ACG 150


Upholding Rights and Dignity in the Fabric of Democracy

The Demos Center celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with its inaugural Focus: Human Rights program. The event, “Human Rights and Dignity: Creating a Climate for Vibrant Democracy,” moderated by Dr. Mary Cardaras, featured speakers Ms. Leda-Panagiota Alepi and Dr. Matilda Chatzipanagiotou, emphasizing inclusivity and respect for all. Alepi stressed active listening and awareness of rights, while Chatzipanagiotou urged engagement with legal texts for human rights protection. Attendees, including students from the Education Unites Scholarship Program for Refugees, discussed ongoing challenges and opportunities in human rights. The series will continue to address these issues, fostering dialogue and progress in safeguarding human rights in our evolving societies.

ACG Digital Humanities Bootcamp

From September 4-7, ACG hosted its inaugural Digital Humanities Bootcamp with 40 participants. Distinguished academics including Mairin MacCarron, Kalliopi Zervanou, Thomas Smits, and Ignacio Aguiló led masterclasses on network science, text mining, metadata standards, ontologies, multimodal machine learning, and decolonization in digital humanities. Opening remarks were given by ACG’s Panos Vlachopoulos, Helena Maragou, and Eirini Karamouzi. The event was co-organized by the IHCLA and the COEFTL, funded by Research England.

Unveiling Mediterranean Identity: Branding, Tourism, Transport (1945-1990)

The “Branding Mediterranean Europe” Conference in June 2023 in Rethymno, Crete, united experts and researchers to explore how tourism shaped the region’s identity from 1945-1990. Co-organized by the University of Sheffield, ACG’s CoEFTL, and the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, the conference offered interdisciplinary insights. Dr. Eirini Karamouzi presented on Olympic Airways’ role in regional identity, while Dr. Maria Psimouli and Dr. Stella Kladou discussed brand consistency and identity. Supported by Research England, the conference facilitated rich discussions, advancing our understanding of branding and identity in Mediterranean Europe.

27th Kimon Friar Lecture

ACG hosted the 27th Kimon Friar Lecture featuring classical scholar and linguist Gonda Van Steen on April 25 at the ACG Events Hall. Van Steen’s presentation, “Child Adoption: Greek Myth, Literature, and Reality,” drew a packed audience from both ACG and the local community. As the first woman to hold the position of Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language, and Literature at King’s College London, Van Steen has a distinguished academic background. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the ACG IHCLA. Katerina Thomas, Dean of the Frances Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts, opened the event, and Dr. Mary Cardaras, Director of the Demos Center, introduced Van Steen. Cardaras, a Greek-born adoptee advocating for the restoration of Greek citizenship for thousands of Greek children affected by the Cold War, praised Van Steen as the “adoptee whisperer” and a “treasure and gift to Greece.”


The Christianization of Urban Space in Late Antiquity: The case of Philippopolis

A guest lecture by Ivo Topalilov

Associate Professor, Head of the Centre of Thracology, Institute for Balkan Studies Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

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Child Adoption: Greek Myth, Literature and Reality

Classical scholar and linguist Gonda Van Steen captivated a packed audience at the 27th Kimon Friar Lecture with her presentation titled “Child Adoption: Greek Myth, Literature and Reality.” Drawing from her extensive academic background and groundbreaking research, Van Steen delved into the intersection of ancient Greek literature, modern adoption studies, and real-life experiences to shed light on the complex topic of child adoption. Her discussion ranged from exploring ancient Greek tragedies like Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus to examining contemporary adoption networks that placed thousands of Greek children in the United States post-World War II. Emphasizing the importance of adoptees’ access to their identity records and their desire to reconnect with their Greek heritage, Van Steen’s lecture underscored the enduring relevance of adoption as a theme in both ancient and modern societies.

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Hellenic Studies Seminar

Greece in the Metapolitefsi: Political Democratization and Economic Globalization

The IHLCA recently welcomed Kostas Kostis, Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Athens and Director of the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (MIET), as a distinguished guest speaker at our Hellenic Studies Seminar on March 19, 2024. This seminar marked the fifty-year anniversary of the Greek Metapolitefsi, a pivotal period following the fall of the 1967-1974 military dictatorship, prompting deep reflection on its political, economic, and social ramifications. Professor Kostis’ enlightening discourse, titled “Metapolitefsi: Greece in the Era of Globalization,” delved into the nuances of Greece’s post-1974 journey, shedding light on the intersections of political democratization and economic globalization. However, he also sounded a cautionary note, highlighting the contemporary challenges of democratic capitalism and the emergence of authoritarian tendencies amidst global inequality. The seminar, attended by engaged faculty and students, ignited vibrant discussions and underscored the importance of comprehensively examining Greece’s Metapolitefsi era in light of modern global complexities.

Odysseus through the Looking Glass: On Knowing One’s Self in Homer

On February 26, 2024, Tobias Myers, Associate Professor of Classics at Deree – The American College of Greece, presented the inaugural lecture of the Hellenic Studies Seminar Series entitled “Odysseus through the Looking Glass: On Knowing One’s Self in Homer.” Professor Myers, author of Homer’s Dive Audience: The Iliad’s Reception on Mount Olympus (OUP, 2019), spoke about ideas of the self and self-knowledge in Homer’s Odyssey as seen through Odysseus’ own retelling of his harrowing journey home to the Phaeacians. Organized by the Institute for Hellenic Culture and the Liberal Arts, attendees, which included Hellenic Studies faculty, fellows, students as well as guests from outside the college, participated in a lively discussion following the lecture and enjoyed refreshments and snacks in the Deree Faculty Lounge.


Treaty of Lausane

The General Secretariat for Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Education, Religion, and Sports, in collaboration with the Holy Metropolis of Messinia, alongside the Armenian Genocide Research Program at the University of California, USA, and the Chair of Pontic Studies at the Department of History and Archaeology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with support from the Program of Modern Greek Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and The American College of Greece, organized a conference titled “One Hundred Years from the Treaty of Lausanne: Its Impact on the Contemporary Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond.” The conference took place from December 7th to 9th, 2023, in Kalamata and explored the enduring implications of the Treaty of Lausanne on the present-day Eastern Mediterranean region and its broader ramifications.

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Unveiling the Tapestry

The international Conference “Branding Mediterranean Europe: Tourism, Transport, and National Identity, 1945-1990,” held in June 2023 in Rethymno, Crete, emerged as a pivotal gathering uniting experts and researchers from diverse disciplines to delve into the profound impact of tourism on the cultural identity of Mediterranean Europe during the specified era. Co-organized by the University of Sheffield, the ACG Center of Excellence in Food, Tourism and Leisure (CoEFTL), and the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, the conference offered a multidimensional exploration of the subject matter, enriched by contributions from various academic perspectives. Dr. Eirini Karamouzi of the University of Sheffield and Deree, along with Dr. Maria Psimouli of Deree and Dr. Stella Kladou of the Hellenic Mediterranean University, delivered notable presentations, delving into facets of branding and identity. Their insights, alongside those of other esteemed speakers, fueled enlightening discussions, amplifying our comprehension of the intricate relationship between tourism, transport, national identity, and branding strategies in the Mediterranean region post-World War II.

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Digital Humanities Bootcamp

The American College of Greece (ACG) took a significant step forward in the realm of digital humanities with its inaugural Digital Humanities Bootcamp, held from September 4-7, 2023. Attended by 40 enthusiastic scholars, the event boasted a distinguished lineup of academics leading masterclasses and seminars. Scholars such as Mairin MacCarron of University College Cork, Kalliopi Zervanou from Leiden University, Thomas Smits of the University of Antwerp, and Ignacio Aguiló from the University of Manchester, offered a comprehensive training program covering topics such as network science, text mining, metadata standards and ontologies, as well as multimodal machine learning and decolonization in digital humanities. The bootcamp, organized in collaboration with the ACG Institute for Hellenic Culture and the Liberal Arts (IHCLA) and the ACG Center of Excellence in Food, Tourism, and Leisure (CoEFTL), and funded by Research England, aimed to expand the scope of digital humanities research. During the opening remarks, ACG representatives stressed the importance of this initiative in advancing digital humanities scholarship. Throughout the bootcamp, speakers addressed the multifaceted nature of digital humanities, emphasizing the intersection between technology and humanistic inquiry. Discussions ranged from the challenges of digitization and text analysis to the complexities of decolonizing digital research methods. Participants engaged in lively discussions and gained practical experience with tools and techniques, ultimately deepening their understanding of digital research methodologies and their potential to enrich scholarly inquiry and public engagement.

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