The sub-faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek at Oxford is unique in that it is the only department in Britain which offers Medieval and Modern Greek as a major component of a BA degree, and one of the select few where Modern Greek can be studied at graduate level.
With a history of teaching Modern Greek since 1908 and the official establishment of the Bywater and Sotheby Professorship of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature in 1915, Oxford is also the longest-standing centre for the study of Medieval and Modern Greek literature and culture outside Greece.
Currently specialising in the Medieval, Early Modern and Modern periods, our teaching and research cover topics ranging from Byzantine poetry and Cretan Renaissance drama, to C.P. Cavafy, Nikos Kazantzakis, Yannis Ritsos and George Seferis, the cultural politics of the Greek 1960s and contemporary Greek cinema.
Of the members of the sub-faculty, Professor Marc Lauxtermann teaches Medieval and Early Modern Greek language and literature and Greek linguistics, Associate Professor Dimitris Papanikolaou teaches Modern Greek literature and culture, and Kostas Skordyles teaches Modern Greek language, translation and history. Associate Professor Constanze Guthenke, of the Faculty of Classics, also contributes to the teaching of Modern Greek literature and culture (esp. Poetry and the Reception of Classical literature). The sub-faculty additionally collaborates with a broad network of scholars and specialists from Oxford and beyond, who participate in our undergraduate teaching, graduate seminars and colloquia.
Housed in the Taylor Institution Library and the main Bodleian Library, the Oxford University Modern Greek collection and its archival annex (which includes the important collection of R.M. Dawkins; 1871–1955), alongside the materials housed by Oriental Institute and the Sackler Libraries as well as the libraries of other faculties and colleges, combine to make Oxford one of the most comprehensive research collections in Modern Greek language, culture and history outside Greece.
A close community of students, researchers and tutors, the life in the department weaves undergraduate teaching with running graduate seminars, workshops, conferences, film screenings and cultural events open to the public, making the sub-faculty a dynamic hub for Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies.
In addition to the other modern language sub-faculties of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, we maintain close links with the Faculty of Classics and the Faculty of History of the university, as well as SEESOX (South East European Studies at Oxford), the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD), the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, the Hellenic Centre in London, as well with as the Society for Modern Greek Studies and the Oxford Greek Society.
The members of the sub-faculty play a central role in the editorial committees of the three main journals in the field published in Britain: Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Modern Greek Studies Online & Journal of Greek Media and Culture.
The sub-faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek is also the beneficiary of a generous support grant from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, through which we ensure the on-going organisation of a range of successful lectures, seminars, conferences and public engagement events.