COLLOQUIUM: Nina Tumarkin, Wellesley, " Representations of Greek Antiquity: The Past in the Service of the Nation"

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

402 Cohen Hall 

The lecture will explore the history of Greece’s politically driven “national disease” of progonoplexia—the worshipping of one’s own past—from the period of independence in the 1830s through the 2004 Athens Olympics. In order to construct a national identity that in European eyes would distinguish Greece from its Balkan neighbors, nineteenth-century Greek intellectuals exploited the Grecophilia of Enlightenment and Romantic philosophers to construct a continuity with Classical-era Greece, leaping over the Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods. This lecture will also highlight some of the ways in which the tourism industry deployed the lucrative celebration of an idealized Hellas in the 20th century.