Abstract: In this lecture, Professor Thomas W. Gallant argues that the time is ripe for a radical departure in the ways we conceptualize Greek history in general and social history in particular. There is a movement among historians to turn away from the nation-state as the field's primary geographical frame of analysis and to opt instead for regional or transnational perspectives. Taking this as his starting point, he explains why a social history of the Greeks must adopt a framework that is transnationalist, that connects global developments with local experiences, and that is broadly comparative. He then discusses the manifold challenges that confront historians attempting to write such a social history of the Greek people in the modem era. In addition to articulating the difficulties historians face, he also highlights the topics and themes on which such a study should focus. Among his most controversial observations is that such a transnational social history of the Greeks can provide a model of how world history and the history of the nation can be blended together into a novel form of historical writing, the transnational history of a single people.
Short Biographical Information: Tom Gallant specializes in modern Greek history with special interest in rural society and culture, banditry, piracy and violence, masculinity and gender, cultural identity, imperialism and law, and the social history and anthropology of the Mediterranean. His most recently published books are Modern Greece, Experiencing Dominion: Culture, Identity and Power in the British Mediterranean, and The 1918 Anti-Greek Riot in Toronto. His new books are Murder on Black Mountain: Love and Death on a Nineteenth Century Greek Island and Blood on Their Hands: Crime, Criminal Justice and Policing in the British Mediterranean. He is the editor of the ten-volume Edinburgh History of the Greeks and author of volume nine on the Nineteenth century.
Monday April 8 2013 at 5pm
3rd floor of the Levis Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL.