Hellenisms Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity from Antiquity to Modernity
This volume casts a fresh look at the multifaceted expressions of diachronic Hellenisms. A distinguished group of historians, classicists, anthropologists, ethnographers, cultural studies, and comparative literature scholars contribute essays exploring the variegated mantles of Greek ethnicity, and the legacy of Greek culture for the ancient and modern Greeks in the homeland and the diaspora, as well as for the ancient Romans and the modern Europeans. Given the scarcity of books on diachronic Hellenism in the English-speaking world, the publication of this volume represents nothing less than a breakthrough. The book provides a valuable forum to reflect on Hellenism, and is certain to generate further academic interest in the topic. The specific contribution of this volume lies in the fact that it problematizes the fluidity of Hellenism and offers a much-needed public dialogue between disparate viewpoints, in the process making a case for the existence and viability of such a polyphony. The chapters in this volume offer a reorientation of the study of Hellenism away from a binary perception to approaches giving priority to fluidity, hybridity, and multi-vocality. The volume also deals with issues of recycling tradition, cultural category, and perceptions of ethnicity. Topics explored range from European Philhellenism to Hellenic Hellenism, from the Athens 2004 Olympics to Greek cinema, from a psychoanalytical engagement with anthropological material to a subtle ethnographic analysis of Greek-American women's material culture. The readership envisaged is both academic and non-specialist; with this aim in mind, all quotations from ancient and modern sources in foreign languages have been translated into English.
'This volume offers a penetrating and multifaceted analysis of Hellenic identity from antiquity to the present day. It includes contributions from some of the world's leading scholars and ranges across fields as diverse as history, literature, anthropology, psychoanalysis, cinema, and diaspora studies. This is a fascinating exploration of how Greeks, past and present, at home and abroad, have employed language, religion, cultural memories, folkways, intellectual discourses, conceptions of time, and ethnographic self-representations to proclaim an identity that has had to respond and adapt to the varying conditions of imperialism, conquest, displacement, as well as to the perceived status of Greece within the European and global imagination.' Jonathan M. Hall, University of Chicago, USA 'Although the permutations of Hellenism have been a deeply influential aspect of Western history and culture, usually they have been approached in a geographically and chronologically limited way and by relatively traditional methods. This volume breaks new ground by exploring Hellenic identities more broadly in their richly multifaceted versions through time, and by drawing on some of the most exciting innovations in cultural studies, literary and historical disciplines, anthropology, and other fields. Five chapters trace the development of Hellenisms from antiquity to the Middle Ages, four follow the emergence of Hellenism and Philhellenism in modern Greece and Europe, and the last five investigate the impact of Hellenism on Greece and the Greek diaspora. This is a book which will be of enormous interest not only to specialists of all Greek periods but also to scholars analyzing the transmission and reception of cultural models through history. As a whole, it argues convincingly that the study of the Greeks and of Hellenisms should be intertwined.' Vassilis Lambropoulos, University of Michigan, USA