Call for papers and call for participation in the research group
Anthropogenic climate and environmental crises in contemporary Greek literature
DAAD project University Dialogue with Southern Europe 2021
Deadline: February 26, 2021
One of the most important political and social concerns of the present is anxiety over a future threatened by anthropogenic interference in the earth systems. Soon the big global questions that dominated public debates before the Covid-19 pandemic will increasingly reappear on the agenda: environmental and marine pollution, the extinction of species and above all climate change. These questions are also a challenge for the Humanities and Cultural Studies. Within the broad ecocritical discourse that has emerged, however, the voices from southern Europe are still largely missing – hence the contributions of those whose countries are in the European context most affected by climate change.
Since about the turn of the millennium, public debate in Anglophone and German-speaking countries about the anthropogenic changes of the planet has stimulated lively cultural production, especially in the form of new thematic genres (e.g. climate change novels, Cli-Fi, ecothrillers, environmental crime novels, Anthropocene nature writing). But also in Greece we find literary reactions to the global threat posed by anthropogenic environmental changes, such as Miss Misfortune (Δεσποινίς Δυστυχία, 2012, as a play 2014) by Tsimaras Tzanatos, the novella Black Water (Μαύρο Νερό, 2019) by Michalis Makropoulos and his novel The Sea (H θάλασσα, 2020) or the novel And if there is no tomorrow? (Κι αν δεν ξημερώσει; 2013) by Maria Kougioumtzi. Novels by Michalis Modinos and Ioanna Bourazopoulou also address environmental issues and dystopias.
In the frame of the DAAD funding line "University Dialogue with Southern Europe" and directed by Monika Albrecht (University of Vechta) and Anastasía Antonopoúlou (National and Kapodistrias University of Athens), the project aims to encourage Greek Literary and Cultural Studies to engage with these current socio-political issues, gather thematically relevant literary texts from Greece, and make the existing research visible through workshops and a conference with subsequent publication. A comparative view of the broad German and English-language literary production should simultaneously produce initial research questions about possible similarities.
The project focuses on the potential of literary texts and the social relevance of their discussion: texts from contemporary literature that deal with anthropogenic climate and environmental crises are understood as cultural ways of interpretation engaging with individual and social effects of these crises. Hence they vividly confront prevailing scientific discourses and abstract climate models with insights into complex ecological contexts: How do literary texts address these contemporary questions, what fictional realities do they create, what alternatives to prevailing scientific and political views do they present, what solutions do they offer and what kind of visions are they developing?
In addition to a conference in Athens (November 11-13, 2021, conference language: German), we are planning a digital workshop in June and an in person workshop in September at the University of Vechta (if the Covid 19 pandemic permits). To a limited extent travel and subsistence are available. Selected papers will be published in the conference proceedings.
Please send expressions of interest with a short bio, a brief description of your relevant expertise and previous occupation with the topic as well as ideally a proposal for the conference by February 26, 2021 to
apl. Prof'in Dr. Monika Albrecht
Prof'in Dr. Anastasía Antonopoúlou
Nationale und Kapodistrias-Universität Athen
Deutsche Literatur und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
apl. Prof'in Dr. Monika Albrecht