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Seferis: The Middle East Years

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Harvard University Program of Modern Greek Studies (George Seferis Chair) is holding a lecture on George Seferis and his memoirs, written during his years in the Middle East. (A Greek Poet and Diplomat in the Middle East: George Seferis). The lecture will be delivered on February 20, by Roderick Beaton, Professor at King’s College, London. Roderick Beaton will speak about the travels of poet and diplomat George Seferis (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1963) in the Middle East during World War II and in the 1950s. See also: European Society for Modern Greek Studies; Modern Greek Studies Association and its sponsored Journal of Modern Greek Studies 

Studying Modern Greek Culture

GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Institute for Neo-Hellenic Research (a branch of the National Research Foundation) which specializes in the study of Modern Greek society and culture from the 15th century is hosting an international conference today ( December 2)  on “the significance of research on Modern Greek society and culture from the perspective of interdisciplinary and comparative history.”  Institute for Neo-Hellenic Research: Programme   Visit National Hellenic Research Foundation’s digital collection on Greek history and civilization at pandektis.ekt.gr & Archaeology of the city of Athens-Contemporary Monuments Data Base: www.eie.gr/archaeologia  Centre for Neo-Hellenic Studies: www.snhell.gr/en/index.html

Reading Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The series “Women Writing Greece” by editors Vassiliki Kolocotroni and Efterpi Mitsi, explores images of modern Greece by women who experienced the country as travellers, writers, and scholars, or who journeyed there through the imagination. The essays assembled here consider women’s travel narratives, memoirs and novels, ranging from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century, focusing on the role of gender in travel and cross-cultural mediation and challenging stereotypical views of ‘the Greek journey’, traditionally seen as an antiquarian or Byronic pursuit. This collection aims to cast new light on women’s participation in the discourses of Hellenism and Orientalism, examining their ideological rendering of Greece as at once a luminous land and a site crossed by contradictory cultural memories. Arranged chronologically, the essays discuss encounters with Greece by, among others, Mary Shelley, Eva Palmer-Sikielianos, Jane Ellen Harrison and Virginia Woolf.  Secretariat General of Information: Greece in the World: Books – Modern Greek History

Reading Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Julian Evans: An aesthetic of fatality (Times Literary Supplement  25.7.2008)
The Boundless Garden. Selected short stories, Volume One. By Alexandros Papadiamandis. Edited by Denise Harvey & Lambros Kamperidis, Athens: Harvey and Co. 
“The saint of modern Greek storytelling Alexandros Papadiamandis (1851- 1911) has rarely been published in English.  This is not a simple matter for a writer many Greeks believe to be the saint of modern Greek storytelling, its Dickens or its Chekhov.
The Boundless Garden, the first of a new three-volume English edition of Papadiamandis’s stories, was initiated by Philip Sherrard in the early 1990s and was continued by his widow, Denise Harvey. It constitutes a memorial tribute to Sherrard’s lifelong efforts to restore poetry and spirituality to what he felt to be the aridity of modern existence.
The Skiathos-born Papadiamandis, wedded to rural island Greece, simultaneously pantheistic and Orthodox, widely versed in the European literary tradition, explored themes of emigration, displacement and exile, paganism and the power of evil, urban solitude, the shattering of a homogeneous past by the momentum of modernity. These things, Sherrard believed, required the restorative synthesis of poetry to make their hardship and loss bearable…”

Athens / Photo Exhibition: The Modern Arab World

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Modern Arab World” photographers exhibition at the Benaki Museum, Athens, records the rise and catalytic effect of ever increasing information media in the Islamic world, the Western influence on the lifestyle of the local communities, as well as everyday life experiences in the Middle East. The exhibition, designed the Beetroot Design Group,  is taking place within the framework of anniversary events to celebrate twenty years of operation for Apeiron Photos.  The Benaki Museum collection of Islamic art, includes examples of all Islamic art local variations from as far as India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, North Africa, Sicily and Spain, and ranks among the most important in the world.

Modern Greek Cookery

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    In her article “It’s all Greek for me” (The Age, 22.04.2008 ) about avant-garde chef George Calombaris’ first cookbook, “The Press Club, Modern Greek Cookery,” Jane Faulkner writes “this talented young gun has changed the face of Greek food in Melbourne.” Calombaris mixes his cultural heritage, classical training and a love for modern cooking techniques to produce a unique cuisine. He was awarded with “Best Chef” and his restaurant, “The Press Club,” won “Best New Restaurant” in the “Age Good Food Guide” of 2008. For what seems to be the first modern Greek cookbook, Calombaris says he tried to give his interpretation of Greek cuisine “soul, elegance, substance, and technique.”  Secretariat General for Information: World Media on Greece-Hellenic Culture Abroad-Greek Cuisine

The Greek Language, Ancient & Modern

 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Greek Language is one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, spoken today by approximately 12 million people in Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Italy, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and in emigrant communities around the world, including Australia, United States, Canada, Germany and elsewhere. Continue reading