Billie Mitsikakos

Billie Mitsikakos, BA (Thessaloniki), MA (Paris)

My DPhil project examines the works of literature and art that are in direct conversation with the poetry and the authorial figure of C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933). I am considering Cavafy’s ‘becoming myth’ as fuelled by a power struggle of competing agents, driven by opposed political, cultural, and academic agendas. My interest lies in queer Cavafy’s posterity and its dynamics, as well as in the way the aforementioned debate can be read against Cavafy’s own writing and its proposition of alternative futurities through parrhesiastic strategies of homoerotic liberation, and the overflowing of queer affect. How do these characteristics of Cavafy’s poetry create communities of trauma and transformational reparation, innovative modalities of (inter)textuality and performativity, along with new ways of being together and meaning differently? Consequently, my project ventures to underscore the possible contribution of Cavafy’s mythopoesis to queer historiography. Albeit shadowed and silenced, queer Cavafy and his afterlives manage to empower processes of collective self-proclamation, re-emergence, and resistance.

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