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CENTRE FOR GREEK DIASPORA STUDIES

The Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies (CGDS) has been set up within the Hellenic Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first academic centre of its kind in the United Kingdom.

The foundation of the CGDS represents the fulfilment of a long-term aim of the Hellenic Institute. The initiative was first proposed by Professor Richard Clogg on 14 March 2013, at the end of the Twelfth Annual Hellenic Lecture, “Xeniteia: the Greek Diaspora in Modern Times.” Two years later, on 17 March 2015, the establishment of the CGDS was formally announced by Dr Charalambos Dendrinos following the Fourteenth Annual Hellenic Lecture, "From Greeks Abroad to the Greek Diaspora: Hellenism in a Changing World," delivered by Professor George Prevelakis.

The CGDS is directed by Dr George Vassiadis and guided by an Advisory Board of internationally recognised scholars including Professor Richard Clogg (Emeritus Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford), Professor Olga Katsiardi-Hering (University of Athens), and Professor George Prevelakis (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Activities

The CGDS aims at creating an active network of international scholars and students interested in all aspects of the Greek Diaspora, focussing on the modern period. The involvement of members of the general public in the UK and abroad will be encouraged as well. The Centre will examine the history and contribution of Greek migrants to their host communities and countries, and promote interdisciplinary cooperation through the sharing of ideas and information, and the coordination of collaborative research projects. Since the establishment of the Hellenic Institute, a particular area of interest has been the history of the Greek Community in London, and the CGDS will continue to encourage research into this promising subject.

Associate members of the CGDS include postgraduate students and staff from History and other Royal Holloway departments who are working in related fields. Students and scholars from other universities and institutions worldwide are warmly invited to participate in the Centre’s activities.

The CGDS welcomes support from members of the public, and private, public and corporate funding bodies.

All inquiries concerning the CGDS should be directed to Dr George Vassiadis.

The first CGDS conference in London

CGDS-bannerThis two day conference was the first time researchers studying the history of the Greek and Cypriot communities in the United Kingdom came together and presented their work. Papers covered a broad range of topics related to social, cultural, commercial and political history and diaspora studies. The conference took place on Friday 14 October and Saturday 15 October 2016 at the Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London W1U 5AS, United Kingdom. Over 150 students, scholars, officials and members of the general public attended the event.

Co-organised by the Hellenic Institute / Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London, the Cyprus High Commission, Cultural Section, and the Embassy of Greece, with the support of the Hellenic Centre and under the auspices of the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus, Euripides L. Evriviades, and the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras.

To download abstracts of the papers, please click here.

Past Events

Fifteenth Annual Hellenic Lecture: The Gennadius Library in Athens: The Vision of a Greek of the Diaspora, Dr Maria Georgopoulou, Director, The Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens. In 1926 John Gennadius, a retired Greek diplomat in London, offered his 30,000-volume library to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for the use of “the scholars of all nations” following the example of earlier benefactors from the Greek diaspora. The guiding principle of his collecting was to illuminate the history of the Greek “genius” through the ages. Dr Georgopoulou's lecture assessed the significance of the Gennadius Library for the development of post-antique Hellenic studies over the past ninety years and the possibilities and challenges that lie ahead. The Fifteenth Annual Hellenic Lecture took place at Royal Holloway, University of London, on 22 March 2016.

Greeks and Others in the Centre: the London Launch of Discovering Downtown Cairo: Architecture...and Stories (Berlin: Jovis, 2015). Downtown Cairo is a unique, living treasure house of nineteenth and twentieth century residential and commercial architecture. Until the 1950s, it was home to a flourishing Greek community numbering many thousands. Most Cairene Greeks lived downtown, close to their shops, offices, restaurants, schools, churches and clubs. Some Greek-Egyptians still live and work there today. At the London launch of their book, Dr Vittoria Capresi and Barbara Pampe spoke about "The Making of Discovering Downtown Cairo: Architecture ...and Stories", Dr Alexander Kazamias (Coventry University) responded with thoughts on "'A Piece of Europe'? Reflections on Khedivial Cairo after the Opening of the New Suez Canal", and Dr George Vassiadis (RHUL) provided an introduction entitled "Greeks and Others in Downtown Cairo from Khedive Ismail to the Arab Spring". This event, organised in cooperation with the Society of Modern Greek Studies and Baladilab, was held at The Hellenic Centre in London on 29 October 2015.

Making Space for Diasporas and the Sacred. The first CGDS event, a postgraduate workshop organised in cooperation with HARC and the Royal Holloway Geography Department, took place at Royal Holloway on 29 May 2015.

Regina Chapter Order of Ahepa banquet 1931 photograph