Under the Shade of an Olive Tree: Conversations on Greek Diaspora

Edited by Litsa Chatzivasileiou and Anna Carastathis

What do contemporary Greek diasporic experiences contribute to the
broader study of diasporas, migration, and to feminist, cultural and postcolonial studies?
How do they challenge nationalistic discourses and ideologies of “home,”
citizenship, belonging, common history, roots and homogeneous cultural
identity? What theoretical models, methodologies, and approaches may
productively be used to study Greek diasporas in their complex gendered,
racialized and class dimensions in the 20th and 21st centuries? What
geographic, geopolitical, and generational differences matter? What experiences
of inclusion and exclusion condition cultural and communal belonging in the
national/diasporic imaginary? Considering the sparsity of book-length
treatments of the contemporary Greek diaspora we invite contributions to an
edited volume, which explores diverse Greek migratory experiences in an
interdisciplinary manner.

While the current crisis may be triggering a new wave of Greek emigration,
Greece itself has become “home” to recent immigrants and refugees.
Historical diasporas (Jewish–Sephardic and Roumaniote–Roma, Armenian,
Muslim, Turkish) have been constructed as the silenced Other within the
modern Greek nation-state and its ideology of cultural homogeneity.
Greece’s postcolonial history of population exchange and “repatriation” of
ethnic Greeks from Asia Minor and northern Africa reaffirms Edward Said’s
argument that unitary nations are contingent on the constant wandering of
diverse peoples, and the entangling of cultural roots/routes. Our edited
collection will examine the cross-pollination of emigrant and immigrant
communities in the crossing of national, geographic and cultural borders,
and the inhabiting of in-between spaces.

We are especially interested in contributions that explore issues of
diaspora and immigration through the prisms of gender, sexuality,
racialization, religion, nation, region, age, generation, among others. We
invite diachronic, historically-grounded contributions which examine the
connections of political and economic crises to diasporas. Hopeful that our
volume will reflect the diversity and complexity of migratory routes, we
encourage submissions from/about smaller as well as larger centres of
diaspora. We are also interested in approaches that expand our view beyond the
modern Greek nation-state as single “origin” of diaspora.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we invite academic articles, creative
non-fiction, literary works, and social movement texts. We welcome
contributions from people of all genders and any ethnicity, but which are
relevant to Greek diaspora from a feminist perspective. We hope to elicit
works from marginalized voices within Greek communities, including
those of women;
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; people with
disabilities; youth and elders; mixed roots people; people of non-Orthodox
or minoritized faiths and spiritualities, as well as atheists.

Relevant topics include (but are not limited to):

– intersectional perspectives on Greek diasporic cultures, communities,
literary and creative works, political activism, etc.;

– theoretical pieces which situate Greek diaspora(s) in the context of
feminist, cultural and postcolonial studies;

– accounts of reverse, circular, and multiple migrations and diasporic

– historical accounts of diasporas in Greece (Jewish, Roma, Armenian,
Turkish, Balkan, African, Asian, etc.) in relation to contemporary Greek

– theorizations of the relationship between nationalism, population
exchange, and diasporas;

– explorations of gendered tropes and rhetorics of nationalist discourse;

– discussions of homophobia and its effects on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender Greeks in the diaspora;

– discussions of projects and politics of belonging and deconstructions of
essentialist notions of Greek culture;

– critical perspectives on “community” (κοινότητα), “culture” (κουλτούρα),
“family” (οικογένεια), “sameness despite dispersion” (ομογένεια);

– analyses of racialization, ethnic and religious identities in “host”
societies and diasporic communities;

– explorations of intergenerational conflicts and inheritances;

– literary, creative non-fiction, autobiographical and testimonial works
about Greek diasporic experiences, hybrid cultures and hyphenated
identities (e.g., Afro-Hellenic);

– accounts of refugee populations and their displacement from the modern
Greek state;

– auto-ethnographies and creative performances of exilic, nostalgic, split,
and other subjectivities; longings and belongings;

– takes on popular representations and stereotypes of Greek culture in
media, film, advertising, television and music;

– discussions of the impact of Greek diasporic people on cultures of
relocation, indigenous societies, and multicultural and multiethnic

– analyses of interconnected phenomena of diaspora and neoliberal

– critical responses to crisis, xenophobia and nationalist ideologies in
Greece in particular and in Europe in general;

– discussions of North/South, core/periphery politics and their
relationship to the crisis of the concept of “Europe”.

Please submit an abstract of your proposed submission (maximum 500-700
words), and a brief biographical note (200 words) before July 15, 2012 to

Contributors whose proposals are selected will be contacted by July 31,

Full papers (maximum 4,000 words) will be due on December 30, 2012.

Language of publication will be English. However, we will consider
proposals written in English, Greek, French, and Spanish, but full papers
must be translated into English by their authors before submission.

Please send images as separate .jpg files.

For more information, please contact us at the e-mail address above.

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