[MGSA-L] Upcoming events at Yale

Syrimis, George george.syrimis at yale.edu
Thu Jan 26 12:37:30 PST 2012

Dear MGSAers,

Please find below the upcoming events of the Hellenic Studies Program at Yale University for the Spring term. This semester we continue our series of events on Orthodox Christianity with two talks, co-sponsor two talks on the Ottoman empire and a rich conference on Byzantine legacies in the 20th century, and at the end of April conclude with a concert based on the poetry of C. P. Cavafy. Please join us for as many events are you like.

We are also on Facebook where you can see both our past and future events, including information on grants and fellowships related to Hellenic studies.

All the best,
George Syrimis

Monday, February 6, 5:00 PM
Luce Hall 102, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

Fr. Stefanos Alexopoulos
Yale Institute for Sacred Music

"The Greek Orthodox Church in Context: History, Structure and Function"

Rev. Stefanos Alexopoulos received a B.A. in Religious Studies from Hellenic College in Brookline, MA, and his M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, also in Brookline. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology (Liturgical History) from the University of Notre Dame, where his main area of concentration was Liturgical Studies, with minors in Byzantine Art and Patristics. He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and the Society of Oriental Liturgy of which he is the secretary. Since September of 2009 he contributes to the “New Catalogue of Byzantine Manuscripts” project of the Protestant Theological University, Kampen, Holland as an expert/consultant on issues of Byzantine liturgical history. He also serves as a parish priest (parish of St. George, Halandri, Archdiocese of Athens, Church of Greece).


Wednesday, February 8, 4:30 PM
Hall of Graduate Studies 211, 320 York Street

Cemal Kafadar
Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Harvard University

“How Dark is the History of the Night, How Black the Story of Coffee, How Bitter the Tale of Love: The Changing Measure of Leisure and Pleasure in Early Modern Istanbul”

Co-sponsored with the Çağatay Fund at the Council on Middle East Studies, The MacMillan Center.


Tuesday, February 21, 5:00 PM
Luce Hall 203, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

Bert Groen
Yale Divinity School

"Religion in Present-Day Greece: Facts and Challenges"

Dr. Groen, chair of liturgical studies and sacramental theology and the director of the Institute of Liturgy, Christian Art, and Hymnology at the University of Graz, is a scholar of liturgical and ritual studies, who focuses on the role of language (both verbal and nonverbal) in the various Eastern and Western liturgical traditions, past and present. His research project on Adequate Liturgical Language and Vernacular Tongues will examine the tension between the language used in worship and the actual vernacular tongue, an issue having to do with cultural and religious identity, questions of unity and uniformity of ecclesiastical worship, and with the intelligibility of liturgical rites.


Wednesday, February 29, 5:00 PM
Luce Hall 102, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

Merih Erol
Hanna Seeger Davis Fellow, Hellenic Studies, Princeton University

“The Formation of the ‘Ethical Self’ in the Greek Orthodox Populations of the Ottoman Empire and Greece in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries”

Thursday, April 19, 7:00 PM
Venue TBA

Charles Barber
Chair of the Department of Art, Art History and Design at Notre Dame University

Title to be announced: the talk will focus on the logic of the painting tradition of Byzantium.

Co-sponsored with the Medieval-Renaissance Forum


April 20-22
History of Art Department, Loria 250

Conference: “Byzantium/Modernism: Art Cultural Heritage and the Avant-Gardes”

The Byzantine Empire cultivated a thriving community of theologians and philosophers that debated the ontological, phenomenological, and broader epistemic foundations of the image, upon which the Empire and the Church grounded their physical and metaphysical rule.  Since the nineteenth century, artists, critics, and scholars have utilized the Byzantine as a manner of articulating the development of modernity and its image-world.  For example, in 1958, Clement Greenberg famously remarked on the formal homologies between Byzantine art and contemporary abstraction.  Before him, Roger Fry coined the term "Proto-Byzantines" to describe the Post-Impressionists, and Alfred Barr described Byzantine art and its iconic heritage as fundamental to modern art.  The connection between Byzantium and modernity, however, is usually relegated to passing references or mere formal parallels, lacking a sustained consideration and archaeology of its conceptual grounding.

What does modern art have to gain from Byzantium?  How can Byzantine philosophy enrich our understanding of the modern and contemporary image? The goal of this conference is twofold: First, to investigate the prolific interest in Byzantine art at the turn of the century and its effects on the historical Avant-Gardes in art, architecture, and visual culture to the present; second, to articulate how Byzantine art and image philosophy can contribute to modern and contemporary visual culture. The intention is to produce an intellectual history of art from the nineteenth century to the present that uses Byzantium/Modernism as a paradigmatic fissure for the co-identification of said terms.

The conference is organized by Roland Betacourt and Maria Taroutina.

Keynote speakers are Marie-Jose Mondzain, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Robert Nelson, Robert Lehman Professor, History of Art, Medieval Art and Architecture at Yale.

For full program and registration please visit:


Sponsored by the Beinecke Library, Dean’s Fund, European Studies Council with funds from a Title VI US Department of Education Grant, Hellenic Studies, History Department, History of Art Department, Office of the Provost, Office of the Secretary, Yale Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the Modern Greek Studies Association.


Friday, April 27, 7:00 PM
Whitney Humanities Center, Room 208, 53 Wall Street

C.P. Cavafy and Music:  An Evening of Songs and Reflections

  *   Alexandra Gravas, mezzo soprano; concert performer, opera singer, recording artist, Vienna
  *   Dr. Pantelis Polychronidis, pianist; Adjunct Professor, Music Program,  Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Vienna; Visiting Scholar, Modern Greek Program, University of Michigan
  *   Dr. Vassilis Lambropoulos, speaker;  C.P. Cavafy Professor of Modern Greek,  Classical Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan.

The performance is a program of poetry & music that incorporates a scholarly approach.  It reflects on the contemporary art song (lied) by focusing on poems by Cavafy set to music by several composers from the 1920s to the present.  The program raises two intertwined questions:
What happens to poetry when it is set to music?
What happens to song when it is based on poetry?
These are questions that have been of great interest to scholars and students specializing in fields such as Literature, Aesthetics, Translation, Voice, Piano, Performance, Composition, Musicology as well as the relations among the arts.

The program brings together the two most popular areas of modern Greek culture, music and poetry, and focuses on the internationally best known Greek author.  It consists of Cavafy songs by Greek, American, German, and British composers, such as Mitropoulos, Hadjidakis, Theodorakis, Papademetriou, Henze, Brown, Rorem, Bolcom, and Gompper.  Although Cavafy's poems notoriously resist being set to music, large numbers of composers have found the challenge irresistible.  This program examines the challenges presented by the poetry and the diverse musical idioms that have been used to turn it into art song.

Gravas and Polychronidis have extensive experience in the musical interpretation of poetry in general (and not just Greek poetry).  They have performed lieder by a wide range of classical and modern composers in countries such as the U.S., England, Germany, Slovakia, Austria, and Israel.

The event is free and open to the public.

The event is generously co-funded by the Onassis Foundation (USA).

For more information about the Program's activities visit our website at http://www.yale.edu/macmillan/hsp . Please also visit our “Community Events” section for local activities. You can also find us on Facebook. Search for “Hellenic Studies Program, Yale University”

The activities of the Hellenic Studies Program are generously funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Hellenic Studies at Yale University.

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