Aegean Sponge Fishing and the Island of Kalymnos, 19th-20th Centuries
Project Co-ordinator: Professor Gelina Harlaftis
Funded by: IMS-FORTH
Research team ΙΜS/FORTH: Professor Joyce Goggin, Michaela Stergiopoulou
This a translation project to translate into English the book by Evdokia Olympitou entitled Σπογγαλιευτική δραστηριότητα και κοινωνική συγκρότηση στο νησί της Καλύμνου (19ος – 20ός αι.) [Sponge fishing activity and social formation of the island of Kalymnos (19th – 20th century)], published in 2014 by the National Hellenic Research Foundation (in Greek). The translated book will be published in 2024 by Brill publications in the series Brill’s Studies in Maritime History.
Evdokia Olympitou (1962-2011), was an ethnographer, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Ionian University. With this book Evi Olympitou achieved three important goals. Firstly, she was able to combine successfully the two disciplines among which she had developed her academic career, history and ethnology. In this book, she managed both history and ethnology. Both are interwoven beautifully in her narrative. A narrative based on the tools of history. On the one hand, in meticulous research at the archives of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in other Greek private archives, and in the Municipal and Port Authorities Archives of Kalymnos, along with the local, Athenian, and Dodecanesian contemporary press. On the other hand, she used the tools of ethnology and its methodology, in tracing the mentality, the customs, the professional practices and techniques, by means of interviews and personal testimonies, all of course combined with the existing bibliography. Her second achievement was to write the first academic monograph on Greek fishing, and in this way her book is a major contribution to Greek and Mediterranean Maritime History. Τhe third achievement was that she wrote an excellent book for a Greek island maritime community, a valuable contribution to Maritime History.