harvard university
program of modern greek studies -
Seminar on
Cultural Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
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Publications

The two Modern Greek literature publication series below are not currently accepting new submissions.


  1. Cultural Politics, Socioaesthetics, Beginnings: monographs and edited volumes on different aspects of Greek traditions and societies. The research focus and scholarly scope of this new series is interdisciplinary, transhistorical, and comparative, with an Advisory Board consisting of an international group of scholars in the fields of Greek Studies, comparative literature, anthropology, sociocultural history, as well as in related disciplines.

    Series Editors:
    Panagiotis Roilos, Dimitrios Yatromanolakis


  2. Harvard Early Modern and Modern Greek Library is the only series of books which, through original text and English translation, makes accessible to scholars and general readers the major works of Greek literature and thought produced in the last millennium, from the late eleventh century to the present. Each volume offers a reliable Greek text together with an accurate, literate English translation on facing pages. The editors/translators provide introductions as well as explanatory notes and selective bibliographies. Presenting current scholarship in a convenient and elegant format, this groundbreaking series aims to make this substantial component of postclassical European literature available to researchers and students in a broad range of disciplines.

Inquiries about the two sub-series may be addressed to 
the Series Editors Panagiotis Roilos and Dimitrios Yatromanolakis.

 

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"Imagination and Logos": Essays on C. P. Cavafy
Edited by Panagiotis Roilos

This book, which is dedicated to the memory of Eve Sedgwick, explores diverse but complementary interdisciplinary approaches to the poetics, intertexts, and influence of the work of C. P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Kavafis), one of the most important twentieth-century European poets. Written by leading international scholars in a number of disciplines (critical theory, gender studies, comparative literature, English studies, Greek studies, anthropology, classics), the essays of this volume situate Cavafy's poetry within the broader contexts of modernism and aestheticism and investigate its complex and innovative responses to European literary traditions (from Greek antiquity to modernity) as well as its multifaceted impact on major figures of world literature—from North America to South Africa. 
Contributors include Eve Sedgwick, Helen Vendler, Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Albert Henrichs, Richard Dellamora, Kathleen Coleman, Mark Doty, James Faubion, Diana Haas.

The shackles of modernity cover

Evdoxios Doxiadis, The Shackles of Modernity: Women, Property, and the Transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Greek State, 1750-1850

This book explores the relationship between women and property in the Greek lands and their broader social position in the century that culminated with the establishment of the Greek state (1750–1850). Doxiadis focuses on the status and rights of Greek women in the later Ottoman period, the decade-long Greek War of Independence, and the first decades of the Greek state, seeking to reveal the impact that the pursuit of modernization by the early Greek governments had on women. Through the systematic examination of numerous legal documents in notarial archives from four distinct regions (Naxos, Mykonos, Athens, and Leonidio), the position of women in Greek societies of the period is illuminated in all its complexity and regional diversity. Special emphasis is placed on women’s ability in some areas to defend their property rights and be active economic agents. Although the Greek revolutionaries and the Greek state did not curtail the rights of women with respect to property, the very institutions that were fundamental in the creation of the Greek state transformed the established relationship between women and property. Doxiadis shows that modernization proved to be an oppressive force for Greek women—though in a much more clandestine fashion than perhaps expected in other European states.

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C. P. Cavafy, Poems: The Canon, translated by John Chioles

C.P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis) is one of the most important Greek poets since antiquity. He was born, lived, and died in Alexandria (1863-1933),
with brief periods spent in England, Constantinople, and Athens. Cavafy set in motion the most powerful modernism in early twentieth-century European poetry, exhibiting intriguing truths about eroticism, history, and philosophy-an inscrutable triumvirate that informs the Greek language and culture in all their diachrony. The Cavafy Canon plays with the complexities of ironic Socratic thought, suffused with the honesty of unadorned iambic verse. Based on a fifty-year continuous scholarly and literary interaction with Cavafy's poetry and its Greek and western European intertexts, John Chioles has produced the most authoritative and an exceptionally nuanced translation of the complex linguistic registers of Cavafy's Canon into English.

odysseas elytis

ODYSSEAS ELYTIS, translated by David Connolly

This volume contains translations of two late collections by the Greek Nobel Laureate Odysseas Elytis. The Oxopetra Elegies, which he published in November 1991 at the age of eighty, was immediately hailed as one of his finest works. Far from being a dialogue with death, as many critics hastily concluded, these elegies are laments for what is seen and perceived in certain “timeless moments” that, like the Oxopetra headland, project into the beyond, into another reality, revealing truths that, to the poet’s constant dismay, remain “unverifiable” and “unutterable”. The poems here function as a “contemporary form of magic”, a key opening the portals to this other reality, at least for those who speak Elytis’ language: the language of the Secret Sun. In West of Sorrow, published in November 1995, only months before his death, it becomes even clearer that his poetry remains, as it always was, a paean to life and love and beauty.

nikos engonopoulos

NIKOS ENGONOPOULOS, translated by David Connolly

Nikos Engonopoulos belongs to a little-known yet extremely active and influential group of Greek surrealist poets and was one of its more orthodox exponents. Perhaps more so than any other poet, however, he adapted surrealism to the Greek context, inventing a poetic alphabet out of purely Greek elements – the mythical and legendary, the historical and topical, the exotic and commonplace, the sensual and intoxicating – and his poetry is characterised not by the complexes of the subconscious but by the ecstasy. With these elements and drawing on all the historical phases of the Greek language, in his poetry he reconstructs the world, making it more poetic, more intelligible, more real and, above all, more humane. Until recently, very little of his work was available in English translation. The present volume, introduced by the translator, contains some sixty poems, including representative selections from each of his published collections and the whole of his long poem Bolivár.

dreaming and historical consciousness in Island Greece

Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece, by Charles Stewart

What constitutes a history? Is this term to be restricted to the works of recognized historians?  Or can information about the past gained through dreams, spirit possession rituals or dancing performances also count as histories?   Instead of dismissing such productions as ‘myth’ or ‘religion’, Charles Stewart contends in Dreaming and Historical Consciousness that our definition of history must be widened. This move is crucial in a global setting where alternative historical practices require appreciation as systems of thought rather then rejection as inferior types of knowledge.

Villagers on the Greek island of Naxos have long experienced dreams of saints directing them to dig up buried objects. These dreams impelled the villagers to become both archaeologists and historians striving to uncover a past that would alter their future. Dreaming and Historical Consciousness elucidates these dreams of the past-present-future in terms of local cosmology, and theorizes them as existential expressions of the struggle for agency. This ethnography of historical consciousness offers new insight into how people imagine the past, consciously and unconsciously, in daily life.