Events

Thursday 26 May, 18.00 – 20.30

War in Ukraine: A Roundtable Discussion

Bush House SE 1.02 and 1.06, KCL

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War in Ukraine: A Roundtable Discussion

Speakers and Topics:

Welcome by Prof. Gonda Van Steen, Koraes Chair (King’s Centre for Hellenic Studies)

Dr Alexandra Vukovich (KCL, History): Byzantino-Rus cultural monuments in Ukraine: History and perspectives

Dr Alexandra Vukovich (KCL, History) is lecturer in late medieval history at King’s, focussing on the history and literature of the Byzantine world, specifically early Rus. A second research interest focusses on the political role of medieval cultural heritage (medievalism) in modern nationalisms and approaches to modern heritage management.

Dr Irene Polinskaya (KCL, Classics): “The chronically sick man of Europe” – A personal perspective on Russia as a totalitarian state, and the last/lost 30 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991-2022)

Dr Irene Polinskaya (KCL, Classics) is Reader in Ancient History in King’s Department of Classics. She grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, and emigrated to the USA in 1992. She studied (at Stanford University) and taught (at Bowdoin College) in the United States (1992-2007), and has been teaching at King’s since 2007. Over the last five years, her research on ancient Greek inscriptions has taken her to Ukraine where she worked at several archaeological museums and sites such as the Institute of Archaeology in Kyiv, the Regional Studies Museum in Mykolaiv/Nikolayev, the Archaeological Museum of Odesa, and the Archaeological Preserve Olbia.

Dr Dina Gusejnova (LSE): Russia’s special path? The shadows of Weimar and Nazi Germany in current discourse on the Russian war in Ukraine

Dr Dina Gusejnova (LSE, International History) is Associate Professor in Modern European History. Her research centres on the transfer of ideas and ideologies across the borders of empires and nation-states in the twentieth century. After her book, European Elites and Ideas of Empire, 1917-57 (Cambridge, 2016), her research has centred on the longer-term impact of the internment of scholars from continental Europe in Britain during the Second World War. Her most recent commentary on the Russian war in Ukraine was for the blog History Matters. She is a founding member of the initiative for the University of New Europe, and a member of Ukraine Hub UK Academic Taskforce.

Register here


Friday 27 May, 18.30 (AGM) / 19.30 (Prize-Giving and Lecture)

Society for Modern Greek Studies AGM

Friends’ Room, Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London

Society for Modern Greek Studies AGM, Prize-Giving and Lecture

Schedule:

6:30pm: AGM: the agenda, the AGM 2021 minutes, and the accounts will be circulated in advance

7:30pm: Prize-Giving: the 2022 Niki Marangou PhD Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation completed in Modern Greek Studies in the UK

7:45pm: Lecture: Dr David Wills: ‘Refugee Crises in Greece, 1922-2022: Ancient Histories in Modern Contexts’

An illustrated talk in which Dr David Wills will explore British representations of the refugee crises which took place in 1922 and from 2015 onwards. Contemporaneous accounts by British travellers, journalists and aid workers reveal the persistence of ancient history within the descriptions of modern ‘odysseys’.

8:45pm: Wine Reception

Graffiti reading 'Refugees Welcome'
Irakleio, 2018, photograph by Victoria Wills

Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 June

KCL Greek Play

Greenwood Theatre, London Bridge

Tickets

KCL Greek Play 2022: The Plague at Thebes

A dynamic reworking of Sophocles’ Antigone and Oedipus The King.

Wracked by plague and wounded by civil war, the citizens of Thebes watch as its ruling family grapples with the past.

Antigone is on trial. She has defied King Creon’s edict and secretly offered funeral rites to her dead brother Polynices. As she awaits her fate she relives her family’s recent history, slowly unravelling the violent and incestuous cycle of the House of Cadmus. Telling the mythical story of Oedipus from the perspective of his courageous daughter Antigone, the King’s Greek Play 2022 will examine how our history can shape our actions and beliefs, as well as reflecting upon the unexpected ways in which the present moment might shape the lives of future generations.

Created by current King’s College London students, The Plague at Thebes offers a contemporary response to Sophocles’ plays. This continues King’s College London’s recent history of pushing the boundaries and conventions of the Greek Play to explore how contemporary performance of Greek drama can help us engage with the fraught times in which we find ourselves living. The performance will incorporate original ancient Greek text and new writing in order to present a work that speaks to the social and political consequences of an unprecedented pandemic, civil disobedience, and the place and responsibility of an individual within society.

This year’s play will again be ideal for those studying Classical Civilisation – Oedipus Tyrannus  is a prescribed text for the OCR A level syllabus – as well as students taking Classics, Drama, and English.

The play will be performed at the Greenwood Theatre (55 Weston Street, SE1 3RA) from 22-24 June 2022 (19.00 nightly with 14.30 matinées on the 22 and 24). Evening performances will be preceded by pre-show events at 18.00 featuring leading scholars; these are free to ticket holders for the subsequent performance.

Tickets are £12 (£8 concessions) and available to purchase here.


Monday 27 June, 18.00

Annual Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award Ceremony and Book Launch

Council Room, King’s Building, KCL

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Annual Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award Ceremony and Book Launch of The Greeks: A Global History

Join us to mark the Annual Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award Ceremony, with featured speaker Bettany Hughes.

We will also be celebrating Roderick Beaton’s latest book, The Greeks: A Global History (published in November 2021 by Basic Books, New York, and Faber, London).

Dr John Kittmer will engage Professor Beaton in a discussion about this panoramic study of the Greeks, ranging from prehistoric times to the present.

We will serve a glass of wine to celebrate this exciting new addition to the field of Greek historiography.

Prof. Bettany Hughes, Historian, Author and Broadcaster

Professor Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her speciality is ancient and mediaeval history and culture. A Scholar at Oxford University, she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht, Manchester and Swansea. She is a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, a Research Fellow of King’s College London and recently joined the New College of the Humanities as Professor of History. Her latest book Istanbul – A Tale of Three Cities was shortlisted for the Runciman Award and was a Sunday Times bestseller.

Prof. Roderick Beaton, Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature

Roderick Beaton grew up in Edinburgh and studied English Literature at Peterhouse, Cambridge, before turning to Modern Greek as the subject of his doctorate, also at Cambridge – and at the British School at Athens. After a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Birmingham he embarked on a long career at King’s College London, first as Lecturer in Modern Greek Language and Literature (1981-88), later as Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature (1988-2018), and since then as Emeritus Koraes Professor. From 2012 to 2018 he also served as Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s.

     Roderick is the author of many books and articles about aspects of the Greek-speaking world from the twelfth century to the present day, including An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature (1994); George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel. A Biography (2003); Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (2013); and Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation (2019, now a Penguin paperback). All four of these books won the prestigious Runciman Award (through the Anglo-Hellenic League) for best book on the Hellenic world. His latest book, The Greeks: A Global History, offers an overview of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 2021. This book will be presented at the conference.

    Roderick is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA, 2013), a Fellow of King’s College (FKC, 2018), Commander of the Order of Honour of the Hellenic Republic (2019) and, from September to December 2021, has been appointed A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek at the University of Edinburgh.


28 OCtober 2022

Fourth Niki Marangou Annual Memorial Lecture

Fourth Niki Marangou Annual Memorial Lecture

From Dragomans to Members of Parliament: The Greeks in Ottoman Politics on the Eve of the Great War.

Co-organised with King’s Centre for Hellenic Studies. This fourth Niki Marangou Lecture will be held in London (venue and time TBC), and the featured speaker will be the former diplomat and King’s alumna, Dr Catherine Boura.

Read the Abstract

The first Greeks to participate in the affairs of the Ottoman state were Dragomans, interpreters of the Sublime Porte, who were members of the Phanariot patrician class of the Ottoman capital. They rose to the topmost ranks of the administration and served the Sublime Porte efficiently and loyally for many generations. After Greek Independence, Greeks continued the long tradition of serving the Ottoman state albeit in different modes, as ambassadors, bankers, doctors, administration officials. Their influence and rise to positions of distinction was owed to a large extent to their education and personal ability, as much as to the prosperity of their families due to success in trade.
      The second constitutional period (1908-1912) opened the way to representation in Parliament and participation of Ottoman citizens in party politics. The election of the Ottoman Greeks as members of the Ottoman Parliament was the first organized Greek participation in the political affairs of the Ottoman Empire. Party politics marked the dramatic changes in the political environment, the gradual dominance of secular state power and the adoption of the values of nationalism, which overturned the old Ottoman ‘order’. The Balkan Wars had a decisive effect on intercommunal relations. The Balkan conflicts intensified the divisions between Muslims and Christians, radicalised the Turkish leadership and prepared the way for the conflagration of the Great War.

Dr Catherine Boura, Ambassador ad h.

Dr Boura has served in diplomatic posts in Nicosia, London, and the Council of the European Union in Brussels, as Ambassador of Greece to Lebanon, to the UAE, and as Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations.
      She holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of Athens, an M.A. in Area Studies from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in History from King’s College London. She is President of the Friends of the Gennadius Library.

Credit: Gennadius Library, ASCSA

2022 (Date TBC)

Gilbert Murray Lecture

University of Glasgow

Fifth Gilbert Murray Lecture on Internationalism and Classics

Lecturer: A.E.Stallings (title TBC)

The triennial Gilbert Murray Lectures on Internationalism and Classics are established in honour of Prof. Gilbert Murray, one of the founding spirits of the League of Nations and Professor of Ancient Greek at Glasgow, London and Oxford universities. The lecture rotates between the three university cities where Murray had a chair. From 1914 onwards, Murray was active in propagating the ideals of internationalism and promoting the concept of the League of Nations. He also had close contacts with the Greek communities of the UK and their representatives in London. The 2022 lecturer will be the poet and classicist, A. E. Stallings. The 2022 lecture will take place within the framework of the UK bicentennial celebrations. Further information will be available in due course. See also https://gilbertmurraytrust.org.uk.


Postponed until 2023

Conference: Byron, Philhellenism in Literature, the Arts, and Scholarship

Conference: Byron, Philhellenism in Literature, the Arts, and Scholarship

In honour of Roderick Beaton, Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature.

Contact: Prof. Gonda Van Steen

Prof. Roderick Beaton, Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature

Roderick Beaton grew up in Edinburgh and studied English Literature at Peterhouse, Cambridge, before turning to Modern Greek as the subject of his doctorate, also at Cambridge – and at the British School at Athens. After a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Birmingham he embarked on a long career at King’s College London, first as Lecturer in Modern Greek Language and Literature (1981-88), later as Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature (1988-2018), and since then as Emeritus Koraes Professor. From 2012 to 2018 he also served as Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s.

     Roderick is the author of many books and articles about aspects of the Greek-speaking world from the twelfth century to the present day, including An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature (1994); George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel. A Biography (2003); Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (2013); and Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation (2019, now a Penguin paperback). All four of these books won the prestigious Runciman Award (through the Anglo-Hellenic League) for best book on the Hellenic world. His latest book, The Greeks: A Global History, offers an overview of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 2021. This book will be presented at the conference.

    Roderick is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA, 2013), a Fellow of King’s College (FKC, 2018), Commander of the Order of Honour of the Hellenic Republic (2019) and, from September to December 2021, has been appointed A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek at the University of Edinburgh.


2 February 2023, 18.00

32nd Annual Runciman Lecture

Great Hall, KCL Strand Campus (TBC)

31st Annual Runciman Lecture: Prof Ioannis D. Stefanidis, ‘Prelude to the Ionian Venture: the Greek Campaign in Southern Ukraine, 1919’

Preceded by Orthodox Vespers at the King’s Chapel starting at 17:00.

After an introduction to the diplomatic and military background to this unlikely operation, which arguably paved the way to the dispatch of Greek troops to Smyrna, in May 1919, the aim of the lecture is to focus on the experience of the Greek army in the rather inhospitable and alien terrain of southern Ukraine in the late winter and early spring of 1919.

Ioannis D. Stefanidis, Professor in Diplomatic History, Department of International Studies, School of Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Foreign and Commonwealth Office scholar (1988-9), Fulbright scholar (1995), visiting Lecturer, Institute for European Studies, Hebrew University (2003-4), ‘Stanley J. Seeger’ visiting fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University (2004), visiting Associate Professor, University of Cyprus (2006-7); Senior Visiting Scholar, University Seminars Program, Onassis Foundation, USA (2015). His publications include: Isle of Discord: Nationalism, Imperialism and the Making of the Cyprus Question (London and New York, 1999); Stirring the Greek Nation: Political Culture, Irredentism and Anti-Americanism in Post-War Greece, 1945-67 (Aldershot, 2007); Substitute for Power: British Propaganda to the Balkans, 1939-1944 (Aldershot, 2012), ‘America’s Projection and Democracy Promotion: The ‘Voice of America’, Greece under the Colonels and Ceauşescu’s Romania’, Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 32/33 (2016/17), University of Minnesota, 167-237. His last monograph, on a non-communist resistance organisation, EKKA, and its doomed attempt to wage non-partisan armed resistance in Axis-occupied Greece, is due to appear in autumn 2022.

     Tent village in the shadows of the Temple of Hephaestus, Athens, c.1922

May 2023 (Date TBC)

Historic Walking Tour

Meeting Point TBC

Historic Walking Tour of Greece-Related Sites and Sights in London

Tour of the West Norwood Greek Orthodox Cemetery and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral (neoclassical graves of famous Greeks, such as the Rallis family from Chios, the Vallianos family, etc.). Led by Dr Victoria Hunter Solomonidou, FKC (UCL), Trustee Friends of West Norwood Cemetery and Dr Konstantinos Trimmis (Bristol). Contacts: Konstantinos Trimmis and Gonda Van Steen.


The announcement of Lord Byron’s death by the provisional Greek government

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