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Aristogeneia Toumpa

Photo of Aristogeneia in front of the Temple of Athena Nike in Greece

What is your area of study?

Modern Greek studies

Why did you choose to study Classics?

I got into Classics during undergrad because I knew the ancient Mediterranean had something to do with my Greek heritage but I didn't quite understand what. I fell in love with the languages and myth, and then made my way to thinking about identity construction and cultural topography which... well in a roundabout way brought me to Modern Greek studies. I'm not sure I chose to study Classics but more so I found myself wrapped up in the eternal loop of reevaluating how the Greek people identify with and construct the ancient world in the present.

What do you like most about the Department of Classics?

I really can't talk enough about how remarkable the Modern Greek studies faculty are and the opportunities they provide to Classics graduate students. Whether its just taking the accelerated modern Greek course for students of ancient Greek or the interdisciplinary nature of sharing the department with scholars of both ancient and modern Greece, the OSU Department of Classics really has some special opportunities to offer.

What are your plans after completing your PhD program?

I plan to live in Athens for a while and work on my fluency. My faculty mentors have done so much to encourage me to study in Athens and I really want to take advantage of the academic network and opportunities I've been able to find in Greece because of their support.

What advice would you give to students considering pursuing graduate coursework in Classics?

Predictably, I tell everyone to take the accelerated modern Greek course! In no way do you need to entirely reroute your course of studies into a whole new discipline like I have, but learning modern Greek opens a whole world of opportunities in Classics: in networking, in language pedagogical approaches, and all sorts of other ways. Also it could help you find the funding to spend some time studying in Athens during your graduate studies, which I can't recommend enough!