Lecture: Contextualizing the past and the present of Salentine-Greek (Griko) used in the Southern Italian region of Apulia

Dr Manuela Pellegrino, a Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, and language lecturer Ms Angeliki Douri, will present a virtual seminar about the dialect “Griko”, a dialect spoken by the Italian-Greeks in Salento and in Calabria, on Thursday 29 October, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

In conformity with the European Charter of Minority Languages, the Italian government passed Law 482 in 1999 recognizing Griko (Apulia) and Greko (Calabria), two languages of Greek origins used in Southern Italy, as one of the twelve minority languages in Italy.

This seminar focuses on Griko and is structured as follows: Angeliki Douri will first present a brief overview of the Griko language, touching primarily on its origins and repertoire of usage. Then, she will discuss the outcomes of an empirical study, consisting of a phase of observation and a series of targeted interviews, which were conducted in Grecìa Salentina in the framework of a linguistic research.

Based on fieldwork conducted in Apulia and Greece Dr. Manuela Pellegrino will discuss the ways in which Griko keeps forming part of the lives of the locals and highlight the engagement of Greek aficionados of Griko in support of the preservation of the language; drawing on the project “I cinùria ghetonìa”–the first interdialectal meeting among Griko and Greko-speakers– organized together with Dr. M.Olimpia Squillaci, Manuela will also offer some comparative comments about the similarities and differences in the past and the present of Griko and Greko-speaking communities of Southern Italy.

Manuela Pellegrino holds a master’s degree and PhD in anthropology from University College of London. She currently is a Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University. Since 2006 Manuela has been conducting research among Griko-speakers and activists in Grecìa Salentina (Apulia, Southern Italy) and ‘aficionados of Griko’ in Greece; in her work she highlights the transformative effects on the ground of the interplay of language ideologies and policies promoted by the EU, Italy, and Greece to protect Griko, a minority language of Greek origins. She was a fellow of the Smithsonian Institution (2018/2019) and Co-Principle Researcher with M. Olimpia Squillaci of a comparative project investigating the future of Griko (Salento, Apulia) and Greko (Calabria). Manuela previously lectured part-time at Brunel University (2014-2017). Her work reflects a longstanding interest and commitment, as she originally comes from Zollino, a Griko-speaking village.

Angeliki Douri graduated in German Philology from Kapodistriakon University of Athens and attained a MA in European Linguistics from Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg and an MA in Language Teaching and Analysis from Aegean University. For over a decade, Ms Douri has been teaching Greek, German and English in universities, schools and institutions in several countries. Currently based in Italy, she keeps teaching online and conducting research in language teaching. Her main areas of interest are new technologies in education, language policy, special education and language contact.

How to participate

Audiences can enjoy the seminar in two ways:

  • If you want to actively participate and ask questions at the end of the seminar you will need to join us through a Zoom Webinar – for which you’ll need to pre-register by following the link here.
  • If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the show, just join us through our Facebook page or our YouTube page where we’ll be live streaming the event.

When: Wednesday 29 October 2020 @ 7.00pm