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.
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.
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.