The Modern Greek Studies Association was founded in 1968 by a group of
intellectuals and scholars (Americans and Greeks in America), to showcase the merits of the
modern Greek tradition and contemporary Greek culture. It has evolved since then to an
American-based, non-profit academic organization, dedicated to the promotion of Modern Greek
Studies in the United States and Canada and conversant internationally on all issues,
historical and contemporary, which pertain to Greek matters.
Interdisciplinary in orientation, the MGSA seeks to stimulate the discovery and diffusion of knowledge about the language, literature, arts, history, politics, economy, and society of modern Greece, Cyprus, and the Greek diaspora. Its membership, which currently exceeds three hundred, consists primarily of teachers, students, and professional scholars, many of whom reside in various parts of the world, including Greece. Membership also includes and is open to many other individuals who, although not necessarily academics, are actively concerned with Greek history and culture.
The MGSA defines its scope broadly to include not only post-independence Greece but also the period of Ottoman rule and the later Byzantine Empire, as well as those aspects of early Byzantine, Hellenistic, and Classical times that have a bearing on the modern period. The impetus is not to reinforce the continuity thesis but to show how multifaceted Greek history and culture are.
It is this same investment in the broad range and
multifaceted character of Greek history and culture that underlies the MGSA’s commitment to
an interdisciplinary approach to all things Greek. This includes an explicit
commitment to engage questions emerging from Greek diaspora conditions and the
The MGSA’s activities since its foundation have been and continue to be
extensive. The Association convenes a biennial Symposium, which has steadily grown in size,
reputation, scholarly range, and international participation. The first Symposium took place
at Princeton University in 1969. Recent Symposia have also featured an Awards
Ceremony at which the various MGSA Prizes are given out (such as the Edmund Keeley Book
Prize, the Elizabeth Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize, etc.). The MGSA’s
publication activities include the most reputable periodical in the field, the Journal of
Modern Greek Studies, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, a Bulletin
distributed electronically to its membership, and over the years, a number of significant
volumes on Greek history and literature. The MGSA also serves as an information and
communications center for all persons seriously interested in the study of modern Greece and
Cyprus through its website information and the listserv MGSA-L.