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Greek Professor Detected American Professor for Turkish History as Plagiarist

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2004 at 03:57 PM CT

Prof. Stanford Shaw, a known denier of the Armenian Genocide, plagiarizes an entire book, yet gets promoted to distinguished professor in UCLA. His methods were detected by Prof. Spyros Vryonis.

Excerpts from an interview (in Greek) with Professor Spyros Vryonis (from NYC's National Herald, 3/12/93)

Few people know of the problem I faced at UCLA when Professor Stanford Shaw was due for promotion. I knew him to be Turkey's man; due to my reading knowledge of Turkish and my seniority over him, I was a member of the promotion committee. For that case, I sat down and read his entire treatise "History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey". It took me three months and I found out, from volume I, that he had plagiarized Uzun Jarsoglu, an eminent Turkish specialist on Ottoman history. Shaw himself claimed in his introduction that his treatise was the outcome of a 20-year search through the Ottoman Archives. Well, I went on leave and managed to show 40% of Volume I, containing around 5000 sentences, to be the result of plagiarism, matching each sentence with passages from the original work. He had even reproduced the errors. So I produced a 500-pages manuscript and submitted a 60-pages report on Shaw's plagiarism.

The University, however, rejected my report and, after a closed meeting, promoted Stanford Shaw to Distinguished Professor. I paid a price for all this: upset by the whole process, I confronted the entire University structure and was considered to be a chauvinist and madman. I asked for permission to run a seminar on Shaw's book that was denied by the President of the University. While the Center for Near Eastern Studies granted me permission, the President was depriving me of my academic freedom. Luckily, the Dean refused to give in and I did run the seminar, attended by more than 150 academic people, in which I uncovered Stanford Shaw, who refused to attend. As a punishment, the University froze all my raises.

(Professor Vryonis is currently the Director of the Onassis Center for Modern Greek Studies at New York University; he has a reading knowledge of 16 languages (including all the Balkan ones) and specializes in Byzantine, Slavic, Islamic and Turkish studies.)

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