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King’s College department threatened with closure
By: Nick Nicholas | Post date: 2010-02-21 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Admin
Someone of you will have already seen this posted on other blogs. The Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies is being threatened with closure, as part of the restructuring planned for much of the School of Arts & Humanities (which will also do away with palaeography and computational linguistics). (For other coverage, see e.g. the History News Network, with extensive background, the Medieval News, A Don’s Life, Language Log, and elsewhere.) For BMGS, the likely outcome is a merger into Classics—and winding down Byzantine & Modern Greek as distinct course offerings.
An online petition to save King’s BMGS has been set up. As the HNN post points out, snail mail letters count for more:
Professor Rick Trainor,
London WC2R 2LS
Do read the background documents if you will write in—the HNN posting in particular.
The commentary continues, I posted a bit soon (just call me a thoughtless stenographer):
π2: "The plans for the Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies are proceeding more or less as they were, to judge from the link you gave. The department will be incorporated into the Centre for Hellenic Studies, following the American fad of regional studies, the holder of the Koraes chair will go to the Centre, and the remaining members of the department will go hither and thither, with joint appointments described in the vaguest terms possible. The carrot is simply that the Centre, hitherto a research and seminar institution, will now get students and become essentially a Department. I think Beaton is wrong to be positive about this. Essentially the coverage of the existing department is being broadened (taking on Hellenism from antiquity to today).
I agree that the deanery is mostly betting on the money of Greek shipowners."
Notis Toufexis: "The fine print in King's announcement is that the undergraduate programme is shutting down. That means that now you can only study Modern Greek at undergraduate level at Oxford. (Who knows for how much longer.) Otherwise, I agree with π2."
h/t Sophia Economides commenting at Sarantakos' blog (and just as well I didn't get into a flamewar with her on that thread): KCL Greek has had a reprieve—indeed, an expansion of sorts. I cite her analysis approvingly:
"I don't think the petition was what mattered so much as the pledges of money. I also think it was a matter of tactics: the university said it would close more departments than it wanted to, so it wouldn't look as bad by preserving a few."
Oh noes, no more Mangos and Jenkinses…