Kostis Kourelis

Wolf Humanities Center Regional Fellow

20222023 Forum on Heritage

Kostis Kourelis

Associate Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College

Kostis Kourelis is Associate Professor of architectural history in the Department of Art, Art History and Film at Franklin & Marshall College, where he is also co-director of the Center for the Sustained Engagement with Lancaster. He is an archeologist whose research focuses on the buildings and landscapes of migration from the medieval period to the present with a special focus on the Mediterranean. He also explores the history of humanitarianism and the relationship between radical art practices and archaeology in the twentieth century. Kostis’ current fieldwork centers on the housing of forced migration in sites ranging from refugee camps in Greece, to work-force housing in North Dakota, and Japanese American incarceration camps in the Pacific Northwest. He is thrilled to return to Penn, where he received his PhD in Byzantine archaeology from the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World graduate group 20 years ago.

Displaced in Arcadia: Archaeologies of Forced Migration in Modern Greece

By ignoring sites of modern conflict, Greek archaeology has dismissed the role that refugees have played in shaping the landscapes they areforced to inhabit. Pain, shame, and amnesia have contributed to a strategic erasure of refugee landscapes. Washingtonia, Neo Monastiri, and Aigition are three exemplary settlements of migration and displacementdating to 1829 (Greek War of Independence), 1925 (World War I), and 1944 (World War II) respectively. Their archaeology affords insights into the stratigraphic layering of humanitarianism across two centuries of the modern nation-state. By flipping the priorities of Greek archaeology from antiquity to modernity, we naturalize forced migration as an endemic feature of Europeanhistory and challenge fixed notions of heritage and the management of cultural resources.