Modern Greek Studies in the 21st Century: Agonistic Realisms

Durham, 13 – 15 July 2023

Call for Papers: Third Conference of the "Greek Studies Now" Cultural Analysis Network

Greek Studies Now: Cultural Analysis Network

3rd Conference, Durham University, 13-15 July 2023

Modern Greek Studies in the 21st Century:
Agonistic Realisms




About the event

This event is the third conference organized by the “Greek Studies Now” Cultural Analysis Network. The network sprang in 2019 from a partnership between two vibrant research communities working on the cultures of Modern Greece and Southern Europe in the universities of Oxford and Amsterdam, and it includes scholars from several universities in Greece, Europe, and the US.

Our first conference, during which we launched our network, was organized in Oxford (31 January – 2 February 2020). Our second conference took place in Amsterdam (15 June – 17 June 2022). The third conference will now take place in Durham, 13 July – 15 July 2023, and will be hosted by our network’s new institutional partner, Durham University.

The conference aims to bring together scholars from different career stages whose work is (wholly or partly) situated in Modern Greek studies, with a particular emphasis on graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career scholars. It will offer young scholars the opportunity to showcase their work, give and receive feedback, and create networks leading to further collaborations and joint projects.

Speakers situated in different fields which relate to Modern Greek studies (broadly understood) are invited to explore how cases from modern and contemporary Greek culture, literature, politics, and history can be brought to bear on current theoretical, cultural, and social debates in an agonistic frame, that is, a democratic space of performative citizenship, dissent, debate, and critique.

This year’s theme brings into view the current moment in Modern Greek studies and beyond as a moment in which activism, struggle, and confrontation are repositioned as existential modalities and truth discourses. In this agonistic frame, previous (ideological, sociopolitical, cultural) distinctions and categories sometimes stubbornly persist but also become reconfigured, and traditional distinctions between real and fictional, or normal and weird, are being redrawn in a fluid Greek sociopolitical landscape that has seen various new realities and “new normals”, especially since the debt crisis and the pandemic – none of which feels quite normal enough. Considering the countless conflicting ways in which the term “realism” can be put to use, we pair realisms (in the plural) in our title with the political and conflictual space of agonism. In doing so, we wish to draw attention to competing descriptions, claims on, and experiences of, reality that circulate today in, on, and around Greece, also in broader transnational and comparative frameworks, and to explore the stakes and affordances of such claims, the old and new struggles and debates they fuel, and the modes of “worldling” they yield.

We aim at inclusivity and diversity in speakers and audiences and at stimulating interdisciplinary dialogues that will take scholars outside the comfort zones of their disciplines. Just as in our other events, in this conference, invited speakers from different disciplines and career stages will converse with each other.


Questions and topics

We welcome any topic engaging with Modern Greek culture of the 19th-20th-21st centuries, but we specifically encourage approaches that integrate a self-critical understanding of their methodology, social relevance and institutional frame, as well as a reflection on the field of Modern Greek studies today. The research questions and topics we aim to explore in this third conference include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • capitalist / biopolitical / algorithmic / weird realisms
  • spaces of contestation; (repairing) infrastructures; transformations in public space
  • major historical events / disasters and social mobilization
  • struggles for justice; mediatized justice; law and literature
  • new social, political and protest movements in Greece and their global affiliations
  • post-truth politics, conspiracy theories, fake news in Greece and beyond
  • Greece and the (European or Global) South; Greece and the Mediterranean
  • ecological imaginaries and ecocritical perspectives
  • temporalities and future-thinking in the multivocal public sphere
  • intersectionality in Greece; sexual citizenship, queer archives and public space
  • gender violence and the Greek #MeToo
  • citizenship, migration and mobility, past and present
  • genealogies of race/racialization in the Greek world
  • (post-)crisis narratives in literature, cinema, the arts, and public discourse;
  • neoliberal narratives of resilience, reconstruction, happiness and their political mobilization
  • the politics of translation; Greek as a plural language
  • decolonizing the curriculum (in primary, secondary and higher education); decolonial approaches and versions of Greekness
  • methodological questions in Modern Greek studies


Abstract submission

If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract (ca. 200 words) and short biographical note by April 21, 2023 to


Practical Arrangements

There are no conference fees. Limited funding is available to reimburse part of the costs of some non-local participants who will not have other resources. Please contact the organisers should you require such facilitation, but please note that we will only be able to offer a very small number of bursaries.

A limited number of rooms has been reserved for conference participants at the rate of 50 GBP per night.

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Modern Greek Studies in the 21st Century:
Agonistic Realisms

Call for Papers for the 3nd conference of the Cultural Analysis Network:
Greek Studies Now

Durham, 13 – 15 July 2023