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Greek Diaspora Descendent: Producing and Restoring Identity

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Denise Matthews, associate professor of communication at Eastern Connecticut State University, will present her work on displaced Anatolian Christians from the country of Greece during the 1920's from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 in the President's Dining Room, located in Hurley Hall. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The presentation is based on original and secondary research into the fate of Christian people expelled permanently from their Anatolian homeland by the Lucerne Treaty of 1923. While 1.5 million displaced Christians became refugees in Greece, others immigrated to the United States.

Matthews, a descendent of this diaspora, will explore the impact of the experience on the lives of Anatolian Greek families who built new lives and identities in the United States. "I grew up thinking that I was 100 percent Greek," said Matthews. This is a personal excavation of genetics, family lore and world history in a documentary format, shot in Turkey, Greece and the US."

Matthews has taught at Eastern since 2003.  She earned a doctorate from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, where her doctoral dissertation was on "The Effect of Educating Parents on Children's Comprehension of Television Commercials." She has presented at several film festivals and professional association meetings, winning awards for her documentaries, and has published on the social implications of new media and technologies.

For more information on the presentation, contact Professor David Stoloff at (860) 465-0028 or

March 2015

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