March 10, 2015
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v2.1 Reference
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Darwin's Footprint

Cultural Perspectives on Evolution in Greece (1880–1930s)

Darwin's Footprint examines the impact of Darwinism in Greece, investigating how it has shaped Greece in terms of its cultural and intellectual history, and in particular its literature.

The book demonstrates that in the late 19th to early 20th centuries Darwinism and associated science strongly influenced celebrated Greek literary writers and other influential intellectuals, which fueled debate in various areas such as 'man's place in nature', eugenics, the nature-nurture controversy, religion, as well as class, race and gender.

In addition, the study reveals that many of these individuals were also considering alternative approaches to these issues based on Darwinian and associated biological post-Darwinian ideas. Their concerns included the Greek "race" or nation, its culture, language and identity; also politics and gender equality.

Zarimis's monograph devotes considerable space to Xenopoulos (1867-1951), notable novelist, journalist and playwright.

About the Author

Maria Zarimis is Adjunct lecturer in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales, Australia.


"The book is a highly valuable one for students of literature and science, both with and without Greek language skills. Studies of Darwinian culture are dominated by Anglo-American subjects, and so alternative approaches, made possible by critics, like Zarimis, with the multilinguistic abilities to tap underutilised areas, can only be of benefit to the current literature. Works such as this provide an eye-opening view to unique and captivating material that scholars have barely yet touched."—British Society for Literature and Science

"Maria Zarimis' book raises a wide range of issues related to the influence of Darwinian thought and Darwinism, but also of biosciences, over Greek intellectuals and novelists. A critical reading of her book may contribute to the discussion on new perspectives for research on the cultural transmission of evolutionary and bioscientific thoughts into Greek material culture."—Historien

"The author has successfully shown that Darwinism exerted significant influence on cultural and intellectual history of Greece, and especially on its literature. The book reveals that renowned authors were not just reacting to Darwin's teachings, but were also trying to devise their own approaches to these issues, based on Darwinian and post-Darwinian thought. In her narrative, Zarimis also places these developments in Greek intellectual history into a wider context of international scholars' community's response to influence of Darwin's ideas."—Vladimir Abramović, Acta hist. med. stom. pharm. med. vet. / 2018 / 37 / 1–2 / 88–89


"The original and significant contribution this book makes to scholarship in its field derives from the fact that so little has been written, so far, about the influence of Darwin's writings and Darwinism on Greek literary and social culture. Thus the manuscript opens up an area of study that has been sadly neglected in Greek cultural life."—Peter Bien

"Maria Zarimis' book is a thorough and in-depth analysis of how mainstream Western scientific ideas found their way into the planning of the modern Greek society through the intermediation of literature. In this sense it strongly contributes to various academic fields, expanding from literary studies and history of science to social history and cultural studies. Furthermore, it contributes to the discussion of travelling concepts and of the role intellectuals hold in this process, while at the same time sheds light onto the multiple ways transnational history is formed."—Antonis Liakos
Central European University Press


9789633860779 : darwins-footprint-zarimis
346 Pages
$85.00 USD
9789633861004 : darwins-footprint-zarimis
Paperback / softback
346 Pages
$29.99 USD

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