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Olga Kalentzidou

kalentzidouFaculty, Director of Undergraduate Studies
WH 335, (812) 856-1030

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2001
  • M.A., Indiana University, 1992
  • B.A., Aristoteleio University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1989

Region of Interest

  • Greece
  • Balkans
  • Europe

Research Topics

  • Immigration and ethnicity
  • Food memory
  • Identity
  • Material culture
  • Pottery
  • Balkan prehistory

Research Summary

My research interests focus on the intersection of identity, [material] culture, and historical memory. My earlier work concentrated on understanding how the distribution of material culture affected the representation of ethnicity across space and time. My research analyzed pottery production and consumption networks during the period from 1890-1990; the later years of the Ottoman Empire and the decades succeeding its fall in the region of Thrace. I employed ethnography and archival research in accessing the historical and personal memories of potters and consumers. The research was interdisciplinary utilizing a mixture of methods from anthropology, material culture studies, history and geography.

My original focus on the movement of people and goods continues to inform my research to this date. My study of food practices by Black Sea immigrants in Northern Greece explains how nostalgia is used both as ethnic identification and a way of negotiating integration into the dominant national culture. More specifically, I am interested in the manner in which globalization impacts local food and memory narratives, as well as the degree to which culinary traditions transcend intergroup and international borders. My most recent project focuses on identity politics vis-à-vis the demands recent legal and illegal immigration has posed in Evros, a border area situated in the Northeastern most part of Greece.

Representative Publications

  • In preparation. “Exhibiting Nostalgia: Caucasian Bread in a Northern Greek city.”
  • In preparation. “Not My Grandmother’s Cooking: (Re-)Inventing National Cuisine in Greece
  • 2000a. Discontinuing Traditions: Using Historically Informed Ethnoarchaeology in the Study of Evros Ceramics. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 7(3): 165-186.
  • 2000b. Pots Crossing Borders: Ethnic Identity and Ceramics in Evros. Near Eastern Archaeology 63(2): 70-83.

External Links

Teaching Portfolio