Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2016-2017
Foteini Dimirouli holds a DPhil in Comparative Literature from the Faculty of Modern Languages at Oxford University. Her thesis —entitled Cavafy Hero: Literary Appropriations and Cultural Projections of the Poet in English and American Literature— engaged with the politics of textual dissemination and cultural legitimation that underpinned C.P. Cavafy’s rising literary celebrity during the 20th century. A revised version of her doctoral dissertation is forthcoming as a monograph by Oxford University Press. Foteini’s research interests lie in the fields of Greek, English, and American literature, as well as their intersections during the modernist period. She has taught extensively in the above areas at Oxford University, and has published papers on related topics.
What are the effects of change, and especially political crises, on the making of literary reputations and the formation of world literary canons? This study draws on the publications and archives of influential Anglophone literary and cultural journals to cast new light on international responses to periodic crises in post-war Greece. Central to such responses has been a sense of what Greek writers, living and dead, bring to the discussion. Not only was the iconic value assigned to particular authors from a small country with a ‘minor literature’ a significant feature of the Anglophone discourse on Greece’s political transitions, but it also was a way to speak to late-modern discontents: the decline of humane values, the failure of large systems and structures, and the problem of national autonomy in an era of globalization. By uncovering the uses of literary reference as a means to understand and debate realities of the contemporary world, this comparative study offers novel understandings of the interplay between urgent politics and the constitution of the cultural field.