Humanities scholars elected into Australian academy

23 November 2016

Three University of Sydney academics have been elected into Australia’s most prestigious humanities academy.

Books in library

The Australian Academy of the Humanities brings together experts in human behavior and culture who solve key challenges facing Australia that are not merely technical or economic in nature, but are deeply embedded in our society and culture.

Ancient history expert Professor Eric Csapo, art historian Professor Mary Roberts and philosopher Associate Professor Nicholas Smith, all from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, were announced as new fellows last week.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Barbara Caine said the results reflected the University’s strong humanities expertise.

“We were the first Faculty of Arts in Australia and we continue to lead the way in teaching and research excellence in the humanities,” she said.

Professor Caine pointed to the recently announced Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Rankings by subject which placed Sydney 49th in the world for arts and humanities and 56th for social sciences, as well as the most recent Excellence in Research Australia report (2015) that ranked our research at the highest possible level (well above world standard) in: Language, Communication and Culture; History and Archaeology; Philosophy and Religious Studies.

“Election into the Australian Academy of the Humanities is the highest honour of achievement in the humanities in Australia and I congratulate Eric, Mary and Nicholas on this success,” Professor Caine added.  

Portrait of Professor Eric Csapo

Professor Eric Csapo
Eric is one of the world’s distinguished authorities on theatrical practice in Athens and the wider Greek and Hellenised world between 6th century BC and 6th century AD. He has published widely on all aspects of ancient theatre, including festivals, theatre administration and finance, music, staging, actors and acting, iconography, epigraphy, theatre buildings and dramatic literature. Eric has held numerous international positions, including at the University of Oxford, and is the author or co-author of three books.  

Portrait of Professor Mary Roberts

Professor Mary Roberts
Mary is one of Australia’s leading art historians, whose work focuses on 19th century British and Ottoman art, with particular expertise in Orientalism, the history of artistic exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, and the culture of travel. She is the author or co-author of six books, has received numerous awards and fellowships and is a leading figure in Orientalist and Ottoman art studies.

Portrait of Assocaite Professor Nicholas Smith

Associate Professor Nicholas Smith
Nicholas is a world leader in philosophical logic and in the study of vagueness and truth. His highly influential monograph Vagueness and Degrees of Truth (2008) is regarded as one of the most significant contributions to the study of fuzzy logic and has been widely praised for its command of the technical and foundational aspects of theorising about vagueness. He has also made important contributions to resolving paradoxes associated with time travel, decision theory and metaphysical indeterminacy.