2011 Cyprus Research Fund Lecture to feature Dr. Kostis Kourelis


William Caraher

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2011 Cyprus Research Fund Lecture to feature Dr. Kostis Kourelis

The Cyprus Research Fund, the Department of History, and the International Studies Program is pleased to announce the 2011 Cyprus Research Fund Lecture.

Continuing the Corinthian theme begun in last year's fall lecture, we will once again voyage to Biblical Corinth when Prof. Kostis Kourelis, Art and Art History, Franklin and Marshall College discusses his research on "Byzantium and the Avant Garde: American Excavations in Corinth, ca. 1930".

Prof. Kourelis talk will tell the unlikely story of how the excavation of the Byzantine remains at Corinth, Greece, influenced avant garde movements in mid-20th century America. As he explains, "In the 1920s and 1930s, members of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens engaged in a dialogue with the avant-garde through the shared discovery of Byzantine civilization (600 AD - 1500 AD). This extraordinary experiment took place in excavations at Corinth, where American archaeologists invented the systematic discipline of medieval archaeology, facilitated an inclusive identity for the American School, and contributed to a bohemian undercurrent that would have a long afterlife."

His talk will place the birth of Byzantine archaeology in Greece within the broader program of modernism and contemplate the role that thousand-year old Byzantine artifacts and buildings played in developing cutting-edge taste in art and architecture in the 1920s and 1930s.

In keeping with the Cyprus Research Fund's work to bring up-and-coming academic stars to the University of North Dakota, Prof. Kourelis is perhaps the most dynamic of a generation of young Byzantine archaeologists and art historians who are working to push the study of Byzantium and archaeological methods to the center of 21st century academic life.

Not only does he have extensive excavation experience, but he's also worked to show how archaeological and art historical method can help us understand the world in more critical ways. By bringing to the contemporary classroom the study of Byzantine - a mysterious, exotic, and misunderstood culture - Kourelis explores the continued power of Byzantine objects to inspire us.

William Caraher

Associate Professor of History

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