Humanities leader recognised with prestigious fellowship

19 November 2019

A University of Queensland researcher has been bestowed with the highest honour for achievement in the humanities in Australia.

Professor Joanne Tompkins is among 25 researchers newly elected as Fellows to the Australian Academy of the Humanities for their outstanding contribution to the field and Australia’s cultural life.

UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Executive Dean Professor Heather Zwicker said this Fellowship was an outstanding achievement and highlighted the importance of the humanities in addressing the social and cultural issues of the day.

“Professor Tompkins is an extraordinary leader in the humanities, and her research uses the tools of the 21st century to understand how space both enables and constrains performance," she said.

“The responsibility - and the great promise - of the humanities is not just to look backward, but also to think forward, and that’s what Professor Tompkins’ work does so well.

“Her research gives us exciting ways to think about multicultural identities in the world and in the theatre.”

Professor Tompkins’ research interests include spatial theories and virtual reality; post-colonial, intercultural and multicultural drama, literature and theory.

She is currently seconded to the role of Executive Director, Humanities and Creative Arts at the Australian Research Council (ARC).

“I'm very pleased to have received this honour,” Professor Tompkins said.

“I look forward to continuing both my own research and my efforts to advance the reach and impact of the humanities at large.”

It is especially significant that Professor Tompkins has been honoured in 2019, which is the Academy’s 50th anniversary of highlighting the contribution humanities, arts and culture make to national life.

Professor Tompkins is the author of two monographs, three co-authored books, three edited books, and more than 50 referred articles/chapters on post-colonial, multicultural, intercultural theatre, and spatial studies.

You can view the full list of newly elected Fellows here.