Call for Papers: The Greek War of Independence and the Americas

An international conference marking 200 years since the opening of the Greek War of Independence focused on the connections between the Greek struggle and the Americas

Princeton University’s Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and the Department of History at Columbia University invite scholars at all stages of their careers to submit proposals for individual papers to be given at a two-day international history conference scheduled for Friday to Saturday, November 12-13, 2021. The conference will explore the social, political, cultural and economic interconnections between the Greek War of Independence and the Americas.

The conference, which participates in global bicentennial celebrations of the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, is intended to further historical thinking connecting histories of an age of revolutions on multiple continents. It may lend itself to work in a comparative vein or comparisons may arise through discussion of intensive case studies. The organizers anticipate work that fuels rethinking sovereignty, peoplehood, and a world of nations and empires through actors and processes.

Themes to be explored include: models of revolution in the Americas in rethinking the Greek Independence struggle; the liberal international moment of the 1820s in southern Europe and connections with the independence movements in South America; attitudes within Greece towards the Americas and the move to independence in the western hemisphere; questions of republics and slavery composed by African-Americans in 1820s; response to the slavery question in the Morea. Approaches to foreign and economic affairs including intervention and non-intervention policies developed in the Americas, such as the Monroe Doctrine and the policy of states in the Americas toward an independent Greece; the rise of an international market for sovereign debt and the debt boom/bust of the 1820s; economic and technological aspects of American involvement including steamship purchases; the suppression of piracy; the involvement of Protestant missions; the rescue of Greek orphans. Intellectual history and cultural and artistic responses, such as international Benthamism and radical constitutionalism; novel approaches to philhellenes of the Western Hemisphere, including classicizing political thought (e.g., Jefferson, Koraes); and the impact of philhellenism on American life, culture, and institutions (e.g., the cases of Francis Lieber and Samuel Gridley Howe); rethinking American philhellenes in Greece; the circulation of memoirs, journalism, captive and travel literature and the literary representation of the Greek war in the United States; memories of 1821 and Greek-American life over the following century and a half.

The conference is intended to meet over two sequential days, one each at the respective campuses of the hosting institutions.  If the conference is held in person as planned, speakers selected will be provided four nights lodging (2 nights in Princeton, 2 nights in New York City booked on their behalf) and reimbursement of a fixed amount toward travel expenses. Selected participants should however be prepared for possible changes in the modality of the conference, if continuing public health and safety concerns prevail against or limit physical assembly. Health and safety concerns might even dictate a change in the dates of the conference. The organizers commit to making a decision in good time regarding modality.  Speakers should not purchase tickets for travel that are not fully refundable, until they are notified by the organizers to do so.  Should the conference be held virtually or in hybrid mode, there will be no reimbursements towards unexecuted travel expenses, and should the conference be held in person on different dates, there be will no reimbursement for travel arrangements made with respect to the original dates.

Program Committee: Dimitri Gondicas (Princeton University); Mark Mazower (Columbia University); Jeremy Adelman (Princeton University); Kostas Kostis (University of Athens);
Natasha Wheatley (Princeton University); Peter Wirzbicki (Princeton University); Konstantina Zanou (Columbia University)


Open to all scholars with applicable work.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit an abstract of no longer than 300 words and a one-page summary curriculum vitae to Sara Brooks ([email protected]), Secretary to the Program Committee.

Time of Year
Fall Semester
Application Deadline
Application Status