The University Seminar in Modern Greek

The Modern Greek Seminar was established by Professor Vangelis Calotychos in February 2005 within the context of the University Seminars’ Program at Columbia University. Participation in The Modern Greek Seminar at Columbia University is by invitation and attendees are chiefly faculty members and Ph.D students in Hellenic Studies and related fields as well as artists and writers from the tri-state area of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. The seminar’s title emphasizes the language—modern Greek—over the metropolitan nation-state, modern Greece. By so doing, the seminar uses the enduring and versatile nature of the language as a symbol for broader themes that, both diachronically and synchronically, depict the tension between sameness and difference, between the continuities and discontinuities that comprise the Hellenic world. The seminar does not limit its focus to Modern Greece, even though it remains its foremost concern, instead it seeks to provide a forum for original interdisciplinary perspectives on Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greece and the Greek diaspora. Seminar participants from a wide variety of fields consider all aspects of the post-classical Greek world as well as the reception and creative appropriation of the classical Greek tradition both in Greece and abroad. The seminar examines Greek relations with Western Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Caucasus and the Middle East, tracing also the cultural presence of historic Greek communities in these areas as well as in more recent diasporas, in the United States and Australia. The seminar also examines the presence of diverse communities within Greece.

Seminar Administration


Dimitris Antoniou
Lecturer in Modern Greek History and Culture
Program in Hellenic Studies, Department of Classics
[email protected]

Nikolas P. Kakkoufa
Senior Lecturer in Modern Greek
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Program in Hellenic Studies
[email protected]

Rapporteur 2023-2024:

Dimitra Loumiotis
School of the Arts
[email protected]

Previous Seminars

September 29th, 2023

Screening of Tsoulakia ("Hussies")


October 6th, 2023

Marios Chatziprokopiou

"I Lose My Screams"


November 14th, 2023

Karen Emmerich

"Greek Literature on Shifting Ground"


December 7th, 2023 

Valerie Kontakos 

Screening of "Queen of the Deuce"


January 25th, 2024

Ilirida Musaraj 

"A Bag Full of Telephone Cards"


February 28th, 2024

Theodora Patrona

"Boy Meets Boy and Girl Meets Girl: Foregrounding the Greek American Queer Narrative"


March 21st, 2024

Maria Boletsi

"Floating, Disappearing, and Virtual Islands from the Aegean to the Pacific: Weird Entanglements of Fiction and Reality"


April 18th, 2024

K.BHTA and Nikko Patrelakis

"The Party: K.BHTA and Nikko Patrelakis Remember

October 22, 2020

Dimitris Xanthoulis and Panayotis Evangelidis

"An Evening in Pangrati: Revisiting the Aids Epidemic in 1980's Athens"


November 19, 2020

Alexandra Siotou (University of Thessaly), George Mantzios (University of Toronto), and Penelope Papailias (University of Thessaly)

"Extra-Terrestrial Ethnographies of the Future-Present (Part I: Writing Workshop)"


December 10, 2020

Yorgos Zois 

"Online Screening of the Film Third Kind (Yorgos Zois, 2018) and Discussion with the Director"


December 17, 2020

The Athens Zine Bibliotheque

"Extra-Terrestrial Ethnographies of the Future-Present (Part II: Zine Workshop


February 17, 2021

 Lynnette Widder, Karimah Ashadu, Ersi Sotiropoulos, Elpida Karaba, Despina Zefkili, Yota Ioannidou, and Vangelis Vlahos



March 19, 2021

Ioulia Pentazou, Alexandros Teneketzis, and Konstantina Zanou



April 15, 2021

Menelaos Charalambidis



October 8, 2019 

Kalliopi Amygdalou, Architectural Historian, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy

"Replicas and Reconstructions in the Service of the Nation: Istanbul, Athens, Skopje" 


November 19, 2019

Sokratis Koniordos, Full Professor of Sociology, University of the Peloponnese

"From Europe's Periphery to the Centre: Transnational Migration in the Context of the Greek Crisis"


February 19, 2020

Lukas Tsiptsios (Columbia University)

"Bizim PAOK": Refugees, Sports and Venizelism in the Intewar Thessaloniki" 


March 10, 2020

Dimosthenis Papamarkos

CANCELLED: "Classics and the Public: A Conversation with Demosthenes Papamarkos"


April 7, 2020

Sophie Iakovidou (Democritus Univeristy of Thrace)

CANCELLED: "M. Karapanou: Her True Literary Citizenship" 

September 28, 2018

Nicolas Prevelakis (Harvard University)

"Debt, Responsibility, and Punishment: Culturalist Explanations of the Greek and Euro Crisis"


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Brent Edwards and Karen Van Dyck (Columbia University) 

“Exile, Intralingual Translation, and the Nation (Seferis, Ritsos)"


March 6, 2019

Paraskevi Martzavou (Columbia University)
"Teaching Thessaloniki"

March 29, 2019

Soo-Young Kim and Elizabeth Davis (Princeton University)
"How to Do (Two) Things with Numbers: Enumerating the Greek Economy"

April 24, 2019 

Argyro Nicolaou (MoMA) and Nikolas Kakkoufa (Columbia University)
"Now that the World has Become an Endless Hotel: Greek Narratives of Displacement in the Middle East during WWII"

May 3-4, 2019

"Breaking News: Greece, Turkey, and the Media in the New Political Landscape"
Conference organized by the Program in Hellenic Studies, Columbia Global Center in Istanbul, and the Hellenic Studies Program at California State University.

October 13, 2017
“Searching for Andreas: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis,” a documentary film by Harris Mylonas (The George Washington University)

November 21, 2017
“Chora Exarcheion: The Polytechnio Campus and Radical Imagination,” Artist Talk by Eirene Efstathiou (Athens School of Fine Arts)

December 5, 2017
“Dressing Clio: Parades and Revivals in Greece (19th-20th c.),” Christina Koulouri (Panteion University)    

January 25, 2018
"Παροικία - Anthropological reflections through craft and folk art of modern Greece" by Zoë Paul (artist)

February 15, 2018
"Different Ways of Being “Greek”: Borderland Religion in the City of Corfu, 18th c." by Daphne Lappa (Princeton University)

March 30, 2018
"Shades of the spectropolitical: Dead bodies and digital mourning between precarity and celebrity in contemporary Greece" by Penelope Papailias (University of Thessaly)

April 12, 2018
"T/here: Immigrants, Comparison, and Critique" by Yiannis Papadakis (University of Cyprus)

Austerity Measures (Chair, Karen Van Dyck; Rapporteur, David Schneller) - 3 artist talks + 3 seminars (Hellenistic, Byzantine, Modern) on the topic of Austerity Measures What happens when you lose something or think you’ve lost something – whether an ancient tradition, an idea of Europe, a standard of living or a homeland – and what kind of literature, art and society emerges out of this loss? How are measures (μέτρα in Greek) restrictive, but also the measure and the meter of the possible?

September 18, 2015
“To Fit or not to Fit” - An Artist Talk and Screening with Greek writer-director Athina Rachel Tsangari, respondent Toby Lee (Tisch, NYU) in coordination with U.S Premiere at the 53rd New York Film Festival of Chevalier at Lincoln Center

October 15, 2015
"Contesting Conceptual Boundaries: Byzantine and its History," Panagiotis A. Agapitos (Professor of Byzantine Literature, University of Cyprus), Respondent Maria Hadjipolycarpou
Co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Heyman Center, and the Department of Classics.

November 19, 2015
"Cavafy, the Hellenistic age, and us," John Ma (Professor of Classics, Columbia)
Co-sponsored by the Department of Classics.

February 11, 2016
A reading with novelist Christos Asteriou, and translator Patricia Barbeito (RISD), respondent Karen Emmerich (Princeton)
Co-sponsored by the Barnard Center for Translation Studies.

March 23, 2016
Screening of Stefanos Tsivopoulos’s documentary-fiction Eleusis (2012), followed by a discussion with the director, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, respondent Soo-Young Kim (Columbia) 
Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean, School of the Arts.

April 20, 2016
Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry” & multi-media performance of Greek poetry and translation with the poets and translators, Karen Van Dyck (Professor of Modern Greek Literature, Classics), Phoebe Giannisi, Jazra Khaleed, Peter Constantine, and Karen Van Dyck, Respondent Edwin Frank (NYRB)
The event is accompanied by an exhibition of recent Greek zines curated by Dimitris Antoniou and Karla Nielsen.
Co-sponsored by the Program in Hellenic Studies, The Modern Greek Seminar at The University Seminars Program, Heyman Center for the Humanities, Women Poets at Barnard, Barnard Center for Translation Studies.

October 2, 2014
Maria Kakavoulia, Onassis Senior Visiting Scholar & Associate Professor, School of International Relations, Department of Communication, Media and Culture, Panteion University
“Media Representations of the Greek Crisis”

October 21, 2014
Vassilis Loules, Film Director
Screening: «Φιλιά εις τα παιδιά»/“Kisses to the Children”
A Screening & Discussion with Director Vassilis Loules

November 12, 2014
Elena Mamoulaki, Visiting Assistant Professor, Program in Hellenic Studies, Columbia University
“The Politics of Hospitality: Gender Performativity as Political (dis)obedience”

November 18, 2014
Antonis Liakos, Professor of Contemporary History and History of Historiography, University of Athens
“Greek Crisis and Social Criticism: From democracy to demo-crisis”

April 7, 2015
A Poetry Reading & Discussion with Elsa Korneti & Patricia Felisa Barbeito (Professor of American Literatures, Literary Arts and Studies, RISD)
"Another Dimension"

November 7, 2013
Toby Lee, Lecturer in Modern Greek, Program in Hellenic Studies, Columbia University
"How to Be Public: Conflict and Collectivity at the Thessaloniki Film Festival"

November 20, 2013
Panagiotis Antonopoulos,  PhD candidate, Department of Modern Greek Studies, University of Crete
“The Modernization Of Sappho's Reception In Early 20th Century Greek Translation And Poetry”

December 4, 2013
Kostis Kornetis, Assistant Professor, Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University
"Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics, and the 'Long 1960s' in Greece"

March 5, 2014
Tatjana Aleksic, Associate Professor of South Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan
"Performing the Real of History"
& Patricia Felisa Barbeito, Professor of American Literatures, Rhode Island School of Design
"Flaying Alive: The Body As Site Of Resistance In Elias Maglinis’s The Interrogation"

March 24, 2014
Kostis Karpozilos, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, Blinken European Institute, Columbia University
"Communists Carrying the American Flag: Americanism, Anti-Americanism and the Greek Left (1944-1949)"
& Despina Lalaki, Senior Lecturer in Modern Greek, A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies, NYU
"American Espionage and Philanthropy: Perspectives from the Greek Left"

April 1, 2014
Erato Basea, Stavros S. Niarchos Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University
“Poverty Porn: Performing the National and Mapping the Cosmopolitical in Contemporary New Wave Films”

October 25, 2012
Konstantina Zanou, Post-doctoral History Scholar, University of Nicosia, Cyprus & Visiting fellow, Center for European and Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) NYU
"Between Two Patriae: Transnational Patriotism in the Ionian Islands and the Adriatic, 1800-1830"

November 1, 2012
Fay Zika, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theory of Art, Department of Theory and History of Art, The Athens School of Fine Arts
”The Revival Of Multimodal Aesthetics And Contemporary Greek Art"

December 5, 2012
A book presentation and discussion with Stan Draenos –historian and political analyst– about his latest book
Andreas Papandreou: The Making of a Greek Democrat and Political Maverick (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012).

January 31, 2013
Dimitris Antoniou, Hannah Seeger Davis Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
"The Nation's Vow: Haunting Fantasies of the Colonels' Greece"

February 14, 2013
Basil Gounaris, Professor of Modern History at the Department of History & Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
“Clio meets Alexander the Great: Reassessing the Historiography of the Macedonian Question (19th-20th centuries)”

April 11, 2013
Álvaro García Marín, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies, Columbia University
“Haunting (the) Self: Uncanny Greece, or the Economy of Revenance”


Thursday, September 29, 2011
Georgia Gotsi -- University of Patras, Greece & Visiting Scholar, Remarque Institute, NYU
"Beyond “Home Identity” Immigrant Voices in Contemporary Greek Fiction"

Friday, November 11, 2011
A reading & discussion with Gazmend Kapllani -Author and Journalist
about his latest book My Name Is Europe

Monday, December 5, 2011
Maria Oikonomou -Institute of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, University of Vienna
"On the Clinical Picture of Nostalgia—and a Remote Literature

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Gonda Van Steen-Cassas Chair in Greek Studies, University of Florida &
Visiting Fellow, Center in Hellenic Studies, Princeton
"Aris Alexandrou's  Antigone (1951): A Critique of the 'blank pages on
which the revolution writes its instructions

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Konstantinos Kalantzis, Mary Seeger Post-Doctoral Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
"Highland Crete as anti-Germany: Questions of Epistemology and Imagination 'in Crisis'"

Friday, April 20, 2012
Pantelis Voutouris (University of Cyprus) & Marinos Pourgouris (University of Cyprus)
Seminar on the Poetry of Odysseas Elytis
Pantelis Voutouris-"Linguistic geography and identity in The Axion Esti"
Marinos Pourgouris- "Philosophical Influences in the Development of  Elytis' Theory of Analogies"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Nikolaos Mavrelos (Demokrition University Of Thrace, Komotini)
“Narcissistic’ Techniques In 18th- And 19th- Century Greek Fiction As Vehicles Of Modernity”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Lidia Santarelli (Center For European And Mediterranean Studies, New York University)
“Barbarous Greece: Antihellenic Racial Theories In Fascist Italy”

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Dimitris Damaskos (University Of Ioannina, Western Greece)
“Archaeology And National Identity In The Greek Museum”

Thurday, December 2, 2010
Andreas Kalyvas (New School University)
“An Anomaly? Some Reflections On The Greek December 2008”
With Respondents Stathis Gourgouris (Columbia University) & Peter Bratsis (Salford University, U.K.)

Friday, February 11, 2011
"New Directions in Greek-Ottoman Studies: A Roundtable"
featuring Evangelos Kechriotis--Assistant Professor, History Department, Bogazici University &
Visiting Fellow, Hellenic Studies Program, Princeton University
'Post-colonial criticism and Muslim-Christian relations in the (very) Late Ottoman Empire: the case of Izmir /Smyrna'
& Ilektra Kostopoulou-Ted And Elaine Athanassiades Postdoctoral Fellowship, Program In Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
"Hybrid Ottoman Geographies: Revisiting the Bi-religious Polity of Autonomous Crete."
Respondent: Christine Philliou, Assistant Professor of Ottoman History, Columbia University
Co-organized with Ottoman/Turkish Studies Seminar

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Heath Cabot, Mary Seeger O’Boyle Fellow, Program In Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
“Aesthetics, Knowledge, and Judgment at an Asylum Advocacy NGO in Athens”

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Prof. Margaret E. Kenna--Emeritus Professor Of Social Anthropology, Department Of Geography, College Of Science, Swansea University, Wales, U.K.
"Anthropological Theory And Practice And The Role Of Serendipity: 45 Years Of Research On Anafi"

Thursday, April 14, 2011
Efterpi Mitsi -- Associate Professor, Faculty Of English Studies, National & Capodistrian University Of Athens, Greece
“Representations Of Greece In Early English Travel Writing”

October 7, 2009
Yiorgos Kalogeras(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
“Entering through the Golden Door: Cinematic Representations of a Mythical Moment.”

October 26th, 2009
Fotini Tsalicoglou (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens)
“Photini Tsalicoglou speaks about Margarita Karapanou, madness, creativity, and a mother’s personal letters to her daughter.”

November 5, 2009
Mark Janse (Ghent University, Belgium)
“Dead or Alive? The Resurrection of Cappadocian (Asia Minor Greek)”
Co-sponsored by The Department of Slavic Languages & Literature & The Linguistics Society

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Dimitris Vardoulakis (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
"The Greek Utopia: Aris Alexandrou’s The Mission Box”

December, 16, 2009
Sotirios Bahtsetzis (Fulbright Art Scholar, Columbia University
“Cinematism against Visual Regimes:Undoing Gender in Contemporary Art in Greece”
Co-organized with The School of the Arts, Columbia University

February 18, 2010
Dimitris Papadimitriou (University Of Manchester, U.K.) & Argyris Mamarelis(London School Of Economics)
“The Last Ottomans: Passivity And Resistance Within The Muslim Community Of Western Thrace During The Second World War And The Greek Civil War”

March 25, 2010
Alexis Rappas(Ted and Elaine Athanassiades Post-Doctoral Fellow)
(Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University) with respondent
Lidia Santarelli (Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, NYU)
“National Allegiance and Imperial Loyalty: Greeks Under European Colonial Rule”

Thursday, April 1, 2010
A discussion with film director Yorgos Lanthimos
Director of the film “DOGTOOTH” in cooperation with The Film Division, Columbia University

October 9, 2008
Andre Gerolymatos (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
‘The December 1944 Events: A Reappraisal’

October 30, 2008
David Ricks (King’s College, London, U.K.)
‘Greek poets’ tributes to Cavafy'

November 20, 2008
Martin McKinsey (University Of New Hampshire)
“Issues In Trans/Punctuation”
Karen Emmerich (Columbia University)
“Punctuating Space In Modern Greek Poetry”

December 8, 2008
Maria Boletsi (University Of Leiden, Netherlands)
“When The Sound Of The Other Sounds Strangely Familiar:
The Balkan Neighbor, The Guest, The Barbarian”

February 11, 2009
Ipek Azime Celik (Department Of Comparative Literature, NYU)
“Papadiamandis And Dimitriou: Imagining Greece From Below”

March 12, 2009
Gerasimus Katsan (Queens College CUNY)
“The Sheep And The Shepherds:  Censorship, Morality And
Contemporary Social Criticism”

April 1, 2009
Irene Kacandes (Dartmouth College)
“Daddy’s War: Greek American Stories: A Paramemoir”

October 1, 2007
Constanze Guthenke (Princeton University)
“Looking for Foreign Friends: Solomos, Translation, and the German Influences”

November 2, 2007
Gail Holst-Warhaft (Cornell University)
“Electrifying the Nisiotika: Mariza Koch and Aegean Rock”

November 29, 2007
Evdoxios Doxiades (Princeton University)
“Sexual Crimes and Improprieties in Late Ottoman Greece, 1750-1829”

March 4, 2008
Poets, Translators, and Critics on the Poet, Translator and Critic George Seferis
Andriana Mastor (Columbia University)
“A Different Sort of Nostos in Seferis’s Logbook III”
Susan Matthias (NYU)
“Sensual, Light-Hearted, Lyrical, Magisterial: Translating Seferis’s Multi-Faceted Prose”
Kathryn Stergiopoulos (Princeton University)
“Translation In the Manner of Giorgos Seferis”

March 12, 2008
Eleni Papargyriou (Princeton University)
“Selective and Distant Images: George Seferis’s photographs of Cyprus”

March 27, 2008
Nikolaos Panou (Harvard University) & Mona Momescu (University of Constanta)
He will shatter Kings on the Day of His Wrath:  Faith, Fear, Power in Early Modern Balkans”
Respondent: Christine Philliou (Columbia University)

October 26, 2006
Christine Philliou (Columbia University)
“The Millet System and Its Discontents: Dealing with Difference in the Ottoman Empire”

November 3, 2006
Eleni Papagaroufali (Panteion University of Social & Political Sciences)
“Town-Twinning In Greece: Towards The Construction of a New European Identity”

November 30, 2006
Elizabeth Ann Davis (Columbia University)
“A System in Doubt of Freedom: Responsibility and Reform in Greek Psychiatry”

December 7th, 2006
Poet Nikos Alexiou (Queen’s College) & translator Karen Emmerich (Columbia University)
in a bilingual reading in Greek and English from
Miltos Sachtouris’s Poems, 1945-1971. Translated by Karen Emmerich. (Archipelago Books, 2006) &
Nikos Alexiou’s The Garden Of Lost Vespers: Poems 1983-2003 (Seaburn Press, 2006)

February 23, 2007
Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford University)
"C.P. Cavafy and Discourses of Sexuality"
Respondent: Dr. George Syrimis (Yale University)

April 9, 2007
Dr. Miltos Pechlivanos
(Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki)
Σημεία στίξεως της ανάγνωσης – ο Στρατής Τσίρκας από τη Λέσχη στις Ακυβέρνητες Πολιτείες. [Points of Punctuations in Reading – Stratis Tsirkas from The Club to Drifting Cities].

September 27, 2005
Yiorgos Anagnostu (Ohio State University)
“Popular Ethnography and the Making of Usable Pasts in Greek America”

October 24, 2005
Constantine Tsoukalas (University of Athens)
“The Origins and Effects of the East-West Dichotomy in Modern Greek Culture”

November 10, 2005
Discussion with Constantine Giannaris, filmmaker
in conjunction with screenings of three films:
From the Edge of the City (Apo tin akri tis polis), One Day in August (Dekapentavgoustos),
and Hostage (Omiros)

January 19, 2006
Peter Bratsis (University of Salford, U.K.)
“Perceptions of Corruption in Greek Politics: Between Commodity Fetishism and Globalization?”

February 23, 2006
Reading of poetry and prose by two New York Greeks
Christos Tsiamis and John Chioles (NYU)

March 23, 2006
Neni Panourgia (Columbia University)
“Desert Islands”

April 6, 2006
Ioanna Laliotou (University of Thessaly)
“Transatlantic Subjects: Thinking about Mobility and Culture in Historical Perspective”

April 4, 2005
Karen Van Dyck (Columbia University)
“Psycharis’s Reading Room”

May 2, 2005
Peter Mackridge (Oxford University)
“Greek as a Sacred Language: Modern Greek Translations of the New Testament”