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The Albanians in Greek textbooks of modern history in compulsory education: discursive representations

Konstantina Papakosta Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Purpose and subject of the research

Presentation of the Albanians in the textbooks of modern Greek history
elementary school (6th grade) junior high school (3rd grade) in use between 1974 and 2000 focus on the narrative parts.

The method
Critical Discourse Analysis The task
to demonstrate the way in which the Albanian people are presented in textbooks, to investigate the social and political context that led to this presentation.

The following books have been analysed:

, (1975) : ' , . , ., , . (1986) : ' . , . ., . , . , . , . & . (1993) , , .

, . (1975) : 15 . .. , , . , . (1985) , , , . , (2001) , .

They were indexed according to where Albanians were presented. They had been analyzed according to their linguistic features.

The analysis led to the division of the manuals into two distinct groups.
First Group: Kafentzis and Diamantopoulos Kyriazopoulos, Second Group: Aktypis, Koulikourdi, Kremmydas and Sfyroera.

. Linguistic analysis rhetorical means

First group
Use of the narrative genre inlaid with poems or dialogues and intense emotional descriptions. Rhetorical means
Polysyndeton, asyndeton, cumulative use of evaluative adjectives, (p. 28KA "greedy, deceitful, ambitious and ruffian"), tautology (p. 25KA "grabs and looting", p 28 "slander and calumny"), repetitions (p. 31 and "... the betrayal .... a traitor ..."), metaphors (p. 108DK), hyperboles (p. 46DK, pp. 108DK) , reversing the order of the terms of the sentence.

Logic and composition:

short periods, linear chronological narrative of events.

Implications and insinuations

Greeks and Albanians: opponents on the battlefield. Exceptions: Albanians act spontaneously against the Greeks. p. 34DK: "The biggest disaster in the Peloponnese have made the Albanians who remained there after the signing of the treaty and continued to destroy the country, burning villages and slaughtering the Greeks, of whom only 60,000 survived."


symbolism of figurativeness

Alternating use of the terms Albanian, Turkish-Albanian and Arvanitis.

p. 48DK: "Unimaginable mania gripped Ali, when he read the letter of Lambros [Tzavelas]. [...] He became head of his army of 10,000 Albanians and reached Souli. War was cruel. The Turkish-Albanians fought furiously. [...] The Arvanites, startled by the bravery of men and women of Souli leave the battle and run to save themselves. p. 51DK: "[...] The third body was surrounded by Albanians in the mountain Zalogo. [...] As the women of Souli saw that they might fall into the hands of the Turkish-Albanians, boarded with children in their arms at the top of the rock 'Stefani'. "Immediately after [M. Botsaris] started with 350 daring Suliotes against Turkish-Albanians whose vanguard of 4,000 men, that was led by Tselaledimpei, had arrived and camped near Karpenissi. [...] The Arvanites, surprised, started shooting each other and scattered, terrified, in the surrounding mountains. "

In the references to Ali Pasha the ethnic or religious-ethnic characterization propounds.

p. 28KA Ali Pasha was Turkish-Albanian from Tepeleni of Epirus. p. 46DK Ali was a Muslim Albanian.

- he transforms into incarnation of his compatriots, - his characterization is generalised

(greedy, lurking, ambitious and racketeer or greedy, cruel and cunning).

The synekdochical attribution of barbarous characteristics is performed by Hussein Bey as well.

p. 108 DK: "The Egyptian fleet, led by active Hussein bey landed on Crete in the spring of 1824 and drowned the revolution in blood. When this cruel Turkish-Albanian learned that 370 women and children were hiding in a cave near Melidoni village, not only did he feel sorry, but choked them with smoke in the most inhumane way. [...] After the subjugation of Crete Hussein focused his fury against Kasos, because they helped the Cretan revolutionaries with food and ammunition. Despite the heroic resistance of people of Kasios, Hussein disembarked on June 4, 1824 army on the island and destroyed it completely. He slew all the men and sold the women and children as slaves in Alexandria. So the island was abandoned. "

Vocabulary and style literary style (evaluative adjectives that act as quality superlatives ) . p. 34DK: The Albanians made the biggest disaster in the Peloponnese" p 46DK "He was greedy , bloodthirsty and cunning "," When Ali grew up and became leader of bandits and rebels robberies, he began developing great strength with murders and other inhuman and brutal means.","he ruled with fear and terror p 48DK:" Unimaginable mania gripped Ali "). The choice of vocabulary emphasizes the cowardice (31 and "beat them Suliotes from behind"), the unreliability (32KA "to trample agreements") and the use of dishonest means to achieve victory (sel.31KA "... betrayal .... A traitor ... ").
Actors: active voice (P. 25KA1: "The Albanians moved quickly. They came first in Patras and massacred 3000 people and the archbishop of Patras. Afterwards near Koroni they defeated Maniates and massacred 400 of them and captured their leader Gianni Mavromichali.", Pg 25KA:" The Albanians continued their massacres, the looting and pillaging and spread destruction, calamity and devastation.) References: different genres are incorporated into the narrative (e.g. the dialogue between the monk Samuel and his persecutors, (p. 31-32KA When they got there the soldiers of Ali, one of them said to Samuel: "And now, monk what punishment do you think that the Vizier will impose on you, after you had the stupidity to surrender? None! said Samuel and shot the barrel of gunpowder which was nearby. Kougki blown into the air and covered with rubble Samuel with his companions and the Albanians.) Tzavelas letter to Ali Pasha's 9 (p.56DK), poem of the contemporary poet Ar.Valaoritis (p. 48DK).

B. Topoi
Stereotyping. Non-recognition or confusion of their national identity. Ferocity and unreliability. Subordination and exploitation by powerful force. Evaluation of their relationship with the Greeks. Habitation loci of the Albanians. Irredentist issues.

General observations First Group

Uniformity in narrative style, chapters and presentation of the Albanians. References to Albanians are clustered in chapters related to
pre-revolutionary period, Revolution of 1821, only one reference to the state of Albania in each book.

There is no mention of the Albanian residences. The ethnic identity engages in the religious designation "TurkishAlbanian", which in turn is used interchangeably with the ethnic "Albanian" and "Arvanitis'.
confusion invalidates the very little information.

Brutality and unreliability. The narration becomes lyrical, inlaid with varied rhetorical means and multiple genres. emotional involvement of the reader axiomatic plausibility of the described facts. Subordination by mercenary employment and their use by some great force ( Ottoman Empire or Italy).

Second Group
References to Albanians are extremely limited minimization of any relationship with the neighbouring peoples. The scarce presentation of Albanians follows the same stereotypes:
they are referred to with alternating terms (Albanian, TurkishAlbanian, Arvanitis) negation of the information on their ethnic identity. ethos of brutality, unreliability and subordination to the Great Forces.

No information on local habitation.

New topos identified: the irredentist issue
southern part of the Albanian State - Northern Epirus.

The manuals of the First Group seem to reflect an outdated philosophy of school history discourse.

The topoi appear to be consistent in both groups, despite the progressive and most modern processing of historical discourse:
"impregnation, timeless preservation of textual strands.

No obvious distinction between historical facts and historical interpretation:

third-person narrative, comments and judgments are incorporated into the narrative.

The third level of analysis . Diachronic use of textbooks in the First Group
The textbooks by Kafentzis and KyriazopoulosDiamantopoulos have been used for history teaching in primary school for the periods 1974-1981 and 1981-1989 respectively. Archival research proved that both were approved in 1956 for three and two years respectively. Regarding the correlation of the content of the books of 1956 and 1975 or 1981,
Kafentzis: the text of 1975 reproduces in full the text of 1956. Diamantopoulos-Kyriazopoulos: minor changes in the wording of the narrative parts.

Stereotypical representations
Kafetzis and Diamantopoulos-Kyriazopoulos textbooks: textual links in the textual chain or discursive "fossil record?
Written in the 50s, they reflect perceptions of the 40s or 30s. They form a "cross-discursive ark" echoing views from the first quarter of the twentieth century.

The climate of intense rivalry, stereotypical presentation and concealment of the habitation places of Albanians is easier to understand for the first half of the 20th century as the counterpart of the fruitless efforts of the cooperation policy during the last three decades of the 19th century.
They were legitimized by a range of publications which presented the Greeks and the Albanians as tribal relatives. Even the Muslim faith was devalued within the general climate.

The hellenisation of the Albanians reversed owing to

the progressive finalization of Greek border, the gradual decline of the influence of the Greek Enlightenment, the rise of influence of professional diplomats and the configuration of Albanian nationalism and the Albanian liberation movement.

Negative stereotypes had already existed concurrently with the hopes of the state union.
The brutal character and the mercenary engagement.

They are maintained and reproduced by the manuals of the first group, ie until the 1990s. The stereotypes converted into cultural representation of high transmissivity which transform to explanation: the Albanians are "the hostile awe" of the Greeks just because they are inherently brutal and assistants of the Great hostile Powers. Consequently, their hostile attitude is timeless, documented, and above any further investigation.

The same stereotypical presentation and concealment of the existence of neighboring people was inherited during the decades from 1970 to 1980. Maintenance of the same version of school history including its discursive means reflects and is determined by the diplomatic relations between Greece and Albania since WW II
the anachronistic war regime since April 1939. Diplomatic relations recovered since 1971. The Greek Government lifted the state of war on 28/08/1987.

The stereotypical representations of ferocity and mercenary servitude proved resistant through a multitude of descriptions, since they are consistent with the political and diplomatic relationships between the two countries.

. Silences and misconceptions

Is the Albanian state ignored and the relations with the Albanian people are omitted in history textbooks because the latter are the subject of political planning and approval? Three books, (Aktypis et al., Sfyroeras and Kremmydas) have been written and distributed
after the restoration of diplomatic relations in 1971 after the lift of the state of war in 1987.

Political - diplomatic relations and political aspirations do not dictate entirely or exclusively attitudes toward people.

The silences can be attributed to the official intention to cultivate school patriotism
"[The students should] realize the offer of the nation to the world civilization and form equivalent beliefs ".

Patriotism is served through the silences by alleviating any ethnic and / or population heterogeneities. The habitations or the physical presence of the Albanians have been silenced so that, by concealment, the ethnic homogeneity of the population living within the nation-state is "presumed". The projection of ethnic homogeneity entertains the fear of conceding national minorities and the concomitant risk of exploitation by foreign nationalist ideologies and possible territorial claims by neighboring nation-states.

Alternative terms Albanian, Turkish-Albanian and Arvanitis seem to serve the same function. The distinction between them presents no interest to school history, since all three terms are reconciled to the concept of the enemy. The latter is exacerbated by the religious characterization of the Albanian national by the prefix 'Turk. Thus, Albanians become the antipode of national loyalty by screening of their religious beliefs through the name of another hostile nation. The homogeneity of the population of Greek territory is indicated, since Arvanites are identified with the Albanians. The latter are not accepted as inhabitants of the Greek state
construction of the image of ethnic homogeneity: the Arvanites, who before the revolution of 1821 were the majority of Christians in Attica are identified with the Albanians and Turk-Albanians, ie the Muslim "enemies.

The idea of ethnic homogeneity is also served by the denial of any contact between Greeks and Albanians than warfare.

IV. Silences: a gradual process

The references to the Albanian people were more frequent in the books that proved to have been written in the 1950s.

The more the narrative construction becomes modern (Aktypis etc., Sfyroeras) and engages in different aspects of history than facts (eg socio-economic focus of Kremmydas), references to Albanians are limited drastically until their final and complete elimination (see Kremmydas). The period for which these books are authored and taught (1974 ff) is characterized by "modernizing logic" and the education system abandons many features of the period preceding the restoration of democracy (1974): it is more modern regarding the structure and functions, extrovert and more receptive to change.
The textbooks that were written to be used at the time expressed the modernizing spirit by silencing of the Balkan neighborhood and focusing on Europe, which the Greek State seeks to join economically and culturally.

This study highlighted the linguistic means in history textbooks which construct, replicate and ultimately perpetuate the image of the unitary state. School history discourse, self-empowered (since there is diffusion between at least junior high and elementary school) is recycled and through its repetition is actualized as irrefutable truth. The study of the presentation of Others at a given historical moment, and its impact today can contribute to the understanding of possible dimensions of racism, which can be proved in intrinsic in the construction of national identity. The findings of this study are consistent with respective international studies on the hostile presentation of neighboring peoples. As demonstrated by the case study of Albanians, school history, both through selective reporting, and through the silences and misconceptions, can build and infuse with a reality which is presented as indisputable. According to the theoretical dimension of critical discourse analysis, this reality takes on materiality and in turn affects the image for both the national self and its relationship with others. So in a rapidly changing world, the history that we choose to teach in schools demonstrates who we, ultimately, choose to be.