Bodies

Home / About / Dimitris Plantzos

Dimitris Plantzos

Greece

Dimitris Plantzos is a classical archaeologist, educated at Athens (BA, 1982-1987) and Oxford (MPhil, 1988-1990; DPhil, 1990-1993). He is the author of various papers and books on Greek art and archaeology, archaeological theory and classical reception. His Greek-language textbook on Greek Art and Archaeology, first published in 2011 by Kapon Editions, was published in 2016 in English by Lockwood Press in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also co-editor of the volume A Singular Antiquity. Archaeology and Hellenic Identity in 20th century Greece (published in Athens in 2008) and the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Greek Art (2012; paperback edition 2018). His latest books are The Recent Future, a study of archaeological biopolitics in contemporary Greece (2016, Nefeli Editions), and a study of ancient Greek painting in 2018, also published on both sides of the Atlantic. He is co-director of the Argos Orestikon Excavation Project; he teaches classical archaeology and reception at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Lecture

Greek Heritage Wars I: Monuments of Division

The lecture discusses some aspects of the dominant cultural heritage discourse in Greece – but not just Greece – and its effects on the construction, preservation, and diffusion of public memory; although his case studies will not be archaeological as such, the speaker will be discussing the materialities political power is imbued with, and the ways in which it regenerates itself on their expense (a process in which Greek archaeology often interferes). Focusing on what we generally call “alien monuments”, that is monuments that do not form part of the hegemonic culture, the lecture discusses minority inheritances, as they strive to rescue themselves from centrally waged wars on memory, and oblivion.

Reading list:

Logan & K. Reeves (ed.), Places of Pain and Shame. Dealing with ‘Difficult Heritage’ (Routledge 2009).

Macdonald, Difficult Heritage. Negotiating the Nazi Past in Nuremberg and beyond (Routledge 2009).

Solomon (ed.), Contested Antiquity. Archaeological Heritage and Social Conflict in Modern Greece and Cyprus (Indiana University Press 2021).

Workshop

Greek Heritage Wars II: Monuments of Oblivion

Based on a single case study from the Greek island of Lemnos, the paper discusses the invisibility of Ottoman heritage in Greece, often turning Ottoman relics or ruins into monuments of oblivion. This is not, the paper argues, so much due to the bureaucratic idiosyncrasies of Greek law, as to a deeply rooted public mistrust in the persistence of memory, and an inherent need of the Greek nationalist narrative to undermine the materialities of the ethnic memory of others.

Reading list:

Logan & K. Reeves (ed.), Places of Pain and Shame. Dealing with ‘Difficult Heritage’ (Routledge 2009).

H.W. Lowry, Historical Vestiges of Niyâzî Misrî’s Presence on the Island of Limnos (Bahçeşehir University Press 2011).

O. Matzari, “The türbe and tekke of Niyazi Misri in Lemnos”, in E. Balta, G. Salakidis, and Th. Stavrides (eds), Festschrift in Honor of Ioannis P. Theoharides (The Isis Press 2014), 333-362.

E. Solomon (ed.), Contested Antiquity. Archaeological Heritage and Social Conflict in Modern Greece and Cyprus (Indiana University Press 2021).