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John Macarthur honoured for humanities research at at the University of Queensland

Wednesday December 7, 2016

The UQ School of Architecture’s Professor John Macarthur has been honoured by the Australian Academy of the Humanities for the impact of his decades of scholarship in architectural humanities. John was recently elected as a Fellow of the Academy, alongside UQ’s Professor Alastair Blanshard, author Tim Winton and philosopher Jay Garfield. Only 21 new Fellows were elected to the Academy’s membership in 2016, bringing the membership to nearly 600 nationally. Conferral as a Fellow is this highest honour for achievement in the humanities in Australian and recognizes Professor Macarthur’s outstanding contribution to architectural scholarship.

John’s research investigates the relationship between architecture and the arts. He explains, “I am broadly interested in how architecture has been considered an art, defined by concepts of philosophical aesthetics on the one hand, and the social and professional institutions of the different arts on the other. The often conflicting determinations of art and aesthetics have a rich history going back to the eighteenth century and continue to define the professional and popular views of architecture.”

Most recently, in his role as Director of the School’s Centre for Architecture, Theory, Criticism and History – ATCH – John and his colleagues have been recording and analysing the architecture of Queensland. This work led to the Hot Modernism exhibition and book, and inspired the Queensland Government Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection to establish a heritage working party.

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Executive Simon Biggs said Professor Macarthur had made a significant contribution to society and the humanities through his research.

“The way in which John uses architecture to create connections between art and aesthetics is a clear example of the dynamic nature of the humanities and related fields, and I look forward to seeing what he produces in the future,” Professor Biggs said.

The School of Architecture warmly congratulates John on this honour, we are delighted that he continues to lead architectural humanities research in the School in his work at the ATCH research centre, including mentoring more junior colleagues, supervising research higher degree students, and publishing widely in the field.