WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) announced on February 23 its latest publication, The Future of Hellenism in America: Selected Conference Papers, edited by Van Coufoudakis with a foreword by Constantine G. Berbatis, PhD, and a introduction by Nick Larigakis, AHI President. The 500-page volume is a compilation of 68 selected papers presented at conferences organized by AHIF and held annually in fourteen different U.S. cities between 2002 and 2018. The conferences on the future of Hellenism in America aimed to provide an opportunity for critical evaluation of and reflection on Hellenism and its application and meaning for the Greek-American and American community today.
“For 17 years, AHIF has led and maintained the discussion of promoting and preserving Hellenism at the forefront of the national community through the conferences on the future of Hellenism in America,” said the AHI President, Nick Larigakis. “The lectures have achieved their goal of providing a forum for critical discussion and reflection on Hellenism, which the reader will take away after reading the volume. We are grateful to the Foundation and all conference attendees who have contributed to the success of the conference each year.
Larigakis added, “Furthermore, we are extremely grateful to Dr. Constantine Berbatis for his selfless and generous gift of underwriting the publication of this volume, to which he also contributed as author of his foreword.”
“We are proud of the Foundation’s contributions to community discourse on topics and trends impacting Greek America and Hellenism which are now summarized in our new publication,” said the AHIF President. , Leon Andris. “We sincerely appreciate the extensive work of Dr Coufoudakis, who edited the publication, and the contributions of Dr Constantine Berbatis, Nick Larigakis and, of course, the authors of the conference papers that make up our publication.”
David R. Weinberg, an educator and scholar of Hellenism, who presented at the first conference on the future of Hellenism in America in 2002 in Washington, DC, offered probably the best explanation of Hellenism. He said: “The phenomenon of Hellenism is indeed unique in the world. There is no other “ism” that has aroused so much admiration and praise for so many centuries of human history. There is no other word in the whole language that signifies so much idealism, perfection, edge, beauty and excellence. There is no other “ism” in history that has so inflamed idealistic hearts and minds to lay down their lives for the cause of others as thousands of philhellenes did during the Greek War of Independence. It was truly a historical phenomenon: French, English, Germans and Italians; Austrians and Spaniards; The Dutch and the Americans rose up behind the blue and white flag to ensure the freedom of Greece. This, because there is no other “ism” of which we all feel we are members and heirs, regardless of race, creed, religion or national origin.
Papers are organized around eight themes: Defining and Promoting Hellenism in the United States, The Role of the Media, The Importance of Participation in the Political Process, The Future of Greek-American Organizations, Greek Studies Programs Modern Studies in American Universities, The Teaching of the Greek Language, Issues Affecting Greek-American Identity, and Hellenism and the Role of the Orthodox Church.
These conference presentations showed the growth, evolution and success of an immigrant community that faced severe discrimination during the first quarter of the 20th century, but rose to prominence in all aspects of American life through his own efforts. Today, Greek-Americans are present and contribute to all aspects of American life, in the arts, sciences, business and politics.
About the publisher:
Van Coufoudakis is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University – Purdue University. After retiring from the Indiana system, he served as rector of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus and later as president of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency, an independent agency of the Greek government. His involvement in Cyprus dates back to the early 1960s. He became a Fellow of the American Hellenic Institute shortly after its founding in 1974. He has written extensively on United States foreign and defense policy in Southeast Europe and in the eastern Mediterranean. His most recent books include Cyprus a Contemporary Problem in Historical Perspective (University of Minnesota, 2006), which has been translated into Spanish, Arabic and Greek, and International Aggression and Violations of Human Rights – The Case of Turkey in Cyprus (University of Minnesota, 2008). For his contributions to Hellenism and Hellenic letters, Dr. Coufoudakis was awarded the title and decoration of Commander of the Order of the Phoenix by the President of the Hellenic Republic in 1998.
The Future of Hellenism in America: Selected Conference Papers is available in hardcover. The 500-page book includes a 24-page photo section with 54 photographs from the 14 conferences on the future of Hellenism in America.
The cost of the book is $40 plus $8 for shipping and handling. For shipping costs for multiple copies and for international orders, please contact the AHIF offices at [email protected] or 202-785-8430.
Books are available from AHIF’s online bookstore or by sending the order form to: AHIF, 1220 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 or by emailing: [email protected]