Humanities and Creative Arts
Victoria’s creative and scholarly research across the humanities is recognised internationally for its quality and originality. Our researchers work across a broad range of disciplines from history, philosophy and political science to art history, classics and religious studies to English, film, theatre and media studies. Many interdisciplinary research projects draw on expertise across humanities. Our linguistics researchers work on projects in sociolinguistics, lexicography, second language acquisition, discourse studies and sign language. Our Māori studies researchers specialise in local and international indigenous issues. Other researchers focus on projects around Pacific, Asian and European languages and cultures.
Victoria University is situated in a vibrant, creative city rich in theatre, art and heritage, an ideal setting for our creative staff who contribute performances, films and literature to Wellington's creative mix. Our staff include internationally acclaimed poets, fiction writers, musicians, composers and filmakers who work with the excellent facilities here and overseas.
Find out more about the work of our researchers in the humanities and creative arts:
A History of the Liverpool Trading Port
Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Liverpool was a busy trading port but, with Britain the world’s second largest slave trading nation, and 80 percent of this trade going through Liverpool, research to date has focused on the slave trade.
Now Victoria historian Dr Steve Behrendt is putting this research in the context of Liverpool’s wider maritime and economic history in a three-year project funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund.
New Zealand Sign Language Goes Digital
New Zealand’s third official language recently became more accessible with the launch of the Online Multimedia Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language in June.
Victoria University’s Deaf Studies Research Unit, which produced the first dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) in 1997, created the online dictionary.
When Do Fish Become Fishes and Mice Become Mouses?
When do fish become fishes and mice become mouses? The answers are not clear cut, according to Laurie Bauer, Victoria University Professor of Linguistics.
Professor Bauer is working with two other world-leading linguists – Rochelle Lieber from the University of New Hampshire and Ingo Plag from the University of Siegen – to fill a much needed gap in our understanding of the complexities of modern English.
Hidden Messages in Artwork Acknowledge Iraqi Deaths
An artwork protesting against the deaths of Iraqi civilian casualties, devised by a Victoria University academic and his US collaborator, is currently showing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The work consists of a large stack of seemingly innocuous yellow notepads. However, the lines of each page, when magnified, reveal micro-printed text listing all Iraqi civilian casualties since 2003.