On behalf of the MGSA Vasiliki Karagiannaki Book Prize committee, I am happy to announce the results of this year’s competition. The Vasiliki Karagiannaki Prize is awarded to the best edited volume written in English with significant content in the field of Modern Greek Studies. This is the first time we award this prize. A number of excellent books were submitted on topics ranging widely in Greek culture, history, literature, politics, and economics. The evaluating committee, consisting of Despina Margomenou, Christopher Bakken and myself as Chair, has read the submissions and arrived at its decisions after careful consideration.
The 2019 Vasiliki Karagiannaki Prize is awarded to Dr. Tina Bucuvalas for her edited volume Greek Music in America (University Press of Mississippi).
The committee praised this groundbreaking book for its novelty and rich, sensitive treatment of diasporic music in the U.S. While many of the best selections in this volume are grounded in ethnomusicology and documentary research, the personal nature of some essays make the volume deeply illuminating. The work serves a specialized academic audience, as well as, listeners, musicians, historians and readers of diaspora studies. Understanding and constructing an audience is one of the main tasks of a volume editor, and the committee applauds Dr. Bucuvalas on that count. It is a volume that sets its goals and its contributions squarely in the inter/trans-disciplinary field of Modern Greek Studies. Its perspective on Greek America is unique and serves an area of study that has not received adequate attention. With its biographical profiles, appendices, and introduction, the collection can also be used as a general introduction or class textbook.
The winner will be formally announced and congratulated at the Award Ceremony of The 27th MGSA Symposium, on Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6:30 pm, at the Capitol Room of the Hyatt Regency in Toronto, Canada, CA. We hope to see you there. The committee takes this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Bucuvalas and also thank all those who submitted their excellent work.
Vasiliki Karagiannaki (Βασιλική Καραγιαννάκη) was born on May 21, 1926 in Ptolemaida, Greece. The oldest of five children from a refugee family hailing from a small village near Prusa (modern day Bursa) in Asia Minor, Vasiliki loved learning and reading—a passion that she could foster only quietly, as she was forced to leave school to help raise her younger siblings while her parents earned a living through hard work on the farm. Vasiliki instilled in her daughter and granddaughter an insatiable love for learning and exploring, for beautiful diction and for beauty altogether. Her smile and spirit brightened up the world around her and made it kinder. The award named after her is meant to honor her memory, her generous spirit, and her love for learning. It ensures that she continues to do her part to make the world a better place, as she herself always wanted it.