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Professor Melanie Swalwell

Professor, Digital Media Heritage


Melanie Swalwell is Professor of Digital Media Heritage in the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University. Melanie’s research focuses on the creation, use, preservation, and legacy of complex digital artefacts such as videogames and media artworks.

Currently leading a team of collaborators, Melanie has been awarded two Digital Media Heritage and Preservation ARC Linkage projects: “Play It Again: Preserving Australian videogame history of the 1990s”, and “Archiving Australian Media Arts: Towards a best practice method and national collection”. See An ARC Future Fellow from 2014-18, Melanie continues to research "Creative Micro-computing in Australia, 1976-92".

She manages the running of the Digital Heritage Lab at Swinburne, a collection of functioning vintage computer hardware and facilities for the imaging of disks originally set up by Dr Denise de Vries, now directed by Dr Cynde Moya.

Melanie is the author of Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality (MIT Press), as well as many chapters and articles on the histories of digital games. She is the editor of Game History and the Local (Palgrave, 2021), and co-editor of Fans and Videogames: Histories, fandom, archives (with Helen Stuckey and Angela Ndalianis, Routledge, 2017), and The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on cultural history, theory and aesthetics (with Jason Wilson, McFarland, 2008).

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

1990s game history project: I am seeking a top student for a 3 yr stipend. Write a thesis on 1990s videogame history, culture and/or preservation. I have particular expertise in user practices and consumption. Come and join the vibrant team working on the "Play It Again" Linkage Project, with industry partners ACMI and AARNet. You need to be eligible for candidature (ie. 1/2A Hons, Aus/NZ resident).

media arts history/preservation project: I am seeking a top student for a 3 yr stipend, to write a thesis in relation to the Linkage Project I am currently leading "Archiving Australian Media Arts". This is working with the archives of ANAT, dLux, and Experimenta media arts. You need to be eligible for candidature (ie. 1/2A Hons, Aus/NZ resident).

Fields of Research

  • Screen And Digital Media - 360500


Also published as: Swalwell, Melanie; Swalwell, M.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2020: Archiving Australian Media Arts: Towards a method and national collection *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2020: Play It Again: Preserving Australian videogame history of the 1990s  *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2014: Creative Micro-computing in Australia, 1976-1992 *; ARC Future Fellowships

* Chief Investigator

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