Lagos, Taso G. 86 Days in Greece: A Time of Crisis. English Hill Press, 2014
“Here is an insider's view into the social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of the crisis in Greece. 86 Days in Greece provides us with a unique, impressionistic, and philosophical account of one of the most important moments in Europe today. Without the conventional structure of theoretical assumptions and academic rhetoric, this work brings us as close as we can come to the Greek people, their understandings, trials, and obstacles to future reforms. Taso Lagos has written a book in diary form that documents the crisis from a personal, interdisciplinary 360-degree perspective, and it should be required reading for all those interested in the European situation today.”
b) Autobiographies, Memoirs, Biographies – Scholarship
Arapoglou, Eleftheria. “Enacting an Identity by Re-creating a Home: Eleni Gage's North of Ithaca.” Identity, Diaspora and Return in American Literature. Ed. Maria Antònia Oliver-Rotger. New York and London: Routledge (Routledge Transnational Perspectives on American Literature), 2015. 118–132.
Gemelos, Michele. “Greek American Autobiography.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, Volume Two: D–H. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 2005. 870–873.
This dissertation is a micro-history of Greeks immigrants to central Illinois between 1880 and 1930. The study focuses specifically on those Greek immigrants who were involved in the confectionery trade, opening candy stores (often accompanied by soda fountains and restaurants) in the small towns and cities of rural Illinois. The study draws upon, as its primary case study, the life and experiences of my own grandfather, Constantin “Gus” Flesor, a Greek immigrant who settled in Tuscola, Illinois in 1901 and owned a candy store/soda fountain business there for 75 years. In all, this dissertation tells the stories of more than 160 such Greek immigrant confectioners in more than forty towns and cities in central Illinois. Examples from the lives of my grandfather and these other first-generation Greek immigrants are interwoven throughout the dissertation to illustrate particular experiences. The dissertation begins with a discussion of migration theory, which seeks to locate the first-generation Greek immigrant experience in rural areas within the larger theoretical debate that has primarily focused on the urban immigrant experience. Chapter Two provides a geographical and historical background by briefly reviewing relevant features of Greek geography, particularly that of the Peloponnese region from where most of the immigrants in this study originated. This chapter also contains a short history of Greece that helps to frame the important question of Greek heritage and identity. Chapter Three presents an overview of first-generation Greek immigration to America, focusing particularly on immigration to Chicago and St. Louis, the primary cities that served as transit points for Greeks coming to central Illinois. Chapter Four explores education and the Greek immigrant, and specifically how Greek immigrants learned the confectionery business. Chapter Five addresses the question of Greek identity, anti- immigrant hostility during this period, especially the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, and how Greek immigrants in these small towns responded to this prejudice and bigotry. Finally, Chapter Six looks at the lives and businesses of the individual Greek immigrants to central Illinois. In my conclusion I address the questions raised by this study and possible avenues for further research.
Kappatos, Nicole. Greek Immigration to Richmond, Virginia, and the Southern Variant Theory. M.A. Thesis. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3483, 2014.
“Greek immigration to the United States occurred in two distinctive waves: the first wave from the 1890s-1920s and the second wave from the 1960s-1980s. This thesis explores the regional diversity of the Greek immigrant experience in the Southern United States through the case study of the Greek community in Richmond, Virginia. The first chapter introduces the history of Greek immigration to the United States, discusses major scholars of Greek American studies, and explains the Southern Variant theory. Chapter two examines the experiences of the first wave of Greek immigrants in Richmond. The third chapter incorporates oral history to explain the experiences of second wave Greek immigrants in Richmond. Chapters two and three examine factors including language, church activity, intermarriage, and community involvement, in order to demonstrate a Southern Variation in the experiences of Greek immigrants in Richmond in comparison to their counterparts elsewhere in the United States.”
“Contemporary studies of transnationalism are challenging scholarship on the political advocacy of ethnic groups by examining a broader range of connections that shape immigrant identity and engagement with the political systems of host countries. One of these connections is the role religion has in forming new ethnoreligious identities and how this role is influenced by transnational relationships with countries of origin and external religious institutions. In many analyses of “ethnic poltics,” religion is either excluded or viewed as a cultural element closely aligned with ethnic identity. This has obscured the significant influence of religious affiliation and religious institutions in the political advocacy of immigrant groups. This dissertation examines the role of religion in Greek American advocacy and analyzes the transnational elements that have shaped Greek American identity and contributed to the engagement with the United States government on specific foreign policy issues. From a basis in theories of diaspora nationalism and transnationlism and within the larger context of Greek American advocacy, focus is placed on the development of the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in America in defining a unique ethnoreligious identity and in direct engagement with U.S. policymakers on the issues of the invasion and partition of Cyprus, the Macedonian Question, and the legal status and religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey. Following a survey of the role of the Church and its leadership in advocacy on these issues, this dissertation analyzes the elements of transnational religion in the Greek American experience in order to develop a methodology for approaching other groups in the United States. With the increase of immigrant religious affiliation and institutions in America and the diversity of engagement in both domestic and foreign policy issues, the analysis of transnational religious connections is critical to understanding identity formation and ethnoreligious lobbying, as well as gauging the impact of this advocacy on the U.S. political system.”
Stavrianidis, Panos. The Intergenerational Integration of Immigrants in the American Society: A Quantitative Study of Attitudes and Behaviors in the Greek American Community of New Jersey. Diss. Panteion University Athens, Greece, 2012.
“This exploratory study examined the extent to which a population of Greek Americans hold attitudes and behaviors for the conservation and intergenerational transmission of their ethnic culture. In particular, six core value domains were considered for their impact on the preservation of ethnic identity: the Greek language, Greek Orthodox Church, family cultural orientation and values, Greek cultural activities and organization membership, continuing contact with Greece and/or Cyprus, and political activity. Data was obtained through a questionnaire administered to 229 self-identified Greek Americans in 11 parishes of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey. The collected data was analyzed quantitatively and the differences in behaviors and attitudes among the first, second, and third and beyond generations were statistically compared. At least four patterns of intergenerational changes emerged. The first pattern was observed within the Greek language domain and demonstrated the steady diminishment of this as a core value from one generation to the next. The second pattern was observed for the domains of the Greek Orthodox Church and Greek cultural activities; here, the core values reflected the least degree of reduction in the subject population. The third pattern was observed mostly in behavior rather than in expressions of attitude regarding the domains of family cultural orientation and values and continuing contact with Greece and/or Cyprus. These domains reflected more similarities exist between the first and second generations while a significant deviation was seen for the third and beyond generational cohort. The fourth pattern was observed in the core values of organization membership and political activity which showed similar responses for the second and third and beyond generational groups, and greater distance from the results for the first generation.”
Thoma, Lamprini C. (Producer/Writer), & Ventouras, Nickos (Director/Editor). Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre [Motion picture]. Original Score: Manos Ventouras. A Non-Organic Production, 2014. [http://www.palikari.org]
“This analysis shows that the structure of Tikas’s media history story in relation to Greece resembles that of narratives that societies purposefully excavate from the past to address crises that confront them in the present. To effectively generate hope and guide action, such narratives animate a shared story from the past, which bears a close metaphorical association with the present they seek to reshape. This link is evident in the case of Palikari. Subjected to dual oppression – ethnic because of racism and economic because of immigrant exploitation – Tikas rose against abuse by performing a venerable national heritage, heroic resistance to foreign rule. Similarly, stigmatized as a nation and put under onerous economic strains, Greek people today are called to once again act out this heritage as a way to escape from humiliating dependency on global institutions. In this parallelism, an immigrant’s American story is turned into a Greek narrative via the recognizable trope of national heroism. A historical event situated in the intersection of immigrant experience and U.S. modernity is brought to Greek audiences, and incorporated into the nation as a familiar story of diaspora courage. The film and its meta-commentary therefore expand collective national memory to include Greek immigrant history, animating in this manner a suitable usable past for a nation-in-crisis.”
c) Film Scholarship
Georgakas, Dan. “Ethnic Humor in American Film: The Greek Americans.” A Companion to Film Comedy. Εds. Andrew Horton and Joanna E. Rapf. Chichester. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
Globalization, Transnationalism, Diaspora
Roudometof, Victor. 2014. “Forms of Religious Glocalization: Orthodox Christianity in the Longue Durée.” Religions Vol. 5. 4 (2014): 1017-1036.
The article advocates a “glocal turn” in the religion–globalization problematic. It proposes a model of multiple glocalizations in order to analyze the historically constituted relationship between world religions and local cultures. First, the conceptual evolution from globalization to glocalization is discussed with special reference to the study of the religion. Second, the necessity for adopting the perspective of the longue durée with regard to the study of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is explained. Third, an outline of four forms of religious glocalization is proposed. Each of these forms is presented both analytically as well as through examples from the history of Eastern Christianity (from the 8th to the 21st century). It is argued that this approach offers a model for analyzing the relation between religion, culture and society that does not succumb to the Western bias inherent in the conventional narrative of western modernization and secularization.
Greek America – Miscellaneous
Patterson, Diana Thomopoulos: “Maternal Guidance: Women pass on cherished Greek traditions.” GreekCircle 9.3 (Winter, 2009): 38–39.
The author reflects on how her family, especially her paternal grandmother, shaped her Hellenic identity. She says, “Yiayia didn’t speak English very well, and I didn’t know very much Greek. Yet yiayia and I didn’t have to speak the same language to understand each other.” Includes photos.
Thomopoulos, Elaine. “Memories in the Making: A Personal Perspective on Greek American Organizations.” GreekCircle 14.1 (Fall 2013): 32-34.
A personal essay about how the author’s sense of Hellenic identity has been nurtured by a myriad of organizations, starting with the Greek Orthodox Church. Includes photos.
Thomopoulos, Elaine Cotsirilos. “Two Worlds: Village-and city-life provide two very different cultures.” GreekCircle. 10:1 (Summer 2010): 19-21.
From the perspective of a second-generation Greek American, the author reflects upon her visits to Greece and the differences she has experienced between city and village life.
Thomopoulos, Elaine. “The Mati: the evil eye unveiled.” GreekCircle 2.2 (Fall 2002): 42–43.
To describe the “evil eye,” the author uses her own experience ofxematiasma (ridding of the evil eye) during a visit to a friend’s restaurant in New Buffalo, Michigan. Using anecdotal examples, she shows how this belief lives on in America.
a) Community and Regional Histories
Vasilakes, Mike and Themistocles Rodis. Greek Americans of Cleveland since 1870. The Hellenic Preservation Society of Northeastern Ohio, 2007/2008.
This upgraded and expanded third edition has 460 pages and includes graphics, tables, and more than 500 photographs. Included are excerpts from oral histories. It explores the events that delayed the emigration of most Greeks until the mid-1890s and the forces that precipitated emigration from Greece to America. It tells the stories of the pioneer Greek immigrants who settled in Cleveland. The first one was a woman who married an Irish merchant seaman in Piraeus. She arrived in Cleveland in 1870. The book tells the history of all four of Cleveland's Greek Orthodox Church communities. Also included are the histories of church-affiliated groups (choirs, psaltis, Philoptochos, acolytes, Greek Schools, youth groups, et al) as well as many of the 32 village and national societies, and independent Greek schools and tutors who taught in the homes of Greek immigrants. Other chapters include businesses; media (newspapers and radio programs); dramatic arts; Greek bands; and political organizations. “The Family Album," a separate section, contains individual family histories.”
c) History and Historiography Scholarship
Stephanides, Marios Christos. The History of the Greeks in Kentucky, 1900 -1950, Volume I: The Early Pioneers of Louisville. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellon Press, 2001.
Identity & Immigration
Wilson, R. J. “Playful Heritage: Excavating Ancient Greece in New York City.” International Journal of Heritage Studies (2014) [published online, August 14].
“This article examines how concepts of ‘play’ can be used within studies of cultural heritage to build an alternative to the dominant use of consumer-orientated models within current scholarship. Using the example of how the traditions, motifs and history of Ancient Greece have been reused within New York, from the nineteenth century to the present day this work demonstrates that this is a heritage that has been ‘played with’ by successive generations as a means of establishing identity within the metropolis. Whilst the ideals of Athenian democracy and classical learning inspired the formation of the early American republic, these associations were brought into wider usage in New York with the arrival of significant Greek immigration into the city during the twentieth century. This provided a new opportunity of a playful use of Ancient Greek heritage as this émigré community built new identities and became established in the metropolis. The Greek American enclave of Astoria, located in the borough of Queens, will be the focus of this study as the site where this playful use of heritage has taken place, undertaken both by members of the Greek American community and also by individuals and groups responding to their presence.”
Literature and Poetry
Ahnen, Pearl Kastran. Daughter of Immigrants. Baltimore: Publish America, 2003.
Skaragas, Gianni. “Floaters.” World Literature Today, Vol. 88, No.2 (March/April 2014), 20–23.
“Anna is a self-hating Greek-American psychic working for the German secret service. Her assignment? Travel to crisis-ravaged Greece and save people from suicide.”
Fragopoulos, George. “The Politics and Poetics of Transliteration in the Works of Olga Broumas and George Economou.” MELUS 39.4 (Winter 2014).
Gemelos, Michele. “Greek American Fiction.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, Volume Two: D–H. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 2005. 873–877.
Patrona, Theodora. “Mapping the Female Ethnic Self in the Family Battleground: Vertigo and the Greek American Novel.” Personal Effects:Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo. Eds. Nancy Caronia, and Edvige Giunta. Fordham University Press, 2014. 210–221.
Stefanidou, Anastasia. “Greek American Poetry.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, Volume Two: D–H. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 2005. 877–880.
f) Children’s Books
Lemperis, Athena with Georgia Vratanina, illustrator. Fun at YiaYia’s House. 2003. [self-published]
"This book of verse show the joy grandchildren share with theiryiayia on a visit to her home. Yiayia imparts Greek, as well as American traditions."
Welcome to my website – the home of my writing life and the intersection of food, fertility, and culture.
food: ˈfüd Something that nourishes, stimulates, and sustains the mind or soul: promoting growth Ingesting food for thought
fertility: fər-ˈti-lə-tē the ability to produce many ideas or offspring: fruitfulness, abundance improve the fertility of the soul by adding rich organic material
culture: ˈkəl-chər to grow in a prepared medium sharing language, religion, cuisine, music and arts: cultivation of the soil raising culture from fertile ground
There are so many mysteries in life—some of these have inspired my novel, The Feasting Virgin, and book of poetry, The Motherland. How can mixing some inert ingredients together like water, yeast, and flour result in something that rises and fills your heart with comfort when it is baked in the oven? How can a woman be “infertile” and end up birthing three children? How can we reconcile deeply conflicting beliefs in our lives and find beauty in the everyday? There are miracles, and then there are Miracles. Let’s discover the beauty and magic that can be found despite the hard stuff—or perhaps because of it. Come hang out with me a bit. I’m curious about your story, too. Visit my blog, Fertile Ground, where I’ll unearth, redefine, and cultivate the purpose and meaning of food, fertility, and culture.
THE DIASPORA AS A USABLE PAST FOR A NATION-IN-CRISIS: Media Readings of Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre (review essay)
The documentary Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre (2014, Nickos Ventouras) narrates one of the “bleakest and blackest” chapters in American labor history, the Ludlow Massacre.1 A hundred years earlier, on April 20, 1914, in Ludlow, Colorado, a strike for basic labor rights by exploited miners and their families, mostly immigrants, was violently ended by state militia. In the fight, the strikers’ tent colony was machine-gunned and burned to the ground, leaving over twenty people dead, including women and children. Louis Tikas (1886-1914), a Cretan immigrant and union organizer born Ilias Anastasios Spantidakis, was shot in the back in cold blood, as were two other strikers. Still considered a politically volatile event, in fact a dangerous past for the nation laying open the synergy of state and capital to brutally put down labor, Ludlow does not commonly find a place in celebratory official memory. Historians take note of its absence in public history textbooks. However, when Colorado inaugurated the Ludlow Centennial Commemoration in September 2013, a yearlong, statewide remembering of Ludlow, it marked a significant departure, adding an official seal so to speak to remembering what functions as an enduring symbol of working class struggle in the United States.2
Παρόλο που το βιβλίο είναι μυθιστόρημα, «όπως η Δάφνη, έτσι και εγώ μεγάλωσα με το ένα πόδι στην Ελλάδα και με το άλλο στην Αμερική». «“Ο ψίθυρος των κυπαρισσιών”» είναι ένα μωσαϊκό από τη δική μου ζωή δημιουργημένο από μνήμες, μύθους, και σχέσεις που κρατώ ως ιερά».
Σκοπός της ήταν αυτό το βιβλίο να είναι ένα «ερωτικό γράμμα» για την Ελλάδα, να μεταφέρει τη μυρωδιά και τις γεύσεις της ελληνικής κουζίνας, να διδάσκει την ιστορία και τον πολιτισμό της. «Μέσα από τη λογοτεχνία, τις ταινίες και τον πολιτισμό μπορεί να αλλάξει η εικόνα της Ελλάδας στο εξωτερικό και θεωρώ απαραίτητο να υπενθυμίζω στον κόσμο την αληθινή πλευρά της». Μέσα από τις σελίδες της, η Ιβέτ Μάνεση κατάφερε να μαγέψει το αναγνωστικό κοινό του εξωτερικού και να τους παρακινήσει να ταξιδέψουν στην Ελλάδα. http://www.kathimerini.gr/789990/article/politismos/vivlio/rantevoy-sto-magiko-nhsi-voreiodytika-ths-kerkyras