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Dr Nicholas Holm staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63544

Dr Nicholas Holm PhD, MA, BA(Hons)

Senior Lecturer

School of English and Media Studies

Nick joined the School of English and Media Studies in 2013, having completed his doctorate at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada in 2012. He apparently has trouble keeping his research interests in check, but when forced will suggest that he studies the political nature of popular culture, in particlar the role of humour as an aesthetic category, and the interrelation of aesthetic theory, political economics and popular culture. He also likes to write about animals that nobody else likes. His recent projects include an investigation of boredom as a bureacratic aesthetic, an exploration of the vilifcation of feral cats, and an analysis of racial joking of Trevor Noah over the course of his transnational career. His major publications include a monograph on the political function of contemporary humour (Humour as Politics, 2017) and a textbook about the critical study of advertising in 2016. He was the conference director of the 2017 meeting of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia and the 2018 Feral online-only conference.

Nick is the co-ordinator for the Wellington internal and distance versions of Adverting and Consumer Society (154.202), the Wellington offering coordinator of Popular Culture and the Media (154.203), Humour and the Media (154.333) and the co-coordinator for the core course for the Masters of Communication, The Communication Field (154.721). He is interested in supervising, or just chatting about, any projects addressing humour (and related concepts of parody, satire, irony and comedy), advertising, aesthetic theory, Avant Garde-ism, Cultural Marxism, comic books, cultural studies more broadly or any combination of the above.

Nicholas Holm is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies based on the Wellington campus, where he teaches courses in popular culture, advertising and humour in the media. His research explores the political role of popular culture and entertainment media, with a particular focus on humour and comedy. He is also more generally interested in exploring how popular culture can affect how we understand the world, and the ways in which we judge and assess the worth of cultural forms. His current research project explores the idea of fun as a political category.

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Contact details

  • Ph: 04 979 3544
    Location: 7C 45, Block 7
    Campus: Wellington


  • Doctor of Philosophy - McMaster University (2012)
  • Master of Arts - McMaster University (2008)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Victoria University (2007)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Cultural and Media Theory, Humour, Popular Culture, Political Aesthetics, Frankfurt School, Marxism and Post-Marxism, Ecocriticism and Political Ecology, Advertising.


21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Communication and Media Studies (200100): Consumption and Everyday Life (200203): Cultural Studies (200200): Cultural Theory (200204): Languages, Communication And Culture (200000): Media Studies (200104): Screen and Media Culture (200212)


Humour, Satire, Comedy, Advertising, Cultural Theory, Cultural Studies, Urban Wildlife, Marxism and Marxist Theory, Capitalism, Comic Books, Cartoons.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 4

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 1 0
Co-supervisor 1 1

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Nikite Krishnamurthy - Doctor of Philosophy
    A Critical Study of the Covers and Illustrations of Indian Speculative Fiction

Co-supervisor of:

  • Louisa Berry - Doctor of Philosophy
    The World Inverted: Chuck Palahniuk's fiction as a challenge to neoliberal capitalism

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Barirah Nazir - Doctor of Philosophy
    Brand Pakistan: A Reception oriented Study of Pakistani Anglophone Fiction

Media and Links


  • 01 Apr 2014 - Other
    The Wheat from the Chaff
    interviewed for history of Chaff Student Newspaper

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