This Diasporic Space … Creative Renderings, Critical Reflections
We are delighted to kick off this year’s virtual Citizen TALES Diasporic Poetics series with Yiorgos Anagnostou, Professor of Greek Studies, The Ohio State University.
Please join us for an immersion into διαsporic poetics (and politics)!
Thursday 01/19 at 12 noon EST (7:00 pm Greece time)
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This Diasporic Space …
Creative Renderings, Critical Reflections
Abstract: This presentation places in conversation two genres of writing diasporas––poetic and scholarly. Though marked as different categories––one creative the other analytical––poetic and academic diasporic writings share a fundamental commonality: they produce knowledge about the diasporic space within which they operate––shaping the understanding of it via the placing of their authors’ position within it. This commonality foregrounds the value of diasporic poetics beyond aesthetics, as a site of knowledge-making which matters vastly in broader ideological debates about what constitutes “diaspora.” I ask, what could we––diasporic writers––possibly gain by bringing poetic and scholarly work in conversation? What could the value of this cohabitation––even perhaps collaboration––be? I undertake this reflection from my position as an immigrant/diasporic writer as well as a scholar of diasporic expressions, turning my own creative writings (mostly in Greek and bilingual Greek/English; some in English) into an object of analytical commentary (in English).
Primarily devoted to academic renderings of immigration and diaspora, Yiorgos Anagnostou also strives to explore and experiment with diasporic poetics as a space hospitable to bilingualism, blurring of genres (yes!), word play, creative subversion of norms and immigrant subjectivity. It is in Greek and bilingual Greek/English that he mostly feels drawn to––and competent––to navigate this space, which he visits intermittently. Placing bilingual poetics within academic prose in English also exercises power over him (see, “Immigraντ Poetics: Play as Performativity of the Self” in Ludics––Play as Humanistic Inquiry [Palgrave Macmillan 2021]; and, “Speaking Greek at the American University Over the Last Two Centuries”
In addition to his scholarly publications, he has published two books featuring diasporic poetics:
• Διασπορικές Διαδρομές (Απόπειρα 2012) https://apopeirates.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post_20.html
• Γλώσσες Χ Επαφής, Επιστολές εξ Αμερικής (Ενδυμίων 2016) http://endymionpublic.blogspot.com/2016/07/blog-post.html
His work has appeared in magazines such as Bibliothéque, Θράκα, (δε)κατα, To Koskino, Το Παράθυρο, Τεφλόν, and Transnational Literature (Australia) among others while he continues, sparingly, to contribute to his blog «Διασπορική Σκοπιά» (http://diasporic-skopia.blogspot.com/).
He expresses appreciation to the editors of (a) the Greek magazines listed above; (b) «Τα Ποιήματα του 2012» (Εκδόσεις Κοινωνία των (δε)κάτων); and (c) of Πινακοθήκη «Λυρικών» Ποιημάτων: Η ποίησή μας ανθολογημένη από τον Ρήγα έως σήμερα [1796-2021] (Ρώμη 2021) for opening up the national poetry landscape to bilingual and diasporic poetics.