Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis, Chair of SEESOX and one of the founders of the SEESOX Diaspora, visited Sydney in March and met with Professors Nick Doumanis and George Kouvaros to discuss the upcoming collaboration between SEESOX and the University of New South Wales in Sydney (UNSW). A series of events focusing on the Greek diaspora in Australia and more widely were planned, including a symposium in Spring 2020 at Oxford addressing historical dimensions of the Greek diaspora and our methods to apprehend it. They also reviewed the current project proposal of Nick Doumanis and George Kouvaros, supported by the SEESOX diaspora team, on the identity and social transformation among first generation Greek migrants in Sydney.
This project aims to create a Greek-Australian Archive curated and managed in partnership with the State Library of NSW (SLNSW), UNSW and the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW (GOC). A defining feature of the Archive will be its dual focus as both a repository for primary materials—letters, postcards, photographs, recordings of interviews—and a research hub for generating public events, on-line exhibitions, scholarly symposia and publications that will endeavor to explain how migrants negotiated the challenges and opportunities before them. The aim is to build an archive that can document the quotidian aspects of these experiences and transformations and leverage new research into the forms of identity formation that characterise migrant subjectivities. What do the materials collected by migrant families tell us about the process of homemaking in which they were engaged? In what ways did these materials matter then? How do they matter now?
Principal Objectives of the project are :
- To locate, organise and transfer significant documents (papers, diaries, letters, films, photos) from Greek organizations and private individuals to the State Library where they will be curated and preserved in perpetuity.
- To interview 200 Greeks from New South Wales and record their life experiences as migrants or who were born into Greek Australian families in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
- To produce a world-class educational website that will contain readily accessible historical information about Greek Australian history for students, scholars and members of the public.
- To create a research culture based at UNSW but linked to other research units around the world. The aim is to support postgraduate research, hold conferences, workshops and produce international-standard works on Greek Australian history and culture.