State, Culture, Identities. Views from the Archaeological Archives – British School at Athens

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Organisers: De­spina Lalaki (City Uni­ver­sity of New York – CUNY), Zi­novia Lialiouti (Na­tional and Kapodis­trian Uni­ver­sity of Athens), Nikos Vafeas (Uni­ver­sity of Crete), Ioan­nis Koubourlis (Uni­ver­sity of Crete)

See the conference programme here

States are em­bed­ded in cul­tural sys­tems, they are “con­cept-de­pen­dent” en­ti­ties while they also cre­ate con­cepts. In the case of Mod­ern Greece, the state emerged at the in­ter­sec­tion of in­ter­weav­ing nar­ra­tives about west­ern civ­i­liza­tion and clas­si­cal an­tiq­uity. In turn, as pro­tec­tor and trea­surer of the cul­tural cap­i­tal of the na­tion, the Greek state ex­erted a great deal of sym­bolic power, which it rou­tinely ex­er­cises to con­sol­i­date its po­lit­i­cal power con­struct­ing in the process hege­monic iden­ti­ties. Yet state-build­ing and the pro­duc­tion of na­tional ide­ol­ogy in Greece has never been a process con­fined to na­tional bound­aries, nei­ther was this process com­pleted dur­ing the nine­teenth cen­tury: it is an evolv­ing process shaped by transna­tional and na­tional cur­rents

More­over, state for­ma­tion is a dy­namic phe­nom­e­non which in­volves the in­ter­ac­tion of cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, and so­cial net­works. In Greece many of these net­works re­volve around the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal field and its in­sti­tu­tions. The Greek Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Ser­vice, the Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety and the For­eign Schools of Ar­chae­ol­ogy have served not merely as re­search cen­ters and cen­ters of ed­u­ca­tion but also as cen­tral nodes in com­plex net­works of cul­tural, eco­nomic, and po­lit­i­cal cir­cles around which na­tional and trans-na­tional agents, for­eign and na­tional in­sti­tu­tions or­ga­nize and act. The rich archival col­lec­tions housed in the above in­sti­tu­tions serve as tes­ti­monies to this cen­tral role.

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the archival col­lec­tions of the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions in Greece, while also invit­ing re­searchers to en­gage with them, the con­fer­ence as­pires to bring to­gether schol­ars from a va­ri­ety of dis­ci­plines and fields – so­cial his­tory, his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural so­ci­ol­ogy, so­cial an­thro­pol­ogy, ar­chae­ol­ogy, ur­ban stud­ies and ar­chi­tec­ture, mu­seum stud­ies, ge­og­ra­phy, art his­tory, lit­er­ary stud­ies, and ed­u­ca­tion – who take a re­la­tional ap­proach to en­gage with cul­ture as a sig­nif­i­cant de­ter­mi­nant of the state and the state as for­ma­tive agent of cul­ture to study the chang­ing mean­ings at­tached to mod­ern Greek iden­tity. While an­tiq­uity may have a cen­tral place in this dis­cus­sion it is not the only point of de­par­ture.

 

Conference
When: 1 April @ 9:00 am - 2 April @ 6:00 pm EEST
Where: – –