About the Center

The Center for Greek Studies at SFSU promotes the multi-disciplinary study of the language, literature, history, and culture of classical, post-classical, and contemporary Greece. It holds several rich collections and archives related to this mission that pertain in particular to: the Greek diaspora and the Greek American experience in the Bay Area; Greek oral histories; the life and work of renowned Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis; and Greek literature, history and anthropology. All materials housed in the Center are non-circulating.

The Humanities building is located on Tapia Drive; a campus map can be consulted here: https://www.sfsu.edu/~sfsumap/graphics/sfsu_map_color.pdf

A Call for Change

The Center for Greek Studies at San Francisco State University stands in solidarity with all who have suffered and continue to suffer the damaging and deadly effects of systemic racism, social and cultural subjection, and unequal access to life chances. We acknowledge the active role academia has long played in producing and sustaining such inequities, and we call for engaged resistance to and reconfiguration of these structures; action and education are essential to the effort. With a view to the latter, we reproduce here a handful of resources thoughtfully compiled by the Modern Greek Studies Association Transnational Studies Committee and generously distributed by Dr. Yiorgos Anagnostou. May these deepen our understanding and accelerate long overdue change.
                     --Alexandra Pappas, Director, Center for Greek Studies

From the desk of the MGSA Transnational Studies Committee:

The urgency of these days provides the context to learn about Greek Americans in connection to African Americans

Sources: Documentaries, novels, short stories, autobiography, biography, commentaries, book reviews, scholarship

Do established immigrants and their offspring have any ethical and political responsibility toward America? This question recurs with urgency in the writings of several Greek American authors, including Harry Mark Petrakis. A well-known storyteller, Petrakis is particularly invested in this issue, drawing inspiration from his parents’ deep appreciation for their acceptance in the United States. As the beneficiaries of America’s magnanimity, the “sons and daughters of immigrants, grandsons and granddaughters of immigrants,” he implores, “must renew and fulfill” the vision of America as a sanctuary of difference.

To highlight his vision of ethnic responsibility toward American diversity, Petrakis crafts a story – entitled “A Tale of Color” – based on a real life event experienced by his mother, Presbytera Petrakis. The author, who often heard his mother recite this life in a family setting, turns it into a harrowing narrative dramatizing the human cost of racial exclusion.

Can Studying Classics Encourage Empathy and Equity?

Nina Papathanasopoulou's Society for Classical Studies (SCS) blog exploring this question can be found here, including a review of the Center's Conversations with Homer event, which was supported by a Classics Everywhere grant from the SCS: https://classicalstudies.org/scs-blog/nina-papathanasopoulou/blog-can-studying-classics-encourage-empathy-and-equity.