Jan Blommaert (Memorial)

Department of Culture Studies
Tilburg University
The Netherlands

Jan Blommaert is a Professor of Language, Culture, and Globalization, and Director of the Babylon Center at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He is of the world’s most prominent Sociolinguists and Linguistic Anthropologists and has contributed substantially to sociolinguistic globalization theory, focusing on historical as well as contemporary patterns of language and literacy, and on lasting and new forms of inequality emerging from globalization processes.

Dimitris Dalakoglou

Social Anthropology Department
Vrije University Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Dimitris Dalakoglou is a Professor at Vrije University Amsterdam, where he holds the Chair of Social Anthropology. Since 2004 he is developing an anthropology of material infrastructures which most recently culminated to his current project infra-demos that studies democracy and infrastructures in Greece. He is the director of the Lab on Mobility, Infrastructures, Sustainability and Commons (MISC Lab).

Ioanna Sitaridou

Department of Spanish
Cambridge University
The U.K.

Prior to her Cambridge appointment in 2004 Prof. Ioanna Sitaridou worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Centre on Multilingualism at the University of Hamburg, investigating word order in Old Romance and the licensing/loss of null subjects in the history of French and Occitan (2002-2005), with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Meisel.

She received her PhD in Romance linguistics at the University of Manchester (2002) under the supervision of Prof. Nigel Vincent. She holds an MA in Linguistics from University College London (UCL) (1998). She also holds a BA in French Philology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1997), part of which was spent under the Erasmus scheme at the University of Lisbon (1997) studying Portuguese and Romance linguistics with Prof. Ana Maria Martins.

Her main areas of research are comparative and diachronic syntax of the Romance languages, in particular 13th Century Spanish, as well as dialectal Spanish; and dialectal Greek, especially Pontic Greek. The areas in which she carries out research are: the relationship between syntactic change and acquisition, language contact, micro-variation and change, heritage languages and change, and phylogenies.

Her research has been funded thrice by British Academy and several times by the Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme 2014; in 2019 she won a competitive CAPES grant at the UFB in Salvador, Brazil for Romance syntax; research buyout from ISWOC at Oslo (2012) for Old Ibero-Romance syntax; and a CRASSH fellowship (2008) for a project on Old Romance word order.

She has published many papers in Glossa, Lingua, Diachronica, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, among others, and her book on Word Order in Old Ibero-Romance (with Prof. Montserrat Batllori) will appear by CUP in 2022. For her research on Romeyka she was awarded the Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship in Hellenic Studies by Princeton University in Spring 2011; a Research Fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University in Winter 2015; and the Chaire internationale 2020 du Labex EFL. Her work on Romeyka has featured in national and international media (the Today programme in BBC Radio 4, The Independent, Der Spiegel, Sabah, etc.). She uses this research and the resulting publicity to educate on bilingualism, promote linguistic self-esteem, especially for female speakers in remote areas of Turkey.

Prof. Sitaridou welcomes inquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to her interests.


Pavlos Kavouras

Department of Music Studies
National and Kapodistrian University

Pavlos Kavouras is a professor of the Faculty of Music Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). His work blends anthropology, sociology, musicology, history, philosophy, and cultural studies. He is the Founder and Director (2007-2022) of the Ethnomusicology and Cultural Anthropology Laboratory, NKUA. He has participated as a principal or collaborating partner in international lecturing, teaching, and ethnographic research, as well as institutional synergies in art and education management. Since 2016, he has been visiting professor at UCLA, Department of Ethnomusicology, and in 2015, as Onassis Foundation Greek Scholars Fellow, gave lectures at UCLA, Stanford, Illinois, Michigan, and Harvard. Since 2012, his academic, artistic, and philosophical interests have focused on migration and otherness in a broad geo-cultural perspective employing music and film as venues for understanding otherness and as vehicles for attaining Self-awareness. In 2019 he was appointed by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent Greece in the Ancient Civilizations Academic Forum in La Paz Bolivia. Since 2020, he is a founding member of the NKUA Center for Excellence dealing with “Inter-religious Dialogue.” He has conducted extensive ethnographic research in Greece, the USA, Southwest India, and Egypt. He has published numerous books and articles in English and in Greek and is the General Editor of the Ethnomusicology and Anthropology scholarly series for Nissos Publications.

He has taught various academic courses both at undergraduate and graduate levels such as Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Anthropology of Music, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnographic Film, Music and the Divine, Seminar: Music Ethnographies, Seminar: Music Biographies, Seminar: Discourse Analysis, Questions of Methodology, Music and the Other Arts. His publications include Ghlendi and xenitia: the poetics of exile in rural Greece, Trickster and Cain: a musical allegory, Folklore and tradition: issues of re-presentation and performance of music and dance, “Ethnographies of dialogical singing, dialogical ethnography,” and “Allegories of nostalgia: music, tradition, and modernity in the Mediterranean area”. His recent research projects include “Performigrations: People Are the Territory” (European Union – Canada Programme for Cooperation in Higher Education and Vocational Training, 2014-2016). “ARISTEIA II, Western Art Music at the Time of Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Greek Culture and European Integration” (WestArtMus 2014-2015), “Video Life Stories of Immigrants” (Hellenic Ministry of the Interior 2012-2013).

Trickster and Cain: A Musical Allegory

In this lecture, I will juxtapose the mythological figure of trickster to the biblical figure of Cain. In doing so, my purpose is to shed light on the dynamics of human thinking. Trickster is a potent symbol of humanity. It is found in the oral literatures of tribal peoples worldwide, in the context of which his mode of thinking and acting is amply demonstrated. Trickster became widely known to the Western world as a unique expression of humanity mainly through the works of the anthropologist Paul Radin and the psychologist Carl Jung. Trickstering is a unique human quality which concerns a one-way logic of being in the world. Trickster’s flow of consciousness moves from a center or point of departure outwards, having no destination, and is defined by the lack of any subject/object differentiation. Trickster stands ideally for abductive logic, to use the philosopher’s Charles Saunders Peirce terminology, as opposed to the other two Peircean kinds of logic, inductive and deductive, which I take to represent together the logic of Cain. In the case of Cain, human thinking is characterized by the subject/object divide, which introduces an epistemological and, eventually, a reflexive dualism, with serious, moral and ethical implications. Cain’s logic flows from the particular to the whole and vice versa, inductively or deductively, as it is defined and determined by the mental law of “Two” in the thinker’s or actor’s reflexive relationship with the world –his or her physical, social and spiritual cosmos. After setting the stage for a critical encountering between the primitive trickster and the biblical Cain, I will interpret their exchanges and incompatible expressions regarding their non-reflexive and reflexive ways of being in the world, respectively. Finally, I will turn to music and allegory attempting to blend these two fundamental components of humanity with the archetypal characters of trickster and Cain. It is in the context of such a dialogue that trickster’s encountering with Cain acquires its musical and allegorical momentum and sheds light through its abductive othering to the question of interpretation and human consciousness.