The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton University invites applications for a limited number of Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowships for scholars based in Greece or other overseas countries, who wish to spend time in residence at Princeton, pursuing research projects in the humanities or the social sciences, free of teaching and other obligations. Individuals based in the United States and Canada are not eligible to apply.
We are sad to announce the passing of our member Professor Elizabeth Jeffreys, who died on 12 September 2023. She was Bywater and Sotheby Professor at Oxford University from 1996 to 2006, and a Fellow of Exeter College. She served as an active and conscientious chairman of the Standing Committee on Modern Greek in the Universities (SCOMGIU), the organisation that preceded the creation of the Society for Moden Greek Studies, and she continued to be a member of SMGS until her death. Although most of her research and publications fell within the Byzantine period, Elizabeth had a special interest in late medieval vernacular Greek literature, particularly the verse romances. She edited and translated the Grottaferrata and Escorial versions of Digenis Akritis, and (with M. Papathomopoulos) published the first complete edition of The War of Troy. Her other publications include numerous studies of the vernacular romances, some of them jointly with her husband Michael. Her death is a great loss to both Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies.
The Council of the European Society of Modern Greek Studies (ΕΕΝΣ) has awarded the prize for the best published monograph of 2021, on a Modern Greek subject, to Professor Dimitris Tziovas of the University of Birmingham.
The prize relates to his book Greece from Junta to Crisis: Modernization, transition and diversity (I.B. Tauris) carries with it the sum of 500 euros.
We offer Professor Tziovas our warmest congratulations.
It is with great sadness that we announce thatPeterMackridgepassed away peacefully on 16 June 2022.
Peterwas a beloved teacher, an inspiring supervisor, a brilliant scholar. His research and publications were influential in the field of modern Greek studies and shaped the thought and research of many scholars and students around him. He was one of the founding members and longest-standing members of the Society for Modern Greek Studies. He will be sorely missed. The Society sends its deep condolences to his widow, Jackie.
The following tributes have been received from colleagues:
Peter Mackridge was a leading figure in modern Greek studies in the UK from the 1970s until the very last months of his life. He began his academic career at King’s College London in 1973, and in 1981 went on to the University of Oxford, where he taught several generations of undergraduates and supervised the doctoral theses of many students in modern Greek literature and linguistics, many of whom have gone on to occupy distinguished academic positions in Greece and other countries. Peter was the kindest and most unassuming of men, who wore his great scholarship lightly but never wavered in his insistence on the highest standards in his students and colleagues. His loss is irreplaceable. He will be deeply mourned and always remembered with love and affection by his many friends in the UK, Greece, Cyprus and elsewhere.
The early death of Peter Mackridge is a grave loss for Modern Greek Studies in the UK, but also for the international academic community. He was a founding member of the Modern Greek co-ordinating committee, which in 1981 was baptized as SCOMGIU: the Standing Committee on Modern Greek in the Universities, and succeeded by the Society for Modern Greek Studies, founded in 2008. He was the natural leader who, gently but decisively, steered SCOMGIU through its early years.
Several of the many tributes to Peter’s scholarship which have appeared in the Greek media mention that he “specialized in the period since 1750”– a mere 270 years of literature and culture! This is undoubtedly true, but he also wrote several articles on earlier texts, such as Digenis Akritis, and of course he “specialized” in the history of the Greek language and its dialects from medieval to modern, where he did ground-breaking research. The fact is, he specialized in everything he did, if by that we mean his research was thorough and professional, based on deep knowledge and original thought. His books and articles will remain a point of reference for many decades.
His former research students remember him as the ideal supervisor: helpful, supportive and encouraging, but also firm and demanding. He applied exacting standards to everything he did, as teacher, researcher, translator or editor. But he was also the kindest of people and a true friend to many in numerous countries. An abiding memory is of him and his beloved wife Jackie singing a wide repertoire of Greek songs late into the night, in a Greek restaurant in Norwich, after one of the “Voices from Greece” events organized at the University of East Anglia. He was a committed scholar, but also a genuine human being. Αιωνία του η μνήμη.
Oxford will not be the same without Peter Mackridge. Peter was the heart and soul of our small sub-faculty: lecturer since 1981, professor from 1996 to 2003, and thereafter officially emeritus, but so involved in various projects and so very active that, in his case, the word ‘retirement’ lost its meaning. Before meeting him in person, I had met him on paper: especially the awesome blue book, The Modern Greek Language, made a lasting impression on me because it described the language as it really was. There are few subjects Peter did not write about, but for me Peter was above all a linguist: it’s not just the blue book or the other one on the language question, but also his work on the position of the weak personal pronoun or the infinitive in the Pontic dialect. All these publications are fundamental to the study of Modern Greek. The last few years Peter had turned his attention to Phanariot lexicography: his γλωσσάρια offer precious insights into the Greek spoken and written in Constantinople when it was still Constantinople. Peter was a great scholar and a friend of Greece who dared criticize it on occasion because he loved the country so much. He was particularly fond of Crete, and not just as a regular visitor: together with his wife Jackie, he edited and annotated the draft version of a book on early 20th-c. Crete by R.M. Dawkins, one of my predecessors. Peter was truly memorable and we will all miss him. Ο Θεός ας αναπαύει την ψυχή του.
Peter Mackridge is sadly missed: gratitude of a high order is owed this outstanding scholar and mentor to later generations of scholars, by no means limited to his many doctoral students at Oxford. His deep knowledge of modern Greek culture broadly construed made him the ideal editor for many years of the modern side of the journal Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, and in that role he upheld the scholarly standards of accuracy and originality he himself exemplified. At the same time, Peter was always enthusiastic to learn from his juniors and ever generous in acknowledging his debts to them. Across the whole range of his writings he enjoyed dismantling unhelpful academic myths, and he had the gift of complicating what needed to be complicated and simplifying what needed to be simplified. Even more important, Peter could convey in his teaching, in his translations, and in his keen and undiminished powers of observation a love of the Greek language, of its modern literature, of the lands connected with the Greeks – and of the Greeks themselves. We will all find ourselves needing to consult Peter’s work as often as ever, but we shall miss the living voice – English and Greek – of this kind and forthright friend.
Peter was an exceptional scholar with a wide range of academic interests and immense erudition. Generous with his students, supportive of his colleagues and professional in all his activities, he was also an excellent editor with attention to detail and admirable editorial skills. His untimely death is a great loss for Modern Greek Studies in the UK and worldwide. His ability to cover various aspects of language, literature and culture from the medieval period to the present day was unparalleled and inevitably leads us now to reflect on the connecting strands in his scholarship. One theme, which connects his writings on all three areas, is identity. Apart from his magisterial study on Language and National Identity in Greece 1766-1976 two other articles deserve mention for exploring this subject in literature and culture: ‘The Protean Self of Costas Tahtsis’ and ‘Cultural Difference as National Identity in Modern Greece’. Peter loved Crete and frequently visited the island, following in the footsteps of R. M. Dawkins. On one of his last visits we had dinner with Jackie and Peter in a taverna behind the Historical Museum in Herakleion. It was a pleasant occasion, of which I have fond memories, now inevitably tinged with sadness. We’ll miss Peter’s integrity and humour, but he will always be remembered by the international academic community. Σε αποχαιρετούμε Πέτρο Μακρίδη και θα σε θυμόμαστε πάντα.
The untimely loss of Peter Mackridge for Greek letters is incalculable. He was one of the most robust scholars of the Greek language and Modern Greek literature with a wide range of research interests and a plethora of books, articles, translations and reviews that show how knowledgeable and tireless he was even in the last difficult phase of his life. One can only admire the way he dealt with the incurable disease, continuing with unparalleled mental strength to work tirelessly, remaining stubbornly creative. He spoke with great emotion about the honorary Greek citizenship offered to him by the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic on 23 March 2022, proudly signing as "Πέτρος Μακρίδης".
Among his contributions, Greek: A comprehensive grammar, in collaboration with David Holton and Irene Filippaki-Warburton (Routledge 1997, revised ed. 2012, Greek ed. Patakis 1999), Ταεκμαγείατηςποίησης, a collection of studies on Solomos, Cavafy and Seferis (Estia 2008) and the monograph Language and National Identity in Greece, 1766-1976 (Oxford 2009, Greek ed. Patakis 2013) stand out. His last important work concerned the language of Phanariot and other literary texts of the 18th century, which has been published online in "Anemi", entitled "Glossaries and lexical observations in Phanariot texts 1750-1800".
Also very important are his Introductions to the publications of the novels Eroica and ΣτουΧατζηφράγκου by Kosmas Politis (Ermis 1982, 1988), his significant contribution to the English translations of Solomos (The Free Besieged and other Poems, Nottingham: Shoestring Press, 2000) and Cavafy (C.P. Cavafy, The Collected Poems, Translated by Evangelos Sachperoglou, Introduction and overall editorial supervision by P.M., Oxford: OUP World's Classics 2007), as well as the co-editing, with David Ricks, of the volume The British Council and Anglo-Greek Literary Interactions, 1945-1955 (Routledge 2018).
His extensive production of articles on Modern Greek language and literature begins in 1970 with a paper on The Angel in the well by P. Prevelakis (English publication: Balkan Studies 11 (1970) 305-311, Greek publication: Nea Estia 90 (1971) 1592-1595) and is completed with a paper on Phanariot literature ("Enlightenment or entertainment? The intolerable lightness of Phanariot literature 1750-1800", Revue des Études Sud-Est Européennes LVIII (2020) 119-138). Finally, his translation production is also very rich, with English translations of Papadiamantis, Vizyinos, Prevelakis, Seferis, Alexandrou, Patrikios, Tachtsis, Ioannou and others.
We will miss him dearly for his ethos, his kindness, his passion for Greece. Rest in peace, dear Peter.
The Niki Marangou PhD Dissertation Prize competition has successfully concluded its second round: three submissions were received by the 31 December 2021 deadline. The jury of three (Maria Boletsi, Vassiliki Kolocotroni, and Ioannis Papadogiannakis) reported back by mid-May 2022, and the formal announcement was made at the 27 May 2022 in-person event hosted by the Society for Modern Greek Studies.
Results of the 2021 Niki Marangou PhD Dissertation Prize competition: Vicky Kaisidou (Birmingham) and Martha Papaspiliou (King’s) joint winners; third participant: Eleftherios Kefalas (King’s); all 3 dissertations were on topics of modern Greek literature and criticism:
Vicky Kaisidou: ‘Reading Beyond Trauma: The Intergenerational Narratives of the Greek Civil War and the Ethics of Remembering’
Martha Papaspiliou : “‘Literary” Monuments to National Heroes (1830s-1870s): Literature, Cultural Memory and the Making of Greek National Identity’
Eleftherios Kefalas: ‘Renos Apostolidis’ Critique of Post-War Greece: A Life in Letters (1945–1965)’.
PhD students are encouraged to submit their completed dissertation by the late December deadline, and supervisors are urged to help spread the word. Submissions may cover any field in Modern Greek Studies.
Open to current students at any English uinversity. Closing date: 9 September 2022.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (Prof. Gonda Van Steen) and to email@example.com (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 winners of the Niki Marangou Undergraduate Prize were:
The result of the 2021 competition for the Niki Marangou PhD Dissertation Prize was announced at the beginning of the the Society's event on "The Greek War of Independence in Greek Cinema" (https://21in21.co.uk/events/past-events/), on 28 May 2021. The panel of judges consisted of: Professor Georgia Farinou-Malamatari (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Professor Georgia (Zeta) Gotsi (University of Patras), and Professor David Holton (University of Cambridge). Their unanimous decision was that the Prize should be awarded jointly to:
Dr John Kittmer (King's College London), for his dissertation entitled “Ritsos as Reader: The Poetics of Eclecticism in the Mature Work of Yannis Ritsos”, and
Dr Ioannis Stamos (University of Birmingham), for his dissertation entitled “From Literary Criticism to Propaganda: Intellectuals, Culture, and Politics during the Metaxas Dictatorship (1936-1940)”.
The judges commented as follows on the two theses:
In his doctoral thesis “Ritsos as Reader: The Poetics of Eclecticism in the Mature Work of Yannis Ritsos”, John Kittmer offers an exemplary study of Ritsos’s intertextual poetics, which at once illuminates the central role creative and critical reading played in the construction of his work as well as his self-positioning in relation to other poets. Although Kittmer does not examine Ritsos’s whole oeuvre but chooses to focus on a number of selected compositions, his thesis offers a refreshingly new approach to Ritsos’s work, which re-configures questions of poetic “influence” or “anxiety”. Kittmer deploys the notion of intertextuality and reader-response theory as his main theoretical tools and makes original use of Ritsos’s poetry and novels alongside biographical information, his correspondence, criticism, translations, and occasional interviews.
The thesis examines three modes of reading: the reader-critic, the reader-translator and the reader-poet. It offers illuminating close analyses of specific poems; unearths parallels with other poets, in particular Whitman and Cavafy and their imaging/viewing of the human body; explains the mechanics of Ritsos’s translation tactics, and traces through a multiplicity of materials the evolution of Ritsos’s relationship to the Left and the limits of its doctrines across a very long period of time, from the mid-forties to the poet's death. Overall, the thesis offers a new understanding of Ritsos’s poetry as the outcome of an intense and ongoing exchange with other poets. It could lead to independent studies exploring further the three aspects of Ritsos’s reading practice presented here.
In his doctoral thesis “From Literary Criticism to Propaganda: Intellectuals, Culture, and Politics during the Metaxas Dictatorship (1936-1940)”, Ioannis Stamos examines the ways in which “cultural operators” (critics and literati) who wrote for four periodicals published during the period of the Metaxas dictatorship – Pnevmatiki Zoi, Nea Politiki, To Neon Kratos and I Neolea – engaged with the discourse and political objectives of the Fourth-of-August Dictatorship.
The thesis is divided into four parts, which explore central themes of these writers’ contributions, mainly literary criticism, essays, and reviews: “The Past” (its uses and historical representation), “The Nation” (essence, culture, land, language and organicism), “Authority and Hierarchy” (matters of order, elites and charismatic leadership), and “The Future” (the Third Hellenic Civilization and “the Youth”). These topics are ingeniously handled as a whole and examined in the context of the cultural politics of Fascist and Nazi regimes, which not only exerted control over the artistic field but also conducted politics as a form of art.
The nuanced readings of the primary sources, in combination with the biographical sketches of well- and lesser-known intellectuals who contributed to these periodicals (in the Appendix), shed light on the political antecedents and the post-1941 position of the Fourth-of -August-Dictatorship and its supporters. Overall, this is an enterprising thesis which explores complex issues showing facile assumptions to be partial or misleading and offers its readers a comprehensive account of this important period of Greek history as well as of the ideological shifts that followed the German invasion. The whole thesis, suitably edited, could in due course become a book.
The Society for Modern Greek Studies is pleased to announce the 2022 Niki Marangou PhD Dissertation Prize for the best dissertationcompleted in Modern Greek Studies in the UK.
This new prize, now in its second round, recognises the lasting contributions of Niki Marangou, a Cypriot poet, novelist, and painter, to Greek letters and the arts. The prize is awarded annually by the Society for an outstanding PhD dissertation in Modern Greek Studies that must be defended and formally submitted by the year-end deadline, 31 December 2021.