One only has to stroll through Lonsdale Street during the Antipodes Glendi Festival, attend a Greek dance, have gone to 'Greek' school, or partaken of a Greek meal, to know that there is certainly a distinct Greek-Australian culture alive and well in Australia's Greek Diaspora. However, there is little acknowledgement of this in mainstream Australian literature, in historical discourse, or in images presented through the media. It is to Greek-Australian literature that we turn to for evidence of our cultural presence in this country, the symbolic superimposition of one over the other clearly reflected in the recent Antipodes Writers Festival.
This presentation seeks to explore the manner and extent to which Greek-Australian culture is mirrored in the literature that it has given rise to, whether this be in poetic, prose or dramatic form. Readings from the works of first, second and third generation Greek-Australian writers will feature throughout.
Konstandina Dounis was born in Melbourne, her parents having emigrated from the Greek island of Evia in 1955. She holds a BA, Dip.Ed., M.Litt., MA, and has just completed her PhD on Greek-Australian women's writings, due to be published in 2013. She lectured in Greek Language & Literature throughout the 1980s and 1990s during which time she convened a series of conferences on aspects of Greek-Australian literature and identity. She was awarded the Dean's List Award for Outstanding Higher Degree Research in 2005; and the La Trobe University Women's Network Award in 2008. Her publications include From Sapfo to Sappho; the anthology Retelling the Tale; Zorro, the Adventures of an Australian Terrier (as translator); Dreams of Clay, Drops of Dew (as translator), and her own book of poetry, Poems for my Mother. Most recently, she was co-convenor of the Antipodes Writers Festival.