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Classical debt ‘after’ the crisis: Greek antiquity in the era of Grecovery
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States + Google Map
Drawing from her latest book, The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity, Johanna Hanink, Professor at Brown University, shows that our idealized image of ancient Greece dangerously shapes our view of the modern country and its recent crises.
For nearly a decade, Greece has been notorious for its monetary, sovereign debt. Yet for more than two centuries, claims have been made for another type of “Greek debt,” namely the symbolic debt that Europe—or even “Western civilization”—allegedly owes to Greece for bequeathing the world with its traditions of democracy, philosophy, mathematics, fine art, etc. This lecture will depart from this premise, but will focus on how accounting of that debt-balance has recently shifted, especially since August 20, 2018, when Greece “exited” from its official bailout programs and embarked on a new era hailed as one of “Grecovery.” That day, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras triumphantly pronounced, at a press conference carefully staged on the island of Ithaca, “We reached our destination.” What role might antiquity play in this next chapter for Greece?