News & Activities

Announcement of results regarding the Public Call for research proposals for the year 2018

The Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH) is happy to announce the results of its Third Public Call for Funding Research Proposals to be pursued in the year 2018.

After completing the evaluation process based on reports by scholars from Greek and other Universities and Research Centers, 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):

 

POST-DOC

  • Konstantinos Gkotsinas, Dr. of History (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

TITLE: «A last drink? Alcohol and Anti-alcoholism in Greece (1870-1940)»

SUMMARY: The proposed post-doctoral research addresses the diffusion of alcohol and the rise of the concept of alcoholism in the Greek society from the 1870s (a decade marked by the spectacular spread of vine cultivation in Greece, by the development of systematic local spirits’ production, and by an increase in recorded alcohol consumption) to the 1930s, when the anti-alcoholic literature proliferated and the arguments against alcohol crystallized. This research intends to map the history of alcoholic beverages during a period when they conquered both public space and consumers’ habits; to explore their different and often diverging representations; to analyze the content, the range and the limits of the anti-alcoholic discourse. The multifaceted character of this particular scientific object calls for the adoption of multiple approaches, i.e. of economic history, history of sciences, history of mentalities, history of everyday life, social history, or yet literary history. In order to address the above questions, I will consult a variety of primary sources and archives, without losing sight of recent literature in the field of alcohol and psychoactive substances.

Thus, through the study of sources and bibliography, the proposed research will analyze the interaction of state mechanisms, actors and natural or environmental conditions in the development of fermented and distilled beverages production; look into daily practices involving alcohol in the Greek society at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century; describe forms of sociability were alcohol was a catalyst; and trace commercial, academic and cultural networks both within and beyond the frontiers of Greece.

The outcomes of the research will be presented during a one-day conference at the University of Crete with the participation of young scholars, and synthesized in an original final paper, while briefer accounts will be published in blogs dedicated to the history of health or to the history of psychoactive substances. In this manner this research will contribute in a thriving and very promising research field with specialized journals, organized institutions (e.g. Alcool and Drugs History Society) and conferences, workshops and symposiums across the world: the study of psychoactive substances. By doing so, the research will inscribe the Greek case in current international historiographic trends.

 

  • Konstantinos Irodotou, Dr. of Philosophy (Université Paris 8)

TITLE: «Adamantios Korais – Towards an intellectual biography: His medical work»

SUMMARY: The bibliography on Korais has paid almost no attention to his written work on medicine. I propose to focus on this omission. The initial question of the proposed research is rather simple: Was Korais a doctor ? The bibliography hitherto answers “rather no”. The research project that I propose focuses on the study of Korais’ theses on medicine, which lie outside the “canon”. Pyretologiae Synopsis is the largest in length thesis of 1786. This work, to which Korais’ colleagues and teachers often refer, constitutes an attempt of mapping an “economia animalis” based on “fever”, in a period in which the study of passions and desires comes to the forefront, culminating, of course, in Sade. Korais’ second thesis, Medicus Hippocraticus, will be examined in the framework of the reform program of Société Royale de Médecine, which is closely connected with the University of Montpellier. There is always the possibility of certain surprises in the files of Korais’ teachers in Montpellier.

 

  • Constantina Kalfa, Dr. of Architecture (National Technical University of Athens)

TITLE: «Towards an alternative historiography of (modern Greek) architecture, 1945-67»

SUMMARY: The proposed historical research attempts an alternative historiography of modern Greek architecture.It focuses on the period 1945-1967 during which, as it is generally believed, architecture in Greece lost its ability to address to the masses and to the question of mass housing, and urban planning  proved powerless to impose its goals. Urbanization and urban housing entered an “automatic urbanization” regime where it seemed that space planning experts were playing a minor role.

This research’s central hypothesis is to critically review this role attributed to the “experts” of space in Greece, focusing on two influential architects-planners, who in the critical period under study were additionally public officials, namely Constatinos Doxiadis and Prokopis Vassiliadis. Doxiadis was one of the basic figures of Reconstruction (first as vice-minister as Deputy Minister and General Director and then as Coordinator of Reconstruction, and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Coordination). Vassiliadis in essence follows Doxiadis (after the dissolution of the Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction into the Ministries of Public Transportation for one and Public Works for the other, on 1954) for the issues of public housing (at the Directory of Studies of the Housing Service of the Ministry of Public Works). On the one hand Doxiadis is said to be responsible for the 28th Resolution (for he publicly supported it vigorously), which is considered that it has created favorable conditions for private-led building construction, and on the other hand, Prokopis Vassiliadis seems to have played a certain role –as the research claims based on specific findings–, into the introduction of building coefficients (which are a factor for surplus value in the Greek model of automatic urbanization). The policy of self-help in housing, followed by Doxiadis to resolve the extraordinary and widespread housing problems mainly of the Greek rural population, which seems to be into the spirit of broader geopolitical housing strategies, will be of particular importance for the research. Characteristically, as the survey reveals, when in 1955, Jacob Crane, who, more than anyone else, shaped and implemented the US policy for housing assistance and who had close contacts with Doxiadis, was asked by the National Mortgage Bank of Greece to express views on the housing problem of the country, he viewed the Greek model of the reconstruction of private homes as a real phenomenon and suggested its continuation.

Contributing to a more general historiographical shift concerning the study of the history of architecture, one that has begun to be interested in objects that traditionally have been classified as non-architectural, and in the role of architect as a consultant-specialist in a global network of intercultural collaborations (and not just as a creator-designer), this research aspires to highlight the historical role of architecture in the emergence of systems that operate autonomously, separately from architecture, and yet they are can define it. By studying original archives, largely unexplored in existing literature, the research attempts to understand modern architecture in Greece as interwoving with other much wider cultural manifestations and decisions that do not solely deal with the physical design of space.

 

  • Danae Karydaki, Dr. of History (Birkbeck College, University of London)

TITLE: «Island of the Pariahs: the History of the Leros Psychiatric Hospital (1957-1995)»

SUMMARY: The aim of my research proposal is to produce the first systematic historical account of the Leros Psychiatric Hospital (LPH), from its establishment in 1957, until 1995, when the first stage of its deinstitutionalisation was completed due to the actions of the Group of Leros. So far, attempts to produce such an account have only been made by psy-professionals. Hence, the first systematic historical account of the LPH, important as it is in its own right, will come to complement the social, political, and cultural history of Greece in the second half of the 20th century, as well as the very history of European psychiatry. Within this framework, my research proposal seeks to draw on a range of unexamined primary sources and secondary literature, in order to provide a narrative centred around three key topics: (a) What were the practices, policies and living conditions in the LPH in different historical periods? What are the similarities and differences with other Greek mental hospitals of the time, and how have the actions of the Group of Leros contributed to the reform of Greek psychiatry? (b) How can the LPH and the Group of Leros be historicized in the broader social, cultural, and political framework of 20th-century Greece? (c) What does the history of the LPH and the Group of Leros add to a comparative history of European psychiatry?

 

INDEPENDENT SCHOLARS

  • Eleni Kaklamanou, Dr. of Philosophy (TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN)

TITLE: «The necessity of ‘the useful lies’ in Plato’s Republic»

SUMMARY: This project is concerned with the concept of lying in the Platonic corpus and, in particular, on the “useful” instances of lies in Plato’s Republic. Towards the end of Book II of the Republic, Plato draws a distinction between what he calls “lies in the soul” and “lies in words” (282b-e). The former represent “ignorance about the most important things” and should be hated by everyone (382B). But “lies in words”, he goes on to say, may be useful and, as such, are not deserving of hatred (382c). He lists three cases of “useful lies in words” a. lies to enemies, b. lies to deranged or depressed friends, which aim at preventing them from doing something bad and c. stories about events long ago, which make a falsehood as much like the truth as possible (382c-d). Later, he lists the Noble Lie (414b-415d) among the ‘useful lies’. Elsewhere in the Republic lies are called “drugs” (459c). The debate surrounding the place of lying in Plato’s Republic has, for the last century, been dominated by Karl Popper’s (1966) fierce criticism of Plato’s willingness to include a lie of any sort, within the foundational structure of the ideal city. Recently, Schofield (2006) has recognized the nuance of Plato’s thought and provides a thorough examination of the motivation behind the Noble Lie. Schofield points out that Plato challenges the norms of truth-telling prevalent within his own society as well as considering issues based in contemporary Kantian views.

My aim in this project is to give a thorough examination of the so-called “useful” lies in the Republic, with an eye to highlighting their different natures and the difficulties that arise for Plato concerning their inclusion in his ideal city. As part of this inquiry, it is necessary to examine the concept of lying, deception and other related notions such as withholding or concealing information and spin in the political, cultural and legal discourses which defined Athenian democracy during Plato’s time. A close engagement with the growing bibliography on the concept of lying and deception will help to illustrate the peculiarities of each type of lie that Plato identifies, and its likely impact in the relations among the citizens of Plato’s city, conceived of as a well-organized society. Further, by examining concepts such as lying, deception, falsehood, breach of trust, testimony and epistemic asymmetry, I will show that lying for Plato is not only a moral issue but is also epistemological. Modern attempts to understand the role of lying in the Platonic corpus often fail to appreciate the subtle distinction between these conceptions, focusing solely on the moral component of it. The ultimate goal of this project is twofold: a. to finish a book on lying and deception in Plato’s Republic, and b. to organize an international conference, with the collaboration of The Trinity Plato Centre at Trinity college Dublin, focusing on the epistemological, moral and political issues that arise from the concept of lying in the Platonic corpus.

 

  • Alexandros Lamprou, Dr. of History (Leiden University)

TITLE: «Refugees from Greece and the Dodecanese to Turkey during WWII (1941-1944)»

SUMMARY: Based on archival and bibliographic research in Turkey and Greece and informed by refugee-studies and recent works on the displacement of populations and refugee-management during the Second World War and the postwar Europe, this project calls for the study of wave of refugees fleeing Greece and the Dodecanese to Turkey between 1941 and 1944. Designed to overcome the lack of scholarship in this field, the project’s aim is to offer a comprehensive presentation of refugee waves to Turkey, through quantitative and qualitative analysis and to study the refugee-management by the Turkish state and the Greek government-in-exile taking into consideration both states’ political and ideological concerns, financial, military and diplomatic considerations, and ethnic, gender and class-based biases.

 

RESEARCH GROUPS

  • Despina Catapoti, Assistant Professor in Cultural Theory & Digital Culture, Department of Cultural Technology & Communication, University of the Aegean / Georgia Gkoumopoulou, PhD Candidate of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens / Ioulia Skounaki, PhD Candidate of Archaeology, Department of Cultural Technology & Communication, University of the Aegean.

TITLE: «The ‘open’ archaeological site as an alternative management model in urban environment: Akadimia Platonos and Philopappos Hill»

SUMMARY: Having as our starting point an initial demarcation of the basic characteristics of the dominant management model of archaeological sites, which is conventionally called ‘closed’, the present research aims firstly to demonstrate that there are exceptions to the rule, and secondly to identify the possibilities and preconditions for the application of a different management model of these sites in the Greek urban environment, which is defined as ‘open’. Its field of research is the city of Athens, and in particular, it is based on the case studies of two singular archaeological sites, Akadimia Platonos and Philopappos Hill, which function both as protected archaeological heritage sites and as green, free access spaces suitable for walking and recreational activities. The ‘hybrid’ character of the designated sites makes them paradigmatic exceptions to the rule. It dictates the identification of a distinctive model for managing archaeological sites as opposed to the dominant one, the exploration of its conceptual delimitations, its history and its function. In this way, a theoretical framework will be formed, necessary for the understanding, the evaluation and the further application of this distinctive management model.

The present research constitutes an original and innovative study, as it aspires to make up for an important gap in the international and domestic literature with regard both to the clarification of the concept of ‘openness’ and to the mapping of the management methods of the archaeological sites in Greece. It shall also contribute to the systematization and analysis of the historical, ethical, spatial and administrative parameters that signalize the identity, the form and the social function of these sites. In view of the large and constantly increasing number of archaeological sites in our country, the present research venture appears to cover the need to broaden the scope of the discussion and the choices as to the management and enhancement practices. It does so by taking into account the challenges presented by the modern socio-economic reality of the Greek cities as well as the plurality of visions and interests of the various actors/stakeholders that are involved in the formation, the planning and the use of the heritage sites.

Methodologically, the research applies a multidisciplinary approach (museological-urban planning) in order to promote and adequately analyze both the dimension of the relation with the ‘outside’, that is the relation of the archaeological site with its broader urban environment, and the one of their function ‘inside’, that is if and how people and heritage monuments converse with each other within a defined framework and with the spatial and conceptual ‘readings’/narratives posed by the museological planning.

By means of identifying a framework of potential function and management of the archaeological sites within the urban fabric in terms of their ‘openness’ and dialogue with their spatial and social environment, the present research attempts to draw conclusions concerning the inclusion of these sites in the everyday life of the modern city and to renew to a certain extent the scope of concepts and principles such as ‘absolute protection’ (of heritage sites), ‘sustainability’, ‘inclusiveness’. It also aspires to demonstrate the importance of the archaeological-heritage sites in the formation of historical knowledge and consciousness and to the qualitative enhancement of urban daily life.

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We wish to congratulate the researchers who will be receiving the funding for the year 2018, as well as warmly thank all researchers who honored us with their applications.