Modern Greek Studies was officially launched as a program in 1995 through a generous bequest from the estate of Mrs. Ethel Goltsos, a prominent Greek-American from Rhode Island. This bequest established an endowment to support the Program in Modern Greek Studies and subsequently the Goltsos Visiting Professorship, a one semester-long position that rotates between the departments of History and Comparative Literature. The Goltsos Endowment also funds a scholarship for a student of Greek origin from Greece or the United States.
To date, the Goltsos Visiting Professorship has brought to campus the following scholars:
- Maria Stassinopoulou, an historian from the University of Vienna
- George Vassiadis, an historian from King's College London
- Georgia Gotsi, a neo-Hellenist also from King's College London
- Effie Gazi, a historian from the University of Crete
Thanks to the work of these and other scholars, Modern Greek Studies began to take root in the University's curriculum, and the Program benefited from the support of the University’s administration. In addition, the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (Athens, Greece) has provided financial support for two five-year appointments in the areas of Modern Greek History and Comparative Literature.
Modern Greek Studies Today
Today, Modern Greek Studies offers a variety of courses each semester. There are seven language courses taught each year, as well as courses in Comparative Literature, Byzantine Literature, and History. In addition, faculty members affiliated with the Program regularly organize successful lectures, colloquia, and conferences on themes pertaining to Modern Greek Studies.
In recent years, Brown has been able to enhance considerably its holdings of library materials related to Modern Greek Studies. In collaboration with the Rockefeller Library at Brown University and thanks to assistance received from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, the University Library has been enriched by the addition of several hundred volumes devoted to all aspects of Modern Greek history and culture. It is anticipated that this enrichment program will be continued in the coming years with the addition of microfilmed editions of several nineteenth century newspapers and journals.
The study of Modern Greek language can be enhanced further through the University’s Foreign Languages across the Curriculum (FLAC) program. This program, established in 1990, integrates the advanced study of foreign language with other academic disciplines, particularly the social sciences. By synthesizing advanced language study with other disciplines, the program provides students and teachers the opportunity to build new intellectual links across the curriculum to enrich teaching and research. If an appropriate number of students and instructors in Modern Greek Studies are available and interested, they will be encouraged to take advantage of the FLAC program.
In the years following its creation, Brown’s Program in Modern Greek Studies has made significant progress. Students are now able to choose from a number of excellent courses on modern Greece, taught by brilliant young scholars. Instruction in modern Greek language is guaranteed beyond the third year. A steady offering of high quality, extra-curricular lectures and seminars are regularly attended by interested and engaged audiences comprised of members of the Brown community and the surrounding Rhode Island community.