About our webinar: 

The online discussion "1821 from the East" opens a dialogue between a Byzantinist and two Ottomanists. We are used to considering the Greek Revolution as a Greek event, in fact as a foundational event of the Greek state, or the result of economic, social and spiritual processes of Modern Greece, while recently it has also been approached as a European event. The three interlocutors will take a different stance, reevaluating the concept of 1821 as a foundational event of Modern Greek identity from the perspective of Byzantine culture (Maria Mavroudi), focusing on the Ottoman dimension of the Phanariots (Christine Philliou), and studying the gradual alienation of the Christian Ottoman subjects in the Balkans from the Muslims, and especially from the janissary corps (Marinos Sariyannis).

The webinar will take place via zoom in Greek; each participant will give a twenty-minute presentation and then the floor will be open to questions and discussion.



The speakers:

Maria Mavroudi teaches Byzantine History at the University of California, Berkeley. Much of her research and teaching over the last twenty years has focused on how Byzantine literature used Byzantine translations of Arabic texts into Greek, as well as the importance of Byzantine literature for the medieval "East" and "West." The answers that emerge from these two areas of research lead to a revision of the position held by ancient Greek literature in the Byzantine, Arabic, and Latin spiritual traditions, as well as Byzantium's supposedly marginal position in the broader spiritual culture of the Middle Ages. Her research was awarded a MacArthur Prize in 2002.



Christine Philliou is Professor of Ottoman - and 'Post-Ottoman' history specializing in modern Turkey and Greece - at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first book, The Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in the Age of Revolution (2011, Greek edition 2021) examines the role of the Phanariots in Ottoman rule and the crisis and transformation caused by the Greek Revolution both in their role and more broadly in the Ottoman administration. She narrates this history through the biography of the "self-made" Phanariot, Stefanos Vogoridis (1772-1859). Her new book, Turkey: A Past Against History (2021, Greek edition 2022) examines the problem of political conflicts and opposition to late Ottoman and contemporary Turkish political and cultural life through the eyes of a writer, Refik Halit Karai (1888-1965). Philliou directs the programs of Modern Greek studies and Ottoman/Turkish studies at UC, Berkeley.


Marinos Sariyannis is Director of Research at the Institute of Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas in Rethymnon. His research interests focus on Ottoman social, cultural and intellectual history. Among his latest books are A History of Ottoman Political Thought (Leiden 2019) and Ottoman accounts of the Greek Revolution, from Yusuf Bey to Ahmet Jevdet Pasha (with Sophia Laiou, Athens 2019).