Humanities Division Strengthens Its Commitment to Teaching the Modern Greek Language

From left: Anastasia Giannakidou, director of the Center for Hellenic Studies at UChicago, and Alexander Pissios, businessman and philanthropist

UChicago’s Division of the Humanities announces a $1.25 million gift for the study of the modern Greek language from the Alexander S. Pissios Family Foundation Fund for Teaching of the Greek Language. This generous gift from Alexander Pissios, UChicago College 2026 parent, will support the teaching of Greek through the Division of the Humanities and the Center for Hellenic Studies.

“What unifies the Greeks is their language, which presents a continuous unbroken tradition that stretches back in time for more than 3,000 years,” said Anastasia Giannakidou, founder and inaugural director of the Center for Hellenic Studies and the Frank J. McLoraine Professor in the Department of Linguistics at UChicago. “Modern Greek is a small language in the U.S., but an important element in the identity of the Greek diaspora and in need of revitalization."

Young Scholars Worldwide Interact at the International Balzan Prize Inaugural Symposium

The evening Mehfil Concert was a fitting finale to the lively conversations and interactions among the young ethnomusicology scholars. Photo by Christine Bohlman

An Indian hip-hop musician incorporates Hindu messages into his songs. The Black Opry changes country music. Through time, space, and sound, the fates of the Yurok tribe and Chinook salmon on the Klamath River are interconnected.

Music and sound move through generations, different disciplines, and geography. At the Borderlands of Sonic Encounters Inaugural Symposium on Feb. 9 at the Franke Institute for the Humanities at UChicago, young scholars explored multiple topics centering on borderlands, where music and sound are the common denominators.

“This inaugural symposium gathered young scholars from different parts of the world, sparked remarkable conversations, and established the intellectual foundation for the Balzan Prize project,” said Bohlman, the Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music at UChicago.

Martha C. Nussbaum Honored with the Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Martha C. Nussbaum

Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and the Philosophy Department, is one of two University of Chicago scholars named a recipient of this year’s Norman Maclean Faculty Award.

The awards, established in 1997 and presented by the Alumni Association and Alumni Board, are named in honor of Professor Norman Maclean, PhD ’40, the critically acclaimed author of "A River Runs Through It" who taught at the University of Chicago for 40 years.

“Martha Nussbaum is a scholar of immense range and influence, and she is also an outstanding and dedicated teacher,” said Dean Thomas J. Miles. “I am thrilled that the Alumni Association and Board are recognizing her incredible impact on students – on both sides of the Midway – with this prestigious award.”

Music and Medicine Foster Creativity and Belonging at South Side School

Humanities Assoc. Prof. Jennifer Iverson leads the Music Sociality program.

UChicago’s eight partner programs with City Elementary allow student volunteers to foster creativity and belonging for neurodiverse students who often feel left out in conventional classroom settings.

The Music Sociality program, led by Jennifer Iverson—an associate professor in the Department of Music and board chair of City Elementary—leverages collaborative and discussion-based activities to improve social skills in a fun and welcoming environment.

For Iverson, discussing musical tastes or collaborating on a song can be perfect ways for autistic children who struggle with turn-taking to practice reciprocal communication and listening.