Society Events

Diaspora and Rebetiko Music

Co-organised with Konstantinos Trimmis and the Society for Modern Greek Studies.

Join us for an evening dedicated to exploring the songs and music of the Greek diasporic world with the Rebetiko Carnival ensemble. The Rebetiko Carnival musicians are a group brought together by the Rebetiko Carnival festival, representing some of the UK’s most beloved Greek bands. For this evening’s performance, they bring together musicians from Plastikes Karekles, Amalgama, and the Icons of Greek Music project. They have performed at festivals in Greece, France, Italy, Scotland, Wales and Qatar. In the UK they have performed at the Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, St David’s Hall as part of the Proms, as well as more at intimate venues such as the Green Note, Vortex and the Forge, London.

13 November, 7-9.30pm

Great Hall, KCL Strand Campus

Register here

SMGS Graduate Research Colloquium 2023: programme

The programme for the SMGS Graduate Colloquium 2023 is out now! The Society for Modern Greek Studies is holding this year's Graduate Colloquium at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, Oxford University, on 17 June 2023. Register your attendance through the link you will find on the programme. We look forward to seeing you there!

SMGS Graduate Research Colloquium 2023: Call for papers

The Society for Modern Greek Studies calls on graduate students (research or taught) from universities in the UK and abroad to participate in its annual Graduate Research Colloquium, which this year will take place in Oxford on Saturday 17 June.

Full details can be found  in the attached document.

Proposals, including an abstract of 200 words maximum as well as a brief biographical note, should be emailed to Trisevgeni Bilia at no later than Saturday 15 April 2023.


Society AGM, Prize-giving and Lecture

The Society for Modern Greek Studies invites you to attend

 the Annual General Meeting (members only), prize-giving, and lecture,

to be held on Friday, 27 May 2022, 6:30pm (AGM), 7:30pm (prize-giving and lecture),

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

Schedule of Events:

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

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

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

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

8:45pm: Wine reception

Graduate Research Colloquium 2020

The postponed Graduate Research Colloquium 2020 will take place, online, on December 12.

To attend: 

Meeting ID: 912 7760 8246

Passcode: 998125


Please find below and attached the final programme. Prior registration is required. To register please follow the link to the event: The Zoom link for attending will be circulated closer to the time, only to those who register. For further information please contact the organiser, Claudio Russello, SMGS student representative on

2020 Annual General Meeting and Public Lecture

We are happy to announce that this year's AGM and Public Lecture, postponed in June, will now take place on December 10, 2020 on Zoom.

The AGM will be followed as is customery by the public lecture, this year delivered by David Ricks, Professor Emeritus of Modern Greek and Comparative Literature at King's College London.

Details of the arrangements for the day:

AGM: 6 pm open to Society members only.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 919 3755 4646
Passcode: 813428

Public Lecture: 7 pm open to all, please spread the word.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 950 2102 3092
Passcode: 733121

‘Literature is news that STAYS news’: a backward glance at poems of 1920


The year 2020 hasn’t exactly been short of news, but Ezra Pound’s celebrated rallying-cry provides an antidote, if not a vaccine. On the eve of a wide-ranging set of events to mark the Greek Revolution of 1821, this lecture turns the clock back just one hundred years to revaluate some Greek poems which date (on one definition or another) to 1920. The poets in question represent minor poets who live through anthologies; better known poets some of whose best poems are neglected; influential poets whose signature poems always deserve another look. All poems will be translated.

David Ricks is Professor Emeritus of Modern Greek and Comparative Literature at King’s College London and (with Ingela Nilsson) Editor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. He has written on many Greek poets of the twentieth century.

Greek Poets in Translation: Ganas and Ritsos

Greek Poets in Translation: Ganas and Ritsos

13 January 2020, 18:00 to 20:00

King's College

Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS


organised in collaboration with the Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London.


Joshua Barley

Joshua Barley read Classics at Oxford and Modern Greek at King’s College, London. He lives in Athens, where he works as a translator and writer. His articles on Greek subjects have appeared in The White Review and other journals, and he is co-editor of the online journal Pericles at Play. He has translated Ilias Venezis’ Serenity and Makis Tsitas’ God is my Witness for Aiora Press. His translations of Michalis Ganas (with David Connolly) are published by Yale University Press as A Greek Ballad.

My talk will look at the process of translating the poetry of Michalis Ganas. Taking individual poems as a starting point, I will consider the particular challenges presented by Ganas’ intricate and often formally complex poetry. The discussion of specific poems will necessarily lead to a broader consideration of the translation of traditional Greek metre and form, particularly of the folk song, to which Ganas is deeply indebted. I will look at various approaches (from theoretical, historical and practical points of view) to these issues and give an account of my own imperfect solutions. There will also be discussion on the practical relationship of poet to translator (particularly in the case of a non-English-speaking poet) as well as translator to co-translator, all grounded in first-hand experience from the translation of the recently-published collection A Greek Ballad (YUP) – the first book-length publication of Ganas in English.

John Kittmer

John Kittmer read Classics at Cambridge and Oxford, and has recently been awarded a PhD in modern Greek literature at King’s College London, for his thesis on the poet Yannis Ritsos. He is now working on a translation of Ritsos’ verse memoir, The Monstrous Masterpiece, and preparing an edition of Ritsos’ translation of songs by Bertolt Brecht. He is chair of trustees for The Anglo-Hellenic League and the Gilbert Murray Trust, and is a member of the Management Committee of the Centre for Hellenic Studies.

In my talk, I will introduce and examine the work of Nikos Stangos, who published two books of his translations of the poetry of Yannis Ritsos in the early 1970s. I will consider the working relationship between Stangos and Ritsos, as it appears from their unpublished correspondence, and examine the translations themselves, looking at principles of selection and practices of translation. Since neither Ritsos nor Stangos was a native English speaker, I will consider the particular challenges posed by translation from one’s native tongue into a language that is not one’s own. And I will do a reading of some of the translations.




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