Two faculty members are poised to add classical perspectives to the Center for Modern Greek Studies in the coming year. Classics Professor and Chair David Leitao will serve as the center’s acting director, and Classics Assistant Professor Alexandra Pappas will be associate director. The appointments are effective for the 2015 – 16 academic year.
Leitao will manage the center’s operations and finances. He will also develop its five-year plan, working with Bernardi, Pappas and Modern Greek Studies Foundation President John Tsingos. Leitao will also organize and manage a public event in early spring 2016, in close collaboration with the foundation.
Leitao replaces English Professor Martha Klironomos, who served as the center’s director since 1996. She teaches courses in modern Greek language and literature as well as in comparative and English literature. Klironomos will also continue to coordinate the minor program in Modern Greek Studies.
“Martha’s expansive efforts over the past two decades have made the Center for Modern Greek Studies into a nationally prominent force,” says Daniel Bernardi, interim dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. “She has built the center’s public programs and Greek American archive, strengthening bonds with the community. We all appreciate her years of service.”
The College will conduct a search for a permanent Center for Modern Greek Studies director during 2015 – 16, in consultation with the Modern Greek Studies Foundation.
Leitao’s book, The Pregnant Male as Myth and Metaphor in Classical Greek Literature, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. He has published numerous articles on Greek adolescence and on the history of gender and sexuality in ancient Greece. Leitao received his A.B. in History (Phi Beta Kappa) from Dartmouth College in 1986. After a year at Harvard Law School and another at the post-baccalaureate program in classics at University of Pennsylvania, he went for graduate study in classics to University of Michigan, where he received a Master of Arts in 1990 and Ph.D. in 1993. His dissertation was titled “The ‘Measure of Youth’: Body and Gender in Boys’ Transition Rites in Ancient Greece.” Leitao joined SF State in 1995.
Pappas joined SF State in 2012 as the Raoul Bertrand Chair in Classics. Her areas of interest include archaic Greek poetry, Hellenistic poetry, Greek art and archaeology, and word and image studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Greek Literature, Greek Art and Archaeology from University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2004.
Center for Modern Greek Studies
The Center for Modern Greek Studies is a research and service organization (RSO). Established in 1981, the center’s purpose is to promote the study of modern Greek language, literature, history and culture in relation to its earlier Hellenic and Byzantine civilizations.
The center organizes special cultural outreach events such as concerts, art exhibits, readings, film screenings and lectures and is expected to do continue these efforts under Professor Leitao’s leadership.