Melbourne seminar to explore 100-year history of AHEPA in America

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Alexander Kitroeff will give an online seminar titled ‘AHEPA 100 Years Between Americanism and Hellenism’ on Thursday, June 13 at 7pm as part of the Greek Community of Melbourne’s (GCM) History and Culture Seminars.

Seminar synopsis

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) founded in 1922 grew to become the largest Greek American institution second only to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

It was established to combat the racism and xenophobia that the Greeks encountered in America in the 1910s and early 1920s and to encourage Greeks to Americanise as a way of protecting themselves. It made considerable headway in achieving those goals in its first decade of its existence.

So much so that it was in danger of falling victim to its own success as racism and xenophobia waned with the outbreak of WWII and Greeks became slowly but steadily accepted into America’s mainstream. But at that point AHEPA deftly pivoted and embraced Hellenism as well as Americanism and continued to adapt in the following centuries allowing it to celebrate its centenary in 2022 as Greek America’s largest secular institution.

This presentation will examine AHEPA’s 100-year history and explain why and how it adapted so well to the changing American landscape and Greek America’s identity.

Bio

Alexander Kitroeff was born in Athens, Greece and educated in the United Kingdom where he received his doctorate degree in modern history from the University of Oxford. He is currently Professor of History at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. His research focuses on identity in Greece and its diaspora on in a broad range from politics and sports, on which he has published extensively.

His most recent books are The Greeks and the Making of Modern Egypt (2019) , Greek Orthodoxy in America: a modern history (2020) and The History of AHEPA 1922-2022. He has also collaborated with film director Maria Iliou as historical consultant in several documentary films including “The Journey: the Greek Dream in America”; “Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City” and “Athens Between East & West, 1821-1896” which is the first of a 5-part series on the city’s modern history. Kitroeff is currently working on a history of Greek-owned diner restaurants in America.

For those wishing to purchase Professor Kitroeff’s latest book, follow the link

Event details

  • When: Thursday 13 June 2024, 7pm
  • Speaker: Alexander Kitroeff
  • SEMINAR: AHEPA 100 Years Between Americanism and Hellenism
  • Where: This seminar is online I YouTube-Facebook of the Greek Community of Melbourne

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