The Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award 2022

The annual Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award was established by the Anglo-Hellenic League in memory of the late Mrs Katie Lentakis, and was first awarded in 2002. Katie Lentakis (1920-2000) was a devoted member of the Anglo-Greek community of London for many years and Vice-Chair of the Anglo-Hellenic League, who loved music and art – and had helped British soldiers to escape in Greece during World War II.

The Award is made to a final-year undergraduate studying in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at King’s College London who submits an essay of 7,000-10,000 words on a topic related to any field of Hellenic Studies. The deadline is 6 May 2022. Participants are requested to send a full pdf copy of their essay to classics@kcl.ac.uk and cc gonda.van_steen@kcl.ac.uk.

A committee of experts established by the Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Chair of the Anglo-Hellenic League will choose the recipient of the Award.

The Award, which may be divided between more than one winner, will be of the value of £500.

The result will announced and the award presented by the Chair of the Anglo-Hellenic League, Dr. John Kittmer, on Monday, 27 June 2022, in the Council Room of the King’s building, at 18.00. For further information: classics@kcl.ac.uk

Announcement: Niki Marangou Translation Prize 2022

Call for Submissions: The 2022 Niki Marangou Translation Prize

Niki Marangou

The Niki Marangou Prize was first established in 2016 to honour the memory of the inspirational Cypriot poet, novelist and painter Niki Marangou, who died in 2013. From 2019 onwards, the prize has been awarded annually for a literary translation from Modern Greek into English of one poem and one prose extract from the work of Niki Marangou.

The value of the Niki Marangou Translation Prize is £500. Participants select two full pages from any of the published works by Niki Marangou to translate, whether from her poetry collections or from her prose works. Participants also add a cover letter in which they place the chosen work in context (1 page). Entries must be submitted electronically, as a single pdf scan (original Greek text + translation + 1p. cover letter), by the deadline of 16:00 on 9 September 2022, by emailing them to gonda.van_steen@kcl.ac.uk (Prof. Gonda Van Steen) and to ag585@cam.ac.uk (Dr Liana Giannakopoulou). The competition is open to all BA, MA or PhD students currently enrolled in any England-based university. All entries will be judged by a panel of three members of the teaching staff in Modern Greek Studies. The panel will normally include and be chaired by the Koraes Professor at King’s College London. Winning entries may be published on the Niki Marangou website.

The award will be announced on 28 October 2022, at the fourth Niki Marangou Annual Memorial Lecture, co-organised with King’s Centre for Hellenic Studies. This fourth Niki Marangou Lecture will be held in London, and the featured speaker will be the former diplomat and King’s alumna, Dr Catherine Boura.

Niki Marangou (1948-2013) was born in Limassol, Cyprus, but part of her family hailed from Famagusta. She was an acclaimed writer and painter. She studied sociology in West Berlin from 1965 to 1970. After graduating, she worked as a dramaturge at the State Theatre of Cyprus. Marangou published books of prose, poetry, and children’s fairy tales, and she held seven exhibitions of her work in painting. She won numerous prizes, including the 1998 C.P. Cavafy Prize for Poetry and the 2006 Athens Academy Poetry Award for her collection Divan. She was a member of the Hellenic Authors Society and the Cyprus Writers Association. From 1980 to 2007, she was the director of the Kochlias Bookshop in Nicosia. Marangou died in a car accident in Egypt in 2013.

Previous Niki Marangou Prize Winners were:

2021 Elpiniki Meimaroglou

2020 Nicholas Kabanas

2019 Petros Nicolaou

2018 Eleonora Colli

Previous winner of the Niki Marangou Undergraduate Prize were:

2017 Felicity Beech

2016 Konstantinos Lygouris

For more information in context, see the CHS website (tabs ‘Awards’ and ‘Activity’). See also our Events page.

Rumble Fund Lecture Examines Greek Portrayal in 50s and 60s Pop-culture

The 2022 Rumble Fund Lecture in Classical Art was delivered by Professor Dimitris Plantzos from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, with the title Acropolis Adieu: Popular Images of Greece in the 1950s and ’60s. The Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s and Department of Classics is delighted to share a recording of the lecture here.

The Rumble Lectures have been held every year since 2014, and Professor Plantzos’ lecture – a collaboration between the Centre for Hellenic Studies and Department of Classics and the Courtauld Institute and Institute of Classical Studies – was delivered to a large audience in Great Hall at King’s on 16 March 2022.

Plantzos’ lecture revisited a selection of international pop-culture products from the 1950s and the 1960s (including songs, movies and novels), in order to examine ways in which Greece and ‘Greekness’ were imagined and portrayed. Broadcasting images of an exoticised – and quite often Orientalised – 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 but also 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.

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.

More information about the Rumble Fund in the Department of Classics at King’s College London can be found here.

Watch the recording of the lecture here

Mariupol and King’s College London

By Professor Charlotte Roueché, Professor Emerita, CHS

Greek communities have flourished on the northern shore of the Black Sea for more than two millennia. King’s academics have been actively involved in studying and publishing the history of the ancient and medieval settlements: see the Ancient Inscriptions of the Northern Black Sea project.

In the later 18th century, Catherine the Great invited Greeks from the Crimea to help bring civic life to the newly conquered territories to the north of the Sea of Azov; their main centre was the new city of Μαριόπολις, City of the Virgin Mary, Mariupol, founded in 1778. During the 19th century the region became increasingly industrialised, not least thanks to the initiatives of a Welsh mine owner, John Hughes, who founded the settlement which is now Donetsk. Mariupol grew as the principal port for the industry; it is also the site of important steel works which have been the main source of the city’s prosperity. But they are old Soviet installations, and Mariupol claims the worst pollution in Ukraine. The city is on the Sea of Azov, which is shallow and very polluted. City and industry have been trying to work out how to improve the environment without wrecking the economy.

The whole region saw immigration from many countries and ethnic groups. The Mariupol Greeks, the oldest group, retained their sense of identity, and also, with some difficulty, their language. This goal was given new support in 1991 by the foundation of Mariupol State University (MSU). The Faculty of Greek Philology, specializing in modern Greek language and literature, is one of relatively few departments of Modern Greek outside Greece and Cyprus, of which King’s is one of the oldest. The development of the Faculty was encouraged by the A. G. Leventis Foundation, which donated the important Dino Leventis Library of Greek literature. The University was also responding to the needs of the local community in building expertise in environmental studies. In 2006 the Leventis Foundation funded an international conference at the University on environmental regulation, and in 2008 they made a gift to the university to support environmental education. Among other resources, they donated video-conferencing equipment in order to foster international relationships.


In 2011 MSU held a conference to celebrate their 20th anniversary. With the support of the Leventis Foundation, King’s College London was represented by Professor Keith Hoggart, Vice Principal for International Relations, and Professor Charlotte Roueché, Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies. They were received with great generosity and enthusiasm for collaboration, both from the University and also from the mayor. They signed an initial agreement to collaborate further. On returning to the UK, they started to prepare proposals to collaborate in Modern Greek Studies and also in environmental pollution studies — strong areas at King’s.

Further progress was stalled by financial problems in the UK, and by the increasingly difficult political situation in Ukraine. Hoggart and Roueché both retired, and the potential collaboration lay dormant. In 2011 Mariupol was not a name recognised throughout the world. It is to be hoped that, when the city and community come to be rebuilt, King’s can find ways to contribute to the academic and intellectual restoration of Mariupol and its University.

The Greeks – A Global History

Prof. Roderick Beaton (KCL) discusses his latest book with Prof. John Bennet (Director, BSA), Prof. Paul Cartledge (University of Cambridge), Bruce Clark (Author, Journalist and Lecturer), and Prof. Peter Frankopan (University of Oxford), hosted by the British School at Athens.

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.

The Greeks: A Global History was published in November 2021 by Basic Books, New York, and Faber, London. The paperback edition has an anticipated release date 2 June 2022.

Roderick Beaton Wins the Runciman Award 2021 with ‘Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation’

The winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 is Roderick Beaton for Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation (London: Allen Lane 2019). In winning the Runciman Award for a fourth time, Prof. Beaton has set a new record of achievement. Announcing the result of this year’s competition, Prof. Peter Frankopan, the chair of judges, said:

We were lucky enough to read some breath-takingly good books this year – including many that are both brave and ambitious, including re-tellings of stories that are well-known and investigations of real originality about topics rarely, if ever, looked at. Roddy Beaton’s book is a combination of all these qualities. It is not easy to write broad history for wide readership, and to do so well takes real skill. Covering recent centuries of Greece’s history requires courage too, as many have strong opinions about what should be written about – and how. What makes Beaton’s book stand out above all, however, is that just as Sir Steven Runciman’s books opened doors through which new generations of readers and scholars have since walked, so too will Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation. As a jury, we felt that this wonderful book captured the spirit of the Runciman Award perfectly.

John Kittmer, chair of the Council of The Anglo-Hellenic League, said:

On behalf of the League I warmly congratulate Roddy Beaton for winning this year’s Runciman Award. In its 35-year history Roddy is the only person to have won the award four times: a tremendous achievement. In relaunching the award under new sponsors in this year of the bicentenary of the Greek revolution, we are delighted that the judges have chosen to acknowledge the timely relevance of this great book.

The announcement of the winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 was made on Thursday 17 June, 7pm at an event held (because of Covid-19 restrictions) by Zoom webinar. Prof. Stathis Kalyvas (University of Oxford) gave the keynote address on ‘Why the Greek Revolution still matters today’. Peter Frankopan surveyed the field of longlisted and shortlisted books on behalf of the panel of judges. The event closed with an acceptance speech by the winner. 

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

The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award is sponsored by the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

PART 2: The BBC Greek Service at Bush House

Watch our second interview session on the topic of the BBC Greek Service, which was situated in Bush House on the Strand from 1939 through 2005. This interview, too, is hosted by Koraes Professor Gonda Van Steen, in conversation with Dr Fiona Antonelaki, Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University’s Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, who focuses on the modernist literary cultures of the BBC Greek Service. Next, Dr Foteini Dimirouli (University of Oxford), an expert on Anglo-Greek cultural and literary relations, approaches the productions of the BBC Greek Service from that scholarly perspective. Lastly, Dr Anna-Maria Sichani, who devoted her doctoral work to literary productions of the BBC Greek Service, introduces us to Greek modernists at the BCC. She is currently a research fellow on the AHRC-funded project ‘Connected Histories of the BBC’ (U of Sussex). All three speakers take turns to delve deeply into the archives and the stunning photographic materials related to the Greek Service. Enjoy!

INTERVIEW: Prof Dimitris Papanikolaou on the BBC Greek Service at Bush House

Watch an interview with Professor Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford) on the topic of the BBC Greek Service (1939-2005), which was situated in Bush House on the Strand. A second interview, again hosted by Koraes Professor Gonda Van Steen, will feature the work of a research team that will be delving into the archives of the BBC Greek Service.

International History Now: The Greek Revolution

Contributed by Dr George Giannakopoulos, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London. George is also the author of this essay published in Jacobin Magazine on 25 March 2021.

Take a look at this recent episode in the podcast series ‘International History Now’, which I produce with my LSE-based colleague Dr. Dina Gusejnova. In this episode we discuss key aspects of the Greek Revolution with Profs. Mark Mazower, Katherine E. Fleming, and Effi Gazi.

The day of 25 March 1821 is celebrated annually in Greece as Greek Independence Day, a day that marks the birth of what some have seen as the first nation-state in Europe after post-revolutionary France. A series of localised revolts against Ottoman rule gave rise to a broad revolutionary wave that swept parts of the country. By the end of the 1820s, interventions by different European powers and the rise of philhellenic sentiment secured the state’s autonomous existence from the Ottomans. This development came at the price of greater dependence upon the so-called Great Powers: Britain, France, and Russia. As Greece celebrates the bicentennial of the events of 1821, we examine the dimensions of Greek dependence and independence from different angles. Was the war of independence a stand-alone event or part of a transnational process of revolutionary activity? How did the heterogeneous populations (Jews, Muslims) within what became the Greek nation-state experience the revolution and its aftermath? What kinds of sovereignty did Greece gain and how did its place in the world change over time? Finally, how is the revolution remembered in Greece today?

With:

Mark Mazower, Ira D Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University and founding director of the new Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination

Katherine E. Fleming, Provost of New York University, Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at NYU

Effi Gazi, Professor of History at the University of the Peloponnese and a member of the editorial board of the journal Historein Music by Κυριάκος Τζωρτζινάκης, 4 Δημοτικές Εικόνες – Του βουνού (Four folk Images: Of the Mountain) (1975), recording by Andreas Vlachos (2021).