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The Greek War of Independence and the Americas



The Greek War of Independence and the Americas


12-13 November 2021


An international conference marking the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence focused on the connections between the Greek struggle and the Americas. Princeton University’s Seeger Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Department of History at Columbia University invite scholars at all stages of their careers to submit proposals for individual papers to be given at a two-day international history conference. The conference will explore the social, political, cultural and economic interconnections between the Greek War of Independence and the Americas.

The conference, which participates in global bicentennial celebrations of the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, is intended to further historical thinking connecting histories of an age of revolutions on multiple continents. It may lend itself to work in a comparative vein or comparisons may arise through discussion of intensive case studies. The organizers anticipate work that fuels rethinking sovereignty, peoplehood, and a world of nations and empires through actors and processes.

Themes to be explored include: models of revolution in the Americas in rethinking the Greek Independence struggle; the liberal international moment of the 1820s in southern Europe and connections with the independence movements in South America; attitudes within Greece towards the Americas and the move to independence in the western hemisphere; questions of republics and slavery composed by African-Americans in 1820s; response to the slavery question in the Morea. Approaches to foreign and economic affairs including intervention and non-intervention policies developed in the Americas, such as the Monroe Doctrine and the policy of states in the Americas toward an independent Greece; the rise of an international market for sovereign debt and the debt boom/bust of the 1820s; economic and technological aspects of American involvement including steamship purchases; the suppression of piracy; the involvement of Protestant missions; the rescue of Greek orphans. Intellectual history and cultural and artistic responses, such as international Benthamism and radical constitutionalism; novel approaches to philhellenes of the Western Hemisphere, including classicizing political thought (e.g., Jefferson, Koraes); and the impact of philhellenism on American life, culture, and institutions (e.g., the cases of Francis Lieber and Samuel Gridley Howe); rethinking American philhellenes in Greece; the circulation of memoirs, journalism, captive and travel literature and the literary representation of the Greek war in the United States; memories of 1821 and Greek-American life over the following century and a half.

(Edited description from organiser’s website)

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