Greek to Me: A Memoir of Academic Life is a tale of academic and political intrigue, spanning Richard Clogg’s time in Greece and in the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at King’s College London, which he will talk about in this public event.
While undertaking postgraduate research on Greek history in Athens in 1966-67, Clogg witnessed the establishment of the first and only military dictatorship to emerge in post-war Europe. This gave rise to an abiding interest not only in the history but in the politics of the country. He was fortunate to be appointed to the first post in a British university created to foster the study of the modern history of Greece, a post held jointly between the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and KCL. While at King’s he came across a large, but largely forgotten, skeleton in the College’s cupboard, namely the furious controversy that followed the appointment in 1919 of the young Arnold Toynbee to the Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature. The availability of the papers of all those involved enabled the writing of a detailed anatomy of the conflict which arose from Toynbee’s exposure of atrocities committed by the Greek forces in Asia Minor during the war of 1919-1922. Toynbee’s growing sympathy for the Turkish nationalists infuriated the rich Anglo-Greeks who had put up the money for the chair and led to his ‘involuntary resignation’. The experience of writing Politics and the Academy. Arnold Toynbee and the Koraes Chair and the reaction to it prompted an interest in the academic study of academic politics. This is reflected in Greek to Me, his academic memoir.
Richard Clogg is an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He was previously Professor of Modern Balkan History at King’s College, London. He has published widely on the modern history and politics of Greece.
Professor Kevin Featherstone is Head of the Hellenic Observatory, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics at the LSE.
Woodson Theatre, New Academic Building