Dr Tyne Daile Sumner

BA (Hons); MA; PhD
ARC DECRA Fellow in English & Digital Humanities
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

  • Modern & Contemporary Literature, Poetry & Poetics, Australian Literature
  • Digital Humanities, Surveillance Studies, Cultural Analytics, Digital Culture
  • Facial-Recognition Technology, Critical Infrastructure Studies, Digital Ethics 


I am an interdisciplinary scholar working in the fields of literary studies, digital humanities, and surveillance studies. I was awarded my PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2018, which received The Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence. This was followed by a period as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow, during which I researched modern and contemporary literature, cultural analytics, linked open data, and theories of the face in literary, artistic and technological fields. Before coming to ANU, I have also worked as a project manager on national infrastructure projects for the arts and humanities, and as a Senior Digital Strategy Advisor in Chancellery at the University of Melbourne. Between 2024-2026 I’m an ARC DECRA Fellow in English and Digital Humanities on my project Beyond Big Brother: New Narratives for Understanding Surveillance.

Across my teaching, research and public engagement, I have a longstanding interest in the transdisciplinary impact of the humanities, especially for pressing debates in fields including data science, Artificial Intelligence, digital ethics, surveillance, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). I frequently speak on panels about the public role of the humanities, with a focus on topics such as subjectivity, authenticity, disclosure, intimacy, and truth. I also extend this work beyond academia, where I have collaborated with the National Communications Museum (Victoria, Australia), presented talks at art galleries, and delivered workshops for archivists, librarians, computer scientists and others.

My first monograph, Lyric Eye: The Poetics of Twentieth-Century Surveillance (Routledge 2021), is a detailed study of the relationship between poetry and surveillance. The book critically examines the close connection between American lyric poetry and a burgeoning US state surveillance apparatus from 1920 through the 1960s, roughly the period during which J. Edgar Hoover ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I am also co-editor of the collection Small Data is Beautiful (Grattan Street Press 2023), and Associate Editor with Philip Morrissey of Lionel Fogarty Selected Poems 1980-2017 (repress 2017). I have published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics, from C20th poetics and Australian literature to facial-recognition technology and cultural databases.

I am President of The Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (aaDH) and am the Constituent Organization (CO) Representative for the Australasian region in the The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO). I am also on the International Steering Committee of the Art, AI & Digital Ethics Network, currently based at the University of Melbourne.

Researcher's projects

Beyond Big Brother: New Narratives for Understanding Surveillance

Beyond Big Brother is my Australian Research Council DECRA project. The project investigates how recent forms of narrative fiction reflect and shape understandings of digital surveillance. It aims to generate new knowledge about the personal and social implications of digital surveillance across different cultural, technological and geographical contexts. Expected outcomes include a significant interdisciplinary methodology that integrates surveillance studies, digital humanities, and literary studies to improve our understanding of surveillance. The project also aims to generate teaching and public engagement resources for research, industry, and government. This will substantially improve our understanding of the impact of digital surveillance at the individual, community, and national levels.

Water as Method: Reading the Hydrocolony in Global Literature
2023 - ongoing

The primary objective of this project is to articulate the significance of water, not only as encompassing settler-colonial politics, but also as a cultural, technological, and aesthetic formation with its own mobile and diverse permutations. With a wide geographical focus that spans Australia, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific, the project introduces water as a modality for reading global literature. By considering internal waterways as well as surrounding waterscapes, Water as Method offers innovative ways for reappraising works by authors from Australia, the Indian Ocean region, and the Pacific Ocean. This collaborative international project is conducted by four early career researchers: Dr Tyne Daile Sumner (ANU), Dr Keyvan Allahyari (University of Oslo), Dr Jennifer Leetsch (Univeristy of Bonn) and Dr Katharina Fackler (University of Bonn).

Art, AI & Digital Ethics
2021 - ongoing

This is a project and research network, currently based in the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Ethics (CAIDE) at the University of Melbourne. Founded by Dr Vanessa Bartlett, with Dr Tyne Daile Sumner, Gabby Bush, Dr Kristal Spreadborough, Dr Jasmin Pfefferkorn and Emilie Sunde, the project explores the contribution of art to enquiry about the ethics of Artificial Intelligence and digital innovation. It considers how artists, researchers and curators produce aesthetic encounters and emotional engagements that support ethical feeling and deliberation. The project is guided by two overarching research questions: What, specifically, do artists and curators bring to the conversation about AI and digital ethics? And how do we practice in ethical ways?

Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  25 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers