Topographies of Hellenism: Mapping the Homeland

By Artemis Leontis | Go to book overview

AFTERWORD Changing Topographies

Topographies are constantly undergoing change. They change not only as boundaries shift, countries unite or divide, or places take new names but also as we approach our world through different routes of knowledge. Old sites may lose their importance, even as new sites come to our attention or familiar sites become subject to new battles. As we redefine ourselves, our international communities, nations, states, cities, ethnic groups, neighborhoods, may erect new monuments while they dismantle the old, upgrade certain areas while they degrade others, make private property of formerly public lands while they nationalize formerly private holdings, carve new administrative districts while they dissolve the old, evacuate one place as they move into another. We are continuously redesigning, rebuilding, renovating, restoring, reinterpreting, the sites we administer. Even as we do this, we are periodically restructuring our knowledge about places and redefining the place of knowledge.

Topographies change because topoi change. New topoi may become koinoi in our logos about the world. We should remember that topoi are the commonplaces of topographies. They are koinoi 'common', and they are epikoinoi 'common ground'. while they are also commonly contested territories in public debate. They are the territories we dispute precisely because they are the territories we hold in common. And they are the territories common to many precisely because they are the ones we dispute. Disputing parties, for example, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), have more in

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