Past Events

Thursday 28 – Friday 29 April

Conference: The Global 1922


Read the Programme

Follow The Global 1922 on Twitter

The Global 1922: Local Sites, Global Context

Visit the conference website

2022 marks the centenary of the end of Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1922. This war was one of the final conflicts of a decade-long series of wars to which historians have referred to as the ‘Greater War’ decade. The Greek-Turkish War coincided with the end of the many conflicts and diplomatic or political processes that transformed eastern Europe and Russia as well as the near and middle East. It also marked an acute humanitarian crisis following the dislocation of minority populations across the Aegean Sea – one of the largest single population transfers of the Greater War decade. 

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

Using the Greek-Turkish conflict as a starting point this international conference brings together scholars working in various historical subfields to reflect on the wider context of nationalist agitations, state-building processes, imperial transformations and socio-economic upheavals across lands and seas in flux from Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, European and Asian Russia to the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.

The event will take place at King’s College London on 28/29 April and will be streamed online.

Read the programme

Friday 29 April, 18.00

First Schilizzi Social History Workshop

Council Room (K2.29), KCL Strand Campus

First Schilizzi Social History Workshop: ‘Children in the Crossfire: A Family and Social History Workshop’

Convenor: Koraes Professor Gonda Van Steen, or

Helena Schilizzi was the founder of the first public maternity hospital in Athens in the late 1920s: she wanted poor women to be able to give birth in a hygienic and professional environment. Through this and other impactful initiatives, Helena Schilizzi brought a unique sense of urban and societal priorities to her life in the public eye (as the spouse of Eleftherios Venizelos).

King’s Centre for Hellenic Studies dedicates its first Schilizzi Social History Workshop to the memory of Helena Schilizzi, who helped to change Greece’s medical and family history. Our first workshop assesses child survival and orphanhood, child placement and adoption, welfare policies, and social progress, both in Greece and across borders, with the benefit of several decades of hindsight. As such, our social history workshop also builds on ‘The Global 1922’, the conference that King’s will be holding 28-29 April 2022, which will focus on political, diplomatic, and military historical developments of the 1920s.

At 18.00 in the afternoon of Friday, 29 April 2022, we gather in the Council Room (K2.29 on the Strand) to hear the following three speakers:

Mariela Neagu, author of Voices from the Silent Cradles: Life Histories of Romania’s Looked-After Children (2021): ‘Orphans of the Cold War: Reframing the International Adoption Narrative’

Dr Mariela Neagu is a researcher in human rights and children’s rights specialised in children’s social care. She holds an MSt in International Human Rights Law and a PhD in Social Sciences from New College, Oxford. She has over 20 years of experience in children’s rights from a policy and research perspective, having conducted research in both welfare states and emerging economies. She is a former Children’s Minister in Romania (Head of the National Authority for Children’s Rights between 2007-2009) and former coordinator of the EU multi-annual funds to reform the child protection system in Romania (1999-2006). In the latter capacity she was instrumental in the drafting of the Children’s Rights legislation in Romania (adopted in 2004).

Dr Neagu is the author of Voices from the Silent Cradles (Policy Press, 2021), a book which sheds light on children’s homes, foster care, domestic and international adoption from the perspective of the young people who experienced these types of care. Her article ‘Children by Request: Romania’s Children between Rights and International Politics’ (International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, vol. 29 (2), August 2015) which points out the legal loopholes in intercountry adoption, has been cited in the Commentary on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (OUP, 2019) and by the UN Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio (2016).

Abstract: Historian Dennis Deletant holds that World War II ended for Romania in 1989, at the end of the Cold War when the communist regime which isolated the nation came to an end. This moment coincided with the exposure of the precarious conditions in which many children had been institutionalised. As the subject made international headlines, Romania became one of the global suppliers of children for Western families or individuals willing to adopt. The country was regarded as ‘the last reservoir of Caucasian babies’. Early concerns of child trafficking and attempts to protect children inside the country resulted in political pressure on Romania from the receiving countries to resume international adoption. Between 1990 and 2004 (when Romania incorporated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into law), children were treated as commodities by adoption chains and as ideological weapons by elites and interest groups who shamed the country in order to influence a specific policy. Furthermore, the topic became a battleground between the contrasting approaches of Europe and the USA in relation to children in care, at a time when the country aspired to both NATO membership and accession to the EU.

Drawing on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, this presentation explores the interplay between different circles of vulnerability at the macro (global), meso (national) and micro (personal) level, and also the interferences of non-state actors with state policies in a fragile political context.

Joanna Michlic, Honorary Senior Research Associate, UCL Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS), Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, editor of Jewish Families in Europe, 1939-Present: History, Representation, and Memory (2017): ‘Un-taught Lessons from the Holocaust: Memories of Jewish Childhood in Poland during and in the Aftermath of the Holocaust’

Dr Joanna Beata Michlic is a social and cultural historian, and founder and first Director of the HBI (Hadassah-Brandeis Institute) Project on Families, Children, and the Holocaust at Brandeis University. She is an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the UCL Centre for the Study of Collective Violence, the Holocaust and Genocide, UCL Institute for Advances Studies, and Research Fellow at Weiss-Livnat International Centre for Holocaust Research and Education, University of Haifa, June 2019-May 2022. She is a co-Editor in Chief of Genealogy Journal. Among her major publications are Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present (translated into Polish in 2015 and nominated for the Best History Book of the Kazimierz Moczarski Award 2016 in Poland; Hebrew translation, with new epilogue, Jerusalem, Yad Vashem Institute, 2021); Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, co-edited with John-Paul Himka (Lincoln: NUP, 2012); and the co-edited volume Jewish Family 1939–Present: History, Representation, and Memory (Brandeis University Press/NEUP, 2017). Her latest single-authored monograph is Piętno Zagłady Wojenna i powojenna historia oraz pamięć żydowskich dzieci ocalałych w Polsce (Warsaw: ZIH, 2020).

Dr Michlic is currently working on a book project on the history and memory of rescue of Jewish children in Poland, More than the Milk of Human Kindness: Jewish Survivors and Their Polish Rescuers Recount Their Tales, 1944-1949. She is also co-convenor of an international conference on children, war and genocide, which will take place at Munich University in October 2022.

Abstract: Between 2012 and 2021 the ongoing refugee crises in Europe and beyond have triggered evocation of young Jewish survivors from the Holocaust in the commentaries about the plight of young victims and survivor-refugees of wars and genocides in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. In my own essay, ‘Mapping the History of Child Holocaust Survivors’, I also argue that the history of child Holocaust survivors ‘can offer a valuable template for historical and contemporary comparisons that, in turn, could advance our understanding of the impact of displacement and the loss of family upon young survivor-refugees of post-1945 wars and genocides’. However, I do not think that such a holistic, educational and memory project is easily viable, despite the frequent evocations of the plight of young Jewish refugees in the current discussions about the situation of young refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. It seems to me that in these discussions, evocations of young Jewish refugees usually have a rather purely emotive character and are vague, if not shallow. Furthermore, there is a glaring lack of historical and contemporary comparisons of young survivors of wars and genocides in the post-1945 period till the present, comparisons that would not only seek differences and similarities, but would use one set of phenomena to understand another.

In this paper, I discuss some public representations of young Jewish victims of the Holocaust that tend to gloss over the more complex and difficult memories of the children’s wartime and early post-war experiences. I explore agents and the broader historical, cultural, and social contexts of the more aesthetically pleasing and sanitized ‘happy representations’ of survival using cultural examples from the United Kingdom. I contrast these with painful self-representations of child survivors pertaining to survival and the reconstruction of post-war family from contemporary Poland. I argue that listening and interrogating the voices of specific communities of child survivors, which are not shaped and mediated by certain hegemonic national narratives of the Holocaust, might enable us to uncover and contextualize difficult and taboo aspects of lives of orphan child survivors. They could provide us with valuable lessons for understanding the short-term and long-term impact of wars and genocides of the twentieth and twenty-first century on child survivors.

Gonda Van Steen, Koraes Chair at King’s College London, most recently author of Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece (2019): ‘Five Years of Feeding: An Unpublished Source on the Living Conditions of the Children of Late 1940s Greece’

Gonda Van Steen holds the Koraes Chair in the Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Department of Classics at King’s College London. She is the author of five books: Venom in Verse: Aristophanes in Modern Greece (2000); Liberating Hellenism from the Ottoman Empire (2010); Theatre of the Condemned: Classical Tragedy on Greek Prison Islands (2011); and Stage of Emergency: Theater and Public Performance under the Greek Military Dictatorship of 1967-1974 (2015). Her latest book, Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece: Kid pro quo? (University of Michigan Press, 2019), takes the reader into the new, uncharted terrain of Greek adoption stories that become paradigmatic of Cold War politics and history. This book appeared also in Greek translation as Ζητούνται παιδιά από την Ελλάδα: Υιοθεσίες στην Αμερική του Ψυχρού Πολέμου (Athens: Potamos, 2021).

Abstract: On 17 May 1946, the American social worker Charles Schermerhorn arrived in Greece. He arrived at a critical time: Greece had just come out of a brutal Nazi German Occupation and was about to engage in a three-year-long and devastating civil war (1946-1949). Charles was appointed by UNNRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.), subsequently by the Near East Foundation, and eventually by UNICEF. That means that, in the course of a mere five years, Charles saw a tremendous amount of American-influenced administrative and logistical planning for Greece, which was a focus of intense early Cold War friction and scrutiny. Charles’ own appointment as an UNRRA child welfare specialist attests to a Western-imported and hegemonic humanitarian model, which had to serve as an antidote to the rise of Soviet-style communism in Southern Europe and the Balkans. The global focus of the time was on children: they held the future of their respective societies and, as adults, would determine whether a nation would align itself with the West or with the East.

Charles’ mandate was to organize food distribution channels to feed especially the children of Northern Greece, the region most affected by the civil war conflict. This was a role he embraced, and he meticulously recorded the details in a hitherto unpublished manuscript. Charles faced tremendous challenges: many of the villages of Northern Greece are located in the most remote mountain areas; many had been either destroyed by the communists or semi-evacuated by the royalist troops. Corruption was rampant, also among the representatives of local and foreign organizations. Charles decries the foreign experts’ lack of experience on the ground and their focus on scoring political points. But his writing becomes a most powerful source on the fate of the children of the rural and afflicted populations, and these are not necessarily Greek-speaking children. Charles tells of pockets of Muslim, Albanian- and Turkish-speaking children, of Armenian children from refugee families, and also of a handful of Jewish Holocaust survivors. His unique account paints a sympathetic but poignant picture of the living conditions of hundreds of Greek children whose basic needs can hardly be met. My paper focuses on these needs, on the local and imported welfare services, on the ambivalent role of the Greek Orthodox Church, and on one idealist’s commitment to five years of feeding.

Sponsored by the Schilizzi Foundation.

Thursday 28 April, 19.00

Book Launch: John Muir’s Greek Eyes on Europe

The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street

Book Launch: John Muir’s Greek Eyes on Europe

CHS and the Hellenic Centre present the launch of John Muir’s Greek Eyes on Europe: The Travels of Nikandros Noukios of Corfu (published March 2022). Gonda Van Steen will introduce the speakers. Michael Trapp will introduce the Routledge series Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London. Peter Jones will lead the discussion and invite questions from the audience.

Nikandros (Andronikos) Noukios was a native of Corfu. Exiled to Venice with his family after the Turkish siege of 1537, he made a living as an editorial assistant to a publisher, and then as a copyist employed by Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador to Venice. He then had the opportunity to accompany two diplomatic missions sent by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, to the court of Suleiman the Magnificent in Constantinople, and to the court of Henry VIII in London. His Journal is an inquisitive traveller’s account of his journeys (including a short spell with a mercenary contingent) through a Europe in the grip of the Reformation.

John Muir

John Muir taught at King’s College London of which he is a Fellow. He was editor of Greece & Rome for six years, and he has published Greek Religion and Society ed. and contrib. with P. E. Easterling (CUP); Alcidamas: The Works and Fragments (BCP); and Life and Letters in the Ancient Greek World (Routledge). In addition, he has produced student editions of Aeneid IV (Cambridge Latin Texts – CUP) and Odyssey IX (BCP). He was one of the founder members of the JACT Greek Summer School and taught there for many years, serving also on its Management Committee. He has contributed articles and reviews to various journals and has been President of JACT and the London Branch of the Classical Association. For seven years he was also the British representative on the international committee of the Colloquium Didacticum Classicum.

Peter Jones

Peter Jones, PhD, taught at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh for many years. He retired early from Newcastle University in 1997 and helped found the charity Classics for All.

Until Wednesday 30 March

Exhibition: 1821 Visions of Freedom

The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London

1821 Visions of Freedom: The Hand of Zographos, The Mind of Makriyannis, The Zeal of Gennadius

An exhibition of famous and much praised images of scenes from the Greek War of Independence, giving visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy these remarkable works close up.

On show are 12 of the 24 hand coloured collotypes issued in a limited edition album in 1926 by the well known Swiss photographer, Frédéric Boissonnas at the instigation of the collector Joannes Gennadius, who had rediscovered the long lost watercolours which the collotypes reproduce.

The watercolours had been painted between 1836 and 1839 by the naif artist, Dimitrios Zographos, to the order and according to the directions of General Makriyannis, a veteran of the war, whose own memoirs are a classic of Modern Greek literature. The Gennadius-Boissonas album brought these forgotten images to the attention of the wider world and generated a delighted reaction in the artistic avant-garde.

Each picture is accompanied by a caption in Makriyannis’ own words, which make the depicted scenes even more vivid. The exhibition sets the pictures in their  historical context by displaying a timeline of the War of Independence and the visitor’s appreciation is enhanced by the reproduction of relevant material from Gennadius’ personal archive and other collections. The visitor can also enjoy Makriyannis’ personal dedication of the pictures to Queen Victoria as well as the curious letter from the British Minister at Athens which accompanied their despatch to Lord Palmerston.

Curators: Natasha Lemos, Olympia Pappa

Designers: Αlexis Veroucas, Vassiliki Carmiri

Organised by the Hellenic Centre under the aegis of the Greece 2021 Committee. Sponsored by the A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Tuesdays: 6:30pm – 9pm
Saturdays: 10am – 5pm
Sundays: 11am – 4pm

Entry free

Contact: The Hellenic Centre

Monday 28 March, 18.00

The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro

Anatomy Museum (K6.29), 6th floor King’s Building, Strand Campus, KCL

The London Hellenic Prize committee and the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London invite you to join us as we celebrate the long history of the LHP and the prize-winning volume of 2021:

The Greek Trilogy of Luis AlfaroElectricidad; Oedipus El Rey; Mojada

Luis Alfaro (Author), Rosa Andújar (Editor)

Anatomy Museum, 6th floor of the King’s Building on the Strand

The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro
Photo credit: Giorgio Bitsakos 2019

Evening schedule:

Welcome and introduction to the LHP speakers: Professor Gonda Van Steen

Welcome on behalf of the Department of Classics and the Centre for Hellenic Studies: Dr Will Wootton

Introduction to the prize competition of 2021: Professor Paul Cartledge

Introduction of prize winner Rosa Andujar: Professor Miriam Leonard

Short acceptance speech by Dr Rosa Andújar

Introduction to prize winner Luis Alfaro: Professor Catherine Boyle

Short acceptance speech by Luis Alfaro (online)

Questions from the audience

Wednesday 16 March, 18.30

Rumble Fund Lecture

Great Hall, Strand Campus, KCL

Rumble Fund Lecture 2022: Prof. Dimitris Plantzos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Acropolis adieu: Popular images of Greece in the 1950s and ’60s

Read more and watch the recorded lecture here

Photo credit: Giorgio Bitsakos 2019

In this lecture, we revisit a selection of international pop-culture products from the 1950s and the 1960s (especially songs, movies and novels), in order to examine ways in which Greece and ‘Greekness’ were imagined and portrayed. Broadcasting images of an exoticized – and quite often Orientalized – Greece, the international pop-culture industry was able to create a convenient narrative of ‘merry backwardness’ for the country and its people. Greece is constructed in these products as a world apart – somewhat eccentric though regrettably underdeveloped; a place to visit yet certainly also a place to leave behind; a landscape of ancient glories and modern distractions from modernity itself; a land defined by its own separateness. Yet these imageries were often adopted with marked enthusiasm by the Greek composers, lyricists and film directors themselves, who ended up creating the thoroughly imagined Greece we still inhabit today.

This lecture is open to everyone – and all are warmly invited. It will be followed by a complimentary drinks reception, hosted by the Department of Classics at King’s College London.

Presented by the Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Department of Classics in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art and The Institute of Classical Studies.

Prof. Dimitris Plantzos

Dimitris Plantzos is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He studied history and archaeology at Athens, and holds an MPhil and a DPhil in classical archaeology from Oxford, where he also spent three years as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. He is the author of various papers and books on Greek art and archaeology, archaeological theory and classical reception. His Greek-language textbook on Greek Art and Archaeology, first published in 2011 by Kapon Editions, was published in 2016 in English and is now available by American publishers Lockwood Press in Atlanta, Georgia. His most recent book is The Art of Painting in Ancient Greece, published by Kapon Editions and Lockwood Press in 2018.

Thursday 3 February, 18.00

31st Annual Runciman Lecture

Great Hall, Strand Campus, KCL

31st Annual Runciman Lecture: Prof Margaret Mullett, ‘Hybrid by Nature: Experiment and Innovation in Twelfth-century Literature’

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

Read the Abstract

Sir Steven Runciman had some difficulty with Byzantine literature. In Byzantine Civilisation (1933) he described it as standing ‘a little removed from the main stream of the literature of the world’, as lacking ‘a certain creative spontaneity’. He did however rate Digenes Akritas as ‘the one really fine large-scale poem produced in Byzantium’, a text which is a fusion of frontier epic and romance novel. Ninety years later, our views of Byzantine literature are unsurprisingly very different: less evaluative, more analytic. The twelfth century in particular now appears to us a period of remarkable experiment and innovation, revival and renewal. And we have a very large number of texts: the best known like the poems of poor Prodromos, the Lucianic satire Timarion and the four novels are vastly outnumbered by a body of rhetorical material: encomia, funeral orations, inaugural lectures, epigrams and ceremonial poems. These are largely occasional, written for performance and often commissioned. A further group of texts does not conform to either type; they are hybrids, like the centaurs and sirens that weave their way through the manuscript headpieces, the court poetry and ivory boxes of the period. I shall look at five texts: a saint’s life with integrated ascetic anthology, an epistolary narrative of monastic scandal and embassy-tales, a tragedy-cum-Virgin’s lament expressed in Euripidean cento and biblical quotation, a mock epic animal fable with included tragic features, and a legal semeioma combining judge’s lament and a woman’s confession of infanticide and cannibalism. All are extraordinary texts; all raise questions of the generation of text, and of audience, reception, display and performance in the twelfth century, not least the issue of hybridity.

Margaret Mullett began research, on epistolography in Birmingham, in 1970, and in 1974 took up a lectureship at Queen’s University Belfast where she taught for thirty-five years, building an institute of Byzantine Studies and an AHRB centre for cultural history with Newcastle and Sussex. After teaching in Paris and holding a chair of Gender Studies in Vienna, she became Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. On her return to Europe, she held visiting professorships at Vienna and then Uppsala. She is working on performance, narrative, emotion, and space in texts mostly of the twelfth century, currently completing studies of tents and of the Christos Paschon. With Susan Ashbrook Harvey, she is preparing a collection of essays on managing emotions in Byzantium. She is professor emerita at Queen’s and an honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh.


18:00: Welcome: Professor Gonda Van Steen

Introduction of the speaker: Dr Tassos Papacostas

Word of thanks: Emeritus Professor Roderick Beaton

Monday 24 January and Monday 31 January 2022, 17.00 (UK)

Translation and Inclusion versus Exclusion


Translation and Inclusion versus Exclusion

A diptych of panel discussions in collaboration with the British School at Athens and Aiora Press.

The panels will explore translation’s intersection with the dynamics of inclusion versus exclusion, the existence or creation of minorities, the advocacy for a more pluralistic society via fiction, children’s literature, poetry, and graphic novels, which, in their own way, perform acts of ‘translation’ between cultures, languages or historical periods.

Among the speakers will be: Haris Psarras, Mika Provata-Carlone, Claire Heywood, Therese Sellers, Ruth Padel, and Antonis Nikolopoulos (Soloup). The first session will be chaired by David Holton and the second by Gonda Van Steen.

Watch Part 1:

Watch Part 2:

Friday 26 November, 18.00

Lecture and Panel: Imagining a Free Greece

Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London


Imagining a Free Greece: British, Cypriot and Russian Engagements

Lord Guilford (1766-1827)

Taking as a point of departure the famous Ionian Academy established by the great philhellene Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827), being the first university established on Greek soil (1824-1827), this event explores the history of cultural and intellectual movements related to the Greek War of Independence, including the contribution of the Greek Orthodox Cypriots. Dr Sakis Gekas (York University, Toronto) delivers the main lecture on Lord Guilford and British cultural politics in the Ionian Islands, followed by a panel discussion with Professor Lucien Frary (Rider University, New Jersey) on Russophilia in the Ionian Islands, and Dr Chrysovalantis Kyriacou (Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation/Royal Holloway) on Cyprus and Greek Christian Cypriots and the Greek War of Independence.

The event is moderated by Dr Paris Papamichos Chronakis and hosted by the Hellenic Institute and Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies, Royal Holloway University of London.

Lecture: Professor Sakis Gekas, ‘Lord Guilford, British cultural politics and colonialism in the Ionian Islands’

The opening of the Ionian Academy in Corfu is often presented as the personal project of Lord Guilford. Within the local and the imperial context of British colonialism, however, the institution represents a shift in the colonial practices and mode of rule, from the military-commercial to the cultural-civilizational, still at an early stage in the empire’s history of cultural politics and education. The talk will place the Ionian Academy within the constellation of Guilford’s ambitions and the context of colonial rule of the Ionian Islands as a protectorate. The contrast with the years of the revolutionary war in Greece could not be starker. Previous educational-cultural activities and institutions in the Ionian Islands allow us to understand the local context and the landscape in which the Ionian Academy emerged and functioned within the British protectorate. Guilford’s personal project and ambition for a centre of higher education predates the period of British rule in the Ionian Islands and reflects the impact of classical education on cultural projects and politics of the time.

Professor Lucien Frary (Rider University, New Jersey), “Russophilia in the Ionian Islands and the Coming of the Greek Revolution”
Dr Chrysovalantis Kyriacou (Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation / Royal Holloway), “The Cypriots and the Greek Revolution of 1821”

Watch the event here:

Wednesday 24 November

Book Launch: Music, Language and Identity

Athens Conservatoire, Greece

Book Launch: Music, Language and Identity in Greece

Book launch of the volume Music, Language and Identity in Greece: Defining an Art Music in the 19th and 20th centuries (Routledge, Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London), and its accompanying CD ‘HARMONIA’, as part of the symposium ‘Art Music in Modern Greece’, celebrating 150 years of the Athens Conservatoire.

The event will also include talks about the opera Andronica by Alexandros Greck, which will be produced at the Olympia Theatre on 28 November 2021, for the first time after its last known presentation in Alexandria 110 years ago, as part of Protovoulia 1821-2021 and with the generous support of the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation.

Speakers: Nikos Tsouchlos (the Athens Conservatoire), Gonda Van Steen (King’s College London), John Bennet (British School at Athens), Dimitrios P. Mantzounis (the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation), Polina Tambakaki (King’s College London), John Kittmer (the Anglo-Hellenic League), Evanthis Hatzivassiliou (the University of Athens and the Hellenic Parliament Foundation), Haris Xanthoudakis (the Athens Conservatoire), Stella Kourmpana (the Athens Conservatoire) and Nikos Athineos (the Athens Conservatoire).

The symposium will close with a 20-minute presentation of excerpts from the opera Andronica performed by Vassia Alati (soprano) and Nikos Athineos (piano).

Admission is free with admission tickets. For details, please contact the Athens Conservatoire:

Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 November

Conference: A.G. Leventis Conference in Hellenic Studies

University of Edinburgh and Online

Conference: Twelfth A.G. Leventis Conference in Hellenic Studies at the University of Edinburgh

The Greek Revolution of 1821: Contexts, Scottish Connections, the Classical Tradition.

Dugald Stewart Monument, Edinburgh

View the programme

Accompanied by an exhibition in the University Library: ‘Edina/Athena: The Greek Revolution and the Athens of the North, 1821–2021’.

The revolution of the Greek-speaking, Orthodox Christian subjects of the Ottoman empire in 1821 was accompanied by declarations of national independence inspired by the recent revolutions in the Americas and France. The Greek Revolution was the first of its kind to be successful on European soil, and led to international recognition for Greece as an independent, sovereign state in 1830. In this way, the story of Greece as a modern nation-state begins, and also a new chapter in the history of our continent, as the era of multi-national empires slowly gave way, over the next two centuries, to an era dominated by the self-determination of nation-states.

This conference, held under the auspices of the A. G. Leventis Visiting Professorship in Greek, and forming part of Edinburgh’s biennial series of international conferences on Hellenic studies, will bring together scholars from many countries and a range of academic disciplines to re-assess the nature and significance of the Greek Revolution from the perspective of the twenty-first century and of a city and a nation that geographically lie at the opposite end of Europe from Greece, and have often been compared; namely Edinburgh (the ‘Athens of the North’) and Scotland.

In keeping with the broad remit of the Leventis series of conferences at Edinburgh, speakers will assess the role of the ancient and Byzantine Greek past in the causes, ideology, and reception of the 1821 revolution. The conference will also highlight Scottish connections to Greece, both ancient and modern, and specifically the Greek past as an inspiration for the Scottish Enlightenment and in the architectural planning of Edinburgh’s ‘New Town’.

Confirmed speakers include Thomas Ahnert (Edinburgh), Iain Gordon Brown (NLS), Richard Clogg (Oxford), Tolga Esmer (CEU Vienna), Ioannis Evrigenis (Tufts), Lucien Frary (Rider University), Alasdair Grant (Edinburgh & Hamburg), Constanze Güthenke (Oxford), Yannis Hamilakis (Brown), Paschalis Kitromilides (Athens), Vassiliki Kolocotroni (Glasgow), Sanja Perović (KCL), Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (St Andrews), Christine Philliou (Berkeley), Gonda Van Steen (KCL), Matteo Zaccarini (Bologna/Edinburgh) and Simon Zenios (UCLA).

The conference will be held in a hybrid format, with a small live audience in Edinburgh and a larger audience online. To ask about in-person attendance, please email the Research Centres and Knowledge Exchange Events Administrator, Ms Elaine Philip.

Conference website here.

Contacts: Prof. Niels Gaul and Prof. Roderick Beaton

Prof. Roderick Beaton, A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek

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. 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 for best book on the Hellenic world. His latest book, an overview of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 2021, is expected to be published in autumn 2021 with the title The Greeks: A Global History.

    He 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.

Saturday 6 November, 11.00

Cavafy Walking Tour

Meeting Point: Queensborough Terrace, Bayswater

Historic Walking Tour of Cavafy’s London

Follow in the footsteps of Cavafy on this London walking tour led by Dr Victoria Solomonidis-Hunter FKC (UCL).

Tour highlights include the Cavafy’s childhood home, the George Cavafy family home, the Aghia Sofia, the former site of the Hellenic College, and the studio of Cavafy’s cousin, Maria Zambaco Cassavetti.

More information available here.

Thursday 4 November, 17.30-18.30

Panel: Classical/Contemporary


Classical/Contemporary: In Conversation with Francesco Vezzoli

How might classical art speak to contemporary concerns? In what ways can present-day perspectives illuminate the Greek and Roman past? And how can new dialogues between artists, art historians and classical archaeologists engage new – more diverse and inclusive – audiences in the twenty-first century?

This online event, organised in partnership with the Fondazione Brescia Musei, addresses these and other themes, in conversation with renowned Italian artist, Francesco Vezzoli.

Speakers: Francesco Vezzoli, Dr Patch Crowley (Cantor Center, Stanford University), Prof Verity Platt (Cornell University), Dr Letizia Ragaglia (Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein), Prof Salvatore Settis (Scuola Normale Superiore), Prof Michael Squire (King’s College London)

Our discussion takes its cue from Vezzoli’s current exhibition, Paloscenici archeologici (‘Archaeological Stages’) at the UNESCO archaeological park at Brescia (June 2021 – January 2022). By bringing together an international panel of art historians, archaeologists and curators, the event will also explore the show’s larger artistic, conceptual and curatorial context: our aim is not only to initiate new dialogues between archaeology and contemporary art, but also to explore the past, present and future of classical traditions. Participants will be invited to put their questions directly to both Francesco Vezzoli and the panel. This online international event forms part of the ‘Modern Classicisms’ project at King’s, and is generously supported by the Jamie Rumble Memorial Fund.

Friday 29 October

2021 Leventis Exhibition

University of Edinburgh Library, George Square, Edinburgh

ONGOING: 2021 Leventis Exhibition: ‘Edina/Athena: The Greek Revolution and the Athens of the North, 1821–2021’

This major exhibition accompanies the tenure of the 12th Leventis Professor and will be on display from 29 October 2021 until 29 January 2022.

The display explores Scottish–Greek connections in the early nineteenth century and plays on the synchronicity of the Greek Revolution and the emergence of the discourse of Edinburgh as the ‘Modern Athens’ and ‘Athens of the North’.

Thursday 28 October, 16.00-17.30

Panel: The Geopolitics of Greece

Hellenic Observatory, LSE


The Geopolitics of Greece: Continuities and Discontinuities

Geopolitics has always been invoked as an explanation for Greek foreign policy and its position in the European and broader international order. This event will examine to what extent the intersection of geography and politics accounts for Greece’s external relations and to what extent it provides a useful link in understanding Greece’s international position in 1821 and the 21st Century.

Speakers: Konstantina Botsiou (Associate Professor and Director of KEDIS, University of the Peloponnese), Erik Goldstein (Professor of International Relations and History, Boston University), George Prevelakis (Professor Emeritus, Sorbonne University; Permanent Representative of Greece at the OECD)

Chair: Spyros Economides (Associate Professor in International Relations and European Politics, LSE)

Register for the Zoom link here.

For more information, see the event website.

Registrations will open on 7 October.

Contact the Hellenic Observatory.

Friday 22 October, 18.00-19.30

The Greek War of Independence in the Visual Arts and Literature


The Greek War of Independence in the Visual Arts and Literature

Episode from the Greek War of Independence (1856) by Eugène Delacroix

This seminar will be a discussion of the representation of independence through art and literature.

More details and Zoom link available here.

Moderator and Chair: Liana Giannakopoulou (Cambridge)

Speaker abstracts and bios:

Aris Sarafianos (University of Ioannina) on ‘Cultural Diplomacy, Local Nationalism and the Birth of a Philhellenic Picture: Thomas Phillips’s “Albanian Portrait of Byron”’

Lord Byron’s first emblematic portraits – Portrait of a Nobleman in the Dress of an Albanian (1814) and Portrait of a Nobleman (1814) and their many copies – remain largely under-researched. These portraits have been painted by the Royal Academy painter Thomas Phillips, whose important yet unusual work in the Romantic portraiture of men of science, medical men, and celebrity writers and poets is largely overlooked, too. The proposed talk aims to place Byron’s portraits in their immediate historical context, highlighting and enriching the disparate set of competing motives, expectations and practices that defined the history of European Philhellenism and, in particular, the Byronic case. It studies the specific conditions of the portraits’ production, public exhibition and critical reception, their visual choices and perpetual reinterpretation by engaged viewers. The following themes encapsulate some of the significant forces present in these portraits that proved decisive for the spread of the attraction of Greece among the contemporary elite: the quest of celebrity status in the cultural market of the time; sensationalism, disguise, notoriety, and the pursuit of perpetual sensory stimulation in the construction of new models of dynamic virility and artistic identity; exotic fantasies and orientalist hybridizations.

    In a happy coincidence, ten years after the appearance of Byron’s portraits, there also appeared an extraordinary yet largely unknown literary portrait of the poet written by the most brilliant essayist and critic of the first half of the nineteenth century, William Hazlitt. In addition to being Byron’s associate, this well-known member of the Cockney School of literature had already been one of the first critics to review Phillips’ portraits of Byron exhibited at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1814. Hazlitt’s bottom-up literary portrait unpicks in a most biting way all the social, political and aesthetic forces that marked Byron’s ‘preposterous liberalism’ and related version of philhellenism. Ultimately, Hazlitt’s essay spots all the conflicting oscillations characteristic of Byron’s philhellenic model: passages across aristocratic forms of distinction and the love of people, class privilege and social equality, politeness and wildness, haughtiness and self-contempt, ennui and freedom that throw a new critical-historical light upon Phillips’ portraits and the history of philhellenism, more broadly.

Dimitris Plantzos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) on ‘Public Statues, National Anniversaries, and the Winters of Our Discontent’

As a typical modern nation-state, Greece has to a great extent based its public imagery on the usual repertoire of bronze and marble effigies representing its founding fathers: late nineteenth- and twentieth-century politicians, some ancient Greeks, and a great number of ‘heroes’ associated with the War of Independence. Inspired by an ongoing effort by the municipality of Tripoli in the Peloponnese to revamp the town’s central square where a bronze statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis was erected in the 1930s, as well as several graffiti attacks against the twin effigies of the same historical figure in Athens and Nafplio in the years of the economic recession and the covid19 pandemic, this paper revisits questions of public space, cultural memory, national heterotopias, and Greek Archaeopolitics.


Dimitris Plantzos is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His academic interests include Greek art and archaeology, archaeological theory, and modern receptions of classical antiquity. His most recent books are The Art of Painting in Ancient Greece (Athens and Atlanta, GA 2018) and The Recent Future: Classical Antiquity as Biopolitical Apparatus (Athens 2016; in Greek). He is currently working on a book on Archaeopolitics, to be published by Sorbonne Université Presses (in French).

Contact: Liana Giannakopoulou (Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of MMLL and Centre for Greek Studies, University of Cambridge)

Wednesday 20 October

Panel: Rethinking 1821

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies


Rethinking 1821: Greek Independence and its Transnational Contexts

A panel of new research on the events of 1821, with a particular emphasis on their transnational and Balkan dimensions. There will be three short papers of around 15-20 minutes, followed by a Q&A session. 

Opening Remarks: Wendy Bracewell (Professor of Southeast European History, UCL-SSEES)

Panelists: Viron Karidis (London), Alex Drace-Francis (University of Amsterdam), Elisavet Papalexopoulou (European University Institute)

For more information and to read abstracts, please see the event website.

Register here.

Contact: Dr. Alex Drace-Francis.

Wednesday 13 October

Niki Marangou Memorial Lecture

Temporary Exhibition Room, Leventis Gallery

Nicosia, Cyprus

Third Annual Niki Marangou Memorial Lecture

Prof Roderick Beaton: ‘Το ’21 και ο ευρωπαϊκός φιλελληνισμός’

Painting by Niki Marangou

Please note this lecture is in Greek.

Read the Abstract

Από τις πρώτες κιόλας μέρες της Επανάστασης, η έκκληση προς τα «πολιτισμένα έθνη της Ευρώπης» εμφανίζεται στις πρώτες προκηρύξεις των επαναστατών. Τόσο ο Αλέξανδρος Υψηλάντης στις παραδουνάβιες ηγεμονίες, όσο και ο Πετρόμπεης Μαυρομιχάλης στην Καλαμάτα, καλούν τους φιλελεύθερους και τους φιλάνθρωπους της Ευρώπης να υποστηρίξουν τον Αγώνα. Οι «φιλέλληνες», όπως αποκαλούνται αμέσως, κατεβαίνουν από όλα τα μέρη της ηπείρου, καθώς και από την μακρινή Αμερική. Πάνω από 1000 άτομα πήραν ενεργό μέρος ως εθελοντές στο πεδίο της μάχης. Άλλοι απογοητεύτηκαν και έφυγαν, άλλοι σκοτώθηκαν ή πέθαναν από αρρώστιες. Οι απώλειες ήταν τρομερές, και τραγικές – όπως γίνεται στην πασίγνωστη περίπτωση του Λόρδου Βύρωνα, ο οποίος πέθανε στο Μεσολόγγι τον Απρίλη του 1824. Είναι ζήτημα τι κατάφεραν οι άνθρωποι αυτοί, αν υπολογίσουμε μόνο το στρατιωτικό αποτέλεσμα της επέμβασής τους. Αλλά, μαζί με πολύ περισσότερους ομοϊδεάτες τους που έμειναν σπίτι αλλά που ενεργούσαν με πλάγιους τρόπους, όπως με χρηματοδοτήσεις, πληροφόρηση μέσα από τις εφημερίδες κλπ., οι φιλέλληνες ως σύνολο εξασφάλισαν την κινητοποίηση των κυβερνήσεων των Μεγάλων Δυνάμεων προς όφελος της Ελλάδας. Αν δεν ήταν οι εθελοντές που πήραν τα άρματα, και αν δεν ήταν οι προπαγανδιστικές ενέργειες των φιλελλήνων σε όλες, σχεδόν, τις χώρες της Ευρώπης, δεν θα γινόταν η ναυμαχία του Ναυαρίνου, ή το Πρωτόκολλο του Λονδίνου, που τελικά εξασφάλισε την πλήρη ανεξαρτησία του νεοσύστατου ελληνικού κράτους στις 3 Φεβρουαρίου 1830.


The year 2021 marks the bicentenary of the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, or War of Independence. As that anniversary year evolves, this talk takes a long view, beginning with the European settlement reached at the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15, known as the ‘Concert of Europe’, and continuing with the disappearance of multi-national empires and their replacement throughout the continent by the nation states that we are familiar with today. International recognition for Greece as a sovereign nation-state, sealed by the Protocol of London in February 1830, according to Professor Beaton’s analysis, represents a pivotal point in this continent-wide transition, and one that has been unjustly overlooked by historians. The talk will focus on those aspects of the Greek Revolution that explain how events in Greece in the 1820s contributed to this far-reaching change, whose consequences are still being played out today as the UK has left the European Union and its constituent nations contemplate separate futures for themselves.

Prof. Roderick Beaton, A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek

Ο Roderick Beaton γεννήθηκε και μεγάλωσε στο Εδιμβούργο της Σκωτίας. Σπούδασε Αγγλική Φιλολογία στο Peterhouse (Πανεπιστήμιο του Cambridge) και στη συνέχεια εκπόνησε διδακτορική διατριβή στο ίδιο πανεπιστήμιο με θέμα το ελληνικό δημοτικό τραγούδι. Από το 1988 ώς το 2018 ήταν καθηγητής στην Έδρα Κοραή Νεοελληνικής και Βυζαντινής Ιστορίας, Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας στο King’s College London, και από το 2012 ώς το 2018 διευθυντής του Κέντρου Ελληνικού Σπουδών στο ίδιο πανεπίστημιο, όπου από το 2018 παραμένει ως ομότιμος καθηγητής. Ανάμεσα στα βιβλία του είναι: Εισαγωγή στη νεότερη ελληνική λογοτεχνία (1996)· Γιώργος Σεφέρης: περιμένοντας τον άγγελο (2003)· Ο πόλεμος του Μπάιρον: ρομαντική εξέγερση, Ελληνική Επανάσταση (2016) και Ελλάδα: Βιογραφία ενός σύγχρονου έθνους (2020). Το 2019 του επέδωσε ο Πρόεδρος της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας το παράσημο του Ταξιάρχη του Τάγματος της Τιμής, «για την εμβληματική συμβολή [του] στην έρευνα της Νεοελληνικής και Βυζαντινής Ιστορίας, Γλώσσας και Λογοτεχνίας». Εκλέχτηκε στη θέση A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Εδιμβούργου για την περίοδο Σεπτέμβρη-Δεκέμβρη 2021. Το επόμενο βιβλίο του, The Greeks: A Global History προβλέπεται να κυκλοφορήσει το φθινόπωρο του 2021.


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. 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 for best book on the Hellenic world. His latest book, an overview of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 2021, is expected to be published in autumn 2021 with the title The Greeks: A Global History.

    He 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.

Contact: or

Saturday 9 October, 19.00

Film Screening

Bush House (N) Auditorium, -1.01, KCL

Film Screening: Queens of Amathus

An award-winning documentary about the women of Cyprus and their journey to Birmingham in the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. To be followed by a discussion with the producer and director, Panikos Panayiotou, led by Dr Marios Psaras, Cultural Counsellor, Cyprus High Commission.

Watch the trailer:

Venue: Bush House, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG (Bush House (N) Auditorium -1.01 and Arcade Café and exhibition area). Please adhere to all necessary health precautions, as required on the King’s Strand campus.

Organised by the Cultural Section of the Cyprus High Commission, London, and the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s.

Thursday 24 June, 16.00-17.30

Panel: Re-Appraising Economic Legacies

Hellenic Observatory, LSE

The Greek War of Independence: Re-Appraising its Economic Legacies

René Puaux, Grèce: Terre Aimée des Dieux (1932): ‘An assemblage of European officers rushing to the aid of Greece in 1822’

How far may the economic problems of the modern Greek state be attributed to the nature of its origins? Its small, albeit enlarging, size; the lack of popular trust in public institutions and authority; the recourse to patrons and to ‘rent-seeking’; and, its own vulnerability to external powers: are these path-dependent features that overwhelm the scope for change?

This panel will discuss the inheritance of 1821 for the course of development taken by modern Greece and how it has structured options and choices. When, and how, has or might such historical determinism be overcome?


Maria Christina Chatziioannou, Director of the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation

Andreas Kakridis, AssistantProfessor of Economic History, Ionian University

Stathis Kalyvas, Gladstone Professor of Government, All Souls College, University of Oxford 

Chair: Joan Roses, Professor in Economic History, LSE

Find out more

Contact the Hellenic Observatory

Thursday 17 June, 19.00

Relaunch of Runciman Award



Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award Ceremony

Read more about the event

Keynote speaker: Prof. Stathis Kalyvas, on the abiding relevance of the Greek Revolution of 1821.

Organised by the Anglo-Hellenic League, which administers the Runciman Award.

For more details, please see the event flyer. More information about the cultural events programme of The Anglo-Hellenic League is available here.

Contact: Dr John Kittmer, Chair of the Anglo-Hellenic League.

A recording of the event is available now on the AHL YouTube channel:

Friday 11 June, 18.00

Echoes of the Greek War of Independence on Stage



The Land of the Great, the Home of the Brave’: Echoes of the Greek War of Independence on Stage

Ali Pasha and Kira Vassiliki by Paul Emil Jacobs

An online presentation by Dr Maria Georgopoulou, Director of the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. The talk focuses on two theatrical plays written by American playwrights Mordecai Noah and John Howard Payne, which were performed in New York and in London in 1822.

The webinar is part of the 1821 Commemorative Lecture Series: The Greek War of Independence Revisited, organised by the Hellenic Centre.

Full details

Dr Maria Georgopoulou’s presentation focuses on two theatrical plays written by American playwrights (Mordecai Noah and John Howard Payne) that were performed in New York and in London in 1822. The protagonist of both plays is Ali Pasha (c. 1740 – 1822), who contributed decisively, if unwittingly, to the struggle of the Greeks for their independence primarily because of the effect he had on Lord Byron. Written immediately after Ali Pasha’s demise in 1822, the plays were performed while the Greek Revolution was still in its early stages. The villain Ali Pasha and the beautiful Greek prisoner who tries to avoid his wrath and harassment in order to mingle with her beloved, offer the necessary elements of savagery, sensuality, exoticism and action for a successful melodrama. Both works transform Ali Pasha’s story to highlight themes to resonate with the intended audiences. Noah transposes Ali Pasha’s action from the city of Ioannina to Athens while the finale of the show is a fantastic allegorical scene of triumph where famous ancient Greeks and modern revolutionaries, including several from the Americas, join the chorus. In the end of Payne’s play, Ali Pasha sets himself on fire in the citadel of Ioannina so that he and his riches do not fall into the hands of the Sultan. The analysis of the characters as well as of the geographical and historical references in the two works, explores the resonance of the events of ’21 in distant America, the perception of exotic stereotypes, and the impact of the struggle for independence on American and English audiences.

Please register in advance of this event here.

Saturday 29 May, 11.00

Historic Walking Tour

Meeting Point: Outside Bayswater Tube Station

Duration: Approx. 1.5 hours

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

Tour of the Bayswater area and St Sophia Church, London residence of Seferis, etc. Contacts: Konstantinos Trimmis and Gonda Van Steen.

Limited to the first 30 people who pre-register (email and who agree to wear their mask unless medically exempt.

Outside St Sophia Cathedral

Friday 28 May, 10.00 (London), 11.00 (Vienna), 12.00 (Athens), 19.00 (Sydney)

The Greek War of Independence in Greek Cinema


Zoom Link

Join the Zoom here (Passcode: 173573)

The Greek War of Independence in Greek Cinema: Themes, forms, representations

This event will be preceded by the announcement of the 2021 Niki Marangou Dissertation Prize.

A roundtable chaired by Dr Lydia Papadimitriou, in conversation with Professors Vrasidas Karalis (Sydney) and Maria Stassinopoulou (Vienna).

Greek cinema has dealt only sporadically with the Revolution of 1821. While emblematic events and leading figures from the period made their first screen appearance in the late 1920s, Revolution-inspired fiction films were made intermittently, mainly in the late 1950s/60s and early 1970s. The roundtable will explore key themes and recurrent forms in the fictionalised representation of the Greek War of Independence in Greek cinema, such as depictions of heroism, the role of women, the regional geographies of Greece, stardom and public memory.

Jenny Karezi as Manto Mavrogenous (Still from Manto Mavrogenous, dir. Kostas Karagiannis, 1971)
Dr Lydia Papadimitriou

Lydia Papadimitriou is Reader in Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University. She has published extensively on both historical and contemporary aspects of Greek cinema, including genre, gender, documentary and film industry-related topics (distribution, co-productions, film festivals). She is the author of The Greek Film Musical (2006), co-editor of Greek Cinema: Texts, Forms and Identities (2011), and the principal editor of the Journal of Greek Media and Culture. She has recently co-edited Contemporary Balkan Cinema: Transnational Exchanges and Global Circuits and a special issue of the JGMC on Greek Screen Industries (2020).

Prof Vrasidas Karalis

Vrasidas Karalis holds the Chair of Sir Nicholas Laurantos in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. He has translated Patrick White’s Voss and The Vivisector. He is the editor of Modern Greek Studies (Australian and New Zealand). His main publications in English include: A History of Greek Cinema (Continuum 2012), Realism in Greek Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2017), Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris (Brandl & Sclesinger, 2007), The Demons of Athens (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2013), Reflections on Presence (re.Press, 2016). He has also edited the collections Cornelios Castoriadis and the Project of Radical Democracy (2013), Martin Heidegger and the Aesthetics of Being (2008), and Power, Justice and Judgement in Hannah Arendt (2012).

Prof Maria Stassinopoulou

Maria A. Stassinopoulou is Professor of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna and President of the Austrian Society of Modern Greek Studies. She has published widely on Greek social and cultural history from the 18th to the 20th century. She is the author of Weltgeschichte im Denken eines griechischen Aufklärers (1992) and co-editor of, among others, Across the Danube: Southeastern Europeans and Their Traveling Identities (2017). Her habilitation thesis Reality Bites (2001) discusses Greek film in the context of Cold War Greece. In her articles on cinema she focusses on the historical context of Greek film production and the narratives of historicity in Greek cinema in the second half of the 20th century.

Organised by the Society for Modern Greek Studies. Contacts: Liana Giannakopoulou (Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of MMLL and Centre for Greek Studies, University of Cambridge) and Lydia Papadimitriou (Reader in Film Studies, Liverpool John Moores University).

Zoom Link

Join the Zoom here (Passcode: 173573)

Thursday 22 April, 18.00

Panel: The Greek Revolution through the Eyes of ‘Others’



The Greek Revolution through the Eyes of its ‘Others’

The Greek War of Independence (1821-1830) was a national revolution that fractured existing patterns of multi-ethnic coexistence and generated instead strong and enduring images as much of the national self as of the new nation’s ‘Others’. This panel takes a closer look at the understudied ways in which some of Greece’s most prominent ‘Others’ have responded to the war and its legacy over the course of the past two centuries. Moving away from Euro- and Graeco-centric perspectives, the panel’s focus will be on early nineteenth-century Albanian warlords, interwar Sephardi Jews, and mid-twentieth-century Turkish historians and their engagement with the Greek Revolution in the context of their own repositioning in the changing Ottoman and post-Ottoman worlds of Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.


Dr Antonis Hadjikiriakou (Panteion University, Athens), ‘Winning at Land, Losing at Sea: The First Turkish History of the Greek Revolution’

The Turkish perception of the Greek Revolution is an understudied subject. Admittedly, there are good reasons for this. The broader pictures reveal a general lack of interest in the subject roughly until the 1990s, when historiographical production gradually developed both quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Secondly, and despite these changes, there is little divergence between the approaches and explanatory schemes proposed during this first century of the Turkish Republic. These perceptions largely revolved around the uncritical reproduction of the official discourse found in Ottoman documents and historical narratives which, analytically, remained engulfed in an ethnocentric epistemological framework. Not necessarily escaping these limitations, one contribution stands out as a notable exception. This was Fevzi Kurtoğlu’s The Greek War of Independence and the Battle of Navarino, published in 1944. The book was the first monograph based on Ottoman sources to be published since 1858. More interestingly, it puts the maritime dimension of the Greek Revolution at centre stage. While this may not be surprising, given that Kurtoğlu was a navy officer who taught at the Naval Academy, a deeper investigation of the political and intellectual climate reveals a much richer context within which this history was produced. This paper situates this book within its broader historiographical framework, presents its key arguments, and discusses the significance of the author’s thalassocentric approach at a time when this was a faux pas in the Kemalist intellectual and military establishment.

Antonis Hadjikyriacou is Teaching Fellow in Ottoman and Turkish History at Panteion University, Athens and Affiliated Scholar at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University. He has held teaching and research positions at Princeton University, Boğaziçi University, SOAS, the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, and the University of Cyprus. He is editor of Islands of the Ottoman Empire (Princeton, 2018) and co-editor of Chasing the Ottoman Early Modern, a special issue of the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 7:1 (2020, with Virginia Aksan and Boğaç Ergene). He has published widely in English, Turkish, and Greek on the social, economic, environmental, and spatial history of Ottoman Cyprus and the Mediterranean world. He has two books forthcoming in Greek: Terrestrial Island: Space, Environment, and Economy in Cyprus during the Age of Revolutions (Thessaloniki: Psifides, 2021) and Winning at Land, Losing at Sea: The First Turkish History of the Greek Revolution (Iraklion, Crete University Press, 2022).

Dr Sukru Ilicak (Research Centre for the Humanities, Athens), ‘The Greek War of Independence as an Albanian Experience’

The Sublime Porte’s crumbling prospects for recruitment during the Greek War of Independence obliged the Ottoman state to resort to the ‘violence market’, whose most important suppliers were first and foremost Albanian magnates-cum-warlords. However, the Sublime Porte made a serious miscalculation by contracting out the quelling of the Greek uprising to an ethnic group which was not external to the issue. Albanian warlords and mercenaries were at the very heart of the matter and were eager to pursue their survival instincts. They followed their own agendas to the utmost of their capabilities and remained quite unresponsive to the Sublime Porte’s demands. In my talk, I will explore what had happened to the Ottoman military and the central role played by Albanians in the Greek War of Independence.

H. Şükrü Ilıcak was born and raised in Ankara. On the trail of rebetiko music, he developed a serious interest in Greece when he was in college. He decided to pursue an academic career and specialize in the so-called Ottoman ‘Three Nations’, namely the Greeks, Armenians and Jews. He continued his studies in Turkey, Greece, and the US. He received his PhD degree from Harvard University in 2011, with a dissertation entitled ‘A Radical Rethinking of Empire: Ottoman State and Society during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1826)’. His dissertation investigates the Greek War of Independence as an Ottoman experience, exploring in particular how Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839) and the central state elite tried to make sense of and reacted to the rapidly changing world around them. Currently he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Crete.

Dr Paris Papamichos Chronakis (Lecturer in Modern Greek History, Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘From ‘Other’ to ‘Brother’: Greek Jews and the Greek Revolution in the Interwar Period’

The Greek War of Independence marked the near-end of the Jewish presence in the revolutionary lands rendering independent Greece a state without Jews. The memory of widespread massacres would nevertheless persist as surviving Jews from Roumeli and the Peloponnese fled to Ottoman lands settling among their co-religionists in all major port-cities of the Eastern Mediterranean including Thessaloniki. Decades later, the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 brought many of these communities within an expanded Greek state and presented their members with the pressing task of recrafting their identity both as Jews and as Greeks. Thus, during the interwar period, Jews—Zionists and assimilationists alike—imaginatively engaged with the legacy and language of the Greek Revolution in a multitude of often contradictory ways by participating in its public celebrations, drawing inspiration from its slogans, and deriving optimism from its success. Such engagements, however, posed questions to Greek Christians themselves regarding the boundaries of the ‘Greek’ nation and the place of Jews within it. Rather than a means of asserting Greek nationalism and homogenizing minorities, the ‘Jewish Greek Revolution’ proved how complex the transition from Jewish ‘other’ to Jewish ‘brother’ could be for Greek Christians and Jews alike.

Paris Papamichos Chronakis is Lecturer in Modern Greek History at Royal Holloway University of London, where he teaches and researches on the history and memory of the modern Mediterranean. His work explores questions of transition from empire to nation-state, bringing together the interrelated histories of Jews, Muslims and Christians from the late Ottoman Empire to the Holocaust. In recent years, his research and publications have expanded to post-imperial urban identities, Balkan War refugees, Salonica in World War I, Greek interwar Zionism and anti-Zionism, the Holocaust of Sephardi Jewry, and digital Holocaust Studies. He was a member of the scientific committee developing the ‘Database of Greek Jewish Holocaust Survivors’ Testimonies’, and he currently serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique Moderne et Contemporain.


Dr Konstantina Zanou (Columbia University)

Konstantina Zanou (PhD, Università di Pisa and ‘European Doctorate’ from the École Normale Supérieure, Paris) is Assistant Professor of Italian at Columbia University, NYC, specializing in Mediterranean Studies. She is a historian of the long nineteenth century in the Mediterranean. Her research focuses on issues of intellectual and literary history, the history of archaeology, nationalism, and biography, with a special emphasis on Italy and Greece. She is also a student of modern diasporas and of the trajectories and ideas of people on the move. Her book Transnational Patriotism in the Mediterranean, 1800-1850: Stammering the Nation (Oxford University Press, 2018) won the 2019 Edmund Keeley Book Prize of the Modern Greek Studies Association, the 2019 Marraro Prize in Italian History, and the 2020 Mediterranean Seminar Best Book Prize. With Maurizio Isabella, Konstantina has co-edited the volume Mediterranean Diasporas: Politics and Ideas in the Long Nineteenth Century (Bloomsbury, 2016) and has published extensively on expatriate intellectuals and national consciousness in the post-Venetian Adriatic. Her new book-project, tentatively titled Fragmented Lives, Reassembled Statues: The Cesnola Brothers and the Birth of Archaeology explores the lives of Piedmontese brothers Luigi and Alessandro Palma di Cesnola (1832-1904 and 1840-1914), to tell a story about the emergence of archaeology at the intersection of nationalism, imperialism, war, adventurism, and financial speculation, and to explore the elusive frontier between the fictive and the authentic in its foundation as a scientific discipline.

Contact: Dr Paris Papamichos Chronakis

Register here

Thursday 11 March, 18.00

Annual Hellenic Lecture

Royal Holloway, University of London


Nineteenth Annual Hellenic Lecture

Prof Gonda Van Steen: ‘The Greek Revolution of 1821 and Its Multiple Legacies’

Read the lecture here: [PDF] [Word]

Since the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the Greek people have celebrated three major anniversaries: the 50th, 100th, and 150th anniversary date of the inception of this revolutionary war that led to sovereign statehood after nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. These three jubilees, each with their own legacies, have come to represent three different ways of celebrating Greek statehood that have, nonetheless, much in common. They posited a linear progression from Greek antiquity through postclassical, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine (Ottoman) times. This lecture will explore in what ways the celebrations and re-enactments, with their commemorative events and symbolic images, acquired a prescriptive character, which advanced their aim to educate youth in state-promoted nationalism, and to what extent the present 200th anniversary celebrations differ from the three aforementioned ones.

The Lecture will take place online via Zoom and will be hosted by Professor Ken Badcock, Senior Vice-Principal (Academic Strategy, Partnerships and Resources) and Chairman of the Hellenic Institute Steering Group at Royal Holloway, University of London

For further information please contact Dr Achilleas Hadjikyriacou at the Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London

Monday 22 February, 18.00-20.00

Panel: 1821: The Migration of Revolutionary Ideas (Pt 2)

Online Event


1821: The Migration of Revolutionary Ideas (Pt 2)

Painting by Ioannis Moralis

The second in a two-part series (see above). Co-hosted with the Hellenic Society.

London Speakers

– Georgios Varouxakis (Queen Mary)

– Athena Leoussi (University of Reading)

– Sanja Perovic (King’s College London)

Prof. Roderick Beaton, A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek

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. 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 for best book on the Hellenic world. His latest book, an overview of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 2021, is expected to be published in autumn 2021 with the title The Greeks: A Global History.

    He 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.

Contacts: Centre for Hellenic Studies, KCL, the Hellenic Society and the British School at Athens

Event Listings: CHS and BSA. Register through the CHS or Hellenic Society.

Monday 15 February, 17.00-19.00 (UK)/19.00-21.00 (Greece)

Panel: 1821: The Migration of Revolutionary Ideas (Pt 1)

British School at Athens

1821: The Migration of Revolutionary Ideas (Pt 1)

Two Panel Discussions chaired by Roderick Beaton, Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature, King’s College London, co-organised with the British School at Athens.

Ideas about making a revolution – ideas that are in themselves revolutionary: these two back-to-back panel discussions, one in Athens, the other in London, will revolve around both concepts, as ways of understanding the outbreak of revolution by Orthodox Christian, Greek-speaking subjects of the Ottoman empire in the spring of 1821, that would lead to the creation of Greece as a modern nation-state in 1830. Speakers will focus on the transmission, or ‘migration’, of such ideas across the European continent in the wake of 1789 Revolution in France and their impact in creating the climate in which a Greek revolution became possible in 1821.

Athens Speakers

– Antonia (Ada) Dialla (Athens School of Fine Arts)

– Efi Gazi (University of the Peloponnese)

– Kostas Tampakis (National Hellenic Research Foundation)

Prof. Roderick Beaton, A.G. Leventis Visiting Professor in Greek

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. 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 for best book on the Hellenic world. His latest book, an overview of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 2021, is expected to be published in autumn 2021 with the title The Greeks: A Global History.

    He 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.

Contacts: Centre for Hellenic Studies, KCL and the British School at Athens

Event Listings: CHS and BSA

Thursday 4 February, 18.00-19.30

Runciman Lecture

Online Event


Thirtieth Annual Runciman Lecture

Prof David Ricks: ‘The Shot Heard round the World: The Greek Revolution in Poetry’

Introduction: Prof Gonda Van Steen

Vote of Thanks: Dr Dionysis Kapsalis

Like the shot fired at Concord, Massachusetts, in 1775, the Greek Revolution was heard around the world, and many poets, Byron and Hugo among them, fired off their own poetry in response. This lecture will turn to Greek poetic responses to ’21 – and not just at the time, but as the noise of old battles has echoed through subsequent decades of Greek experience up to the present day. The focus will be on tensions between the pen and the sword, or rather the pen and the gun, over the years since 1821: the best Greek poets have faced such tensions memorably, and in doing so have made a distinctive contribution to the world’s poetry.

David Ricks is Professor Emeritus of Modern Greek and Comparative Literature, King’s College London, and a Fellow of the College. He studied classics and philosophy at Oxford before coming to King’s to write a doctoral thesis, on what would today be called classical reception, under the supervision of then Koraes Professor Roderick Beaton. The two worked in harness at King’s from 1989 to 2018, supervising 39 doctoral students between them in the fields of modern Greek literature and culture, no few of them now established in the republic of letters. David Ricks co-founded the CHS journal Dialogos (1994-2001) and served for many years on the board of the journal Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, first edited from King’s by Donald Nicol; since 2020, he has been its editor, with Ingela Nilsson (Uppsala). He has published on many facets of poetry in Greek, from Digenes Akrites and Erotokritos in earlier periods to a wide range of poets from the last two centuries. These include such major figures as Solomos and Kalvos from the Revolutionary period, Cavafy and Sikelianos in the twentieth century, and Nasos Vayenas and Michalis Ganas today.

The vote of thanks will be given by Dr Dionysis Kapsalis. Born in Athens in 1952, Dr Kapsalis studied Classics and English Literature at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. (1970-1974). He pursued postgraduate work at King’s College London, in the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (1981-1984). Since 1999, he has been Director of the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece. He has published poems, essays, and various translations of poetry. He has translated Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and others for the Greek stage. He holds an honorary Doctorate from the University of Thessaloniki (2015), and he has been awarded the Greek State Prize for best literary translation for Hamlet (2015) and the Grand Prize for Letters (2017).

The Runciman Lectures are generously sponsored by the late Nicholas and Matti Egon and the Egon family.

Please register in advance via Eventbrite.

Thursday 28 January, 16.00-17.30 (UK)/18.00-19.30 (Greece)

Panel: Power and Impunity

Online Event


Power and Impunity: What Donald Trump and Boris Didn’t Learn from the Ancient Greeks

A podcast of this event has been made available online here.

Are we living in a world marked by a new impunity of power? Political leaders discard established norms and taboos that have guided the behaviour of their predecessors and, in doing so, they win popular support from new areas of society, including the disengaged and excluded.  Across the world, in domestic politics, rhetoric is seemingly preferred over truth; ‘fake news’ over traditional media; and emotion over expertise. How did we get here? Our notions of the good society, of the responsibility that comes with power, and, of course, democracy and its discourse, stem from ancient and classical Greece. Our deepest sense of Western values, embedded in education curricula across our societies, emanates from classical Athens. Is it no longer of use or value? Are we now judging utility and cost differently? If so, how and why are our leaders safe in doing so?


Paul Cartledge (brief statement), A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow, Clare College,  Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge

Mike Cox, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, LSE; Director of LSE IDEAS

Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge and Foreign Secretary of the British Academy

Johanna Hanink, Associate Professor of Classics at Brown University


Paul Kelly, Professor of Political Philosophy, Department of Government, LSE

Contact the Hellenic Observatory. 

Registration available on the event website.

Still Available

21 in 21 Celebratory Kick-Off Event

Online Event

Concert dedicated to Greece: Sir Simon Rattle (London Symphony Orchestra) conducting Leonidas Kavakos, violin:

Berg Violin Concerto
Schubert Symphony No 9, ‘The Great’

In collaboration with the National Bank of Greece and Initiative 1821-2021. For more information see

Still available for free on demand here, but login required. ‘ERT’, the Greek National Radio-Television, will transmit the concert in a global broadcast on Saturday, January 30 at 16.30 (UK)/18.30 (Greece).

Click here to hear Sir Simon Rattle introduce the event and direct the Greek National Anthem.

See Tim Ashley’s review in The Guardian, 22 January 2021: ‘A touch of revolutionary sweetness from Kavakos’.

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