Evanghelia Stead, née Dascalopoulou

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2014/2015
discipline Literature
Professor of Comparative Literature, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin (UVSQ)

Research project

Faust ‘I’ in prints and book objects: Germany, England and France (1816-1925)


The project examines Goethe’s Faust ‘I’ through image sequences and book objects in three cultural areas (Germany, England and France) over nearly a century (1816-1925), that of new reproduction techniques and the notion of ‘illustration’ still prevalent. The time frame corresponds to significant artefacts that changed the play’s fortune and its reading in Europe. First hand research on the subject, already published in part, yields promising results in comparing multifaceted cultural histories and diverse cultural areas, as told by printed materials studied and questioned in context. To the present day, the perceived fortune of Goethe’s Faust in Europe relies primarily on textual and musical approaches, particularly translations, adaptations, mythical and imaginary constructions: these have mainly stressed interpretation and ideas, major authors and artists receiving most attention. However sequential images (engraved series), consecutively informing ‘illustrated’ editions, were crucial for this key work, difficult to grasp as theatre script, to reach diverse audiences, thus adding to its aura. Moreover, a «very stream of images» accompanies Faust through Europe, its iconography shaping reception, imagination, and enhancing its mythical dimension.


Analysing this intense iconographical re-shaping in the perspective of ‘reading with images’ through careful investigation of books in context, the project distinguishes between extensive and intensive iconography. The former shows the impact of images and motifs from one edition to the other, the latter allowing for intense innovation and creative reinterpretation within the extensive flux. Methodology, based on the argument that dual text and image relations are insufficient to consider the many-sided stories told in books and prints, reveals the extensive use of the term illustration as mainly text-bound, and favours instead close examination of three-dimensional objects, interpretation of their status within publishing trends, in relation to art history, literary currents and imaginative intellectual procedures. Materiality and book history are thus shown as related to reception and reading theories, myth-making and poetics. The project uses prestigious and popular editions, including skits and caricatures – distortions, exaggerations and even misrepresentations acquiring cultural and poetic relevance when transferred from one context to the other. A book, possibly in more than one language, depending on publishing opportunities, is the intended outcome.




Evanghelia Stead is Professor of Comparative Literature, Institut des Études Culturelles Internationales (IECI), Département de Lettres Modernes, Versailles Saint-Quentin University (UVSQ) since 2010, also taught in Rheims and Nice Universities. She runs the interdisciplinary seminar TIGRE (École Normale Supérieure, Paris) on illustrated books and periodicals. Agrégée de Lettres Classiques, she holds a Ph.D and an Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches in Comparative Literature from Paris IV-Sorbonne University. A scholar of classics (Greek, Latin) and modern literatures, she also publishes literary translations, being competent in several languages and cultural domains. Visiting Professor at Università degli Studi di Verona and Philipps-Universität-Marburg, she conducted research within the CNRS Framework. Her thesis on fin-de-siècle monstrosity and poetics was awarded the Marie-Louise Arconati-Visconti prize.


Her research interests are 19th-20th C. European books and periodicals, fin-de-siècle poetics and hermeneutics, Greek and Latin mythical figures in modern European literatures, and The Arabian Nights aftermath exemplified in the modern European and modern Arabic literary tradition of the 1002nd night.

Selected publications


Word & Image, special issue Imago & Translatio, with H. Védrine (eds), vol. 30, no. 3, 2014.


La Chair du livre: matérialité, imaginaire et poétique du livre fin-de-siècle, PUPS, Histoire de l’imprimé, Paris, 2012; reprint 2013.


Contes de la mille et deuxième nuit: Théophile Gautier, Edgar Allan Poe, Nicolae Davidescu, Richard Lesclide et André Gill, Jérôme Millon, Nomina, Grenoble, 2011.


Seconde Odyssée, Ulysse de Tennyson à Borges, Jérôme Millon, Nomina, Grenoble, 2009.


L’Europe des revues (1880-1920): estampes, photographies, illustrations, 2d edn., with H. Védrine, PUPS, Histoire de l’imprimé, Paris, 2008; reprint 2011.


L’Odyssée d’Homère, Gallimard, Paris, 2007.


Le Monstre, le singe et le foetus: tératogonie et décadence dans l'Europe fin-de-siècle, Droz, Genève, 2004.


senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
discipline Law
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
discipline History and Law
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
discipline Literature