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 awards 2015 Research Medal

3 July 2015 A University of Canterbury (UC) academic who specialises in the analysis of words and sounds has been awarded the University's 2015 Research Medal. (read article)

More News

Announcements and Events

Jumpstart your studies in Semester 2

Semester Two starts 13 July and UC is offering reduced study costs (conditions apply) and academic assistance to help you get started. There is a wide range of study options available, from a preparatory course to undergraduate degrees, diplomas to masters study and beyond (read more)

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

31st July

On June 24, Postgrad ConferenceHonours, MA and PhD students of European and European Union Studies presented their research cases at the Annual Mid-Year Post-Graduate Conference. Convened within the structure of EURO 480 “Research Topic” course by Natalia Chaban, the 2015 Post-Graduate Conference featured three panels with a range of topics  focusing on the EU-Pacific relations, the EU as a ‘soft’ and ‘normative’ power, and the EU’s trade and energy. The Best Paper Award went to Jeff Willis, MA candidate, for his paper   “Rising Tides, Rising Troubles: Strategic Narratives of Climate Change Vulnerability in the Pacific Island States of Tuvalu and Kiribati”.  The conference ended with a key note address from Dr Gabriel Weibl reflecting on his research career in European Union Studies – from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels.

Toby Birkbeck-Jones (JAPA305 & 307) Toby Birkbeck-Jones has been awarded a 2015 Japanese MEXT Scholarship to study at a Japanese University for one year. This is one of Japan's most prestigious scholarships for undergraduates, with tuition fees, living allowances and airfares all covered by the Japanese Government.  He is the sole recipient of the scholarship from New Zealand this year.  Toby will be leaving for Japan in October.  We wish him all the best for his studies in Japan.  

24th July 2015

The Japanese Programme organised a collaborative dance project involving over 300 secondary school students, UC students, and Japanese teachers.  Dancing together to a Japanese pop song was more than just fun; it connected learners of Japanese and created a sense of belonging to a learning community beyond the walls of classrooms, schools, and institutions.

Dr Masayoshi Ogino presented a paper at the AFMLTA National Conference, University of Melbourne.  The title of Masayoshi’s paper was “Enhancing visibility of Japanese language education for advocacy through collaboration: Case of Christchurch, New Zealand.  

Anke Richter will be reading from her new book Was scheren mich die Schafe. Unter Neuseeländern. Eine Verwandlung ("What do I care about sheep. Among New Zealanders. A Metamorphosis"). 

When Anke Richter moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was only when she was invited to her first fancy dress party that one thing became very clear: there was a world of difference between Kiwis and people from Cologne. New Zealand seemed to be the land of sheep, hobbits, and fancy-dress-party-fanatics!

This curious and critical tale of assimilation in a small country in the Pacific poses some big questions that will amuse New Zealanders as well as Germans. In equal parts, shameless but charming, relentless but hysterically funny.  Anke Richter, born in Singen and raised in Cologne, completed her training as a journalist in the United States.  She was a newspaper editor, author for Playboy, and worked for talk shows and radio stations. She also writes a column for the Berlin newspaper, taz, called “News from New Zealand”.  Anke Richter lives with her family in Lyttelton. She has a dog, but no sheep …

Anke will read from her book on 21 August, 4-6pm in Erskine 101.
17th July 2015

William Cheng presented a paper at the “2015 Literary Networks Convention – Australasian Universities Languages and Literature Association in July at the University of Wollongong.  The title of William’s paper was “Insight and Sense of a Fragmented World: The Torn Reality of Peruvian Society in Miguel Gutiérrez’s The Violence of Time”.

22nd June 2015

On June 12-14, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban and Professor Martin Holland co-led a research workshop in Brussels within the framework of the transnational comparative project, “Analysis of the Perception of the EU and EU’s policies abroad,” which is supported by the European External Action Service (EEAS). The workshop was attended by 27 researchers from 10 EU strategic partners.  Following the workshop, Natalia and Martin, together with the partner organisations -- Public Policy and Management Institute (Vilnius, Lithuania) and NFG Research Group of Freie Universität (Berlin, Germany) -- presented their preliminary findings at the European External Action Service. The project studies perceptions of the EU and Europe in 10 Strategic Partners of the EU in order to generate practical policy recommendations for the EEAS to devise its policies and activities, especially within the framework of the EU Partnership Instrument.



270 students from 15 secondary schools participated in the NCEA Japanese Japanese programme photo (1)workshop at UC on the 11th of June.  This is a collaboration between the UC Japanese programme and the Canterbury Network of Teachers of Japanese.  The day started with a warm welcome by Professor Le Cocq (PVC) and greetings by Mr Tsuchikawa (Consul, Consular’s Office of Japan). It was then followed by a special talk by Mr Jonathan Hendriksen (CEO, Shuttlerock) on his encounter and experiences with Japan, its culture and business opportunities. Secondary school students had three intensive language sessions, and 26 UC students helped them as a teaching assistant and mentor on the day.  All the students had a great learning experience and it was a great success.

12 June

On June 8, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban of European and EU Studies and Professor Annika Björkdahl of Lund University (Sweden) launched their book, “Importing EU Norms: Conceptual Framework and Empirical Findings,” at Lund University’s Department of Political Science. They co-edited the book with Associate Professor Annick Masselot (UC, NZ) and Dr John Leslie (VUW, NZ). Published with Springer in 2015, the book offers an original theoretical framework and features 13 case-studies. The book is a result of an international research collaboration supported by the exchange framework of KEENZ-IRSES (Knowledge and Expertise Exchange Europe – New Zealand –International Staff Exchanges), which is sponsored by the European Commission and the Ministry of Research Science and Technology New Zealand.

29 May 2015

Japanese Programme students, Jade Doglione (200 level JAPA) and Jono Glassey (Hons level JAPA), recently returned to their former high school (Lincoln High) to talk to the NCEA Japanese classes about Japan, Japanese, studying Japanese at UC and career pathways using Japanese. At the end of the classes pupils all dressed up in Japanese props lent by the UC Japanese Programme. This outreach event was organised completely by the UC students and their former high school teacher, and was hailed by all as a great success. We hope to encourage more of our senior students to take initiatives like this in the future, so they can engage meaningfully with their Community of Practice.

22 May 2015

Dr. Peter Low, of the French programme, gave a seminar on May 1st under the auspices of the NCRE, concerning "The Global Nuclear Weapons Debate". This was a presentation he had given previously at the University of Otago, after attending conferences in Vienna last December.

17 April 2015

On April 17-22 2015, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban of GCLS/NCRE led a research workshop in Korea University (Seoul, South Korea) in her role as a Partner Country Project Director in NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Project “NATO Global Perceptions – Views from Asia-Pacific region”.  The project aims to systematically trace the NATO’s external media images and elite perceptions, treating perceptions as the key factors behind global expectations of NATO and a cultural filter triggering range of its Asia-Pacific Partners’ reactions to NATO global initiatives. The Project traces NATO perceptions in six countries – Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand and China.

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.


17th July 2015

29411_GCK5991 PrintHigh schools students from across New Zealand tested their problem solving skills on Friday in the first New Zealand Linguistics Olympiad competition.  The final was held in Wellington at Victoria University.  The winners were from Auckland and the runners up were from Tauranga.  Lynn Clark, from Linguistics at the University of Canterbury, was one of the main organisers of the event.

10th July 2015

Xuan Wang, a PhD student in Linguistics, has had a paper accepted for presentation at the prestigious New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) conference, in Toronto in October. Xuan's talk is called: "The role of speakers’ identities and attitudes in koineization in Hohhot, China".

3rd July 2015

The Chancellor, Dr John Wood, is pleased to Professor Jen Hayannounce that at its meeting this week the University Council resolved to award the 2015 Research Medal to a University of Canterbury researcher whose work has been recognised as truly world class. 
The medal is awarded to Professor Jennifer Hay of the Department of Linguistics in the School of Language, Social and Political Sciences, and the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour.
The Research Medal is the highest honour which the Council can extend to its academic staff in recognition of research excellence. 

The 2015 medal will be presented to the recipient later this year at a Council function.
29th June 2015

Linguistics PhD student Mineko Shirakawa gave a well-received poster presentation at the 10th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB10) at Rutgers University on 22 May 2015. The title of Mineko’s poster was ‘The impact of language input and parental attitudes on bilingual acquisition’. Mineko received valuable feedback for her PhD research from top scholars in the field, which she is already using to fine-tune her data collection in Japan. Mineko’s PhD research is supervised by Heidi Quinn (Linguistics), Susan Foster-Cohen (Linguistics), and Masayoshi Ogino (Japanese). Mineko’s conference travel was supported by PhD Research-Related Funding from the School of Language, Social and Political Sciences.

22nd June 2015

Lynn Clark was invited to give a talk on 15th June at the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney entitled "Phonological recency effects in natural speech".

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

17th July 2015

Reza Jarvandi, PhD facebookcandidate in COMS, will be presenting his research in a talk called “The Impact of Contextual Conditions on the Style of Using Facebook” on Wednesday 22 July at 12pm in Locke 611A.  Please note that COMS seminars will be held on Wednesdays in Semester 2. COMS seminars are open to absolutely everyone.

Visiting Fulbright scholar Jeff Kelly Lowenstein presented a seminar titled “Diversity, ‘race’ and public discourse: Challenges and opportunities for news media” in Karl Popper 612 on Wednesday 15 July.  Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is a journalist and Associate Professor and Lecturer in journalism at Columbia College in Chicago.  He is visiting the University of Canterbury as a Fulbright NZ Specialist Award grantee.

10th July 2015

Visiting Fulbright scholar Jeff Kelly Lowenstein will present the following seminar on Wednesday 15 July at 1pm in Karl Popper 612:
Diversity, ‘race’ and public discourse: Challenges and opportunities for news media
Visiting Fulbright scholar Jeff KellyNew Zealand society has become markedly more diverse over the past couple of decades—a situation that presents challenges and opportunities for media outlets.  A look at related issues in the United States can provide a framework for comparison.  This is a pivotal moment in American, as a combination of factors have brought issues of race, diversity and the nation’s lofty promises to its citizens to the forefront of public discourse.  Join us for a conversation about the opportunities this period presents for media to make meaningful contributions to public understanding as well as how many people directly impacted by these issues are using available technology to shape public debate.   The presentation will include a look at historical factors, demographic changes, current media landscape and future possibilities around these critical issues.  It will include plenty of time for dialogue and is open to anyone who is interested in these topics.
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is a journalist and Associate Professor and Lecturer in journalism at Columbia College in Chicago.  He is a blogger for Huffington Post and former investigative reporter who has written for The New Yorker and authored two books.  Jeff has reported extensively on race and poverty in Chicago, Illinois and worked as a database and investigative reporter for Hoy Chicago, the Chicago Tribune company's Spanish-language newspaper, and his work has garnered national and international recognition, including awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Association of Black Journalists. Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is at the University of Canterbury as a Fulbright NZ Specialist Award grantee.


5 June 2015

The Inclusive Journalism Initiative and the Media and Communication department are hosting Prudence Walker, Consultant, on Wednesday 10 June. She will present the research seminar “Woman Overcomes Brain Damage to Address Intelligentsia: A seminar about intentional language use and marginalisation” at 4pm in Locke 611A. All welcome.

22 May 2015

Associate Professor Linda Jean Kenix had two full papers accepted to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference, which will be held in San Francisco in August. The first paper is titled 'Dirty Politics in New Zealand: How newspaper reporters and online bloggers constructed the professional values of journalism at a time of crisis.' The second, co-authored with Kristin Gustafson from the University of Washington, is titled 'Visually framing press freedom and responsibility of a massacre: Photographic and graphic images in Charlie Hedbo's newspaper front pages around the world.'

15 May 2015

Six Media and Communication PhD students presented their work at the Australia New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) Post-Graduate Symposium, organized by Associate Professor Donald Matheson (COMS) and Associate Professor Colleen Mills (Management). This was a very successful event that gave postgraduate students in both departments the chance to trial their presentations before the ANZCA conference in July. Semiu Bello presented "Dissemination of Health information by Nigerian Newspapers: A correlation Analysis on the Health Behaviours of newspaper Readers in Nigeria." Martina Wengenmeir presented "A Digital Story of the Quakes – Social Media Engagement in Post-Disaster Recovery." Reza Jarvandi presented "Does Facebook Play the Same Role in Different Societies? A Comparison Between the Most Popular Facebook Public Pages in New Zealand and Iran." Femi Abikanlu presented "Big Screens to Smart Screens: Rethinking the Future of Digital Television." Dwie Irmawaty Gultom presented "Community Radio as an Act of Participatory Disaster Communication." Meng Xu presented "A new type of Interpersonal Communication: Comparative Study on Bullet Curtain Websites in China and Japan."

1 May 2015

Description: veh33:Desktop:Screen shot 2015-04-29 at 3.47.01 PM.pngVicki Haggland, MA candidate in Media and Communication, will be delivering her talk ““How is this news? An in-depth look at the content tweeted by New Zealand journalists” in Locke 611A on Tuesday 5 May at 12pm. COMS research seminars are open to absolutely everyone.

Abstract: Social media has allowed us to connect and communicate on a whole new level, and one of its myriads of uses is that of producing and disseminating news content. However, conventions of social media have meant that there is a blurred line between what is and what is not news. One of the most prominent social media platforms is Twitter, which is slowly gaining popularity in New Zealand with over 2.4 million users. Among these users, and probably the ones who use Twitter the most, are New Zealand journalists. This heightened level of activity by New Zealand journalists emphasizes the amount of news content that gets posted and shared on Twitter. But Twitter’s autonomous nature means that there is no guarantee that the content produced by journalists is newsworthy or relevant.

In deciphering what is and what is not news, my research is primarily following New Zealand journalists in an attempt to provide an answer to a question that gets asked too often: How is this news?

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

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

10th July 2015

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward was invited to Paris this week, in her two year tenure on the International Social Science Council Transformations Steering Committee. She is one of 8 international adjudicators determining the large grant funding rounds for Transformative Social Science (3-8 grants of €900,000). The panel includes that of the President of the International Sociological Association, and the General Director at the National Institute of Social Development, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the USA president of the Academy of Climate Assessment, Japan’s Chief scientist, Director of the Asia-Pacific Section of UNESCO, the Head of Latin American Social Science council and the Director of the International Council of Science. The grants focus on creating significant international, interdisciplinary consortia, led by social scientists to address key global issues.

22nd June 2015

Professor Alex Tan presented "Living with MMP: The New Zealand Experience" at the Conference on Issues and Challenges of Electoral System, National Chengchi University, Taiwan on June 13, 2015.

12th June 2015

Associate Professor Amy Fletcher presented an invited talk at the Center for Bioenergy Sustainability (CBES) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on the subject "Engaging Extinction:  De-Extinction, Sustainability and Society" on 8 June. This site visit to ORNL also included a meeting with the Science-Technology Interactions Research Group, who analyse the interplay between social issues, advanced technology and decision-making. Amy has also recently became a community member of the New Zealand Astrobiology Initiative, as part of a new long-term research project on the political and social implications of SETI and astrobiology, and the comparative/international politics of space exploration.

Ngai Tahu kaumatua Ta Tipene O'Regan29 May 2015

Ngai Tahu kaumatua Ta Tipene O'Regan speaking toPols 308 NZ Foreign Policy students on Tangata te Tiriti and how NZ can better reflect our biculturalism. Ta Tipene was welcomed with a mihi whakatau delivered by Professor Anne-Marie Brady and followed by a beautiful Ngai Tahu waiata which the students had practiced in class for weeks.

29 May 2015

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward Political Science will attend the first meeting of the new NZ$12 million EsRC CUSP (Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity) research grant in London on 1 June. Bronwyn is one of 9 successful co-applicants who won this grant marking 50 years of the UK research council. The University of Canterbury will be receiving $400,000 of CUSP funds for post-doctoral and student research into young urban lifestyles. Bronwyn will also lead CYCLES (The Children and Youth Survey) with Surrey University and UNEP, a 5 year study in 21 countries as part of CUSP.

22nd May 2015

Professor Anne-Marie Brady was awarded an 8 month scholarship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation for her research project “China’s Polar Strategy: Security, resources, and science.”

15 May 2015

Associate Professor Amy Fletcher gave a talk at the After Extinction conference in Milwaukee, WI, organized by the Center for 21st Century Studies, on the topic "Sweet Billions Overhead: Dreaming of the Passenger Pigeon." She has also been invited to the Advisory Board of the "Bring Back the Moa" project, sponsored by Science Exchange, a Kiwi-owned company based in Silicon Valley. She will be advising on ethical and public policy issues relating to the broad topic of de-extinction. Assoc. Prof. Fletcher has also been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the Politics and Life Sciences (PLS) journal, which has recently been acquired by Cambridge Journals. PLS is the interdisciplinary journal of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences.

15th May 2015

The department held a book launch on 2nd April for Jeremy Moses’, new book ‘Sovereignty and Responsibility’ published by Palgrave Macmillan.

15th May 2015

Alex Tan was invited to give a lecture on the "Etiiology of Party System Development and Voter Alignments in Democratic Taiwan" at the International Conference on the Development of Democracy held in Zagreb, Croatia and organised by the Institut Nove Revije of Slovenia on April 28-29, 2015.


17th April 2015

Congratulations to the following Political Science students who have recently received scholarships.
University of Canterbury Doctoral Scholarship:

  • Anastasia Yuchshenko

University of Canterbury Master’s Scholarship:

  • Christine McConnell
  • Jeff Willis

Pacific Studies Marsden Master’s Scholarship (at the Macmillan Brown Centre):

  • Marcus Boomen
  • Jeff Willis
17th April 2015

Anne-Marie Brady was discussant on a panel on political education in China at the annual Association of Asian Studies Conference in Chicago on March 27. She gave a talk to the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC on "China's International Face: Foreign Propaganda under Xi Jinping" on March 30 and at the Wilson Center on "Plus ca change: Xi Jinping's Domestic Propaganda". Her op ed on the same themes was published by The Financial Times on March 25 see article here.  Professor Brady is giving a keynote address at Cornell University on "China's Modernised Propaganda System" on 13 April and another to UC Southern California on 16 April.

17th April 2015

Amy Fletcher gave an invited talk at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Science Forum on 10 April, on the topic “De-Extinction and the Palaeofuture.”

Social Work and Human Services

1 May 2015

Professor Leigh GoodmarkThe following seminar featuring Professor Leigh Goodmark A Reconfigured Legal Response to Domestic Violence is being held on Monday 11 May 2015, 04:00pm to 6:00pm in KC04, Kirkwood Village, Kirkwood Ave.

17th April 2015

Congratulations to Jane Maidment on a new publication: Liz Beddoe and Jane Maidment (eds) (2015)  Supervision in Social Work. Contemporary Issues. London. Routledge.

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.

Sociology & Anthropology

The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP) Seminar Series
Semester 2 – 2015
Fridays 11-12, Room 252 Soci-Psych building

SEMINAR 3: 7 August
In search of the time image

On Deleuze and his ideas about 'Cinema and Time' and by extension Henri Bergson and Spinoza (Through Deleuzian eyes. John Chrisstoffels (Fine Arts)

Visiting scholar in sociology and sessional lecturer in human services and social work, Dr Cindy Zeiher, recently attended the Enjoyment Plus Reason Conference in Sydney where Professor Joan Copjec was a keynote speaker. She presented a paper on Enjoyment, the Workplace and the Figure of the Mother. Dr Zeiher also presented a paper at the Historical Materialism Conference in Sydney where she was invited by Professor Roland Boer to respond to his Deustcher Award Winning Book, In the Vale of Tears. 

24th July 2015

The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP) Seminar Series
Semester 2 – 2015
Fridays 11-12, Room 252 Soci-Psych building

SEMINAR 1: 31 July 2015
Žižek and his Discontents

This paper will consider Zizek’s conceptualisation of enjoyment as influenced by theorists such as Lacan and Althusser. Dr Cindy Zieher (LSAP)
17th July 2015

The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP) Seminar Series - Semester 2 – 2015
Fridays 11-12, Room 252 Soci-Psych building.

Seminar 1: 24 July 2015
The Concrete Violence of History & the Apocalyptic Messianic Dwarf.
(On the intersections of religion, violence, politics and continental thought via Zizek, Benjamin, Futurism, Schmitt & Taubes).  Assoc. Prof. Mike Grimshaw (Sociology).
All staff and students welcome.

What is The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP)?
Inspired by the rise of Schools of Continental Philosophy in Melbourne, Queensland and Sydney we are pleased to announce and invite you to attend the Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP)
CSCP is a common space and community for staff, students and the wider public to engage in and debate continental thought.  Prior to the CSCP, Canterbury lacked a common space to engage with and promote the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas inspired by the diverse traditions of European thought (such as phenomenology, existentialism, critical theory, hermeneutics, feminism, deconstruction, poststructuralism, and so on).  Drawing in the nature of Continental thought, the Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy aims to foster the development of a pluralistic philosophical community here at Canterbury. 
As part of CSCP, its founders, Assoc. Prof. Mike Grimshaw and Dr Cindy Zeiher are also launching an open access journal: Continental Thought & Theory. A Journal for Intellectual Freedom.
22nd June 2015

Mike Grimshaw (Sociology) has an essay titled, "The Irrelevance and Relevance of the Radical, Impure Tillich," in Retrieving the Radical Tillich.  Full details of the books can be found on the Palgrave Macmillan web site.

29 May 2015

Associate Professor Mike Grimshaw is part of a multi-university team that has had an article "One size does not fit all: organisational diversity in New Zealand tertiary sector ethics committees" published in Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online

Lois Tonkin, Visiting Scholar in Sociology, is currently in the UK where she presented a seminar titled "Using psychosocial methods to explore fantasy, loss, and grieving in 'circumstantial childlessness'" at Sussex University on May 21.  She will be presenting a paper called "Articulating a “sense of myself as a mother”: Drawing as a creative exploration of ‘circumstantial childlessness’" at the 'Motherhood and Creative Practice' conference at London South Bank University in June.

2016 Death Down Under Conference - 13-15 January 2016, University of Canterbury

This conference aims to promote the dissemination of social aspects of death studies research in New Zealand, Australia, and the wider Pacific region. Continuing the momentum of the first two conferences in Sydney and Dunedin, DDU2016 will showcase the research being undertaken in the areas of death, dying and bereavement throughout Australia and New Zealand.   This two-day conference will provide a forum for academics, practitioners and professionals to share their research and experience, and develop collaborative knowledge networks.

8 May 2015

Mike Grimshaw (Sociology) is part of a multi-university research team that has had a paper "Regional Differences in the Psychological Recovery of Christchurch Residents Following the 2010/2011 Earthquakes: A Longitudinal Study" published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Dr. Anne Scott, with associated community based researchers, received a small grant of $2580 to pilot some research on child custody issues for parents with mental illnesses or addictions.
The grant came from the New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group’s, ‘Annual Schizophrenia Research Awards’ for 2015.

17 April 2015

Piers Locke has had an article published in Gajah, the journal of the IUCN’s Asian Elephant Specialist Group titled “The Anomalous Elephant: Terminological Dilemmas and The Incalcitrant Domestication Debate”. It considers the constraints of conventional nomenclature through an exploration of theories of domestication as biological intervention and social appropriation, arguing that the boundary between captive and free-ranging elephants is permeable, and that researchers should therefore acknowledge the complexity of social, historical, and ecological relations between humans and elephants.

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.


27 January 2015

Sports has inspired people after the earthquakesA Sports has inspired people after the earthquakes - University of Canterbury postgraduate student says sports inspired people in Christchurch after the earthquakes. (read article)

16 January 2015

Greater understanding of women neededA Greater understanding of women needed - 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)