Digital disruption and analogue academics

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Digital disruption, offers historic and unprecedented opportunities for academic researchers in the social and political sciences.

How will we respond? How can we liberate the insights and knowledge that is too often locked behind journal pay walls or left collecting dust in lonely libraries? What can the online world offer our 21st century research practice?

In this seminar, the second in the Bell School’s Horizons 2016 series, leading experts will outline explain digital disruption, and the perils and pitfalls that it brings – particularly for academics who are still operating in ‘analogue’ environments.

The speakers will examine how the size and pace of change in digital technologies have reshaped our society, economy, politics and media; whether disruption is a great equaliser or entrenches old forms of power and inequality, particularly across Asia and the Pacific; and how academics can harness digital platforms to make an impact in the world and to shape their careers, enhance research and create a ‘digital persona’.

The event is free and open to the public. The panel runs from 12.30-2.30pm, with a light lunch provided at 12pm. Registration is essential.


Dr Melanie James is a Senior Lecturer, researcher and consultant in strategic communication, social media and public relations at the University of Newcastle. Her research looks at strategic positioning, social media and digital identities in public communication and public relations.

Ms Natalie Sambhi is a Research Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre where she publishes on Indonesian foreign and defence policy as well as Southeast Asian security. In 2010, Natalie founded the blog Security Scholar and tweets at @SecurityScholar.

Dr Amanda H A Watson is a Visiting Fellow with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. Her PhD thesis explored the uptake and use of mobile phones during the earliest days of mobile phone adoption in Papua New Guinea.

Dr Ross Tapsell is a Lecturer at the School of Culture, History and Language, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. His research focuses on Southeast Asian societies, with a particular focus on digital technologies and their relationship to culture, nationalism, media and politics in Indonesia and Malaysia.


This seminar will be chaired by Dr Nicholas Farrelly, who is a Fellow in the ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs and co-founder of New Mandala.

Hosted each year by the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, the Horizons seminar series aims to enhance research innovation by supporting and showcasing collaborative, interdisciplinary, innovative and accessible thinking and work in Asia-Pacific affairs.

The 2016 series, Digital vision: agency, power and the future of Asia-Pacific affairs, explores how and why academics need to take scholarly debate and knowledge to wider audiences.