After eight years as an Associate Professor, Vrasidas Karalis was promoted to a full Professor this week for his outstanding work in leading Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney.

Karalis told Neos Kosmos that he was delighted to receive the promotion. “I’m very happy. It’s a recognition of what we’ve been doing as a department, as well as recognition on a personal level,” said the Greek-born Sydney academic. “It’s the highest honour and it gives more prestige to Modern Greek Studies within the university.”We will be represented at the highest level of the decision-making process within the administration and that’s very important”.

Karalis will become one of only six professors within the School of Languages and Cultures that sits within the university’s Arts and Social Sciences Faculty. Duncan Ivison, Dean of the Faculty told Neos Kosmos that Karalis’ promotion was hard-earned and thoroughly deserved. “The reason why Vras has been promoted is because of the quality of his scholarship, his teaching and his leadership, not just in Modern Greek but the Arts Faculty more generally. “His peers have recognised his outstanding work and it’s not a position that comes automatically at all. It’s a careful process.

“He’s a real groundbreaker in Modern Greek Studies. If you look at his track-record in terms of his Journal of Modern Greek Studies, his most recent book – the first modern treatise on Greek cinema and many other projects, his commitment has been top-notch. Ivison praised Karalis’ success in globalising the university’s work in Modern Greek Studies. “That’s distinctive about what Vras does, and it’s really what we’re trying to do as a Faculty. “Putting Modern Greek Studies in a much broader framework, taking it out to the world – it’s incredibly valuable for Greek public culture, both here in Australia and in Greece.”

Ivison said a full Professorship was awarded for hard work, for the quality of an applicant’s scholarship, and in recognition of the applicant establishing an international reputation in their field. “We care about our professors getting out into the public culture and making a difference. Vras has been exemplary in that respect.” For more than 20 years Karalis’ main areas of research have been in Modern Greek, Byzantine, Cultural Studies and European Studies.

He has also worked in translation, especially of the Australian Nobel Laureate Patrick White and translated three of White’s works into Greek. In April his pioneering book A History of Greek Cinema was launched at the 30th Greek Festival of Sydney, the first definitive history of film making in Greece covering the period 1912 to the present day.