Nov 15: Aaron Hollander, “Lionslayers: Hagiographical Imagination and National Struggle”

Tuesday, Nov 15, 12:00-1:15pm (Swift 208)
Aaron Hollander, Ph.D. candidate in Theology: “Lionslayers: Hagiographical Imagination and National Struggle on the Island of Saints”

In 1961, a “National Struggle Museum” was created to remember and glorify the heroes of the Greek Cypriot anticolonial war. This museum functions, I will argue, as a hagiographical medium, rendering for local and international publics an aura of sanctification around the fallen fighters. Such an impression is generated by the museum’s spatial mise-en-scène, its progressive orientation of visitors who move through its halls, its ways of curating belongings and images of the dead, its narrative construction of the life and conduct of the fighters, and its subtle evocation of traditional saintly patronage (in particular that of Saint George) associated with the island’s communities. Drawing on original fieldwork in Cyprus between 2014-2016, I will treat the National Struggle Museum as a tight lens through which to consider the diversity of processes by which modern Orthodox Christians in (post)colonial situations construe, commemorate, and maintain relationships with holiness.

Lunch will be provided.