24 March 2011 to 1 December 2011
By new professors at The University of Auckland.
• 24 March - Professor Jose Colmeira, Prince of Asturias Chair: Remaking Carmen in Spanish cinema: From the silent era to the global age. 6pm Lecture Theatre 439, School of Engineering.
The myth of Carmen has functioned in modern Spanish culture as a privileged symbolic vehicle to negotiate and suture the tensions of a national identity frequently imposed by hegemonic forces. It has also been an instrument to create an exportable image with international currency. In this presentation I will examine the process of re-making Carmen in several key Spanish films, as a double process of re-nationalisation of the Carmen myth, and its parallel re-internationalisation, according to the changing climate of cultural and political conditions.
• 31 March - Professor Stephen May: Dealing with the 'perils' of diversity: addressing the pluralist dilemma in Aotearoa/New Zealand. 6pm for refreshments, Neon Foyer, School of Engineering, Building 401. 7pm for Lecture, Engineering Lecture Theatre 401.439, 20 Symonds Street.
Since 9/11, multiculturalism as public policy has been in apparent full retreat internationally. Liberal democratic states increasingly view the public recognition of pluralism as a threat to social cohesion - the ‘pluralist dilemma’ referred to in my title. Minority group claims for the recognition of their particular cultural/linguistic/religious distinctiveness are also seen as effectively essentializing group-based identities.
What are the implications for New Zealand? Should we renounce our commitment to Mäori as tangata whenua, and the policy of biculturalism, and return to a universalist conception of citizenship rights? Many argue vehemently for such a ‘one law for all’ policy. If we can still hold to a differentiated rights approach for Mäori, what of other groups, such as Pasifika? Is multiculturalism an alternative or a complement to biculturalism?
I will take an interdisciplinary approach to these questions, drawing on my work in sociology, linguistics, and education, as well as political theory and international law. While canvassing the wider debates, my particular focus will be on language and education, not least because these sites are key battlegrounds for discussions about identity, rights, and representation.
• 8 June - Professor Thomas Lumley, Statistics: What have we learnt from large-scale genetic studies? 5.30pm for refreshments; 6.30pm for lecture, Conference Centre, 22 Symonds Street.
Technologies from the Human Genome Project and the HapMap project have made it possible to study the genetic components of health and disease on a very large scale, with millions of genetic variants in tens of thousands of people. The predictions of dire genetic discrimination or miraculous revolutions in medicine have not become reality; the findings have been undramatic, with little or no direct improvement so far in either predicting disease or in choosing treatments.
I will talk about what has been found and why it is important even though it isn’t of immediate medical use. I will also discuss the impacts, both good and bad, that large-scale genomics has had on the process of
medical research. All are welcome.
• 4 August - Professor Peter Sheppard, Anthropology: Lapita colonisation across the near/remote Oceania boundary. 6.30pm Lecture Theatre, Old Government House.
Over 3000 years ago, the last great episode of human colonisation of previously uninhabited land began: the exploration and settlement of the remote islands of the western Pacific Ocean. In 1200 BC, the settlement of Santa Cruz Island in the remote southeast Solomons, 400 kms east of the main Solomon chain, required sophisticated navigation skills for long distance voyaging. These settlers are called Lapita, a culture distinguished by elaborately decorated pottery. In a few generations these voyagers spread from Papua New Guinea, south to New Caledonia, and east to Samoa. Although Lapita represents part of a larger movement of Neolithic agriculturalist out of Taiwan and Southeast Asia, the enigmatic Lapita culture still poses a series of puzzles for archaeologists. Foremost among these is explaining why Lapita spread so rapidly after its earliest appearance 3400 years ago. Based on 15 years of fieldwork in the Solomons and using evidence from archaeology, genetics and linguistics, Sheppard argues that Lapita people spread initially southeast by a direct leap-frog movement of 2000 km from their homeland out into previously uninhabited remote Oceania. Why this happened may never be known, but the pull of untouched resource rich islands and the lack of malaria in these new lands may have been important factors.
• 9 August - Professor Matthias Ehrgott, Engineering Science: Bridging the gap between real world decision making and mathematics: Multiobjective optimisation in action. 6pm venue tba.
• 10 August - Professor Craig Elliffe, Commercial Law: The joy of (international) tax. 5.30-7pm Caseroom 3.
• 19 August - Professor Prasanna Gai, Economics: Topic tba. 3-4.30pm Decima Glenn, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road.
• 23 August - Professor Brent Young, Mechanical Engineering: Virtual and real process engineering worlds: A journey. 6pm venue tba.
• 7 September - Professor Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (The National Institute of Research Excellence for Maori Development and Advancement): The creative potential of Māori communities: Music and ideas . 6.30pm Studio 1, Kenneth Myer Centre, 74 Shortland Street.
The Māori renaissance of the last 40 years is an extraordinary New Zealand cultural phenomenon. Much change has taken place in Māori communities and New Zealand generally, driven largely by quests for social justice and cultural revitalisation.
In this lecture, Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal will discuss the transition from a preoccupation with social justice and cultural revitalisation through to the engagement by Māori communities with creativity and innovation. He will discuss his research concerning the Whare Tapere - traditional houses of dance, music, storytelling, games and amusements. He will show how the whare tapere starts life as a creative project delving into traditional Māori knowledge and moves to become a process yielding the creative potential of a Māori community. He will talk about research and creative experiments that include haka, karetao- puppets and taonga pūoro. Importantly, he will move to discuss how this project connects with and enables the creative potential of Māori communities. A critical challenge facing Māori development is the challenge and opportunity of distinctiveness. What particularly can the Māori world bring to enhance New Zealand generally?
In addition to presenting this lecture, Charles Royal will also perform a number of his new music compositions.
Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal is a composer and researcher whose creative interests lie with the creative potential of mātauranga Māori and indigenous knowledge. His research concerns whare tapere (‘houses’ of storytelling, dance, games, music) and whare wānanga (‘houses’ of higher knowledge). These research interests broaden into the arena of indigenous knowledge and indigenous approaches to creativity. Charles Royal is Professsor of Indigenous Development, Faculty of Arts, and Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, a centre of research excellence hosted by The University of Auckland.
• 15 September - Professor Annie Goldson, Film, Television and Media Studies. 6pm Lecture Theatre 439, School of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street.
Brother Number One is the third in a trilogy of documentaries produced and directed by Annie Goldson that explores “human rights” issues in the Asia/Pacific region. The feature film, which is showing in cinemas and on broadcast television, follows Kiwi rower Rob Hamill who traveled to Cambodia seeking justice for his brother Kerry who was tortured and murdered by the Khmer Rouge in 1978.
Annie will talk about some of the pleasures and challenges of making “human rights” documentaries. She will attempt to define the genre; examine the occasional critique of Eurocentrism; explore some of the ethical dilemmas that arise in producing such work; and discuss the director/subject relationship as it develops through the process of documentary making. She will use clips from the film to illustrate some of the issues that arise and how she attempted to address them.
• 27 September - Professor Miriam Meyerhoff, Applied Language Studies and Linguistics: Situating variation in language. 6.30pm Lecture Theatre B10, General Library, Alfred Street.
Language use and language users are all situated - they are situated historically, situated socially, and situated interactionally. We need to know where languages come from to understand where they are now. We need to understand how different ways of talking have social significance in a particular community or for a particular type of speaker. And our use of language is an embodied means of expressing individual attitudes towards the people we are talking to and the relationships we desire to have with others. This talk will explore the ways in which a sociolinguist’s view of language - especially their view of language variation - relates to this. I will propose a fresh look at the situated nature of language, one that highlights the importance of frequency, recency, agency and experience as means of situating what we do when we talk.
• 6 October - Professor Thegn Ladefoged, Department of Anthropology: Agricultural development and socio-political transformations in the southern Hawaiian Islands. 6.30pm, Lecture Theatre, Old Government House.
For more than a decade Thegn Ladefoged has engaged in interdisciplinary research investigating the ecodynamics of agricultural development in the leeward Kohala field system (Hawai‘i Island). This research is characterised by collaborative teams using diverse complementary investigative techniques including high-resolution airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), geochemical soil analysis, archaeological survey and excavation, the analysis of oral traditions, and productivity and demographic modelling. The research emphasises the importance of social and environmental factors in the divergent socio-political trajectories on the neighbouring islands of Maui and Hawai‘i Island.
Thegn Ladefoged began his work in leeward Kohala in 1995. Since 2001, he has been a member of three National Science Foundation funded interdisciplinary research projects in the region. His current work in Hawai‘i is funded by a Marsden grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand. The results of his research have been published in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Archaeological Science, Antiquity, American Antiquity, as well as chapters in edited volumes.
• 18 October - Professor Fred Seymour, Psychology: Children's participation in the courts. 5.30pm for refreshments, 6pm for lecture. Lecture Theatre 732.201, Tāmaki Innovation Campus.
Children’s participation in the courts has increased markedly over the last few decades. Since the mid 1980s children have participated as complainant witnesses in child sexual abuse trials in the criminal courts. In the Family Court, children do not appear directly in court proceedings, but there has been an increasing emphasis on children’s views in the determination of child care arrangements following parents’ separation.
Our courts were designed for adults. It is argued in this talk that reform in the criminal courts has been insufficient to properly adjust to children’s participation. This has caused undue stress and harm to children’s wellbeing, which in turn has had impacts on the quality in children’s evidence from which proper and fair determinations are made. And in the Family Court, the increased consideration of children’s views in decision making has not been matched by improvements in how such views are best ascertained.
Research relevant to both issues is reviewed and an argument is made for greater consideration of child developmental and psychological perspectives in both policy and practice.
• 2 November - Professor John Read, Department of Psychology: Making sense of madness. 5.30pm for refreshments in Cafe Europa, Building 733, 6pm for lecture in Lecture Theatre 732.201, Tāmaki Innovation Campus.
Hearing voices and believing that people are out to get you are sometimes described as ‘symptoms’ of ‘schizophrenia’ - one of an array of ‘mental illnesses’ supposedly caused by genetic predispositions and biochemical imbalances.
Recent research, however, shows that ‘schizophrenia’ is an unscientific construct, that there is no robust evidence of a genetic predisposition, and that hallucinations and delusions are best conceptualised as understandable reactions to adverse life events and circumstances. Furthermore, studies from all over the world indicate that the public, including patients and their family members, already holds this ‘psycho-social’ model of mental health.
This lecture presents research (including University of Auckland studies) linking psychosis to poverty, loss and trauma, and describes how the findings challenge the simplistic and pessimistic bio-genetic ideology which, with the support of the pharmaceutical industry, currently dominates mental health research and services.
• 2 November - Professor Judy Parr, Faculty of Education: Writing and the challenge for writing pedagogy. 7pm Lecture Theatre 3.403, Faculty of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street.
Writing is a highly complex communicative act and one that presents an ongoing challenge even for acclaimed writers. In educational settings, writing is increasingly the major means to demonstrate learning and scholarship. It is also an important means for our students to express identity and exercise agency. Research on writing was initially stimulated by a pedagogical need, to understand the act of composition in order to teach it to an increasingly diverse tertiary student body. The pedagogical need remains; internationally the writing performance of students is of concern and New Zealand is no exception.
An understanding of what writing is and does and how people learn to do it is addressed by a number of disciplines. In terms of informing pedagogy, this provides potential strengths but also drawbacks. I will explore this issue and will draw on my work to discuss the likely nature of knowledge and of practice that contributes to effective teaching and learning of writing.
All welcome to this public lecture. For catering purposes RSVP to Maureen Tizard email@example.com
• 8 November - Professor Xun Xu, Mechanical Engineering: Live the dream of 'design anywhere and manufacture anywhere'. 6pm Lecture Theatre 1.439, Building 401, Faculty of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street.
Born in Shanghai and brought up in the northeast of China, Xun obtained his Bachelors and Masters in China before going to the United Kingdom to pursue his PhD degree at UMIST, which is now part of The University of Manchester. He was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer (2001), Associate Professor (2007), and Professorship this year. Currently, Xun leads the Faculty of Engineering’s Innovation in Manufacturing and Materials research theme and serves as the Deputy Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department (Research).
The journey of his research commenced with a search for a total integration of design and manufacturing. The aim was to support product-centric businesses with a concurrent and collaborative approach to designing and manufacturing their products.
More recently, his research has focused on developing the next generation of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems that are more intelligent, interoperable and adaptable. Such a CNC system materialises the benefit of integrated design and manufacturing and enables a paradigm of “Design Anywhere – Manufacture Anywhere”. Of particular significance is the deployment of STEP-NC, a new data model in replacement of the half-a-century-old NC data model.
This research has been undertaken in close collaboration with research bodies and industry partners in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, China, Japan and New Zealand.
The lecture will be followed by refreshments.
• 10 November - Inaugural lecture by Professor Winston Byblow, Department of Sport and Exercise Science: Changing brains. 6pm for refreshments, 7pm for lecture, Lecture Theatre 732.201, Tāmaki Innovation Campus.
Brain plasticity refers to our brain’s lifelong ability to adapt forming the basis for memory, learning, and re-learning following injury. For more than 20 years human brain plasticity has been investigated extensively using various types of noninvasive brain stimulation, leading to a wealth of scientific literature. Professor Winston Byblow and collaborators have used brain stimulation techniques to produce novel insights into neurological conditions affecting movement and its recovery. In this lecture he will discuss how brain stimulation has led to improved predictions of an individual’s potential for recovery after stroke and the subsequent innovative ways to improve recovery. The potential of stimulation does not begin or end with stroke - brain stimulation can improve learning, and can make young healthy undergraduates even smarter (Hooray!). However, it’s worth remembering that brain plasticity can occur for better or worse. This new frontier promises to enhance our sensory, motor and cognitive abilities. Now the challenge is not “Can we?” but “Should we?”
• 15 November - Professor Bruce Smaill, Auckland Bioengineering Institute: Topic to be announced. 6pm venue tba.
• 21 November - Professor Gillian Lewis, School of Biological Sciences: The Devil and the redeemer in water quality. 5pm for refreshments, SBS Common Room, Thomas Building 110. 6pm for lecture, BLT100, Old Biology Building 106.
Water is a common good and one of the fundamental needs and cultural rights of an individual. As a society we expect that we will have free access to water of excellent quality and at very least safe for the use we envisage. Microorganisms - specifically pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa are major contamination issues in water because of the actual or implied infection risk they pose to water users.
Management of microbial water quality has passed through a progression of understanding with triggers for action from visible contaminants, through prescriptive pass failure measures, to predictive risk assessment. Ecological thinking around the sources of pathogens and organism response and behaviour has driven this progress.
On the other side of the aquatic microbial ledger are the natural communities of organisms which are a driving component of water ecosystems. These communities provide much of the water purification processes that we identify as a critical ecosystem service. We have only just begun to build our understanding of the function and implications of these communities for our aspirations for water use.
This lecture will use my own studies of aquatic microbial ecology to consider where our current insight and ongoing research will lead in the sustainability and management of water resources.
• 1 December - Professor Suzanne C Purdy, Psychology: Listening and speaking: Psychoacoustics, communication and quality of life. 5.30-6pm Function Room 730.220, 6-7pm Lecture Theatre, 732.201, Tāmaki Innovation Campus.
Communication can occur in many ways, through written text, gesture, sign language, and through speech. Psychoacoustics, the ability to perceive subtle differences in sounds, underpins the remarkable speech perception and speech production abilities of humans. Psychoacoustic abilities develop as children mature and then deteriorate as people age. Psychoacoustic abilities depend on hearing sensitivity and the brain’s auditory processing capacity. Oral communication is a key human activity that underpins language learning and other areas of development and participation in everyday life for most people. Hence, quality of life can be affected for people who have difficulties with hearing, auditory processing, speech perception and/or language. Since communication is a shared endeavour, families and communities can also be greatly affected. Discriminating speech sounds, listening and speaking are abilities that most people do not attend to greatly until they encounter someone who was born with a communication problem or who acquired a problem as a result of accident, illness or aging. This talk will review 30 years of research and clinical work aimed at understanding the diagnosis, impact and treatment of communication disorders in children and adults.