Researcher biography

Associate Professor Adrian Athique is programme leader in Media and Digital Cultures in the School of Communication and Arts. Adrian's research focuses upon the social, economic and cultural implications of digital media technologies. Adrian is also internationally recognised for his work on the evolution of media and digital cultures in Asia and on transnational media reception. Adrian was previously a member of the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation at the University of Essex (2008-2010), Chair of the School of Arts and leader of the Creative Technologies programme at the University of Waikato (2010-2015) and principal research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, UQ (2016-2020). 

Adrian is currently engaged in three major research projects. He is leading the Digital Transactions in Asia research network in collaborations with colleagues at Nanyang Technological University, RMIT, De La Salle Manila, Monash Malaysia, Concordia University, and IIT Delhi. The digital transactions project focuses upon the transformation of everyday exchanges across the Asian region through the everyday use of Internet technologies, including payment platforms, e commerce, Fintech and social media. Adrian has hosted a series of international conferences, symposia and workshops on this theme since 2017, along with the book Digital Transactions in Asia: Social , Economic and Informational Processes (Routledge 2019), and is currently completing Digital Transactions in India: Platforms, Markets and Users (Australia-India Council Grant Round, DFAT, 2019 - 20). In 2021, the DTA network is hosting research events at St Lucia (July), Singapore (November) and New Delhi (December). 

Adrian has worked extensively with colleagues in the School of Communication and Arts on the interdisciplinary research of platform media, having been the joint CI on the Strategic Research Funding Award 2017-2019 Platform Media, Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design. His recent project Platform Economies in Digital India: Assessing Implementation, Impact, Infrastructure and Aptitude was funded by the Government of India  under the Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research and Collaboration (SPARC, 2019 - 21). For this project, Adrian built upon his longstanding work with colleagues across India exploring the evolution of the Indian media economy and the use of media technologies for social and economic development. Adrian has published prolifically in this area, with the most recent of his five books on this topic being Platform Capitalism in India (Palgrave, 2020). Using a comparative international lens, Adrian is also the India team leader for the major consortium project 'Global Media and Internet Concentration (SSHRC, 2021-2027). 

Adrian is recognised for his longstanding work on the sociology of media audiences and transnational communication, with his book Transnational Audiences: Media Reception on a Global Scale (Polity 2016) adopted for courses across the world. During the course of the COVID pandemic, Adrian has argued forcefully that the evolutionary pathways of digital media systems have critical, and not always positive, effects upon public health communication worldwide. Adrian spoke to this theme at the 2020 SCA webinar forum What can the humanities tell us about COVID-19?, and followed this up with an extraordinary double issue of Media International Australia: Coronavirus, Crisis, and Communication that explored the dynamics of pandemic communication across the world (2020).

At the 2020 webinar forum What can the humanities tell us about COVID-19?, Athique explored how digital technologies have failed to mitigate security, economic, and health disasters.