University of Western Sydney, Australia
Technology and Transformation: Memory and Identity in the 21st Century
Synopsis: an investigation into how the digital medium has recently enabled radical changes in the ways that life memory and biography can be generated and engaged. It takes the position that national biography, whether or not it sets out to do so, reflects how a nation views itself. The Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) has been produced continuously for more than 50 years, and has cumulatively generated a story of a nation. The nature of that collective narrative, however, is not easy to discover. Now, as a result of the ADB’s recent adoption of digital formats, the potential for analysis of the biographies it contains has expanded exponentially, offering unprecedented research opportunities for investigating in new ways how the idea of nation itself has evolved in Australia.
Paul Arthur is Professor and inaugural Australian Chair in Digital Humanities at the University of Western Sydney. He leads the Digital Humanities Research Group and is an advisory board member of the Institute for Culture and Society and the Centre for Western Sydney.