School of Language,
Social and Political Sciences

Kia ora, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa Bula, 歡迎, 환영합니다, ยินดีต้อนรับ, مرحبا, السلام عليكم, ようこそ

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai, haere mai

Our school encompasses the disciplines of: Anthropology, Diplomacy and International Relations, European and European Union Studies, Global, Cultural and Language Studies, Human Services, International Law and Politics, Journalism, Linguistics, Media and Communication, Political Science, Social Work and Sociology. Here you will find some links to useful resources and information.

UC commended in quality audit

24 March 2015 A four-year academic audit report has commended the UC on wide-ranging and effective contributions made by students to the university's planning, reviews and services. (read article)

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Announcements and Events

Life after the BA seminar on 14 August

Did you miss it? You can listen to the audio here (login using your UC username and password)

Postgraduate Brown Bag Presentations

Postgraduate Brown Bag Presentations - Wednesdays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Location: Psyc 311, Common Room

Global, Cultural and Language Studies

20 March 2015

On Wednesday 18th March the Japanese Consul, Mr Tsuchikawa, came to UC to present the Japanese Consular Prize for Excellence in Japanese. This year’s recipient is Victoria Wang, who is now studying Honours Japanese. Mr Tsuchikawa also presented the UC Japanese Excellence Awards to Fangfei Wang and Brittany Cheung. The third recipient of this award, Felix Giles-Rosanowski, is at present studying on a Japanese government MEXT scholarship at Fukui University. Congratulations to all 4 students!

13 March 2015

JAPA315 students (Topics in Advanced Japanese) hosted 40 Japanese students from Tokyo City University on 6 March.  They were on the College of Education International Short Courses, and it was organised as part of language exchange which gives the visiting students a chance to interact with UC students.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the JAPA315 students and Japanese students to interact in Japanese and English.

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban was invited to be the key note speaker at the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 10-12. The Initiative, supported by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) (Singapore), Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DIPLO Foundation (Geneva) and the NCRE (UC), brought together 32 diplomats from Europe and Asia discussing public diplomacy strategies and tools in order to improve the dialogue between Asia and Europe. Natalia presented the findings of her ongoing research projects on mutual perceptions between Europe and Asia -- a pioneering project in the field of EU-Asia public diplomacy -- and trained the participants in the methods of her analysis. This Initiative is a part of a two–year project on the role of public diplomacy in relations between Europe and Asia.

27 February 2015


Assoc. Prof. Evgeny Pavlov delivered a keynote talk “Dragomoshchenko’s Revolution” at the international conference Other Logics of Writing: in Memory of Arkady Dragomoshchenko at Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia, Feb 13-14, 2015. The conference was organised and sponsored by St Petersburg University.




Students in the Japanese programme, Anna Greenlaw, Renee Julian, Jie Fang and Toby Birkbeck-Jones and Dr Masayoshi Ogino were invited to talk with Mr Kazuyuki Nakane (Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs) and Mr Yasuaki Nogawa (Ambassador of Japan to NZ) at the Consular’s Office of Japan in Christchurch on 22 Feb.
Mr Nakane loves New Zealand and showed great interest in Japanese language education at UC and in New Zealand.  It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to talk (in Japanese) about their encounter with Japan and experience of learning Japanese.


16 February 2015


In December 2014 Dr Peter Low (French programme) attended the large intergovernmental conference on nuclear disarmament hosted in Vienna by the Austrian government. The conference was mostly in English - he went as a delegate of a French NGO, and worked partly as a translator.


15 December 2014


UC’s Journalism programme, along with the New Zealand Broadcasting School and Aoraki Polytechnic, hosted media industry representatives, international journalism researchers and journalism schools in early December for New Zealand’s annual journalism education conference.  Among the highlights was a keynote panel with Press Editor Joanna Norris, Radio New Zealand CEO Paul Thompson, Fairfax Media Group Executive Editor Sinead Boucher, Editor-in-chief of New Zealand Herald titles Tim Murphy, and TV3 Deputy Director of News & Current Affairs Richard Sutherland on the future of journalism and what educators and newsrooms need to be doing to prepare graduates for the changing world of news media.


27 March 2015

Between the 23rd-27th March, school students from across New Zealand will be taking part in Round 1 of the New Zealand Linguistics Olympiad, coordinated by Lynn Clark. 

20 March 2015

Congratulations to Linguistics PhD student Ksenia Gnevsheva, who has had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. The article is called: "Style-shifting and intra-speaker variation in the vowel production of non-native speakers of New Zealand English".

13 March 2015

Kevin Watson has accepted a position as co-editor of 'Ampersand', a new international, peer-reviewed, open access journal in Linguistics.

27 February 2015

Congratulations to Hasliza Abdul Halim, who successfully defended his thesis and obtained a PhD from the Department of Linguistics.

24 February 2015

Kevin Watson, Lynn Clark and Linguistics Honours student Sarah van Eyndhoven have had a paper accepted for presentation at the 13th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, to be held in Newcastle, UK, in July.  The paper is called: “t-to-r in north-west England: lexical frequency, schema strength and transitional probability.”

16 February 2015

Kevin Watson has been awarded a research grant from the NCRE, as part of the ‘Knowledge and Expertise Exchange Europe – New Zealand (KEEENZ)’ programme. He will spend 2 months at Newcastle University, working on a project which explores the transfer of linguistic norms from the UK to NZ.

Media & Communication

27 March 2015

On Tuesday 31 March, COMS staff member Sue Tait will present her research in a talk titled “Bearing Witness to the Trauma of the Death Penalty via Television Drama” as part of the COMS Seminar Series held weekly in Locke 611A.

20 March 2015

Graduate Diploma in Journalism tutor Sean Scanlon has been awarded a Dart Centre Asia Pacific Fellowship. He will travel to Hong Kong in May for a week-long seminar series on journalists and the coverage of traumatic news events.  Scanlon, news editor of The Press, will join 15 other journalists from the region.
On Tuesday 24 March, COMS MA candidate Sophie Nussbaumer will present her research in a talk titled “How Christchurch's Rough Sleeping Youth Use Their Mobile Phones” as part of the COMS Seminar Series held weekly in Locke 611A.

13 March 2015

Linda Jean Kenix published a paper titled, "Culture as constitutive: An exploration of audience and journalist perceptions of journalism in Samoa," in Communication, Culture & Critique. (vol. 8, issue 2, pp. 37-54. doi: 10.1111/cccr.12076)

On Tuesday 10 March, COMS PhD candidate Semiu Bello presented his research in a talk titled “Newspaper coverage of health issues in Nigeria: A triangular approach” as part of the COMS Seminar Series held weekly in Locke 611A.

6 March 2015

Donald Matheson won a University Teaching Grant. The title of the funding is ‘Implementing and evaluating a community and work-integrated course on social media’. He has been given $3000 to employ an assistant to help create relationships with about 15 partner organisations and to monitor those relationships to ensure the course is sustainable.

The COMS Seminar Series is kicking off for 2015 with a research chat by PhD candidate Semiu Bello. Semiu will be discussing his research in a talk titled “Newspaper coverage of health issues in Nigeria: A triangular approach”. See you in Locke 611a at 12pm on Tuesday 10 March.

15 December 2014

Semiu Bello, PhD student in Media and Communication, had his paper titled "The concept of health communication, converging points and key issues: Towards a more informed populace" accepted for publication in Media and Communication Review.

21 November 2014

Dr. Zita Joyce was Guest Editor for a recently published edition of MEDIANZ: Media Studies Journal of Aotearoa New Zealand.  This was a special issue of the journal, titled "Mediatization of the Canterbury Earthquakes."  It has important work from Kris Vavasour (2011 UC COMS Honours Graduate) and our recent PhD graduate, Sean Scanlon, as well as many other New Zealand scholars.

Political Science

20 March 2015

Anne-Marie Brady’s book Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefeild, 2008) has just been published in Chinese by the well-known Hong Kong publishing company, Mingjing Publishers.

Holly GriffinHolly Griffin, a recent politics BA Hons and MA graduate (right) returned to campus in her new role as Project Manager for NZ Red Cross on the disaster recovery management guide. Pictured here with Red Cross manager Jolie Willis.



13 March 2015
Josephine ClarkeWe are delighted that Josephine Clarke is the recipient of the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust Scholarship for her MA in Political Science and will be attending the Trust’s AGM in parliament.  

Representation and Participation of, by and for New Zealand Māori post-MMP.
This thesis investigates Māori representation and participation in the policy process of New Zealand government since the change to MMP. The change in electoral system promised greater representation for Māori, however this study aims to investigate whether the policy process has been opened evenly to Māori across different fields and stages of policy process. A series of interviews with Māori policy makers, advocates and community leaders is supplemented with secondary literature research to understand the reality of the political opportunity structures and to identify possible improvements that could be made in the policy processes to achieve the goals of representation identified by the Royal Commission on the Electoral System (1986) and also the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. The findings of this research provide insight into the current parliamentary practice, and allow lessons for other groups in New Zealand’s rapidly diversifying population. This thesis shines a light on New Zealand’s policy making process, which is both interesting nationally given recent questions of parliamentary review, and internationally for those countries looking to embark on political and policy reform.

Alex Tan presented a paper on "Equilibrating Chinese Nationalism and Its Implications to Regional Politics" at the Sun & Star Symposium "Waiting for the Rising Sun: Japanese New Nationalism and Beyond" held at the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, USA on March 3-4, 2015.
Jane MarineThe Department of Political Science congratulates high school delegates and organisers of the 2015 Canterbury Model UN for the largest local event so far. PhD researcher Jane Marine from Kenya (pictured), Dr Jeremy Moses and Dr Scott Walker attended the event as speakers. The Department of Political Science is pleased to support the annual MUN event which fosters global citizenship and critical thinking skills.

Ass. Professor Bronwyn HaywardAssc Prof Bronwyn Hayward gave the opening keynote address at UNICEF NZ's launch of child friendly cities, in Wellington New Zealand March 2015, read more here

Professor Anne-Marie Brady, Department of Political Science had an op ed on “Why China Matters to the South Pacific” published in The China Story, Australian National University

Professor Anne-Marie BradyProfessor Anne-Marie Brady spoke on The Emerging Politics of Antarctica and how they affect NZ” at the NZ Institute of International Affairs Symposium on the Arctic and Antarctic: Different Currents of Change, February 2015.
6 March 2015
Professor Anne-Marie Brady gave a talk on “The Emerging Politics of Antarctica: Implications for New Zealand” at the Symposium on the Arctic and Antarctica: Different Currents of Change 27 February 2015 hosted by the NZ Institute of International Affairs in Wellington.
27 February 2015
Dr Scott WalkerScott Walker has an article in the most recent issue of Political Studies Review entitled
“The Contingent Nature of Democracy Promotion.  He also received a grant to study for a week in January at the Carl Albert Center in Oklahoma, where he researched Congressional archives for a project on American foreign policy on human rights during the Cold War.
Jeremy Moses attended the International Studies Association Annual Convention in New Orleans, which ran from February 18-21. He was a part of a roundtable discussion entitled ‘The Return of Pacifism and Non-Violence to International Relations’.
15th December 2014
Political Sciences programme head Bronwyn Hayward was an invited chair and judge at the Potsdam Institute in October which hosted the International Social Science Council invitation workshop for 39 award winning global social science teams from 91 countries.  The teams were awarded seeding grants for interdisciplinary transformative research that responds to complex global problems including climate, economic, and social pressures.
21 Novemer 2014
Professor Alex Tan was invited as a panellist examining "Taiwan's Municipal Elections: Local Races with National Implications" at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC on November 18.
Dr Jeremy MosesDr Jeremy Moses Senior Lecturer Political Science, with his new book Sovereignty and Responsibility published by Palgrave Macmillan. Details here. An on campus launch is planned for April 2015
PhD StudentsPhD Students Sylvia Nissen, Geoffrey Ford and Jane Marine presented their research at the NZ Political Science Conference, Their research includes: How student politics creates change, How we talk about economics and the environment & why, and What”s the Impact of Kenya’s Constitution?

Professor Anne-Marie BradyProfessor Anne Marie Brady has been appointed as a Global Fellow to the Woodrow Wilson Centre until May 2016, while continuing to teach and research at UC. Learn more about Prof Brady’s work with the centre at
Ass.Prof. Bronwyn HaywardAssociate Professor Bronwyn Hayward (2nd from right, back row) has been appointed to the International Social Science Council steering committee “Transformations for Sustainability” and recently spoke at the United Nations University, Tokyo Japan on social science contributions to to address complex global problems, opened by Dr. Yuan T. Lee, former Nobel Laureate of Chemistry (1986), and hosted by Japan’s science and technology agency.
Emeritus Professor Mark FrancisEmeritus Professor Mark Francis has launched his new book on Herbert Spenser and the invention of Modern Life. He gives an inaugural Emeritus Professorial Speech on his work at UC in August.

Sociology & Anthropology

27 March 2015

Anthropology PhD student Kathleen Harrington-Watt’s has had her article “Photographs as adaptive, transitional objects in Gujarati migrant homes” published in Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, Volume 5, Numbers 2-3, 1 September 2014, pp. 273-287(15) this month.

20 March 2015

Piers Locke has had a short article published in the Making Tracks series of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, titled "Interspecies Ethnography and Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia”. In this series fellows and alumni present their experiences in environmental humanities, retracing the paths that led them to the Rachel Carson Center.

A reminder: Identity Construction in a Han Immigrant Community 12-12:40pm, Friday 20 March Psych-Soci Room 311 the inaugural Sociology and Anthropology seminar. Please bring your lunch.
For queries about this seminar or the series, please contact Alison Loveridge

13 March 2015

Patrick McAllister and Zhifang Song are participating in an international research project on the revival of the interconnections between Southeast Asian overseas Chinese temples, native-place and common surname associations and their founding temples and ancestral halls in coastal Southeast China. With funding from the Max Planck Institute for Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Goettingen, Germany, they will be responsible for  a project entitled  Chinese-Vietnamese Temples: Temple Associations, International Links and Ethnic Identities in Ho Chi Minh City.

The most recent output resulting from Patrick McAllister’s research on the Vietnamese lunar new year (Tet) is an article entitled “The Kitchen God Returns to Heaven: [Ông Táo Về Trời]: Popular Culture, Social Knowledge and Folk Beliefs in Vietnam” co-authored with Thi Cam Tu Luckman and published in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies (UC, Berkley),  Vol. 10, Issue 1, pps. 110-150

6 March 2015

Piers Locke’s ethnographic documentary film Servants of Ganesh, about captive elephant management at the Khorsor Elephant Breeding Centre in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal is now available to watch on You Tube

24 February 2015

Congratulations to Kathy Harrington-Watt (Anthropology) who has had the following article published from her Masters Thesis:

16 February 2015

On January 8 Piers Locke gave a presentation at the weekly colloquium of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich, on the topic of “Humans, Elephants, and Interspecies Intimacy in Nepal”. He spoke about his apprenticeship as a mahout in the elephant stables of the Chitwan National Park, arguing for the need to think through the implications of human exceptionalism in the humanities, the need for more-than-human forms of ethnography, and the possibility of extending personhood to elephants in order to rethink human-elephant relations. Piers also chaired a graduate seminar in which students discussed his work further.

Dr Ruth McManus’s  ground-breaking research  into attitudes to funeral costs in New Zealand gained national media attention over the weekend with a live radio interview on Newstalk ZB, RadioLive, coverage by Maori TV and TV3 an article on p3 of the Press on Monday the 12th January.  Also in the Dominion Post   13th January 2015.  

Basic findings are that: 

  • The  funeral  grants available  don’t cover the cost of  the most  basic funeral.
  • The process of  getting grants is overly complicated  and adds to the stress of the bereaved.
  • People have to ‘make do’ and  that can involve going into  debt formally  (e.g. on the credit card) and or to family and friends.
  • Those who go into funeral debt are  not always those who are on the poverty  line.
  • Those who are on the poverty line more likely to do  as much of the preparation  work themselves / informally as they can. Funeral directors are willing to help customers achieve a good funeral without bursting the bank.  Increase in DIY and no funerals for those reasons - even though they may not be how the bereaved want to send off their loved ones.
  • On an annual basis, we estimated that  approximately 2800 could feasibly experience financial hardship over the costs of a funeral in NZ. Though a small number relative to the overall population, it’s important to recognise that financial hardship is concentrated in vulnerable groups in NZ that include for instance the old, (especially elderly women), and those who are experiencing difficult life events such as illness. Government administrated (and means tested) funeral grants: WINZ, ACC. Informally: RSA, Lions Club and there are links to Veterans Affairs as there is a small grant for a memorial for  veterans, which also sometimes covers repatriation of remains costs.  Average cost of a basic funeral in 2008 was $6,500 – Funeral  grant was $1,760.57. Average cost 2014/5,  $7500 - maximum funeral grant is $1,998.57.
  • While this research project finished a few years ago before the earthquakes, currently and in collaboration with CEISMIC, we have a summer studentship working on a project called Transitional Memorialisation comparing online memorials for Chch earthquake and Pike River  Disaster.

Mike Grimshaw has been asked to guest edit a special issue on radical theologies for the open access journal Palgrave Communications.


Sports has inspired people after the earthquakes

Sports has inspired people after the earthquakes

27 January 2015

A University of Canterbury postgraduate student says sports inspired people in Christchurch after the earthquakes. (read article)

Greater understanding of women needed

Greater understanding of women needed

16 January 2015

A University of Canterbury sociology graduate researcher has identified a need for a greater understanding of the ways unintended childlessness impacts on women's lives. (read article)

Social Work and Human Services

5th December 2014

On 28 November 2014, the Glenn Inquiry into Child Abuse and Domestic Violence released the People’s Blueprint, marking the conclusion of this nationally significant inquiry.  Please see the link below with the great news of the inclusion of the work of Te Awatea members and associates in the report.