Konstantina Zanou

Konstantina Zanou

Research Interests


Spring 2021

  • Nationalism in Theory and History (3 credits)
    Were nations always there? Are they real or imagined? Do they come before or after nationalism and the state? How did we pass from a world of empires, duchies, and city-states to a world of nation-states? Where does legitimacy reside if not in God and his endowed kings? Is the modern world really ‘disenchanted’? How did we come to understand time, space, language, religion, gender, race, and even our very selves in the era of nations? Are we done with this era, living already in postnational times?
    This course will combine older theories of nationalism (Gellner, Anderson, Hobsbawm, Smith) with recent approaches of the phenomenon after the ‘Imperial/Global/Transnational Turn’ (Bayly, Conrad, Innes, Isabella, Reill, Stein etc.) and late studies in Gender, Race, Culture and Nationalism, in order to offer new answers to old questions. We will talk about many places around the world, but the main stage where we will try out our questions is Italy and the Mediterranean.

Fall 2020

  • Professor Zanou is on leave for academic year 2019/2020.


Konstantina Zanou (PhD, Università di Pisa and “European Doctorate” from the École Normale Superieure, Paris) is Assistant Professor of Italian, specializing in Mediterranean Studies, at the Department of Italian, Columbia University.

She previously held visiting positions at the University of Nicosia Cyprus, New York University, Queen Mary University of London and Université Paris-Est Créteil. She has been a fellow of Fulbright, the Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris, the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, the British School at Athens, the Centre for Advanced Studies Sofia Bulgaria, and the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus.

She is a historian of the long-19th century Mediterranean in a global context. Her research focuses on issues of intellectual history (Enlightenment, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Philhellenism, Liberalism, Nationalism), biography and microhistory, with a special emphasis on Italy, the Venetian Republic, the Ottoman world, Greece, the Ionian Islands, and Russia. She is also a student of modern diasporas and of the trajectories, feelings and ideas of people on the move.

Her publications include a co-edited volume on "Mediterranean Diasporas: Politics and Ideas in the Long Nineteenth Century" (Bloomsbury 2016) and several articles on expatriate intellectuals and national consciousness in the post-Venetian Adriatic. Her book "Transnational Patriotism in the Mediterranean, 1800-1830: Stammering the Nation" is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. 

Her new project explores the birth of archeology (and more specifically the creation of the MET) at the intersection of Mediterranean empires, adventurism, war, diplomacy and financial speculation


  • PhD, University of Pisa
  • MA, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • BA, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • BA, National School of Dramatic Art, Greece

Selected Publications

  • Transnational Patriotism in the Mediterranean, 1800-1850: Stammering the Nation (forthcoming in November 2018, Oxford University Press) 
  • Mediterranean Diasporas: Politics and Ideas in the long nineteenth century, co-edited volume with Maurizio Isabella (London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)
  • (With Jussi Kurunmäki, Bernard Heyberger, Ada Dialla, and Maurizio Isabella), ‘Mediterranean diasporas: politics and ideas in the long 19th century: A Roundtable’, Global Intellectual History (February 2018): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23801883.2018.1433284
  • (with Maurizio Isabella), “Introduction: The Sea, its People and their Ideas in the Long Nineteenth Century”, in Idem (eds), Mediterranean Diasporas: Politics and Ideas in the long nineteenth century, London, 2016, pp. 1-23.
  • “Imperial Nationalism and Orthodox Enlightenment: A diasporic story between the Ionian Islands, Russia and Greece, ca. 1800-1830”, in Maurizio Isabella and Konstantina Zanou (eds), Mediterranean Diasporas: Politics and Ideas in the long nineteenth century, London, 2016, pp. 117-34