Welcome to the Modern Greek Studies Program (MGSP) at Rutgers University. Anchored within the Department of Classics, the MGSP is an interdisciplinary enterprise that offers an undergraduate minor, along with outreach events for the Rutgers and wider New Brunswick community interested in “things modern Greek.”
By our definition at Rutgers, Modern Greek Studies explores the language, literature, history, society and culture of Greek-speaking people from the Byzantine period through contemporary times. Our courses in elementary, intermediate, and advanced modern Greek are anchored within the program and are taught by native speakers with proven expertise in teaching the language to American university students. Most other courses are cross-listed with affiliated departments, and are typically taught by tenured Rutgers faculty with outstanding credentials in their fields.
The mission of the Modern Greek Studies Program is to promote understanding of, and appreciation for, the great traditions of Hellenophone (“Greek speaking”) culture as they evolved over the centuries following Antiquity. To be sure, part of this appreciation is comprehending the deep ties between the ancient Hellenic legacy, and developments in Byzantine and modern times. But the chief focus of our program is modern Greek culture, in its many forms and expressions, and its roots going back to the Byzantine period.
Students from all backgrounds are welcome to pursue the minor, or simply take whatever courses that might appeal. Some students are drawn to the program owing to their family heritage from Greece or Cyprus. Others, who are not of Greek or Cypriot descent, enjoy the exciting challenge of studying a language whose roots go back to Antiquity, with a vibrant modern literature that includes two Nobel prize winners (Giorgos Seferis , Odysseus Elytis ). Common to all is a fascination with the beauty of Cyprus and Greece, and their many world-renowned cultural heritage sites, and the special identity of these countries as crossroads of western Europe, the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East.