"In Search of a Modern Greek Identity": The Importance of Monuments
October 27, 2021
In this lecture event Professor Sharon Gerstel discussed her long-term project concerning the restoration of an 11th-century village church in Vamvaka, Mani. The study of the church presents a fascinating history that starts in the ancient world and ends in the present day. What does this church mean to a community over time, and how do we, as modern visitors encounter and appreciate such buildings, which are frequently locked? Are they relics of the past, or do they hold some greater meaning for our understanding of Greek culture and identity through the ages?
“In Search Of A Modern Greek Identity”: Lessons From History
April 24, 2021
There are few events that bring to the fore the issue of identity as sharply as a revolution. And few events that test an individual or national perception of identity as critically as threats to one’s existence or sense of honor. This year, Hellenism is recognizing the 200-year anniversary from the start of the great Greek revolution of 1821. At the same time, it is grappling with the implications of increasing geopolitical tensions with Turkey, such as the conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque and the status of the Aegean being called into question.
In response to these events that speak to core issues of heritage, SPGH is launching a series of events exploring a modern meaning of Greek identity, starting with a panel discussion on history. History, much like monuments, music and literature, is not only a reflection of who we are but also leaves traces in our collective memory, thus shaping our current understanding of the world and presaging the future. We were joined by Professor Anthony Kaldellis and Professor Roderick Beaton to explore the lessons from history.
"In Search of a Modern Greek Identity": Geopolitical Dimensions
October 2, 2021
Although geopolitical issues, in the broader sense, are relevant to the entire Greek diaspora, they are nowhere as important as in mainland Greece, whose very existence has depended, and continues to depend, on bloody struggles for survival and territorial integrity in an increasingly aggressive geographical environment. Remarkably, many of Greece’s neighbors that were historically opposed to the creation of modern Greece, especially Turkey, define their own identity based on their perpetual hostilities with the Greeks, dating back to the 12th century.
But an identity is not only forged by struggle, it is also affected by one’s chosen community: Greek integration within larger organizations, especially the European Union, poses its own challenges and raises very important questions about modern Greece.
Meteora: A Personal Journey in Physical and Spiritual Heritage
December 10, 2021
With current focus on the living aspects of heritage, SPGH and the Modern Greek Studies Program of Georgetown University present the work and experiences of Eva Kosvyra, a young Greek architect who has been living and working in the rocks of Meteora, a unique geographical phenomenon in Thessaly, Greece, whose very name means "suspended in the air" and is the site of a complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries second in importance only to Mt. Athos.
Ms. Kosvyra, a native of the region, begun by studying the construction of the first Meteora hermitages as a graduate student and progressively became one with not only the geographical and architectural, but also the spiritual realities of the site that she calls "so exposed yet also so protected."
May 16, 2019
SPGH hosted a research-informed discussion with Mr. Thodoris Georgakopoulos on demographics, climate change and other major forces that will shape the population and physical environment of Greece in the next decades. The presentation and discussion were based on findings from studies conducted by the Greek think tank DiaNEOsis.
SPGH was founded in the mid1970s with the initial charge of preserving the Greek physical and cultural environment on the belief that preservation of the Greek heritage is intimately linked to the preservation of Greece. The issue remains critical to our mission.
May 25, 2018
A performance by the Greek Music Ensemble, (led by Dr. Panagiotis Liaropoulos of the Berklee College of Music) honoring the songs of acclaimed Greek composers Manos Hadjidakis and Mikis Theodorakis, held at Georgetown University's Lohrfink Theater.
An American in Epirus: A Southerner Listening to Greek Blues (Moirologia)
November 28, 2018
Christopher King, a music collector and scholar and a Grammy-winning producer from southern Virginia shared his transformational encounter with Ηπειρωτικά μοιρολόγια (laments from Epirus) and his falling in love with the music and people of the land. He also talked about the connection of these northwestern Greek “blues” to American southern blues and discussed his recent book “Lament from Epirus” with SPGH Chairman Dr. Vassilis Koliatsos and members of the audience. He played many rare examples of southern blues music and demotika from the original 78 rpm discs for the audience.
Restoration of the Holy Sepulchre: The Ecumenical Heritage of Hellenism
A panel discussion lead by Dr. Antonia Moropoulou, National Polytechnic University of Athens, Dr. Fredrik Hiebert, National Geographic, and Ms. Bonnie Burnham, President Emerita of the World Monuments Fund. Co-sponsored by the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC.