Paul has taught political and social philosophy, sociology and cultural studies both in higher education and TAFE at LaTrobe, Swinburne, Victoria University and NMIT.

He is currently completing his PhD in social and political theory and is the contributing editor to The Praxis of Alain Badiou and The Spirit of the Age: Hegel and the Fate of Thinking. Paul acts in several editorial roles including as a co-founder and editorial director of an independent open access publishing house, the first dedicated publisher of open access humanities monographs.

Paul is the founding co-editor of the open access peer-reviewed journal Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy and is also co-founder and steering group member of Open Humanities Press, a leading consortium of scholars, universities and libraries.

Before returning to VU he established and coordinated the publishing stream of the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing at NMIT. As a leader in the field of open access publishing Paul has provided strategic and technical advice to numerous groups and organizations including his current role on the advisory committee of Monash University Press.

Areas of expertise

  • Social and political theory
  • Philosophy (German philosophy, Hegel, political, environmental)
  • Ethics
  • Open access
  • Publishing
  • Digital culture
 Paul Ashton

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 7095

Research grants

  • JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), 'Living Books About Life: LiviBL', 2011, £90,000 (technical advisor)
  • Learnscope Grant, 'Pedagogical Perspectives on iPods and Podcasting: Making Technology Use Sustainable', 2006, $15,400
  • Internal VU Grant, 'Podcasting Project', 2006, $31,495
  • E-learning Grant, 'E-learning to Learn', 2006, $7,500
  • OTTE Innovation Grant, 'Flexible Delivery Model', 2006
  • E-learning Grant, 'Nature and its Human Transformations', 2005, $5,000


Refereed journal articles

  • Ashton, P, Nicolacopoulos, T & Vassilacopoulos, G 2007, 'The Spirit of the Age and the Fate of Philosophical Thinking', Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol. 3, Nos. 2-3, pp. 1-4
  • Ashton, P, 2007, 'The Beginning Before the Beginning: Hegel and the Activation of Philosophy', Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol. 3, Nos. 2-3, pp. 328-356
  • Ashton, P, Bartlett, AJ & Clemens, C 2006, 'Masters & Disciples: Institution, Philosophy, Praxis', Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol. 2, Nos. 1-2, pp. 1-8
  • Ashton, P & Rafferty, C 2002, 'The Metaphysics of Creativity: Nature, Art and Freedom in German Philosophy after Kant', Concrescence, vol. 3


  • Ashton, P, Nicolacopoulos, T & Vassilacopoulos, G 2008, 'The Spirit of the Age: Hegel and the Fate of Thinking',, Melbourne
  • Ashton, P, Bartlett, AJ & Clemens, C 2006, 'The Praxis of Alain Badiou',, Melbourne

Conference presentations


  • Ashton, P 2011, 'Open Access Publishing: New Models and Collaborations', Berlin 9, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington
  • Ashton, P 2011, 'Open Access and the Humanities', Higher Education Seminar Series, NMIT
  • Ashton, P 2010, 'Radical Publishing Past and Present: Open-access as Technology and Philosophy', The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) 2010 conference To Deprave and Corrupt: Forbidden, Hidden and Censored Books, 2010.
  • Ashton, P 2010, 'Digital Publishing: Current Developments in E-presses and E-journals', paper delivered as part of the Research Publication Support Scheme Seminar Series, University of Melbourne
  • Ashton, P 2006, 'New Directions in Academic Research: The Emerging Area of Open-Access Publishing', paper delivered at Victoria University

Social and political theory

  • Ashton, P 2007, 'Shadows of the Future: The Task of Thinking and the Tragedy of the Hegelian Philosopher', delivered to Hegel Seminar Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, University of Melbourne
  • Ashton, P 2006, 'Kojève the "Subject Supposed to Know": Against the Master-Slave Dialectic', delivered to the Lacan Circle of Melbourne
  • Ashton, P 2005, 'Too Early or Too Late: Hegel and Critical Theory', The Future of Critical Theory Conference, Ashworth Centre, the University of Melbourne
  • Ashton, P 2004, 'Hegel's Philosophy of Nature', Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • Ashton, P 2001, 'The Metaphysics of Creativity: Nature, Art and Freedom in German Philosophy after Kant', delivered at The Liberation of Life, Australasian Association for Process Thought Bi-Annual Conference, Latrobe University


  • Ashton, P 2010, 'Open Education Resources: A Review of Recent Developments', Arts and Social Sciences Faculty Conference, NMIT
  • Ashton, P 2006, 'Podcasting in Education', workshop delivered at Victoria University
  • Ashton, P 2006, 'Podagogy: Making Flexible Delivery Sustainable', Learning Matters Teaching and Learning Conference at Victoria University
  • Ashton, P 2006, 'Podcasting and Blogging: Increasing Flexibility Through Technology Use', Converge E-learning Conference

See the full list of Paul's publications in the VU Research Repository.

Professional experience

Paul has extensive experience in the academic publishing industry and continues to provide advice and serve on editorial advisory committees in Australia and internationally.

Appearances in the media

Paul has been interviewed numerous times with his work often featuring in the area of open access publishing. His development of OA publishing model ( has been profiled in numerous media outlets and blogs including: The Age, Campus Review, THE (Times Higher Education), The Chronicle of Higher Education and Out of Ink (The Institute of Network Cultures).