[SIGCIS-Members] Welcoming Melanie Swalwell, new SIGCIS Co-Chair

Melanie Swalwell mswalwell at swin.edu.au
Thu Sep 10 19:06:01 PDT 2020

Hi everyone, and thank you Andy.

For those who don’t know me yet, greetings. I’m excited to be stepping into this new role, in such interesting times, too.

To give you a bit of background: I started my career working in New Zealand, and moved from a 10 year stint in Adelaide to Melbourne about 18 months ago. In my current role I am focused on research and postgraduate supervision. I have a range of research interests. I have been working on the reception of microcomputers in the 1980s for some time, and have just completed a book, Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality, for MIT Press’ new Game Histories series. I am currently working on a large project on ‘Creative Micro-computing’ in Australia between 1976 and 1992, which will be my next book project. And I’ve just (last night!) submitted an edited anthology called Game History and the Local, which collects essays on game history and historiography that reflect on the significance of locality. Previous collections are in the space where History of Technology meet Digital Media Histories/Media Studies/Game Studies/Fan Studies/Collections space -- Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandom, Archives (2017, Routledge) and The Pleasures of Computer Games: Essays on Cultural History, Theory and Aesthetics (McFarland, 2008). Interdisciplinarity is in my blood, and quite probably multidisciplinarity as well. At present, I am leading a team which is undertaking two computer history and digital preservation projects funded by the Australian Research Council, one focused on 1990s Australian games and the other on media arts. These are partnerships with a range of cultural institutions, in which we are both undertaking historical research and preserving and emulating the artefacts, evaluating the Emulation as a Service platform running in various configurations.

I have been a member of SIGCIS for quite some years (I’m not sure exactly how many), and have attending several SHOT meetings (in Albuquerque, Singapore, and Milan) and the SIGCIS conference in 2017 at CHM. I also served on the Mahoney Prize Committee from 2017-19, which gave the chance to read and admire a wider cross-section of the amazing research that our community generates than I would normally be exposed to.

I am honoured to be joining the leadership of SIGCIS. I have long admired the SIG and SHOT as generous and collegial communities, and I am keen to support the inclusiveness and diversity of the groups. Also, given that we are in the midst of a pandemic, and facing significant social, political and ecological challenges, it behoves us to consider how we might do some things differently than we have in the past, with a goal of enhancing participation. As someone who comes from a part of the globe that is not often centred in academic exchange, I think I bring some useful experience and perspectives that can assist us as we learn some new ways to approach some of our activities.

I’m really looking forward to working with you all and with Andy and the team we are building to take SIGCIS to the next stage!



Melanie Swalwell
Prof of Digital Media Heritage
Centre for Transformative Media Technologies
Faculty of Health, Arts and Design
Swinburne University
PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122 Australia

Tel +61 3 9214 3911
mswalwell at swin.edu.au

From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> On Behalf Of Andrew Russell
Sent: Thursday, 10 September 2020 10:59 PM
To: members at lists.sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Welcoming Melanie Swalwell, new SIGCIS Co-Chair


I’m writing to share some exciting news, which is that Melanie Swalwell has agreed to join me as SIGCIS Co-Chair, effective September 1, 2020.  Melanie is Professor of Digital Media Heritage<https://www.swinburne.edu.au/research/our-research/access-our-research/find-a-researcher-or-supervisor/researcher-profile/?id=mswalwell> at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.  Many of you will have met Melanie at SIGCIS, or know her work in the histories of digital games and digital preservation.  You should expect to hear from Melanie about the reorganization of the SIGCIS Officers, and opportunities for volunteer positions to help SIGCIS continue to grow and change.  And you’ll also hear from Laine Nooney about SIGCIS’s plans for virtual meetings in these months when we can’t meet in person - and in anticipation of the rescheduled joint HSS-SHOT meeting in New Orleans in October 2021.

Take care,

Co-Chair, SIGCIS

— — — — — — — — — — —

Andrew L. Russell, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Donovan Hall - 2123B
100 Seymour Road
Utica, NY 13502

t. 315-792-7317
w. https://sunypoly.edu/<https://sunypoly.edu/>
e. arussell at arussell.org<mailto:arussell at arussell.org>

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