Greece's 1821 & America: A Message of Freedom
The Consulate General of Greece in Boston and College Year in Athens, under the auspices of the Embassy of Greece in Washington, are delighted to co-host a celebratory lecture commemorating the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence.
On Wednesday, 17 March 2021, at 12 p.m. (EDT) / 6 p.m. (Athens), guest speaker Dr. Alexander Kitroeff, Professor of History at Haverford College and a Member of CYA’s Academic Advisory Roundtable, will discuss the American philhellenic movement during the Greek Revolution.
The wave of philhellenism that swept through the United States with the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821 included the establishment of “Greek committees” in Boston, New York and Philadelphia and the arrival of several American volunteers in Greece among whom was Bostonian Samuel Gridley Howe. What facilitated the emergence of philhellenism was the growing American fascination with Classical Greece that was expressed through the growth of Greek Revival architecture and an interest in Greece itself and the first visits there by Americans, Edward Everett from Massachusetts and Nicholas Biddle from Pennsylvania. What was also remarkable was the growing interest in the Greek struggle for freedom throughout the United States during the 1820s. This presentation offers an overall picture of the wide parameters of American philhellenism and explores the reasons for its depth and breadth during this period.
Alexander Kitroeff Professor of History at Haverford College Member of CYA's Academic Advisory Roundtable Alexander Kitroeff is a Professor of History at Haverford College, where he has been teaching since 1996. He was born in Athens and left Greece at age fourteen to join relatives in England where he finished his schooling and then went on to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from Warwick University. He also received a Master’s Degree from Keele University and a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford. After doing his national service in Greece, in 1986, he began teaching at the Byzantine & Modern Greek Center at Queens College at the City University in New York. In 1990 he moved across town to the Onassis Center for Hellenic Studies at New York University. His next position was at the History Department at Haverford College on Philadelphia’s “Main Line.” Kitroeff’s research focuses on ethnicity in modern Greece and the diaspora from politics to sports.
He has published five books: The Greeks in Egypt, 1919-1937: Ethnicity & Class (London, 1989); Griegos en América (Madrid, 1992); Wrestling with the Ancients: Modern Greek Identity and the Olympics (New York, 2004); Ελλάς, Ευρώπη Παναθηναϊκός! 100 Χρόνια Ελληνική Ιστορία (New York, 2010); The Greeks and the Making of Modern Egypt (2019); Greek Orthodoxy in America: A Modern History (New York, 2020). He is continuing his collaboration with film director Maria Iliou as a historical consultant for five documentaries, the most recent being “Athens from East to West 1821-1896,” which premiered at the Benaki Museum in Athens in early 2020. It is the first of a five-part series on the history of Modern Athens. Kitroeff’s current projects include a book commemorating the 100-year history of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) from 1922 to 2022, and a book on the history of Greek-owned diner restaurants in the United States.
Hosting Organization: CYA / College Year in Athens