Opinions

The grave of Alexander the Great has NOT been found

The grave of Alexander the Great has NOT been found

I follow with great interest the excavations in Amphipolis (Macedonia), where a monumental grave has been found. As everyone else, I am more than eager to see what is hiding behind the massive walls! So far, several theories regarding the ownership of the grave were brought forward. The most popular among them used to be that Roxanne, the wife of Alexander the Great, and their son may have been buried there. After all, they were murdered in the region! The proponents of this theory failed to exp... »

Historians need to make a lean startup or they will become a history relic

Historians need to make a lean startup or they will become a history relic

  The past two years, during my last days in academia and afterwards, I have been on a very steep learning curve. I learned how to view the world from a different perspective, how to talk to non academics, how to value ‘real’ life. As a result I reassessed my views on history and professional historians. First of all, I would like to admit that I am guilty. Throughout my academic career (which spans almost two decades) I have been guilty of ‘academic exceptionalism’. I read in depth histori... »

Looking to the past to share a future

Looking to the past to share a future

“I should like to try…” These were the words of young Agatha Miller when she was told detective stories were too difficult to write.  We know her now as Agatha Christie, Queen of Crime and creator of detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. I should like to try.  I love these five words.  They summed up my transition from buried-under-books student to owner/manager of a historical theatre company, and my eventual specialisation as a costume historian.  I now run the History Wardrobe series of ... »

Are you sure you want an academic job in History?

Are you sure you want an academic job in History?

So, you decided that your ideal job would be that of a University lecturer/ reader/ professor. So, was mine until I found out that the job was not exactly as I dreamed it to be. Actually, it turned out rather grim, stressful and not fulfilling. Don’t get me wrong! I do not want to discourage you from entering the Ivory Tower. However, you should enter with your eyes open and with significantly lower expectations. The requirements to get an academic job are much more demanding. 1. Publish or peri... »

How to Get a Job in History and Why you Should NOT Work for Free

How to Get a Job in History and Why you Should NOT Work for Free

I have been a historian since I remember myself and I always managed to make money out of my chosen profession/ love/ hobby/ purpose in life. I have not always been working at a University as most people would expect. In fact, I started my long history career as an assistant in a Kebap House (go figure!) at the tender age of seventeen. I have learned a lot in that Kebap House about History. I listened to the odd conversation about illegal excavations, I got interested in the gossip about the arc... »

The latest interview of Dr. Constantina Katsari to BBC Radio Leicester

The latest interview of Dr. Constantina Katsari to BBC Radio Leicester

My decision to leave the university of Leicester this year puzzled my friends, family, colleagues and others who followed my work closely. So, I decided to reveal my new and exciting plans on BBC Radio. Ben Jackson has been very kind to invite me on his show several months ago. Since I was going through a massive transformation in my professional as well as personal life, I decided to postpone it until this October. Finally, the interview was on air a few weeks ago and I decided to cut it down i... »

Economic Reality and Greek Culture

Economic Reality and Greek Culture

You all know how modern Greece became bankrupt, how its population lives under extreme economic conditions, how the government is trying to pay off the debts (though, not that successfully). The IMF process demanded that the entire economy deflated, that the salaries and the prices were reduced, so that Greece became competitive again. Competitive in what, though? Since the euro entered our lives, most Greeks have been living on borrowed money and time. They neither created products nor offered ... »

‘I Hate (Love) Wikipedia’

‘I Hate (Love) Wikipedia’

Most academics I know are quick to condemn the value of wikipedia as a concept as well as content. When a new batch of undergraduates arrive at the university for the first time, professors are eager to warn them against the evils of the online encyclopaedia. They usually mention how unreliable are the entries, how impossible it is to identify the writer behind them, how the text does not engage in current debates. How justified are such comments? I will not present you here with statistics or t... »

Visit to the Heberden Room in the Ashmolean

Visit to the Heberden Room in the Ashmolean

Last week I took my students to visit the Heberden room in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford. The visit was organised in collaboration with the Keeper of Coins and Medals, Prof. Chris Howgego. As you probably already know Chris is an expert of Roman coins and the successful author of several books and articles on the subject. Before I even start describing the experience, I would like to express my gratitude to the Ashmolean staff for all their help and support on this educational trip. I know very... »

Preparing for Academic Wars

I have gathered a few useful quotes for academics who want to excel in their work. As our jobs become increasingly more competitive, I thought it was fitting to chose war-related quotations. The following are certainly applicable in Academia, so take them seriously and adjust them accordingly! “Work hard and become a leader; Be lazy and never succeed. – -Proverbs 12:24 You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. — Napoleon Bonaparte D... »

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