Te Wānanga o Waipapa

Haka on the Move: Sport Circuits and Cultural Performance

Supervisor

Dr Lisa Uperesa 

Discipline

Te Wānanga o Waipapa | School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies

Project code: ART018

Project

While there is an ongoing debate about the use of haka in New Zealand sporting, and especially linked to the branding of professional teams, the most prominent international discussion has emerged with the use of haka by American high school and college gridiron football programs. The debates are activated by conflicts over cultural appropriation, with specific issues surrounding the use of indigenous cultural practices further complicated by questions of diaspora, connection, and identity. This project focuses on the use of haka in the articulation of pan-Polynesian identity in the Pacific diaspora, as well as its role as cultural performance in Maori and other contexts. As such, it links the domestic and international debates by examining two case studies focused on the use of cultural performance in what is often seen (erroneously) as a "modern" and "non-cultural" context of sport.

Scholar’s Work

The student would work with the existing research team to further two components of the study. The first is reviewing literature on cultural performance, primarily from anthropology, performance studies, and Native/Indigenous/Pacific studies with a focus on the key research questions of the larger study. The second is helping to collect public social media data on haka performance and debate. It may also include joining discussions around preliminary analysis or geotagging media and producing visuals.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

  • This project is well suited to students with a background in anthropology, performance studies, or Native/Indigenous/Pacific studies. 
  • Students with training in kapa haka or ties/commitments to Maori and Pacific communities are especially welcome.
  • Strong communication skills (written, verbal) necessary.
  • Ideal applicants should be independent, self-motivated, with demonstrated initiative and time management skills.
  • They should be savvy digital media navigators, have attention to detail, and be open to research and technical training. Familiarity with online platforms and/or social media research a plus.

The successful candidate will be offered a study desk at the Pacific Studies complex for the duration of the course.

Timing/Weeks

25 Nov-29 Nov. 2-6 Dec. 9-13 Dec. 16-20 Dec. 13-17 Jan. 20-24 Jan. 28-31 Jan (short week, Auckland Anniversary 27 Jan). 3-7 Feb (short week, Waitangi Day 6 Feb. 10-14 Feb. 17-21 Feb.

Native Mascots and Indigenous Communities

Supervisor

Dr Lisa Uperesa 

Discipline

Te Wānanga o Waipapa | School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies

Project code: ART019

Project

In the United States, Native American mascots have been a source of significant controversy and challenge, particularly in recent years. While many scholars have contributed important research on the impacts of these mascots on Native communities in settler colonial nations, the use of Native mascots by other indigenous and multi-ethnic groups is less well understood. This project is an international research collaboration built around a case study of an indigenous and multi-ethnic community in the U.S. and the genealogy, meaning, and critical analysis of their use of Native mascots.

Scholar’s Work

The student’s work would feed into two components of this project. The first is a review of key literature on Native American and First Nations mascots, with a focus on sporting contexts. The second would be helping to collect examples of Native mascot use by indigenous and multi-ethnic groups (including U.S., First Nations, and international) contexts. If time allows, the scholar may also provide other support to the research team (reviewing interview transcripts, etc.).

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

This project is well-suited to students with an interest/background in Native and Indigenous Studies, representation, community histories, and/or sport.

Strong communication skills (written, verbal) necessary. Ideal applicants should be independent, self-motivated, with demonstrated initiative and time management skills. They should have attention to detail, and be open to research and technical training.

The successful candidate will be offered a study desk at the Pacific Studies complex for the duration of the course.

Timing/Weeks

25 Nov-29 Nov. 2-6 Dec. 9-13 Dec. 16-20 Dec. 13-17 Jan. 20-24 Jan. 28-31 Jan (short week, Auckland Anniversary 27 Jan). 3-7 Feb (short week, Waitangi Day 6 Feb). 10-14 Feb. 17-21 Feb.

Digital Humanities and Pacific Knowledge

Supervisor

Dr Lisa Uperesa 

Discipline

Te Wānanga o Waipapa | School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies

Project code: ART020

Project

The University of Auckland is a premiere institution for established and emerging Pacific research. This project proposes to leverage those strengths in alignment with New Zealand’s efforts to develop capacity for digital humanities research by scoping the potential for establishing a new digital humanities platform to support emerging projects. Tied into the Mentor’s three current projects that co-create knowledge with Pacific communities, this project explores building archives and identifying tools and platforms that support digital humanities projects for access by and engagement with Pacific communities.

This new initiative is in collaboration with representatives of Libraries and Learning Services as well as the Centre for eResearch, both of which have pledged consulting and advising support. This digital archive scoping project will greatly contribute to the discovery, accessibility, and linking of Pacific collections and archival material housed in a range of archives, libraries, and research institutions.

The project will be of value and interest to these institutions with Pacific research material, and aids foster collaborations and other opportunities to collaborate in advancing Pacific research and researcher success. Furthermore, through its link to existing research initiatives, the project will encourage community engagement, sustainable relationships, and reciprocal partnerships between institutions, researchers, and communities.

Scholar’s Work

The scholar’s work would include an inventory of Pacific archives and overviews of their holdings, reviewing national (and selected international) efforts for developing digital humanities projects and relevant funding streams, and working with a research and consultation team to explore the assembly and hosting of discrete archives. They will also learn how to engage and evaluate a range of digital tools and services to inform the project.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

This project is well-suited to students with an interest/background in digital humanities and/or Pacific communities and their histories.

Strong communication skills (written, verbal) necessary. Ideal applicants should be independent, self-motivated, with demonstrated initiative and time management skills. They should have attention to detail, and be open to research and technical training.

The successful candidate will be offered a study desk at the Pacific Studies complex for the duration of the summer.

Timing/Weeks

25 Nov-29 Nov. 2-6 Dec. 9-13 Dec. 16-20 Dec. 13-17 Jan. 20-24 Jan. 28-31 Jan (short week, Auckland Anniversary 27 Jan). 3-7 Feb (short week, Waitangi Day 6 Feb). 10-14 Feb. 17-21 Feb.

Evidencing the Positive Contribution of Kapa Haka to the Wellbeing of New Zealand Society. (Te Pokapu Arts Research Hub Summer Scholar mentoring programme 2019/2020)

Supervisor

Prof Linda Waimarie Nikora

(Hinekura Smith, Paora Sharples, Arotha Harris, Te Whainoa Te Wiata, Jen Martin, Lisa Urepesa, Ngarino Ellis)


Discipline

Te Wānanga o Waipapa | School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies

Project code: ART029

Two students requested.

Project

In 2021, Te Matatini, New Zealand’s premiere kapa haka event will be held in Auckland in 2021. Working with Te Matatini Inc, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence is launching an ambitious research programme focussed on the positive contribution kapa haka makes to the wellbeing of New Zealand society in turn supporting the development and appreciation for the next Te Matatini 2021 and the nation.

We are looking for 2 scholars to join our team of researchers enthusiastic about all things haka. The overall objectives of this programme of work are to evidence the positive contribution of kapa haka to the wellbeing of New Zealand society and to produce information for improved and accountable investment in kapa haka. It will support present government efforts to enhance all aspects of wellbeing in our society, thus informing public policy, social investments and effective returns.

The research will build a metric from a te Ao Maori perspective to comprehensively value the positive contribution of haka, this having utility to more meaningfully measure wellbeing and support ongoing public sector conversations. The framework will also support other people groups to centre and assert their own cultural wellbeing priorities. The intended research programme will reflect value and contribution across a spectrum of domains, including physical health, education, language, culture and support/community cohesions, as the programme considers and develops an econometrics framework for holistically valuing the contributions of kapa haka.

Scholar’s Work

The scholars will:

  • join the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga secretariat
  • be part of the secretariat’s normal activities as a national research centre
  • participate in the Pokapu scholar support programme 
  • connect with activities associated with the Ngā Pae summer internship programme
  • afford themselves of the support offered by Arts
  • With Prof Linda Waimarie Nikora and other research leaders, they will scope a small collaborative research activity that will contribute to the overall programme of research. 
  • More specifically, the scholars’ research will centre on assisting the development of a Māori culturally centred model for understanding the contribution kapa haka makes to the national economy. This will involve literature search and review, key informant interviews and/or survey, data analysis and modelling. 
  • The scholars will participate in collaborative writing for journal publication and make presentations of their work to the Ngā Pae research community. 

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

  • A willingness to join a stimulating Māori ‘working’ research environment and to engage according to the expectations of being a staff member
  • Advanced undergraduate research capabilities (library search, read and review; a knowledge of research ethics and respectful engagement; good listening, note taking and writing skills)
  • The ability to seek and take advice and to be guided by senior research leaders
  • Willingness to work off-campus in the Auckland region for interviewing and for research engagements (eg. meeting with Ngā Pae research staff at AUT)
  • The most critical attribute is “enthusiasm”. 
  • We are specifically wanting to work with Māori and Pacific Students; an understanding of cultural protocols, ceremony and/or languages is important for the programme of work. 
  • An ability to engage and work with and in a community and contributing back is important. 
  • Grade point average is a lesser requirement to those listed above.

Timing/Weeks

The scholars are expected to begin their scholarship/work 9am, Monday 25th November 2019 and conclude on the 21st February 2019. The Ngā Pae secretariat will be closed 6 – 10 January when all staff will take annual leave. We will also be closed for all public and University holidays. Outside of these times, Prof Nikora, as project lead and primary supervisor will be on campus.