Keynote speakers:

Clare Azzopardi is an award-winning writer who writes for both children and adults. She is the Head of Department of Maltese at the University of Malta Junior College and for the past several years has been an active member of Inizjamed, an NGO whose mission is to promote literature in Malta and abroad. With Inizjamed, she has co-organised literary festivals and workshops, often in collaboration with Literature Across Frontiers (LAF). Her work has been translated into several languages and has appeared in a number of collections. Her play L-Interdett Taħt is-Sodda was published in French (Éditions Théâtrales, 2008) and in Arabic (I-ACT, 2009). Azzopardi has also published 2 books of short stories for adults, both of which won the National Book Prize for Literature – Il-Linja l-Ħadra (The Green Line) and Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh (The names they left behind).

Yiannis Papadakis is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus. He is author of Echoes from the Dead Zone: Across the Cyprus Divide (I. B. Tauris, 2005, also translated in Greek and Turkish), co-editor of Divided Cyprus: Modernity, History and an Island in Conflict (Indiana University Press, 2006) and Cypriot Cinemas: Memory, Conflict and Identity in the Margins of Europe (Bloomsbury, 2014), and editor of a 2006 special issue of Postcolonial Studies on Cyprus, among others. His published work on Cyprus has focused on ethnic conflict, borders, nationalism, memory, museums, historiography, history education and cinema. His more recent work explored issues of trust, migration and social democracy in Denmark.

Photographer and Filmmaker:

Dimitris Lambridis is a 24 year old photographer from Athens, Greece. His education has taken place in the US and the UK, in photography and filmmaking respectively. Currently based in London, he produces documentaries and observes the current society through a photographic lens. His work has taken him to places all around the world. In turn he, strives to take the viewer on a journey where he can immerse the viewer to a closer look in stories disregarded or underexplored.

Postgraduate students:

Diala Ahwach grew up in Lebanon and graduated from the American University of Beirut with a B.A. in Political Studies. She has worked in development consultancy in the MENA region, focusing on designing innovative, contextualised solutions for challenges facing local communities. Along with her professional experience, Ahwash contributed to a number of research projects aiming at analyzing and assessing the needs of marginalized communities including refugees, women and youths.

Maria Akritidou is completing a PhD in Modern Greek Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (2017, supervisor: Prof. Dr. Miltos Pechlivanos). Her research focuses on the interplay of history and literature, fictional poetics and ideology in the contemporary Modern Greek novel. She holds an MPhil in Modern Greek Studies and Culture (European, Eastern, Balkan) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with a focus on comparative literature. She is currently employed on developing Digital Humanities projects (i.e. electronic textual editing, a digital corpus of Modern Greek Poetry), as part of her secondment (from the Ministry of Education) to the Centre for the Greek Language (Thessaloniki). Most recent publication: Maria Akritidou, “History and fiction [Ιστορία και Μυθοπλασία]”, in V. Vasileiadis – K. Dimopoulou (ed.), Selidodeiktes, Thessaloniki, Centre for the Greek Language, 2015, pp. 92-99.

Hazal Corak is a 2nd year PhD student in the Anthropology program of the City University of University of New York. She holds a BA in Social and Political Sciences from Sabanci University, Istanbul and an MA in Critical and Cultural Studies from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Mainly interested in historical anthropology, her research areas include post-socialism, infrastructure, material circulations and mobilities, and region formation in the contexts of the Middle East and the Eastern Europe. She has conducted academic research in Turkey, Hungary, and Bulgaria.

Leonie Harsch is an MSc student in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Her ongoing research on narratives of and responses to displacement from Syria to Lebanon and beyond builds on her studies at the Institut français du Proche Orient (Ifpo) in Beirut. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Literatures and Languages, History and Cultures of the Near East. Alongside her studies, Leonie serves as Co-Director of Research Exchange and Global Languages of the St Antony’s College GCR.

Melissa A. Higgs received her BA in Geography from Michigan State University in 1975 specializing in cartography and remote sensing, and is currently an MA candidate in Geography at the University of Missouri Columbia concentrating in Geopolitics.  Although she took a multi-year hiatus from her career to concentrate on raising her two children, she returned to professional work in 2002 to collaborate and co-author two papers with her husband utilizing GIS technologies, and since then has worked with the US National Park Service, the Transboundary National Park at Prespa, Greece, and several NGOs on a variety of geographic based projects.  Her interest in the Aegean region is the result of a Fulbright grant in Athens Greece in 2010, and she has traveled extensively throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region ever since. She returned to school in 2013 to focus on ocean governance issues in the Aegean arena, and will graduate later this year.

Spyros Karelas is a Modern Greek graduate student at Athens University and an Erasmus student at Oxford (October ‘16-March ‘17), where he participated as graduate respondent in a talk organized by Oxford Comparative Criticism & Translation (OCCT) research programme. He is a poet and a translator. His translation of T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ appeared two years ago in the Greek literary magazine ‘Ποιητική’. Select verses of this translation were used in the play, ‘Και θα σφάξουμε το κουνέλι. Η ζωή είναι ωραία. Η ζωή είναι καλή. Θα σφάξουμε το κουνέλι’, at the Aeschylia Theatre Festival in 2016. His poems have been published in hard copy and online Greek literary magazines, and his debut poetry collection, entitled ‘To νησί των Γλωττοφάγων’, was released in 2012. Since 2010, he has been translating Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ into Greek, focusing particularly on its rhyme and meter. His translation of the 3rd and 5th Cantos of the ‘Inferno’ are forthcoming in ‘Ποιητική’.

Marios-Kiparissis Moros (Athens, 1993) studied Medieval and Modern Greek at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (B.A. 2015). He is currently doing a Master’s degree in Modern Greek Literature at the same University. He has published various articles and reviews in academic journals and participated in several local and international conferences on Greek and European Literature. He is founding member of the Immigration Literature Workshop run by the department of Italian Language and Literature at Aristotle University. He is the editor of eighteen volumes comprising texts by Greek novelists published by Malliaris Pedia Publications.

Maria Kenti-Kranidioti is a PhD student at Durham University currently doing her fieldwork in Athens, Greece. In 2016 she conducted ethnographic research among Syrian refugees at the port of Piraeus and the camp of Skaramagkas as part of Transitory Lives, an ESRC/DFID funded research project on the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. She is currently focusing on social movements-based solidarity in Greece expanding her research spatiotemporally from camps to the Athenian neighbourhood of Exarcheia, an urban hub par excellence of social and political movements post-war Greece.

Myrsini Manney-Kalogera was born in San Diego, California, and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University, where she studied History and English. Her senior thesis, ”Thracian Gladiators and the Nation State: An Examination of the Diplomatic Relations Between the Pomaks of Thrace and the Greek State, 1918-1923”, received the 2013 Lily Prize for Best Thesis on a Non-U.S. Topic. Following graduation, Myrsini spent two years teaching elementary school in New York City, and volunteering at small, community-based museums there. She is currently pursuing her MA in Near and Middle Eastern History at SOAS, where she focuses on the late Ottoman Empire, specifically the 19th and early 20th-century Balkans. Her academic interests include the history of heterodox communities throughout the Ottoman Empire, the history and rise of nationalism, microhistory, and Ottoman cultural history.

Hanan Natour is German-Palestinian student of the M. Phil. program in “Modern Middle Eastern Studies” at the University of Oxford. During her undergraduate degree, she studied a two-subjects Bachelor combining both “German Literature” and “Arabic and Islamic Studies” at the University of Goettingen (Germany) and at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Due to her family´s interreligious and intercultural background, she developed an academic interest in questions of identity, especially with regard to the relation between literature and politics.
The paper which Hanan will present in the framework of this conference is based on her B.A. thesis “Identity and Alterity in Contemporary Arabic Poetry: Perspectives towards the “West” in poems of Maḥmūd Darwīš, Adūnīs und Fuʾād Rifqa”. In her current master thesis, Hanan works on contemporary Tunisian and Yemeni poetry in the context of the uprisings.

Daniele Nunziata is a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford where he researches colonial and postcolonial literary representations of Cyprus. Forthcoming publications concern colonial writings of Africa and the Middle East from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Ioanna Papaki completed her studies in Medieval and Modern Greek studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This was followed by a Masters in Modern Greek Literature at the same institution and the MSt in Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Oxford. Her particular interests concern graphic novels; especially adaptations of canonical works of literature, their processes of adaptation and their interface of text and image.

Richard Salame is a student on the MSc in Migration Studies at Oxford. He has an undergraduate degree in History from Brown University. His interests include the social histories of technology, information, and power; as well as transnational identity formation. His undergraduate thesis on the techno-politics of timekeeping in the 19th century northeastern US economy was awarded the John Thomas Memorial Award and the Brown University Distinguished Thesis Prize. Other projects have included essays on Egyptian author Waguih Ghali and cultural responses to displacement.

Ayşe Şanlı is a second-year master’s student at the Sabancı University’s Cultural Studies programme, where interdisciplinary curriculum comprises sociology, anthropology, and (post-colonial) literature. Ayşe is currently a Research Associate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabancı University, assisting the faculty members at lectures, class discussions, conferences, and other academic events.
Being the child of an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father spurred her interest in international politics; hence her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations (2015) from Boğaziçi University. Having realised her passion for doing ethnographic research, Ayşe has decided to pursue a career as an anthropologist. Her recent interests address migration, citizenship, asylum, diasporic communities, gender, religion, identity politics, and human rights. Her Master’s thesis focuses on Syrian refugee communities in Turkey, which she hopes to expand into a comparative PhD project on border anthropology.

Elena Tornariti graduated in Classics and Philosophy from the University of Cyprus. She got her Master’s degree in Modern Greek Literature from the University of Athens where she also completed her doctoral thesis holding a scholarship from the Ourani Foundation. She had the opportunity to study in Oxford as an Erasmus student at the Faculty of Modern Languages in 2010. She is interested in Women’s writing, Feminism and new-materialism. The title of her doctoral thesis is “Corporealities in Modern Greek Literature: a critical analysis of Dimitris Dimitriadis’ work”