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Curtin awards honorary doctorate to humanities pioneer

Media release

Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Curtin University in recognition of his contribution to the fields of media and cultural studies.

Professor Turner is a leading international scholar in humanities and much of his foundation work was carried out while an academic with Curtin’s predecessor institution, the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), during the 1980s.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said Professor Turner’s award was a fitting acknowledgement of his outstanding scholarship and of his connection to the University.

“This award recognises Professor Turner’s work as a scholar and his continuing advocacy for the humanities and social sciences,” Professor Terry said.

“The University is celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, and we are proud to bestow this award on one of WAIT’s and Curtin most distinguished staff ‘alumni’.”

Professor Turner is a past president of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a former ARC Federation Fellow, and has led a number of nationally competitive grant-funded research projects on media and cultural studies.

“Professor Turner has had considerable engagement with federal research and higher education policy and is only the second humanities scholar to serve on the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council,” Professor Terry said.

“He was also the founding Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies based at The University of Queensland, one of the most productive and respected research centres in cultural studies in Australia.”

Professor Turner has published numerous essays and dozens of books including What’s Become of Cultural Studies?, Ordinary People and the Media: The Demotic Turn and Reinventing the Media.

In 2015 he was the Bonnier Visiting Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Stockholm University and in the same year was appointed chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts Panel for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Professor Turner received his Honorary Doctorate of Letters at a ceremony on Curtin’s Bentley Campus on 18 February 2017.