Associate Professor Alex Joseph Calder

MA , PhD

Profile Image
Associate Professor


  • Associate Professor
  • Head of English, Drama and Writing Studies

Research interests

New Zealand literature, American literature, literary theory and criticism, Herman Melville, Literature and Settlement.

Research | Current

  • Literary studies, especially New Zealand and American Literature

Alex's research, for which he has received a Marsden award, focuses on processes of cultural contact and settlement, particularly with regard to writings from New Zealand, the Pacific, and the United States. Book length publications include: The Writing of New Zealand,  a non-fiction anthology; Voyages and Beaches, an interdisciplinary collection of essays on early European encounters with the Pacific; and Old New Zealand  and other Writings, the first scholarly edition of the writings of the 19th century ‘Pakeha-Maori’ author, F. E. Maning.  His most recent book is The Settler’s Plot: How Stories Take Place in New Zealand (Auckland University Press, 2011).

Teaching | Current

ENGLISH 102 Great Books: Seduction and Betrayal

ENGLISH 221 New Zealand Literature

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD

Elizabeth Wilson, Marianne Moore

Tracy Miao, Katherine Mansfield and Impressionism

Andrew Clark, Space and Genre in Science Fiction

Sasha Mathewman, Ecocriticism and Education for Sustainability


Current MA

Joe Barnes, Herman Melville and Slavery


Head of English, Drama and Writing Studies.

Areas of expertise

Literary Studies, especially New Zealand and American Literature

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Calder, A. J. (2011). Blubber: Melville's Bad Writing. In S. Otter, G. Sanborn (Eds.) Melville and Aesthetics (pp. 11-31). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Calder, A. J. (2011). Herman Melville. In P. Rawlings (Ed.) Emerson, Melville, James, Berryman: Great Shakespeareans Volume VIII (pp. 51-94). London and New York: Continuum.
  • Calder, A. J. (2011). The Settler's Plot: How Stories Take Place in New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. Pages: 310.
  • Calder, A. J. (2011). Wreckage and Writing: Problems of Pseudo-Autobiography in Melville's Omoo and Conrad's Mirror of the Sea. In P. Jedrzejko, M. M. Reigelman, Z. Szatanik (Eds.) Secret Sharers: Melville, Conrad and Narratives of the Real (pp. 143-156). Zabrze: M-Studio.
  • Calder, A. J. (2006). Pacific Paradises. In Wyn Kelley (Ed.) A Companion to Herman Melville (pp. 98-112). Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd. 10.1111/b.9781405122313.2006.00011.x

Contact details

Primary office location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 6, Room 633
New Zealand