[MGSA-L] the question of Cyprus

Despina Margomenou margomen at umich.edu
Sun Mar 31 09:34:53 PDT 2013

Dear George Syrimis,
It seems to me that you and Vassilis Lambropoulos in fact agree. If I may, you also noted in one of your earliest responses, how your immediate inclination was to turn to your facebook ( and I could add twitter) feeds and not this list after the Cypriot crisis. That is where one gets anecdotal stories, instant opinion pieces,or raw reactions to dramatic events these days. Both of you, it seems to me, agree that what appears here could be more thoughtful and rigorous than a status update. There are people who perhaps do not engage with new social media or refuse to do so. Nevertheless, such new media are currently very popular and inevitably impact other, older, social media forms; this list is an example. Perhaps it is time for an MGSA facebook page for those who want the immediate, raw reaction. 
In the history of this list we've read thoughtful and less thoughtful pieces. I disagree that academic research takes years to be publicized. Many scholars actively involved in researching aspects of the crisis (not just Greek and Cypriot; these are also global phenomena after all) make an effort to maintain an open communication in the public sphere; some of them belong to this list. Their opinions and thoughts can be found in blogs, newspaper articles, online forums, etc. No need to misrepresent their efforts. 
I do not see the reasons for a conflict over this matter; I do not even think there is a conflict. If you wrote something for a journal, newspaper, blog, online forum, etc. post it here. If you read something someone else wrote and you think it is worth sharing, it post it too. Is this not what the list was/is for? 
My two cents
Despina Margomenou

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 31, 2013, at 11:10 AM, "Syrimis, George" <george.syrimis at yale.edu> wrote:

> Dear Vassili,
> It is unfortunate than in addressing the silence on the current Cyprus
> crisis your comments resort to technicalities about the use and purpose of
> the list that essentially preempt discussion of the crisis. I assume that
> your comments were not suggesting that Cyprus is not within the scope of
> the "field" or
> that it does not merit academic "study" so I will not comment on those
> issues.
> I am, however, perturbed by the presumption that the discussion would not
> be academic. There are a number of theoretical angles through which one
> could address what has happened in Cyprus, including a Gramscian critique
> of the way the Troika--Germany in particular-- is exercising its hegemony
> in European economic policy, the adoption of neoliberal banking practices,
> the state of Greco-Cypriot relations, geostrategic and energy politics,
> the political culture in Cyprus and non-violent public response after the
> final bailout/in, Orientalist responses in the international press and
> Germanophobia in local media, and many
> others. Why can't these questions be covered under "scholarly inquiries
> and Š info on research matters"? Is there a meaningful ³field² outside
> these topics and their discussion?
> What is most puzzling however is the limited, almost prohibitive,
> assumption of what constitutes "academic" discourse. I beg to differ that
> we must limit ourselves to the announcement of events, bibliographies, and
> other Œclinical¹ bulletin-board postings, which must be the minimum of
> what a list such as ours should be doing and not its limit. Surely we
> cannot wait until books and articles are published on what transpired last
> month in order to begin discussion. In addition, academic research and
> scholarship originates and germinates in many and varied ways and fora,
> and one such fertile ground should be lists such as that of the MGSA.
> Academic writing takes many forms from books and articles to reviews,
> opinions, and journalistic contributions that bridge the lamentable gap
> between academia and public discourse. Many members of this list, and of
> the field in general, publish such commentaries, and well they should.
> They make the field and its scholarship richer and should be encouraged,
> not stifled. And you, perhaps more than anyone else in the field, to your
> credit have been in the past a fervent proponent of such agonistic
> engagement.
> At times of severe crisis such as what Greece went and is still going
> through, and Cyprus is now experiencing, anecdotal accounts are of primary
> importance especially for scholars who are not in Cyprus. Anecdotal
> evidence is only that until it is published, scrutinized, evaluated and
> analyzed so that it can form the basis of future and legitimate
> scholarship. We cannot wait for scholarship to emerge ex nihilo. For
> starters, we should be vigilant of how the Greek, Cypriot, and
> international press are covering the Cypriot crisis on a daily basis. I
> honestly do not see how this demeans our academic standards. One of
> the complaints of Cypriots is that their case was treated as an
> 'exception' that required 'exceptional measures.' Surely the MGSA is not
> going to 'regulate' debate just now because of some debatable and vague
> rules regarding the list's content. There have been numerous discussions
> on the list from the Macedonian question, to the rise of Golden Dawn, and
> the prospects of Syriza, postings that were for the most part political
> rather than academic. Why weren't such standards invoked a few years ago
> when Greece was facing similar pressures? Why and how did that discussion
> strictly serve "the field of Modern Greek Studies
> precisely as a field" and if it did not why did not anyone raise the
> issue? Does the possessive "ourŠlist" not include everyone?
> George Syrimis
> On 3/28/13 3:35 PM, "Vassilios Lambropoulos" <vlambrop at umich.edu> wrote:
>> Regarding the absence of a discussion of Cyprus from the list
>> it may be worth reminding ourselves that this is the list
>> of the Modern Greek Studies Association.
>> It is a wonderful and unique list reserved for matters of Modern Greek
>> *Studies,*
>> that is, matters of Modern Greek as a *field:*
>> announcements of scholarly events and course offerings, of conferences
>> and new publications.
>> We circulate bibliographic or filmic inquiries, scholarly inquiries and
>> in general share info on research matters.
>> The list is meant to facilitate research and advance the field
>> *academically.*
>> Most of the time we do not discuss issues, and I for one am very grateful
>> for that.
>> There are many fora for those interested in Greek issues of all kind, and
>> they do a great job.
>> Ours is the only list that strictly serves the field of Modern Greek
>> Studies precisely as a field.
>> Vassilis Lambropoulos 
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