16 September 2021 Start
17 September 2021 End
Online Conference

e-mail.: [email protected]

Travel and Archaeology in Ottoman Greece

September 16-17,2021

This international conference is hosted online by the British School at Athens, funded by The British Academy, and organised by Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (University of St Andrews).

The conference is free and open to all, but registration is essential. To register for the conference please email Dr Jenny Messenger at [email protected].

The bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence of 1821 offers a timely opportunity for a re-evaluation of travel and archaeology in the age of revolution. The conference foregrounds diversity and small-scale engagements with the landscape and material past of Ottoman Greece at a time of political tension and explosive violence. The conference will explore the perspectives of both foreign travellers and local inhabitants in order to tease out diverse voices, keeping a sharp focus on the effects of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and social status.

Within this inclusive intellectual framework we will pose a series of questions to analyse the mediating role of the Greek landscape and its antiquities between travellers and local inhabitants in all their diversity. How did major intellectual and cultural developments of the late eighteenth century, ranging from revolutionary politics in France and America to scientific and museological developments, intersect with actual encounters ‘on the ground’ in Ottoman Greece, specifically with the landscape, local inhabitants and small-scale objects and antiquities? How did the ethnic, cultural and religious identities of Ottoman communities affect local perceptions of contemporary travel and the classical material past? How did status (including slave status) and gender shape encounters with the Greek landscape and its antiquities, not least with idealising white sculptured male bodies? How did archaeological-focused travel, with its emerging sophisticated discourses, intertwine with travel undertaken for scientific, military and Romantic aims?

In this way the conference will give prominence to hitherto marginalised perspectives drawing on recent work to decolonise Ancient Mediterranean Studies, including sensory approaches to access silenced voices, and will develop a micro-cultural history of travel and archaeology in Ottoman Greece in this tumultuous period.

Please click here for the full programme: