Dr Phyllis Sharon Herda
BA (Arizona), MA (Auckland), PhD (ANU)
Research | Current
- Late 18th- and early 19th-century Tongan arts and their legacies
- The Malaspina and Bruni d’Entrecasteaux voyages to Tonga, 1793
- Quilting in Polynesia
Phyllis Herda’s work has always been across the traditional disciplines of Anthropology, Pacific History and Women’s/Gender Studies.
She began working in Polynesia in the early 1980s and continues to research, publish and teach on Tongan ethnography, European explorers in Polynesia, Polynesia art and material culture, Tongan oral tradition and history, gender, disease and colonialism as well as Polynesian textiles – traditional and contemporary.
She is currently leading a research team on a project funded by the Marsden Fund, Royal Society of New Zealand (Ancient Futures: Late 18th and Early 19th Century Tongan Arts and Their Legacies) on art and material culture from Tonga in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She is also working on two European expeditions (Malaspina & Bruni d’Entrecasteaux) which reached Tonga in 1793. She also continues to work on quilting in Polynesia.
She holds degrees from the University of Arizona (BA, Anthropology), the University of Auckland (MA, 1st class, Anthropology) and Australian National University (PhD, Pacific History) and has taught Pacific History at Victoria University, Wellington and Women’s Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland.
Teaching | Current
ANTHRO 104 Peoples and Cultures of the Pacific
ANTHRO 204 Ethnography of Island Polynesia
ANTHRO 211 Anthropological Perspectives on Gender
ANTHRO 215 Human Sexuality
ANTHRO 358 Gender and Colonialism in the Pacific
ANTHRO 744 Special Topic: Anthropology and History
ANTHRO 753 Practising Ethnographic Research Methods
Current and Recent PhD Student Supervisions
Horan, Jane, Tivaivai in the Cook Islands Ceremonial Economy: An Analysis of Value, Anthropology (co-supervised with Mark Busse)
Lythberg, Billie, Mama ‘o ‘a Folau (Far Away, But Only Travelling): Contexts and Performativity in the Making, Use and Display of Contemporary Ngatu, Art History (co-supervised with Caroline Vercoe)
Ore, Hadas, Can Home Come in a Tin Can? Senses and Emotions in Migrant Jewish-Israeli Mothers’ Foodways in New Zealand, Anthropology (co-supervised with Susanna Trnka)
Rossiter, Hannah, My Turn to Decide: The Trans Communities of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Women’s Studies (co-supervised with Maureen Molloy, Anthropology)
Uhlmann, Anja, Between and Around: Genders, Relationships, Sexualities in the Contemporary Cook Islands (co-supervised with Susanna Trnka, Anthropology)
van der Ryn, Micah, ‘The Difference Walls Make’: Cultural Dynamics and Implications of Change in Samoan Architectural Traditions and Socio-Spatial Practices (1940 – 2006), Anthropology (co-supervised with Veronica Strang)
Weinroth, Orna, Trending Spirituality Among Urban Pakeha Women Over 50 (co-supervised with Caroline Blyth, Theology)
Current and Recent MA & BA Hons Student Supervision
Bentley, Alysha, The Gen Y Experience: The Social Construction of Success Among Young Pakeha Woman in New Zealand, Women’s Studies (co-supervised with Maureen Molloy)
Fu, Mengzhu, ‘Moving On’: Structural Violence and Age(ncy) in Young South Asian Women’s Lifeworlds Post-family Violence in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Anthropology (co-supervised with Maureen Molloy)
Futter-Puati, Debbie, Maki Maro: Tuberculosis in the Cook Islands: A Social History, 1896-1975, History (co-supervised with Linda Bryder)
Mueller, Amy, Pacific Island Diasporic Communities in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Anthropology (co-supervised with Maureen Molloy)
Pomona, Milika, The Recognized Seasonal Employer Program Diaspora: An Investigation of Tongan Seasonal Migrants’ Experiences on New Zealand Horticultural Farms, Anthropology
Ramlu, Charlene, An Overview of the Indian Diasporic Experience in Fiji During the Late 1800s, Anthropology (co-supervised with Susanna Trnka)
Resture, Setapu, Te Maama Pala: Continuity and Change in Coping With Tuberculosis in Tuvalu, History (co-supervised with Linda Bryder)
Sahu, Rita, Solomon Islands’ Objects in the Auckland Museum, Anthropology (co-supervised with Peter Sheppard)
Walter, Dawn B., Warrior Soldiers: The Construction of Masculinity in the New Zealand Army, Anthropology.
Areas of expertise
- Social Anthropology,
- Women's/Gender Studies
- Pacific History
- Oral tradition
- Cultural history and constructions of the past
- European expeditions of exploration in Polynesia
- Disease and colonialism
- Material culture
- Traditional and contemporary Polynesian textiles
- Quilting in Polynesia
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Herda, P., & Lythberg, B. (2014). Featherwork and divine chieftainship in Tonga. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 123 (3), 277-300. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Billie Lythberg
- Herda, P. S. (2014). Introduction: Writing the lives of some extraordinary Polynesian women. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 123 (2), 107-112. 10.15286/jps.123.2.107-112
- Futter-Puati, D., Bryder, L., Park, J. K., Littleton, J., & Herda, P. (2014). Partnerships for health: Decimating tuberculosis in the Cook Islands, 1920-1975. Health and Place, 25, 10-18. 10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.10.006
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Park, Judith Littleton, Linda Bryder
- Herda, P. (2012). Treaty to Treaty: A History of Early New Zealand from the Treaty of Tordesillas 1494 to the Treaty of Waitingi 1840, vol 2, 1494-1799 Western Powers Reach Out to the East and Pacific Ocean. JOURNAL OF THE POLYNESIAN SOCIETY, 121 (4), 421-422.
- Herda, P. S. (2012). Colonising TB: The Western Pacific High Commission's Response. Paper presented at Pacific History Association Conference 2012, Victoria University, Wellington. 6 December - 8 December 2012. Related URL.
- Herda, P. S. (2011). Tivaevae: Women's Quilting in the Cook Islands. Paper presented at American Quilt Study Group conference, competitive selection process, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA. 1 September - 1 September 2011.
- Herda, P. S. (2011). Operation Bleacher: The American Presence in Tonga During WWII. Paper presented at 14th Tongan Research Association conference, selection process applied, Nuku'alofa, Tonga. 11 July - 16 July 2011.
- Herda, P. S. (2011). Migrating Genders: Westernisation, Migration, and Samoan Fa'afafine. New Zealand Sociology, 26 (2), 137-138.