Obituary of Prof. Tony Schirato

We are deeply saddened to announce the loss of Prof. Tony Schirato, the former Head of Department of Communication of the University of Macau, who passed away on July 18, 2019.

After spending most of his academic life in Australia and New Zealand developing an excellent reputation as a leading scholar in Cultural Studies, Prof. Tony Schirato joined the University of Macau in 2013. During the five years of his service as Head of Department of Communication, Prof. Schirato continued to advance his status as a prominent scholar in Cultural Studies while also leading the Department of Communication towards establishing an active research environment.

Astonishingly active and creative himself, Prof. Schirato published 15 book manuscripts and over 60 book chapters and articles in the field of cultural studies. He had a specific contribution in developing the studies on Foucault and Bourdieu and published important academic analysis on sports and identity. He was never tired of speaking of research. Indeed, the night before the sudden sad news of his death came, a member of the Department was reviewing his recent book proposal, a book that he and Dr. Mary Roberts had been working on together with a former Ph.D. student after he retired from the University.

Exceptionally passionate and thoughtful to the growth of the Department and the academic community, Prof. Schirato devoted much of his time in Macao to help and mentor members of the Department. He gave generously of his time to read and comment on draft papers and manuscripts and dedicated resources to help junior members of the Department gain more time to focus on research. This extended to graduate students, who were a particular passion, and, together with his wife Dr. Mary Roberts, established workshops to mentor and develop writing and research skills. It was a project that took up much of their time but resulted in a great leap forward of the academic achievement of our post-graduate students, with Prof. Schirato graduating 4 Ph.D’s under his supervision and in total 10 Ph.D’s during his time in the Department. Under his leadership the Department became a mature, dynamic and supportive research environment and one that continues to develop a growing international reputation. As an extraordinarily energetic and generous mentor, Prof. Schirato continued to be involved in research projects with the Department after his retirement.

Prof. Schirato was a great researcher in his field, an adoring leader of the Department, a great mentor of the faculties, a navigator of his students, and a beloved friend of the colleagues. He was the kind of person who had an impact on individuals and institutions that will live on after his death.

Tony is survived by his wife, Dr. Mary Roberts, former Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Macau. Our heartfelt condolences to Mary.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27, at Mountain Heritage Hotel, Apex St, Katoomba, NSW, Australia.

In lieu of flowers, please contact fss.comm@um.edu.mo by 10 a.m., Thursday, July 25, 2019.