Faculty of Arts

Research news

The Faculty of Arts at The University of Auckland is New Zealand's leading research centre for the humanities and social sciences (2013 QS World University Rankings). Current research programmes showcase the variety of our research topics.

Marsden Fund successes in 2012

Congratulations to the staff members who have been successful in gaining Marsden fund grants this year for their research projects.

Successful projects from the Faculty of Arts are:

Shakespeare's Theatre Games

Professor Tom Bishop (English)

Memory, Technology and the Trace: The Mnemonic Turn in Digital Film and Multimedia

Dr Allan Cameron (FTVMS)

The interface between formal and informal security discourses: The case of the Pacific Island states

Dr Steven Ratuva (Pacific Studies)

The world as a philosophical concept

Dr Matheson Russell (Philosophy)

Dr Ngarino Ellis (Art History) is also a co-applicant in a successful humanities application with colleagues in NICAI, Dr Deidre Brown and Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Toi te Mana: A history of indigenous art from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Marsden Fund successes in 2011

The Faculty of Arts has won a significant share of 2011 Marsden Funding. Six research teams led by Arts were successful in their bids, winning a total of $3.5 million.

They were among 19 projects at The University of Auckland selected for Marsden funding this year. All of the funded proposals are for three years.

Applications to the Marsden Fund are extremely competitive. Of 1,078 preliminary proposals submitted from across New Zealand, only 88 were ultimately funded.

The successful Arts projects include three from the Department of Anthropology, among them Professor Simon Holdaway, Head of Anthropology, who will examine the agricultural foundations of Predynastic Egypt. The others range from the life of Karl Popper to the power of anti-nuclear policy advocates.

“The Marsden Fund supports leading-edge research, which creates economic growth and increases our understanding of issues, from medical advancements to social change and development,” said Marsden Fund Council chairman Professor Peter Hunter in announcing the results. “Most breakthroughs around the world come from this basic science end of the research spectrum, which is what makes the Marsden Fund both exciting to be part of and vital for New Zealand to invest in.”

Successful projects from the Faculty of Arts are:

Detecting prehistoric human-climate dynamics in central Polynesia using high- precision marine archives

Associate Professor Melinda Allen (Department of Anthropology)

Karl Popper: A life

Professor Brian Boyd (Department of English)

Read more here

Norms, volition, and nuclear destinies: the power of anti-nuclear policy advocates

Dr Maria Rublee (Department of Political Studies)

The agricultural foundations of Predynastic Egypt: climate change and opportunism in the Fayum

Professor Simon Holdaway (Department of Anthropology)

Read more here

Food security in a rapidly urbanising country: The Goroka fresh food market, Papua New Guinea

Dr Mark Busse (Department of Anthropology)

Experience, rationality, and the way things seem

Dr Chris Tucker (Department of Philosophy)

Read more here

A project looking at ‘Onscreen indigeneity: the case of Māori Television’ led by Victoria University, with Dr Sue Abel from Film, Television and Media Studies as a second investigator, was also successful in its bid.

Read more about past Marsden Fund successes

International collaboration

A team of researchers and research support staff from the faculties of Arts and Education have won a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme award (IRSES) for a new project exploring the impact of neoliberalism on universities, and how regionalisation and globalisation are redefining the modern university.

Jointly funded by the European Commission and by MoRST, this is the first time The University of Auckland has received partner funding under the European Union’s new IRSES scheme. The multi-disciplinary project will involve collaborations with the University of Aarhus in Denmark and the University of Bristol in the UK.

Faculty of Arts Emerging Research Excellence Programme 2012

The Emerging Research Excellence Programme is designed to accelerate the research quality and productivity of promising early-career staff members. A limited number of competitively selected Emerging Research Excellence Fellowships will be offered to academic staff members in 2012.