Decoloniality, Inclusivity and the Greek Past

Research colloquium 
31 May 
Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum, Athens

In recent years there have been serious calls to decolonize the Greek past and render it more inclusive. Scholars from different disciplines have argued that current historical narratives, museum displays and archaeological sites promote a selective view of the past, which does not account for – or even silences – the multiplicity of voices, social groups and histories associated with them. However, what exactly ‘colonial’ means in a Greek context remains debatable. How can we apply approaches developed for areas with strong a colonial past to a country which has not been a colony historically? What adjustments are necessary in theory, terminology and practice? We plan to revisit these questions and explore the voices and social groups that are often excluded from discussions about the Greek past, and to reflect on how they can be included in narratives and practices which relate to it.

The meeting is organized by Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, and aims to (a) discuss the meaning of decoloniality and inclusivity in a Greek context, and (b) explore how we can apply post-colonial approaches to archaeology and heritage management. We further the growing debate by asking how decoloniality can generate a methodology for the inclusion of those who have long been excluded from presentations and perceptions of the Greek past and Greek identity (or identities) because of colonial or racist ideologies. The project involves scholars from different disciplines (archaeology, anthropology, history, philology), careers (academia, museums, community outreach), and countries.

Nikolas Papadimitriou, Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum
Antonis Kotsonas, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Lylaah Bhalerao, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Aris Anagnostopoulos, HERITΛGE & University of Kent



09.15    Νikolas Papadimitriou (Canellopoulos Museum)
Welcome and introduction

Key concepts and approaches
09.30    John Papadopoulos (University of California, Los Angeles)
Approaches to colonialism in the teaching of archaeology

10.00    Yannis Hamilakis (Brown University)
Coloniality, race, archaeology: lessons from a buffer zone

10.30    Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University)
Greece in a larger universe: why Thai, Iranian, and Icelandic historical experience might make a difference to understanding Greece today

11.00 – 11.30    Break

Colonization and decolonization as historical processes

11.30    Krishnan Ram-Prasad (Oxford University)
Ancient Greek in British colonialism

12.00    Antonis Hadjikyriakou (Panteion University)
The Cypriot post-colonial condition: Ottoman and British legacies

12.30    Theodoros Rakopoulos (University of Oslo)
Decolonize this! On the Cypriot experience, and lessons thereof

13.00    Konstantinos Kalantzis (University of Thessaly)
Recalcitrant poses: visual ethnography and the question of colonialism

13.30 – 15.00    Break

Decolonization, decoloniality and the ancient past
15.00    Antonis Kotsonas (New York University)
Ancient Greek colonization as a paradigm for decolonization?

15.30    Dimitris Plantzos (University of Athens)
The archaeology of exclusion: repatriation, whiteness, and a lost daughter named Carrie

16.00    Lylaah Bhalerao (New York University)
Decoloniality, Inclusivity and the display of Greek art

16.30 – 17.00    Break

Methodologies for inclusivity
17.00    Aris Anagnostopoulos (HERITΛGE/University of Kent) & Christoph Bachhuber (University of Oxford)
Decolonizing digital archaeological landscapes; questions of scale, methodology and ethics

17.30    Andromachi Katselaki – Olga Sakali (Ministry of Culture and Sports –  Department of Educational Programs and Communication)
Μουσειοπαιδαγωγικές δράσεις συμπερίληψης. Η περίπτωση του προγράμματος «Multaka: Διαπολιτισμικές περιηγήσεις στην Αθήνα»

18.00    Penelope Papailias (University of Thessaly)
Anti-tour as decolonial methodology: taking dëcoloиıze hellάş to the streets

18.30    Mantha Zarmakoupi (University of Pennsylvania)
An archaeology of disability: thinking beyond ableism about the past

19.00    General discussion

Watch the presentations