The Oral History Project

The Greek Professorship at UMSL is proud to announce a new project investigating the history of the St. Louis Greek-American Community.   The objective of the project is the creation of a comprehensive historical account of the experience of Greek immigrants and their descendants in the St. Louis area.
 
RATIONALE
The impact of Hellenic civilization on American society has been pervasive. From art, science, and architecture to political philosophy and language, Greek influences abound. In the St. Louis metropolitan area, Greek immigrants and their descendants have left a unique imprint on the ethnic mosaic of the community dating back at least 130 years, when the first known permanent Greek resident settled in America’s Gateway to the West.
 
METHODS
The project provides students with research opportunities to explore various facets of the fascinating Greek American history in St. Louis. Students engage members of the local Greek American community in the collection of oral, visual, and written data and will submit a scholarly paper on a particular subject.
Students use  oral interviewing of live subjects, or they may choose a topic area that requires other methodological approaches, such as  researching the participation of St. Louis Greeks at the 1904 Olympics, or documenting the lives of families who became nationally known, or tracking Greek migration patterns in the St. Louis area over the decades.   At the end of the course students will write  up their experiences.
Together with completed historical narratives, copies of all material used in the research process are deposited in the Mary E. Critzas Archives of the Greek Culture  Center on the campus of UM-St. Louis. The ultimate goal is to create an online history of the St. Louis Greek-American family and to inspire publication of  comprehensive histories of the Greek Americans in St. Louis.
 
INFORMATION:
Dr. Michael Cosmopoulos, Hellenic Government-Karakas Foundation Professor of Greek Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis, tel. (314) 516-6241, e-mail cosmopoulos@umsl.edu

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