Prof. Spyridon Kotsovilis

Assistant Professor Spyridon Kotsovilis

Focus: transitions from authoritarianism, transnational democratization, conflict and war, teaching pedagogies

Growing up in Athens, Greece at a time of great regional political transformations in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, it was almost inevitable that Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream) Spyridon Kotsovilis’ interest would turn to the study of these processes, their mechanisms and outcomes. In his graduate work at McGill as a Neporany Fellow, he examined transitions from authoritarianism and their effects, including transnational democratization, conflict and war. Their complexity also led to additional study at the Santa Fe Institute, allowing for their investigation from a different angle. 

Since he began teaching at the University of Toronto, Professor Kotsovilis has sought to devise and incorporate innovative ways to effectively and engagingly convey knowledge about these phenomena, and he has received the 2018 University of Toronto Faculty of Arts and Science Superior Teaching award, as well as numerous teaching-related grants. Currently, he is participating in the tri-campus Global Leadership program, and continues to explore novel pedagogical approaches. 

Stemming from his past experience with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, his advice to students is to balance and complement theory with practice, and to try to apply one’s knowledge to real life and worthy causes. 

During the pandemic, he found himself learning how to cook Mediterranean dishes his grandmother used to make, and listening to history, science and culture-themed podcasts from around the world.