University to host biennial conference of the International Lawrence Durrell Society

Part of the Dark Durrell Poster

Hellenic American University is pleased to be co-organizing and hosting the 22nd biennial conference of the International Lawrence Durrell Society (ILDS) On Miracle Ground XXII on July 4 – 6, 2024 at its campus in Athens.

Keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. Marinos Pourgouris, Associate Professor of Literary Theory and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Cyprus. The conference theme, as noted in the Call for Papers published on the ILDS website, is “Dark” Durrell. While the conference organizers welcome papers on any aspect of Durrell’s writing and that of his contemporaries or milieu, they particularly encourage consideration of the theme of darkness.

Founded in 1980, the ILDS is a non-profit organization that promotes the study, understanding, and appreciation of the works of Lawrence Durrell through scholarly conferences and publications, among which a critical bibliography and the journal Deus Loci. The annual Durrell research panels, as well as the biennial international conference, attract a great number of Durrell scholars. The biennial conferences in particular remain a high point in the Society’s program of events and activities and have been held at institutions such as the Paris Nanterre University, the University of Crete, and the University of Toulouse.

Bringing the 2024 conference to Hellenic American University’s Athens campus was an idea of ILDS board member and recipient of the William Godshalk Prize for new Durrell scholarship, Dr. Athanasios Dimakis, who is also an adjunct faculty member in the University’s B.A. in English Language and Literature (BAELL) program. After sharing his idea with the director of the BAELL program, Dr. Vassiliki Kourbani, and securing her enthusiastic support, Dr. Dimakis presented his proposal at a meeting of the executive board of the Durrell Society in Louisville, Kentucky, where it was unanimously accepted.

Dr. Dimakis describes the hosting of the conference at the University’s campus as a kind of “homecoming” for this international society of scholars and academics. In his words, “the centrality of the Hellenic world in Durrell’s oeuvre and his prominence in the Anglophone literary canon on Hellenism unite the intellectual endeavors and the noble spirit of both institutions.”

Image: Part of the Conference Poster

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