The Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH) happily announces the results of its 7th Public Call for Funding Research Proposals to be pursued in the year 2022.
After completing the evaluation process based on reports by scholars from Greek and other Universities and Research Centers, the research proposals that will be funded by RCH are the following (in alphabetical order under the surname of the applicant and presented according to the funding category):
- Foteini Dimirouli, Postdoctoral Researcher in Comparative Literature, University of Oxford (UK)
Title: “The Digital Afterlives of Great Poets; The Case Study of C.P. Cavafy”
Summary: This project concerns the new modalities of engagement with poetry in the digital era. On the one hand, the genre of ‘digital poetry’, which has emerged from audiovisual and textual convergence, brevity, and instant connectivity on social media, has refocused attention on poetic forms, greatly increasing poetry sales amongst young generations. On the other hand, artificial intelligence has been employed to craft poetry or poetic responses, challenging the boundaries between human creativity and algorithmically produced art. Despite the attention paid to these phenomena, the ways in which established authors and their work have become reconfigured in these expansive digital environments remains an underexplored topic. This project will employ the digital afterlives of the Greek-Alexandrian poet C.P. Cavafy, the most celebrated poet to have written in Modern Greek, as a springboard to examine the resignification of canonical poetry and short poetic forms more broadly through digital conventions.
This cross-disciplinary endeavor brings together literary studies and digital media theory. It locates in the case study of Cavafy’s multimodal presence online a singular opportunity to analyse how digital tools and platforms have transcended poetry’s print boundaries, by appropriating, fragmenting, and remodelling works traditionally encountered in print form. The case study will serve to extrapolate toward the broader cultural changes that flow of information and user agency introduce for literary posterity. For example, so far, critical theory has scrutinized the world canon for its Western and exclusionary constitution. But what does it mean for an artist’s worldwide reputation to become untethered from cultural authorities and sustained through practices that are geo-expansive and inclusive of a multiplicity of voices, ideologies and identities? How, and to what effect, does this user-led and participatory engagement with poetry speak to audiences’ needs and habits? This project will seek answers to these questions through the critical analysis of the digital environments that frame literary reputation. It will also trace how digital platforms themselves, and the opportunities they offer for engagement with poetry, shape users’ overall online activity, preferences, and interactions.
By collecting and critically analyzing a breadth of material drawn from social media, journalism, and Cavafy’s digitized archive this study will take a twofold approach: first, it will delve into the ways in which distinctive features of Cavafy’s poetry and personality have been remediated online as part of broader discussions about the transformation of literature in digital landscapes; second, it will use the poet’s example as a window into digital tools and their power to reconfigure audiences’ contact with poetry. Methods to update contemporary teaching practices are also proposed, as a way to best address a generation of users that has naturalized the ecosystem and culture of connective media. Alongside the organization of a conference on Digital Poetry, this project will include education workshops aimed at university students and educators. It will also create a website aimed to assist educators with the development of methodologies that combine the teaching of poetry with awareness of new media practices.
- Dimitris Koros, Dr of Penitentiary Policy, Democritus University of Thrace (Greece)
Title: “Emergency justice and criminalisation of illegal entry: a border criminology approach”
Summary: The proposed study aims to examine the exceptional conditions at the Greek-Turkish borders during February-March 2020, which led to the criminalisation and imprisonment of a considerable number of refugees who entered Greece irregularly. The research project will be conducted in the following manner: first, casefiles related to the period of concern will be studied, aiming to explore the penal and administrative treatment of the refugees that were instrumentalised by both countries. It will then continue with interviews from individuals and families who were subjected to prosecution, conviction and (possible) imprisonment, in order to record and assess their experience of institutional victimisation and objectification. The findings of the research will be analysed through the lens of border criminology, with the ultimate goal of contributing to a criminological comprehension of the Greek border penality in times of crisis.
- Styliani Lepida, Postdoctoral Researcher in Ottoman History, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Title: “Monastic Economy and Land Tenure in the Post-Confiscation Era (1568-1700): Economic Management and Land Tenure of the Great Meteoron Monastery”
Summary: The proposed research, based on the unpublished Ottoman archive of the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration located in Meteora, Thessaly (known as the Great Meteoron), seeks to reconstruct aspects of the economic and social history of the Ottoman period under a predetermined perspective.
More specifically, the Great Meteoron monastery is approached as a socio-economic unit within the Ottoman administrative framework during the late 16th century and throughout the 17th century and consequently the monastic economy is studied within the same context. The archival material under study covers the period between the years 1568 and 1700 and amounts to about 600 documents of various types. The work plan includes the translation of Ottoman documents, the processing of their data and drawing of conclusions, aiming to integrate the findings into a broader dialogue.
The year 1568, which has been chosen as the starting point of this research, marks a turning point in the history of monastic economy, as it marked the transition from a vague legal framework to a more inelastic one, which challenged the legitimacy of monastic property and imposed its confiscation. Monastic property passed into the possession of the Ottoman state and after that their predecessors were given the opportunity to buy it back. Subsequently monasteries made a laborious effort to recover and manage their confiscated property, which we are trying to record.
With regard to the issue of confiscation but mainly of the post-confiscation period, it is worth noting that the studies carried out so far have focused mainly on the legal aspect of the confiscation issue. Drawing from the acquired knowledge, the proposed research chooses to follow a pragmatic perspective and seeks to study the economic and social aspects of the issue. It attempts to outline the financial profile of the monastery, the management strategies of the “crisis” of 1568 and its economic consequences as well as the mechanisms of survival and development of the monastery during the 17th century. The characteristics of monastic land ownership and its management are also examined. In addition, it is traced the monastery’s network of relations with the central and provincial administration as well as with its wider social and ecclesiastical environment. Finally, and to the extent that the data of the archival material allow it, the environmental dimension will be sought so as to demonstrate how the monastery managed the natural space in the areas where they owned land and if there are changes in its use over time.
- Panagiotis Konstantinidis, Dr. of Classical Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
- Giorgos Mitropoulos, Dr. of Ancient History, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
Title: “Greek Matronae: Female Civic Presence and Self-Representation in Imperial Greece (1st – 3rd c. CE)”
Summary: The research program is an interdisciplinary study of the civic presence and self-representation of prominent women in the Roman province of Achaea during the imperial age (1st – 3rd c. CE). It aims to examine for the first time thoroughly and systematically the activity and the visual representation of women in the public life of the cities of the province. By the term “public presence” is meant the documentation of civic functions assumed by women, honors bestowed to them by the polis and private individuals, and, thus, their visual representation in related monuments erected in their honor in public spaces. Ancient sources document the intense participation of women in public life, as they played an important role in the smooth administration of the Greek poleis, principally as benefactresses, and priestesses of traditional and the imperial cults. A well-known – but by no means unique – case is that of Regilla, the wife of Herodes Atticus, who made numerous benefactions in many cities of imperial Greece and accepted offices in different communities. Although the presence of women in the civic life of Roman cities has been the subject of numerous studies both from a historical and from a mere archaeological point of view (e.g. in the cases of the Cyclades, Asia Minor or the Latin West), studies of the same scope for the female public presence in the province of Achaea are lacking.
The project comprises the collective study of a wide range of material: (a) honorary, votive and funerary inscriptions dedicated by, honoring or related to women of the provincial élites, (b) honorific and funerary female portrait statues, (c) other monuments (e.g. funerary reliefs, sarcophagi, coins) related to élite women. When possible, emphasis will be placed on the interaction between epigraphic texts, selected statuary (body) and head-types in female portraiture. The assembled material will give us valuable information on the official activities and functions of women and their association with civic institutions (as members or honorands), such as the gerousia, the boule and the gymnasion. In this way, we will gain a complete picture of the public persona and wider social networks of a woman in a city of Imperial Greece.
The organization of a workshop with the participation of young researchers and the publication of an extended article in English in a peer-reviewed journal will make the results of the research project widely known and, thus, designate the appropriate place of the Greek matrona within the society of the Greco-Roman East.
- Stavros Stavrides, Professor of Architectural Design and Theory, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (Greece)
- Sergios Striglogiannis, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (Greece)
- Ernestina Karistineu Efthimiatu, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (Greece)
Title: “Architecture as everyday life poetics: The spaces and rhythms of the everyday through the archive of Annie Vrychea”
Summary: The architecture of everyday life, the lived space, issues of gender, housing, and habitation were the main concerns and research interests in the personal, professional, and academic career of Annie Vrychea (1944-2005), professor of the NTUA School of Architecture. Starting from the defense of the right to the city, her research and realized work focused on the participation of users in the production of everyday-life spaces, in an effort to eliminate spatial exclusions and social discriminations.
Her innovative participatory design proposal for the regeneration of the refugee settlement of Thebes, her contribution to the Habitat IV conference, her multilayered research on gender issues, her struggles for rescuing the refugees housing units on Alexandra Avenue, among others, laid down new foundations, expanding the boundaries of architectural theory and practice.
How could we relate the approach of Annie Vrychea, the importance she gave to the places and times of daily life, and to gender issues to the current situation? By unraveling the thread of the professional and research activity of Vrychea, the proposed research aims to emphasize the sensitivity with which she approached the architecture of everyday life and the spacetime of everyday people. “In the generalized crisis of values, ideas and ideologies, […] where is architecture? That is, poetry in our daily lives, in our city, in our cities, in our neighborhood? ” (Vrychea 1993) Starting with that question of Vrychea herself, which remains relevant, one target of this research is to study how her approach to the architecture of everyday life can contribute to the discussion of contemporary urban issues. An equally important objective is to focus on Vrychea’s gender perspective in the habitation of everyday-life spaces, while highlighting the often underestimated and overlooked female presence in architectural and urban research and practice.
Initially, the research group will study the primary sources from the archive of professor A. Vrychea, located in Department III (Architectural Language, Communication and Design) of the School of Architecture of the NTUA, to fill a significant gap that currently exists in understanding the importance of the architecture of everyday life. With the aim of bringing to light her theoretical and implemented work, the classification, digitalization, and study of the archives will result in the making of a catalog that can assist a future creation of a digital online archive, open and accessible to researchers, students, and teaching staff, ultimately expanding educational possibilities, easing access to hidden- and knowledge.