DR Ashley Barnwell

DR Ashley Barnwell




    • Dr Ashley Barnwell is Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Her research is based in cultural sociology and social theory, and focuses on the politics of truth-telling and sharing stories in public life.

      Ashley is interested in sociological aspects of emotions, memory, and narrative, and the role of life writing, personal archives, and literature in sociological research. From 2019–2022, she will be an ARC DECRA Fellow working on the project ‘Family Secrets, National Silences: Intergenerational Memory in Settler Colonial Australia’.

      Ashley is co-author of Reckoning with the Past: Family Historiographies in Postcolonial Australian Literature (with Joseph Cummins, Routledge 2018) and co-editor of Research Methodologies for Auto/Biography Studies (with Kate Douglas, Routledge 2019). She was the 2014 Seymour Scholar for Biography and a 2019 Research Fellow at the National Library of Australia. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at The Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, University of Manchester, at the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and at the National Centre for Biography at the ANU. With Dr Signe Ravn, Ashley co-directs the Narrative Network, an interdisciplinary forum for scholars working with narrative methods. With A/Prof Kris Natalier, she is co-convener of The Australian Sociological Association's Families & Relationships Thematic Group.



    Member of

    • Advisory Committee, Centre for Applied History, Macquarie University. Member 2017 -
    • Affiliate Researcher, SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory, University of Turku. Affiliate Researcher 2015 -
    • Family and Emotions Research Group, ARC Centre for Excellence on the History of Emotions.. Member 2015 -
    • International Auto/Biography Association Asia Pacific Chapter. Member 2015 -
    • The Australian Sociological Association. Member 2011 -


    Selected publications


    Investigator on

    Additional Grant Information

    • 2016 Faculty Research Grant, 'Family Secrets, National Silences: A Sociological Study of Intergenerational Storytelling'

      2017 Faculty Research Grant, 'Captured and Captioned: Representing Family Lives on Instagram', with Dr Signe Ravn and Dr Barbara Barbosa Neves

      2018 Peter McMullin Centre for Statelessness Seed-funding Grant, 'Voices of Statelessness', with Dr Timnah Baker, A/Prof Jennifer Balint, André Dao, and Michael Green 

      2018 University Of Melbourne + University of Manchester Collaboration Grant, 'International Family History Research', with Dr Jerome de Groot   


    Education and training

    • BA (Hons), University of New South Wales
    • PhD, University of New South Wales 2014

    Awards and honors

    • The Seymour Scholarship for Biography, National Library of Australia, 2014
    • Dean's Leadership Award, UNSW, 2013
    • Research Excellence Award 2011 - 2014, UNSW, 2011
    • The Sol Encel Prize for Sociology, UNSW, 2010
    • University Medal for Sociology, UNSW, 2010


    Available for supervision

    • Y

    Supervision Statement

    • I am currently interested in supervising topics related to:
      Social theory
      Cultural sociology
      Life writing/Life narrative
      Cultural Memory
      Sociology of everyday life
      Sociology of literature