Conference on Satire in
Modern Greek Literature to Take Place
at Harvard

Travel expenses, accommodation available

A Graduate Student Conference will take place at Harvard on April 9, 2005. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is November 15, 2004. Travel expenses (up to $300) and accommodation will be covered by The George Seferis Chair of Modern Greek Studies. For further details please see the Call for Papers below.


Graduate Conference - Call for Papers
April 9, 2005
Program in Modern Greek Studies/George Seferis Chair of Modern Greek
Studies/Department of the Classics/Harvard University.

"The Cankered Muse: In Search of Modern Greek Satire"

In his pioneer study "The Art of Satire", David Worcester seeks to explain contemporary criticism's incapability or unwillingness to pay proper attention and deal with satire on the basis of its elusive nature and the intrinsic complexity and multiplicity of satiric forms. As he puts it, the satiric spirit is 'hardy and impatient of bondage', and, as such, it easily escapes attempts for grammatological elaboration and literary classification.

This irreducibly 'volatile and Protean' quality of satire may very well be the reason behind modern Greek scholarship and criticism's conspicuously negligent and hesitant attitude toward the genre and its rich manifestations in modern Greek literature from its very beginning and throughout its long history. Modern Greek satire (with texts spanning from the 12th century ptochoprodromic corpus to Solomos and the Ionian tradition; and from the romantic satiric production of the nascent Greek state to Giannis Skaribas or Bost) has, with very few exceptions of scholarly preoccupation with the topic, remained a generally understudied field to this day -and that despite its preeminent role in the formation and consolidation of a strong and vita
l linguistic and literary tradition.

Our goal in conceiving and organizing this conference is precisely to account for the prolific and uninterrupted presence of satire in modern Greek literature, and to better understand its nature and function, both as an individual genre with a unique literary history and exclusive discursive elements and characteristics, and as a kind of 'Protean' literary mode that quite often interacts with other genres and puts them into a new perspective, affecting their generic identity, enriching their established reservoir of themes and tropes, and expanding their traditionally ascribed limits. We have purposefully framed this topic to be as wide-reaching and interdisciplinary as possible in order to encourage broad investigation and interpretation (that could be synchronic or diachronic in scope, theoretical or text-centered, thematic or stylistic) of neglected, though crucial, issues concerning or related to modern Greek satire, such as: satire and language; satiric modes: parody, invective, grotesque, allegory, etc.; ancient and/or modern influences on Greek satire; returning patterns, recurrent targets of satire; mimesis, mimicry, representation in satiric texts; satire and (other) literary genres: breaks and continuities; vices and virtues: satire and the system of moral values; satire and politics: uses and abuses of satire; satire and social criticism; the satiric persona; self-parody; the limits of satire; etc.

Please submit 350-500 word abstracts for 20-25 minute presentations to Nikos Panou ( and Nikos Poulopoulos ( or mail to:

Nikos Panou
Harvard University
Dept. of Comparative Literature, Boylston Hall G-03
Cambridge, MA 02138

Include a cover page with the following information: name and institutional affiliation (program and year), mailing and e-mail address, and title of presentation. Participants will be offered room and board for one or two days and a travel stipend up to $300.

Submission deadline: November 15, 2004.