GREEK CRISIS: Archaeo-politics and preposterous history

Guest lecture and keynote address by Professor Dimitris Tziovas (University of Birmingham)

History plays a significant role in the way Greeks negotiate the crisis. Many foreign commentators and journalists have used ancient Greek mythology or imagery in order to illustrate the country’s dire economic situation and the predicament of its people. Embodying the past in the present suggests that the experience of the crisis is ‘polytemporal’, involving past instances of suffering and hardship. 

This talk aims to explore how and to what extent Greeks and others read, revisit or revise the country’s past in the light of the crisis. The past is destabilised and at the same time acts as a source of strength. This dialogics of past and present involves the resignification of the past and the recontextualisation of the present.

The talk will explore the ways the crisis has made the past more public, more controversial and more relevant. 

Dimitris Tziovas is a leading literary scholar and a driving force in British and European scholarship on Modern Greece and the role of history in Greek identity politics. His talk will bring us closer to an understanding of the historical background to the Greek crisis and how conceptions of history have changed during the 7 year long recession in Greece.

The lecture is generously funded by the Sophia Scopetéa Fund to promote the study of Modern Greek at the University of Copenhagen.