Language Professor awarded prestigious Fellowship



The Australian Academy of the Humanities has named a Heriot-Watt academic for a national honour of a prestigious fellowship.

Professor Jemina Napier, from the School of Social Sciences, Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, is one of 40 new members elected by The Australian Academy of Humanities to its Fellowship – the highest honour for achievement in and contribution to the humanities in Australia. 

The Chair of Intercultural Communication, who is based at the University’s Edinburgh Campus, was chosen as a Corresponding Fellow for her work in linguistics; sign language interpreting practice, pedagogy and research; sign language and intercultural communication.

Commenting on her achievement; Professor Napier said: “I am delighted to have been elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; it is such an honour. My academic career began in Australia, and I am thankful for the various community and stakeholder partnerships I’ve had that have enabled me to produce collaborative, impactful research. I continue to collaborate with researchers in Australia as well as partnering with national and international organisations with the support of Heriot-Watt University”.

These distinguished professionals reflect Australia’s diverse learned humanities community and are recognised for their outstanding contributions in a broad range of fields ranging from bioethics and the philosophy of medicine to Indigenous Australian and Pacific languages and cultures; the Chinese justice system, digital media technologies, music performance and education, Islam and interfaith relations; feminism, and literary studies. 

Five international researchers with close and enduring links to Australia were elected as Corresponding Fellows.  

In addition, the Academy elected 10 Honorary Fellows. These remarkable cultural and creative leaders are honoured for their outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life.

The group includes philanthropists, cultural leaders, creative practitioners, and activists. 

“I am honoured to welcome our new Fellows to the Academy, elected in recognition of their distinguished achievement in the humanities and arts disciplines and for their outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life,” said Academy President Professor Lesley Head FASSA FAHA following the Annual General Meeting. 

“‘The broad-ranging research fields and areas of contribution by the newly elected Fellows showcase the depth and diversity of the humanities in Australia, and celebrate the ability of the humanities to educate, guide, inform and shape vital areas of cultural, social and environmental thought, policy and planning.”

For a full list of fellowships visit -


Susan Kerr