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The Adventures of the “Greek Genius” in Modern Times

Vasileios (Vasili) Gounaris, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow

Fri, 3/29 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm · 103 Scheide Caldwell

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies; Christos G. and Rhoda Papaioannou Modern Greek Studies Fund

This workshop aims to incorporate the concept of the “Greek genius” (Ellinikon daimonion) into its historical context from the dawn of modern times to the present day. The objectives are threefold: (a) to highlight its significance in shaping modern Greek identity, (b) to illustrate how it became ingrained in Greek society, and (c) to demonstrate its use as a tool to help Greece overcome economic challenges, especially recession. The goal is a comprehensive historicization of the discourse on the “character of the Greeks,” elucidating the elements that constitute their identity. Could it be argued that the two contradictory versions of genius – cunning and intelligent – coexist in every Greek as they did in the ingenious Odysseus?

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