Jemina Napier

Professor Jemina Napier

  • Post Nominals: FAHA, FASLI
  • Fellow Type: Corresponding Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2021
  • Section(s): Linguistics


Professor Jemina Napier has been Chair of Intercultural Communication in the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh since 2013, and served as Head of Department (2014-2018) and Director of the Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (2018-2021). She is currently Director of Research for the School of Social Sciences. She is an interpreter, researcher, educator and practitioner, and has practiced as a sign language interpreter since 1989 working between English, British Sign Language, Australian Sign Language and International Sign. After completing an MA in BSL/ English Interpreting at Durham University in the UK, Jemina moved to Australia to undertake her PhD studies in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in 1998. She established the first Australian university postgraduate programme for sign language interpreters at Macquarie University in 2002 and was head of the suite of Translation and Interpreting programs from 2007-2012, where she is now an Adjunct Professor supervising PhD students. Jemina is honorary life member of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) and was an inaugural board member of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI). She is a Fellow of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK (ASLI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists UK, and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin.

Jemina has won several awards for her research work, including: the Australian Journal of Human Rights Andrea Durbach Award for best article in human rights scholarship 2017 (along with her colleagues Sandra Hale, David Spencer and Mehera San Roque), the 2017 Guardian University Award for Research Social & Community Impact (along with other members of the British Sign Language team at Heriot-Watt University), and the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners Award for best GP research article featured in the Australian Family Physician Journal in 2013 (with Michael Kidd).

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.