School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Violetta Hionidou

Senior Lecturer in Modern European History



BSc Mathematics (Athens, Greece)
MSc Operational Research (Athens, Greece)
MSc Demography (London School of Economics)
PhD Geography (University of Liverpool)

Previous Positions

2004: Lecturer in Social Statistics, Department of Sociology, University of Crete, Greece
1999-2002: Senior Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Southampton
1995-1998: Lecturer, Department of Social Statistics, University of Southampton
1993-1995: Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Liverpool

Administrative Roles and Responsibilities

Head of History 2015-2018
Deputy Head of School HCA 2016-2018
PGR Selector, History, 2016-2018
PDR Reviewer, History, 2015-
Shortlisting Committees and Interview Panels for RA, Lecturers and Senior Lecturers in History 2015-
Shortlisting Committees and Interview Panels for Chairs in History 2015-2018
Member of the Research Committee of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology 2017-2018
Member of the Executive Committee of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology 2015-2018
Chair of the Board of Examiners, History, 2006-7, 2015-2018
Library Representative 2014-5
MOF Officer for the School of History, Classics and Archeology 2009-2015
Degree Programme Director for History 2006-7
Academic advisor and personal tutor for 30-40 students annually, 2005-
Managed Research Assistants in 7 projects.

Membership of Professional Bodies

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, UK
British Society of Population Studies, UK
Modern Greek Studies Association, USA
Economic History Society, UK
European Society of Historical Demography
Society for Modern Greek Studies
Greek Oral History Association (EPI)


Basic understanding of French
Basic understanding of Russian



Research Interests

Social and demographic history of Modern Greece; Fertility and reproduction of Historical populations; Mortality of Historical populations; Family reconstitution; Oral history; Family history of Greek populations; Greek famine of the 1940s; famines.

I welcome inquiries from prospective postgraduate students who would like to work on any area of modern Greek History, on historical demography or on oral history. 

Current PhD projects

Michail Raftakis, ‘Mortality Change in Hermoupolis, Greece, 1859-1940’ (first supervisor)

Completed PhD projects

John Burke, ‘Britain and the Cyprus Crisis of 1974: Conflict, Colonialism and the Politics of Remembrance’, 2015 (first supervisor)

 Esteem Indicators

Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Fellowship in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, Summer 2019

Co-winner of the 2007 Edmund Keely book award for Famine and Death in Occupied Greece, 1941-44. Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy, and Society in Past Times Series, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Peer reviewer for:

Demography; Demographic Research; Journal of Biosocial Science; Journal of Contemporary History; Journal of Modern Greek Studies; Journal of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies; Journal of Population Research; Population Studies; Social History of Medicine; Social History; Southern European Society and Politics; War in History; Continuity and Change; AMHA - Acta Medico-Historica Adriatica.

Blackwell; Harvard University Press; Bloomsbury; Cambridge University Press. 


1. ‘Greek Family History: Digital resources and Experiential Learning’, ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, £9,751.92 (2016),

2. ‘Pontic Greeks in former USSR: The experience of exile and 'return to homeland' through an oral history approach’, British Academy small research grant, £4,900 (2007)

3. ‘Public health and population dynamics during the 1941-42 Greek famine’, Wellcome Trust, £110,696 for three years, Personal post-doctoral Research Fellowship (advisor: Bernard Harris, University of Southampton) (1998)

4. ‘Household Structure of a Nineteenth-century Greek Urban Population: Comparisons over time and across space’, The Nuffield Foundation, £5,000 for three months (1996)

5. ‘The Integration of Socio-economic and Demographic Development of Mediterranean Islands’, European Community, 94,757 ECU for 22 months, Human Capital and Mobility Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, (Advisor: Robert Woods, University of Liverpool) (1994)

Funded Projects and networks

    ‘Societies Under German Occupation: Experiences and Everyday Life in World War II’ ( Project leaders: Professor Tatjana Tönsmeyer (University of Wuppertal) and Professor Peter Haslinger (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association/University of Gießen). Area expert for Greece and partner of the project: Violetta Hionidou. First phase of the project has been funded by the Leibniz Association.

      Violetta Hionidou (Newcastle University), M. Nazou (Universite Catholique de Louvain) and Y. Gassias (University of Crete), ‘Μυκονιάτικη κοινωνία και ανασκαφές στη Δήλο, 1873-1914 (The society of Mykonos and the Dhelos excavations, 1873-1914)’. Funded by École Française d’Athénes, 2017-2022,

      Member of the SHiP-network (Studying the history of Health in Port cities). Network leader: Professor Angelique Janssens (Radboud University Nijmegen). Funded for 2018-21.

      Invited Seminar Series and Conferences

      ‘Αυτές οι Χιώτισσες, τις βάζανε οι γονείς τους γιατί, δεν ξέρω για ποιο λόγο,… τις βάζανε υπηρέτριες’: Υπηρέτριες στην Ελλάδα, 1860-1960’, Servants in Greek art, society and History, Crete, Greece (December 2016)

      ‘Abortion in Twentieth century Greece: Continuity or Change?’, Histoire de la Famille Seminar Series, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, École normale supérieure Paris (March 2016)

      "‘It was a chase of life against death’: Surviving in Occupied Greece", Societies Under Occupation in World War II: Supply, Shortage, Hunger, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (KWI), Essen (March 2015)

      ‘Famine in Occupied Greece’, Greece at War: Marking 70 years since the end of ‘Hitler’s Greece’, The Hellenic Centre, London (October 2014)

      ‘Hunger and Famine in the Aegean, 1941-1945’, The Deportation of Jews of Rhodes & Cos: 1944-2014. A Commemorative International Symposium of the Holocaust in the Aegean, Rhodes (July 2014)

      Discussion of the documentary film ‘A Basket of food’ by Sheila Lecoeur, The Deportation of Jews of Rhodes & Cos: 1944-2014. A Commemorative International Symposium of the Holocaust in the Aegean, Rhodes (July 2014)

      ‘Inventory of Sources of Greek populations’, poster presentation, Mosaic Conference, Residence terms of the elderly, Budapest (September 2012)

      Chairing the session ‘Famine and Climate Change’, Britain and the World Conference, British Scholar Conference, Edinburgh (September 2012)

      'Eighteenth and Nineteenth century households of Greek populations', Max-Planck-Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock (October 2010)

      ‘Ο λιμός της Ελλάδας, 1941-1943’, University of Peloponnese, Greece, Corinth (April 2010)

      ‘Famine, relief and politics in occupied Greece, 1941-1944’, Modern Greek Studies Seminars, Oxford (October 2009)

      ‘Famine, relief and politics in occupied Greece, 1941-1944’, International Conference on Modern World Famines, University of Melbourne, Australia (March 2009)

      'Ο λιμός του 1941-43: Μία νέα προσέγγιση μέσω προφορικών μαρτυριών', Greek Association Seminars, Sydney, Australia (March 2009)

      ‘What do starving people eat? The case of Greece through Oral History’, World Economic History Congress, Utrecht, Netherlands, (August 2009)

      ‘Famine in Occupied Greece, 1941-44: Why did it happen?’, Centre for Hellenic Studies Seminar Series, King’s College, London (December 2007)

      "‘It was a bridge from life to death’. Hospitals and patients during the 1941-1944 food crisis", Pybus seminar series, Newcastle upon Tyne (April 2007)

      ‘Famine in occupied Greece’, Bearing Gifts to Greeks: Humanitarian aid to Greece in the 1940s, Oxford (March 2005)

      ‘Δημογραφικές διαστάσεις της Ελλάδας του 19ουαιώνα (Demographic dimensions in nineteenth century Greece)’, Conference on The Greek economy in the 19th century (1830-1914), Hydra, Greece (October 2004)

      ‘Black market, hyperinflation and hunger, Greece 1941-1944’, Conference on Famine: interdisciplinary perspectives from the past and the present, Fondation des Treilles, Nice, France (May 2003)

      ‘The position of the elderly in early twentieth century Greece’, Institute of Anthropology, Oxford University (March 2001)

      ‘Γεvvητικότητα στηv Mύκovo, 1879-1959 (Fertility on Mykonos, 1879-1959)’, First Meeting: The town in the Modern era. Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Rethimno, Greece (November 1999)

      ‘‘‘Send us either food or coffins’: The 1941-42 famine on the Aegean island of Syros’’, Conference on The Demography of Famines: Perspectives from the past and the present, Fondation des Treilles, Nice, France (May 1999)

      ‘Household structure and nuptiality patterns in Mykonos, Greece, 1859-1959’, London School of Economics Seminar Series (December 1993)

      ‘Household structure in mid-nineteenth century Mykonos, Greece’, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, Cambridge (June 1992)

      Conference papers
      "‘As if it were our fatherland!’: The 1940s famine experience of Asia Minor Refugees on Hios", Greek Oral History Association International Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece (June 2016)

      "‘Poverty and the shaken reputation of a person are serious social diseases’: Abortion and ethics in the first half of twentieth-century Greece", The population of Europe: historical roots and long term perspectives, European Society of Historical Demography Conference, Alghero (September 2014)

      ‘Popular medicine and empirical practitioners in Greece in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’, Social history of health and healthcare in Greece, Crete (March 2014)

      ‘Ionian households: eighteenth to twentieth century. The case of Kythera’, BSPS Bob Woods Memorial Symposium (March 2012)

      ‘Independence and inter-dependence: Household formation patterns in eighteenth century Kythera, Greece’, BSPS Conference, York (September 2011)

      ‘Marriage, inheritance and household formation on a Greek island, Mykonos (mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century)’, BSPS Conference, Exeter (September 2010)

      “‘Ηταν μια γεφυρα ζωης και θανατου’. Νοσοκομεια στη Κατοχικη Ελλαδα", Annual Conference of the Network of Civil War Research, Kavalla, Greece, (July 2009)

      ‘Hospitals and patients during the 1941-1944 food crisis’, BSPS Conference, Manchester (September 2008)

      ‘Marriage, inheritance and household formation on a Greek island, 1859-1950’, COST A35 WG3 Third Workshop Inheritance practices, marriage strategies and household formation in European rural societies, Sárospatak, Hungary (May 2008)

      ‘Hospitals and medical provision before and during the food crisis, Greece 1938-44’, Medicine in the Balkans: Evolution of ideas and practice to 1945, Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, (January 2008)

      ‘Who died in the food crisis of the occupation years in Greece?’, Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium, New Haven (October 2007)

      ‘Βραχυπρόθεσμες δημογραφικές επιπτώσεις του κατοχικού λιμού’, Conference on Η Κατοχή, η Αντίσταση και ο Εμφύλιος Πόλεμος στις μεγάλες πόλεις: Η περίπτωση της Αθήνας 1941-1949, Aegina, Greece (June 2007)

      ‘Collective memory, oral history and official statistics: The Greek famine of 1941-43’, Collective memory and the uses of the past: An interdisciplinary conference, University of East Anglia (July 2006)

      ‘‘‘There you will go, my sweetheart, to work. Because, here, we cannot do anything for you’’. Female domestic service on three Greek islands from mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century’, European Social Science History Association, The Hague (March 2002)

      ‘Demographic dimensions of the 1941-43 famine on two Greek islands’, Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium, Washington DC (October 2001)

      Why do people die in famines? A reassessment’, British Society of Population Studies Conference, Leeds (September 2001)

      ‘Demographic dimensions of the 1941-43 famine on Syros, Greece’, British Society of Population Studies Conference, Utrecht (September 2000)

      ‘"There are two routes remaining: one to Asia Minor, the other to the cemetery." The 1941-43 famine on the Greek island of Hios’, Second Medical History Meeting, Southampton (April 2000)

      ‘Urban nineteenth century Greek households’, XIII International Conference of the Association for History and Computing, Toledo, Spain (July 1998)

      ‘Household structure of a nineteenth-century Greek urban population: Hermoupolis 1861-1879’, British Society of Population Studies Conference, Cambridge (September 1998)

      ‘A model of fertility transition: Fertility regulation of a Greek island population, Mykonos 1879-1959’, Social Science History Association Conference, New Orleans (October 1996)

      ‘Fertility regulation of a Greek island population, Mykonos 1879-1959’, British Society of Population Studies Conference, Brighton (September 1005)

      ‘The demography of a famine: Mykonos, Greece, 1941-42’, First Anglo-Italian Population Geography Seminar, Cagliari, Italy (September 1993).


      Undergraduate Teaching
      HIS1029: Varieties in History (Module Leader)
      HIS2083: Hunger, disease and death: Famines in History (Module Leader)
      HIS2128: Modern Greece (with a field-trip to Athens) (Module Leader)

      HIS3021: The history of birth control in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Module Leader)
      HIS3008: Reading history
      HIS3020: Writing history
      HIS3101: Health and death: Mortality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Module Leader)
      POL1000: Study skills for politics and history
      HIS3030: History and Society

      HIS2040 Greece from Ancient times to the 21st century: Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the past (Module Leader)
      Postgraduate Teaching

      HIS8061: The practice of History (Module Leader)
      HSS8026: The history of birth control in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Module Leader)
      HIS8052: Conflict in European History
      HIS8053: Conflict in European History: case studies
      HIS8098: Research Skills and Dissertation Training

      HIS8107 Independent Study Project

      SHS8127 The Patient in History

      SHS8128 Diseases in History

      PhD Examinations

      Newcastle (Geography)
      Newcastle (History)
      Newcastle (History of Medicine)
      Volos, Greece (Historical Demography)
      External Examinations

      BSc Population Sciences, Southampton University (2008-2011)
      MSc Demography, Southampton University (2008-2011)