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Dr Athena Leoussi



Comparative European History; Nationalism; Citizenship; Legacy of Ancient Greek culture

Careers Officer for the Languages and Cultures Department


Miller 103

Building location

Miller building

Areas of interest

My teaching and research interests include the history, theories and problems of nationalism and national identity; the comparative study of the peoples of Europe, including their political and cultural histories and contacts; the representation of national identity in art; race, anti-semitism and national identity in 19th Century Europe; and the role of the classical tradition in the making of modern national identities. As a result of my research interest in in the revival of the classical Greek body in modern Europe, I organised, together with Ian Jenkins, the British Museum exhibition, 'Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art'.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised and acted as External Examiner for postgraduate research on ethnicity, race, nationalism and the representation of national identity in art and architecture. I welcome applications for postgraduate research on any of these themes.

Current supervisions:

  • Marina Kracht, (Department of Languages and Cultures, Spanish Studies): Cross cultural response to the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the North South divide of Europe in the case of Germany, France and Spain.

Completed supervisions:

  • Patrick Claude Fabien Robert (Department of Languages and Cultures): The Heath-Pompidou Paris 20-21 May 1971 Summit: Franco-British European Honeymoon or Marriage of Convenience? (Completed 2020).


I teach on and convene the modules: EU1Pre45:The Making of Modern Europe, 1789-1945; EU2Post45: The Making of Modern Europe, 1945-to the Present; EU2UNR/HS2UNR: Unity, Nationalism and Regionalism in Europe; EU2STA/HS2STA: Society, Thought and Art in Modern Europe; EU3CS/HS3CS1/2/3: European Case Studies.

Research centres and groups

As Founder (1991) of the global, LSE-based Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN), which I chaired for many years, a member of ASEN's Advisory Council, and a Founding Editor (1994) of the international journal, Nations and Nationalism (Wiley-Blackwell), which I continue to edit with the other members of the editorial team, I have been involved in the development of a variety of research projects, seminars, conferences and colloquia on nationalism and national identity.

My research has received funding from the Greek State, the Hellenic Foundation, and the Irving Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, USA.

I have been an assessor for the British Academy monographs section, and for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

I have been Visiting Senior Fellow in the Government Department, LSE (2008-12), and since 2012, hold an International Fellowship at the Panteion University (Athens, Greece).

Academic qualifications

  • Licence de Sociologie et Linguistique (Université des Sciences Sociales de Grenoble, France)
  • MPhil History of Art (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)
  • PhD (London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London)

Professional bodies/affiliations

I am Visiting Senior Fellow in the Government Department, LSE. In 1991 I was one of the Founders of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) that is based in the Government Department, LSE. I was Chair of ASEN for several years, and am currently a Member of ASEN's Advisory Council. I am also a Founder Editor (1994) and currently Co-Editor of ASEN's international academic journal, Nations and Nationalism, published by Wiley-Blackwell.

For further details please visit my personal page at London School of Economics 

Selected publications

My publications include:


  • Authored'Circles of Light: The Making of the Ionides Art Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum', London/Athens: Victoria and Albert Museum/Papasotiriou and Co., 2001.
  • Nationalism and Classicism: The Classical Body as National Symbol in Nineteeth-Century England and France', Houndmills: MacMillan, 1998 (soon available as an e-book).
  • Edited'The Call of the Homeland: Diasora Nationalisms, Past and Present', co-edited with Allon Gal and Anthony D. Smith, Leiden: Brill in association with UCL, 2010.
  • 'Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism; History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations', Athena S. Leoussi and Steven Grosby (eds), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2006).
  • 'Nationality and Nationalism', London: I.B. Tauris, 2003. As lead editor I co-edited with Steven Grosby of Clemson University, USA, this set of four volumes (pp. 1,350) which I.B.Tauris commissioned me to produce as part of their 'major works' series.
  • 'Encyclopaedia of Nationalism', New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers at Rutgers University, 2001.


  • 'From civic to ethnic classicism: the cult of the Greek body in late nineteenth-century French society and art', International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Institute for the Classical Tradition, Boston University, Vol.16, No.3/4, September/December 2009, pp. 393-442.
  • 'The ethno-cultural roots of national art', Nations and Nationalism, Vol.10, Part 1/2, 2004, pp. 141-157.
  • 'Hellenism and Jewish nationalism: ambivalence and its ancient roots', Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 25, No. 5, September 2002, pp. 755-777, co-authored with David Aberbach.
  • 'Theories of nationalism and the national revival', Geopolitics, Vol. 7, No. 2, Autumn 2002, pp. 249-257.
  • 'Myths of ancestry', Nations and Nationalism, October 2001, Vol. 7, Part 4, pp. 467-486.
  • 'Classical humanism and modern societies', Social Science and Modern Society, Vol. 37, No. 5, July/August 2000, pp.70-77 (American journal).
  • 'Pheidias and "l'esprit moderne"', European Review of History - Revue Eropeenne d'Histoire, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 167-188.

Chapters in book

  • 'Classical Greek Origins of Modern French Thought', Culture and Civilization, Premier Volume, 2009, 269-299 (annual publication).
  • 'National sysmbols: ethnicity and historical continuity in post-communist "New Europe"', in Athena S, Leoussi and Steven Grosby (eds), Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2006).


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