Rodanthi Tzanelli's Weblog

In this weblog I post updates on my teaching, research and publications, as well as other relevant academic activities.

The View from Greece: Simulacral Studies in Euro-Politics

Over the last year various constituencies have been warning about the demise of Greek economy. Articles that predicted the country’s exit from the Eurozone or the regular commentary concerning the dangers of a Euro-implosion because Greece’s slide into further debt became the focus of everyday speculation. This is the ‘End Game’, warned Paul Krugman back in 2010: it is about time for the big players to protect world stability and for Greece to leave the Euro before things get worse for the rest of the world. The default has already happened in theory: the Greek masses know it and react in a way that is both harmful and meaningful, seeking to symbolically deface an already discredited socialist majority in Parliament for failing to deliver on its pre-election promises of socio-economic betterment.

What I nevertheless find particularly noteworthy is the way Euro-politics and the Greek government’s disorganised tactics activated a sort of theatricality amongst the outraged Greek masses. It is as if we live a drama of collapse in which the people are both victims, protagonists and political actors ready to simulate (and profit from!) the imminence of grim post-Independence days-to-come. Narratives of economic risk and recession are incorporated into a semi-religious meta-narrative of Fall from European grace that has been haunting Greek mentalite since Greek liberation from the Ottoman Turks in the nineteenth century. The idea re-establishing a Greek protectorate circulates via various channels – radical, conservative or merely reactionary – further endorsing revolt en masse, further dramatising realities of rebellion and further commercialising the implosion of public rage.

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Rodanthi Tzanelli's Teaching Site


Education is a universal human right, but few us have had the opportunity to enjoy it. Tertiary education in particular is increasingly addressed to the fortunate few who have the capital to invest in pedagogical pursuits. Even on-line open repositories such as the present can be accessed only by those who have an Internet connection and a computer.

"Rodanthi Tzanelli's Teaching" is a site exclusively dedicated to teaching. I have uploaded a variety of documents related to teaching across different disciplines (sociology, history, anthropology). For more information about my current teaching and research you may refer to my webpage at the University of Leeds or "Regional Identity and National Character", my other Leeds project website.

Domesticating Sweet Sadness: Thessaloniki’s Glykà as a Travel Narrative

The paper examines Anatolítika glykà (Asia Minor sweets) and the craft of zacharoplastikí (sweet-making) in Thessaloniki, Greece’s main northern city. The continuum between sweet-makers and product explicates the development of zacharoplastikí – originally a colonial occupation, later a feminine craft of the domestic hearth – to a modern profession. Thessalonikiote sweet-making and glykàdevelop as a travel narrative by obscuring their Eastern associations. Zacharoplastikí’s professionalization was assisted by the employment of spectacular representational techniques. This is today communicated on the websites of its five biggestzacharoplasteío (patisserie) chains through a covert alignment of professional self-presentation with those Greek traditions that have acquired a public face and are (potentially) globally mobile. The author, a native Thessalonikiote, fuses digital hermeneutics with phaneroscopy to explore this phenomenon from within.

Heritage in the Digital Era Cinematic Tourism and the Activist Cause

What happens to traditional conceptions of ‘heritage’, in the era of fluid media spaces? ‘Heritage’ usually involves intergenerational transmission of ideas, customs, ancestral lands, and artefacts, and so serves to reproduce national communities over time. However, media industries have the power to transform national lands and histories into generic landscapes and ideas through digital reproductions or modifications, prompting renegotiations of belonging in new ways. Contemporary media allow digital environments to function as transnational classrooms, creating virtual spaces of debate for people with access to televised, cinematic and Internet ideas and networks.

This book examines a range of popular cinematic interventions that are reshaping national and global heritage, across Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia. It examines collaborative or adversarial articulations of such enterprise (by artists, directors, producers but also local, national and transnational communities) that blend activism with commodification, presenting new cultural industries as fluid but significant agents in the production of new public spheres.