A Vigorous Academic Program

The program in Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 2008 to foster the study of the Greek language, Greek history and culture, and to explore past and current perspectives on Hellenism. In creating this new program, our University is joining a growing trend among leading institutions of higher learning in North America, offering programs in Modern Greek Studies dedicated to the study of the language, literature, culture, and history of modern Greece. We are also continuing an educational tradition started by the Greek-American community in Chicago, one of the largest in the US and historically the first to take an active interest in Greek-speaking education, whose geographical proximity to our campus is an important asset in our efforts.

Interdisciplinary Effort

The program in Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois represents a collaborative achievement among several units across campus, which are supporting it with their knowledge and expertise. The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, the Department of Linguistics, the Department of the Classics, the European Union Center, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, the Program in Comparative and World Literature, the program in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education, the Center for Translation Studies, Dalkey Archive Press and the University Library are among the units supporting the new program with knowledge, resources, and expertise.

Modern Greek and Future Directions

The first component of the new program was introduced in Fall 2009 in the form of Modern Greek language classes. In addition, the program organizes numerous events each year pertaining to modern Greece and Cyprus from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective, and fosters research in areas such as national and regional identity construction, immigrant communities, minorities, and multiculturalism. In the longer term, and contingent upon the level of support generated, the program aims to lay the foundation for the establishment of an Endowed Chair in Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.