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Dr Eleni Kefala

Dr Eleni Kefala

Senior Lecturer

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 463655
Room 27
United Colleges
Office hours
Friday 3-5



Eleni Kefala holds an MPhil and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and a BA from the University of Cyprus. She has been Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, Early Career Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK, and Dumbarton Oaks Fellow at Harvard. She is the recipient of the National Prize for Poetry in her home country for the book Time Stitches.

Research areas

Eleni's research offers critical and cultural analyses of modernity across a range of periods, cultures, and disciplines and has taken the form of monographs (one published, two forthcoming, and another close to completion), one edited volume, and over a dozen refereed articles, among others. She enjoys adopting novel interdisciplinary approaches by bringing together literature, photography, film, painting, and critical and cultural theory, as well as exploring new comparative avenues in transcultural projects on Nahuatl and post-Byzantine poetry, twentieth-century Argentine and Greek cultures, and Pre-Columbian and Byzantine civilizations. She equally enjoys challenging established perspectives on canonical authors like Jorge Luis Borges and questioning entrenched views, such as reiterations of colonial narratives in postcolonial/decolonial studies, by working at the intersection of intellectual history, history of science, sociology, and ecology. 

Her two latest monographs The Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity and Five and One Theses on Modernity: Buenos Aires Across the Arts, 1921-1939 are forthcoming with The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Harvard University Press, in the new book series "Extravagantes" (2020) and The University of Pittsburgh Press, in the "Pitt Latin American Series" (2021) respectively. 

Her AHRC-funded monograph Five and One Theses on Modernity, which is the product of a decade-long project on Argentine modernity, provides the first systematic, interdisciplinary study of urban space in Argentina in the 1920s-1930s from the vantage point of the visual arts (painting, photography, silent film), and literature (poetry, novel).

The Conquered rehistoricizes the conquests of the Byzantine and Mexica Empires, and their role in modernity?s self-imagining by probing collective memory and cultural trauma in laments (threnoi and icnocuicatl) for the fall of Constantinople and Tenochtitlan, composed soon after the conquest of the imperial cities in 1453 and 1521.

Eleni?s earlier published work includes an edited volume on cultural identity in Spanish America since 1492 (2011) and a comparative monograph on crosscurrents in Argentine and Greek literary modernisms, never before studied together (2007). She has published extensively in professional journals, translated poetry and short stories from the Spanish and English, and authored two poetry books. Her debut poetry collection Mními kai parallayés (Memory and Variations, 2007) was shortlisted for the prestigious Diavázo Literary Awards in Greece (First Book Award), while her second book Time Stitches (Chronorraphía, 2013) received the National Prize for Poetry in Cyprus. She has presented her work in international literary festivals and been translated into French, Italian, Turkish, Bulgarian, and English. For more on her poetry, see World Literature Today 92.1 (2018).

Eleni contributes to all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the Department of Spanish and the School of Modern Languages. She offers classes on a range of disciplines (literature, photography, painting, film), national literatures (Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Uruguay, Chile), and genres (poetry, short story, novel, essay).


Dumbarton Oaks Interview - "The World Upside Down" 

International Poetry Festival Voix Vives 2015 

State Prize for Poetry 2014

Presentation of "Time-stitchings" at Ianos Bookstore



PhD supervision

  • Julia Hieske

Selected publications


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