Director of Greek Studies appointed

Director of Greek Studies appointed

21 Dec 2009

Professor Chris Mackie, an internationally recognised scholar with a publication record and research agenda combining the ancient and modern worlds, has been appointed to the position of Professorial Director of the Research Centre for Greek Studies at La Trobe University.

chris-mackieProfessor Mackie is currently Associate Professor in the Centre for Classics and Archaeology at The University of Melbourne where he has established highly successful research linkages with colleagues in a range of academic disciplines.

‘Professor Mackie is committed to community engagement and has extensive experience in university administration, including operational policy and strategic planning,’ said La Trobe Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson.

‘I am delighted with this appointment as Chris is ideally qualified to lead the Research Centre for Greek Studies,’ he said.

The Research Centre was established earlier this year as an affirmation of La Trobe’s long-standing commitment to Greek Studies, and its integration within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences will promote multidisciplinary research in topics related to Greece, its language, modern history and the study of Greek Diasporas around the world.

‘As a lifelong admirer of Greek culture I am delighted to take up the position of Director of Greek Studies at La Trobe.  There is much excellent work to do, including with the Greek community with whom I have had many links in my time in Melbourne,’ said Professor Mackie.

‘Professor Mackie’s appointment will deepen our close relationship to the Greek community as he will be instrumental in initiating programs to extend Greek studies and programs to increase higher education access for students from Greek backgrounds,’ said Professor Johnson.   

Professor Johnson also paid tribute to the enormous contribution of volunteers and donors from the Greek community who have generously contributed their time and money over the years to supporting La Trobe's Hellenic programs.

BIOGRAPHY: Chris Mackie

Qualifications: BA Hons (Newcastle, NSW) PhD (Glasgow)
Chris Mackie studied Classics at the University of Newcastle (NSW) and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He worked at the University of New England (NSW) for two years before moving to the University of Melbourne. His earlier research was on the Roman poet Vergil, but since then he has focused on the Homeric epics, Greek mythology, and modern responses to ancient cultures. His main teaching responsibilities are in the classical languages and in a wide variety of non-language courses (Ancient Greece: Myth, Art, Text; The Epics of Homer; Underworld and Afterlife; the Epic Cycle and Homeric Hymns). He has been Director of the Centre for Classics and Archaeology (with a break for leave) since its inception in 2000.

In 2002, Chris led a team from the Centre and joined creative forces with the New Media and Digital Services arm of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to produce the internationally acclaimed website Winged Sandals, which won the following awards:

  • Gold World Medal (Education category) at the New York Festivals 2004 Interactive Award
  • Best of the Best Award and Best eLearning in the 2003 Australian Interactive Media Industry Association Awards
  • Best Storytelling award at the 2004 San Francisco Flash Forward Festival
  • SXS Web Media Festival Award

Research areas
Greek and Roman epic poetry (especially Homer and Vergil). Greek and Roman mythology; Greek heroes and contemporary superheroes; the reception of Classical antiquity in modern times (with particular reference to the attitude towards the Classics before, during, and after the Great War); the Dardanelles region in antiquity as a historical and archaeological background to the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.

Current projects
Gallipoli and the Classics
Type of Project: An analysis of the Greek/Homeric/Trojan context of the Gallipoli campaign. This will include archaeological analysis of the battlefield site.
Collaborators: Professor Antonio Sagona
This project will explore the many references to Homer, Troy, and the Classics in the written record of the Gallipoli campaign. It will concentrate on the close proximity of Troy and Gallipoli (just across the Dardanelles from one another) and the fact that some participants in the campaign evoked Achilles and the Trojan war in their writings. It will explore the strong tradition of Classics in education in the pre-Great war period, especially in Britain, and the way that this influenced some Gallipoli writings.


  • Mackie, C.J. The Characterisation of Aeneas, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh: X+ 247pp (1988)
  • Mackie, C.J. Rivers of Fire: Mythic themes in Homer’s Iliad, New Academia Press, Washington, DC (2008) viii + 264pp (Available at:

Edited Books

  • K.H. Lee, C.J. Mackie, H.Tarrant (co-eds.) Multarum Artium Scientia, Prudentia, Auckland viii +189pp (1993)
  • C.J. Mackie, (ed.) Oral Performance and its Context, (Brill, Leiden, 2004) viii+208
  • W. Haslem, C.J. Mackie and A. Ndalianis, Super/Heroes (New Academia, 2006) X+416pp

Media contact:
Mark Pearce

Media and Communications Manager
Phone: 03 9479 5246
Mobile: 0423 783 756




La Trobe Media Release RSS