Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2019-2020
Fiona Antonelaki specializes in twentieth-century Greek literature and/in performance with a special interest in radio and audio culture, archival recovery, and the relationship between modernism and mass culture. She graduated with a B.A. in History and Archaeology from the University of Athens and a Ph.D. in Modern Greek Literature from King’s College London. Her publications include studies on the role of modernist writers in Greek radio programming (Best Essay Prize in Memory of Panagiotis Moullas, 2016), the literary productions of the Greek National Theater, and the poetry recordings of George Seferis. Her current book project explores the history of the BBC Greek Section in the context of transnational media circulation and propaganda.
This research project investigates the history of the BBC Greek Section from its wartime establishment to its reorganization during the Cyprus crisis of the 1950s. It aims to understand the Greek Section’s role as a cultural and literary forum, approached through several key questions such as: Which authors worked at the Greek Section, and to what extent was their work tailored to serve British propaganda? What position did they hold when British and Greek strategic interests clashed? In addition to the off-air politics underpinning the operation of the service, this project delves more deeply into a particular facet of the broadcast output: literary programmes. It seeks to document how the service promoted modernist voices, assessing its role in the formation of the modern Greek literary canon. Drawing on a range of sources (listings magazines, broadcast scripts, personal papers of BBC producers), this study prompts a rethinking of Anglo-Greek cultural interactions, the cosmopolitan practices of Greek literary elites and the intersections of literature, politics and technologies of mass communication.