Alexander Karanikas, Ph.D.

Alex Karanikas of Chicago is a noted educator, author, and actor. He is a graduate of Harvard and Northwestern Universities. A professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago for many years, Professor Emeritus Karanikas taught courses there on the novels of Kazantzakis, Greek-American literature, and literary criticism. He is the author of a number of scholarly works, including poetry: When a Youth Gets Poetic, In Praise of Heroes, Tillers of a Myth: The Southern Agrarians as Social and Literary Critics (winner of a national award), Elias Venezis (co-authored with Helen Karanikas), Hellenes and Hellions, Modern Greek Characters in American Literature, Nashville Dreams, and Stepping Stones.

Along with his many and distinguished professional activities, he has been an active member in the Greek-American community for decades. He has served on the editorial committee of the Greek Star, has been a national board member of the United Hellenic American Congress, a co-chair of the National Bicentennial Symposium, “The Greek Experience in America,” sponsored by the Modern Greek Studies Association and the University of Chicago, a national secretary for the American Council for a Democratic Greece (New York, 1947), a district officer of the Order of AHEPA, and a member of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

Dr. Karanikas served as a film consultant for two PBS series dramas: “King of America,” and “My Palikari,” projects on Greek immigration to the U.S.

He has contributed a number of articles to HCS, among them: "Greece Through America's Eyes, 1820-1840 (HCS Greek Independence Day Commemorative Series)," "Dances of Zalongo" (an original poem by Prof. Karanikas) and "The Dance of Zalongo "(an essay about Souliot events preceding the Greek War of Independence), "Poems About Greeks and Greece from Stepping Stones," "Growing up Greek in a Yankee Town," and "From Peddlers to Bankers: The Greeks in American Fiction." For a complete list of his articles on HCS, see the archives' section titled "Karanikas Articles."

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