Presenter: Dr Kostis Karpozilos
Language of Presentation: English
Greek immigration to the United States in the early 20th century ascribes to the long history of European transatlantic migration to the New World. Until recently, historiography focused on the political conservatism of Greek immigrants arguing that their social mobility defined their stance on social and political questions both in Greece and the United States. This lecture highlights an alternative, and largely unknown, Greek-American history: the social, cultural and political world of ethnic radicalism. Following this story from the militant strikes of the early 20th century, to the New Deal era, and the Cold War years it demonstrates how labor migration to the New World was intertwined with the quest for a social New World that would guarantee equality and freedom.
Kostis Karpozilos (Yiannina 1978) is a historian and the director of the Contemporary Social History Archives (ASKI). He has earned a degree in Modern Greek Literature at the University of Thessaloniki (2002), completed an M.A. in Historical Research at the University of Sheffield (2003) and a Ph.D. in History at the University of Crete (2010). His thesis focused on revolutionary diasporas in the United States and the trajectory of Greek-American radicalism in the 20th century. He is the scriptwriter of the documentary Greek-American Radicals: the Untold Story (2013), the author of a book on the Cretan socialist intellectual Stavros Kallergis (Benaki Museum, 2013), and of Red America: Greek Iimmigrants and the Quest for a New World, 1900-1950 (Crete University Press, 2017). His latest book (co-authored with Dimitris Christopoulos) concerned the Macedonian Question (10+1 questions and answers on the Macedonian Question, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2018). Kostis was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University, Princeton University and University of Oxford and has taught at the University of the Peloponnese, at Sciences Po and at Columbia University before joining College Year in Athens. He has written extensively on the Greek crisis, the European Left and the limits of political imagination in the post-1989 world and currently he is working on an international history of the Greek Left.