[MGSA-L] Modern Greek Seminar: Monday, March 24th, 6:15 p.m., Hamilton 607: Kostis Karpozilos & Despina Lalaki on anti-Americanism, Americanism, and the Greek Left

Evangelos Calotychos ec2268 at columbia.edu
Wed Mar 19 06:07:08 PDT 2014


> The Modern Greek Seminar
> at the University Seminars Program
> 
> & The Program in Hellenic Studies,
> 
> Columbia University
> 
> invite you to
> 
>  
> a seminar and discussion about Americanism, anti-Americanism and the Greek Left
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>  
> 
> with
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> KOSTIS KARPOZILOS
> 
>  (Stavros Niarchos Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, Blinken European Institute, Columbia University)
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>  
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> “Communists Carrying the American Flag:
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> Americanism, Anti-Americanism and the Greek Left (1944-1949)”
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>  
> 
> &
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> DESPINA LALAKI
> 
> (Senior Lecturer in Modern Greek, A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies, NYU)
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>  
> “American Espionage and Philanthropy: Perspectives from the Greek Left"
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>  
> On Monday, March 24th
> 
> At 6:15 p.m., Hamilton Hall 607
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>  
> 
> ABSTRACTS
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>  
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> KOSTIS KARPOZILOS
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>  “Communists Carrying the American Flag: Americanism, Anti-Americanism and the Greek Left (1944-1949)”
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>  
> Readings of Greek anti-Americanism have often portrayed the phenomenon as synonymous with the Greek Left, presenting a linear narrative that connects the Greek Civil War to the anti-imperialist politics of the junta and post-junta years. This paper challenges this picture by focusing on the transformations of Americanism and anti-Americanism during the 1940s, the period regarded as the founding moment of Greek anti-Americanism. More particularly, it demonstrates the appeal of United States foreign policy and the New Deal among the Greek Left and the aspirations for a United States intervention in favor of the National Liberation Front (EAM). Therefore, the impetus of anti-Americanism among the Greek Left cannot be disassociated from the parallel transformations of Americanism in the United States that led to the Truman Doctrine and the overall postwar reevaluation of the New Deal era. I argue that the existing parallels between the reformative New Deal policies and the modernizing agenda of the Greek National Liberation Front (EAM) suggest the impact of Americanism as the equivalent of a new social contract. Moreover, the ties between the Greek and Greek-American left and liberal circles -as in the cases of Basil Vlavianos, Connie Poulos and Kostas Kouvaras- indicate that ideological parallels had an organizational dimension as well. In this context, this paper proposes a comparative, transnational study of the multiple relations between Americanism and anti-Americanism that move beyond preconceived certainties on the relation of the Left to the image of America.
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> DESPINA LALAKI
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>  
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> American Espionage and Philanthropy: Perspectives from the Greek Left
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>  
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> Two years before the CIA-instigated Junta in Greece fell, artists and intellectuals such as Pantelis Voulgaris, Karolos Koun, Miltos Sachtouris, Odysseas Elytis and Theodoros Angelopoulos – the forefront of the Greek avant-garde, grantees of the Ford Foundation and often critics of American imperialism – became embroiled in a public debate about the relationship of the Greek Left with the American centers of power due to revelations in the media about the Foundation’s work in Greece. Without a doubt this was not the first time that the Greek Left faced such a predicament. The close collaboration, for instance, between the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) the predecessor of the CIA and the National Liberation Front (EAM) during the war developed against a background of cautious optimism, calculated trust and high aspirations. Capitalizing on these two cases, and while taking into consideration the historical particularities in place, I employ a micro-sociological approach to examine individuals’ motivations and actions and to the complex networks and associations set in motion by the OSS and the Ford Foundation. I argue that such an approach may reveal additional aspects in a story that hitherto has been largely framed by discussions on Leftist anti-Americanism.
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> BIOS:
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> Kostis Karpozilos is a postdoctoral fellow at Blinken European Institute, Columbia University (Stavros Niarchos Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program).  He is currently working on ex-communists and the Cold War, thus exploring the transformation of radicals over time and the interplay between history and revolution. He has earned a degree in Modern Greek Literature at the University of Thessaloniki (2002), completed an M.A. in Historical Research at the University of Sheffield (2003), and a Ph.D. in History at the University of Crete (2010). His research on ethnic radicalism and the American Left provided the material for the historical documentary “Greek-American Radicals - the untold story”, while his first book (Benaki Museum, 2013) concerned the leading Greek socialist intellectual Stavros Kallergis and the quest of 19th century socialism for an utopian future. He has taught at Columbia University, at the Euro-American Sciences Po Campus in Reims and at the University of the Peloponnese, Department of Philology as an adjunct lecturer. 
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> Despina Lalaki is a Senior Lecturer at the A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies at New York University, and in the past has taught at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. She studied archaeology and history of art at the University of Athens and history and theory of art at Binghamton University. From the New School for Social Research she received her PhD in sociology. Her doctoral dissertation, titled Digging for Democracy in Greece: Intra-Civilizational Processes During the American Century, examines the cultural relationships between the USA and Greece during the 20th century, particularly focusing on archaeology and its role in the symbolic constitution of democracy in Greece. Her articles have been published in scholarly journals and newspapers and she is currently working on editing a group volume entitled The Greek Culture in Crisis and the Culture of Crisis in Greece: Exploring Ambiguities and the Political in Representation.
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