Profile

Neni Panourgia

Adjunct Associate Professor of Classics
Columbia University

 Neni Panourgia is a Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in Classics and a Fellow at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) at Columbia University. In January 2013 she became Co-Editor (Social Sciences) for the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. Professor Panourgia is the author of numerous publications, including Fragments of Death, Fables of Identity: An Athenian Anthropography(University of Wisconsin Press, 1995) and Dangerous Citizens: The Greek Left and the Terror of the State (Fordham University Press, 2008). Dangerous Citizens: The Greek Left and the Terror of the State, received the 2011 Edmund Keeley Prize of the Modern Greek Studies Association, the 2011 Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing of the American Anthropological Association, and an Honorable Mention for the 2009 PROSE Award, and is also forthcoming in Greek translation by Editions Kastaniotis. She co-edited with George Marcus the volume Ethnographica Moralia: Experiments in Interpretative Anthropology (Fordham University Press, 2008).

Her research interests include: poststructuralism, ethnographic  theory, exceptional spaces, critical medical studies, humans/machines, and Europe.  

She is most interested in "life": bare, naked, clothed, conceptualized, contested, taken, given, suspended, sustained.  And she also is interested in what surrounds life: humans who want to give it meaning, take its meaning, make worlds that this life inhabits, keep this life from expiring. And in the politics that surrounds this life and these humans: crude partisan, sophisticated intellectual, engaged, activist, philosophical. Or brutally pragmatic: in the concentration camp, in the prison, in the school (in the camp and the prison as school), in the hospital, in the cemetery. And at what translates meaning: ritual, kin, law, the body (of the patient, of the condemned, of the student, of the desired). Previously, she was most interested in "death" and "the dead." She is still interested in writing: how to write about life, how to talk and write about death, what happens when one talks and writes about their specters. She looks at all this in Greece (and occasionally elsewhere). Originally at the Children's Hospital in Athens, then at the Cancer Institute, then at the concentration camps of the Greek Civil War. Currently, at the Intensive Care Unit.