The Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH) proudly announces the results of its Second Public Call for Funding Research Proposals to be pursued in the year 2017.
The research proposals that will be funded by RCH are the following (in alphabetical order under the surname of the applicant and presented according to the funding category):
– Nikolaos Christofis, Dr. of History from the Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Leiden University, Holland.
«Enosis in the political discourses of the Greek and Cypriot Left in the 1950s and 1960s: The multifaceted trajectories of a movement»
The focus of the proposed research project, contrary to mainstream literature on the Cyprus Question that treats the issue through diplomatic and/or through the «national» narrative, will not be on the elements and the character of the Cypriot struggle itself but on how the demand for enosis has been transferred and internalized both politically and socially in Greece and Cyprus. In other words, the Cyprus Question will be treated not just as an issue of «national» importance and meaning but also as a fundamental element that defines and shapes Greek domestic political life, and as such it will provide a point of congruity and contradistinction of different ideological and political currents in Greece. In other words, the «Cyprus Question» becomes not only a signifier, but also an object of negotiation. The aim of this research project is to analyze the terms and the preconditions of re-signifying the Cyprus Question itself in the discourses of the Left, especially within a Cold War context, and explore how these were expressed within the given political conjecture and thus demonstrated broader political meanings and counterpoints. This research project will therefore be based on the negotiations over the Cyprus Question carried out by political parties, mostly the Greek and Cypriot Left, since the national aspiration of enosis had become a nodal point in Greek and Cypriot political life. To do that, a series of questions will need to be answered: a) How was the demand for enosis incorporated into the political programs of the Left in Greece and Cyprus? b) How did this change the political outlook of the parties? c) How did the Left itself treat, incorporate, and interpret the issue every time new developments took place that led to different approaches to the issue of enosis? Lastly, an issue of pressing importance concerns how enosis has been interpreted within a colonial/post-colonial context and, in light of that, how the relationship that socialism has had with nationalism has shifted. In other words, this research project will attempt to not only be a study of the history of Greece and Cyprus, but also of the «Cyprus Question», through the Left and in juncture with the Left.
– Nikolaos Kouremenos, Dr. in Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences of the Department of Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome.
«Renaissance of Coptic Literature and the entourage of Patriarch Damian (578-605): Τhe Formation of the Coptic Identity»
The present proposal aims to expose the actual interest of the author on the development of a post doctoral project in the area of Coptic Studies, specifically in Coptic Literature, with the main objective being the demonstration of the particular and individual character of Coptic literature during the period of patriarch Damian (578-605) and its contribution to the formation of an independent and indigenous Coptic identity. For this purpose the author intends to examine the efforts connected with the reorganization and consolidation of the Coptic Church under the leadership of Patriarch Damian as well as the literal production in the Coptic language of the same period, an indigenous literature intending to serve the purposes of an independent Egyptian Church, distinctive from the imperial Chalcedonian one. Apart from the writings of Damian himself, there was a group of authors during that period, mainly in the region of Upper Egypt, who contributed to the so called Renaissance of Coptic Literature. Authors such as Constantine of Siout, Rufus of Shotep or Pisentius of Keft revealed through their writings a dynamic will to construct a proper identity for the Coptic Literature regarding not only the formal aspects but also the selection of subjects. The project approach, therefore, is characterized by a combination of historic reality and literary criticism in order to interpret the phenomenon of polyphony within Late Antique Christianity in the delimited geographical area of Egypt. As a starting point to this project served the observations of two renowned scholars of Coptic literature, namely Tito Orlandi and Stephen Emmel, who have remarked in their work that the literal production during the period of patriarch Damian constitutes a distinguished part of Coptic literature with its proper characteristics. The author’s aim is to undertake a comprehensive examination of the relevant literal production in order to support and confirm these general and preliminary remarks and to contribute to the further study of the field of Coptic literature. In fact the proposing project is directly connected with the author’s PhD research, a critical edition of a Coptic martyrdom, in which he had the opportunity to be familiarized not only with the Coptic language but also with particular features of Coptic literature of the relevant period.
– Daphne Lappa, Dr. of History from the Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute.
«Different Ways of Being Greek-Orthodox: Venetian and Ottoman Greeks In Eighteenth-Century Corfu»
Dr. Daphne Lappa did not receive the funding from RCH, due to fact that she received funding for the same research proposal for the year 2017 by another academic institution.
What did it mean to be Greek-Orthodox (ρωμαίος ανατολικός, γραικός, greco) in the 18th century? Was this a uniform, compact quality across Greek-Orthodox populations, as traditional historiography has claimed? Or, could it take on different, local contents? In other words, was there more than one way of being Greek-Orthodox?
For example, how would Ottoman Orthodox Christians living in the city of Corfu, who spoke Greek, were dressed in the Ottoman style and recognized as head of their religious community the Patriarch of Constantinople, see those Corfiot Greeks, wearing their European clothes and their wigs, speaking heavily-Italianized Greek or Italian, living in a westernized urban environment, and having as religious leader the Megalos Protopapàs, a locally-elected religious official formally detached from the Patriarchate and rather ‘latin’ in his appearance? Didn’t these two types represent different versions of Greek-Orthodox Christianity?
These are the questions that lie at the core of this project, which takes a comparative approach and focuses on Venetian and Ottoman Greek-Orthodox living in the 18th-century borderland city of Corfu, fleshing out two different versions of Greek-Orthodox Christianity. Some twenty years after approaching historically the notion of a Greek nation, the project suggests that it’s high time for the de-essentialization of Greek-Orthodox religion. Drawing on a variety of written and visual sources, the project thus treats Greek-Orthodox Christianity as an analytical category, whose historical contingencies, local particularities and socio-cultural dimensions are to be unraveled.
Moreover, the project studies the crystallization of Ottoman Greek-Orthodox religiosity in 18th-century Corfu and the «conversion to orthodoxy» of the Venetian one under the Russian influence, and inquiries into the extent to which these processes reflected the wider stabilization of the Greek-Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate during that century. In dialogue with the confessionalization thesis, first articulated in the 1980s to describe the gradual consolidation of early modern Western Christianity, the project further reflects on whether this century marked for the Greek Church the beginning of its own «confessionalization era», entailing the «orthodoxization» of the Church, after the religiously turbulent 17th century, and the interlinked demise of a culture of accommodation based on the principle of «ecclesiastical economy» that had prevailed in the previous centuries.
– Ioannis Papachristou, Dr. of Philosophy from the Department Philosophische Fakultät I, University Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
«Memory in the late platonic tradition»
The concept of memory may well be categorized as one of the most fundamental of human intellectual life; we all think we understand when we talk about ‘memory’ and we all think we are very familiar with the ways memory influences our lives. However, the concept of memory seems to have such a wide range of meanings that it is difficult to define; we remember how something is done, we remember facts about the world, we remember personal experiences or feelings. Philosophers, cognitive scientists, psychologists, neuroscientists and geneticists, all have tried, from their particular points of view, to identify memory with certain faculties and higher operations of the mind or to reduce it to the physical processes involved. They have thus treated memory as a minimal mechanism linking perception and thought, as a basic tool in the formation of universal concepts, or as an essential constituent in accounts of the self, consciousness and personal identity.
The proposed project focuses on the later and less studied history of the concept of memory in antiquity, and aims at revealing the different views about memory put forward by the late Platonists, for instance Iamblichus, Syrianus, Proclus, Hermeias, Damascius, Asclepius, and Olympriodorus. More specifically, the close reading of the relevant writings of these late authors intends to examine and elucidate three related aspects of the ancient concept of memory: (i) The ontological aspect: Memory as a faculty of the soul; that is to say, what the position of memory is among the other faculties of the soul. Some the issues raised are the relation between imagination and memory and the ontological status of the objects of memory. (ii) The epistemological aspect: Memory as part of a cognitive process; that is to say, how far memory contributes to the acquisition of knowledge. Some of the issues raised are the relation between memory and recollection, the relation between memory and experience, and the role of memory in the formation of universal concepts. (iii) The ethical aspect: Memory as part of the human psychology: that is to say, what the role of memory is in relation to pleasure and other states that affect ethical actions.
– Paschalis Samarinis, Dr. of Urban and Regional Planning from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, University National Technical University of Athens.
«‘Planning the future in the shadows’. The Greek planners’ community during the 1967-1974 dictatorship: building an interdisciplinary approach»
Dr. Paschalis Samarinis did not accept the funding of his proposed research, due to fact that he is now employed on a full time basis.
The proposed project aims in expanding the findings of my successfully completed PhD research on the spatial politics of the dictatorship period. Using as a starting point the early ‘60s, a period commonly described as the «spring time» for Greek architecture and urban planning, my dissertation has examined the continuities and ruptures in the period of the junta regarding specific research institutions, legislative reforms, public discourses and planning proposals. More specifically my work has focused on the developments in the Center for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE), in Prokopis Vasileiadis’ Office for the Regulatory Plan of Athens in the Ministry of Public Works (YDE), in the emblematic Doxiadis’ Organization and finally in the Association of Greek Architects (SADAS). By combining tools and theories from spatial and social studies, I collected and analyzed materials from different sources including official reports, spatial plans, development projects, the technical and everyday Press, in order to portray this «dark» and contradictory time of political suppression and fast social change.
My postdoctoral project will expand on this research in three directions. First, I am planning to elaborate on extended unused material that I have collected during my PhD research, which includes articles published at the time in the press, proceedings of the regime’s «Consulting Committee» and, most importantly, first person narrations in the form of semi-structured interviews with planners and members of the public administration that I conducted over the last years. These testimonies by members of the planners’ community constitute a unique and extremely rich source of information on this contradictory period, which can be further explored with the use of oral history and discourse analysis methodologies. This approach has an analytical potential that goes beyond the examination of the particular period, as it is one of the rare attempts to introduce the methodologies of ethnographic research and oral history in the study of the state apparatus and the technocratic institutions in modern Greece. Therefore, while starting from a spatial studies scientific background, my project aims at engaging in an interdisciplinary debate on postwar modernization processes and socio-spatial transformations. This leads to the second goal of the project which will be of theoretical value: to elaborate further on the fields of the history of sciences, of organizational studies and the theories of modern institutions and to introduce the Greek case in an international debate through a comparative perspective. Finally, the third goal of my project regards the dissemination of research results, as I plan to enrich and revise my dissertation for publication as a book in Greek language and to prepare one reviewed article publication in English language.
– Sophia Nikolaidou, Dr. of Urban and Regional Planning from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, University National Technical University of Athens.
«Urban social initiatives for ‘food justice’: new forms of solidarity networks and social interaction in Greece»
This research proposal addresses the raising societal claims in Greece for «food justice» within a wider discourse on urban resilience underlying the importance of food security and nutrition of cities worldwide, especially in times of economic crisis. Theoretically, this research is embedded in the current discourse on «food justice» as access to sustainable and healthy food systems and raises important issues associated with anti-poverty aspects, social inclusion and the raising awareness of environmental, economic and health concerns in cities. In a context of current depression (unemployment, poverty, decline of the welfare state and low quality of life), this newly emerging movement deriving from both «from below» and from public actors, has generated innovative forms of collective action on ‘food justice’ all over Greece (e.g. urban gardens, Community Supported Agriculture-CSA, networks «without intermediaries»). A series of bottom-up initiatives, informal networks and market-oriented activities that promote alternative short agri-food chains, food-activist, educational or other collective self-help structures empower solidarity-based economy. At the same time spontaneous public initiatives mainly deriving from the local administration in the framework of their social policy (e.g. municipal gardens) respond to the social effects of austerity and are more oriented to combat crisis stress and social exclusion.
The research aims to present novel evidence on «food justice» topic, by documenting the discourse and politics of the contemporary dynamics of the initiatives that have accompanied the recent crisis, weaving emerging forms of innovative social and economic activity and solidarity networks. The analysis of different features, motivations and social interactions among the actors involved in the selected cases investigates the social construction of place through the redefinition of shared values and principles. Moreover, by analysing the interrelations and synergies between grassroots movements and public social initiatives on food issues and the political space that is or can be potentially created for alternative patterns of food production, distribution and consumption and other locally defined solutions for «food justice», it sheds light on the way in which informal public and civic practices could articulate with formal institutional configurations and therefore the possibilities for democratic practices and institutional change.
Drawing upon theoretical discoveries and empirical research on two of the most prominent forms of civic and public initiatives in Athens, urban gardening and CSA consumer-producer networks, the analysis focuses on two main questions: a) What are the motivations, perceptions and experiences of consumers and producers engaged in alternative food networks? What are the new links produced between food, space and people? b) What are the interrelations and synergies between grassroots movements and public social initiatives on food issues? In order to answer these questions, field research will be based on a set of representative case studies: a) Semi structured interviews with civic and public actors, engaged in urban gardening initiatives that aim to re-integrate agriculture into the city fabric and b) Participant observation in one of the newly appeared consumer-farmer network (CSA) that favors the development of direct sales without intermediaries by delivering weekly vegetable baskets in the metropolitan area of Athens.
– Anna Papaeti, Dr. of Musicology, Music Department, Kings College London, University of London.
«Music in the Prison Camps of the (Post) Civil-War Era in Greece (1947–1957)»
Τhe project explores the (ab)uses of music in detention camps. It shifts attention to poorly-understood functions of music as a means to intimidate, humiliate, and ‘break’ prisoners, but also to ‘re-educate’ and ‘entertain’. With the exception of Nazi concentration camps, and, less so, the Soviet Gulag, there is a significant gap in scholarship despite the prevalence of mass detention camps in the 20th century. The way music was an integral part of detention camps, carrying both the potential to damage and empower subjectivity, needs to be documented and analysed through the looking glass of musicology, history, and psychoanalysis. This project fills this gap by investigating the multifaceted use of music in the political prison camps during the civil war and its immediate aftermath (1947–1957), focusing on the Makronisos camps. It will critically examine: (1) the use of music as a means to ‘re-educate’, punish, humiliate, and ‘break’ prisoners; (2) official camp orchestras and choirs, addressing the complex issue of performing music under orders; (3) the role of the Makronisos radio station, as well as the use of radio in other prison camps; (4) clandestine music-making by detainees and their debates on Greek music (e.g. rebetiko). Through archival research and interviews, the project will document and reconstruct the use of music and musical life in the camps. Former detainees will be interviewed. Crucial to the project are mostly Athens-based archives, such as ASKI, Parliament Archive, Exile Museum Archive, and the Archive of Audio-Visual Testimonies (University of Thessaly, Volos). Research findings will be analysed, using an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, bringing together musicology, history, philosophy, trauma studies, and critical theory. The project will enquire into the connection between music and agendas of repression, as well as the ways in which music can empower detainees. The importance of this critical understanding is not limited to our historical past: it is timely in light of the refugee crisis in Greece and the EU. Results will be communicated to already established networks of human rights organizations in Greece and abroad. In this sense, research findings will also contribute to the ongoing debates on mass detention.
Project outcomes will include: (1) a symposium on the broader topics of music and detention, where I will present research findings and conclusions. Apart from case studies (e.g. Greece, Chile), the symposium will explore methodological issues such as the challenges of interviewing survivors of torture, issues of memory, as well as the ambiguity of the use of music as a weapon of violence. The symposium will take place in June 2017. Participants will include Greek and foreign scholars. (2) Educational workshop at an Athens-based secondary school in the context of history classes in November or December 2017. (3) An article (in English) to a peer-reviewed journal, which will reconstruct and critically analyse the use of music in the prison camps in question, exposing its relation to agendas of repression. (4) A short article in Greek to be published in Greece, addressing a wider audience.
– Nikolaos Tzafleris, Dr. of History from the Department of History, Archeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly.
«The role of JOINT in postwar Greece»
The research proposal focuses on the role of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC known mainly as JOINT) in Greece after the end of the Second World War. Nazi Germany systematically exterminated the Jews of Europe destroying most of the Jewish communities. In the postwar chaos of the Greek civil war, the assistance of the Greek state for the reconstruction of the Jewish communities was practically impossible and JOINT came to fill in this gap. JOINT contributed in organizing and handling the aid of the American Jews to their fellow Jews in Europe, both at the level of reconstituting the community life and at the level of rebuilding their properties, religious and social institutions. The research will examine what was the role of JOINT in Greece to realize this effort. What were JOINT’s relations with the local Jewish communities? Where did JOINT stand in the network of the international humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Cross and UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), and the Jewish organizations, such as the Central British Fund, the Jewish Relief Unit, World ORT and the World Jewish Congress, which offered their assistance to the Greek Jews? What was JOINT’s central policy in Europe and particularly in Greece, where it was formed under the circumstances imposed by the postwar and civil war period? What was the role of JOINT’s local personnel in the strategy it followed in Greece? How did the Greek Jewish communities view the aid of JOINT and/or its intervention in their internal affairs? And what was JOINT’s position in the matter of migration of Jews to Palestine? All the above will be analyzed within the framework set by the postwar political scene in Greece dominated by the civil war. Although the focus of the research will be on the postwar role of JOINT, it is necessary to elaborate on its humanitarian work in Greece during the interwar years and during the Second World War in order to better understand its role, its course and the changes in its actions. The research will use primary archival material which will be collected by field research at JOINT’s archive in New York and it will be used along with archival material already collected and studied through field research in London and Jerusalem. Moreover, for the purpose of the research, interviews with Holocaust survivors will be conducted and other oral interviews from archives of oral history, such as the ones at Yad Vashem and of the USC Shoah Foundation will be used. Last but not least, JOINT’s contribution to the reconstruction of the Greek Jewish communities has received little research interest so far and the present research aims at filling this gap.
– Gianluca Cantoro, Dr. of Archaeology, Department of Human Sciences, University of Foggia. Christina Tsigonaki, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Archaeology, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete. Stefania Michalopoulou, PhD Candidate of Archaeology, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
«HIGH-ABOVE-THE-MOUNTAINS. Fossil Built Landscapes on Mountainous Uplands from the Sky»
“High-above-the-mountains” aims at an extensive aerial archaeological survey over mountainous uplands of Crete (Greece) for the creation of a gazetteer of historical human settlements or simple built structures and related cultural constructions.
The project originates from the consideration that the space which surrounds us and with which we continuously interact, is not a static entity. It is the result of the complex relations and influences of humans (and their cultures), animals and landscapes. Material and tangible results of such interactions (which often involve many more variables than the above outlined) are normally reshaped, repurposed, obliterated, damaged or endangered in view of the “development” of certain areas. However, sometimes, past standing structures become iconic elements of the landscape of which they are part, in a certain spontaneous monumentalisation process, as almost fossil or fossilized built landscapes. Their embodiment the surrounding landscape is such that their presence is often underestimated, misinterpreted or simply ignored.
The tendency to neglect past built environments, even when their construction on hardly accessible mountainous spots enhances their value as cultural heritage, is provoked (and paradoxically it provokes as well) and is favoured by the ignorance of their aetiology: what is this structure; has it always been like this; who built it; why was it built and why here; is anybody still using it; how often and for what reason/s?
Following on Knapp and Ashmore assertion, landscape is “an entity by virtue of its being perceived, experienced, and contextualized by people”. If the interdependent relationships that people maintain with the physical, social, and cultural dimensions of their environments across space and over time  are broken, the landscape itself loses its cultural identity and, more important, a page of history and culture of mountain people is lost. The ambition of the proposed research is to bridge the gap of the modern knowledge about abandoned mountainous villages, moving between traditional geomorphic views of landscape to more phenomenological or cultural perspective with solid ethnographical bases. The relationship between people and land is always active and dynamic. It involves something “done with” the environment, not something “done to” it. This is a sort of taphonomic perspectives, applied to the study of landscapes, where the evolution of landscape “participates in necessarily interlinked cultural and natural processes”. At the same time, landscape structure must be identified and quantified in meaningful ways before the interactions between landscape patterns and ecological processes can be understood. Most landscapes have been influenced by human land use, and the resulting landscape mosaic is a mixture of natural and human-managed patches that vary in size, shape, and arrangement.
– Eirini Goudarouli, Dr. of History of Science, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Vassileios Routsis, PhD Candidate, Centre for Digital Humanities, Department of Information Studies, University College London. Emmanouil Patiniotis, Associate Professor of History of Science, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
«Mapping the Enlightenment: Intellectual Networks and the Making of Knowledge in the European Periphery»
What is the role of the intellectual and geographical travels undertaken by early modern scholars from the European periphery in the making of knowledge during the Enlightenment? How can digital humanities contribute to, enhance or alter the image we already have about the shaping of knowledge during the Enlightenment?
The use of interactive mapping tools for visualizing, exploring and analyzing data has become increasingly popular in the field of digital humanities and expands the capabilities of online geovisualization. However, analytical functionality for historical web mapping that effectively combines critical historical research with digital technologies is currently relatively sparse in academia, although some promising examples have already paved the way. Based on the convergence of the latest achievements in digital mapping and innovative historiographical approaches to the Enlightenment, the proposed project aims to the development of a user friendly interactive and dynamic historical maps interface.
The focus will be on the actual visualization of the intellectual and geographical networks Greek-speaking scholars of the Ottoman Empire, Portuguese estrangeirados, Spanish pensionados and Nordic scholars developed during the 17th and 18th century. The project will use the latest innovations in digital mapping in order to develop user friendly dynamic web maps of the itineraries of traveling scholars, and visually represent the building of networks between scientific and technical centers and peripheries. The deliverable of the project will be a dynamic system capable of providing multi-layered maps, which will enable users to query and visualize data and flows through a modern and robust environment. This interactive interface will show with a simple and affective way how the intellectual networks developed in the European periphery in the 18th and early 19th centuries contributed to the shaping of knowledge during the Enlightenment.
The theoretical background of this project resides in history of science. Following the general idea that the knowledge system that gradually dominated European modernity has come into being through a dynamic and multi-layered process, the project will be based on the concept of «moving localities» introduced by historians involved with the Science and Technology in European Periphery (STEP) network. The project will mainly take advantage of the theories of STEP network on the one hand, and on the other the latest achievements in digital mapping in order to create a dynamic interface of historical maps which will enable us to understand the emergence of modern science and technology as the expression of a dynamical geography.
The proposed mapping visualization aspires to enter the current digital humanities scholarship by proposing an innovative image of knowledge shaping during the Enlightenment era, and to provide a better understanding of the role of the proposed intellectual flows. In the same time, it will uniquely combine the latest cutting edge web and mapping technologies and will provide innovative ways on storage, transfer, visualize and querying historical data. The ultimate scope of this project is to provide the grounds to influence other researchers and stimulate further research projects in digital humanities or relative fields.
Xenia Chryssochoou, Professor of Social & Political Psychology, Department of Psychology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. Artemis Griva, Dr. of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. Spyridoula Ntani, Dr. of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, UK.
«Solidarity and Cohesion in Crisis-Ridden Greece: A socio-psychological analysis of expert and lay representations of welfare policies»
Aims. The proposed project aims to research the casualties of the social fabric in crisis-ridden Greece and the factors that threaten or maintain social cohesion. We aim to investigate expert and lay understandings οf crisisproduced inequalities and representations of solidarity and social inclusion as drivers and barriers for the endorsement of social protection policies. To this purpose we combine the theories and analytic tools of sociopsychological analysis and propose a series of qualitative studies.
The general aims of the proposed research are the following: A) To investigate expert’s opinions about welfare needs in their area of expertise and their evaluations of social protection institutions in times of crisis. A particular attention will be given to their discourse about the policies needed to secure a cohesive society and to combat precarity and poverty. B) To examine lay representations of social welfare and to unravel potential conflicts that exist between people belonging to different age groups, as well as the obstacles to building links of solidarity between them. A particular attention will be given to the way people manage these conflicts in discourse, and to the way highly marginalized groups such as immigrants think of welfare policies addressed to their needs. C) To link these empirical findings with potential policies of social protection and strategies to alleviate the consequences of the economic crisis for individuals and groups.
Description. We are interested in examining norms, ideological beliefs and perceptions of the crisis and their relationship to the endorsement of welfare policies and representations of solidarity, as well as to participants’ social memberships. We will examine different policies (i.e. health, housing, social security, unemployment), different groups of recipients and different institutions responsible for welfare provision, in the context of a society facing the adverse and threatening event of a multifaceted crisis.
Scientific contribution. The proposed project will contribute to the understanding of factors promoting social cohesion and coping in times of adversity. It aims to make a significant contribution to the existing literature and research on the generation of social representations in view of new and threatening social experiences. The project also aims to contribute to the debate on policy-making with concrete welfare policy directions.
Methodology. We propose a series of qualitative studies that will provide in-depth insight into conflicts and contradictions between different social groups. These studies will also examine the interplay and relations among expert and lay opinions about welfare priorities and practices. To this end, 35-40 interviews will be conducted with experts in various fields of social welfare provision. Moreover, 7 focus groups will be conducted, 3 with different and 2 with mixed age groups, and 2 with immigrants. A desk study will precede the qualitative research. Research findings will be disseminated through a one-day conference, while a final report will be produced including conclusions and policy directions.
Dimitra Vassiliadou, Dr. of History, Department Of History & Archaeology, University of Crete.
«Forbidden Emotions: Melancholy and Familial Bonds at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century»
The notion that emotions do have a history introduced the historical study of emotions as a burgeoning field in modern research. Within the last decade a flood of relevant publications fuelled vigorous methodological and theoretical discussions, still in full swing (Rosenwein, 2010). Cultural anthropologists mainly, as well as social and cultural historians of the family, have long asserted that intimate relations are predominately structured and transformed through emotional expression (Lutz, 1986). However, much less has been written on the historical construction of disorderly emotions within the private realm, and their relationship to the underlying power dynamics in domestic relations. What is more, in current historical research in Greece, emotional practices, norms and ruptures of people’s lives in the past remain totally unexplored.
This project aims to remedy this omission. Firmly grounded on four large bodies of correspondence –some 400 letters that middle-class men and women exchanged over the few decades around the turn of the nineteenth century– the study focuses on autobiographical discourses of melancholy. It does so by perceiving melancholy as both a personalized and a relational emotional experience, in other words, as a by-product of specific family relations. In addition, the project takes advantage of a wide range of medical and popular discourses on the topic. Switching constantly between small-scale autobiographical perspectives and wider public views, it delineates the historical transformation of a disorderly emotion into a disease.
Melancholy has been a fluid term since antiquity. It has been used to portray a painful emotion, a psychological disorder, a state of mind with no pathological manifestations, and a set of symptoms that overlapped a disease. In this study this plasticity becomes a useful methodological strategy that enables a multifaceted exploration of inharmonious notions of family life in the past. Given the mass appropriation of ‘love’ as the prescriptive element of family bliss by the emerging Greek middle classes from the second half of the nineteenth century, alongside the centrality of the ideal of ‘companionate marriage’, this project’s key argument is that the vocabulary of melancholy represents a metaphor, extensively used in private correspondence, in order to signify threatened or precarious conjugal and, by extension, familial relations.
This project does more than historicize a single disease, as it is in dialogue with different fields of study: the history of emotions, the cultural history of the family, gender history, and medical humanities. More specifically, it builds upon and contributes to the historical study of family relations in the past, suggesting the contradictory tensions that inescapably invaded the daily practices of life. Likewise, it reveals the dynamics of unruly and unmanageable emotions within private and public realms, and comments on their gendered economy. Furthermore, it offers new insights to the rapidly growing field of the cultural history of psychiatry as it reflects on how the subjects themselves rationalized their condition and perceived their melancholic mood. Finally, the overall methodological framework adopted by this research is innovative. The systematic use of private correspondence, discourses that remain largely overlooked for the exploration and the interpretation of family relations in Greece, privileges an in-depth study of the historical formulation of human vulnerabilities.
3rd runner up
Anna Piata, Dr. of Linguistics, Department of Language and Linguistics, Faculty of English Language and Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
«The body of time: Mental representations of temporality in language and gesture»
Time is a fundamental, yet elusive domain of human experience that has become the object of systematic and thorough inquiry in cognitive linguistics in terms of how it is expressed through language and how such linguistic expressions reveal underlying metaphorical mappings between space, on the one hand, and time, on the other (e.g., “Christmas is approaching”). More recently, however, findings from the study of gesture have shown that temporal gestures are not consistent with the co-occurring linguistic metaphors of time, thereby triggering questions as to how mental representations of time should be inferred; from language or gesture? The proposed project aspires to offer some novel insights on the conceptualization of time by investigating the bodily representations of time and compare them with the patterns afforded in language. Specifically, it will focus on English and Modern Greek with the aim to explore whether the two languages converge in their gestural patterns by virtue of their shared cultural practices and social artefacts associated with time and independently of whether their linguistic patterns converge or not. This line of research spawns from the assumption that gesture offers a window on how language, cognition and culture intersect, thus complementing linguistic evidence offered by the study of metaphorical expressions across languages. By mediating between the concrete/bodily and the abstract/cognitive domain, gesture allows for addressing cutting-edge questions: Is time represented as it is expressed in language or as it is gestured? Does the conceptualization of time rely solely on space? What is the status of metaphor at the intersection of linguistic and gestural evidence? What is the role of culture and material anchors in shaping cognitive patterns? The proposed project envisages addressing such questions on the basis of cross-linguistic evidence. In methodological terms, finally, the analysis will be based on the naturalistic observations stemming from a corpus of multimodal communication, unlike previous studies using either ethnographic or experimental methods.
We wish to congratulate the researchers who will be receiving the scholarships, as well as warmly thank all researchers who honored us with their applications.
Please, keep an eye on our website where we will soon announce our third Public Call for the submission of research proposals to be pursued in 2018.