Dr Eleni Kefala

Dr Eleni Kefala

Senior Lecturer

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 3655
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. Her monograph The Conquered won the 2022 Edmund Keeley Prize. She is also the recipient of the State Prize for Poetry in her home country for the book Time Stitches (available in English from Deep Vellum) and served on the jury of the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Research areas

Eleni's research examines modernity across different periods, disciplines, and cultures and has taken the form of monographs (three published and one close to completion), one edited volume, and over a dozen refereed articles, among others. She enjoys adopting novel interdisciplinary approaches by bringing together literature and a range of artistic media as well as by 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. Currently, she is completing her fourth monograph, which sits at the intersection of critical and cultural theory, intellectual history, history of science, sociology, and ecology. 

Her latest AHRC-funded monograph on cultural modernity and urban space with the title Buenos Aires Across the Arts: Five and One Theses on Modernity, 1921-1939 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022; series "Pitt Illuminations: Cultural Formations of the Americas") looks at the interaction between modernity and modernism in literature (poetry and prose), photography, film, and painting in Argentina in the 1920s and 1930s. The book is available from the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Her second monograph, The Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity, which inaugurated the Dumbarton Oaks series "Extravagantes" (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2020), is available from Harvard University PressThe 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 respectively. Listen to the “New Books Network” podcast episode – Ethan Besser Fredrick speaking with Eleni Kefala about The Conquered. You can also listen to her conversation with Prof Anthony Kaldellis for the podcast series "Byzantium and Friends" and read about the book's conception on the website of the Greek Studies Now Cultural Analysis Network. The Conquered won the Edmund Keeley Prize, which is awarded biennially by the Modern Greek Studies Association.

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 three poetry books.

Her debut poetry collection Memory and Variations (Μνήμη και παραλλαγές, 2007) was shortlisted for the prestigious Diavázo Literary Awards in Greece (First Book Award), while her second book Time Stitches (Χρονορραφία, 2013) received the State Prize for Poetry in Cyprus. Her third poetry book Direct Orient is forthcoming (2023) in Greek by Perispomeni Publications.

Time Stitches, translated by Peter Constantine, was published in English by Deep Vellum/Phoneme in November 2022 and is available from the publisher and Amazon. The book is a New York Times "Globetrotting" pick and features on the list of "8 Poetry Collections in Translation to Read in 2022" by Words Without Borders. Peter Constantine's translation of Time Stitches won the 2022 Elizabeth Constantinides Prize.

Eleni has participated in international literary festivals, while her poems have been translated into English, Bulgarian, French, Italian, and Turkish. 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).

Visit Eleni's page on Academia.edu: 



Lucy alumna Dr Eleni Kefala, winner of the 2022 Edmund Keeley Prize, shares her journey as a writer

Dumbarton Oaks Interview - "The World Upside Down" 

Readings by the 2022 Neustadt Prize Jury

Voix Vives Poetry Festival, 2015 

State Prize for Poetry 2014

Book launch of Time Stitches (Greek) at Ianos Bookstore, Athens

Selected publications


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