Gonda Van Steen is the first woman to hold the historic position of Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature in the Centre for Hellenic Studies and Department of Classics at King’s College London. She has published five books, all steeped in thorough archival research and enhanced by personal testimonies. Her latest book is a study of the organized mass adoptions of Greek children to the USA and to Western Europe in the first twenty years following the end of the Greek Civil War—a byproduct of the Cold War, when Greek agency was at a historic low. This mass adoption phenomenon, which involved some 4,000 children, has been contested, denied, grossly exaggerated, but now also carefully documented. This Greek and international adoption movement is one of the last social and family taboos that need to be broken, and Van Steen is committed to do her part to make this happen.
Chronology of Education
1992-1995, Ph.D., Classics and Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
1990-1992, M.A., Classics and Hellenic Studies, Princeton University
1984-1986, M.A., Classical Philology and National Teaching Certificate in Classics, Ghent University, Belgium
1982-1984, B.A., Classical Philology, Ghent University
Ph.D. dissertation: “Aristophanes in Modern Greece: From Textual Reception to Performance Dialectics.”
Profs. R. Martin, J. Ober, and D. Gondicas, directors
Undergraduate thesis: “The Rhetorical Tradition of Ekphrasis in Greek Literature of the Hellenistic through
Byzantine Period: The Descriptive Epigrams of the Anthologia Graeca.” Prof. H. Van Looy, director
Chronology of Employment
– 2018 – present, Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature, Dept. of Classics,
King’s College London (King’s Classics was the top-rated Classics department nationwide in the REF 2021)
Director, Centre for Hellenic Studies, KCL
– 2012-2018, Andronicos Nicholas Cassas Chair in Greek Studies and Full Professor, Dept. of Classics and
Center for Greek Studies, University of Florida
UF Research Foundation Professor, 2016-2018
Affiliate Professor with the Center for European Studies, University of Florida
– 2009-2012, Andronicos Nicholas Cassas Chair in Greek Studies and Associate Professor, Dept. of Classics and
Center for Greek Studies, University of Florida
Affiliate Associate Professor with the Center for European Studies, University of Florida
– 2002-2009, Associate Professor, Dept. of Classics, and director Modern Greek Program, UA
Director Ancient Greek Program since 2005
- 1997-2002, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Classics, and director Modern Greek Program, UA
Main Undergraduate Advisor of the UA Modern Greek Program since 1997
– 1997 summer, faculty member in residence, Deep Springs College
– 1995-97, James Hutton Assistant Professor, Dept. of Classics, Cornell University
Book Publications (list of numerous articles, chapters, and encyclopedia entries available on request)
Scholarly edition in progress: The Battle for Bodies, Hearts, and Minds in Postwar Greece: Social Worker Charles Schermerhorn in Thessaloniki, 1946-1951. Annotated edition of a postwar and Civil War memoir written by an American social worker who was active in relief services mainly in northern Greece. Contracted 7 December 2021 with Routledge Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London. Edition of 150,000-word manuscript with introduction, explanatory notes, historic photographs, and maps. Expected winter 2023-24
Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece: Kid pro quo? (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2019).
330 pp. Paperback edition issued 12 July 2021
Greek translation Ζητούνται παιδιά από την Ελλάδα: Υιοθεσίες στην Αμερική του Ψυχρού Πολέμου (translator Ariadni Loukakou),
Nov. 2021 (Athens: Potamos), 518 pp., 2nd edition Feb. 2023:
Winner of the 2019 Book Prize of the European Society of Modern Greek Studies
Shortlisted for the 2022 Edmund Keeley Book Prize of the Modern Greek Studies Association
Shortlisted for the 2021 Runciman Award
Stage of Emergency: Theater and Public Performance under the Greek Military Dictatorship of 1967-1974.
Classical Presences series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 376 pp.
Theatre of the Condemned: Classical Tragedy on Greek Prison Islands. Classical Presences series (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2011). 354 pp.
Liberating Hellenism from the Ottoman Empire: Comte de Marcellus and the Last of the Classics (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010). 251 pp.
Shortlisted for the 2011 Runciman Award
Venom in Verse: Aristophanes in Modern Greece (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2000). 284 pp.
Book prize: 2000 John D. Criticos Prize from the London Hellenic Society
Cover review by Peter Green, “Aristophanes Resurrected,” The Times Literary Supplement, 28 April 2000
Editorship (most recent only)
Edited volume in progress: Ending the Greater War: Greece, Turkey and the Reconfiguration of International Order in the 1920s.
Alternative title: The War for Anatolia and the Unmaking of International Order: Greece, Turkey and the End of WWI.
Co-edited with Georgios Giannakopoulos and Joseph A. Maiolo.
Contracted March 2023 with Bloomsbury. Expected winter 2024-25
Co-editor (with James Faubion and Eugenia Georges from the Department of Anthropology at Rice University) of “Greece
Is Burning” for Hot Spots, the online forum of the journal Cultural Anthropology (April 2016: co-authored introduction,
co-edited contributors from 10 specialists in the field) http://culanth.org/fieldsights/865-greece-is-burning