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Teaching and research go hand in hand in the School of Humanities – and we strive for excellence in both. From the history and culture of ancient societies to the impact of digital technologies and modern language study, our research is diverse in form and approach. Our W.H. Oliver Humanities Research Academy fosters a vibrant, creative and highly responsive research culture among humanities scholars throughout the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Our staff have internationally recognised expertise in their fields and we have a rich range of postgraduate research as detailed below. See our staff pages for a complete range of the school's research activities.
Professor Michael Belgrave (History)
New Zealand and the new imperial history, Indigenous relationships with colonisation, Social policy and social policy history, Social work in schools, Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlement, New Zealand political and social history, The history of health, Legal recognition of customary, Historical methods, Law and history.
Dr Rachael Bell (History)
New Zealand social history, particularly the tranmission of historical knowledge and its impact on national history and national identity. Rural history and the cultural history of animals in society.
Dr Arianna Berardi-Wiltshire (Linguistics)
Heritage languages, Heritage language learning, Language learning motivation, Identity and language learning.
Dr Celina Bortolotto (Spanish)
The interrelation between cultural values and individual emotions as it is represented in literary fiction.
Associate Professor Kirsty Carpenter (History)
French Revolution and Napoleonic History 1789-1815, The French Emigres in Britain and Europe, Women's Rights History since the Enlightenment.
Dr Adam Claasen (History)
Second World War; Great War; Military Aviation.
Dr Jose Diaz Rodriguez (Spanish)
Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Memory, Cultural Policy, Iberian Studies, Philippine Studies, Representation of Others, Philippine-Spanish Cultural Relationships, Cultural Politics, Language learning, Spanish as a Foreign Language Learning.
Stephen Duffin (Philosophy)
Critical Thinking, Environmental Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion.
Victoria Kerry (Linguistics)
Discourse analysis and linguistics.
Dr Anthony Fisher (Linguistics)
Identity and political discourse, media discourse, language and gender, health communication.
Dr France Grenaudier-Klijn (French)
Post-Holocaust French Literature, Patrick Modiano Studies, Belle Epoque French Women Writing, Marcelle Tinayre Studies, and Contemporary French Popular Culture.
Dr John Griffiths (History)
Imperial Culture 1880-1939, Transnational Cultures 1900-1960, British History/British World 1870-1960.
Professor Glyn Harper (History)
War and society, First World War, Second World War, military command, USA history since 1900, the 1960’s
Dr Gerald Harrison (Philosophy)
Meta-ethics, Normative ethics.
Dr David Ishii (Linguistics)
English for Academic Purposes, Classroom Teaching and Learning, Vygotskyan Sociocultural Theory.
Dr Karen Jillings (History)
Early modern medical beliefs particularly in Scotland; bureaucratic and social responses to plague; early literature on mineral waters and tobacco; medical humanism; monstrosity as entertainment.
Dr Michael Li (Chinese)
Second language teaching and acquisition; Corpus linguistics; Teaching Chinese as a Second Language; Translation and interpretation; Mobile and Computer Assisted Language Learning.
Dr Liangni (Sally) Liu (Chinese)
Chinese transnational migration; human movement mobility, and migrants’ culture, integration issues, and interaction with host country societies; ethnic relations between migrant minorities and mainstream/or indigenous people; media influence on ethnic relations.
Dr John Matthewson (Philosophy)
Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, Applied ethics.
Dr Peter Meihana (History)
Maori history; tribal history; and colonisation.
Dr Douglas Osto (Philosophy)
Mahayana Buddhism, Asian Religions, Indian Philosophies, Contemporary Buddhist Practice.
Dr Peter Petrucci (Linguistics)
Language and the media, Language and identity in the Okinawan diaspora.
Dr James Richardson (Classical Studies)
The influence which Roman historical and political thought and ideology had on the formation and nature of the literary tradition of early Rome; and the formation of the Roman state and constitution, and the development of associated ideas such as identity and citizenship.
Dr Mary Salisbury (Linguistics)
Polynesian and Oceanic linguistics, Lexicography, Language documentation.
Vanessa Schouten (Philosophy)
Meta-ethics, Normative Ethics, Applied Ethics.
Dr Penny Shino (Japanese)
Classical Japanese literature; medieval waka poetry; medieval travel diaries; poetry and prose of Shōtetsu; Kitayama and Higashiyama culture and society.
Dr Gillian Skyrme (Linguistics)
International students, Teachers of international students, Writing for academic purposes for ESOL students, English language learning in community settings.
Dr Christopher van der Krogt (History)
Western religious traditions, especially Christianity and Islam, both historically and in the present.
Dr Ute Walker (Linguistics)
Bi/multilingualism, language and self, technology-facilitated language learning, language and migration.
Dr Krushil Watene (Philosophy)
Philosophy: Contemporary Moral and Political Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Theories of Justice, The Capability Approach, Indigenous Knowledge, Maori philosophical concepts.
Development Studies: Well-being, Development Ethics, Development Theories, The Human Development Approach, Sustainability, Indigenous Development, hapu and iwi development.
Professor Cynthia White (Linguistics)
Strategies, emotion and identity in online and distance language learning, language and settlement issues for immigrants and refugees, and discourses of national identity, resilience and belonging in transnational digital networks.
Associate Professor James Watson (History)
New Zealand political, social and economic history, Fascism, Rural history, History of technology, Transport, History, Relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, First World War, Winston Churchill.
Dr Geoff Watson (History)
New Zealand History, Sports History, Sport and Imperialism.
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Last updated on Wednesday 23 November 2016