© 2005

Genres of Recollection

Archival Poetics and Modern Greece

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Penelope Papailias
    Pages 1-41
  3. Penelope Papailias
    Pages 179-225
  4. Penelope Papailias
    Pages 227-229
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 231-301

About this book


This book brings to life the social and textual worlds in which the representation of contemporary Greek historical experience has been passionately debated, building on contemporary research in history and anthropology concerning the social production of the past.


anthropology fiction migration poetics transcription

About the authors

PENELOPE C. PAPALIAS is a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Thessaly in Greece.

Bibliographic information


'In Genres of Recollection, Penelope Papailias has given us a genre that productively defines recollection. Her book is an original exploration in the elusive but vital common ground of anthropology and history. Avoiding the abstruse abstractions that so often bedevil considerations of epistemology, Papailias brings to life the everyday social practices involved in the production of history by local writers and collectors and thereby challenges us to examine and compare the social conditions of our own intellectual production. An original and beautifully written contribution to the ethnography of Greece, this work is also an unusual experiment in the broadening of the anthropological vision.' - Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

'In these stunning chapters on modern Greek history Penelope Papailias bypasses old disciplinary constraints to set forth a new theory and practice of anthropological reading. She finds her alternative archives in the works of amateur historians, the transcripts of Anatolian refugees, the memoir of a migrant to America, and a novel on the Civil War. The result is sustained interrogations and incisive insights concerning both the notion of an 'archive' and the historical phenomenon that is 'Greece.'' - Brinkley Messick, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

'The author responds to the famous question, 'What is History?' with the phrase 'Let's see what historians do.' Then, to explore this perspective, she gives the reader an ethnographic tour of historians' social worlds, thoughts and craft. I find this response quite ingenious. It is an original approach to writing about the writing of history.' - Antonis Liakos, Professor of History, University of Athens