Modern Greek Studies

History of the Program

Courses in modern Greek language were first offered in the early 1970s at Brown. In its present form, the program was launched in 1995 through a generous bequest from the estate of Mrs. Ethel Goltsos, a prominent Greek-American from Rhode Island. This bequest, with the additional support of a number of Brown donors, led to the establishment of an endowment for instruction in Modern Greek subject areas.

The endowment led to the establishment of the Program in Modern Greek Studies and subsequently, in 2002, the Goltsos Visiting Professorship, a one semester-long position that rotates between the departments of History and Comparative Literature.

Legacy of Growth and Support

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

The Goltsos Endowment also funds a scholarship for a student of Greek origin from Greece or the United States. 

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.

In September 2016, the Modern Greek Studies program at Brown received generous support from the Stavros S Niarchos Foundation USA for a five year position in Modern Greek literature in the department of Comparative Literature, co-funded by the office of the Dean of the Faculty.