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Eleni Papargyriou and Yannis Stamos have been awarded the Marilena Laskaridis Visiting Research Fellowships for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Fellowships are sponsored by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, which is also the main sponsor of the Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Amsterdam, held by Prof. Maria Boletsi. The fellowships are offered annually on a competitive basis and by application. 

Eleni Papargyriou: Modern Greek Literature in the Digital Age: Lessons from Times of Crisis

This project sets out to investigate the rapport of Modern Greek literature with digital media in times of social crisis. Working within the participatory and interactive framework of Web 2.0., literary output published in social media outlets (mainly Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) and blogs during the Greek fiscal crisis of 2010-2018 and the first year of the Covid pandemic will be analysed to look at the ways in which digital literary products conceptualise political and social phenomena and intervene in public political and cultural discourses. The main aim is tripartite: to observe and comment on modulations of literary output produced in digital media and its generic hybridity (from ‘pure’ genres such as poetry to various hybrid forms of life-writing, fiction and social critique), to examine literary responses to vital social subjects and investigate to what extent these responses are tailored by the specificities of the medium itself. The goal is to trace critical thought on digital media produced in Greece, particularly as a reflective comment on novel digital opportunities and challenges presented to the literary market.

Eleni Papargyriou is currently teaching at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Hellenic Open University. She has held teaching and research positions at the University of Patras, the University of Vienna, King’s College London, Oxford University and Princeton University. She has published the monograph Reading Games in the Greek Novel (2011) and co-edited the volumes Camera Graeca: Photographs, Narratives, Materialities (2015), Greece in British Women’s Literary Imagination 1913-2013 (2017) and the special issues Cavafy Pop: Readings of C.P. Cavafy in Popular Culture (2015) and ‘1821’: Mediation, Reception, Archive (2021). Her current work focuses on modernism, intercultural literary relations and the relationship between literary text and photographic imagery. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Greek Media and Culture, taking over as Principal Editor with Vassiliki Kolocotroni (University of Glasgow) from January 2023.

Yannis Stamos: Culture and Pro-Axis Propaganda at the Athens Radio Station (1941-1944)

This project explores discourses on culture disseminated by the Athens Radio Station during the Axis Occupation of Greece. The aim is to analyze the main ways in which “culture” was instrumentalized in order to provide legitimacy to the occupying forces and the Greek collaborationist governments. The project is part of broader research on Pro-Axis Radio Propaganda in Greece during the Occupation (1941-1944). It builds on my earlier research on the political function of cultural initiatives and culture-related discourses promoted by the Metaxas dictatorship (1936-1941), shifting the focus onto a hitherto understudied medium, that of the radio. The virtual lack of extant audio material from this period is partly made up for through the use of transcripts of radio broadcasts found in the Greek press from 1941 to 1944. The project argues that, apart from controlling the print media, Occupation authorities sought to establish a monophonic soundscape in Greece, with radio policy being part of a struggle to suppress dissent and justify the foreign occupation. Discourses on culture played a crucial role, framing WWII as a struggle between civilization and barbarism and placing the Axis on the side of the former.

Yannis Stamos obtained his first degree from the University of Thessaloniki and his PhD from the University of Birmingham. He has held teaching and research positions at the Universities of Birmingham, Vienna, and Princeton. He is currently finishing a book project titled Culture and/as Politics: The Intellectuals and Ideology of the 4th-of-August Regime in Greece (1936-1941). His research interests lie at the intersection of culture and politics with a special focus on intellectual and cultural history during the first half of the twentieth century.