Keynote Speaker

Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl (Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Florida) is Associate Dean of Yale College, Director of the Center for Language Study, and Adjunct Professor of Linguistics at Yale University. Her research interests focus on applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, heritage language learning, and technology-enhanced language teaching and learning. She is co-editor with Nina Spada of the book series Language Learning and Language Teaching, published by John Benjamins.

Current publications include an edited book, Second and foreign language education (Volume 4 of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education, under General Editorship of Stephen May, 2017); two co-authored chapters with Stéphane Charitos, “Engaging the city: Language, space, and identity in urban environments” (in S. Thorne and S. Dubreil. Engaging the world. Social pedagogies and language learning. AAUSC Volume 2017) and “The Shared Course Initiative: Curricular collaboration across institutions” in the 2016 AAUSC volume on The Interconnected language curriculum, edited by Watzinger-Tharp and Urlaub.  Her most recent publication is a chapter in the volume Connecting across languages and cultures. A Heritage Language Festschrift in Honor of Olga Kagan on “Heritage language education in a distance environment: Creating a community of practice” (February 2018).

With Stéphane Charitos. she has served as co-principal investigator of a five-year grant project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to share less commonly taught languages among Yale, Columbia, and Cornell via videoconferencing.

Organizing Committee

Elsa Amanatidou is Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Modern Greek and Director of Modern Greek Studies at Brown University. Concurrently to her appointment as Senior Lecturer she served as Director of the Center for Language Studies at Brown University, from 2007-2014.  She is currently serving her third year as Executive Director of the Ivy-plus Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning in USA.

Despina Margomenou is Lecturer IV (Senior Lecturer) in Modern Greek at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dept. of Classical Studies and Modern Greek Program. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on foreign language pedagogy, Mediterranean archaeology, ethics of museums and archaeology, heritage politics, and seed activism in Greece.


Nikolas P. Kakkoufa is Lecturer in Discipline in the Classics Department and the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Program in Hellenic Studies at Columbia University. His teaching includes courses on Modern Greek Language & Culture and courses on Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality. His research includes second language acquisition – especially the use of literature in the LCTL classroom – Modern Greek, and Comparative literature. He is currently writing a book on Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, and C.P. Cavafy.




Maria Kaliambou (Yale) is Senior Lector at the Hellenic Studies Program and teaches folklore and Modern Greek language. She earned her B.A. in History and Archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and her Ph.D. in Folklore Studies at the University of Munich, Germany. She held post-doctoral positions at the University Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3 and in Princeton University. In 2006, her dissertation received the "Lutz Röhrich prize" in Germany as the best dissertation in oral literature, and in 2011 the European Commission elected her as “Erasmus Student Ambassador of Greece”. In 2006 she published her first book Home – Faith – Family: Transmission of Values in Greek Popular Booklets of Tales (1870-1970) (in German), and in 2015 The Routledge Modern Greek Reader. Greek Folktales for Learning Modern Greek, Routledge.She is currently working on her third book with the tentative title “The Book Culture of Greek Americans”. Her research focuses on the dialogue between folklore and book history, particularly in the diaspora. Also she is interested in foreign language pedagogy, especially teaching Modern Greek. She is the Chair of the Modern Greek Special Interest Group at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).


Anna E. Venetsanos holds an M.A. in Teaching and Learning: Foreign Language Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and a B.A. in Hellenic Studies and Classical Civilizations from the School of Arts and Science at New York University. She currently teaches all levels of Modern Greek at the A.S. Onassis Program of Hellenic Studies at New York University.
Areas of interest: Language pedagogy and acquisition, new technologies and new pedagogical tools in the teaching of foreign language learners (FL), second language learners (L2) and heritage learners (HL), second/foreign language teaching methodology

Polyvia Parara is a native of Athens, Greece, and she received a B.A. from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Philosophy with a major in History and a M.A. and PhD from the University of Paris X-Nanterre, France. At the University of Maryland, she teaches all courses on Modern Greek Studies. Before coming to the University of Maryland, she taught courses on Classics and Modern Greek Studies at Georgetown University.
Dr. Parara’s research fields are Ancient Greek poetry and politics, Classics and its reception, Teaching Modern Greek as a Second Language, Modern Greek history and Literature.


Christopher Brown is Lecturer in Classics at Ohio State University,  where he is responsible for the Modern Greek language program and lectures on Greek civilization. He received his PhD in Classics from Ohio State in 2008 and was two years a Fellow of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. He has published and given papers on Atticism, history of Greek language, pedagogy of Greek and Latin, Greek dialectology and sociolinguistics, Greek and Roman history and philosophy of religion. Besides the Herodotos Project, a digital Ethnohistory project, current projects include “Dialectics East and West," an ongoing Working Group in philosophy at the Ohio State Humanities Institute.

Mika Tsekoura, a graduate of Law School, University of Athens (Economics and Political science) worked in the industry, in business and advertising. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications and Media Production from Boston University. While in Graduate school she taught Modern Greek at Greek schools in Arlington and Cambridge MA and an accelerated Modern Greek summer course. A lecturer of Modern Greek at the University of Pennsylvania, for the Penn language center since 1998, she teaches three levels of Modern Greek: Beginners, Intermediate and Heritage Speakers. 

Theodoros Katerinakis attended AUEB, NCSR ‘Demokritos’, and TUC in Greece. He was a partner in ministerial committees and Oracle Hellas, editor-author of five books in Greek. He served as Analyst in HAF/COC (Imia crisis) and in the USN and Head of Document Intelligence in Chania Bank. His MSc focus on Social Networks and Negotiations and his PhD on Aviation Communication and Situational Awareness (both from Drexel University, Philadelphia). He published with Sage, Palgrave-McMillan, Routledge, LIT Verlag. His research focus on terminology, banking, aviation safety, knowledge management, and learning on-line. His indicative books are “Economist Logion” (Sideris, 2004) and “Social Construction of Knowledge in Mission Critical Environments (Springer, 2018).


Maria Chnaraki holds a D.A. in Music Studies from UoA-Greece, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Folklore, Ethnomusicology and Cultural Anthropology from IU-USA. Maria is currently a Scientific Advisor of the Governor of Crete, Official Representative of the World Council of Cretans and faculty at Drexel University (Philadelphia). She was the founding Director of Drexel Greek Studies with 26 courses, and an abroad program. She researches cultural identity expressions, traditions and customs, as in her “Why Cretan Music” chapter (Hagleitner & Holzapfel “Music of Crete”, Vienna Series 2017) and practices experiential education, as in her book “Sing In Me Muse and Through Me Tell the Story: Culture Performed” (Zorbapress, 2013).


Brian D. Joseph is Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics, and The Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Linguistics, at The Ohio State University (first appointed 1979). His A.B. (in Linguistics) is from Yale University (1973), and his A.M. (1976) and Ph.D. (both in Linguistics) are from Harvard University (1978). He has held national and international fellowships (NEH, ACLS, Fulbright, among others), and has received two honorary doctorates (La Trobe University (2006) and University of Patras (2008)). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Linguistic Society of America. His research focus is historical linguistics, especially pertaining to the history of the Greek language (Ancient through Modern), in both its genealogical context as a member of the Indo-European language family and its geographic and contact-related context within the Balkans.  A current research project involves fieldwork among the Greek-speaking communities of southern Albania.
A detailed c.v. and list of publications, including pdfs, can be found here.

Jerneja Kavčič is an associate professor of Greek at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her research interests concern Greek in all its historical stages (Ancient, Byzantine, and Modern Greek) as well as linguistic theory (mostly syntax). She authored a volume on the syntax of the infinitive and the participle in Early Byzantine Greek (2005); compiled the first Modern Greek-Slovenian dictionary (2006) and wrote the first Modern Greek grammar in Slovenian (2011).