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Professor Paul Arthur

Research Theme Leader (Society and Culture)

Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 6308
Campus: Mount Lawley  

Paul Arthur is Chair in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, and Director of the Edith Cowan Centre for Global Issues, in the School of Arts and Humanities.


Professor Paul Arthur was appointed to ECU as a Professorial Research Fellow in 2016. He holds a PhD in English, Communication, and Cultural Studies from the University of Western Australia.

Professor Arthur speaks and publishes widely on major challenges and changes facing 21st-century society, from the global impacts of technology on culture and identity to migration and human rights. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he has over fifty publications including ten books. His latest book is Border Crossings: Essays in Identity and Belonging (ed. 2019, with Leena Kurvet-Käosaar, Routledge). In the past decade Professor Arthur has received over $3 million in Australian and international grants, individually and in collaboration. He has served on the executive boards and councils of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO); centerNet—the worldwide network of digital humanities research centres (Co-Chair, 2015–2019); the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA); the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (founding President 2011–2015, Vice-President 2018–2021); the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (founding board member 2010–2019); and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) Super Science initiative of the Australian Government (2012–2018).

Paul Arthur is known as a leading figure in the development of the field of digital humanities in Australia and internationally, and he was Australia’s first Professor in Digital Humanities (at Western Sydney University). He previously worked at the Australian National University in roles including as Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies and Deputy Director of the National Centre of Biography. He oversaw the digital production of the largest collaborative project in the humanities and social sciences in Australia as Deputy General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Paul Arthur has held a number of prestigious visiting positions in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America, most recently as Visiting Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2016-17. He was Dr R. Marika Chair of Australian and Indigenous Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany, in 2013-14, and was selected for the inaugural Indian Government Global Initiative for Academic Network Program for Distinguished International Faculty in 2015.

Paul is also a violinist. He has a long connection with ECU that goes back to the first years of its establishment, when he completed an undergraduate Music sub-major at WAAPA.

Professional associations

  • Royal Historical Society, UK (Elected Fellow)
  • Association of Internet Researchers
  • Association for Computers and the Humanities
  • Association for the Study of Australian Literature
  • Associazione Informatica Umanistica e Cultura Digitale
  • Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (Founding President)
  • Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (Founding Advisory Board)
  • Australian Historical Association
  • Canadian Society for Digital Humanities / Société canadienne des humanités numériques
  • Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
  • European Association for Digital Humanities
  • Forum on Contemporary Theory, India (Life Member)
  • International Association for Media and Communication Research
  • International Australian Studies Association
  • International Auto/Biography Association
  • International Communication Association
  • International Society for Travel Writing

Awards and recognition

National and International research positions

  • 2016 - 2019: Adjunct Professor, School of Humanities and Creative Arts (Digital Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities program), University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • 2016 - 2017: KNAW Visiting Professor (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), hosted by Huygens ING—Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague / Amsterdam) (4 months)
  • 2016 - 2017: Visiting Fellow, Albert’s Global Researcher Network, hosted by Englisches Seminar I, University of Cologne, Germany (2 months)
  • 2016: Indian Government Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) Program for Distinguished International Faculty, hosted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore (2 weeks)
  • 2015: Distinguished Visitor, University of New England, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2013 - 2014: Dr R. Marika Chair of Australian and Indigenous Studies, University of Cologne, Germany / German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (6 months)
  • 2013: Visiting Research Fellow, ANU Centre for European Studies, Australian National University
  • 2013: Honorary Associate, Centre for Media History, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  • 2010 - 2011: Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • 2009 - 2010: Research Fellow, HUMlab, the digital research centre at Umeå University, Sweden (6 months)
  • 2009 - 2010: Research Fellow, Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA (6 months)
  • 2007 - 2009: Adjunct Research Fellow, Research School of Humanities, Australian National University
  • 2007: Research Fellow, Centre for Historical Research, National Museum of Australia, Canberra (4 months)
  • 2007: Manning Clark Residential Fellow, Manning Clark House, Canberra, co-funded by the Australian Copyright Agency Limited (2 months)
  • 2006: Visiting Research Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (3 months)
  • 2004: Helen and John S. Best Research Fellow, American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, USA (2 months)
  • 2004: International Associate, Center for 21st-Century Studies, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, USA (Fall semester, concurrent with Helen and John S. Best Research Fellowship)
  • 2004: Australian Academy of the Humanities Fieldwork Fellowship (for research at the American Geographical Society Library)
  • 1998: Visiting Scholar, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University (1 month)
  • 1998: Conference Visitorship, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (2 weeks)
  • 1996: Visiting Scholar, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University (2 months)

National and International awards

  • 2018: Best paper award, Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 3rd annual conference, University of Helsinki
  • 2012: Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, UK (FRHistS)
  • 2012: Shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, for Voices from the West End: Stories, People, and Events That Shaped Fremantle (WA Museum, 2012, ed. Paul Longley Arthur and Geoffrey Bolton)
  • 2012: Fremantle Heritage and Local History Award, Western Australia, for Voices from the West End: Stories, People, and Events That Shaped Fremantle (WA Museum, 2012, ed. Paul Longley Arthur and Geoffrey Bolton)
  • 2008: Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s Prize, Humanities category, Curtin University, Western Australia

Research areas and interests

  • Digital Futures
  • Digital Society
  • Digital Humanities and e-Research
  • Globalisation, Communication and Media
  • Cultural History and Heritage
  • Biography, Identity and Memory
  • Travel and Migration
  • Literary Studies
  • Performance Studies
  • Australian Studies
  • European Studies


  • Advanced Diploma in Leadership and Management, The University of Western Australia, 2008.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2002.
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Murdoch University, 1994.

Research Outputs

Journal Articles

Conference Publications

  • Arthur, P., Champion, E., Craig, H., Gu, N., Harvey, M., Haskins, V., May, A., Pascoe, B., Piper, A., Ryan, L., Smith, R., Verhoeven, D. (2020). Time-layered cultural map of Australia. CEUR Workshop Proceedings (184-191). CEUR-WS.

Book Chapters

  • Arthur, P. (2019). Tracing the Development of Digital Humanities in Australia. Digital Humanities and Scholarly Research Trends in the Asia-Pacific (1-18). IGI Global.
  • Arthur, P., Van Nuenen, T. (2019). Travel in the Digital Age. The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (504-18). Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Arthur, P. (2018). Digital Postmodernism and Postcolonialism. Claiming the Difference: Identity in Literatures and Cultures (21-28). Authorspress.

Journal Articles

  • Arthur, P., Ensor, J., Van Faassen, M., Hoekstra, R., Peters, N. (2018). Migrating People, Migrating Data: Digital Approaches to Migrant Heritage. Journal of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities, 3(1), 98-113.

Conference Publications

  • Arthur, P. (2018). Engaging Collections and Communities: Technology and Interactivity in Museums. Proceedings of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 3rd Conference (12p.). CEUR-WS.
  • Arthur, P., Van Faassen, M., Hoekstra, R., Povroznik, N., Hearn, L., Peters, N. (2018). Migration Experiences: Acknowledging the Past, and Sustaining the Present and Future. Digital Heritage Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation and Protection (224-234). Springer.

Book Chapters

  • Arthur, P. (2017). Integrating Biographical Data in Large-Scale Research Resources: Current and Future Directions. Europa baut auf Biographien: Aspekte, Bausteine, Normen und Standards für eine europäische Biographik (171-180). New Academic Press.

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Arthur, P. (2015). Death in Social Media: The Digital Afterlife. Memorialisation (43-61). Heidelberg Press.

Journal Articles

  • Arthur, P. (2015). Material Memory and the Digital. Life Writing, 12(2), 189-200.
  • Arthur, P. (2015). Digital Textuality, Writing and New Media. Anglistik. International Journal of English Studies, 26(2), 113-123.
  • Arthur, P. (2015). Translating Identity across Time, Space, and Media. Journal of Contemporary Thought, 42(2015), 5-19.
  • Arthur, P. (2015). Re-imagining a Nation: The Australian Dictionary of Biography Online. The European Journal of Life Writing, IV(2015), 108-124.
  • Arthur, P. (2015). Coda: Data Generation. Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 38(2), 312-320.

Book Chapters

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Arthur, P. (2012). Connecting and Enabling the Humanities: e-Research in the Border Zone. Collaborative and Distributed E-Research: Innovations in Technologies, Strategies, and Applications (96-111). IGI Global.

Journal Articles

  • Arthur, P. (2012). Literary and Cartographic Projections. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(3), 1-9.

Book Chapters


  • Arthur, P. (2010). Virtual Voyages: Travel Writing and the Antipodes 1605-1837. Anthem Studies in Travel, 190. Anthem Press.

Journal Articles

Research Projects

  • Western Australian Legacies of British Slavery, Australian Research Council, Grant - Discovery Projects, 2020 ‑ 2022, $294,297.
  • Time-Layered Cultural Map of Australia 2.0, Australian Research Data Commons, Platforms, 2021, $10,000.
  • Time-layered cultural map of Australia, Australian Research Council, Grant - Linkage (Infrastructure), 2019 ‑ 2021, $75,000.
  • Migrant and transnational identity-formation: German and Australian responses to migration and asylum seekers in the media and public discourse, Edith Cowan University, Australia-Germany JRC Scheme (UA-DAAD), 2018 ‑ 2020, $18,000.
  • The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia (Phase 1), Australian Research Council, Grant - Linkage (Infrastructure), 2020, $1,525,000.
  • SAVE – Survivors Against Violent Extremism , Multicultural NSW, Grant, 2020, $11,765.
  • Digital Preservation and Documentation of Australia's Migrant Cultural Heritage, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 2018 ‑ 2019, $19,000.
  • International Collaboration with Swansea University in the Field of Cyberterrorism for Research Cooperation and Student Exchange, Edith Cowan University, ECU Collaboration Enhancement Scheme – 2017 Round 2, 2018 ‑ 2019, $8,395.
  • Formalising International Collaborative Ventures between Australia and India to develop New Interpretive Mapping Tools for Digital Humanities , Edith Cowan University, ECU Collaboration Enhancement Scheme - 2017 Round 1, 2017 ‑ 2018, $6,595.
  • Politics in the Era of Social Media: Are Digital Tools Influencing Young People?, Edith Cowan University, School of Arts and Humanities Research Grant Scheme 2017, 2017 ‑ 2018, $10,000.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Finding freedom: Representations of liberation in the cultural and political production of nitty scott, immortal technique and tygapaw since 2016
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Sense of Belonging in Times of Social Isolation - An Autoethnographic Study

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Being digitally human: Co-creation and responses to stories on humans of new york
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Representations of China in Australian News: Reports from 2018 to 2020

Co-ordinating Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Everyday ethics and storytelling after terrorism: Collaborative ethnographies exploring intersubjective identities through anthropology, victim/survivor studies and communication and cultural studies
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