School of Language,
Social and Political Sciences

Kia ora, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa Bula, 歡迎, 환영, 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.

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)

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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 & Language Studies

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.


15th 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 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

15th 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

27 February 2015
Scott 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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

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.

Seminar Series

Seminar Series - What's on this week?