BRANDON, Man. – A continuous drive to build knowledge and develop critical, editorial, and textual skills in the field of literature has led Dr. Demetres Tryphonopoulos, Dean of Arts at Brandon University (BU), to connect with his Greek roots.
Tryphonopoulos, who was born in Greece, has been recognized by the New York-based Institute for International of Education (IIE), which has selected him for the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program (GDFP). Funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the GDFP facilitates partnerships between North American and Greek academics and universities.
Tryphonopoulos will collaborate with Dr. Tatiani Rapatzikou of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), the largest university in Greece. Their project will examine the link between Anglo-American modernist poetry and Ancient Greek texts, emphasizing the influence of the works of Euripides and Pausanias on American poet Hilda Doolittle, also known as H.D.
“The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is providing me with an exciting and invaluable opportunity to work with a number of very fine faculty members at Aristotle University, including Dr. Rapatzikou, the lead on this project, as well with the University’s impressive undergraduate and graduate students,” Tryphonopoulos says. “Our goal is to produce a new body of knowledge that confirms and theorizes the important connections between American modernist poetic works and classical Greek works. Collaborations such as this should prove to be of lasting, great benefit to both institutions.”
The partnership will include a series of workshops, presentations and meetings involving graduate students and faculty at AUTh and North American participants, including a number of Tryphonopoulos’ former master’s and doctoral students. The work will focus on curriculum development, graduate student mentoring and collaborative research as well as the digitization and annotation of archived manuscript material. Tryphonopoulos will travel to Greece for three weeks in October and will continue to work with faculty and students at AUTh over the next several years.
“This project will serve as a model of the kind of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects that could develop between graduate students and Faculty members at Aristotle University,” Rapatzikou says. “By drawing on a number of practices pertaining to translation, online annotation, and digitization, this project will aim at enhancing graduate students’ skills as to the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study of literature.”
The GDFP was launched in 2016 and has now paired 51 academics from Canada and the United States with institutions throughout Greece.
“I was delighted to receive word that Dr. Tryphonopoulos had been selected for this prestigious program by the IIE,” said Dr. Steven Robinson, Interim President of BU. “His role as Dean of Arts entails a heavy administrative workload, but he continues to engage in significant research. It is very motivating to see a member of Brandon University’s leadership place a high emphasis on the continued pursuit of knowledge.”
Tryphonopoulos has researched and taught 20th-century American literature, specializing in Anglo-American modernist poets. An avid writer, he has been the author, editor, co-editor or translator of 15 books and has had essays published in North American and European journals. Tryphonopoulos has earned acclaim for his work on books documenting American poet Ezra Pound.
His most recent publication is Hirslanden Notebooks: An Annotated Scholarly Edition (ELS Editions, 2015). Co-edited with Dr. Matte Robinson (Saint Thomas University), his former doctoral student, the edition offers H.D.’s final work, written during the last few years of her life. This edition is one of several publications that Dr. Tryphonopoulos and his research group have already published or have been working on during the past fifteen years, including current research designed to produce annotated scholarly editions of H.D.’s long poems, including Trilogy and Helen in Egypt.
“I believe strongly in the communication, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that are developed through a liberal arts education,” Tryphonopoulos said. “This kind of collaborative engagement also promotes lifelong learning. Most significantly I believe that continuing to satisfy my own curiosity through research like this, I am able to better serve the faculty and students of Brandon University.”