Olga Kalentzidou

Director of Academic Initiatives and Experiential Learning at SGIS

Full Biography

Kalentzidou researches Greece, the Balkans, Europe, immigration and ethnicity, food memory, identity, material culture, pottery, Balkan prehistory, and experiential learning and pedagogy. Her research interests focus on the intersection of identity, [material] culture, and historical memory. Her earlier work concentrated on understanding how the distribution of material culture affected the representation of ethnicity across space and time. Her 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. Her original focus on the movement of people and goods continues to inform her research to date. Her 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, she is 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. Her 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.