Biographical Dictionary

Constantina-Nadia Seremetakis is a published / translated author and Professor of cultural and applied anthropology. She grew up in Athens and the S. Peloponnese, and received her education in Athens and New York where she lived for two decades.

She is the author of the critically acclaimed booksThe Last Word and The Senses Still, also published in Greek (now in their 5th and 4th edition respectively). She has also published books in Greek and numerous articles in both English and Greek, as well as poetry.

She has received fellowships and scholarly honors in both USA and Greece.

She has taught in both European and American universities and has accepted numerous invitations for public and academic lectures worldwide. She has recently joined the University of the Peloponnese, where she is also the Head and Founder of the first  Program on Everyday Life and Culture in Greece, , and has served as Deputy Chair of the Department of History, Archaeology and Management of Cultural Goods.

Illinois University

She has organized international, interdisciplinary conferences and multimedia events in Greece and USA, and she has been herself the subject of a documentary film on Greek public tv. Practicing public and applied anthropology for more than 15 years, she has offered lectures in elementary and high schools in Greece and the Greek diaspora, has written articles in national and local newspapers and magazines, and has designed and directed a department of cultural studies in the S. Peloponnese.

She has served as Advisor to the Minister of Health in Greece and temporary Advisor to The World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, on issues of mobile populations and disease prevention in border areas. She has also served as a member of the “Action Committee for Collaborations between University and Local Communities and the Region”, Senate, University of the Peloponnese.
Recently she was invited to join the UNESCO National Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage by the Helllenic Ministry of Culture.

She has been interviewed extensively by local and national media and she has conducted herself interviews of significant foreign scholars introducing them to the Greek public.

She has done ethnographic fieldwork in rural and urban Greece, New York, Albania and comparative research in several other areas of the world, starting in 1984.

Her research interests have been:

  • cultural translation
  • technology, neoliberalism and cultural practice
  • the body and multisensory exchange in (post)modernity
  • divination, media and embodied intersubjective communication
  • dialogical performance
  • globalization and the medicalization of everyday life
  • physical disaster and social memory
  • mobile populations and diseases
  • ethnography as cultural management
  • public anthropology
  • death rituals and the social construction of pain, truth and gender in Greece
  • perception and memory as material culture
  • social aesthetics
  • the poetics of mourning

Adelphi University


Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship, 1985 - 86.

Wenner - Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Fellowship, 1986.

Book Award: Victor Turner Award in Ethnographic Writing 1992, for The Last Word: Women, Death and Divination in Inner Mani (University of Chicago Press, 1991).

Official Representative, Greek Ministry of Health. “Eighth European Regional Meeting of National AIDS Coordinators”  World Health Organization. Athens, Oct. 1994.

Official Observer, Greek Ministry of Health and National School of Public Health. 16th General Assembly of ASPHER (Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region): “Information Policy in Public Health.” Cracow, Oct. 1994.

Temporary Advisor, Regional Office for Europe, World Health Organization (W.H.O), 1995.

Invited observer, International Vienna Festival 2000. Vienna, March 2000.

Book adoption by the Greek Ministry of Education for library distribution nationwide. Book: The Last Word. (Athens: Livani Publishing Organization, 1994).

Fourth and third edition of the books The Last Word and The Senses Still (in Greek) respectively in 2008. Second edition of the book Crossing the Body.

Honorary Plaque by the Municipality of Oitylon, Mani & Nomarchy of Laconia for the ethnography The Last Word as a significant contribution to the area. Offered in public ceremony at Diros, June 25, day of local commemoration of Greek Independence following the author’s public speech. Diros, 2000.

Documentary film, “Crossing Borders with Nadia Seremetakis”, 30 min., Greek Public TV, part of the series “Creating Tomorrow” featuring 16 portraits of distinguished intellectuals and artists. Aired in 2001,  repeated several times by popular demand during 2002-2015.

  [ ]

Interviewed and presented by major national Greek daily newspapers, TV programs, and radio stations, as well as by local media of the Southern Peloponnese.

International Le Boff Fellow, 2002. New York University, Department of Culture and Communication.

Invited Active Member, “Action Committee for Collaborations Between University and Local Communities and the Region” Senate, University of Peloponnese, 2009.

Founder and Head, Program on "Everyday Life and Culture", University of Peloponnese, 2011-

Invited member, UNESCO National Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage,  Helllenic Ministry of Culture, 2012-

Eros and Thanatos in the Era of Gluttony


Current affiliations:

-- Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Dept. of  History, Archeology & Management of Cultural Goods,  University of the Peloponnese, School of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Kalamata 24100, Greece

Courses /graduate seminars designed /taught:

  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • The Senses and Visual Culture
  • Ethnography and Cultural Management
  • Everyday Culture: Theory and Praxis
  • Designing & Organizing Cultural Events
  • Cultural-Historical Issues: Travel and Tourism
  • Environment and Socio-Cultural Perspectives [Excavating Space and Place/ Anthropology and Management of Cultural Goods/ Senses:Re-Visited:Touch, Tactility, Haptics/ Physical Catastrophe and the Archaeology of the Present]

--Founding Head of the Progam " Everyday Life and Culture" of the  University of the Peloponnese, 2011-

--Officially invited member,  UNESCO National Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, Helllenic Ministry of Culture, 2012-

--Director/editor, "Everyday Life and Culture" series, PEDIO publishing Co., Athens,  2016-

Previous positions

Center for Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies & The Departments of Linguistics & Anthropology
Queens College, City University of New York
Lecturer and Research Associate 1983 - 1988

Courses designed and taught:

  • Greek American Bilingualism and Anthropological Linguistics
  • European Peripheries
  • Modern Greek Culture and Civilization
  • Symbolic, Mythic and Ritual Foundations of Ancient & Modern Greek Thought & Culture
  • The Greek American Community: Social Problems of Greek Immigrants

Department of Anthropology, New York University
Visiting Assistant Professor 1988 - 1989

Graduate and Undergraduate Courses taught:

  • Contemporary Dynamics of Social and Cultural Change
  • Peoples of Europe
  • Human Society and Culture

Department of Anthropology & Department of Women’s Studies
Vassar College, New York
Visiting Assistant Professor 1989 - 1990

Seminars  designed and taught:

  • The Gender of Socio - Economic Development
  • The Anthropology of Mourning and Bereavement
  • The Anthropology of Gender                      
  • Introduction to Cross Cultural Women’s Studies

Graduate Department of Performance Studies, New York University
Visiting Assistant Professor 1989 - 1990

Graduate seminars designed and taught:

  • Women, Ritual and Power in the Mediterranean
  • Women, Ritual and Development in Third World and European Peripheries

Department of Philosophy and Social Studies & Department of Sociology
University of Crete, Greece
Visiting Associate Professor 1990 - 1992

Seminars designed and taught:

  • Symbolic Dimensions of Social Practice
  • Representing the Other
  • Ritual, Power and the Body
  • The Anthropology of Gender

Director and Senior Editor 1993 to present
Anthropology Series
Livani Publishing Organization, Athens,Greece

Advisor to the Minister 1994 - 1996
Ministry of Health, Athens, Greece

Responsible for issues pertaining to mobile populations, sexually transmitted diseases and prevention in border areas,
public health education, and  international relations.

Temporary Advisor 1995
World Health Organization (W.H.O)
Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen

National School of Public Health, Athens
Visiting Professor 1995 - 1996

Seminars designed and taught:

  • Health Communication Across Cultures
  • Women and Health

3_gravouraDirector 1996 - 1999
Department of Cultural Studies
Organization for Cultural Development
Municipality of Kalamata
(Peloponnese / Ministry of Culture, Greece)

Regular contributor 1999 - 2000
Greek National Daily Newspaper TA NEA
Special weekend edition

LeBoff International Visiting Faculty Member, 2002                                                      
New York University, New York
Sponsor: Department of Culture and Communication

Lecture series on

  • The Senses and Media as Material Culture - Fieldwork Approaches.

Editor of  “The Anthropological View” and Regular Contributor, 2005 - 2008
New Sociology: Hellenic Sociological Review
Athens: Papazissis Publishers.

Member of Advisory Faculty, 2007
Dublin Institute of Technology / New York University
Summer School, The Global City and Media Ethnography:
Practice-led Research and the Critical Ethnography of the Senses

Invited Active Member, “Action Committee for Collaborations, 2009
Between University and Local Communities and the Region”
Senate, University of the Peloponnese.

Deputy Chair of the Department of History, Archaeology and Management of Cultural Goods,                                             University of the Peloponnese, 2016