James and Carolyn Kolokotrones Endowed Graduate Research Fellowship

James and Carolyn Kolokotrones

The James and Carolyn Kolokotrones Endowed Graduate Research Fellowship supports all costs related to graduate student travel to Greece for research purposes, primarily during the summer. For information about this fellowship, contact hellenic@humnet.ucla.edu

Collin Moat is a recipient of the James and Carolyn Kolokotrones Endowed Graduate Research Fellowship for 2022. Collin Moat (Ph.D. student, Classics) is broadly interested in the Classical Environmental Humanities, and his current research focuses on the dynamic relationship in early Greek literature between heroes and trees, which were both revered as proverbially persistent, sometimes sacred beings and considered a valuable source of raw material. As a part of this research, he recently presented a paper on Achilles’ entanglement with the Pelian spear in the Iliad at the Classical Association of the Middle West and South’s annual conference. He will use the fellowship to support his travel to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, where he will continue his research and participate in the Academic Year program, which allows students to study the art, archaeology, history, and environment of Greece firsthand.

Nicolyna Enriquez is a recipient of a 2023 James and Carolyn Kolokotrones Endowed Graduate Research Fellowship. Situated at the intersection of island studies and environmental history, Nicolyna Enriquez’s dissertation, Surrounded by Sea, Rooted in Land: An Environmental History of Late Byzantine Art on Crete, explores how rural Cretan villagers in late Byzantium (13th-15th century) perceived and experienced their insular environment. Focusing on the provinces of Selino and Pediada, she brings together visual imagery, architectural studies, archaeological research, and topographical analysis into a comprehensive discussion of Late Byzantine island communities and the surrounding terrestrial and maritime world. By combining a study of the placement of churches in the larger island landscape with the visual evidence on their walls, Nicolyna argues that these rural churches are not simply mirrors of the heavenly realm (a metaphor articulated by Byzantine theologians) but are simultaneously deeply connected to the surrounding environment. This dissertation proposes a broader understanding of the relationship between rural island villagers and the sea and land from which they gained sustenance, engaged in trade, and, in the case of climate, from which they requested divine protection. For the summer of 2023, Nicolyna will continue to document the rural churches of the two provinces under study while also using her time on the island to trace the routes and pathways which connect these churches to their local communities.

Sofia Pitouli is a recipient of a 2023 James and Carolyn Kolokotrones Endowed Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship will enable Pitouli to study the work of Greek architect Dimitris Pikionis (1887-1968) and his vision of “Japanese” as negotiated in his tectonic and landscaping projects spanning from 1933 to 1958. In 1954, the Greek government commissioned Dimitris Pikionis to landscape the area around the Acropolis. Within the 80,000 square meter complex, Pikionis synthesized a modern Greek identity by intertwining the narratives of heritage emerging from the classical Greek and Byzantine past. Pikionis’ modern-era Greekness, however, laid its inventiveness elsewhere––in Japan. Her research, Toward Greekness: Dimitris Pikionis’ Architectural Fantasies of Japan, centers around the question of how Pikionis employed and negotiated a version of Japan in his tectonic works in the decade of the 1930s and traces its influence leading up to the Acropolis project. This award will allow her to travel to Athens and Thessaloniki to study the archives of the open-air theatre Marika Kotopouli at Heyden Street in Athens (1933) and the Experimental School of Thessaloniki (1935), described as “of a slightly Japanese character.” Pikionis never visited Japan but was close to Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), who traveled to China and Japan and documented his insights in his book Le Jardin des rochers (1936). Kazantzakis collaborated with Pikionis on an essay about Japanese gardens and their spatial organization. She will also travel to Heraklion to study Kazantzakis’ letters to Pikionis during and after his trip to Japan and document his collection of Japanese works.