SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies

Community outreach

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Centre for Hellenic Studies is a leading site for the research, study, and promotion of Greece’s history, language, and culture in North America. The Centre offers a wide variety of programming and initiatives, including Greek language learning, research initiatives, and support to students for their academic and professional development, and is the official examination centre for Greater Vancouver and Western Canada for the Centre for the Greek Language of the Hellenic Ministry of Education. The Centre and team have grown to include faculty members from a wide range of disciplines, with partnerships across North America, Europe, and China. 

About the SNF centre

Hellenic Studies began at SFU in 1996 with the establishment of the Hellenic Canadian Congress of British Columbia Chair in Hellenic Studies. The inaugural Chair, Dr. André Gerolymatos (1996–2019), worked tirelessly to secure more funding and resources to expand the discipline at SFU. In 2011, these efforts culminated in the establishment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, through a generous multi-million dollar donation by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.


The SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, along with the SNF New Media Lab (a leading innovator of online and mobile solutions for the education and cultural sector), is dedicated to:

  • Bringing the latest in mobile technology and pedagogy to the teaching and learning of Greek.
  • Seeking to promote a better understanding of Hellenism in the community by staging events for academic and lay audiences throughout the year.
  • Focusing and supporting research at SFU on Hellenic topics, from Antiquity to present-day Greece, through grants and postdoctoral fellowships.
  • Supporting undergraduate and graduate studies on Greece's history, language, and culture through its home department of Global Humanities.

Activities and initiatives

Greek language education

Modern Greek language education is at the core of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies’ mandate through its Greek courses at SFU and administration of the Ellinomatheia exams. The SNF New Media Lab also helped create StaEllinika, an online tool that brings the teaching and learning of Modern Greek to communities throughout the diaspora.

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Island sessions: Hellenic studies in Molyvos

An annual gathering of scholars and students, artists, and activists hosted by the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies on the Aegean island of Lesvos. Since the first workshop on “Sovereignty, Space and Aesthetics: Greece and Europe in the World" in 2019, the SNF Centre has dedicated funding to establish, on the island of Lesvos, a site of critical reflection where scholars will gather annually in the village of Molyvos to critically engage with a new contemporary theme every year.

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Undergraduate and graduate student support

The SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies offers a wide range of financial supports for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels who are interested in studying Greece's history, language, and culture, as well as an internship opportunity to a qualified student at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (one of the world’s leading private international philanthropic organizations) in Athens, Greece.

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Research into Greece's history, language, and culture

Thanks to our many generous supporters and partners, the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies is able to attract top academic talent through its many endowed chairs and professorships, and to support emerging scholars through postdoctoral fellowships. At the same time, the SNF Centre supports the dissemination of research on Modern Greek history and culture through the online Journal of Modern Hellenism.

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Journal of Modern Hellenism

The Journal of Modern Hellenism encourages scholarly contributions from emerging and established scholars on the history, language, and culture of Greece and the Greek Diaspora, from middle Byzantium to the Modern Era. This peer-reviewed journal is a joint publication of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of Queens College, City University of New York, and the Hellenic Studies Program at California State University, Sacramento.

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West coast Byzantinists' seminar

The West Coast Byzantinists' Seminar (WCBS) is a cross-campus initiative that seeks to foster dialogue and reflection on all manner of themes Byzantine. The WCBS is an open forum where peers—both young researchers and more established faculty—meet once a month to discuss their work or ideas and questions that animate our field. Hosted by Sharon Gerstel (UCLA) and Dimitris Krallis (SFU), the WCBS is an interdisciplinary, informal forum where rigorous academic debate is made possible.

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The Agora magazine

Once a year since 2011, the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies releases their official publication, the Agora, which relates the year’s activities, events, and accomplishments of the Centre’s faculty and students.

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Programming and research