School of
Humanities and Creative Arts

Art History and Theory, Classics, Cinema Studies, Cultural Studies, English, Fine Arts, History, Music and Philosophy. Here you will find some links to useful resources and information.


UC academics to lead new Swiss Turing Centre

21 July 2015 In the wake of the recent blockbuster The Imitation Game about Alan Turing, Christchurch has acquired a new Turing-inspired connection with Europe. (read article)

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Video Interviews

Staff and students talk about their research in the Humanities.

James Logie Memorial Collection.

The James Logie Memorial Collection is one of the finest teaching collections of Greek and Roman antiquities to be found in the Southern Hemisphere.

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‘There are some awesome courses available at UC which are very much worth taking...’

Louisa Vickers Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (Secondary)
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Announcements and Events

Art History

Congratulations to our 400-level students, who have curated Bird Call, a fascinating exhibition currently on show in the Matariki exhibition space. Bird Call brings together artworks and objects from various collections at UC, and explores the relationships between representation and ecology through material culture, video, and audio works relating to Aotearoa New Zealand birdlife. The exhibition was an assignment task for an Art History postgraduate course that looks at the theory and practice of museums, and it gave students the opportunity to apply what they had learned in the course to a 'real world'-type project. Bird Call runs until 23 June. Great work, team!

Cinema StudiesSam Neill meeting CINE students

Sam Neill, the famous New Zealand movie star and UC alumnus, visited a rapt CINE101 class on Wednesday. He spoke about his role in The Piano, his experience as a film actor, his early career and the important contribution that film has made to New Zealand culture. The students asked excellent questions and responded enthusiastically to his advice. He affirmed that the Arts and Humanities helped students to “learn how to think for themselves” and supported them wholeheartedly in their choice of film as a subject for their degree. Many selfies were taken, and fluffy dinosaurs were signed. Sam Neill then joined students and staff at the HACA lunch and spoke briefly once more.


The curators from the James Logie Memorial Collection will again be offering regular tours of the collection for staff and friends between 1- 2pm on the first Wednesday of every month.  The collection contains around 370 items of classical antiquities from the Greek and Roman world. It will be a rare opportunity for staff and friends to view items without barriers of glass or perspex. 

Visitors are invited to book an appointment by email with either Penny Minchin- Garvin  or Terri Elder

Digital Humanities

Adrian Kingston, Senior Analyst Digital Collections at Te Papa Tongarewa, will be speaking about ‘Digital Roles in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museum (GLAM) Sector’ on Thursday 18th June in Popper 508. Adrian is a prominent figure in New Zealand’s digital GLAM community and has been involved in a variety of initiatives including the National Digital Forum (NDF) and DigitalNZ ( as well as Te Papa. All welcome. The talk is targeted at Arts students who would like to understand the range of career opportunities, and the skills needed for them, in this fast developing area.

Adrian will be in Christchurch as the guest speaker for the National Digital Forum’s barcamp, being held on Friday 19th June from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm in the Undercroft seminar room. The barcamp is being organised by Joanna Szczepanski, an Associate Curator at the Canterbury Museum, and Anton Angelo from UC Library. A ‘barcamp’, or ‘unconference’ is an opportunity for people to spend time in the company of digital humanists and other GLAM people, learning from each other in a participatory environment. It's a chance to tap into the minds of colleagues working in diverse digital roles, involving all the humanities disciplines. 

Have you got an idea you want to test out? A knotty concern that taxes your brain? Come prepared to solve all our problems together in a high energy environment where there are no bystanders! Admission is free – just turn up with problems, ideas, and a willingness to learn! Staff and students are equally encouraged to attend.


On 15 April Dr Jane Buckingham and the New Zealand South Asia Centre co-convened a workshop with Sekhar Bandhyopadhyay, New Zealand India Research Institute, entitled: “Indian Migration to the Pacific and Indian Ocean States”. The workshop is linked to her current research project conducted jointly with Delhi University on the history of Health, Labour and Migration in the South Pacific.

As part of the session on Migrant Health Jane presented the paper “Indenture and the Indian Experience of Leprosy on Makogai Island, Fiji”.

Dr Chris Jones has published the edited collection John of Paris: Beyond Royal and Papal Power (Turnhout, 2015) with the European publisher Brepols. Bringing together an international team of scholars representing a wide range of disciplines, the book marks the end of a five-year project. It is the first collection in any language to be dedicated to an exploration of John’s thought. It re-examines, in particular, John’s controversial conception of political organisation while considering the role his background as a member of the Dominican order played in shaping his thought.

Anna Milne-Tavendale, a doctoral student in History, has published the article ‘John of Paris and the Apocalypse’ in the collection John of Paris: Beyond Royal and Papal Power (Turnhout, 2015).

Fine Arts

Simon Morris, Black Water Colour Painting 2015, Ilam Campus Gallery till 25 June

Black Water Colour Painting 2015 continues the ongoing interest of Wellington-based artist Simon Morris in the complex interrelations between painting and architecture. Painting directly onto the walls of the gallery, Morris uses strategies of reduction and repetition as ways of simplifying things, while bringing the durational aspects of painting into clearer focus.

Simon Morris’s work explores interests in abstraction and the possibilities that emerge from self-imposed restraints on structure, materials, and process. He completed his BFA studies at the University of Canterbury (1984), and has since exhibited extensively both in New Zealand and internationally. He completed his MFA at RMIT University in Melbourne (1997), and is now Senior Lecturer at the Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, Wellington. Recent projects have included: Blue Water Colour (2011) Dowse Art Museum; Reason Rhyme at both Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, and ST PAUL St Gallery (2011); Aotearoa Baroque in Mexico City (2011); Contact: Artists from Aotearoa New Zealand (2012) at Frankfurter Kunstverein; and Unstuck in Time (2014) at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts. He is currently represented by Two Rooms Gallery in Auckland.


Congratulations to Dr Karen Saunders, of the English Department and UC Pathways, who won the UC Diversity Award for her work promoting inclusiveness and respect for differences of all kinds across the campus. Anyone who works with Karen or hears her students praising her will know that this is a very richly deserved honour.

Associate Professor Annie Potts and research student Donelle Gadenne (of the Department of English and the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies) were profiled in the weekend Press (Saturday February 28) about their new book, Animals in Emergencies: Learning from the Christchurch Earthquakes (Canterbury University Press, 2014).


Orchestral arrangements by School of Music lecturer Hamish Oliver featured in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra's 'Rock Divas' concert last Saturday 6th June. Hamish arranged the songs by singer/songwriters Anika Moa and Julia Deans, who performed them with the orchestra.

This week Associate Professor Roger Buckton travelled to Aizu, Japan where he is meeting with UC School of Music PhD graduate Kim Rockell.  Kim is now an Associate Professor at the University of Aizu with a research role in the area of music and language.  Kim (guitar) and Roger (flute) are performing under their Australasian stage name of Black Orpheus with concerts in Aizu at the Nanokamachi Amphitheatre and the University's Keikudo Hall.  Included in their programme is a work by another past UC student, Stephanie Moller, entitled “Calling to you” which was published in 2013 by USA publishers Allaince Publications. See a video here. Apart from performances, Roger is presenting a public lecture on “The migration of English Folk songs to New Zealand” and a talk on Christchurch to the International Students Association at the University.

Later in his travels, Roger is meeting another ex-UC School of Music PhD student, Mike Cwach. Mike now lives in Hodonice, Czech Republic and plays tuba with the Ceske Budovice Symphony Orchestra. A recent performance commemorating the end of World War 1 at Ceske Krumlov can be seen here. 


Killer robots: the future of war?
UC Philosophy PhD student Sean Welsh has had his article on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems featured on CNN News's website.

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Jack Copeland

Covey Award
The University of Canterbury’s Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Jack Copeland, has just been named 2016 winner of the Covey Award by the International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP). The prize will be awarded next year in a ceremony at the IACAP conference to be held at the University of Ferrara in Italy. By tradition Professor Copeland will deliver a keynote conference speech after the award ceremony. Read the full article here., based at the University of Copenhagen, have uploaded a video of Jack Copeland’s Keynote address at the Arthur Prior Centenary Conference on Youtube, and Matematicko-fyzikální fakulta, based in Prague, have uploaded a video of Jack Copeland’s presentation on ‘Alan Turing and the Birth of Computer’.

Jakub Złotowski, Diane Proudfoot, Kumar Yogeeswaran, and Christoph Bartneck recently had their article, “Anthropomorphism: Opportunities and Challenges in Human–Robot Interaction”, published in the International Journal of Social Robotics.