Dr. Christina Dokou is Assistant Professor of American Literature and Culture in the Department of English Language and Literature, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Her research interests include American Cultural Studies (especially Pop Americana), Gender Studies, psychoanalytic criticism, Comics Studies, American Folklore, and explorations of Greek myth in American literature, fields on which she has published several articles and book chapters (in both English and Greek).
She is the co-editor of two scholarly volumes, The Periphery Viewing the World (Athens, Parousia, 2004), and The Letter of the Law: Justice, Literature and the Other (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2013). She has served, in various positions, on the board of the Fulbright Alumni in Greece and the Hellenic Association for the Study of English, and is currently Secretary of the Board of the Hellenic Association for American Studies.
Theorizing Myth: A Latour Detour
10.00 – 11.00, Wednesday 26 October 2022
Salón de Actos Emilia Pardo Bazán (Edificio D), Facultad de Filología, Universidad Complutense
Taking as a basis for rumination Bruno Latour’s 2004 article “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam?” in which he calls for a revitalization of the field of theoretical humanities through the implementation of a holistic, positive, and fair approach to “objects” of theoretical inquiry by a reinstitution of their complex character as “things,” I will argue that what is needed today in the study of myth is, on the one hand, to combat “the myth of myth” that sees mythology as a dated, sacrosanct and closed universe of fixed meanings, amenable to exegesis yet not argumentation; and, on the other hand, to supersede unilateral and/or monothematic theoretical approaches that, although truthful and useful in themselves, eventually lead to reductionist readings. Instead, doing justice to myth’s own rhizomatic nature and fluid diachronicity, a perambulatory and not declamatory “rich” approach—akin to what Latour called “actor-network”—might help us encounter, and even use, the universe of myth while not afraid of its own open-endedness.