Conference marks 20 years of Greek at Flinders

greek-conferenceOne of the most intractable diplomatic problems facing the world today will be a focus of the 8th International Conference on Greek Research being hosted by Flinders from July 2 to 5, 2009.

Some of the world’s leading academics on the territorial conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots will explore the latest thinking on the subject in a series of public lectures and panel discussions.

Professor Michael Tsianikas, convenor of the conference and coordinator of Modern Greek at Flinders, said the Cyprus problem continues to exercise the minds of intellectuals worldwide.

“Cyprus is not only critical to relations between Greek and Turkey, it is also important to those countries’ relations with Europe and, significantly, to Turkey becoming a member of the European Union,” Professor Tsianikas said.

“In order to understand the complexities of the Mediterranean countries and the Middle East, it’s important to understand the place of Cyprus, how dynamic and fragile it is, and where it is situated geographically,” he said.

“As an example, one only needs to think of the role British military bases on Cyprus played in the invasion of Iraq.”

In addition to Professor Andreas Theophanous’ and Professor Van Coufoudakis’ keynote addresses, The Cyprus Question, the EU and the Stakes Involved, and The European Convention of Human Rights and the Resolution of the Cyprus Problem, the conference will introduce a new Cyprus expert on the Flinders staff.

Dr Andrekos Varnava, a lecturer in the Department of History and the author of three books on Cyprus to be published this year, will present Cyprus: Political Modernity and the Structures of Democracy in a Divided Island.

The bilingual conference also features papers on a wide range of themes related to Greek culture from antiquity to the present day, a professional development seminar for teachers of Modern Greek, exhibitions, book launches and an extensive cultural program including a tribute to the acclaimed poet Yiannis Ritsos.

Professor Tsiankias said the conference is central part of celebrations to mark 20 years of Modern Greek studies at Flinders.

“Over those 20 years we’ve educated hundreds of students and teachers, developed a very strong postgraduate program and initiated this biennial international conference which attracts delegates from all over the world,” he said.

“I’m happy to say the conference has helped Flinders forge a strong collaboration with the Greek community.”

For full details of the conference program, visit: http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/conferences/greek/resconf2009/

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