[MGSA-L] Second "Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly" Lecture (April 7th, 2014)

Katsikas, Stefanos skatsika at illinois.edu
Sat Mar 22 23:07:00 PDT 2014

Dear friends of Modern Greek Studies,

The second annual "Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly" will be held by the program of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois on Monday April 7th, 2014, 6-7.30pm in room 210 (General Lounge), Illini Union, Illini Union, 1401 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801. "Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly" annual lecture series were established in 2012 due to a generous endowment  by the assets of Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly, a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Health Sciences, who began his career at the University of Illinois in 1959.

This year the "Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly" lecturer will be Prof. Gail Holst-Warhaft from Cornell University, whose lecture will be entitled:

"Apologia for 20th Century Modern Greek Music".

The event will be video recorded and be uploaded on our program's website. A description of this year's lecture, a short biographical note of Prof. Holst-Warhaft and an electronic flyer of the event follow.

All the best,

Stephanos Katsikas

2nd Annual "Dr. Arthur G. Nikelly" Lecture: "Apologia for 20th Century Modern Greek Music" by Dr. Gail Holst-Warhaft, Cornell University.

Description: When we think of the achievements of Modern Greece in the 20th century, poetry tends to dominate the discussion, partly because two Greek poets won the Nobel Prize, but I would argue that the combination of music and poetry is Greece’s most enduring contribution to world culture. In this talk I will focus mostly on 20th century popular music, and the marriage of that music with poetry, but I will also argue that this combination has a long tradition in Greece, one that informs the musical achievements of the last century. From the rich tradition of folk song, to the urban rembetika and the “art” songs of Theodorakis and Hadzidakis, song has moved Greeks to dance, to sing, to remember what is most precious and unique in their culture. The quality of sensitivity to the poetic word was not invented out of new cloth by Modern Greek composers, but grew organically from a great tradition. This is what gives me confidence that the best of Greek popular music will take its place beside its poetry as an extraordinary and lasting contribution to contemporary European culture. I will use musical examples to illustrate my talk.

Biographical Info: Gail Holst-Warhaft was born in Australia. In addition to being a poet she has been a journalist, broadcaster, writer, academic, musician, and translator. In the late 1970’s, while conducting research on Greek music, she performed as a keyboard-player with three of Greece’s leading composers, including Mikis Theodorakis. Among her many publications are Road to Rembetika (1975, 4th edition 2006.Translated into Greek, French, Turkish, German and Hebrew), Theodorakis: Myth and Politics in Modern Greek Music (Hakkert, Amsterdam, 1980), Dangerous Voices: Women’s Laments and Greek Literature ( Routledge, 1992), The Cue for Passion: Grief and its Political Uses (Harvard U.P., 2000), I Had Three Lives: Selected Poems of Mikis Theodorakis (2005), Penelope’s Confession (poems, 2007), and Losing Paradise (2010). She has published translations of Aeschylus, and of a number modern Greece’s best-known poets and prose-writers, including Nikos Kavadias, Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Iakovos Kambanellis, and Alki Zei. Her poems and translations of Greek poetry have appeared in many journals in the US (Literary Imagination, Bookpress, Seneca Review, Antipodes, Per Contra, Literary Matters) the U.K. (Agenda, Stand), Australia (Southerly) and Greece (Poetry Greece). Holst-Warhaft was Poetry Editor of the Ithaca-based journal Bookpress, and has read her poetry in Ithaca, New York, San Francisco, New York City, Oxford, and Athens. With John McDermott, she gave the 2010 annual ‘Poets in the Garden’ annual reading at Mcculloch Hall in Morristown, New Jersey. She won the Poetry Greece Award in 2001 for her poem Three Landscapes, and the Van der Bovenkamp award from Columbia University’s Translation Center for her translations of the collected poems of Nikos Kavadias. Penelope’s Confession, her first collection of poems, was published in New Jersey and Athens. Holst-Warhaft has been Poet Laureate of Tompkins County since 2011. She is a member of PEN USA, and on the Council of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. In 2011 and 2012 she has been featured twice on Off the Page (WSKG) and on Out of Bounds. Holst-Warhaft directs a program in Mediterranean Studies at Cornell University, and is in the Graduate Field of Music at Cornell.


Stephanos Katsikas MA, PhD (London) | Director of Modern Greek Studies & Language Coordinator of Modern Greek | SLCL | 707 S. Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL 61801, USA | Tel. +1 (217) 300 7188 | Fax. +1 (217) 244-8430 | http://www.linguistics.illinois.edu/people/skatsika
Modern Greek Studies Program Social Media:  http://www.moderngreek.illinois.edu/ | Facebook:
Check out my books:
Negotiating Diplomacy in the New Europe: Foreign Policy in Post-communist Bulgaria (2011, Scouloudi Publication Award, Institute of Historical Research, University of London):

Bulgaria and Europe: Shifting Identities (ed.), (2010): http://www.anthempress.com/bulgaria-and-europe-hb

State Nationalisms in the Ottoman Empire, Greece and Turkey: Orthodox and Muslims, 1830-1945 (co-editor) (2012):  http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415690560/

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