The Greek Idea: The Formation of National and Transnational Identities

Overview

Greece today finds itself caught on a turbulent edge of Europe, yet both high culture and popular myth have long placed Greece as a locus of Western civilization, reinforced by English travellers' 'discovery' of Greece in the late-eighteenth century and the impact this had on English Literature. Opening up fresh avenues of discourse, Maria Koundoura maps what this dual representation signifies for Greeks, both national and diasporic. In doing so, she touches on twentieth century diaspora cultures from Europe to ...

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Overview

Greece today finds itself caught on a turbulent edge of Europe, yet both high culture and popular myth have long placed Greece as a locus of Western civilization, reinforced by English travellers' 'discovery' of Greece in the late-eighteenth century and the impact this had on English Literature. Opening up fresh avenues of discourse, Maria Koundoura maps what this dual representation signifies for Greeks, both national and diasporic. In doing so, she touches on twentieth century diaspora cultures from Europe to the United States, offering a new critical paradigm from which to explore national and transnational identities. Koundoura deftly draws upon postcolonial theory to address and analyse the cultural material that has produced Greece's representation as both "European" and "other." This is a fascinating contribution to the growing area of transnational culture studies, as well as a valuable resource for scholars of Postcolonialism, Modern Greek, Diaspora studies, multicultural studies and Balkan studies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"By putting Greece and its historical and diasporic transformations into the frame of recent concerns over identity formation within postmodernity and postcolonialism, Koundoura has introduced a fascinating set of problems that will engage and inform critics working across a number of debates and disciplines – historiography, political theory, feminism, colonial discourse studies, media and cultural studies." - Gerald MacLean, Professor of English, Exeter University

"Professor Koundoura's book promises to transform the literature on transnational cultural studies, colonialism, postcolonial theory and on multicultural pedagogy and curriculum initiatives... Koundoura is one of the most rigorous, acute and original voices speaking in the fields of colonial and postcolonial literary studies.... [her] work is absolutely essential for understanding the difficult questions that have emerged in global colonial and postcolonial studies...[Koundoura's] work should prove instrumental in transforming multicultural studies in the US, Balkan studies, Eighteenth century and Victorian British and colonial and neo-colonial Greek and Australian studies." - Geeta Patel, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, Wellesley College

"[The Greek Idea] converses directly and indirectly with pioneers of interdisciplinary research…A splendid student of Gayatri Spivak, a critical reader of Edward Said,…Koundoura brings Greek scholarship into a productive dialogue with post-colonial and diaspora studies, testing some of their fundamental assumptions with the case of modern Hellenism. Readers of her rich study will fill its margins with their own literary and historical examples, thus taking up her challenge to rethink the Greek Idea." - Vassilis Lambropoulos, Professor of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan

"The most relevant point of this rich and conceptually charged book is the signi?cant role played by memory in the formulation of identity poles beyond the national." - Ilona Dénes, Central European University

"[Koundoura] writes with sensitivity about the complexities of being 'Greek' (and/or seen as such) in a multicultural and continuously changing setting." - Dimitris Livanios, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848859722
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/19/2012
  • Series: International Library of Political Studies Series, #22
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Maria Koundoura is Associate Professor of Literature at Emerson College, Boston and holds a PhD from the English Department of Stanford University. She is the author of articles on modernity, globalization, and transnational culture in various area studies (English, Modern Greek, Postcolonial Studies), and is also Editor of The Journal of Modern Greek Studies. Her most recent book is Transnational Culture, Transnational Identity: The Politics and Ethics of Global Cultural Exchange (I.B.Tauris, 2012).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
• Introduction
• Re-occupying the site of the Modern
• Mapping the Real (in) Greece
• Producing the Nation’s Narrative
• Negotiating Identity in a Transnational World

Conclusion
• Notes
• Bibliography
• Index

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