Modern Greek Literature and Culture performs transhistorical and cross-disciplinary explorations of aspects of Greek literature, societies, politics, and culture from the twelfth century to postmodernity. Presentations, which vary in theoretical approach, situate Modern Greek studies within comparative and transcultural contexts: ancient and medieval Greek, Western, Balkan, and Mediterranean cultures.

Upcoming Events

Nadav Asraf, Harvard University
"When I leave the beautiful and severe Hellenism": On Translations of Cavafy into Hebrew
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 110, Barker Center


Cavafy is one of the most popular poets in modern-day Israel. His poems have been translated and published in Hebrew twice: The first major translation was published in 1978, but only recently, in 2017, a new translation appeared, which – compared to the older ‘classical’ translation – has sparked discussion concerning questions of literary merit, aesthetic decisions in translation, and the role of the translator vis-à-vis the poet. The talk will delineate the history of Cavafy’s translations into Hebrew, survey the different questions they raised, and study the way they were received by looking in depth into the translators’ own writings and by examining in detail the different literary reviews published throughout the years. Thus, we will see that Cavafy’s specific reception in Hebrew reflects long-standing issues in Cavafy’s reception in general.

Dimitrios Sotiropoulos, University of Athens, Harvard University
Contemporary State-Society Relations in Greece Before and After the Economic Crisis
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 110, Barker Center


In the past state-society relations in Greece had developed mostly through political clientelist and corporatist linkages between citizens and interest groups on the one hand and the state on the other. Owing to the Greek economic crisis which erupted in 2010, two other modes of state – society relations unfolded: first, citizens, individually and also collectively through their associations, opposed the state and more concretely rejected austerity policies and engaged in typical and more often atypical ways of political participation (repeated violent demonstrations and seat-ins). And second, after welfare state spending was deeply cut and persistently high unemployment and massive closures of small and medium enterprises dominated the private sector, citizens detached themselves from the state, by seeking the support of their family members and social solidarity networks. All three modes through which society related to the state (integration into the state through clientelism and state corporatism, mobilization against the state, and detachment from and avoidance of the state) preceded the eruption of the crisis and had existed in different mixes, but the crisis created new conditions, fertile for the development of the latter two modes.

Exhibition at Houghton Library and Panel Presentations
"You Should Find Another Sea, Another Gentleness": The Nikos Gatsos Archive at Harvard
Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 1:00pm
Thompson Room (Barker Center) and Houghton Library, Harvard Yard

This event, which celebrates the acquisition of the Gatsos archive by Harvard Library, is free and open to the public and will conclude with a reception at Houghton Library. The event is cosponsored by Houghton Library and the Seminar on Modern Greek Literature and Culture, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard.

Past Events 2017 - 18

Natasha Constantinidou-Taylor, University of Cyprus
Printing Greek Books in Sixteenth-Century Paris
Vassilis Monastiriotis, London School of Economics
Re-reading the Greek Crisis: Policy Errors and Domestic Deficiencies
Karen Emmerich, Princeton University
Textual Instability and Translation: Cavafy, Solomos, Vakalo
Eleni Skourtou, University of the Aegean
Education in Transit: Refugee Children and Adults Learning Greek in Greece
Eliza Gettel, Harvard University
Staging Greece at the 1939/40 World's Fair in New York
Writing in the Margins: C. P. Cavafy and António Botto-A Colloquium

Past Events 2016 - 17

Spiros Pollalis, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Sustainable Planning: Following Doxiadis's Legacy
Anastasia Karakasidou, Wellesley College
Interrogating Humanity: Refugee Encounters in Lesbos, Greece
Panagiotis Liaropoulos, Berklee College of Music
Greek Art Music and Song in the 20th Century: The Music of Manos Hadjidakis
George Syrimis, Yale University
The End of an Era? Religious Fanaticism and the Fourth Century A.D. in the Poetry of C. P. Cavafy
Artemis Leontis, University of Michigan
Literary Translation and Politics in Moments of Greek Crisis

Past Events 2015 - 16

Stathis Kalyvas, Yale University
Reflections on the Greek Crisis, the Eurozone, and the European Integration
Dimitris Keridis, Panteion University
The Battle for Greece: Lessons Learned (for Greece, Europe and Beyond)
Simos Zeniou, Harvard University
Great Voice, Terrifying Voice: Political Reason and Lyric Voice in Greek Revolutionary Poetry
Anastasia Natsina, University of Crete
Different Natures: Growing Up in the Countryside of the Greek Bildungsroman
Gazi Kapllani, Wellesley College
"Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey": Cavafy through the Eyes of an Immigrant of the World
Vangelis Calotychos, Brown University
The Games People Play: Greek "Weird Wave" Film and the Economic Debt Crisis
Loukas Tsoukalis, University of Athens and Harvard Kennedy School
Greece’s Never Ending Crisis: Can We See Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Past Events 2014 - 15

Et in Arcadia Ego: Gregory Markopoulos and the American Avant-garde Cinema
Yannis Evrigenis, Tufts University
Context and Canon: The Case of Hobbes's Aristotle
Maria Kaliambou, Yale University
The Book Culture of Greek Americans
Nikos Panou, Stony Brook University
Lucian in Phanar: Nikolaos Mavrokordatos' Dialogic Imagination
Kostas Lavdas, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
A Juncture of Stateness: Political Challenges and the Eurocrisis in Southern Europe
Nikos Passas, Northeastern University & International Anti-Corruption Academy, Vienna
Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Greece: Lessons Learned from the Global Community and the Need for a Strategic Approach
Robert Pinsky, Boston University
Robert Pinsky on C. P. Cavafy
Kostas Vergopoulos, University of Paris VIII
The Debt Crisis in Europe and the Culture of Economic Politics: Is Economics a Moral Science?

Past Events 2013 - 14

Jacques Bouchard, University of Montreal & Academy of Arts, Humanities, and Sciences of Canada
Je est un autre: Identity and Otherness in the Poetry of C. P. Cavafy
Calliopi Dourou, Harvard University
Between Byzantium and Modern Greece: Recapturing the Legacy of Homer in Nikolaos Loukanes’ 1526 "Iliad"
Maria Iliou, Screenwriter & Director
Alexander Kitroeff, Historical Consultant
Charles Stang, Harvard University
Eros and Apostasy: C.P. Cavafy and the Emperor Julian
Andreas Kalyvas, The New School
Between the Instituting and the Instituted: Castoriadis' Radical Theory of Democracy
Simos Zeniou, Harvard University
"The Poet’s Extreme Limit": Blakes’s Prophetic Poetics, Zissimos Lorentzatos, and the Cultural Politics of Late Greek Modernism
David Roessel, Stockton University
Happiness in a Greek Way: Reconsidering Durrell on Corfu, Rhodes, and Cyprus
Vladimir Boskovic, Harvard University
Metaphysical is Political: Plotinus in Ungaretti, Camus, and Elytis
Argyro Nicolaou, Harvard University
Ironizing the Empire: Literary Responses to Durrell’s Bitter Lemons
Nicos Christodoulakis, Athens University of Economics and Business & London School of Economics
Greece and the Eurozone: Risks and Challenges
"What These Ithacas Mean": Reading Cavafy in Different Languages - A Celebration of the End of the "Cavafy Year"

Past Events 2012 - 13

Michail Psalidopoulos, Fletcher School, Tufts University
"Sovereign Debt Crises in Greece: 19th Century to the Present”
Erato Paris, International Center for Hellenic Research, Nice, France
"Byzantium after Byzantium"
Marc Shell, Harvard University
Petros Efthymiou, Harvard University
"Can the Eurozone Crisis Be Solved without the Involvement of the United States?"

Past Events 2011 - 12

Rika Lesser; Ursula Lindqvist, Harvard University; Vasilis Papageorgiou, Linnaeus University; Judith Ryan, Harvard University
"Celebrating this Year's Nobel Prize in Literature: Tranströmer across Languages"
Maria Tatar, Harvard University
"'Disturbing the Airwaves': Writing about Greece under Nazi Occupation"
Chris LIvanos, University of Wisconsin
"Amazons, Dragons, and Masculinity: Policing the Borders of Nature and Gender in *Digenes Akrites*"
Spiro N. Pollalis
“The Development of the site of the Former Athens Airport: A Spark for Igniting the Greek Economy”
Dimitris Sotiropoulos, Higher Technological Institute of Kalamata
"The Greek Military Junta of 1967–1974: Old Insights and New Questions"

Past Events 2010 - 11

Constantine Michaelides, Washington University, St. Louis
"Formal and Vernacular Architecture in the Aegean Archipelago: Stuart and Revett, Thomas Hope and Alexandros Papadiamantis"
Teresa Shawcross, Amherst and Mt. Holyoke Colleges
"'Listen, all of you, both Franks and Romans': The Narrator in the Chronicle of Morea"
Olga Taxidou, Edinburgh University
"Hellenism, Primitivism and Modernist Performance"