Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Map of Greek America 1909

An article on Materialities that Bind under review (sadly twice as long as the mandated minimum, so lots to cut if accepted), an article comparing the spatial distribution of Greek immigrants in two Pennsylvania towns just accepted (written with the brilliant digital humanist David Pettegrew), an article on documenting site abandonment in press, and an article comparing Greek and Italian sacred spaces in the making (an ambitious edited project that I’m scared I’ll fall flat in). Greek American archaeology finding its way in print. I want to share a map. Pettegrew and I started building these spatial distribution maps of Greek immigrant communities. Our collaboration started by comparing the two towns we teach in, Harrisburg and Lancaster, the homes of our two respective liberal arts colleges. We asked the question, what does the Greek American story begin to look like without the two big elephants of Chicago and New York? So we decided to quantify our question. The map above shows the location and size of Greek communities based on the reporting of the Greek Business Directory. We learned that half of the Greek immigrant population lived in small communities of 50-200 people scattered throughout the country, making our little Harrisburg and Lancaster case-studies the norm rather than the exception. Our study then zooms into the spatial distribution of Greeks within the two cities. This involved plotting every Greek individual’s residence based on the four relevant U.S. Federal censuses (1900, 1910, 1920, 1930). We found radical differences in how the Greeks in two small cities only 50 miles apart occupied the urban landscape. Stay tuned for the article to appear in Pennsylvania History.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States