Rowman and Littlefield | The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories

Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Foreword by Gregory Nagy, General Editor

The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories, edited by K. S. Brown and Yannis Hamilakis, is a timely collection of interdisciplinary approaches to the traditions of Greek-speaking people in the twentieth century. The academic disciplines most prominently featured in this book are anthropology, sociology, history, art history (including history of architecture), and archaeology. What unites the studies brought together here is a sustained interest in the very concept of what it is to be “Greek”—and to what extent Greek traditions interacted with the historical contingencies of the “present” throughout the twentieth century, while all along claiming to preserve and even represent the past in all its discontinuities as well as continuities. What especially distinguishes this book is an awareness of and even sensitivity to the purely human dimensions of ethnocentrism and the problems related to it. The reader is left with the realization that impartial empiricism is not incompatible with compassion.

—Gregory Nagy


Building on the foundations of scholarship within the disciplines of philology, philosophy, history, and archaeology, the Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches series published by Rowman & Littlefield concerns not just the archaic and classical periods of Greek traditions but the whole continuum—along with all the discontinuities—from the second millennium BCE to the present. The aim is to enhance perspectives by applying various disciplines to problems that have in the past been treated as the exclusive concern of a single given discipline. Besides the crossing-over of the older disciplines, as in the case of historical and literary studies, the series encourages the application of such newer ones as linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and comparative literature. It also encourages encounters with current trends in methodology, especially in the realm of literary theory.

As part of its mission of bringing together a variety of research interests centered on Hellenic civilization and sharing them with a wider audience, the Center for Hellenic Studies offers free access to over 100 books and articles. If you have not done so already, we invite you to browse our online publications!