Seminar

University of St Andrews' Eleni Kefala to present on the topic of Constantinople, Tenochtitlan, and the Trauma of the Conquest

April 19, 2022
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The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University, and UCLA's Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, are pleased to present Eleni Kefala, a senior lecturer at the University of St Andrews. On Friday, April 29th, at 10:00 AM PT, join us online for her talk entitled "Strangers No More: Constantinople, Tenochtitlan, and the Trauma of the Conquest," as part of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies' Spring Seminar Series.

The event will be moderated by the Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, professor Dimitris Krallis. Attendance is free. The event is open to the public and will be recorded.

When:
April 29, 2022

Where:
Zoom Webinar

How:
Register through Eventbrite or send an email to hscomm@sfu.ca. 

Abstract

The Byzantines had long dreaded the year 1492. According to their calculations based on the Scriptures, it would bring the end of the world. In an eerie stroke of irony, they were right in their fears. Even though they were slightly off in the timing of the fall of Constantinople into the hands of the Ottomans, they anticipated with uncanny accuracy the end of the world as they knew it. Columbus’s crossing of the Atlantic paved the way for the European colonization of the Americas. But what is there in common between Byzantium and America beyond some bemusing serendipities? This paper approaches that question by rehistoricizing the fall of Byzantine Constantinople (1453) and Aztec Tenochtitlan (1521) while looking at three sorrowful poems composed by anonymous Greek and Aztec authors soon after the conquest of the Byzantine and Mexica empires.

Speaker bio

Eleni Kefala is a senior lecturer at the University of St Andrews. Her work explores modernity across different periods and cultures from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. She is the author of Peripheral (Post) Modernity: The Syncretist Aesthetics of Borges, Piglia, Kalokyris, and Kyriakidis (2007), The Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity (2020), and Buenos Aires Across the Arts: Five and One Theses on Modernity (2022), and editor of Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World: From Conquest to Globalisation (2011).

Moderator

Born and raised in Athens, where he lived until his college years, Dimitris Krallis studied political theory at the University of Athens and Byzantine History at Oxford and at the University of Michigan, where he obtained his doctorate. He teaches Byzantine history at Simon Fraser University’s Department of Humanities and is the Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies. He is the writer of two books, including, Serving Byzantium's Emperors: The Courtly Life and Career of Michael Attaleiates. New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture Series, which was recently translated into Greek. He has also written numerous articles and co-translated the work of a major Byzantine historian, Michael Attaleiates. His research explores the social, political, economic and intellectual history of Byzantium, as well as its modern reception.

This programming is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

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