Kritsotaki Despo

Despo Kritsotaki

Biographical note

MA in History, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 2003.

MPhil in History and Computing, University of Glasgow, 2005.

PhD in History, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete, 2009: “Mental illness and psychiatric hospitalisation: The social perceptions and functions of psychiatry and psychiatric hospitals in Greece and Scotland in early twentieth century” (funded by the Greek State Scholarship Foundation).

Despo’s research interests focus on the history of health sciences and the history of mental health, social welfare, voluntary associations, childhood, family, sexuality and criminality.

She has worked on national and international research projects, including the postdoctoral programme “Support for Postdoctoral Researchers” on “Mental health, social welfare and society in post-war Greece: The example of the Centre for Mental Health and Research, 1956-1978” (2012-2014); “Support for researchers with emphasis on young researchers” on “For a history of sexuality in the Greek 20th century: Practices, discourses and identities” (2018-2019); and the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship on “Mental health advocacy: reassessing the history of mental health organizations in the second half of the twentieth century” (2019-2021). From 2019 to 2023 she was a member of the COST Action "Who Cares in Europe",

She has taught the undergraduate seminar “Disease and Society: An Introduction to the History of Medicine” at the Department of History, University of Strathclyde, Scotland (2012) and “History of the Post-War World” at the Department of Social Anthropology and History, University of the Aegean (2017-2018). In these last two years she has been teaching the module “Oral History” in the postgraduate programme Public History at the Hellenic Open University.

Selected publications

Childhood and Youth in Eginitio Hospital (1904-1940): An Historical and Sociological Approach, Thessaloniki, Psiphides (2022) (with Vasia Lekka, in Greek).

“‘Pervert, Sadist, Voyeur and Necrophile’: Pathological Sexual Desire in the Case of the ‘Seich-Sou Dragon’, 1959-1963”, Historical Review/La Revue Historique, 18 (2022), 43-66 (with Panagiotis Zestanakis).

“Changing psychiatry or changing society? The Motion for the Rights of the ‘Mentally Ill’ in Greece, 1980-1990”, Journal for the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 76 (2021), 440–461.

“The history of group psychotherapy in Greece (1960-1980)”, Mnimon, 38, 2021, 181-202 (in Greek).

“Sexuality and the ‘psy’ sciences in Greece: Adolescent and young women in a mental health service, 1960-1980”, in Dimitra Vassiliadou and Glafki Gotsi (eds), Histories about Sexuality, Themelio, Athens, 2020, pp. 81-100 (in Greek).

“The Colony of Psychopaths of Leros and the attempts of psychiatric reform in post-war Greece (1950s and 1960s)”, in Danae Karydaki (ed.), Leros in the Center and the Margin, Psiphides, Thessaloniki, 2020, pp. 71-93 (with Dimitris Ploumpidis, in Greek).

“Mental healthcare in post-war Greece”, Historical Review/La Revue Historique, 17 (2020), 91-114.

“From virginity to orgasm: Marriage and sexuality in twentieth-century Greece”, Journal of Family History, 45 (3) 2020, 315-333 (with Efi Avdela, Kostis Gotsinas and Dimitra Vassiliadou).

Preventing Mental Illness: Past, Present and Future, Palgrave MacMillan, 2019 (co-edited with Vicky Long and Matthew Smith).

“Progressive science meets indifferent state? Revisiting the attempts for mental health care reforms in post-war Greece (1950-1980)”, Dynamis, 39 (1) 2019, 99-121 (with Dimitris Ploumpidis).

“From ‘social aid’ to ‘social psychiatry’: Mental health and social welfare in post-war Greece (1950s-1960s)”, Palgrave Communications, 4, 2018, doi:10.1057/s41599-018-0064-1.

“For an Oral History of the Eginitio Hospital, 1950-1979’, Synapsis, 46 (13), 2017, 29-42 (with Vasia Lekka) (in Greek).

“Turning private concerns into public issues: Mental retardation and the parents’ movement in post-war Greece, c. 1950-1980”, Journal of Social History, 49(4), 2016, 982-98.

‘Mental Hygiene’, Social Welfare and Psychiatric Reform in Post-war Greece. The Centre for Mental Health and Research, 1956-1978, Athens, Pedio, 2016 (in Greek).

Deinstitutionalisation and After. Post-War Psychiatry in the Western World, Palgrave MacMillan, 2016 (co-edited with Vicky Long and Matthew Smith).

“Mental hygiene and child guidance in post-war Greece: The case of the Centre for Mental Health and Research, 1956-1970”, Social History of Medicine, 27(4), 2014, 751-67.

“Medicine and hermaphroditism in Greece, 1870-1970”, in Dimitra Vassiliadou, Panagiotis Zestanakis, Maria Kefala and Maria Preka (eds), Speaking to/against Certainties. Genders, Representations, Subjectivities, Athens, OMIK, 2013, pp. 197-222 (in Greek).



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Modern Greek History Research Centre


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Tel.: +30 2103664602