Dr Patrick Saulmatino Thomsen

BA Pol Sci Auckland, MA International Studies Seoul National University, Ph.D. The University of Washington - Seattle


Born and raised in South Auckland, Seuta'afili Dr Patrick Thomsen is of Samoan descent and received his doctorate from the University of Washington in Seattle. His dissertation work was the first to use Pacific research methodologies to explore the complexities of coming-out for Korean gay men in a transnational setting. His research interests include gender, sexuality, racism, intersectionality, identity politics, Pacific research methodologies, queer theory and development studies. He is currently developing two new research projects, the first looks at the way Pacific diaspora populations in South Korea encounter racialized hierarchies and how this affects the ways in which Pacific identities are practiced in Asia. The second focuses on the health and wellbeing of Pasifika Rainbow populations in New Zealand.

Research | Current

  • Pacific peoples in South Korea
  • The health and wellbeing of Pasifika rainbow communities in New Zealand
  • How Korean gay men navigate coming-out and gay subjectivity in an increasingly cosmoplitan queer world

Teaching | Current

  • PACIFIC 105 - The Contemporary Pacific
  • PACIFIC 208 - Special Topic: Gender and the Pacific in a Globalising World
  • PACIFIC 307 - Special Topic: Gender and the Pacific in a Globalising World


  • 2019 Te Tomokanga Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Auckland
  • 2018 Ph.D. Awarded with Distinction, The University of Washington
  • 2018 Sochon Fellow, Center for Korea Studies, The University of Washington 
  • 2017 Lisa Brown Fellow, Center for Human Rights, The University of Washington
  • 2016 Ewha Woman's University Alumni Association of Seattle Scholarship Recipient
  • 2015 Top Scholar Award, The University of Washington
  • 2012-13 Global Leadership Scholarship, Seoul National University

Areas of expertise

  • Gender Studies
  • Queer Theory
  • Pacific Studies
  • Pacific Research Methodologies
  • Qualitative Research Methodologies
  • Korean Studies
  • Intersectionality
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Race/Racism 
  • Samoan Language and Culture

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Thomsen, P. (2019). Israel Folau’s demise is also partially ours. https://e-tangata.co.nz/comment-and-analysis/israel-folaus-demise-is-also-partially-ours/. Related URL.
  • Naepi, S., McAllister, T., Thomsen, P., Leenen-Young, M., Walker, L. A., McAllister, A. L., ... Suaalii, T. (2019). The Pakaru ‘Pipeline’: Māori and Pasifika Pathways within the Academy. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 24, 142-159. 10.26686/nzaroe.v24i0.6338
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sereana Naepi, Tara McAllister, Marcia Leenen-Young, Tamasailau Suaalii
  • Thomsen, P. S. (2019). Samoan Queer Lives By Dan Taulapapa McMullin and Yuki Kihara [Book Review]. Journal of New Zealand Studies, NS29 (December 2019), 108-111. 10.26686/jnzs.v0iNS29.6269
  • Thomsen, P. S. (2019). Coming-Out in the Intersections: Examining Relationality in How Korean Gay Men in Seattle Navigate Church, Culture and Family through a Pacific Lens. Journal of Homosexuality, online first10.1080/00918369.2019.1695423
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/49461
  • Thomsen, P., & Jun, M. (2018). Expanding Korea’s Development Paradigm? The Case for Closer Samoa-ROK Relations. 지역발전연구 = Journal of Regional Studies and Development, 27 (2), 173-214. 10.18350/ipaid.2018.27.2.173
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47839
  • Thomsen, P. (2016). ‘Hobgoblin’ logic on Pacific gay rights has distinctly Western roots. The Spinoff Related URL.
  • Lee, S., Chun, C., Suh, H. J., & Thomsen, P. S. (2015). Middle Power in Action: The Evolving Nature of Diplomacy in the Age of Multilateralism. , Special Report. Seoul, South Korea: The East Asia Institute. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 201E
New Zealand

Web links