CHS & the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning

The Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University and the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning (SPEL), or Philekpaideutiki Etaireia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2013 that led to a series of joint activities related to the study and promotion of Greek culture and the humanities.

This cooperation has benefited both CHS and SPEL, in addition to the over 2,000 participants throughout the years. CHS and SPEL moved forward to the renewal of their cooperation, signing the third successive Memorandum of Understanding  in January 2019 and are further exploring possibilities for programs and other initiatives development, with the scope to support and expand their existing cooperation and offer to the educational community. The cooperation will include, but not be limited to, initiatives in areas such as: Life-long Learning, Teaching, Education, and Research.

Joint Activities

Cooperation has resulted in:

Annual or Biannual SPEL-CHS Joint Conference

The two organizations have been holding ever since the beginning of their cooperation an annual or biannual educational event.

  • In 2019 the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning, in collaboration with the Center for Hellenic Studies, organized the educational event “Do we Need Classical Languages Today?”. The event was held at the Arsakeia Schools in Ioannina on Saturday January 19. Professors Georgios Babiniotis and Gregory Nagy spoke on the topic during the first session, moderated by Niki Tsironi, while in the second session, papers were presented by teachers from the Arsakeia Schools in Ioannina.

    On the occasion of the event, the Center for Hellenic Studies and the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning renewed the Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions, effective for the next three years (January 2019–January 2022).

  • In March 2017 the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning, in cooperation with the Center for Hellenic Studies, organized an educational conference on the topic “From Homer to Modern Greek: diachronic approaches to Greek language”. The event was held on March 11 in the Logos and Art lecture halls of Stoa tou Bibliou (Book Arcade, Arsakeio Building, Athens). Professors Georgios Babiniotis, Gregory Nagy, Ioannis Petropoulos, Keith DeStone and Stephanie Roussou presented papers in the first session, while during the second session, educators from Arsakeia ‒ Tositseia Schools addressed related topics. The conference attracted educators from primary and secondary schools, both public and private, and the broader scholarly community.

  • In 2016, a conference was held under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, as has been the case in previous years, and was entitled “The concept of the hero in antiquity and its diachronic evolution. An important educational tool”. The conference took place on Saturday, January 23 at the Arsakeia Schools of Thessaloniki, attracting a full house of educators.

    The CHS presentations focused on Diachronic and Synchronic Approaches to the Hero at Harvard and other universities. CHS speakers were Professors Gregory Nagy, Leonard Muellner, Ioannis Petropoulos, and Keith DeStone. Educators from the Arsakeia-Tositseia Schools presented ways of applying the diachronic concept of the hero in the classroom. During the event, Professors Gregory Nagy (CHS) and George Babiniotis (SPEL) signed the new MoU (in effect 2016-2019).

  • In 2014, CHS and SPEL organized a one-day conference in the Athens Word and Art Auditorium, Book’s Arcade with over 500 educators attending on the topic of “Digital Humanities and Applications in Education”. CHS speakers were Gregory Nagy, Leonard Muellner, Ioannis Petropoulos, Kenneth Morrell and Claudia Filos was the coordinator of the session.

  • In 2013, the collaborative parties organized their first three-day international conference, July 5-7, devoted to “Literature as Performance.” Click here to download the program of the conference. Over 30 scholars from US and European institutions participated in this conference that took place in Athens, Word and Art Auditorium, Book’s Arcade and over 300 educators attended the conference which was open to the public.

Participation of SPEL students and faculty member to the CHS GR High School Summer Program

Every year students from the Arsakeia Schools attend the innovative High School Summer Program. In 2015 the number of participants from the Arsakeia was increased to two; each student comes from a different Arsakeion school. This will also be the case in 2019. Additionally, a SPEL faculty member serves as a HSSP Fellow every year, and holds a significant role in the program, cooperates with the program’s professors and undergraduate teaching fellows, and supports the participants’ everyday work and final presentations.

SPEL collaborating in the 2019 Events Series

SPEL is one of the collaborating institutions in the 2019 Events Series Program and has worked together with the CHS Events Series Academic Committee in planning two of this year’s events. CHS and SPEL will co-organize the lecture of Martin Puchner (Byron and Anita Wien Professor of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature, Harvard University) entitled “World Literature from Mesopotamia to the Moon” which will take place at the Books' Archway (Stoa tou vivliou) in Athens in May. Moreover, SPEL supported the event which was co-organized by CHS and the MOMus–Museum of Contemporary Art with speaker Euripides Garantoudis (Professor of Modern Greek literature, Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), in March in Thessaloniki.

The joint Workshop on “Digital resources of knowledge and their contribution to philology”

Giorgos Trapalis, head of the Electronic and Printed Information Service of SPEL, is one of the main coordinators of the workshop “Digital resources of knowledge and their contribution to philology”. This workshop was based on the knowledge gained during the first Information Fluency workshop, organized by the Center in Washington D.C., July 11-18, 2013, where participants gained a broad understanding of the primary information resources in the field of classical studies and the major trends in information science and academic publishing. It is worth mentioning that the Information Fluency workshop offered participants the necessary background and skills to play a supportive role in the work of their departments and to help build cooperative relationships between faculty members and librarians.