Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece, Harvard University

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The Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece (CHS GR)[1] is a cultural and educational research center based in Nafplion, Greece. An annex of Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC,[2] CHS GR is housed in the historic Iatrou building, formerly home to the municipal town hall of Nafplion, at Philellinon Square and Othonos Street. It is supervised by a joint Harvard-Greek Steering Committee, and the Director is Dr. Ioannis Petropoulos.[3][4]

The Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece was established in 2006 by way of a joint decision by the Provost and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. CHS GR utilizes the knowledge and expertise of Harvard's faculty and research centers and is a key part of Harvard’s continuing effort to expand its international presence.[5] The Center is an important nexus for the network of research centers operated by Harvard in Europe, and it is accessible, and free of charge, to the general public.

From a geographical standpoint Nafplion provides the CHS GR with a strategic location due to its proximity to some of the most celebrated archaeological sites in Greece (e.g. Mycenae, Mystras, Epidaurus, Olympia, etc.). Nafplion was the first capital of modern Greece after independence and was a major port during the Mycenaean period. Nafplion’s prominent role in the shaping of modern Greece and its enduring cultural significance make it an opportune setting for Harvard students as well as for visitors from Greece and across the globe.

The Center for Hellenic Studies’s facility in Nafplion has been equipped with state-of-the-art technology, while its digital library provides access to Harvard University Library’s electronic resources and a number of additional databases. Access to this digital library is open to all patrons of the Center, regardless of affiliation.

The Center for Hellenic Studies offers educational programs to students from Harvard as well as other academic institutions from all over the world:

  • The CHS Summer Internship Program,[6] available to students both at Harvard and at Greek universities, offers students the opportunity to work and gain professional experience in their respective fields of study, while at the same time providing possibilities for intercultural learning.
  • The Comparative Cultural Studies Program,[5] one of the oldest and most successful Harvard study-abroad programs, seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding by combining historical, literary, philosophical, and linguistic approaches to cultural exchange. The program is divided between the ancient site of Olympia and the Center in Nafplion, and is led by Professor Gregory Nagy,[7] Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington,[2][8] along with a multidisciplinary founding faculty.[9]

As part of its mission of outreach, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece offers a regular program of activities that address not only Harvard and other academic institutions but also the local community, including the Argolis region and the Peloponnese, such as a series of lectures, educational programs (aimed at all audiences), exhibitions, performances, presentations, and digitization projects.