Hellenism Unbound, Synthesis 6 (2013),Call for papers
In 1997, Artemis Leontis proclaimed that “Romantic Hellenism has lost its charm.” But if scholars of Modern Greek Studies had been wondering what might lie “beyond Hellenicity,” in the last decade English, German, French, and American literary and cultural studies have experienced a Hellenic revival. Just a few examples of recent scholarship would include indigenous Hellenism, transnational Hellenism, connections between literary and archaeological excavations, women writers and Victorian Hellenism, Hellenism and postcolonialism, black classicism, and the history of race studies from the invention of “white, European” Greeks in the eighteenth century to the creation of American “white ethnics.”
Indeed, Hellenism has flourished in so many directions that James Porter has recently characterized it as “a baggy, questionable idea that eludes definition,” a concept “burdened with more meaning than it can coherently hold.” The deconstruction it received in the 1990s from Vassilis Lambropoulos and Stathis Gourgouris, among others, may have left it even more unstable as a concept, but Hellenism is perhaps even more full of possibilities today.
Can Hellenism be unbound from the binary perceptions of East and West, civilization and barbarism? Or unbound from the holds of academic disciplines (Classics, English literature, archaeology); nations (Britain, Germany); genres (the travel essay, the lyric poem), to become something altogether new?
This issue of Synthesis is being conceptualized at a specific cultural moment when the modern nation of Greece has been in the news, reaching far outside the bounds of academia. Will this change Hellenism? Is there a new Philhellenism arising or are old prejudices rekindled?
We invite contributions that engage with the imaginative and performative representations of Hellenism in modernity, from the late eighteenth century to the present. We are particularly interested in essays that unbind Hellenism from its usual holds, whether those are disciplinary, national, aesthetic, political, theoretical, or formal.
Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:
Re-inventing Hellenism in the 21st century: new approaches, definitions
European Philhellenism: alternative histories, how Europe has been shaped by philhellenism, new imaginings of philhellenism in Europe
Travelling Hellenism: theories of travel, newly recovered works, tourism, commemorative sites and rituals
The permeable borders of Hellenism: nationalism, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, diaspora
Hellenism and gender / the gender of Hellenism: women writers and the classics, recovering female Hellenists, gendering the study of Hellenism
Indigenous Hellenism and critiques of philhellenism
Aesthetics of Hellenism: Hellenism and form (the travel essay, the memoir, the novel, new or hybrid genres), Hellenism and genre—intersections of literature, art, and archaeology
Politics of Hellenism: (phil)Hellenism and Orientalism, Hellenism and postcolonialism, Hellenism and notions of race, reconsidering the connection of Hellenism and Eurocentrism
Disillusionment with Hellenism: revaluations of the role of the influence of Greek culture on Western society, heretical Hellenism
Detailed proposals (800-1,000 words) for articles of 6,000-7,000 words and a short bio (up to 300 words), as well as all inquiries regarding this issue should be sent to both issue editors: Efterpi Mitsi (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Amy Muse (email@example.com).
1 December 2011 submission of abstracts
1 February 2012 notification of acceptance
1 October 2012 submission of articles
Faculty of English Studies
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Phone: (00) 30210 7745
Fax: (00) 30210 7277864
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of English
University of St Thomas
Phone: (651) 962-5643
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