Biography is only one of many disciplines that have been deeply influenced by advances in digital media and computing, and that have required new theoretical approaches to help understand the changes. Yet the digital revolution has arguably had a more profound effect on biography and life writing than on any other branch of literature, perhaps any branch of the arts. At the intersection of biography and digital humanities, key questions can be posed: In what ways does the Web act to co-shape our identities? Do we know ourselves, each other, or historical actors differently? How permanent are the digital records of lives that are being produced? Do we, or will we soon, remember differently? And, what are the research futures for digital biographical research?
Paul Arthur is Chair in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Centre for Global Issues at Edith Cowan University, Australia. He was previously Professor in Digital Humanities at Western Sydney University. From 2010–2013 he was Deputy Director of the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University, and Deputy General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Recent publications include Migrant Nation (in press, 2017, ed.), Private Lives, Intimate Readings (2015, ed. with Leena Kurvet-Käosaar), and Advancing Digital Humanities: Research, Methods, Theories (2014, ed. with Katherine Bode).