CENSUS of Modern Greek Literature project

With the support of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, the Marilena Laskaridis Endowed Chair of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Amsterdam has begun a new collaboration with the ‘CENSUS of Modern Greek Literature’ project, which is led by Prof. Dia Philippides (Prof. Emerita, Classical Studies, Boston College) and Prof. Wim Bakker (Prof. Emeritus, Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology, University of Amsterdam). At the University of Amsterdam, the collaboration is facilitated by Prof. Maria Boletsi, incumbent of the Marilena Laskaridis Chair, and Dr. Tatiana Markaki, Chair of the Dept. of Modern Greek Language and Culture.

The CENSUS is a forthcoming bibliography of modern Greek literature for speakers of English. The CENSUS’ collection includes (all discoverable) references both to English-language translations of modern Greek literary works and to studies published in English on authors, works, and topics in modern Greek literature. Though the publication dates of the references that are recorded in the CENSUS extend over the 200+ years from 1813 to today, the actual range of the covered subject matter extends from Digenis Akritas to today, that is a span of more than nine centuries. The project aims at publication both in print form (ca. 1,250 pages, i.e. five times the size of the 1990 monograph) and as an online (Open Access) database. Its distinguishing characteristics include: the broad range of its coverage, the unique depth of detail in its descriptions, and the links it provides to other standard reference sources and directly to online resources for immediate reading. The project will be an indispensable tool in the process of internationalization of Modern Greek studies and will facilitate the study of, and research into, Modern Greek literature in Europe and beyond. Considering that several Modern Greek study programs in Europe are increasingly integrating Greek literature in English translation in their curricula or that English translations of Greek literature have recently been receiving international attention, the CENSUS project will assist students, scholars, and non-Greek speaking fans of Greek literature in navigating this rich field.

In this collaborative initiative select faculty members and students connected with the Marilena Laskaridis Chair in Amsterdam are participating in the CENSUS project through seminars initiated in Amsterdam and continuing (through transatlantic connections) online. The model for these seminars had been previously established and tested with university students in the USA, in a workshop series held at Boston College in 2018. The phase of the collaboration that is supported by the Foundation’s grant was initially set to run from February throughout the spring of 2020, and has now been extended through the end of 2020. The current grant is also supporting research development at the CENSUS’ home base in Boston (USA).

The CENSUS project is aiming at a first presentation of its results, initially focussing on the section “Authors 19th-21st century”, as part of the celebration of Greece’s Bicentennial year (2021) – with support from the Laskaridis Foundation and as one of the 130 international research projects under the aegis of the collective program “Πρωτοβουλία 1821-2021” (‘Initiative 1821-2021’) (newspaper TO VIMA – 1 February 2020). See also on the www.protovoulia21.gr/ website.
More information can be found on the following websites: Laskaridis FoundationDutch Society for Modern Greek Studies, and CENSUS of Modern Greek Literature.

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