Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dr Christos D. Katsetos answers to Pr Joseph as regards the upcoming conference at the University of Utah

Dear Professor Joseph,

The appalling and tragicomic tone of the announcement issued by a certain "Hellenic League of America," an obscure group, calling for censoring of the upcoming "7th Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies" to be held at University of Utah on November 5-8, 2009, is denounced in no uncertain terms.

Please refer to my previous post in this list:

At the same time, I submit that it would be somewhat disingenuous to portray the upcoming conference at the University of Utah as being solely an academic symposium devoid of political underpinnings. Indeed, the list of topics announced blend serious scholarship (i.e., on linguistics of Southern Slavic languages) with controversial topics bearing clear political overtones.

Let us please agree to disagree that the terms "Macedonians" and "Macedonian" cannot be monopolized and as such, they are not synonymous to Slavic Macedonians (Makedonci/Makedontsi) and Slavic Macedonian (Makedonski) respectively. Macedonia is neither a single country nor the cradle of a single nation, but a geographic region parts of which belong nowadays to four sovereign states, each with its distinctive cultural heritage, national identity, and collective memory.

In fairness, the positions on nomenclature embraced and actively promoted by certain scholars since the early 1990s, cannot be considered as unbiased or impartial. They are in keeping with the official narrative of the Former Yugoslav of Macedonia, which is based on an highly controversial ethnocentric doctrine effectively claiming the entire geographic Macedonian region of modern times as part of that nation’s “tatkovina” (fatherland).

Regarding Professor Danforth's analogy as to whether "similar anti Greek material from a Turkish or a Macedonian list" would have been "allowed to appear on the MGSA list?", I wish to reiterate that the expatriate Makedonski organization "United Macedonian Diaspora" (UMD), which is one of the sponsors of the upcoming conference at the University of Utah, has engaged in extreme and virulent nationalist manifestations against Greece and the Greek heritage in Macedonia. This is an indisputable fact, which doubtless adds a political dimension to the conference.

Last but not least, I would like to draw attention to a fundamental difference between the MGSA conferences and the upcoming conference at the University of Utah. The former are not sponsored by donors which foster nationalist agendas. Unfortunately, this is hardly the case with the Slavic Macedonian conference at the University of Utah, which is sponsored -in part- by bona fide lobbying groups of the likes of the "United Macedonian Diaspora" (UMD).

And to set the record straight, once again, the "United Macedonian Diaspora" (UMD) is the recipient of funding from the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) so is the University of Utah

Respectfully submitted,

Christos D. Katsetos


I want to add something as regards the usage of the "Macedonian" term. A Macedonian according to several sources [], [], [Oxford English Dictionary] is a native or inhabitant of the (Ancient or Modern) Macedonian region. Any usage diffrent from this that give from the dictionaries has political and ambiguous motives.

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