Modern Greek Studies Association

Queens College/CUNY


Year Program Established:1974

Approximate number of students involved (per academic term) : 500

Level of Program Offered (and when established):

Undergraduate level elective courses (1974)

Certificate: 15 credits

Minor concentrations: 18 credits

B.A.: 36 credits


The Center's faculty is drawn from academics within Queens College as well from other academics and/or specialists and professionals who work in the tri-state area.


Adjunct Faculty


Theodore Theocharis


Sponsoring Departments/Administrative Entities:

Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies Program

Does the Program offer financial support to students: Yes

Does the institution offer financial support to students: Yes

Program resources, achievements, and challenges

The Center's greatest achievement is that it is entering its 40th year since its establishment in 1974 by the late Prof. Harry J. Psomiades (a pioneer of MGSA), with Assistant Director, Effie Lekas (since 1985), at his side.

As such the Center has become an institution that offers a multidisciplinary program on Byzantium, Greek language, literature and culture, Modern Greece and Greek American studies. The Center keeps up a schedule of academic lectures and colloquia that draws an audience from across the NY area. Since 1975, the Center has been organizing the Seminar on the Modern Greek State at the CUNY Graduate Center, the oldest seminar of its kind in the US. Since 1981, the Center has been publishing the Journal of Modern Hellenism.

Combined with Greek heritage learning, the Center strongly encourages our students to volunteer in community service, including teaching Greek School, participation in Greek regional associations, charitable activities, food drives for Greece.

The Center has been greatly benefited from the Onassis Foundation University Seminars Program that enables it to host Onassis Visiting Scholars who also give lectures to the Greek American and broader NY community.

In view of the educational mission of the Center, its main beneficiaries are the students who attend our program. Since 1974, over 16,000 students have passed through the Center’s program. Although a majority of them are of Greek heritage, an increasing number are non-Greek (30%). The CUNY community as well as the broader NY academic community also benefit from our multifaceted Greek program and its contributions to the intellectual activity of the university and the city.

Out greatest challenge is the changing dynamics in the Greek American community with the great majority of our students being second and third generation. Among others, this requires innovative methods in teaching Greek related subjects.

Recent initiatives in curriculum, collaborative projects, outreach, educational and research support.

As of this Semester (Spring 2014) the Center, in collaboration with the QC Honors College, is offering new course: HNRS 126W The Peopling of New York. This course will be offered for the next three semesters. It is a cross-cultural course on the two great waves of immigration to NY City with focus on Greeks and Brazilians. Students (mostly non-Greek) will engage in field study in Astoria, visiting Greek community organizations and 'Little Brazil.' By the end of the Semester they will collectively produce a website on Astoria Greeks and Brazilians on the themes: Demographics, institutions, commerce and culture (media, sports--soccer clubs, entertainment, arts festivals). Considering that New York is par excellence an immigrant and multi-ethnic city, the Center is integrating cross-cultural courses & research into its program.

In terms of joint projects, the Center is collaborating with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Frazer University, and the Hellenic Government/Karakas Foundation in Greek Studies at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, in the publication of the Journal of Modern Hellenism. As of this year (2014) the JMH will be published online.

The Center has a robust outreach program. Since its inception in 1974, the Center has been community based and oriented. Consequently, it offers a multifaceted community outreach program that includes lectures, colloquia, seminars and a variety of cultural activities (exhibits, poetry readings, Greek cinema, music and dance performances). A special effort is made to reach the Greek community beyond Astoria with activities in Manhattan and Long Island.

Queens College/CUNY
Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
Jefferson Hall, Room 301
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing, New York, 11367-1597 USA

718 997-4520
Fax: (718) 997-4529

University program →

Why Greek?

Courses Offered

Introductory Courses

Intermediate Courses

Byzantine Studies

Modern Greek Studies

Modern Greek Literature and Culture

Greek American Studies


Additional Electives

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