If public scholarship brings together one’s subjectivity, academic work, and participation in overall intellectual life, I see no other route to enter this conversation than through the perspective of my intellectual biography. I find it necessary, in other words, to link aspects of my life, research, and involvement in the world of ideas beyond the college campus. To introduce my position succinctly: I owe a turning point in my biography to Modern Greek Studies in the U.S., the institution that has enabled my work. My entry into this institution and its professional life signals my transformation from a working class immigrant with a degree in civil engineering to a humanities and social sciences academic. It represents my reinvention. In retrospect, as a scholar who also writes about American ethnicities, I am inclined to frame this transition as a quintessentially Greek/American moment: a place of Greek learning in the United States—supported in some cases by Greek American monies, let me add—puts in motion the foundational narrative of America as a place of new beginnings. If an educational rebirth redirects one’s life project, it is safe to say that my connection with Modern Greek Studies is experienced viscerally. And as an intellectual, affective, but also material affiliation that crystallizes into an organic relationship, my professional being renders the separation of scholarship, personal conviction, and public engagement alien to me. . . .
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