[MGSA-L] Winner of the 2022 MGSA Edmund Keeley Book Prize; Eleni Kefala's The Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity

MGSA exec. director mgsa.org at gmail.com
Mon Aug 29 06:35:37 PDT 2022

*The Edmund Keeley Book Prize, 2022*

The 2022 Edmund Keeley Book Prize is awarded to *Eleni Kefala’s The
Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity *(Dumbarton Oaks,
2020). *The Conquered* is a work of truly original scholarship, bold in the
experiment it ventures – an extended comparison between Byzantine Greek and
indigenous American culture and society – and deeply grounded in literary,
linguistic, and historical research. The comparison proceeds by close
readings of three key texts: poetic laments addressing the fall of
Constantinople in 1453 and Tenochtitlan in 1521, which have found their way
into the modern Greek canon but not – for reasons explored by Kefala – the
Mexican. The book begins and ends in the present with a problem: the
enigmatic inheritance of collective memory and cultural trauma that
continues to shape Greek identity today as well as our study of Greek
history and culture. Dwelling on the “cusp” of modernity, Kefala argues
that we understand the aftermath of conquest as a foundationally modern
experience, inaugurating the formation of identity in the radical
transformation of social worlds, whether or not that rupture was
experienced as traumatic. Working from her own translations of Greek,
Nahuatl, and Spanish texts, Kefala closely examines the literary devices
and cultural mechanisms by which the memory of conquest was transmitted in
these two contexts, including songs, paintings, folklore, funerary
practices, and theologies of time. The conquest of the Mexica, developed
here as a rich socio-political history in its own right, also offers a
counterpoint to the conquest of Byzantium, showing a process of integration
and recontextualization rather than (primarily) of reckoning with trauma.
Through this comparison, Kefala shows how the “premodern” and the
“nonmodern,” figured respectively as Byzantium and pre-Columbian America in
Enlightenment and colonial representations, played a crucial role in the
constitution of modernity itself. A richly illustrated, gorgeously written
and gripping read, this book reimagines the field of Modern Greek Studies
in a fresh and persuasive way.

The Edmund Keeley Prize Committee also identified three books as especially
worthy of recognition. *It is with pleasure that the following books and
their authors are formally recognized as having been shortlisted for the
2022 Edmund Keeley Book Prize*:

*Dimitris Papanikolaou, Greek Weird Wave: Cinema of Biopolitics (Edinburgh,

<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-greek-weird-wave.html__;!!CzAuKJ42GuquVTTmVmPViYEvSg!KDoWa_N6t007MGUboTYVLE0C-4ysDy-oNGjHKp31zTLMuzNxIKxVBX0dKCYyfhNMYBYXOKRTzs7qW-U$  >*

*Dimitris Tziovas, Greece from Junta to Crisis: Modernization, Transition,
and Diversity (I.B. Tauris, 2021)
<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/greece-from-junta-to-crisis-9780755617463/__;!!CzAuKJ42GuquVTTmVmPViYEvSg!KDoWa_N6t007MGUboTYVLE0C-4ysDy-oNGjHKp31zTLMuzNxIKxVBX0dKCYyfhNMYBYXOKRTEYxn5Qs$  >*

*Gonda Van Steen, Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece: Kid Pro Quo?
(Michigan, 2019)*

<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.press.umich.edu/11334015/adoption_memory_and_cold_war_greece__;!!CzAuKJ42GuquVTTmVmPViYEvSg!KDoWa_N6t007MGUboTYVLE0C-4ysDy-oNGjHKp31zTLMuzNxIKxVBX0dKCYyfhNMYBYXOKRTay8XwYI$  >*

The Edmund Keeley Book Prize is awarded to an academic book dealing with
modern Greece or a Hellenic theme published originally in the English
language. Through this award, the Modern Greek Studies Association
celebrates the contributions of Professor Edmund Keeley, who served as
president of our association, authored or translated over 30 books, taught
Hellenic Studies for 40 years, and was a mentor and a source of inspiration
for generations of scholars. Regrettably, Professor Keeley passed away this

Professor Kefala will be presented with the Edmund Keeley Book Prize
at the award
ceremony of the 27th MGSA Symposium on Thursday, October 13th, at York
University, in Toronto, Canada. The committee takes this opportunity to
congratulate her and extend its gratitude to all those who submitted their
excellent work. We reviewed 15 superb books and reached our decision after
careful consideration and much discussion.

The 2022 Keeley Book Prize Committee:

·    Chair, Elizabeth Davis (Princeton University)

·    Gregory Jusdanis (Ohio State University)

·    Christine Philliou (University of California, Berkeley)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://maillists.uci.edu/pipermail/mgsa-l/attachments/20220829/11ff2575/attachment.html>

More information about the MGSA-L mailing list