Virtual Open Lecture

VIRTUAL OPEN LECTURE: Elia Kazan and the Diasporic identity of a Greek American film maker

Location: Zoom Webinar, YouTube Live Stream, Facebook Live Stream

Date: THURSDAY – 17 Sep. 2020 @ 7:00pm

Presenters: Prof Vrasidas Karalis

Language of Presentation: English | R.M.L.G.*: 0 – No knowledge of Greek required.

Entry: FREE


The lecture explores the artistic and intellectual development of Elia Kazan from his early theatrical productions, his films to his final autobiographical books. It focuses especially on Kazan’s most ambitious work America, America (1964) and its fragmented structure and nostalgic re-construction of origins as an Anatolian Greek persecuted by the Ottomans to abandon his country and found refuge in the ‘mythical’ land of America. Exploring his other famous movies especially On the Waterfront (1952) the lecture addresses the question of the identity of the outsiders and the compromises that they must make in order to be accepted by their adopted countries. Within this context the lecture discusses the notorious testimony of Kazan at the Anti-American Activities Committee and the controversy that followed him throughout his life.


Vrasidas KARALIS teaches Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney where he holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos Chair in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. He has published extensively on Byzantine historiography, Greek political life, Greek Cinema, European cinema, the work of Patrick White and contemporary political philosophy. He has edited volumes on modern European political philosophy, especially on Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. His books include Recollections of Mr. Manoly Lascaris (2007), The Demons of Athens (2014), A History of Greek Cinema (2012), Realism and Post-War Greek Cinema (2017). He is currently working on the films of Elia Kazan and John Cassavetes.

How to Participate

In order to keep everyone safe we have organized this seminar to be delivered online.
However, we are well aware that for some, a large part of the appeal of our seminars is the very active audience participation. Therefore we are providing two ways for you to enjoy the seminar:
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 this link:

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.


We thank the following donor for making this seminar possible: Anastasia Sougleris.

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.

You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne. Please email: or call 03 9662 2722.

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