Maria Nousias Zamanakos, Alexandria Zamanakos and Alice Fleury Zamanakos Endowed Lectureship in Hellenic Studies

The Zamanakos Endowed Lectureship in Hellenic Studies is an annual lecture to be held on behalf of the Hellenic Studies Program of UMass Lowell.

The Hellenic Studies Program is dedicated to forging partnerships between the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Hellenic-American community of the Greater Merrimack Valley. This annual lecture shall provide a forum for those interested in the historical and cultural contributions made by Greece and the Hellenes around the world. The program is committed to bringing the best in intellectual and cultural events to Lowell to further that goal.

Athens in America: Ancient Greece and the Making of the New Nation

Johanna Hanink, 2024 Zamanakos Lecturer at UMass Lowell

Johanna Hanink, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Brown University

  • When: Thursday, March 14, 2024
    • Lecture: 6-7 p.m.
    • Reception: 7-8 p.m.
  • Where: Coburn Hall 255

Free and open to the public.

In the decades between the death of George Washington and the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln, America’s nation makers — politicians and professors, authors and architects, veterans of the Revolution, and future soldiers of the Civil War — became infatuated with a dream of Greece. Famously, they built houses, banks and even the government buildings of their nation’s new capital in the style of Greek temples. But they also did much more than that: they painted and sculpted Greek themes, modeled their speeches on Greek orations, and established garden cemeteries inspired by ancient Athens’ public burial ground. They wrote the nation’s first history books interweaving the past and patriotism in a distinctly Athenian style. They made pilgrimages to the classical lands and rallied to a new cry of independence when Greek revolutionaries sought American support in a bid for liberation from Ottoman Turkey. They lectured on the Homeric epics, translated Greek plays and poems, philosophized with Plato, and many of them — in the North and South alike — invoked Aristotle to justify the institution of slavery.  

This lecture reconsiders the American ‘Greek Revival’ and its enduring significance, in the context of both the recent bicentennial (in 2021) of the Greek Revolution and the upcoming commemorations of the 250th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence.

For more information, contact Prof. Jane Sancinito by email:, Dept. of History, UMass Lowell.

Sponsored by the UMass Lowell History Department and the FAHSS Dean’s Office, with support from the Hellenic Cultural and Heritage Society of Lowell.