Community Outreach, Lecture, Event

Liberalism and the Foundations of the Modern Greek State (ca 1830-1880): Presenting the 8th Annual McWhinney Memorial Lecture with Michalis Sotiropoulos

January 31, 2024

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies is pleased to announce the Eighth Annual Edward and Emily McWhinney Memorial Lecture will take place in coopertation with Gefyra, an SFU/UCLA collaboration.

This year's talk is entitled "Liberalism and the Foundations of the Modern Greek State (ca 1830-1880)" and will be given by Michalis Sotiropoulos, The 1821 Fellow in Modern Greek Studies, British School at Athens.

The event will be moderated by Global Humanities assistant professor James Horncastle, the holder of the Edward and Emily McWhinney Professorship in International Relations.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 7:00 PM PST


Segal Building

Room 1200
Simon Fraser University
500 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 1W6

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please note that the presentation will be in-person only.

Contact if you have any questions or would like to register without Eventbrite.

This programming is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the unceded traditional territories including, the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, on which SFU Vancouver is located.


How was the modern Greek state built? To what ideas, concepts and practices did the authorities of the new state turn to produce and legitimize its legal and political system? What intellectual and institutional disputes and different reform projects did this process entail? This lecture addresses these questions by looking at nineteenth-century Greek liberalism and the ways in which it engaged in reforms in the Greek state after independence from the Ottomans (ca. 1830-1880). By focusing on the thought and actions of a group of legal scholars whose influence and public role went far beyond the academy, the lecture challenges some of the assumptions of Western-centric histories of nineteenth-century liberalism.


Michalis Sotiropoulos, FRHistS, is a historian of modern Europe specializing in the intellectual history of the Greek world in the long nineteenth century. He is currently the 1821 Fellow in Modern Greek Studies at the British School at Athens, while in October 2024, he will join the University of Edinburg as a Lecturer in Modern Greek Studies. Michalis has published on a number of topics, while his monograph Liberalism after the Revolution: The Intellectual Foundations of the Greek State, ca. 1830-1880 was recently published by Cambridge University Press.


The Edward and Emily McWhinney Memorial Lecture was established in 2017 to honour the memory of two long-time friends and supporters of Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University and is devoted to contemporary issues in international relations.

Both Edward and Emily were committed to academic excellence and public service and this annual lecture serves as a lasting legacy for the couple at SFU. It is organized by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies to support public discussion of the topics that animated the McWhinneys’ professional and intellectual lives.

Professor Emeritus Edward Mcwhinney, QC passed away in 2015 on his ninety-first birthday, following a short illness. He was predeceased by his wife Emily McWhinney, who passed away in 2011.