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Launching ‘Little Greece’: Transcultural Place Naming and Narratives of Migration

By Greek Community Staff |
Little greece sydney
The launch of the Little Greece in Sydney, 2021

Launching ‘Little Greece’: Transcultural Place Naming and Narratives of Migration

by Greek Community Staff

Dr Andonis Piperoglou, the inaugural Hellenic Senior Lecturer of Global Diasporas at the University of Melbourne, will deliver a lecture entitled “Launching 'Little Greece': Transcultural Place Naming and Narratives of Migration”, on Thursday 3 August 2023, 7.00pm, at the Greek Centre, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

In early 2021, a precinct in Marrickville, a suburb in Sydney’s inner west, was named ‘Little Greece.’ Marrickville shares a history with many other inner city Sydney suburbs as an inhabited site of migrant settlement and adaptation. Indeed, after the Second World War, many Greeks came to call the suburb home, as did a plethora of other migrant groups from around the world (most notably Vietnamese refugees). Using this renaming as an entry point into the rich global history of place naming in Greek migration history, this lecture will explore how ethnic community building and the ethnic framing of suburbs share interrelated pasts and presents.

Drawing on notions of "transcultural placemaking", Dr Piperoglou will argue that this renaming is not only emblematic of how Greeks are viewed as model contributors to contemporary Australian society but also how the politics of Greek migrant heritage in Australia can fall into the trap of ethnic singularity. By charting the history of the suburb through oral testimonies, diaspora media reportage, as well as street-level visual culture, he will reveal that suburbs in which Greeks settled in large numbers have acted as sites of transcultural exchange, in which many non-Anglo migrants, not just Greeks, laboured and lived. The lecture will conclude with some observations on how it might be possible to reconsider the history of ‘Greektowns’ in the broader Anglo-world as ethnic neighbourhoods in which Greek migrants interacted and coexisted with a range of other diasporic subjects.

Dr Andonis Piperoglou is the inaugural Hellenic Senior Lecturer of Global Diasporas at the University of Melbourne. Andonis is a specialist in migration and ethnic history and has published extensively on Greek migration to Australia. He works on historical connections between colonialism, racism, and migration, as well as human movements between the Mediterranean and the Pacific. In the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Andonis teaches subjects on migration, diaspora, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, and globalisation. Currently, Andonis is the Vice President of the International Australian Studies Association.

About the Greek Community of Melbourne

The Greek Community of Melbourne is a prominent organisation dedicated to promoting and preserving Greek history, culture, and heritage in Australia. Through various initiatives, events, and educational programs, the community aims to strengthen the connection between Greek Australians and their rich cultural background.

The Greek History and Culture Seminars serve as a platform for engaging discussions and lectures, contributing to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Greek history and culture.

When: Thursday 3 August 2023, 7 pm

How: Greek Centre (Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne)