Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Greek American Studies Resource Portal – Update (2015a)

From the desk of the MGSA Transnational Studies Committee

Collected by the Committee
Compiled by Kostis Kourelis


a) Anthropology and Cultural Studies

Sutton, David E. Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory. Oxford: Berg, 2001.

[This book offers a theoretical account of the interrelationship of culture, food and memory. Sutton challenges and expands anthropology's current focus on issues of embodiment, memory and material culture, especially in relation to transnational migration and the flow of culture across borders and boundaries. The Greek island of Kalymnos in the eastern Aegean, where Islanders claim to remember meals long past -- both humble and spectacular ñ provides the main setting for these issues, as well as comparative materials drawn from England and the United States. Despite the growing interest in anthropological accounts of food and in the cultural construction of memory, the intersection of food with memory has not been accorded sustained examination. Cultural practices of feasting and fasting, global flows of food as both gifts and commodities, the rise of processed food and the relationship of orally transmitted recipes to the vast market in specialty cookbooks tie traditional anthropological mainstays such as ritual, exchange and death to more current concerns with structure and history, cognition and the 'anthropology of the senses'. Arguing for the crucial role of a simultaneous consideration of food and memory, this book significantly advances our understanding of cultural processes and reformulates current theoretical preoccupations.]

Sutton, David E. Secrets from the Greek Kitchen: Cooking, Skill, and Everyday Life on an Aegean Island. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.

[Secrets from the Greek Kitchen explores how cooking skills, practices, and knowledge on the island of Kalymnos are reinforced or transformed by contemporary events. Based on more than twenty years of research and the author’s videos of everyday cooking techniques, this rich ethnography treats the kitchen as an environment in which people pursue tasks, display expertise, and confront culturally defined risks. Kalymnian islanders, both women and men, use food as a way of evoking personal and collective memory, creating an elaborate discourse on ingredients, tastes, and recipes. Author David E. Sutton focuses on micropractices in the kitchen, such as the cutting of onions, the use of a can opener, and the rolling of phyllo dough, along with cultural changes, such as the rise of televised cooking shows, to reveal new perspectives on the anthropology of everyday living.]

Teske, Robert T. Votive Offerings among Greek-Philadelphians. New York: Arno Press, 1980.

Teske, Robert T. “Votive Offerings and the Belief System of Greek Philadelphians.” Western Folklore44 (1985): 208-224.

[Pioneering work in Greek-American ethnography, carried out in 1974 PhD thesis at the Department of Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania. Examines the role of votive offerings placed by parishioners on the icons of Philadelphia’s Greek Orthodox churches]

ARCHAEOLOGY (new category)

Davis L. Jack and Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan (eds.), Phillhellenism, Philanthropy, or Political Correctness? American Archaeology in Greece. Special Issue of Hesperia 82/1 (2013). 227 pp.

Duke, Philip, Randall H. McGuire, Dean J. Saitta, Paul E. Reckner and Mark Walker. “The Colorado Coalfield War Archaeological Project: Archaeology Serving Labor.” In Preserving Western History, (ed.) Andrew Gulliford. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 32-43.

ARCHITECTURE (new category)

Baroutas, Kostas. Οι ναοί των ελλήνων μεταναστών [The Churches of Greek Immigrants]. Athens: Karakatsoglou, 2006.

Cutler, Anthony. “The Tyranny of Hagia Sophia: Notes on Greek Orthodox Church Design in the United States.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 31 (1972): 38-50.

Nelson, Robert S. “Revival to Wright: Modern Sophias,” in Hagia Sophia 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. 187-213.

Yiannias, John. “Coping with the Imported Past: A Theme in Greek and Greek American Church Architecture.” In Αναθήματα Εορτικά: Studies in Honor of Thomas F. Mathews, (ed.) Joseph D. Alchermes (Mainz: Von Zabern, 2009). 318-326.


a) Autobiographies, Memoirs, Biographies

Constant, Constance. Austin Lunch. Hillsdale, NJ: Cosmos, 2005.
[Based on the author’s own memories, this book relates the story of a family living through the shock of immigration and the struggles of the Great Depression in Chicago. The mother goes against Greek convention by going to work in her husband’s West Side restaurant, thus helping to support her two children. As written on the cover of the book: “The restaurant with its parade of assorted inner city characters becomes a proving ground for the children to observe the energy, integrity and courage of their hard working parents during the rough thirties and early forties]

Doundoulakis, Helias. I Was Trained to be a Spy. Bloomington, IN: XLibris, 2008.

[Helias Doundoulakis was born in the United States but grew up in Crete. In this memoir, he writes about his experiences during World War II as a resistance fighter and a spy. In 1941, when he was 18, the German elite paratroopers invaded his island. He joined a resistance group headed by his brother. When the group was uncovered, he and his brother avoided capture by the Gestapo by escaping to Egypt. There he joined OSS, trained as a spy, and performed underground missions in Greece. After the war, he settled in the United States, where he became a professional engineer and inventor.]

Janus, Christopher. The World of Christopher Xenopoulos Janus: Stories Interviews and Scoops. Chicago: Calligraphico Press, 2008.

Johnson, Michael S. Obscurity to Fame in the Oil Business. Self-published, 2012.
[Petroleum geology Michael Johnson, the son of Greek immigrants, made the groundbreaking discovery of the Parshall Oil Field in North Dakota.]
Kapsalis, Paul “Whitey” and Ted Gregory. To Chase a Dream: A Soccer Championship, An Unlikely Hero and a Journey that Redefined Winning. Maindenhead, UK: Meyer and Meyer Sports Ltd., 2014.

Matsakis, Aphrodite. Growing up Greek in St. Louis. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002.

[Through a series of vivid personal accounts, Matsakis explores the challenges faced by Greek-Americans as they sought to preserve a rich cultural heritage while assimilating to American ways. From a detailed account of her grandmothers' struggles during the occupation of Greece during WWII and the Asia Minor Holocaust to the first hand experiences faced by Greek-American children in Greek school, the celebration of name days, and the ever-present "evil eye," the book captures the sense of tradition, history, hospitality (philotimo), and community so vital to the Greek experience.]

Nashi, Stavro. Ithaka on the Horizon: A Greek-American Journey. Self-published, 2013. .

Stamatiades, Lambros J. Journey of My Life. Trans. Peter Demopoulos. Los Angeles: Hellenic University Club of Southern California, 2013.

[Lambros J. Stamatiades (1897-1993) wrote his memoir in Greek for his “close circle of relatives, fellow villagers, and friends from Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands.” It is now available in both Greek (106 pages) and English (104 pages) through the Internet. Stamatiades, who grew up in Karpathos, immigrated to the United States in 1912. He returned to Greece in 1921 and got married, but because of restrictive immigration policy, he could not return to the United States until 1925. He left his wife and daughters behind, and they joined him in 1934. Stamatiades writes about growing up in Greece and immigrating to the United State. He includes anecdotes about the Italian occupation of the island in the 1920s, his role in organizing the OMONIA of Karpathian Aperians in the United States, and his activities in the labor movement. Because of the latter, he was jailed and blacklisted. Stamatiades worked as a waiter in New York for 55 years. He and his wife raised three daughters and two sons. The book is not the traditional memoir. It includes not only stories about his life, but a short biography of his wife Marigo, his thoughts about the universe and society, adages of how to live, several nostalgic poems by him and fellow patrioti from Karpathos, correspondence received from friends and relatives, two maps, and eight photos]

Tatooles, James E. Heartbeats. Chicago: Open Books, 2014.

[Heartbeats is the memoir of one of the pioneers in modern cardiac surgery, Constantine ‘Dino’ Tatooles, M.D., as told to his brother James E. Tatooles.]


Diamanti-Karanou, Panagoula, The Relationship between Homeland and Diaspora: The Case of Greece and the Greek-American. PhD diss. Boston: Northeast University, 2015.

[In an increasingly global world, diasporas are unique actors since they represent a fusion of the cultures, interests and mentalities of their old and new homelands. Thus, the relationship between homelands and diasporas becomes quite significant. Nevertheless, it remains understudied. This dissertation attempts to contribute to the study of this phenomenon through an in-depth examination of the relationship between Greece and the Greek diaspora in the United States. The Greek state and the Greek-American community are interdependent on each other. The state relies on the community for assistance in the areas of development, economic cooperation, humanitarian aid, and advocacy for foreign policy issues. The community relies on the Greek state for support with respect to Greek education and the preservation of Greek culture in the United States. The relationship between the two entities reflects the dynamics of a partnership although the state has tried in the past to extend its control over the Greek-American community. However, the community has proved its independence vis-à-vis the Greek state. In order to have a more fruitful partnership in the future, a number of conditions should be in place, including a systematic and well-planned diaspora policy on the part of the Greek state and better organized structures on the part of the Greek-American community. Moreover, a better and deeper knowledge and appreciation of each other is very important for any further cooperation: the Greek state needs to get to know the spectrum of Greek identity and culture that exists in the Greek-American community while the Greek-Americans need to have a deeper knowledge of Greece and Greek culture. The Greek-American diaspora can have a significant role as an agent of positive change and it can be a unique bridge between the two nations enriching them both at the same time.]

Gizelis, Gregory. Narrative Rhetorical Devices of Persuasion in the Greek Community of Philadelphia. Ph.D. diss. University of Pennsylvania, 1972.

Stamatis, Yona. Rebetiko Nation: Hearing Pavlos Vassiliou’s Alternative Greekness Through Rebetiko Song. Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan. 2011


d) Documentaries – Interviews (new subsection)

In connection with the special section on Public Scholarship published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies the editors conducted an interview with Kostis Karpozilos, the historian behind the acclaimed documentary Greek-American Radicals: The Untold Story, on questions regarding public scholarship, Greek-American radicalism, and the hidden folds of history.


c) Film Scholarship

Basea, Erato. “Zorba the Greek, Sixties Exotica and a New Cinema in Hollywood and Greece.” Studies in European Cinema 10 (2015): 1-17.


Frangos, Steve. “The Twined Muses: Ethel and Jenne Magafan.” Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 31:2 (2005): 59-94.

Preble, Michael. William Baziotes: Paintings and Drawings, 1934-1962, Milan: Skira, 2004

[Monograph on Greek-American painter from Pittsburgh and major contributor to the Abstract Expressionist movement]

Shaw, Mary. 2015. Painter and Pataphysician Thomas Chimes. Seattle: Marquand Books, 2015.

[Conversations with painter Thomas Chimes, including discussions of growing up in the Greek-American community of Philadelphia.]

Taylor, Michael. 2007. Thomas Chimes: Adventures in ’Pataphysics. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art.
[Retrospective of Greek-American artist Thomas Chimes from Philadelphia. First retrospective of his work in Greece took place at the Benaki Museum, “Thomas Chimes: Into the White” (2013)]

b. Essays (new subsection)
Melis, Amalia, “A Daring Soul: Tribute to Betty Ryan”, KYSO Flash Journal, October 2014

Melis, Amalia, “Three Assemblage Sculptures: Commentary on Process”, KYSO Flash Journal, October 2014

Melis, Amalia, “Screaming From Inside the Sealed Vault”, Ducts Journal, Winter 2013

Melis, Amalia, “Sunday Morning, Pireos Street ”, Glimmer Train Journal, April 2012 (Bulletin #63)


Kindinger, Evangelia. Homebound: Diaspora Spaces and Selves in Greek American Return Narratives. Heidelberg: Winter University Press. 2015.

[Home is where the heart is’ – but where is the heart of the daughter or the grandson of a Greek immigrant living in the United States? In the American imagination, immigration ends with the successful integration into American culture and society. Yet, the routes of immigration are not straight, but circular. The home outside America appeals to immigrants and their descendants. It inspires them to return and not to stay put. Returnees keep moving back and forth between homes, creating diaspora spaces in which they cultivate transnational ties. In this volume, for the first time, autobiographical accounts of return are conceptualized as a distinct and important sub-genre of travel and life writing, as ‘return narratives’. Exemplified by eight Greek American texts about the challenges and benefits of coming home, the motif of return is explored and defined in a diasporic and Greek American context. This motif has played a central role in Greek American writing, especially after the 1960s; it mirrors the complex formulation of a Greek American identity. This volume uses Greek American studies, diaspora theory, transnational studies, and gender studies to offer a new analytical framework in American and Literary Studies for thinking about home, the nation-state and identity today.]


Gizelis, Gregory. “Foodways Acculturation in the Greek Community of Philadelphia.” Pennsylvania Folklife 20:2 (1970-1971): 9-15.

League, Panayotis. “Kalymnos Island, Greece.” In The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook, Volume II. Ed. Sean Williams. New York: Routledge. 164-168.


“Introduction – Modern Greek Studies and Public Scholarship: Intersections and Prospects.” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 33 (1): 1–14. May 2015. [Special section on Modern Greek Studies and Public Humanities, Yiorgos Anagnostou Guest Editor]
2) “Public Humanities in Greek America: Personal Reflections, Intellectual Vocations” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 33 (1): 15–24. May 2015. [Special section on on Modern Greek Studies and Public Humanities, Yiorgos Anagnostou Guest Editor]


b) History in Popular Media

Thomopoulos, Elaine."The Greek American Press." GreekCircle Fall 2014: 19-23.

The Greek immigrants who came to America saw the Greek American press as their lifeline to Greece and their voice in the community. It helped them navigate the New World and assisted their children and grandchildren to embrace their Hellenic identity. Thomopoulos explores the development of three present-day newspapers, The National Herald (founded in 1915), The Greek Star (founded in 1904), and the Greek Press (founded in 1929). It shows how the audience, language, politics, and content of the papers changed over the years. Also included is a short synopsis of the Orthodox Observer, KRHTH, and The AHEPAN, three other publications that have been published for 80 years or more

c) History and Historiography Scholarship

Clogg, Richard (ed). The Greek Diaspora in the Twentieth Century. London: Palgrave, 1999.

Constantakos, Chrysie Mamalakis. 1981. The American-Greek Subculture: Processes of Continuity, New York: Ayer, 1981.

[Doctorate of Education, Teacher’s College, Columbia, 1971 thesis, looking at Ierarches Community in Brooklyn, 1980]


a) Fiction

Burzawa, Paula Renee. Seasons of the Sun. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc., 2010.

[As described on the back cover of the book: Question: Will there be a problem re: copyright if we quote? “When a shy American teenager travels with her mother to the mountain village of Vassara, Greece, after the unexpected death of a family member, she is overcome with grief. As she watches children chase balls across the town square and old widows ride atop donkeys to harvest fields of almond and olive trees, the young girl realizes she has stumbled upon a gateway to a new life. What starts out as a holiday abroad quickly turns into the discovery of a magical place, where love and friendship endure through time and where traditions of an ancient world survive modern change to bring about an inexplicable miracle. Summer after summer, she cannot resist returning to her mother’s homeland and the enchanting village that enraptures both her heart and soul. Nothing—not even a raging mountain wildfire—can keep her away from the people and place she loves. As she matures from a girl to a woman, she falls in love for the first time and faces a difficult choice between the familiarity of home and the enticement of an uncertain future.]

Liontas, Annie. Let me Explain You. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2015.

[A powerful debut novel about a Greek American family and its enigmatic patriarch from a riveting new voice in contemporary literature. Stavros Stavros Mavrakis, Greek immigrant and proud owner of the Gala Diner, believes he has just ten days to live. As he prepares for his final hours, he sends a scathing email to his ex-wife and three grown daughters, outlining his wishes for how they each might better live their lives. With varying degrees of laughter and scorn, his family and friends dismiss his behavior as nothing more than a plea for attention, but when Stavros disappears, those closest to him are forced to confront the possibility of his death.]

Melis, Amalia. “Immigrant Daughter,” Glimmer Train Journal, (2nd place Short Story Award for New Writers), Spring 2002.

Melis, Amalia. “Daughter News,” Glimmer Train Journal, (Short Story finalist), 2005.

Melis, Amalia. “Broken English,” Glimmer Train Journal, (Short Story finalist), 2007.

Melis, Amalia. “I Know My Place,” Glimmer Train Journal, (Honorable Mention), Dec. 2013.

Melis, Amalia. “A One Minute Dream,” Writers@Work, (Finalist & Honorable Mention), Feb. 2014.

[Amalia Melis is a Greek-American journalist and a fiction writer. She is the founder of the Aegean Arts Circle writing workshops (, which host annual creative writing workshops with award winning authors-held in Andros, Greece. An artist as well as writer, her assemblage sculptures have been part of group art exhibits in Vermont U.S., Athens, Greece, Berlin, Germany. Born and raised in New York, she is bilingual.]

e) Literature and Poetry Scholarship

Georganta, Konstantina. “Home and Displacement: The Dynamic Dialectics of 1922 Smyrna,” Synthesis 5 (Fall 2013).


Bilides, Sophia. “Greek Legacy.” E. Thomas Compact Discs, 1991.

[Vocalist Sophia Bilides, accompanied by an array of fine Greek instrumentalists, celebrates the beauty of her musical heritage on Greek Legacy, a rich collection encompassing a variety of styles: cabaret songs from Asia Minor (Smyrneika), urban blues of Athenian tavernas (Rebetika), old songs of Constantinople (Politika), refugee laments (Amanethes), lilting island melodies (Nissiotika), and dance songs of central Greece (Tsamika).]

Caraveli, Anna. "The Symbolic Village: Community Born in Performance." The Journal of American Folklore 98 (1985): 259-286.

Drómeno. "Flórina: Greek/Balkan Dance Music." Drómeno, 2012.

[DRÓMENO is a unique folk group presenting regional music from all over Greece and the Balkans. Led by Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter, long-time players in the Balkan music scene, the group includes both of their kids (Eleni and Bobby Govetas), as well as Nikos Maroussis and Peter Lippman. Dromeno presents authentic music that pulls from deep roots from Greece and all across the Balkans. Between them, these versatile members create the brass sounds of Macedonia, sonorous clarinet and vocal interplay from Ipiros and Thessaly, strident zournas and daouli from Serres, and energetic Thracian dance tunes.]

Govetas, Christos. "Passatempo: Rebetika with Christos Govetas." Christos Govetas, 2007.
[Husband and wife team Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter join up with guitarist Dave Bartley (of KGB) to create a collection of old Rebetika tunes from the 30's and 40’s. The superb recording quality and choice of tunes makes this cd a rare gem.]

Kallimopoulou, Eleni. Paradosiaká: Music, Meaning, and Identity in Modern Greece.Burlington: Ashgate, 2009.

Lomax Wood, Anna. "Musical Practice and Memory on the Edge of Two Worlds: Kalymnian Tsamboúna and Song Repertoire in the Family of Nikitas Tsimouris.” In The Florida Folklife Reader. Ed. Tina Bucuvalas. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2012. 96-153.

League, Panayotis. Kalymnian Music and Dance in Tarpon Springs, Florida. M.A. Thesis. Boston University, 2012.
[Abstract: Greek immigrants from the Dodecanese island of Kálymnos have dominated the social, political, and economic life of Tarpon Springs, Florida since their arrival in the first decades of the twentieth century. Remarkably unlike the typical urban immigrant experience, this dynamic has allowed the Kalymnian-American community of Tarpon Springs to negotiate its relationship with American society from a position of relative power, without the immediate need to compromise linguistic, social, or occupational identity for the sake of survival. The cultural and artistic traditions of Kálymnos—foremost among them music and dancing—have played a central role in the construction of Kalymnian-American identity in Tarpon Springs, and have enabled a creative negotiation on the community’s own terms of the states of “hyphenated being” that characterize immigrant communities. This thesis examines the ways in which Kalymnian Tarponites use embodied musical movement as a resonant bridge between competing cultural allegiances, a means of imaginative travel in search of emotional fulfillment, and a venue to perform notions of distinction and belonging. For Kalymnian residents of Tarpon Springs, the embodied music and dance traditions of Kálymnos function as mobile sites of tension and transcendence, are imbued with a new set of self-sufficient meanings, and serve as a passport to cross the blurry borders of transnational being.]

League, Panayotis. “Family Sense and Family Sound: Home Recordings and Greek-American Identity.” Paper presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology National Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 15, 2014.

[Abstract: This paper examines the diverse ways that four generations of an extended Greek-American family of musicians have employed recording technologies to explore their migrant subjectivity. Focusing on an Ottoman-era collection of handwritten sheet music and homemade audio recordings on reel-to-reel tape from the 1950s to 1970s, it explores the ways that people's interactions with these materials have enabled the preservation and transmission of family repertoire, style, and both musical and social memory. Drawing on the work on Robin Bernstein (2011), Georgina Born (2005), and Nadia Seremetakis (1994), it highlights the performative agency embedded in these scores and reels, and reveals that, beyond mere archives of musical activity, they are sonic and material sites of emotional valence, nodes for the mediating of personal and musical relations, and a means of engaging the body to craft both a sense of family and a recognizable family sound. These musical archives enter into dialogue with other aspects of the Anatolian Greek community's material culture to reveal past musical practices, shape contemporary ones, produce ideas and memories about the musicians who made them, and interrogate the meaning of “home” and “family” in the immigrant context.]

League, Panayotis. “Matters of Taste and Time in Anatolian Greek Music.” Paper presented at the Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting. Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, April 11, 2015.

[Abstract: This paper examines the intersection between the sense of taste and the sense of time in the musical practices of the Boston area's Greek-American community. Specifically, it focuses on members of an extended family of musicians descended from immigrants from the island of Lesvos and the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, whose regional music and culinary traditions are distinctive, rich in historical and cultural significance, and deeply interrelated. The goal of this investigation is twofold: one, to propose a sensorium-centered theoretical framework for investigating how cultural knowledge is constructed at the intersections of sociality, music, and memory; and two, to tease out the specific ways in which the culinary and musical traditions of Lesvos and Asia Minor exist within each other in the cultural life of this immigrant community. This sensory symbiosis is manifested most tellingly on a level of what can be called “didactic metaphor,” in which the culinary terms “heaviness” and “drunkenness” are used to describe and prescribe the ideal temporal relationships performed in the music and steps of the zeibekiko and karsilamas, the two dances most representative of the Lesvian tradition. Musical and culinary practices in this community are saturated with the co-presence of multiple times – historical, memorial, subjective, and musical pasts, presents, and futures – and an examination of this inherent polytemporality is essential to an understanding of how memory works in the lives of these musicians to create and sustain social bonds and reconcile individual and collective identities.]

League, Panayotis. Review of Hélenè Delaporte, 2004, Grèce. Koumpania Xalkias: Musiciens traditionnels d'Épire/Greece. Koumpania Xalkias: Traditional Musicians of Epirus. Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology Volume 59 Issue 1, Winter 2015, 165-168

Makrygiannes, Giorgos. Γιώργος Μακρυγιάννης, "Γιώργος Μακρυγιάννης ή 'Νισύριος:' Ιστορικές Ηχογραφήσεις 1917-1919.” Μορφωτικός και Εξωραϊστικός Σύλλογος Νισύρου, 2011.

Pangéo. "Northern Borders." Pangéo, 2002.
[Compelling Greek vocal and instrumental music will have you dancing before you can say 'Ipiros.]

Petrusich, Amanda. “Hunting for the Source of the World’s Most Beguiling Music,” New York Times Magazine (Sept. 24, 2014).

Petrusich, Amanda. Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78rpm Records, New York: Scribner: 2014.

Various artists, “Το Κρητικό Τραγούδι στην Αμερική 1945-1953.” FM Records, 1999.
Ziyiá. “Regional Music of Greece.” Ziyiá, 2014.

Ziyiá. “Travels with Karagiózis.” agaRhyhm, 1995.

Ziyiá. “From the Mountains to the Islands.” AgaRhythm, 1993.

[Ziyia has been playing together since 1990, sharing a love of Greek regional, traditional music, played on instruments appropriate to the regions. From the lilting island music of Naxos, to the spoon dances of Cappadocia, or the driving rhythm of the chestos from Thrace, all is played with attention to regional styling. This dedicated group shares a passion for the connection with dancers and is one of the premier bands for Greek music in the US. This highly regarded group has been playing at Greek weddings and baptisms, Greek festivals and music camps throughout the US for over 20 years.]



Byers, Michele and Evangelia Tastsoglou. “Negotiating Ethno-Cultural Identity: The Experience of Greek and Jewish Youth in Halifax.” Canadian Ethnic Studies. 40.2 (2008): 5–33.

Europe (new category)

Petridou, Elia. “The Taste of Home,” in Home Possessions: Material Culture behind Closed Doors, ed. Daniel Miller. Oxford: Berg, 2001. 87-106.

[An ethnographic study of the foods that Cypriot university students in the UK bring from home or have their parents send by mail. Examines constructions of home in a diasporic university setting.]

Friday, May 8, 2015

Greek Women Globally

This week on Dialogos Radio, the Dialogos Interview Series will feature an interview with Greek-American journalist, blogger, and educator Irene Archos, adjunct professor at Nassau Community College and founder of In this week's interview, Archos will speak to us about her blog and how it got started, as well as about pertinent issues facing families and particularly women of the Greek diaspora, such as the pressures to marry Greek and to raise children within the Greek culture, plus the difficulties which often exist when living between two or more cultures within a community of the diaspora. Finally, Archos will also discuss the new foundation which she aims to establish, which seeks to bring together Greek women all across the globe.

Hear all this and much more this week, exclusively on Dialogos Radio! For our complete broadcast schedule, which begins TODAY, and for more details, visit our website: On our website, you can also find our podcasts, our on-demand programming, our articles and commentaries, our past playlists, and listen to our online radio station, Dialogos Radio 24/7.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Youth Cultures in Greek America

Roundtable in the Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium, Atlanta Georgia (Forthcoming October 15-18, 2015):


Young people generate a wide range of institutional activities in Greek America. Initiatives such as Got Greek, the National Hellenic Society, and enduring youth programs in Greek Orthodox parishes promote Greek identification in the United States. 

U.S. Modern Greek Programs and Colleges in Greece also participate in this identity making. Student testimonies speak about Greek education in the United States and study abroad experience in Greece as deeply transformative, often vital in reclaiming identity. 

Though heritage students are central in our professional lives as Modern Greek studies educators, academic work on Greek American youth is uneven. Oral history projects certainly focus explicitly on College students, a subject which is also discussed in few ethnographic reports. Extensive fieldwork has been carried out among young Greek Americans who settle in Greece. Autobiographical and fictional narratives of youth identity and belonging have been topics of academic research. And sociology traces intergenerational language and culture loss. 

Still there is no book length ethnography on the topic of Greek American youth. There is no understanding of the issues this cohort faces in contexts such as the classroom, the family, the community, transnational travel, and the workplace, among others. The recent controversy over the MTV show "Growing up Greek" brought to the fore a number of perspectives about youth identity about which scholarship is lacking.

The purpose of this roundtable is to place this population at the center of reflection. Panelists will briefly discuss emergent research, identify new contexts, pose questions for further work, and engage with the audience on how to best advance scholarship on this topic. Can we collectively think on how to tap our educational co-experience with heritage students to better understand this cohort?

Organizer: Yiorgos Anagnostou (Ohio State University)


Information on the panelists’ and presider's scholarship and relevant experience

Despina Margomenou (University of Michigan) is an educator with a long experience in the pedagogies of teaching language and culture in a major Modern Greek Program. This scholar will discuss how Greek American College students engage with Greek identities in interactive situations in a classroom setting. 

Panayiotis League (Harvard University), a Ph.D. candidate, has conducted extensive ethnography on music and dance in several Greek American communities. This researcher will adopt a transregional and transnational perspective to examine the importance of traditional music in the making of ethnic identity among the youth. 

Fevronia Soumakis (Teachers College, Columbia University), the third panelist, a recent Ph.D, works on Greek education in the United States, and has been conducting research on Church programs and identity. This scholar will discuss the ways the Greek Orthodox Church shapes Greek American youth in a particular parish, through multiple youth ministries. 

Yiorgos Anagnostou (The Ohio State University), the fourth panelist has published extensively on Greek America. This speaker will discuss the recent controversy over the MTV show “Growing up Greek,” and the issues this debate brings in relation to Greek American youth cultures. 

Artemis Leontis (University of Michigan), the presider of the forum, a widely known specialist in Greek and Greek diaspora studies, will introduce the themes of the panel and lead the discussion. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Teaching Resource _ Testimonies of the Second Generation (translated into English)

First interviewee: The very first question employers ask me has to do with my papers, whether I have Greek nationality or immigrant status. This hurts me because it is as if they are saying that the Greeks are favored. I grew up in this country, I attended school here, I do not know more than the Greeks, but I know kind of as much as any Greek I interact with. When I am with Greeks I do not feel different at all. When we go for coffee for example with my friends I do not feel I am from somewhere else [different country], unless one puts a mirror on my face, and then the difference in the appearance is obvious. Even my personality [identity] is Greek, I have embraced the Greek way of life, going out for coffee, going to the movies, things like this. They do not say it on my face but when I am on a bus, and I am the only “foreigner,” an elderly woman would start saying that it is the foreigners who stole the money, then I know that it is directing her comments to me and this bothers me somewhat. But I do not want to leave Greece. People tell me I should leave given all my qualifications and my diploma, but I cannot see myself leaving. I have a positive outlook about this, I see myself staying, I see my future in this country. I will leave only if there is a very important reason. 

Third interviewee (2:58’): The issue of nationality of course concerns me directly because I do not have ties with Africa, which I could develop later in life, but first comes the search for my own roots, to discover where I truly belong; though I feel Greek, this is the only place I have gotten to know. For me Greece is the light, it is everything. The moment I started understanding the Greek language, I started readily developing many facets of my identity [as Greek]. Because I have been attacked, of course I remain on the guard when in public, but I am not changing my everyday habits either. I do not allow this to change me. You see, in 2004 when I was out celebrating with my friends the Greek soccer team winning the European championship waving a Greek flag and showing off the team’s scarf, without my noticing several Golden Dawn members (neo-nazi racists) approached me and they tried to grab from me the flag and the scarf, and there was a brawl, and then I left, what else could I do? I am trapped here. That’s the burning issue. Born here and trapped here.

Translation: Yiorgos Anagnostou
April 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Affirmative action for immigrant whites _ By Thomas A. Guglielmo

An incisive critical review of the documentary The Italian Americans; debunking the myth of European American bootstrap mobility; a myth still entrenched in the popular imagination:

"And yet, despite the work of numerous scholars, too few people seem to know anything about them. For the last twenty years, one national poll has found that an overwhelming majority of American residents agree with the following statement: “Irish, Italian, Jewish, and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”


"But this rise [Italian American success] had another, critical source that is too often missing from popular memory about Italian and other European immigrants’ success in America: white privilege. The truth is that these immigrants entered a country with a long, bloody history of drawing deep and distinct color lines — chasms, really — between people socially-defined as white and everyone else, and then assigning rights and resources, power and privilege, accordingly. True, some Americans debated for a time where exactly to place Italians and other Europeans in relation to these lines. At a hearing for the House Committee on Immigration, in 1912, a Pennsylvania congressman wondered whether the “south Italian” constituted a “full-blooded Caucasian.” But, with very few exceptions, European immigrants, Italians included, lived and built their lives on the white side of these color lines. It made all the difference in the world.

It allowed them, first, to become US citizens. During the period of mass European immigration, the right to naturalize was reserved solely for “free white persons” and, after the Civil War, for people of African nativity and descent. And while US courts and government officials in this period routinely blocked Asian immigrants’ efforts to become citizens, they never did so for European newcomers. As a result, migrants from places like Italy, Germany, Poland, and Russia always had relatively easy access to citizenship and, eventually, to its broad range of concrete benefits — voting power, government jobs, and, depending on state law, the ability to own land or to work in certain occupations or to serve in public office.

As Italian and other European immigrants settled throughout the United States, their white racial status came to matter monumentally in other ways as well. Today, it is too often forgotten that the urban North of the interwar years, where most Italian and other European immigrants lived, had its own extensive Jim Crow system of sorts. In Chicago, for example, a black-white (and sometimes white-nonwhite) color line wended its way through nearly every imaginable aspect of city life — hospitals and day care centers, camps and schools, nursing homes and YMCAs, workplaces and unions, churches and settlement houses, bars and cafes, roller rinks and billiard halls, swimming pools and beaches, neighborhoods and public housing projects. In concrete terms, this meant that Italians, and everyone on the white side of these lines, enjoyed immense advantages when looking for work, joining a union, buying a home, attending school, receiving medical care, even relaxing on one’s day off — that is, when making the big and small decisions that fashion a life

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Life in Ruins – A Critical Note

For the last two years I have been working on an analysis of the film My Life in Ruins, now forthcoming in the Fall 2015 issue of the Filmicon: Journal of Greek Film Studies. I was drawn to the film for a variety of reasons. For one, it was of interest to note that this Hollywood film circulates key tenets of Greek nationalism, an observation which makes us reflect on how the enduring power of nationalism “travels” within the global entertainment industry. I also wanted to discuss the film within a transnational framework of analysis. The synergy of Hollywood with the Greek State in the making of the film, the commonalities of the film with the Hollywood genre of "heritage romance," and the issue of Greek American belonging in the U.S. and Greece pointed to the utility of a transnational approach to illuminate the construction of diaspora belonging in the film. The initial draft included a critique of the film, which I removed, however,  for the purpose of coherence in the work. Reading this critique will make fuller sense in the context of my overall argument. But I share this critical note nevertheless in anticipation of the longer piece. 

A commercial flop despite high expectations, My Life in Ruins apparently failed to capture the popular imagination. Audience “did not buy into the fantasy, the ideas and images it tried to sell” (1). While the causes of this inadequacy are beyond the scope of this commentary, one can readily recognize how the film leads itself to criticism. Despite the transparency of its weaknesses, I find it necessary to proceed with a brief critique in order to identify the ethical and political implications the film engenders. I do so in order to underscore the idea of belonging as always situated, as a position advancing the interests of certain collectives and undermining those of others (see Yuval-Davis, Kannabiran, Vieten 2006). 

The film’s pampering of the tourist industry and the State, for instance, carries serious implications about those parts of Athens outside tourist itineraries. Furthermore, My Life in Ruins erases the complexity of Greek society and its people. Though it appears to promote women’s interests in the emotional level, it harms them in the professional realm. What is more, It gravely compromises the intellectual and emotional valence of the academy. Its extolling of Greek anti-modernism insults working people who labor harder for less, even before the post-2011 assault of neoliberalism in the country. 

To elaborate, My Life in Ruins once again builds on Greece’s national topoi–ruins of classical sites and landscape–to brand Athens and export a desirable world image in the global competition for tourist and investment dollars. In post-industrial capitalism, cities promote selective aspects of the cityscape to attract visitors through cultural consumption. Because these urban zones are designed for leisure and consumption–a cornucopia of bodies at play and on display–the images hide alternative urban spaces where local and immigrant bodies experience poverty, violence, and surveillance in declining urban environments. “Polished Athens” hides policed Athens and legitimizes unequal spatial development (Karahalios 2011). Selective projection affirms investment in spaces of high consumption and remains indifferent to spaces of urban plight and the working poor elsewhere in the cityscape. Tourism and aesthetic nationalism reinforce each other in hiding the society’s complexity and thus alternative modes of diaspora belonging.

The film’s portrayal of Georgia as one who finds no meaning in the academy displaces alternative belonging. It denies, for instance, the academy as a practice of subjectivity, feeling, and community. What is more, the reduction of the academy as a problematic space intersects with the ideology of belonging via coupling with authentic ethnic maleness and in doing so it advances a problematic position for diaspora women. In exchange for heritage and love, women are instructed to occupy an inferior position in the labor market. They are called to reject the academic profession–an occupation wielding a significant degree of economic and cultural power–for a tourist industry profession caricatured as populist entertainment. Nationalism and tourism converge to narrowly demarcate the range of diaspora women’s professional options.

Note: Comment by the anonymous reviewer for Filmicon.

Works Cited

Karahalios, Harry. “Global Cities, Differential Peripheries: European Cinema and Urban Cities in Transition.” Presentation at the Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium 22, New York, Oct. 13-16, 2011.

Yuval-Davis, N., K. Kannabiran, U. Vieten (2006), ‘Introduction’, in N. Yuval-Davis, K. Kannabiran, and U. Vieten (eds), The Situated Politics of Belonging, London: Sage Publications, pp. 1-16.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Documentary about Dan Georgakas

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Orthodoxy and the Civil Rights Movement

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Visual Teaching Resource _ The Greek Crisis (New Documentary)

Out Here: A documentary about the Initiative Against the Greek Crisis

Monday, February 23, 2015

Reviewing The Italian Americans

With frigid temperatures blanketing Columbus I spent the long weekend drafting my review of the new documentary The Italian Americans. Broadcast this month on PBS, this is a four hour documentary chronicling Italian American transformations.

I felt a sense of heightened awareness while writing about a piece of popular culture at the same time when the nation was watching. A sense of temporal alignment between the act of writing and the imaginary audience. Book or film reviews are an undervalued academic genre. From my part, I cannot stress enough their importance as a forum for critical reflection and in this manner a venue to advance reflective new scholarship and cultural production.

I am sharing below the opening paragraph (a draft); this will be the only sample of writing I will be sharing before the review's publication:

"How does one get to know Italian Americans? Piercing at the heart of the documentary, the question is brought into focus in the opening scenes, in the contrast between cinematic representations and personal accounts of Italian ethnicity. Film and self-narration produce two ways of knowing, dramatically at odds with each other. On the one hand, cinematic images – most notably Mafia-related – entrench this ethnicity as a pernicious stereotype in the national imagination. Popular fictions are consumed as ethnic facts. Ethnicity refers to a singular truth. On the other hand, first-person narratives question the stereotype head on. Films create a reality for ethnicity that real Italian Americans do not recognize as their own. Thus self-representation corrects public misrecognition. Ethnographic testimonies contest the poisonous myth of Italian American association with criminality. Taken together, they establish Italian America as a diverse social field, projecting ethnicity as plurality of truths. If the underworld is not alien to Italian Americans, to cite a pertinent example, it is certainly alien to a great many in the collective."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Greek Americana: U.S. License Plates in Transliterated Greek and not only...

A multi-semantic geography of the personal, the national, the regional, the everyday, the folk, the popular, the secular and the religious marking Greek difference in U.S. traffic.

Signs of national and regional identity, the double meaning of rural images (moulari), insults, also hurled at bad drivers (ftou sou), the play of secular and religious (Hristo), the marking of personal status or state of things (ftoxia), everyday sayings that could also serve as popular song refrains (xehase to). 

Άστα φίλε μου... :

Many thanks to EB for bringing this to my attention