The historian Dion Georgiou has been made redundant by the University of Chichester, and the BA in Modern History which he taught has disappeared from its website. Georgiou, who was a Senior Lecturer in Modern History and Politics at Chichester for five years, said: “As far as I’m aware the BA in Modern History will not be running this academic year.” The University did not respond to requests for comment.

In a Twitter thread on 25 July, Georgiou described his time at Chichester as “not happy or easy,” and marked by “pretty awful management at different layers of the institution—lacking strategic vision and rewarding cowardice and incompetence.”

Georgiou received a PhD in History from Queen Mary, University of London in 2016, and has since taught at the Universities of Kent, East London, and Chichester, and at King’s College London.

He added: “My personal background drives my approach to scholarship, and my politics. My grandparents migrated from Cyprus to London in the 1940s and 1950s. My Dad was born here but grew up in Cyprus and was a refugee in the 1974 conflict there.

“UK universities’ lofty talk of diversity and inclusion means nothing when they exclude scholars from minority backgrounds and the expertise they bring with them.”

In an additional Twitter thread on 29 July, Georgiou accused the University of “contriv[ing] reasons to get rid of specific members of staff.” A 7 August statement by the Society for the Study of Labour History called the proposed cuts “yet another worrying sign of the devaluing of the historical profession and the arts and humanities in general.”

Georgiou announced his redundancy in another thread on 1 September and said the terms of his severance agreement with the University now limit any further comments.

His criticism of the University of Chichester echoes comments by Professor Hakim Adi, who described the institution as “a slightly parochial environment” in a recent interview with the sonification.

Adi, who was also made redundant on 1 September, was shortlisted for the coveted Wolfson History Prize on 5 September for his 2022 book African and Caribbean People in Britain: A History. Neither historian’s redundancy has been formally announced by the University, although Georgiou’s staff webpage appears to have been removed, while Adi’s remains live.

Rosie Pocknell, who was among Georgiou’s students on the BA History course at Chichester between 2020 and 2023, said: “I am devastated that Dion’s empathy and inclusive approach to teaching has not been recognised and celebrated by the University. I am distressed at the University’s attitude towards the Humanities department in their actions of axing posts and degrees. I am angry at the disrespect shown to Dion from the University.

“There are now fewer opportunities to explore global history and re-examine ‘big events’ such as the Cold War from different angles at an undergraduate level. This included looking at the Global South in the Cold War through different strands including culture and economics. The level of detail in Dion’s research was impeccable and the breadth of history he covered was admirable.

“The University’s lack of appreciation for talented, hard-working staff members has become apparent because otherwise Dion would have been retained.” º

Jay Richardson
2 November 2023

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