Ludics focuses on the concepts of play and games, widely interpreted. Interdisciplinary at its core, this forum aims by means of innovative approaches at fostering an open dialogue among scholars who are interested in exploring the ludic principle across a broad spectrum of human culture, from language games, education, theater, and performance to law, economy, and politics.


Upcoming Events

Yiorgos Anagnostou, Ohio State University
Immigrant Poetics
Monday, November 6, 2017 - 6:30pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Synopsis

How does an immigrant make a home in a foreign tongue? How does an immigrant dispel their foreignness to feel comfortable in the language, a new linguistic homing? Immigrants' encounters with the host society show both a displacement, a distance from the mother tongue, while often simultaneously displaying a project of familiarization with the host language. These encounters entail entering, navigating, and claiming a new linguistic—and therefore cultural—terrain, presenting the wonders of the new and the perplexity of cultural complexity. Nuances, even basic yet historically contingent meanings in the host language, are elusive, creating ground fertile for irony, lightheartedness, and play. In this presentation I will share a corpus of poems in English and a set of bilingual, Greek/English poetic plays that speak to the unstable—and therefore disruptive and creative—encounter with a foreign tongue. Within them, the speaker, an immigrant persona, turns linguistic distance into proximity to rewrite routines of the host society into playful surprises. The poems aspire to linguistic dexterity as they underline the anxiety of the persona's linguistic alterity, coupled with accents, misspellings, malapropisms, and all. Languages intertwine in the bilingual plays to locate instances of intimate resonance in linguistic sites where none appear at first sight.

Speaker

Yiorgos Anagnostou is Professor of transnational and diaspora modern Greek studies at Ohio State University. His work is interdisciplinary and has been published in a wide range of scholarly journals (see, http://www.mgsa.org/faculty/anagnost.html). He is the author of Contours of White Ethnicity: Popular Ethnography and the Making of Usable Pasts in Greek America (Ohio University Press, 2009), now under translation into Greek (εκδόσεις Νήσος, 2017). He has also published two poetry collections, «Διασπορικές Διαδρομές» (Απόπειρα 2012, http://apopeirates.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post_20.html), and «Γλώσσες Χ Επαφής, Επιστολές εξ Αμερικής» (Ενδυμίων 2016, http://endymionpublic.blogspot.com/). He is the co-editor of the upcoming online Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters (Autumn 2017). He writes for Greek and Greek American media, and occasionally blogs on Greek America (http://immigrations-ethnicities-racial.blogspot.com/), and diaspora poetry (http://diasporic-skopia.blogspot.com/). His poetry in English has been published in Transnational Literature and Voices of Hellenism.

Cosponsored by the Advanced Training in Greek Poetry Translation and Performance Workshop.

Catalina Florina Florescu, Pace University
The Interplay of Ekphrastic Readings of Femininity Post-Mastectomy
Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 7:00pm
Room 114, Barker Center

Synopsis

In my talk, I focus on a fictional character, Mia, from my eponymous play about a sophisticated, highly educated woman, who is a college professor of English. Confronted with breast cancer, Mia rips apart patriarchal discourses related to what constitutes femininity. When Mia is diagnosed with breast cancer, she faces more than her illness and the fluctuating side effects of its treatments. Mia discovers she is expected to have two breasts as an imposed, corseted social commentary on her femininity.

Amid pain and suffering, Mia teaches herself a new, fierce and unapologetic, feminine idiom talking freely about how she feels, understands, and values her body as a survivor of breast cancer. In fact, because her left breast is surgically removed, that moment represents her awakening: painful as it is, her mastectomy is symbolically followed by Mia’s cutting with all hypocritical patriarchal discourses she had to follow until that moment in the play.

While Mia is a fictional character, she is reflective of many struggles women face today when it comes to their bodies being invaded by oppressive discourses. When I created Mia, I wanted her to be brave and refuse reconstructive surgery post-mastectomy. In a world dominated by fake beauty and increased usage of costly cosmetic products and plastic surgery, in a world where the body is shamed if it does not follow the pressures of social norms, Mia has decided to choose otherwise. By so doing, she reflects on what matters and opens a dialogue about intrinsic femininity. To enhance this dialogue, in my talk, I also present a series of visual works that confirm Mia’s strong intuition that femininity post-mastectomy has a chance of being respected and accepted if women are willing to speak powerfully, no shameful strings attached whatsoever, no submissive detours into rigid discourses. Needless to say, this means attacking the establishment that has wrongly framed women into one harmful image.

Biography

Dr. Catalina Florina Florescu earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Romanian Literature (major) and American Literature (minor) from University of Bucharest. She holds a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She teaches Introduction to Cultural Studies, 21st century Theater for Social Change, American Drama, Critical Writing, The Individual and Society, Romanticism & the Modern World, and Cinema at Pace University in New York City. Her books are in permanent collections of university libraries worldwide, as well as in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. She is the author of: Transacting Sites of the Liminal Bodily Spaces (literary criticism; narrative medicine; human body); Disjointed Perspectives on Motherhood (mothers in literature & motion picture; feminist criticism); Inventing Me / Exerciții de retrăit (memoir), and Plays. Her fifth book, Transnational Narratives of Englishes in Exile, will be published in 2017 and will be exhibited at the MLA convention, followed by a book launch at the University of Chicago. Her first volume of poetry, The Night I Burned My Origami Skin, will be published later this year. She currently works on a volume of short stories titled Not Yet. She delivered papers at New York University, University of Chicago, Harvard University, L’Université Paris-Sorbonne, Bucknell University, Indiana Bloomington, Brown University, et. al. Her artworks were part of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY), LaLa Gallery and Studio (Lafayette, IN), The Commonwealth Art Gallery, College of Fine Arts, Boston University.

Mia is one the three plays to be published in 2018 by Tracus Arte, a publishing house based in Bucharest, Romania. With Mia, Dr. Florescu had a reading during an event titled “Nothing to Hide: An Evening about the Courage to Heal” at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. With her political parable, Suicidal Dog and Laika, she will have another reading at the Immigrants’ Theatre Project in New York City. She hopes to see her plays staged here as well as in Romania.

More information about her work can be found on: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drflorescu/
or on her website: http://www.catalinaflorescu.com/

Past Events 2016 - 17

Carmen-Francesca Banciu, Levure Littéraire
Transforming Materiality into Immateriality through Play: Reflections on the Intersection of Literature and Art
Timothy Moore, Washington University in St. Louis
Ludic Music in Ancient Greek and Roman Theater
Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Poet and Artist
Crisis, Performance: Inter/multi/plays
Chrysostomos Stamoulis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Did Jesus Christ Laugh?
Shé Mackenzie Hawke, University of Sydney
The Play of Water from Mythic Metis to the Contemporary Beach: The Poetics of Aquamorphia
Elena Mancini, Queens College in New York City
Reflections on Playful Prose and the Art of Translation
Eric Gordon, Emerson College and Harvard University
Meaningful Inefficiencies: Caring for Civics in an Age of Smart Cities
Elsa Amanatidou, Brown University
Playing with Narratives: Digital Storytelling and Intercultural Interventions in the L2 Classroom
Anna Winestein, Harvard University, Boston University
Transmental Games and Travestied Experiments: Costumed Balls, Cross-Dressing, Role-Playing, Theatricality, and More Among Russian Artists in Paris 1870-1930
Aikaterini Ioannidou, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Play of Forces: From Atoms to Cities
Ani Gjika, Poet, Literary Translator, Teacher
Playing Both Sides: Where Language Teaching and Creative Literary Translation Intersect

Past Events 2015 - 16

Mary Flanagan, Dartmouth College
Constance Rinaldo, Harvard University
Purposeful Gaming
Andromache Karanika, University of California, Irvine
Τhe Dissonance of Ludic Poetics in Greek 
Wedding Song Tradition: A Workshop on the "Interdiscursivity" between the Epithalamia and the Laments in Greek Antiquity
Franziska Naether, University of Leipzig
Casino Royale in Ancient Skyscrapers? On Recent Finds from Roman Tower Houses in Tuna el-Gebel (Egypt)
Danuta Fjellestad, Uppsala University
The Ludic Impulse in Post-Postmodern Fiction
Christian Gütl, Graz University of Technology
Johanna Pirker, Graz University of Technology
Crossing: Virtual Experiences, Games, and Teaching
Panos Panay, BerkleeICE
Creativity and Entrepreneurship
John Robinson-Appels, Columbia University
Comedy, Physicality, and Ludic Dance Gestures
Maria Zervos, Emerson College
The Interplay of Poetry and the Moving Image in the Art of Maria Zervos
Panos Bosnakis, Center of Avant-Garde Studies
The Greatest Mother of All that is Called Poetry
Dean Kostos, Award-Winning Poet
Scheme and Schemata: Endless Play

Past Events 2014 - 15

Zoa Alonso Fernández, Harvard University
Ludi, Ludic, Ludicrous: Choreographing Rome from Spartacus to Caligula
James N. Stone, Boston University
Playing Scrabble with Sappho: A Translation Workshop for Anyone Interested in the Interplay of Poetry, Translation, and Play
Mary Yossi, University of Athens
Laughter in Greek Lyric Poetry
Nicole Nolette, Harvard University
Games Translators Play in Bilingual French-Canadian Theater

Past Events 2013 - 14

Amy Ogata, Bard Graduate Center
Playing with Design: Cultivating Childhood Creativity in Postwar America
Brian Waniewski
Playing to Engage: How to Revitalize Society
Patrick Hutchinson, Brown University
Panayotis League, Harvard University
Tom Zajac, Wellesley College
Sounds from Europe's Margins: Bagpipes in Boston