My main research and teaching interests embrace, but are not limited to, the following areas: modern Greek literature and cultural history, classical reception studies, representations of the Other in the early modern Mediterranean, Renaissance Hellenism, diasporic communities in Italy, Cretan literature of the Venetian era, ethnic identity, history of the Greek language, the materiality of religion, votive offerings in antiquity and in the Greek orthodox tradition, travel literature, comparative literature, Greek Romanticism, Greek Modernism, and contemporary Greek cinema.
My dissertation, a natural outgrowth of my enduring interest in the reception of Homer in Byzantine and early Modern Greek literature, focuses on Nikolaos Loukanes’s 1526 Iliad, the first printed rendition of Homer’s masterpiece in a modern language, and seeks to fully explore the untapped hermeneutic potentials of this intriguing yet only partially probed work. Born at the dawn of the eventful sixteenth century, the Cinquecento of the startling transatlantic discoveries, the ceaseless Italian Wars, the vociferous emergence of the Protestant Reformation, and the unrelenting Ottoman advance into European territory, Nikolaos Loukanes, like so many of his erudite compatriots residing in flourishing cities in the West (i.e. Ianos Laskares and Markos Moussouros) appears to have ardently devoted himself to humanist intellectual endeavors aimed at instigating a revival of classical literature, without at the same time being irresponsive to an unremitting longing to keep alive in the hearts of his fellow Greeks the empowering legacy of the ancient Greeks. Written in an era of profound ideological ferment that gradually culminated in a precocious conceptualization of national identity in Europe, Loukanes’s patriotically imbued Iliad, long-predating the nineteenth century Hellenic Libraryof Adamantios Koraes, offers a unique glimpse into fascinating pre-Enlightenment conceptualizations of post-Byzantine Greek identity.
Over the past thirteen years, I was generously given the opportunity to teach thirty courses in ancient, Byzantine, and modern Greek language and literature, all of which with distinction. A ten-time recipient of Derek Bok Certificates of Teaching Excellence, I am continuously motivated and humbled by my students’ kindness, so copiously exhibited in all the courses that I had the pleasure to teach both at Harvard and at the Ohio State University. Ranging from Selections from Homer’s Iliad and Byzantine Civilization to Advanced Modern Greek: Introduction to Modern Greek Literature, all these courses have significantly helped me hone my teaching skills. Upon assuming the position of Preceptor in Modern Greek at Harvard University in 2016, I was glad to design a new introductory course on Modern Greek Literature and Culture with the title “From Book to Film: Cinematic Representations of Modern Greek Literature”. Exploring the engaging ways in which the interpretively fraught perspective of an author can lend itself to the sensorily rife gaze of a director, and dealing with decisive moments in modern Greek history that have long inspired acclaimed authors (Ioanna Karystiane, Kosmas Polites) and distinguished filmmakers alike (Panteles Voulgares, Michales Kakoyannes), the course has attracted the interest of graduate students not only from Harvard, but also from MIT.