Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Princeton Club of Greece: Profile in the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies

A cornerstone of Princeton's Hellenic Studies community in Greece continues to grow and define new roles.
Reposted from: https://hellenic.princeton.edu/news/profile-princeton-club-greece
Originally published on 20 September 2018 by Julie Clack
In 1987, the Princeton Club of Greece was founded by a small but dedicated group of alumni. Its founders included Edmund (Mike) Keeley ’49, Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English, emeritus; Robert Keeley ’51 *71, a former ambassador to Greece, Zimbabwe and Mauritius; and current Director of the Seeger Center, Dimitri Gondicas ’78. 
Now, over 30 years later, the club remains active, and has renewed its efforts to encourage promising international students of all backgrounds to apply to Princeton. 
“We're trying to break down the notion that you have to be a part of the Greek elite or a very wealthy person to be able to come to Princeton,” said the club’s current president and founding member, Alexis Phylactopoulos *72. “We're spreading the word that if you're a stellar student — no matter what your background is — you could have a place at Princeton.”
The club’s recruitment efforts are led by the co-chairs of its undergraduate admissions committee: Theagenis Iliadis ’87 and Stratis Mouyer ’95.  
“We try to communicate the message that Princeton is not an impossible dream, especially if you view yourself as someone willing to stay and work in the U.S.,” said Iliadis.
During each admissions cycle, volunteers from the Princeton Club of Greece interview about 50 applicants from Greece, 20 from Armenia and 15 from Albania. 
“For a long time, the club was focused on promoting Princeton’s visibility in Greece and its surrounding countries,” said Mouyer. “But the onset of Greece’s financial crisis has spurred students to look abroad for their education, resulting in a steadily rising number of international applicants to Princeton.”  
Of course, this surge in applications is not exclusive to Greek students; applicants to Princeton have more than doubled over the past 15 years, with the University receiving a record number of 35,370 applicants for the Class of 2022. 
So what do many of the students who are admitted to Princeton have in common? According to Iliadis, “You do not forget their names, and when you interview them, you cannot stop talking to them.” 
Mouyer echoed this observation: “The kids who make it into Princeton are the ones who stick in your mind long after the interview.” 
In addition to recruitment efforts, members of the Princeton Club of Greece meet several times throughout the year to enjoy each other’s company. In the past, these meetings were open to the public and often featured guest speakers; however, the opening of the Princeton Athens Center in 2016 slightly altered the club’s role.   
“[The Princeton Athens Center] has taken the wind from our sails a bit in terms of organizing public events, but it has had another benefit; it has pushed us to have more events that are cozier and familial,” said Phylactopoulos.
members of the Princeton Club of Greece convene in a fireside gathering in one a member's home.
The Princeton Club of Greece convenes a fireside gathering at a member's home.
Some of these meetings are fondly known as “fireside gatherings,” where the group gets together at a member’s home for food, drink and conversation. “We sit there like an ancient Greek symposium and discuss the evening’s topic,” Phylactopoulos joked.
The Princeton Athens Center provides yet another venue for Greek alumni to gather. “We're all proud of the new Center here and of the role it's playing in Athenian intellectual society; the Center has had a plethora of very interesting public gatherings and lectures,” said Phylactopoulos.
Iliadis added, “[Greek alumni] also get to meet current Princeton students, which we weren’t able to do as frequently before. It helps us follow the evolution of the Princeton experience, which is very exciting.”
All three alumni emphasized the key role the Center plays in fostering connections between Princeton students, faculty, alumni and the broader Greek community. And with the Princeton Club of Greece’s proactive recruiting efforts, this lively community will continue to expand. 
“I am proud of the accomplishments of our alumni in Greece,” said Gondicas. “I am grateful for their support of our mission, especially the undergraduate admissions committee — Peter Baiter, Theagenis Illadis and Stratis Mouyer — who have a stellar record in the recruitment of exceptional Greek students for undergraduate studies at Princeton.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

General Assembly Election

Dear Princetonians,

First of all, I would like to share with all of you a story on the Princeton Club of Greece, written by Julie Clack and featured on the new website of the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies:

Also, the time has come for our annual General Assembly, which is a requirement of the Club's By-Laws. According to the By-Laws, there is also an annual requirement for election of officers. 

The General Assembly will take place on Wednesday 21 November 2018 at 7:00 pm but in the absence of a quorum, which is certain, the General Assembly will be held on Wednesday 28 November at 7:00 pm at the premises of DIKEMES, unless we get permission to hold them at the Princeton Athens Center. You will be advised.  So please mark this second date on your calendars.

Alexis Phylactopoulos
Princeton Club of Greece 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Panel Discussion: The World Refugee Crisis: A Long View


Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Ferris Seminars in Journalism
Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies
with the support of The Paul Sarbanes’54 Fund for Hellenism and Public Service

Panel Discussion

“The World Refugee Crisis: A Long View”

Yannis Behrakis, Photojournalist
Deborah Amos, Humanities/Journalism
Rafaela Dancygier, Politics
Joe Stephens, Humanities/Journalism

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall



“The Worldwide Refugee Crisis: 
A Long View With an Emphasis on Greece”

Starting with the most recent refugee crisis in Greece, and continuing with dramatic images of wars in Chechnya, Afghanistan, the first and second Iraqi Gulf wars and many others, this exhibition bears witness to the indomitable spirit of displaced people trying to find better lives for themselves and their families.

Yannis Behrakis is a Greek photojournalist and chief photographer with Reuters. For more than 30 years, Behrakis has been winning awards for his war photography with a focus on the flow of refugees and migrants all over the world. His work on the Greek refugee crisis won him and his team a Pulitzer Prize in 2015. In 2017, Behrakis was appointed senior editor of special projects and ambassador for the Reuters photo department.

Bernstein Gallery, Robertson Hall
Thursday, September 7 through Wednesday, November 1, 2017
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Monday, December 5, 2016

To a Certain Degree Sacredness is in the Eye of the Beholder

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies


To a Certain Degree Sacredness
is in the Eye of the Beholder

Stefania Strouza
 Independent Artist
Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow, Hellenic Studies

Respondent: Spyros Papapetros, Architecture

Stefania Strouza’s artistic practice focuses on aspects of a migrating modernity, seen as an open-ended process that plays a crucial role in the circulation of objects, humans, and collective imaginaries.  More specifically, her project To a Certain Degree Sacredness is in the Eye of the Beholder emphasizes on the eastern Mediterranean region as the merging—or colliding—point of ideological and historical forces between the “West” and the “Orient.”  Its point of departure consists of two journeys that “meet” on the Greek terrain: the journey to Athens by representatives of modernism for the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) in 1933 and the journey of Euripides' Medea in the 1969 film by Pier Paolo Pasolini. These voyages are the “building material” (Baumaterial) for a series of installations that trace back upon these narratives, in an attempt to retrieve their contemporary undertone. This presentation of the project will focus on the relation of arts-based research and fictional accounts as two complementary methodologies of formulating an aesthetic and discursive space. It will ultimately propose the notions of materiality and abstraction as artistic strategies for the engagement with diverse cultural materials and the production of meaning.

Stefania Strouza is an artist and architect based in Vienna and Athens. She is a graduate of Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens (2007) and of the Sculpture Department of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2015). In her practice she examines the relationship between cultural history and fictive events in contemporary aesthetic discourses. She has presented her work in several institutions in Greece and abroad: Bauhaus Foundation Dessau, Germany; Wiener Art Foundation, Austria (solo); Neue Galerie Innsbruck, Austria (solo); Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Greece (solo); BOZAR Brussels, Belgium; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece. In 2016 she was a researcher at the Bauhaus Foundation Dessau and she was recently awarded the Mexico Artist Residency of the Austrian Ministry of Culture.
Friday, December 9, 2016
1:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

Supported by The Christos G. and Rhoda Papaioannou Modern Greek Studies Fund

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Patriots and Internationalists: The Greek Left, the Cyprus Question and Latin America

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies


Patriots and Internationalists: 
The Greek Left, the Cyprus Question
and Latin America
Eugenia Palieraki
University of Cergy-Pontoise 
Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow, Hellenic Studies

Respondent:  Cyrus Schayegh, Near Eastern Studies 

It is no secret that the Cyprus question has profoundly marked modern Greek history and largely determined the way Greek national identity and nation-state were forged. It has also defined ideological identities and acted as a demarcation line dividing the Greek political scene. This talk will focus on the impact of the Cyprus question on the Greek Left during the post-WWII period through a somewhat different perspective. I will not approach the Cyprus question in terms of a nationalist-empowering factor, but rather as an awareness-raising process on decolonization challenges, national liberation struggles and Third-World dynamics, leading the Greek Left to forge ideological and human bonds with geographically and culturally distant regions —in this case, Latin America. The study of Cyprus as a mediator between Greece and Latin America, will allow me to address in the second part of my talk a wider historiographical issue: the relation between transnationalism and nation-state and how the assertion of patriotic values and national sovereignty can be intertwined with the feeling of belonging to a transnational imagined community.

Eugenia Palieraki is a tenured Associate Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Cergy-Pontoise. Her Ph.D. dissertation on 1960’s Latin American History was jointly supervised by the Pantheon-Sorbonne University and the Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC) in Chile. In 2012, she was a visiting scholar at PUC and in 2016, she conducted a seminar at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her current research interests focus on political connections between Latin America and the Mediterranean. She is the author of a series of articles and book chapters on the history of Latin American and European revolutions. Her monograph ¡La revolución ya viene! El MIR chileno en los años 1960 was published in Chile in 2014.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

Supported by The Christos G. and Rhoda Papaioannou Modern Greek Studies Fund

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

‘Chinese’ Clothing and the Changing Qualities of the Greek Social Fabric

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies


‘Chinese’ Clothing and the Changing Qualities of the Greek Social Fabric

Tracey Rosen
Ted and Elaine Athanassiades Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Hellenic Studies

Respondent: Elizabeth Davis, Anthropology

Shortly after Greece’s 2001 accession to the Eurozone, a sudden and sharp influx of Chinese merchants, capital, and commodities entered Greece and swiftly transformed the economic and physical landscape of its urban centers and rural peripheries. Taking this new contact situation between Chinese and Greek merchants and commodities as its subject, this talk draws from my larger work on Sino-Hellenic trade to examine the impact of Chinese commodities and migrants in Greece. In particular, I will be considering the widespread sentiment that these new “Chinese” products are “low quality” to open up a larger discussion on current transformations of value (political, economic, and moral) in Greece. What I refer to as “quality discourse” is a global practice of valuation that orients national desires and forms of social distinction in advanced capitalism. In Greece, quality discourse works to oppose national forms of manufacture, ways of life and social reproduction to what is viewed as a “mushrooming” of Chinese merchants and commodities. With reference to anthropological theories on exchange, I will discuss how mundane moments of petty trade can be taken as an enactment of the erosion of social relations and the general devaluation of the Greek economy and tradition.

Tracey Rosen received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, where she has taught undergraduate and graduate students. With funding from Fulbright-Hays and the Council for European Studies, she has conducted over three years of doctoral field research in Greece, Europe and China. Her dissertation examines the semiotic and practical dimensions of Chinese trade in Greece over the last fifteen years. Her research interests include global capitalism, migration, racial and ethnic formation, semiotics, and critical theory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

Supported by The Christos G. and Rhoda Papaioannou Modern Greek Studies Fund

Monday, November 14, 2016

Marrying in Byzantium: Medieval Christian Liturgies in the Eastern Mediterranean World

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies


Marrying in Byzantium:
Medieval Christian Liturgies in the 
Eastern Mediterranean World

Gabriel Radle 

Mary Seeger O’Boyle Postdoctoral Fellow, Hellenic Studies

Respondent: Emmanuel Bourbouhakis, Classics

Across cultures, marriage is viewed as a key social and religious rite of passage. Yet no major study has been dedicated to the history of nuptials in Byzantium. The primary reason for this lacuna is the simple fact that the majority of liturgical manuscripts containing marriage rites have never been edited and remain scattered in monastic and national libraries around the world. This lecture will explore the evidence offered by these sources and examine the ways in which Christians of the medieval Eastern Mediterranean formed their marriage bonds through various church services and domestic rituals. The talk will compare these manuscripts to other textual sources, as well as extant visual and material evidence, in order to identify both common traits and regional variance in marriage ceremonies from Southern Italy to Palestine. The lecture will also raise a number of methodological questions regarding the historical study of Byzantine and Hellenic ritual culture.

Gabriel Radle specializes in the history of Christian ritual practice in the late ancient and medieval periods. His publications include studies on life cycle rites in the Middle East, monastic liturgy at Mt.  Sinai, medieval Christianity in Southern Italy, Byzantine migration patterns during the Arab conquest, and theories of prayer posture in East and West. He completed his doctorate in 2013 at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. He went on to hold fellowships at Yale University, Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Christianity.

Monday, November 21, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103