Proceedings of the 8th Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, 2009

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The Eighth Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, held at Flinders University, South Australia, in June, 2009, represented an important global gathering. The Conference hosted representatives and presenters from four continents and nine countries and engaged audiences with an impressive collection of papers. The Conference helped celebrate a unique milestone for Greek Studies, marking as it did a celebration of 22 golden years of Modern Greek studies at Flinders University.

A very distinctive feature of proceedings publication of this important conference is the light it has shed on specific Hellenic debates and discourses, both current and historical. The authors have provided erudite discussions on a broad range of topics, inviting new ways of thinking activated through reflection on change. The reader is ever invited to reinterpret new meanings stemming from a deep respect for preserving links with the past.

All papers published in the present volume were assessed by our reviewers as significant academic contributions to the sociology of historical and cultural knowledge. The reviewers themselves are esteemed scholars of international renown.

The papers in this collection address a number of significant themes in Greek Studies: Ancient Greek Philosophy across Time; The Recent History of Greece and Cyprus: key issues as they pertain to Greek and Cypriot discourse and debate; Greeks and Cypriots in Australia and Beyond: personal and cultural histories dealing with concepts underpinning change over time and elaborated on in relation to personal memoirs and socio-cultural discourse; Modern Greek literature, Language, Education and the Arts: Discourses related to literature, language, education and the arts as they influence intercultural dynamics; myths and tradition; visual and performing arts; linguistics and learning.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 58
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    Self-Portraits by Nineteenth-Century Greek Painters
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Markatou, Dora
    The subject of this paper is the self-portrait, and, in particular, the ways in which Greek painters of the 19th century supported and expanded the genre. A series of self-portraits of painters who lived beyond the borders of the newly established Greek state are analysed in this paper. From an iconographic aspect, their works follow the constitutional visual conventions and they are created within the frame of a specific artistic trend, reflecting theoretical discussions and conflicts of their times. By the end of the 19th century the self-portrait had, for several reasons, lost their distinctive elements and was usually not conceived as different from the portrait. From the 1860’s, many Greek painters created portraits of themselves in order to express their personal success, and also, to present the case for the improvement of the social position of the Greek artists, in general. A leading example of such a focus of intention can be seen in the self-portraits of Nikeforos Lytras.
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    Parmenides, Hegel and Special Relativity
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Mann, Scott
    This paper explores two different responses to the metaphysics of Parmenides. It highlights the importance of Parmenides in the development of the Hegelian Dialectic. And it examines some of the parallels between Parmenides ideas and certain interpretations of special relativity theory.
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    Medicine in Ancient Cyprus
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Michaelides, Demetrios
    In ancient times, Cyprus played an important role in the science of Medicine. This was largely due to its rich mineral deposits and its varied vegetation, both of which were primary sources for the preparation of medicaments. These attracted a number of wellknown physicians who studied and, in the case of Galen in the second century AD, visited the island. The paper will present the results of a recently concluded, two-year research project that assembled all available information on the eponymous doctors of ancient Cyprus and the medicaments associated with the island. It also deals with all other evidence related to medicine and cure, such as ancient surgical instruments, the occurrence of healing deities, the use of ex-votos, the use of sympathetic/prophylactic magic, and other.
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    The Dying and Deathless Musician in Modern Greek Culture: Nikos Xylouris and Manos Loizos
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Michael, Despina
    The aim of this paper is to explore the way that the image of popular musicians in Greece is informed, modified and transformed by death. The image of the dying musician has become established in Greek tradition and is a common motif in both oral and literary sources where the death of the musician is invariably presented as both a personal and national loss. Indeed, it can be argued, that it is at the point of death that the musician truly “belongs” to “the people”. In the case of Nikos Xylouris and Manos Loizos, both musicians were loved and esteemed by friends, colleagues and the general populace alike. Their respective deaths were documented in great detail. Despite the abundance of information, however, the posthumous images which evolved drew on generic, mythic images of the dying and deathless musician already in existence in the culture. My focus is on exploring this process.
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    Mythology in the Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Radová, Irena
    Scholia represent a significant heritage of the ancient critics’ philological activity. Their main aim was to contribute to correct understanding of the text while taking into account not only the linguistic and literary perspectives but also the regional and social context. Hence scholia to works dealing with mythology also contain interesting information on various versions of individual myths and their traditions; apart from that, they show the ways of how ancient critics viewed particular myths. On the scholia to the epic work by Apollonius Rhodius, whose epic is the only preserved representative from the Helllenistic period, it will be shown what paradigms of thoughts can be found in the approaches towards the ancient myth. Consequently, these paradigms will be subject to comparison with traditional ancient interpretation methods of myth.
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    The Australian Contribution to the United Nations Force in Cyprus
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Christodoulides, Nikos
    This paper, based on Australian sources, aims to examine the logic behind Australia’s decision to contribute a police unit in the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in 1964. It offers answers to questions such as: What was the first reaction in Canberra to the UN request for troops contribution in the UNFICYP? What were Australia’s major reservations? What were the decisive factors that led to the re-examination of Canberra’s first reaction and its final decision?
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    Η Ποίηση του Γ. Ρίτσου και τα Ρέοντα Σύνορα της Θηλυκότητας
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Kotopoulos, Triandafyllos H.; Karasavidou, Helen
    Please note: this article is in Greek. Ritsos, and the crossing borders of femininity: This inter-disciplinary paper seeks to examine the perception of Modern Greek history and the feminine in Ritsos poetry. In many cultures women have been long suspected to be the source of human miseries, especially in conservative and repressive times. Since the ancient myths women were idealised but mostly mistrusted as seductive and vengeful, manipulative and even malevolent. In modern times, as ideals of purity and dedication to family have been exalted and feminine beauty lauded, women have been viewed as embodying sinister forces of evil. Ritsos lived in an era of tremendous conflicts and changes. Yet he was the carrier of an ancient tradition due to his Greek origin. In grappling with our understanding of what it is to be “evil” for an ideological poet like Ritsos in eras of international and ethnic totalitarianism, and how women are used to confront or identify with it, the paper aims to shine a spotlight on this dark area of the social and human condition and explore the possible sources of worship, or fear and resentment, of women.
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    History, Identity and Culture of the Borderland Community of Tsamantas in Epirus, North-Western Greece
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Konstadakopulos, Dimitrios
    Before the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the early part of the twentieth century, nationality was not of great significance to the people of Epirus; instead, diverse elements — cultural, historical, social and spatial — combined to form the identity of local communities, which differed from each other in terms of religion and language. However, the creation of Albania, and the protracted process of delimiting its border with Greece (1913–1926), brought about differing interpretations of ethnic identity and national consciousness amongst the people of the contested territory. This paper considers how historical events, such as the delimitation of the Greek-Albanian border, can influence local identities and cultures, and how such events help us to understand the social and economic decline of the border community of Tsamantas during most of the twentieth century. It also asserts that the possible future expansion of the European Union to include Albania might diminish differences in ethnicity in the region and facilitate the re-emergence of a distinct Epirote identity and culture.
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    Όψεις και ιδιαιτερότητες του Εθνικού Διχασμού στην Κύπρο, 1914–1920
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Katsiari, Paraskevi
    Please note: this article is in Greek. National Schism in Cyprus, 1914–1920: aspects and particularities: The intense dispute between the prime minister Eleftherios Veniselos and King Constantine regarding Greece’s position towards the First World War was shortly extended to Cyprus. The Greeks of Cyprus believed that the choice of the Greek governments (to either join the Allies or maintain their neutrality) would have had a serious impact on the Cyprus question. While in Greece the conflict appeared inevitable, in Cyprus the struggle for Union (ένωσις) with Greece appeased the oppositions. The present article explores the nature and the extent of interest on the dispute through archival sources and the Greek newspapers of Cyprus. It also emphasizes the role of personality in the configuration of the two disputed policies through their activity, the conflicts and the political associations (λέσχες) that were created to support either Veniselos or King Constantine. Finally, the paper examines the fluctuation of divisive events and the factors that directed the action of leading personalities of island, up to 1920, that the irredentism of the island appeared realistic ... το μόνιμο δράμα της σκηνής της Κύπρου θα ήταν η σύγκρουση ενός Οδυσσέα με έναν Αχιλλέα, που συνεχώς θα άλλαζαν ρόλους και προσωπεία.
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    Η συμβολή πεζού – ποιητικού λόγου στο έργο του Γιάννη Ρίτσου. Πρώτες επισημάνσεις
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Karatassou, Katerina
    Please note: this article is in Greek. The confluence of prose and poetic discourse in Yiannis Ritsos’ work. Initial observations: Yiannis Ritsos since 1936 — and especially during the years 1956–1975 — developed an interesting, from a theoretical, historical and critical perspective, paratextual practice; a practice combining poetic discourse with surrounding prose narrative parts as distinct but equal components in many of his long synthetic works. We maintain that this practice can be productively described if we adopt the following analytical axes: generic identity of the narrative parts, relation of the narrative parts to the poetic discourse, communicative characteristics and functions of the narrative parts. In this paper we attempt a review of the relevant research, based on the aforementioned axes, and we make a few preliminary observations about Ritsos’ paratextual practice.
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    A Turning Point in the Long History of Hestia Publishers & Booksellers: The Dictatorship Years and the Aftermath
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Karakatsouli, Anna
    Hestia Publishers & Booksellers is the oldest Greek publishing house in operation since 1885, without interruption. This paper covers the evolution of the enterprise focusing on the company’s publishing strategy at the turning point of the 1970s when Marina Karaitidi succeeded her father at the head of the company. She had then to face the rapid change of the Greek editorial landscape and an acute competition from a multitude of small yet dynamic and avant-garde new publishing houses with a firm leftist antidictatorship stance in a critical moment for Modern Greek political life. It examines Hestia’s cultural impact and critical choices that shaped its later position in Modern Greek letters that till recently labelled it as a centre-right positioned publisher that stayed aloof from modern trends and political commitments. It shall be demonstrated how Hestia succeeded in reversing this image and is now recognised as a distinguished publishing house bearing a high cultural prestige.
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    Νέες πολιτισμικές γεωγραφίες στην Αθήνα του εικοστού πρώτου αιώνα: το κέντρο της παλιάς πόλης ως όριο και σκηνή θεάτρου “Πολιτισμός: Life-style ή Modus Vivendi στο ιστορικό κέντρο της Αθήνας;"
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Karaiskou, Vayia-Vicky
    Please note: this article is in Greek. New Cultural Geographies in twenty first century Athens: the old towns’ center as stage and borderline: for many decades the new formed Hellenic state needed to refer to its ancient past in order to accept any form of current cultural activity. Since 1990 Athens’ historical centre areas (Psiri, Gazi, Keramikos-Metaxourigio and Votanicos) have undergone a vast change, first because of the geographic shift of the artistic activities towards this area and, secondly, because of the “international friendly” attitudes. Thus, international festivals, biennials and exhibitions became a common ground. In down town centre, first came the galleries, the multicultural spaces, the private museums, the alternative theatre and music stages and the modern dance groups, followed, right after, by the artists’, graphic designers’ and fashion studios, along with the leisure reference points. All together they created a new life style. The characteristics of this phenomenon, the new social behaviours, the financial factors and the Media influence formed new identities and resulted in remarkably higher participation percentages in Culture.
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    The Inverted World of the Amazons: Aspects of a Persistent Myth in Early Modern Greek Literature
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Kaplanis, Tassos A.
    The myth of the Amazons has been one of the most potent and popular of all Greek myths from its inception to the present day. In the first part of this paper, a presentation of its basic elements is attempted. This presentation takes into account the transformations of both the myth and the means by which it is presented (from ancient Greek narratives and depictions to present day comics and graphic novels), as comprehensively as possible. The second part focuses on major Amazon appearances in early modern Greek literature and provides an analysis, much indebted to feminist criticism and Bakhtin, of the inverted world of the Amazons in the Chapbook of Alexander (late 17th century), which constitutes its central theme. Additionally, it briefly examines the duel of the last epic hero of Greek literature, Digenis Akritis with the Amazon Maximou, as presented in the 15th-century Escorial version of the text.
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    Across Cultural Boundaries: Greek and Aboriginal Australians in Contact
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Kanarakis, George
    The Greeks and the Indigenous people of Australia represent two cultures of ancient origins within the dominant Australian society. Opposing discrimination on the basis of ethnic and minority distinctions, both support the oneness of all people. This is the first paper, to my knowledge, which attempts to provide a comprehensive picture of the two cultures in contact. It examines both direct and indirect influences and the impact of Aboriginal Australian cultural aspects on a variety of first generation Greek Australians’ artistic expression, including literature (poetry, prose, drama), music and visual arts (painting and sculpture).
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    Shakin’ the World Over: The Greek-Australian Milk Bar
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Janiszewski, Leonard; Alexakis, Effy
    In Sydney, late in 1932, Joachim Tavlaridis — known as Mick Adams — opened Australia’s first modern “American-style” milk bar: the Black & White 4d. Milk Bar. Indeed, Adams’ milk bar was the world’s first. Within five years, there were some four thousand milk bars operating in Australia. Most were Greek-run. By the mid-1930s, Greeks had taken the concept to New Zealand. At the same time, Great Britain also quickly imported the idea, and attempts were made to introduce it to the United States; although influenced by food-catering enterprises in America, “milk bars” did not exist there. Milk bars even appear to have reached Fiji not long after their initial success in Australia. Adams’ refreshment revolution became both an Australian and international food-catering icon. This paper provides an insight into the milk bar’s international cross-cultural origins, its development within Australia, its subsequent distribution overseas, and its role as a vehicle for Americanisation.
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    Reflections on Primary Resource Material Research in Lahania, a Greek Village on the Island of Rhodes and Migration to Thebarton, Adelaide, South Australia. Part Two
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Hedrick, Claude
    The brief upsurge of positive contributions to Lahania in the mid-1920s by the Italians was swept away by the Fascism that was imposed in the next decade. This imposition affected the daily lives of the villagers, their religion, language and management of their own affairs. Health conditions in the nineteen thirties deteriorated and deaths increased by fifty percent over the previous decade. At the same time the significant traditions of the village continued to suffer. Thirty six villagers moved to Australia between 1931 and 1940 — 22 males and 14 females — which added new types of migration. (One of these men settled in the suburb of Thebarton, South Australia, in 1938.) Also the Second World War came to the village along with two further but brief foreign occupations.
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    Anaximander’s Zoogony
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Gregory, Andrew
    Aetius v, 19, 4 gives the following account of Anaximander’s zoogony: Ἀναξίμανδρος ἐν ὑγρῷ γεννησθῆναι τὰ πρῶτα ζῷα φλοιοῖς περιεχόμενα ἀκανθώδεσι, προβαινούσης δὲ τῆς ἡλικίας ἀποβαίνειν ἐπὶ τὸ ζηρότερον καὶ περιρρηγνυμένου τοῦ φλοιοῦ ἐπ’ ὀλίγον χρόνον μεταβιῶναι. I argue that we should translate this as: Anaximander said that the first animals were generated in moisture and enclosing themselves in spine like barks, as they advanced in age they moved onto the drier and shedding their bark for a short time they survived in a different form. I argue that Anaximander’s hypothesis on the origins of life is based on the life cycle of the Caddis fly. If so, his account of zoogony is neither myth nor outright speculation, but is based on observational knowledge. This has significant implications for the nature of Anaximander’s zoogony and its relation to his cosmogony and cosmology.
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    Finding the Boundaries of Tolerance: Exploring Attitudes to Health Illness and Disability
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Gavriel, Athena
    Stigma, silence and little in-depth research into Hellenes’ worldviews and practices regarding health, especially mental health, illness and disability, were catalysts for interpretative mixed method research, primarily of Hellenes in Aotearoa-New Zealand (NZ) with some resonance for Hellenes elsewhere (Gavriel, 2004). Being a NZ-born Hellene and a mental health nurse allowed a unique inside researcher position for indepth inquiry. Part of these findings form the basis of this discussion, which argues for meaningful changes or solutions to occur, Hellenes need to acknowledge and make overt often covert, health-related worldviews: attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviours, practices, pre and post migration experiences and concerns. These mechanisms position individuals, including or excluding them from relationships or groups with sanctions and laws maintaining these positions or shifting them. This paper will also identify and examine ensuing boundaries of tolerance to inform the reader about barriers to accessing help and treatment or services, which ultimately affect wellbeing.
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    The Evolution of Greek Identity through the Study of Selected Short Stories of Greek Australian Writers: 1901–2001
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Garivaldis, Andrea
    This paper draws from a larger project on the diasporic and transnational identities in the writing of Greek Australians. It examines the diasporic notions of Greek identity in Australia through the analysis of selected short stories written in Greek by first- and second-generation Greek Australian writers. Moreover, it focuses on the evolution of Greek identity in Australia during the twentieth century. The short story is deemed to be the most representative type of genre in regards to the themes explored by writers. The selected short stories reflect aspects of Greek community life in Australia and the diaspora in general, giving expression to issues regarding identity in its diasporic and transnational context. A model of “identity indicators” is used to uncover a wide range of symbols, revealing an identity which is rich and complex in socio-cultural, linguistic and other characteristics relating to the Greek immigrant experience in the diaspora.
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    Aristotle on Non-Contradiction
    (Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2011) Couvalis, Spyridon George
    Aristotle’s defence of the principle of non-contradiction has been recently criticized by Graham Priest. I argue that Priest’s arguments do not work against the primary version of Aristotle’s principle; Priest relies on assumptions Aristotle does not, and need not, accept. However, I argue that Aristotle’s denial of the existence of points can be used to criticise his defence of non-contradiction.