multi-dimensional relationships between grandchildren and their grandparents — manifested as regular conversational interactions and underpinning emotional interrelationships — can contribute favourably in the dynamic transition from a lower state of cultural awareness towards a more balanced inter-culturalism. This desirable outcome is contingent on being established as a conscious objective of the Greek Australian family.
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    A home away from home: the Greek-Cypriot migrants/refugees in South Australia
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (MGSAANZ), 2013-07) Shialis, Maria
    Migration waves have occurred over many centuries due to the historical events of countries experiencing turmoil and people wanting to have a better future elsewhere. Australia was and still is today known as the “land of opportunities”. It was a likely destination for many Greek-Cypriots at a time of crisis, in the period leading up to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and afterwards. This paper intends to explain the experiences of people — ranging from political migrants to refugees — settling into a predominantly Australian society or predominantly British origins. The foundation for this study was oral history interviews conducted with members of the Greek Cypriot community in South Australia. This research will provide an understanding of “belonging” as experienced from previous decades till the present time.
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    Migrants’ Belongings: preliminary considerations of Greek and Italian migrants’ travel trunks in the post-Second World War period of settlement to South Australia
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (MGSAANZ), 2013-07) Agutter, Karen Maree; Bouvet, Eric James; Glenn, Diana Cavuoto; Leader-Elliott, Lynette Frances; Finnimore, Christine; Rose, Daniela; Palaktsoglou, Maria
    The Migrants’ Belongings project, while considering both the scholarly work of the past and more contemporary trends, aims to take migration studies one step further by investigating the significance of belongings brought in the travel trunks of Greek and Italian migrants when they settled in Australia after the Second World War. The project seeks to understand, in the context of displacement, movement and loss, what objects were of particular relevance in reshaping the lives and the identities of these migrants, with particular reference to those objects carried by trunk, rather than by suitcase. This article, the first in a series relating to the Migrants’ Belongings project, aims to situate the project within the wider literature of post-Second World War Italian and Greek migration to Australia. It will consider the use and representation of migrants’ belongings, drawing on methodologies and findings from museology, material culture and identity studies. The project will reflect on the reasons why the “objects of migration”, and more specifically the contents of “migrant trunks”, have so far been largely neglected by scholars of history and migration studies. Finally, this article will highlight the project’s proposed methodology.
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    The 'invisible' immigrants: Greek immigrant women in Australia (1952–1972)
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (MGSAANZ), 2013-07) Palaktsoglou, Maria
    1952–1972 is considered as the twenty-year period of mass or chain migration, during which the greatest number of Greek immigrants arrived in Australia. Just under half of these immigrants were women, who arrived mainly as dependent siblings, daughters, wives or brides of male immigrants. In addition, approximately 9,000 women migrated independently as factory or domestic workers. Though Greek women immigrants are an integral part of the overall Greek migration to Australia, their history still remains marginal and has not been thoroughly investigated and reported on. Greek women are regarded as the “invisible” immigrants, whose individual migration experience is encompassed within the male-dominated migration discourse. In this article we examine aspects of the migration of Greeks to Australia during the period of mass or chain migration, with a special focus on the marginal representation of women immigrants within the migration discourse.
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    Planning for authentic language assessment in higher education synchronous online environments
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (MGSAANZ), 2013-07) Wright, Cecily; Litinas, Antonios; Palaktsoglou, Maria; Tsianikas, Michael
    The teaching of some languages in Australia is under threat due substantially to small enrolments. There is considerable need to preserve Australia’s community languages as part of the country’s cultural and linguistic diversity. However, it can be difficult to generate sufficient numbers to sustain the provision of a specific language course in any one location in Australia. Online technologies can provide a solution to this problem. According to the New Media Consortium Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition “education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models”. Models such as these present a possible solution to the problems associated with providing small enrolment language topics such as Modern Greek. The Logos Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture was established at Flinders University in 2011. Promotion and preservation of Greek language and culture is the focus of the centre which is funded by the South Australian Government with support from the Greek Government. In 2012 the centre moved towards enhancing the delivery of Modern Greek by developing and delivering four language topics and two culture topics online. The delivery of these topics identified assessment as an area which needs further investigation. This paper describes the importance of an assessment strategy for foreign language (FL) learning which is based on the principles of authentic assessment and describes how synchronous technologies can support this strategy.