Professor Matthew Allen
Internet critic, researcher and educator
First and foremost, I am a thinker about how social and technological innovations in networked communications and media – principally the Internet – are remaking the way people live and interact. The Internet provides both the means of change, and also a rich source of metaphors and meanings by which to think differently about the world. The changes the Internet brings are by no means all for the better; nor are they planned or controlled in many cases. The Internet makes a critical difference to our lives in the early 21st century; and I seek to be a critical thinker about that difference: to be a net critic.
I am an institutionalised thinker, an academic whose career has mostly been in the Department of Internet Studies, Curtin University but now taking up a new role as Head of School at Deakin University. As well as the management and leadership responsibilities which I have, I conduct research into various aspects of the Internet past, present and future; I craft and deliver educational programs along with my colleagues that enable individuals and the society to achieve their potential and become active, creative participants across all forms of media, performance, communication and more. I supervise doctoral students who represent the cutting edge of research into the Internet as a social phenomenon. I communicate ideas about the Internet to the community, through public speaking and media commentary.
As an academic, I have also become closely involved in the management and development of higher education as an institution, particularly in relation to teaching and learning. Therefore, as much as I study change in the knowledge society – principally around the impact of networked ICTS – I also lead, practice (and sometimes suffer) change within the academy, one of the institutions of knowledge in society.
netcrit.net provides access to some of my work in these fields of knowledge work. Please note that the views in this site are my own and do not represent official commentary by my employers. That is a good thing: academic freedom remains a cornerstone of my practice and ethical stance, along with the responsibility to use that freedom wisely.