The Antipodes Festival will celebrate the poet who inspired musicians, 50 Greek composers and 30 international ones, using his words as the basis of 350 compositions in 20 languages. A number of key international academics will be visiting Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne to take part in symposiums and lectures, sharing their expansive knowledge and love of this great man.
The weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June at the Wheeler Centre will see five international academics engage in sessions covering the multiple surfaces of Constantine Cavafy’s work, and on Sunday, invited comedians, filmmakers and actors (and other surprise guests) will recite their favourite Cavafy poem. Adding to the program will be a screening of The Barbarians, an immersive new opera inspired by the iconic poet and commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art.
Born within the then thriving Greek community in Alexandria of Egypt, Constantine Cavafy (April 29 1863 – April 29 1933) was one of the most influential literary figures produced by Greece in the early 20th century and instrumental in establishing modern Greek poetry on the international scene, where he is still being studied and translated into many languages well into the 21st century.
The Greek culture ministry has designated 2013 as the Year of Constantine Cavafy, to mark the 150th anniversary of the world renowned poet’s birth. Around the world, universities and cultural organisations are using this anniversary to honour the strong symbolism of Cavafy’s poetry.
As part of the Antipodes Festival, five academics will be discussing Cavafy’s work at the Wheeler Centre on the weekend of 22 and 23 June.
George Syrimis is Associate Chair and Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Yale University, where he received his MA and PhD. His dissertation was on the poetics of C.P. Cavafy’s love poems. He has taught at Yale since 2001, and has been associate Program Chair of Hellenic Studies since 2004. Aside from Cavafy, Dr Syrimis has also published articles on the oral tradition, Georgios Vizyenos, Cavafy, Mikis Theodorakis, and Nikos Kazantzakis. He has a new volume forthcoming on ‘Julian the Apostate in the work of Constantine Cavafy and Nikos Kazantzakis’.
Gregory Jusdanis is Humanities Distinguished Professor and Director of Modern Greek Studies at Ohio State University. He is a leading figure in Modern Greek Studies in North America, as well as having written numerous books and articles on various topics in cultural studies. His books include: The Poetics of Cavafy: Textuality, Eroticism, History, Princeton University Press, 1987; Belated Modernity and Aesthetic Culture: Inventing National Literature, University of Minnesota Press, 1991;. The Necessary Nation, Princeton University Press, 2001; Fiction Agonistes: In Defence of Literature, Stanford University Press, 2010.
Maria Boletsi is Assistant Professor at the Film and Literary Studies Department of Leiden University, where she also received her PhD. She has published articles on postcolonial literature, Greek poetry, literary speech acts, barbarism, migratory aesthetics and cultural identity. She is particularly interested in the concept of barbarism, which includes her new book Barbarism and Its Discontents, Stanford University Press in January 2013.
Karen Emmerich is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. She studied at Princeton, Columbia University and the University of Thessaloniki. She is interested in translation and textual scholarship, and in many aspects of modern Greek literature. She has also published on Cavafy, including ‘The Afterlives of C. P. Cavafy’s Unfinished Poems.’ Translation Studies 4.2, 2011, 197-212 and the entry for ‘Constantine Cavafy’ in The Literary Encyclopedia.
Dimitris Papanikolaou is University Lecturer in Modern Greek Studies, Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford. His interest are strongly focused on literary and cultural theory, and the new perspectives that they offer for the study of Greek literature. He is currently working on cultural responses to the current Greek socio-economic crisis, on national identity, homosociality and homosexuality in Greek culture; and a detailed study of the writings of C.P. Cavafy.
Antipodes Writers Festival Celebrates Constantine Cavafy will be held on the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June at the Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. For more information visit…
In addition to guest speakers, we also invite any members from the general public who share a love of Cavafy to join in and read their favourite Cavafy piece. To register your interest, please e-mail – A Date with Cavafy – Sunday 23 June – 3.00pm