[MGSA-L] Conference announcement and Call for papers

Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis aipd at st-andrews.ac.uk
Mon Aug 3 13:14:37 PDT 2020

Travel and Archaeology in Ottoman Greece in the Age of Revolution c.1800–1832

Conference at the British School at Athens 17–18 May 2021; also with online participation
Funded by The British Academy

Organised by Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis, University of St Andrews

The bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence of 1821 offers a timely opportunity for a re-evaluation of travel and archaeology in the age of revolution. The conference foregrounds diversity and small-scale engagements with the landscape and material past of Ottoman Greece at a time of political tension and explosive violence. The conference will explore the perspectives of both foreign travellers and local inhabitants in order to tease out diverse voices, keeping a sharp focus on the effects of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, social status and disability. We are particularly keen to include perspectives from and about people of colour.

Within this inclusive intellectual framework we will pose a series of questions to analyse the mediating role of the Greek landscape and its antiquities between travellers and local inhabitants in all their diversity. How did major intellectual and cultural developments of the late eighteenth century, ranging from revolutionary politics in France and America to scientific and museological developments, intersect with actual encounters ‘on the ground’ in Ottoman Greece, specifically with the landscape, local inhabitants and small-scale objects and antiquities? How did the ethnic, cultural and religious identities of Ottoman communities (Greek, Turkish, Albanian, Jewish) affect local perceptions of contemporary travel and the classical material past? How did status (including slave status), gender, sexuality and disability shape encounters with the Greek landscape and its antiquities, not least with idealising white sculptured male bodies? How did archaeological-focused travel, with its emerging sophisticated discourses, intertwine with travel undertaken for scientific, military and Romantic aims?

In this way the conference will give prominence to hitherto marginalised perspectives drawing on recent work to decolonise Ancient Mediterranean Studies, including sensory approaches to access silenced voices, and will develop a micro-cultural history of Ottoman Greece in this tumultuous period. The intention is to submit the papers for publication in the British School at Athens - Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies Series.

Confirmed speakers: Mélissa Bernier (École normale supérieure, Paris), Elisabeth Fraser (University of South Florida), Constanze Guthenke (University of Oxford), Jason König (University of St Andrews), Charalambos Minaoglou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Stephen Minta (University of York), Emily Neumeier (Temple University, The Tyler School of Art and Architecture), Estelle Strazdins (University of Queensland), Alessia Zambon (Université Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris).

Please send proposals (c.200 words) for 30 minute papers to Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (aipd at st-andrews.ac.uk<mailto:aipd at st-andrews.ac.uk>) by 14 September 2020.

Suggested themes for conference papers:

  *   The multifaceted landscape as a stage for violent military activity, and as a repository of the classical past; analysed through figures who were both fighters in the war of independence and active in archaeology, especially Kyriakos Pittakys, George Finlay

  *   Digging and removing antiquities from the ground, especially small-scale objects; in particular the collaboration between foreigners and local inhabitants ranging from Ottoman elites to labourers to e.g. activities of Lord Aberdeen, Edward Dodwell, Otto von Stackelberg, Charles Cockerell, Lord Elgin; Ali Pasha, Veli Pasha

  *   The consumption of small-scale antiquities, including gift exchange, the emerging antiquities market, local collections and their display e.g. Athanasios Psalidas

  *   Variety of engagements with the classical material past through different types of objects e.g. sculpture, ceramics, buildings, manuscripts, coins

  *   The material culture of Ottoman Greece and the accommodation / display of antiquities within this

  *   Encounters between travellers and rulers, particularly in relation to antiquities, bringing out perspectives from both sides e.g. Ali Pasha, Veli Pasha, local governors in the Morea

  *   Traversing the land through the lens of classical texts and contemporary visual culture e.g. landscapes with ruins, scenes of myth, Orientalist painting

  *   Recording the landscape in a variety of media including literature (effects of genre e.g. travel literature, private diaries), landscape painting and maps

  *   Excavating the land to discover indigenous vegetal and mineral features, including Natural History publications e.g. the French Scientific Expedition in the Morea

  *   Philanthropic, religious or agricultural initiatives across the landscape e.g. Edward Noel

  *   Embodied travel, including family travel and disabled travellers e.g. Lord Byron


Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis
Lecturer in Classics
School of Classics

Swallowgate, Butts Wynd,
St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL
Fife, Scotland

Office: Craigard 31
Tel: +44 (0)1334 462609



The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland: No SC013532

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