Dr Panayota Nazou was born in Greece in 1951, in the north western township of Grevena. She studied nutrition and food science at the Harokopeion University Athens and received a Bachelor in Dietetics and Nutrition Science. She migrated to Australia in 1973 to continue her studies and received a BA ((University of Sydney, 1979) majoring in Modern Greek, Mathematics and Computer Science. She gained a Preliminary MA (University of Sydney and Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki, 1981), and a PhD (University of Sydney, 1993). Her dissertation topic was: Intertextuality and the Creative Praxis. The Case of George Heimonas.
During her studies at the University of Sydney, she was employed as a part-time associate lecturer, in the Modern Greek Department. From 1987 she held a full-time lecturer and senior lecturer’s position and taught Greek language and culture. Today she is an affiliate senior lecturer in the Modern Greek Department, at the University of Sydney.
Dr Nazou has published a significant number of articles on postmodernism and on the literary works of George Heimonas; on ‘Women writers in exile’; on Greek women writers (i.e. Melpo Axioti, Alki Zei, Mimika Kranaki, Margarita Karapanou), and on Greek cinema (focussing on Melina Mercouri, Katina Paxinou and Irene Papas). She has also published studies on Greek women in the diaspora, and on the teaching of Greek in Australia. In 2014 her book, in Greek, Nyfes me Proxenio: Biomata kai Martyries Ellinidon stin Australia, 1955-1975 (Athens: Periplous) was published. The English version of the same book was published in 2019, titled: Promised Brides: Experiences and Testimonies of Greek Women
in Australia, 1955-1975 (Sydney: Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, a monograph).
From 2007 to 2014 Dr Nazou co-curated four exhibitions relating to her research project on Greek Proxy Brides in Australia, under the auspices of the Greek Festival of Sydney, Sydney Councils and the Greek Lyceum of Sydney.
She participated in the writing of the volumes, Greek Education in Australia, E.DIA.M.ME, University of Crete, Rethymno, 2001, and From the Life of Greeks in Australia, E.DIA.M.ME, University of Crete, Rethymno, 2004.
Since 2013, she has been co-editor of the Journal for Greek Letters, Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand: ‘Crisis, Criticism and Critique in Contemporary Greek Studies’, Vol. 16-17 A& B (2013- 2014). ‘From Stories to Narratives: the enigmas of transition’, Vol. 18 (2016-2017). ‘Pages on Greek Cinema’, Vol. 19 (2018).
Dr Nazou has been a member (and chairperson) of academic and educational committees for the University of Sydney, the Education Department and the Board of Studies in NSW, the Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, and of various community associations.
She has participated and presented her research work in many local and international conferences and was the co-organiser for various local and international colloquiums and conferences.
She has received prestigious distinctions and awards for excellence in teaching Greek Language and Culture in Australia – from the University of Sydney, University of Patras, NSW Modern Greek Teachers Association, and from various Greek Community associations.
For her research work, Dr Nazou has received grants and had the support of the University of Sydney, Greek Community organisations, Sydney Councils, and various Greek business organisations.