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Black Sea Myths and Modern Europe

General Programming

dateOctober 6, 2017 timeFriday, 3:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Black Sea Networks Initiative
  • Columbia University Presidential Global Innovation Fund
  • Harriman Institute
  • Valentina Izmirlieva (Professor of Slavic Literature and PI of the Global Black Sea Networks Initiative)
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

The symposium addresses key ancient Black Sea myths that retain a stable presence in the Western cultural imagination—Prometheus, Medea and the Argonauts, Iphigenia, Odysseus—and aims to explore their life in the lands where these myths initially emerged. It targets especially the little-studied political mobilization of these myths in the construction of modern national, regional, and pan-European identities for various communities around the Black Sea. This symposium is the first public event of a long-term international research program, mobilizing an interdisciplinary team of scholars from the U.S., U.K., Greece, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Georgia under the umbrella of the global initiative “Black Sea Networks” (, housed by the Slavic Department of Columbia University.

  • Speaker Edith Hall Professor of Classics King's College London
  • Speaker Cleo Protokhristova Professor of Comparative Literature Plovdiv University, Bulgaria
  • Speaker Tamta Khalvashi Assistant Professor of Anthropology Free University of Tbilisi
  • Discussant Helene Peet Foley Professor of Classics Barnard College