GEORGE KANARAKIS, OAM
B.A. (Athens), M.A. (Indiana), Ph.D. (Athens), Hon.D.Litt. (Charles Sturt)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Charles Sturt University
Dr George Kanarakis is an Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Previously he taught at the University of Athens (1966-1976) at the Department of English where he also served for several years as its Head, as well as at the University’s Foreign Language School, at La Verne University, Deree-Pierce College, Bridgewater State College, USA, and elsewhere. He also taught at the Australian College for Seniors (1982-1996) and at the School for Talented Children (1985-1989) under Mitchellsearch Ltd. Since 2007 he has lectured at the Charles Darwin University summer program on the island of Kalymnos, Greece.
Professor Kanarakis studied philology (Greek and English) at the University of Athens under a scholarship from the State Scholarship Foundation and later TEFL with the British Council in London (1964). In 1967-1968, under a Fulbright Scholarship, he completed post-graduate studies in English language and American literature at the Institute of International Education of Michigan State University (1967) and applied linguistics at Indiana University, USA (M.A. 1968). In 1974 he was awarded his Ph.D. (Honours) in linguistics from the School of Philology, University of Athens.
In addition to the above-mentioned scholarships, he has received grants from Indiana University, Charles Sturt University, the Australian Research Council, the Australia Council (Literature Board), the Commonwealth Schools Commission and other organisations.
His research interests focus mainly on the fields of the literature, historiography and the press of the Greeks of the diaspora, especially in Australia and New Zealand, as well as on the Greek and English languages and linguistics.
In these areas he has published a number of books, monographs and many articles in Greece, Cyprus, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Chile, in Greek and in English, as well as in Spanish and Polish translation. Furthermore, he has mentored and supervised many post-graduate, including doctoral, students conducting research in his areas of expertise.
Considered pioneering are his works The Literary Presence of the Greeks in Australia (1985, as well as in English translation, Greek Voices in Australia: A Tradition of Prose, Poetry and Drama, 1987, repr. 1991), The Greek Press in the Antipodes: Australia and New Zealand (2000, in Greek), Aspects of the Literature of the Greeks in Australia and New Zealand (2003, in Greek) and Interlanguage Influences upon English and the Contribution of the Greek Language (2005 in Greek, 2nd ed. 2008 revised and enlarged). The first three have been awarded prizes.
Professor Kanarakis is a member of a number of Greek, Australian and other international scholarly and cultural associations; he has participated in many international conferences and has served as an advisory member of university, government and other committees of Greece, the USA and Australia on matters of education and research. He has also served as a member of the editorial boards of scholarly journals (Views on Language and Language Teaching, Athens, 1977-82, Études Helléniques/Hellenic Studies, Montreal, 1994-), as well as of publishing companies (Owl Publishing, Melbourne, 1998-, Grigoris Publications (Series: Hellenism of the Diaspora), Athens, 2000- ).
He has given many lectures in Greek and in English in Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Cyprus, and the USA on subjects of theoretical, applied and contrastive linguistics, Greek language and literature, teaching Greek as a foreign language, the literature of the Greek diaspora, as well as on the press and literature of the Greeks in Australia and New Zealand. He has been interviewed extensively in the press, on radio and television in Australia and Greece as well as in the USA, Canada and Germany, on a variety of scholarly and cultural subjects. His work relating to the change of the Olympic Medals received wide international media attention. Furthermore, he was the producer and presenter of two radio programs (the Greek-language “Greek Community Program” (1976-1980) and the English-language “The Greek Vision” (1979-1980) on Greek literature, history and civilisation) on 2MCE-FM, Mitchell College of Advanced Education.
Professor Kanarakis’ community activities have included, among others, numerous lectures and seminars for a wide range of cultural events in Central Western New South Wales, Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, as well as to schools, literary and community organisations, the CWA, University of the Third Age in Bathurst, as well as to student and teacher organisations in Australia.
At the international level in 2000, Professor Kanarakis played a significant role in drawing the attention of the Australian and international mass media to the inappropriate depiction of the Roman Colosseum on the Olympic Games medals. This seventy-year-old error was finally accepted by the International Olympic Committee and was corrected for the Athens Olympiad of 2004.
For his contribution to the Greek Letters (especially in Australia) and Greek civilisation, Professor Kanarakis has been honoured with a number of awards and distinctions, including election in 1994 to membership of the International Academy for the Promulgation of Civilisation, Rome, while in 1999 he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Charles Sturt University. In 2002 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community and to education, particularly through the study of Greek arts and culture, and in 2008 the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens honoured him at Delphi for “having upheld the Hellenic values throughout his life and work”.