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The Institute’s second lecture of this academic year will take place on Wednesday 31 October – Halloween! – starting at 7.30 pm in the library of the Institute (Dionysiou Aiginitou 7, ground floor, Ilisia. Metro: Megaro Mousikis). Dr. Judith Fletcher (Professor, Department of History and Ancient Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University) will give a talk with the suitably spooky title, “The haunted text: myths of the underworld in contemporary culture”.

“Stories of a visit to the realm of the dead and a return to the upper world are among the oldest narratives in European culture, beginning with Homer’s Odyssey and extending to contemporary fiction and art. Judith Fletcher examines a variety of different genres by twentieth- and twenty-first-century authors and artists, including Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Elena Ferrante, and Anish Kapoor, who deal in various ways with the descent to Hades in literary fiction, comics, film, sculpture, and children’s culture. The analyses of these “haunted texts,” consider how their retellings relate to earlier versions of the mythical theme, including their ancient precedents by Homer and Vergil, but also to post-classical receptions of underworld narratives by authors such as Dante, Ezra Pound, and Joseph Conrad.”

You are all most welcome to join us next Wednesday evening for what promises to be a fascinating presentation.

Conference and Exhibition, “Philo-xeni Archaiologia

Last Thursday and Friday, October 18 and 19, the Institute took part in a conference – organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture to mark the European Year of Cultural Heritage, 2018 – entitled, “Philo-xeni Archaiologia. Foreign Archaeological Schools and Institutes in Greece”. The conference had three themes: (1) The beginnings of the institution of Foreign Archaeological Schools and the first archaeological missions in Greece; (2) Foreign Archaeological Schools today. Contribution and innovation in the area of research and education; and (3) Foreign Archaeological Schools and Society.

The Canadian Institute contributed a paper relating to the third topic, prepared by the Institute’s Interim Director, Professor Brendan Burke, and entitled “The Canadian Institute in Greece: Social and Cultural Activities that Engage with the Past and the Present”. Since Professor Burke was unable to be present in Athens for the conference I presented his paper, which was well received by the good-sized audience in the auditorium of the Acropolis Museum. The programme of the conference can be seen here: www.culture.gr/DocLib/ΠΡΟΓΡΑΜΜΑ ΣΥΝΕΔΡΙΟΥ.pdf

The Ministry also organized a photographic exhibition to accompany the conference, and this opened on Thursday evening, October 18, in the Fethiye Mosque in the Roman Agora of Athens. A number of the Institute’s field projects contributed material for the exhibition, and some photos of the exhibition, focusing on the Institute’s contribution, can be seen in an album on the Institute’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/The-Canadian-Institute-in-Greece-173666819462/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156673622034463.

Warm thanks to our colleagues in the Ministry for organising these events showcasing the work of the Foreign Archaeological Schools and Institutes.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director