Applications for 2023-2024 have now closed.
A Lens on Social Justice: Community Organizing, Politics, and Photography
Humanities - History
Project code: ART001
Project Description: This project examines the politics and photography of community organizers in the 1960s USA. Community organizers in the civil rights, Chicano, and anti-poverty movements recognized the vital role that photography could play in advancing their struggles. Compelling images of movement activists spurred like-minded Americans to join these struggles and educated the broader public on what was a stake in these movements. A prominent example of an activist photographer is Maria Varela, who organized and photographed with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Mississippi and the Land Rights Movement in New Mexico. She learned from and worked with others, such as Bob Fitch, in these movements, who also saw themselves as the inheritors of an earlier American public documentary tradition among photographers like Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. How these photographic collaborations and historical influences interconnected with the political issues and strategies of these movements and the challenges of community organizing in the 1960s is a key question for this project.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The Summer Scholar will carry out research in both historical primary and secondary sources. First, the Scholar will gather primary sources about the role of photography in multiple sixties movements by researching in organizational records (starting with the SNCC Papers available digitally through the Wisconsin State Historical Society and the Bob Fitch Photography Archive available digitally through Stanford University), contemporary and subsequent news and magazine coverage (using ProQuest Historical newspapers and Readers Guide Retrospective), oral histories and interviews with participants (as available online), and, most importantly, the photographs themselves (those that are available digitally). The focus for the summer will be on what is available online and through databases available in our library. I will provide the Scholar with a list of names and topics to look for, starting with Maria Varela and Bob Fitch, but I will encourage the student also to think broadly and follow the leads that emerge in the research process. Second, the Scholar will conduct bibliographical research in the relevant secondary sources, in both book and article form. The Scholar will utilise secondary sources currently held in our library and will also draw upon the collections of other libraries through interloan. The Scholar will download, photocopy, or summarise, annotate, and index the relevant sources. Given enough time, I would supervise the Scholar in writing short essays assessing the state of the field or literature reviews on various topics related to this project.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: This project would best suit a Scholar who has studied history and is familiar with basic historical research, methods, and analysis, has an interest in politics, organizing and/or photography and media, has solid writing skills, and has demonstrated the characteristics of initiative, goal-setting, and time management in their own tertiary studies.
Benefits to Scholar: The academic and intellectual benefits for a Summer Scholar will involve exposure to primary and secondary source material in 20th century United States history, social justice politics and community organizing the 1960s USA, and role of photography in social movements and struggles in the 20th century more generally. For a student thinking of undertaking postgraduate research in history, art history, media, gender studies, and/or politics, the scholarship would provide an advantageous point of departure. The Scholar will also develop more advanced primary and secondary research skills as a result of the Scholarship. Specifically, the Scholar will learn or refine their skills at judging and selecting relevant source material, and summarising its historical content and significance.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This activity supports Taumata Teitei’s strategic initiatives in both Research and Innovation and Partnerships and Engagement. As a US history topic with political relevance to today, this project will contribute to building my and the Summer Scholar’s research engagement, research impact, global network, and international outreach. The projected outcome for this project is a book, which will be published in the United States, as with my previous books, contributing to UoA’s international reputation and rankings. The Summer Scholar programme also contributes to my Faculty’s values as it allows the establishment of a strong research mentoring relationship supporting the aspirations of our students, which I found with my earlier Scholars.
Engaging with Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland's Past
Prof Linda Bryder
Humanities - History
Project code: ART002
Project (Two positions)
Jonathan and Mary Mason Summer Scholarship in Auckland History
Auckland Library Heritage Trust John Stacpoole Summer Scholarship
Project Description: This is an exciting opportunity to pursue a research topic of your choice, based on the rich histories of Tāmaki Makaurau. In undertaking this project, successful applicants will gain a real world understanding of different archives, hone their research writing skills, and gain valuable experience at the interface of the GLAMRs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, Records) sector and academia. There are several scholarships on offer in this summer programme. In a team environment, under the guidance of Professor Linda Bryder and Dr. Jess Parr, students will identify, scope, and research a topic that interests them, producing three-five high quality articles that are published on the Auckland History Initiative’s website. These Summer Scholarships are an introduction to postgraduate study, with each student having autonomy over their project and access to two supervisors as well as the chance to build relationships and applied research skills within leading cultural organisations that collect and maintain cultural heritage materials. This programme is a part of the Auckland History Initiative (AHI), located in History, School of Humanities. The AHI seeks to engage with and capture the historical development, vibrancy and diversity of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland and its importance to New Zealand life and beyond.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The start of the project is dedicated to helping the students narrow down a topic of interest that also has a set of archival records to draw on. Preliminary meetings will be held with various sectors who have already indicated a willingness to participate in this programme and have done so in the past to help students identify a topic. They include the Auckland City Council Heritage Unit, the Auckland City Library Research Centre, and the UoA Special Collections team. From these meetings and a brief survey of available source material, each Scholar will select a case study/topic to pursue for their summer project. Over the following 10-week programme the scholars will be supported through weekly meetings, connections with relevant GLAMRs specialists and through a series of feedback exchanges with the supervisors on this project. Through this process the scholars will scope their topics, collect source material from a variety of archives, identify key themes and ideas, and present their research in a meaningful story. Our expectations are that the Summer Scholars will meet weekly with the researchers and supervisors to discuss their project. They will conduct their own research and produce three to five illustrated short articles for the AHI website on their chosen research topic (with each essay c.1500 words). Finally, they will give a presentation in the Auckland Library’s Heritage seminar series in early 2024.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Some historical training will be a pre-requisite along with basic computer skills. The students will not necessarily have already engaged with primary source material but will have good analytical and writing skills and be prepared to give an oral public presentation.
Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will gain experience in scoping and presenting a research topic. To do this, they will learn to navigate electronic catalogues and other history finding aids, which will prove useful grounding for further historical research at graduate level. The student will learn to read and analyse archival and other primary source material and how to use this material to tell a story. The Scholar will learn to write history in an accessible way for general readers. The student will also learn about the history of the local community in which they are currently based, furthering an interest in their surroundings. The student will gain valuable contacts in the GLAMR sector (two former Scholars were subsequently offered contracts by bodies in the heritage sector to conduct further research). Being asked to present the results of their research will also increase their confidence in public speaking and engagement.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: The AHI continues to strive to adhere to Ō Tātou Mātāpono and encourages students to engage with mātauranga Māori approaches to history. This programme also looks to provide a platform and opportunities for Māori students and opportunities to research Māori history. Our students choose their own topics within Tāmaki Makaurau’s history, and they are all encouraged to approach their topics with sensitivity to diversity and with an openness to understanding New Zealand’s colonial past. Students will be provided with appropriate guidance through advisors attached to the project.
The global wars of the 1860s: A historiography exercise
Humanities - History
Project code: ART003
Project Description: The history of warfare in the nineteenth century is often siloed in national and imperial boxes. Historians study the history of the United States Civil War, for example, almost exclusively as a topic in American history. Likewise, the history of the Taiping Rebellion, the Indian Uprising of 1857 or the New Zealand Wars are predominantly written as histories of China, India, Aotearoa or (in the case of the latter two) the British empire. Meanwhile, the history of warfare in Europe during the 1860s tends to focus on the formation of two nation-states, namely Germany and Italy. Very rarely do any of these histories speak to each other, despite the fact that all these events occurred within the same time period (1857-1871).This summer research project seeks to find ways of connecting the histories of what are often treated as singular events – the various wars of the ‘long’ 1860s – and treat them as interconnected, as products of a globally connected world of communications, diplomacy, commerce, politics, the movement of people/soldiers and the sharing of ideas. Using the various resources available through the University of Auckland’s library system, the successful scholar will find, read and write short summaries of key books and articles on the topic of warfare in the 1857-1871 timespan, and use these annotations to construct a historiographical essay answering the question: In which ways and with what significance do historians of warfare in the ‘long’ 1860s mobilise a global lens?
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: This projects helps to train the scholar’s historical research, analysis and writing skills. The work is split into the following components:1.Annotated bibliography (300 hours): using the various resources available in the University of Auckland’s library system, the scholar will find, read and provide analytic summaries of the content and arguments of key historical books and journal articles relating to the subject of warfare and instances of state violence that occurred in the period 1857-1871.2. Writing plan (40 hours): using the sources identified in the annotated bibliography, the scholar will construct a research plan to complete a historiography essay answering the question: In which ways and with what significance do historians of warfare in the 1860s mobilise a global lens?3. Research essay writing (60 hours).The scholar will be expected to attend a weekly meeting with the project supervisor to discuss progress and findings.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Pre-requisite: The scholar must have passed a Stage III (or higher-level) History course. This research project is best suited to students wishing to go on in History at post-graduate level and who have a genuine interest in the history of warfare and/or state violence.
Benefits to Scholar: The successful scholar will gain invaluable historical and historiographical research skills, hone their skills of historiographical analysis and have an opportunity to construct their own interpretation of a field of historical study (in this case of the history of warfare, with a focus on the 1860s). The project’s findings could form the starting point for a MA thesis or BA(Hons) research project, if the student so wished. If the standard of the scholar’s historiography essay is high enough, there may be an opportunity to co-author an academic publication at the conclusion of the project.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This project has a basis in History but mobilises transdisciplinary scholarship on warfare in the 1860s (which includes Politics and IR scholarship, international legal scholarship and a range of Māori, Pacific, Indigenous and sub-altern scholarship on anti-imperial resistance and colonial violence). Above all, the project asks students to critically reflect on the place warfare and state violence play in our understanding of the modern world. This summer scholarship aligns with the supervisor’s latest research project, which aims to write a global history of warfare in the 1860s. While this new project is in an embryonic state (I am finishing off another book), the bibliography and historiography work noted here will help set the focus of a research plan going forward. If the summer scholar’s work is of a high enough quality (which is more likely if a PG-level student takes on the scholarship), there is a possibility that their research essay may form the basis of a co-authored historiographical essay on the global history of war in the 1860s as well.
Rehabilitating Intersectional Logic
Humanities - Philosophy
Project code: ART007
Project Description: The project starts from the view that logic provides a neutral space of enquiry, a space in which people can engage in constructive reasoning without the pressure to defend their respective opinions, beliefs, or worldviews. But neutrality is not equal for everyone. People that are in position of power can easily and safely enter and leave the orthodox logical space of neutrality. Neutrality doesn’t require them to erase their identity or suppress what makes them vulnerable in society. A space of enquiry regimented by orthodox logic is thus intolerant in the rules it enforces, in the conceptualisations it permits, and in the rigidity of acceptable reasoning. Neutrality is not enough to make a space of enquiry equally safe. Queer logic identifies a whole range of historical and intersectional oppression in the supposed neutrality of logic. Grounded in a tradition of feminist, queer and decolonial critiques of philosophy, the main goal of queer logic is to articulate the logic of intersectionality. It’s time for a queer makeover of our fundamental ways of thinking and communicating.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The scholar will conduct research online, in the library or in the community (if suitable), will collate information, papers, websites, etc, and will provide verbal and written summary reports on the research.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Familiarity with logic as taught in the logic courses in philosophy (PHIL101, PHIL216, PHIL315) would help. An interest in critical theory topics such as decolonisation, gender studies, queer studies, or other areas of oppression would also be helpful. A student with some formal skills, the potential to read a lot of information, and categorise and summarise it efficiently would be ideal!
Benefits to Scholar: This project will provide the scholar with first-hands experience in research on a general topic broadly related to logic. The scholar will have to find the appropriate resources for conducting the research, and for reporting the results. The scholar will learn to develop research skills and build autonomy in conducting a research project.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: Intersectionalinity includes postcolonial critical theory. The main goal of the project, to provide an inclusive logical space of deliberation, fits with postcolonial framework of research and deliberation, in which relational identity can flourish freely.
Asian 8 Series Development Production Assistant
Project code: ART010
This is a production assistant position for the series development phase of Asian 8; a comedy series about an ambitious teenage girl who wants to be the Head Girl of her posh private single-sex school where Head Girls have historically been White. Outraged by the school’s ‘benign racism’, American transfer student Ming Zhao rallies a gang of Asian students at St. Agnes School for Girls to support her political ambitions. In exchange for their support, she’ll have to return these favours quid pro quo. She will have to find suitable dates to the upcoming ball, recast the school musical, break into an ultra-exclusive Eastern suburbs social club, and try not to get expelled. On the strength of a pilot episode that was funded by NZOA as part of the Pan Asian Screen Collective’s Episode One Webseries Development and Pilot Production Programme, Asian 8 will begin work on refining an 8 episode series arc, outlining all of the episodes in detail, and producing 3 screenplays. These materials will be used to apply for production funding in 2024.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The summer scholar will assist many aspects of development work and help prepare the production funding application. They will conduct background research in preparation for writers’ rooms as well as provide logistical, administrative, and creative support leading up to, during, and after the writers’ rooms. The scholar will be responsible for organising and archiving all research and creative material generated from the writers’ rooms to serve as a comprehensive resource for the supervisor (showrunner) and the screenwriters (to be determined).
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: I expect the summer scholar to be friendly, curious, conscientious, and dependable. Some previous work experience would be preferable. They will need to have excellent research and organisational skills. They will need to be able to read quickly and accurately, write clearly and communicate well verbally. The scholar must be able to prioritize assigned tasks and complete them in an timely and efficient manner. A strong interest in screenwriting and screen production would be advantageous.
Benefits to Scholar: This is a relatively rare opportunity to work on an Asian focused screen project. The student will gain real world experience in the screen industry development, make connections with professionals, and learn many basic aspects of television writing. While the student will learn about the workaday world of content development, this experience will likely persuade them that creative roles require knowledge and skills that can be most efficiently and effectively acquired through further postgraduate study.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This summer scholarship provides students with professional and community enriching co-curricular learning, contributes to their work readiness, and will help them engage with Aotearoa’s diverse Asian communities.
Māori and Moana Practices of Philosophical Inquiry: Insights for Transdisciplinary research and teaching
Project (Three positions)
Project Description: Practices of philosophical inquiry are multiple – shaped by our languages, relationships, and objects of inquiry (among other things). Recognising this diversity in the discipline of Philosophy is critical to recognising the opportunities and challenges for Philosophy (itself) to contribute to transdisciplinary research and teaching. More importantly for this project, recognising this diversity across and within knowledge systems is vital to understanding the unique and innovative contribution of Māori and wider Moana philosophies to transdisciplinary research and teaching. Drawing from concepts embedded in language (such as whakaaro), connections to place (such as whakapapa), processes of engagement (such as pōwhiri), and customary and contemporary narrative forms (such as storytelling, weaving, carving, music, and dance), this suite of (three) interconnected projects undertaken by Māori and/or Pasifika students will begin to articulate Māori and Pasifika practices of philosophical inquiry. Combining independent research with weekly wananga/talanoa, our shared korero and ideas will culminate in three interconnected written or creative outputs (that is, one by each of the students) and a co-authored report (led by both supervisors with students).
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: Project 1: Insights from Māori concepts embedded in language and narrative forms. Project 2: Insights from Māori and/or Moana concepts embedded in language and narrative forms. Project 3: Insights from Māori and/or Moana connections to place and processes of engagement; Each project will take as their starting point aspects of Māori and/or Moana concepts critical to understanding practices of philosophical inquiry. Project 1 and 2 begin from Māori and/or Moana concepts embedded in language and narrative forms. For instance, project 1 might explore whakaaro and a particular customary or contemporary narrative form (such as pūrākau, waiata, digital artforms) from the students’ own community. Project 2 will similarly explore concepts embedded in a particular Pacific language and narrative form from the student’s own community. Project 3 will explore connections to place such as concepts like whakapapa and/or kaitiakitanga and processes of engagement such as (for instance) pōwhiri, wānanga, and/or talanoa informed by the students’ own interests and community.Each project will be supported by both supervisors to answer two questions:1. What is thought/inquiry/critical reflection? Review of key concepts informed by language and/or narratives with the aim of understanding what thought/inquiry/critical reflection is. 2. How is the practice of thinking/inquiry/critical reflection (so defined) undertaken, and what basic assumptions are built into these practices? Outline of basic assumptions that ground the conceptualisation of thought/ inquiry/ critical reflection articulated in light of previous question; Overview of how the student thinks these concepts can inform practices of philosophical inquiry – drawing on practices from within their own communities. Students will each present their findings in either written, audio/visual, or other creative form (to be discussed with supervisors). Findings will be made available to their respective communities. Led by the supervisors, we will then collectively, through wananga/talanoa, answer the following question: What insights are there for the form and content of transdisciplinary research and practice? An overview of transdisciplinary research and teaching; An explanation of how diverse practices of philosophical inquiry enrich our understanding of what transdisciplinary research and teaching is and how it can be undertaken; An overview of the opportunities and challenges to including Māori and Moana practices of philosophical inquiry in transdisciplinary research and teaching; Recommendations.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Philosophy or Sociology major or minor. Understanding of Māori and/or Pacific language and/or knowledge. An interest in Māori and/or Moana Philosophies.
Benefits to Scholar: Students will gain experience undertaking research within Māori and/or Moana philosophy in ways that privilege these philosophies and the students’ own communities and experiences. For instance, students will be able to engage with resources within their own communities and will be able to show how these epistemic resources (such as pūrākau) embed knowledge and knowledge-making practices. As such, students will also benefit from being involved in determining the precise shape of the project and to thereby gain experience crafting and independently undertaking a research project that is meaningful to them. Students will also benefit from weekly wananga/talanoa. To this end, the team will not merely write about diverse philosophical methods but will themselves engage in and collectively explore diverse philosophical inquiry. Students will be able to demonstrate leadership in research with outputs of their own as well as contribute to a final report co-authored by the team.The experience will be invaluable for providing students with insights into, and gaining tools for undertaking and managing, graduate research.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This student-led, Māori- and Moana-centred, and transdisciplinary project empowers and supports Māori and Pacific students by enabling them to inform university teaching and develop key skills for graduate research (education and student experience priorities 1, 3). Understanding and enabling Māori and wider Moana knowledge-making practices is vital to rectifying the exclusion of Māori and wider Pacific philosophies in the discipline of Philosophy and critical for developing appropriate transdisciplinary research and teaching reflective of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific (research and innovation priorities 1, 2). By encouraging and enabling students to engage with korero and knowledge-making practices from their own communities, this project also provides one way of deepening links with Māori and Pacific communities (partnerships and engagement priorities 1, 3) and reconnecting our research and teaching to the cultural and philosophical diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider Pacific (people and culture priority 4).
Underrepresented Voices in Philosophy of Science
Project code: ART019
Project Description: Throughout its history as a subdiscipline of academic philosophy, the philosophy of science has been largely structured around building on the ideas of a group of influential scholars from the 20th century, including Karl Popper, Carl Hempel, and Thomas Kuhn. The voices of women, Indigenous and non-Western scholars, among others, have been underrepresented or marginalised in academic philosophy of science venues including conferences, publishing, and course reading lists. This is increasingly changing in the 21st century as the discipline’s scope expands into new territory. The first stage of this project will support such change by identifying underrepresented voices and topics in the philosophy of science and compiling a series of structured reading lists. This work will inform the philosophy of science curriculum at this university, as well as a broader international effort the supervisor is involved in to make available sample syllabi and reading lists for philosophy of science courses showcasing a broad range of standpoints and topics. In the second stage the scholar and supervisor will co-develop and start addressing a research question inspired by one or more authors or topics identified in the first stage; the specific focus here will be guided by the scholar’s interests and experience.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The scholar and supervisor will work together to co-design the specific directions and details of both stages of the project. Whatever direction we land on, the scholar’s tasks will include, but will not necessarily be limited to: searching online databases to identify and compile lists of references; reading journal articles, book chapters and online sources; identifying and writing summaries of key themes in those readings; preparing an annotated bibliography; seeking other creative ways to present findings and potentially share them more widely; and meeting regularly with the supervisor to discuss the project.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The scholar should demonstrate the potential to conduct independent research using academic databases and other internet resources, and to carefully read and summarise journal articles and other published works. The scholar will ideally have some background in studying philosophy. Coursework in the philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, or philosophy of another particular scientific field would be very helpful (but is not required).
Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will gain experience in developing and exploring their own research interests in a way that is supported by the supervisor but also self-directed. A key focus of the research itself will be on using databases to identify key works in different areas, reading written works, writing concise summaries of them, identifying themes in the literature, discussing these with the supervisor, and deciding together where to go next. The project will thus give the scholar opportunities to develop and hone their independent research skills, including searching academic literature and other resources, focused reading, summarising, synthesising ideas, and written and oral presentation skills. This will provide first-hand insight into, and involvement in, the research process in academic philosophy and interdisciplinary research, which is valuable background for anyone considering postgraduate work in philosophy or other fields.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This project aligns with a number of goals and values in Taumata Teitei, emphasising the importance of recognising different perspectives, Indigenous (including but not limited to Māori and Pacific) scholarship, research-informed teaching, and giving students a role in shaping their education.
‘Emergency’ framing in conservation
Dr Alexandra (Ally) Palmer
Dr Emily Parke
Project code: ART020
Project Description: Following in the footsteps of ‘climate emergency’ declarations, some conservationists have declared a ‘biodiversity emergency’. Yet ‘emergency’ framing can have complex implications, with critics noting that ‘crisisification’ could be used to justify overriding processes and rights, particularly of Indigenous peoples (Whyte, 2020). Even climate activists express uncertainty about such framing, which they view as having potentially negative as well as positive consequences (Nissen & Cretney, 2022).Little work has examined debates about crisis framing in conservation. This project will make a first step towards understanding crisis debates in conservation, with a focus on Aotearoa New Zealand. Whyte, K. ‘Against crisis epistemology’. In Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies (eds. Hokowhitu, B., Moreton-Robinson, A., Tuhiwai-Smith, L., Andersen, C. & Larkin, S.) 52–64 (Routledge, 2020). doi:10.4324/9780429440229-6; Nissen, S. & Cretney, R. Retrofitting an emergency approach to the climate crisis: A study of two climate emergency declarations in Aotearoa New Zealand. Environ. Plan. C 40, 340–356 (2022).
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The project will involve desk-based research into how crisis framing has been used in discussions around conservation to date, with a particular focus on NZ. This may include media articles, academic and grey literature, and historical sources. It is anticipated that the scholar will produce a literature review on this subject. The work may also involve conducting initial interviews with conservation researchers and/or activists to understand their views on the use of crisis/emergency framing. This will only be conducted if ethics approval permits, prospective interviewees available over the summer scholarship period can be identified, and it is of interest to the summer scholar.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The candidate should have demonstrated some experience in social science (ideally qualitative), for example through successful completion of at least one course in a relevant social science subject (e.g., human geography, anthropology, sociology, media studies). Alternatively, the student may have experience in a relevant humanities field such as history or philosophy. They should have an interest in environmental and conservation topics.
Benefits to Scholar: The student will gain experience in conducting literature reviews, media analysis, and potentially semi-structured interviews, which would be valuable skills for further PG study in a relevant field. We would be happy to support the student in pursuing this or a related topic in PG study. We hope to secure funding to conduct a larger research project on this topic alongside colleagues at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Lincoln. The scholar’s work is therefore expected to contribute to developing grant proposals, for which they will receive acknowledgement and potentially co-authorship opportunities if their work is later used as part of a larger dataset. If the scholar achieves a substantial amount of publication-quality original research (e.g., a sizeable set of interviews) over the scholarship period, this could in itself justify publication - we support the scholar in working towards this if it is of interest.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This research aligns with the UoA’s strategic focus on sustainability, as it concerns communications around biodiversity conservation. Simultaneously, it engages with the strategic priority of justice, given its concern with ensuring that conservation respects the rights of people, including Indigenous peoples in NZ and internationally. In this way, the research is also of relevance to Māori and connects to the Taiao / Environment theme of Vision Mātauranga. We are committed to upholding the University’s and Faculty’s values and principles, including to equity and diversity. We will support the scholar in achieving excellence in their research, and to following an open path of intellectual inquiry on this research topic. We are committed to academic ethical principles, including that human research participants give free and informed consent. We view this research project as important for informing public discussions around conservation, and therefore view it as aligning with the university’s value of service.
Māori-Catholic history: Creating a digital archive and interpretive display
Dr Rowan Light
Humanities - History
Project code: ART021
Project Description: This project involves the creation and design of a digital archive for oral histories, collected in 2021-2023, relating to the history of Bishop Pompallier and the Catholic-Māori encounters in Hokianga in the nineteenth-century. Since 2021, I have been working with the Pompallier Hokianga Trust to develop new stories about the life of Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier (1803-1869) and the repatriation of his remains to Motuti in 2002. The Trust was set up shortly after the return of the Bishop to care for Hato Maria, the church in which Pompallier’s remains were re-interred. With the interviews completed, I need to place these in a digital archive to be deposited in the museum’s collections. A second aspect of this project is the design of a new interpretive panel displaying an illustrated history of Pompallier’s return that will be displayed at the entrance to the Motuti church and urupa.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: The scholar, with my guidance, will create a coherent digital archive of the 15 interviews conducted as part of the oral history project. The creation of the archive entails: 1.Collating files (interview audio files and transcripts), consent forms, biographies, in a consistent style and arrangement; and 2.Creating a professional introduction and conclusion to each audio file. The design of a display, based on this research, brings together different interpretive components. The display, for example, might incorporate a short summary of Pompallier’s life and his repatriation, excerpts from the oral histories, images (including maps, paintings and photographs), and other interpretive elements. The scholar will need to: Read and identify key quotes from oral history transcripts; Research and identify relevant images (maps, pictures, photographs);Compose concise and accessible English-language summary and captions; And design a layout for these different texts and images.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: This project will suit a scholar interested in the public presentation of stories of the past and how these speak to and with communities. In the first place, the scholar needs to have excellent attention to detail and good record keeping. An ability to edit digital files, or a desire to learn, is also essential. Additionally, this is a project is an opportunity for a scholar to show and put into practice their creativity and interpretive skills using textual and visual sources. Because I will provide the expert knowledge, the scholar does not need to be knowledgeable about Māori Catholic histories (although a working knowledge is certainly welcome). Some understanding of te reo Māori is also helpful, although not essential.
Benefits to Scholar: The opportunity here is to be part of a public history project. This would appeal to someone wanting to work in public history, such as an archive, museum, or as a community-based historian. There is also an opportunity to engage with a more specialist history on Māori-Catholic history, which is an understudied area. As part of the project, we will run regular reading groups on Māori-Catholic history. The student will also benefit from seeing the process of conducting, creating, and analysing an oral history. Oral history is a hugely rich historical method, but one that can be challenging for postgraduate students because of the amount of time it takes to set up a project. However, if a student has been exposed to some of the methodological challenges in a summer project, including processes of ethics approval, it would make any postgraduate oral history a more viable prospect.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This project aligns with Taumata Teitei in important ways. It is a project centered on enhancing Māori-Catholic mātauranga, through the oral histories of Pihopa Pomāparia (Bishop Pompallier); specifically, it does this through community engagement. The oral history project has been conducted with the close collaboration with the Motuti community – this summer scholarship builds on these relationships, and aims to make university research useful and relevant to a stakeholder community.
Ko te pu o te pakeha: Researching the material culture of the Northern War (1845-46) at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira
Humanities - History
Project code: ART022
Project Description: This project focuses on an understudied area of Aotearoa New Zealand history, the material culture of the Northern War (1845-46), through the New Zealand Wars collection at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. The aim is to enrich our understanding of this collection by researching the objects and taonga, held at the museum, relating to the events and legacy of the Northern War. The scholar will navigate archives, collections, and other forms of historical evidence to collate knowledge relating to Northern War objects and taonga. The project will consist of: Compiling and annotating a bibliography of Northern War histories; Reviewing museum records (both documentary and digital) for objects and taonga relating to the Northern War; Conducting extensive research on objects and taonga, including information found in object files at the Auckland War Memorial Museum; Composing summaries of stories relating to particular people, events, and experiences, centred on objects and taonga; Researching hapū/iwi and descendant group connections to objects and taonga; and Designing an exhibition on the Northern War using the collections and research conducted as part of the summer project. The project fits into my stream of work as project curator at the Auckland Museum, helping to create avenues of access for students to the museum’s collections and archive. This project is part of a wider interrogation of objects and taonga held at Auckland War Memorial Museum as part of the ‘New Zealand Wars’ collection.
Scholar’s Work and Expectations: My background as project curator for the NZ Wars at the museum provides the key context of this project. I have been re-developing the museum’s catalogue of NZ Wars objects and taonga; the scholar’s work would build on and expand this research. The scholar can expect to visit archives at the University Special Collections, Auckland City Library, and the Auckland Museum, and compiling information held on objects and taonga relating to the Northern War. This work might entail consulting with experts in different curatorial fields such as documentary, pictorial, and archaeological collecting. On this basis, the scholar would contribute to overarching collections research that will, in turn, contribute to developing a contemporary NZ Wars gallery over 2024 and 2025. As supervisor, I will provide access to the museum, as well as helping the scholar navigate archive access. There is also a creative component of this project: the scholar, with this substantial collections knowledge, will have the chance to conceptualise what an exhibition on the Northern War might look like.
Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The project will appeal to students who enjoy a bit of detective work and working through historical documents. It will require lots of piecing together, through disparate files and databases, fragments of information. The scholar will need to set their own goals while working with regular input from the supervisor. Some knowledge of how to use archives and databases would also be helpful – though, as supervisor, I can provide direction here. A familiarity with Māori names, places, and common words and phrases – if not language fluency – is also helpful.
Benefits to Scholar: This is a unique opportunity for a scholar to work on histories of material culture and colonial conflict in Aotearoa New Zealand. Part of the project schedule will be a reading group, diving into how histories of the Northern War have been written and shared, and the role of objects and taonga in remembrance and commemoration. The scholar, through this project, will learn what an object/taonga centred historical approach looks like and develop a familiarity with material culture history of the New Zealand Wars at Auckland War Memorial Museum. I understand the student will be undergraduate and so will deliver work of that level; however, I believe that the project will create exciting pathways for postgraduate history.
Alignment to Taumata Teitei: This project aligns with Taumata Teitei in important ways. My joint appointment as project curator at Auckland War Memorial Museum is part of a strategy to link up research with public impact through collections research and exhibition making. Preference will be given to tauira Māori wanting to develop expertise in object and taonga-centred history. Because of my placement at the museum, the scholar will have support from the curator taonga Māori in relation to mātauranga Māori.
Music & Artificial Intelligence
Project code: CAI020
This project explores the use of AI for music composition and production. Possible topics include critical examination of existing commercial tools for music generation; development of AI-tool to co-create music; consultation with local communities to gauge perception around the benefits and risks of AI in music.
Please get in touch with Dr Morreale to discuss your idea before applying.
This project is suited to a Music, Design, Arts, Engineering, or Computer Science student.
Apply for this project in the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries form.