Gonda Van Steen

Cassas Professor in Greek Studies

  • gonda@ufl.edu
  • Office: 139 Dauer Hall
  • Phone: (352) 273-3796
  • Fax: (352) 846-0297

Gonda Van Steen earned a BA and MA degree in Classics in her native Belgium and a PhD degree in Classics and Hellenic Studies from Princeton University. As the Cassas Chair in Greek Studies at the University of Florida, she teaches courses in ancient and modern Greek language and literature. Her research interests include classical drama, Western travelers to Greece and the Ottoman Empire, nineteenth and twentieth-century receptions of the classics, and modern Greek intellectual history.

Van Steen’s first book, Venom in Verse: Aristophanes in Modern Greece, was published by Princeton University Press in 2000 and was awarded the John D. Criticos Prize from the London Hellenic Society. In her book of 2010, Liberating Hellenism from the Ottoman Empire, revolutionary uses of Aeschylus’ Persians (1820s) and the Venus de Milo take center stage. Van Steen’s 2011 book, entitled Theatre of the Condemned: Classical Tragedy on Greek Prison Islands (OUP), discusses the ancient tragedies that were produced by the political prisoners of the Greek Civil War (late 1940s through 1950s). Van Steen’s most recent book, Stage of Emergency: Theater and Public Performance under the Greek Military Dictatorship of 1967-1974 (OUP, 2015), analyzes theater life, performance, and censorship under the Greek junta. Her current book project, tentatively entitled Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece, is taking her into the new, uncharted terrain of Greek adoption stories that become paradigmatic of Cold War politics and history. Van Steen has also published articles on ancient Greek and late antique literature, on postwar Greek feminism, and on Cavafy. For the years of 2012-2014, Van Steen was president of the Modern Greek Studies Association of North America (MGSA, www.mgsa.org). She is currently serving a five-year term as the association’s executive director.