Dr Eirini Avramopoulou

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British School at Athens
52 Souedias Street
Athens, 10676


My research project entitled “Changing Spaces of Refuge: Histories and Geographies of Displacement amidst Politics of Crisis in Greece” focuses on the effects of the crisis on those living in the Prosfygika (refugee) housing complexes in Attica, with a political and historical analysis of these neighbourhoods that problematises dominant understandings of the current economic crisis as a unique and historically distinct event. It proposes an ethnographically sensitive conceptualisation of the use of urban spaces, material culture and the intimate domains where poverty and suffering, as well as hope, contribute to people’s sense of uprootedness and regroundedness, in different times of crisis, and asks: What kind of new states of displacement and loss does the current ‘crisis’ create and how does it relate to previous histories of forced migration and dispossession? Building upon the growing and renewed anthropological analyses of subjectivity, space and emotions, and engaging with interdisciplinary and critical theories of memory, trauma, material culture and urban development, this research also aims to offer novel understandings at the level of policy, public debate and community life. 



Eirini Avramopoulou received a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (title: “The Affective Language of Activism: An Ethnography of Human Rights, Gender Politics and Activist Coalitions in Istanbul, Turkey”, 2012). Her work has been published in several edited volumes and journals, including The Greek Review of Social Research, Cultural Anthropology/Hot Spots, Critical Interdisciplinarity (Kritiki Diepistimonikotita), and Thesis. Her research interests include anthropology of human rights, social movements and activism; gender and sexuality; secularism and Islam; economic crisis, memory and trauma; queer theory, feminist and psychoanalytic approaches to subjectivity, biopolitics, and affect. She has participated and organised workshops, discussion panels and conferences related to affect, social movements and activism, as well as to issues of Islam and secularism in Europe, focusing on gender, ethnic minorities and immigrants. She has taught at Panteio University (Greece), Social Anthropology Department and delivered lectures on postcolonialism, feminism, gender and queer theory at the University of Cambridge (UK), Bosphorus University (Turkey), the University of Thessaly (Greece), and the University of Athens (Greece). In 2013-2014 she was a fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI), Berlin and in 2014-2015 she worked as a research fellow at the Sociology Department of the University of Cambridge on a project entitled, ‘The Human and Social Costs of Economic Crisis in Greece.’ 

Selected publications


Monographs and Edited volumes

  • “Desire, Affect and Representation in Pornography” co-edited with Irene Peano. Punctum Books (in print).
  • ‘The Affective Language of Activism: An Ethnography of Human Rights and Gender Violence in Istanbul, Turkey” (publication in progress).


Chapters in books

  • 2013. “Entre le Visible et l’Invisible: Figures de Femmes Voilées en Grèce” in Malek Bouyahia and Maria Eleonora Sanna (eds.) La Polysémie du Voile: Politiques et Mobilisations Postcoloniales. Éditions des Archives Contemporaines: Paris (France). Pp. 57-74. (Co-authored with Athena Athanasiou). 
  • 2012. “Reflecting On Secularism: Dominant Debates on the Muslim Veil in Europe” in Sieglinde Rosenberger and Birgit Sauer (eds.) Politics, Religion, and Gender: Regulating the Muslim Headscarf. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group. Pp.37-54. (Co-authored with Gül Çorbacioglu and Maria Eleonora Sanna).
  • “The Affective Echoes of an Overwhelming Life: The Demand for Legal Recognition and the Vicious Circle of Desire, in the Case of Queer Activism in Istanbul, Turkey” in Othon Alexandrakis (ed.) Figuring Resistance: Ethnographic Exercises for the New Anthropology of Social Movements. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. (In print).
  • “Claims of Existence between Biopolitics and Thanatopolitics” in Christoph F.E. Holzhey and Manuele Gragnolati, eds. ICI, Berlin. (Publication in progress).


Scientific journals 

  • 2013. “Signing Dissent in the Name of ‘Woman’: Reflections on Female Activist Coalitions in Istanbul, Turkey” in Athena Athanasiou and Giorgos Tsimouris (eds.) Migration, Gender, and Precarious Subjectivities in times of Crisis. Special Issue in Review of Social Sciences, The Greek Review of Social Research. 140-141, B’-Γ’, pp. 233-246.
  • 2013. “On the Fantasy of Dispossession”. Cultural Anthropology. Special Issue: Hot Spots: An Impromptu Uprising: Ethnographic Reflections on the Gezi Park Protests in Turkey. Available at: http://www.culanth.org/fieldsights/400-on-the-fantasy-of-dispossession 
  • 2013. Editorial special issue: “Porno-graphics and Porno-tactics: Desire, Affect and Representation in Pornography” Re-Public. (co-editor with I. Peano). Available at: http://www.re-public.gr/en/?p=5516#more-5516 
  • 2012. Editorial note, “Complexities of ‘Europe’,” Focus: Thematic Unit. European Review Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 20 (1): 1-9. (Co-authored with Leonidas Karakatsanis, Katherine Leckie, Nikolaos Papadogiannis, Thomas Stammers)
  • 2011. “Echoes of ‘Dead Ends’: Reflections on ‘Making Sense’”. Cultural Anthropology. Special Issue: Hot Spots: Beyond the “Greek Crisis.” Available at: http://www.culanth.org/?q=node/432 
  • 2006. “Subaltern Studies Group. Attempting to Re-construct the Subject’s Voice”. Kritiki Diepistimoninkotita. Vol.2. Savvalas: Athens. Pp. 215-237. (In Greek).
  • 2002. “Identity Paths: From West Thrace to Gazi. Reflections and Conflicts Shaping Collective Identities. The Case of the Turkish Speaking-Muslims Residing in the Area of Gazi in Athens.” Thesis. 79: 127-161. (In Greek, co-authored with L. Karakatsanis).


Book Reviews

  • April 2015. “Absence. A political notion” Review of the book: Fei Zika, Louiza Karapidaki, Konstantina Katrakazou, Thanasis Chatzopoulos (eds). 2013. Absence.  Athens: Nisos. CHRONOS. (in Greek - available at: http://www.chronosmag.eu/index.php/pl-ps-pl.html)
  • Spring 2014. “Crisis, Critique and Political Possibilities.” Interview with Athena Athanasiou & Judith Butler a propos the publication of their book Dispossession: The Performative in the Political. (Polity Press, 2013). Cyprus Review 26:1, pp. 195-203. (Also available in Greek at: http://enthemata.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/athena-judith/#more-14081)
  • September 2013. Review of Choman Hardi's book: Gendered Experiences of Genocide: Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq. HISTOREIN. North America. 13: 94-8. Available at: http://www.historeinonline.org/index.php/historein/article/view/243/170