School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations

History Research Student Profiles

Current research students within the History Programme are listed below in alphabetical order. The title of their dissertation and a brief summary is included.

On this page:

PhD Students

Sabbaq Ahmed

Thesis Title: 'Ideology and Muslim militancy in India: a case study of the 1857-59 Indian Mutiny'. Supervisors: Sekhar Bandhyopadhyay and David Capie (Political Science & International Relations)

Geoffrey Brown

Thesis Title: 'Subcarpathian Ruthenia through Czech Eyes 1918-1938'. Supervisor: Alexander Maxwell 

This thesis will consider the role of the Czech media in establishing an imperialist/colonialist public perception towards Subcarpathian Ruthenia and its Rusyn inhabitants following the inclusion of the territory in the newly created Czechoslovak state in 1919. Particular emphasis will be placed on the media's perceived image of the Czech nation as potential leaders of other Slavic nations and the impact this had on Czech-Rusyn relations.

Janine Cook

Thesis Title: 'The Backyard Poultry Tradition in New Zealand and the Development of the Poultry Industry, 1945-75'. Supervisor: Kate Hunter

Matthew Cunningham

Matthew CunninghamThesis Title: 'The reactionary and the radical: a comparative and cross-national analysis of mass conservative mobilisation in Australia and New Zealand during the Great Depression, 1930-1935'. Supervisors: Jim McAloon and Giacomo Lichtner.

Matthew is a Research Analyst/Inquiry Facilitator in the Operations Group of the Waitangi Tribunal. His thesis examines mass conservative mobilisation in Australia and New Zealand during the Great Depression from a trans-national perspective. Matthew's historical speciality is the often neglected "history of the right" - mass conservative mobilisation, anti-communism, fascism, structural cleavages within conservatism and the ruling class, conservative movements and pressure groups, the influence and adaptation of conservative theory in Australia and New Zealand, reaction to organised labour etc. His other research interest include environmental history, the history of 'Empire', Antipodean nationalism, and historical theory. For details of Matthew's articles please see Student Publications

Tristan Egarr

Thesis Title: 'State Discipline and British identity in WWI'. Supervisors: James Belich and  Richard Hill (Stout Research Centre)

Martin Fisher

Thesis Title: 'The Politics of Reconciliation and Treaty Settlements in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada: The Nisga's, Ngai Tahu and Waikato-Tainui negotiations'. Supervisors: James Belich (Stout Research Centre) and Cybele Locke

Ambalika Guha

Thesis Title: 'Reproductive health and childbirth: A  history of techno-medical intervention in late colonial and early post-colonial Bengal'. Supervisors Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and  Charlotte Macdonald

David Hall

Thesis Title: 'Emerging from Recolonization: New Zealand Primary Producers and the EEC'. Supervisors: Jim McAloon and Steve Behrendt

Ben Kingsbury

Thesis Title: 'An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876'. Supervisor: Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

Sienna Latham

Thesis Title: 'Alchemy, Nature and Gender in Early Modern England'. Supervisors: Glyn Parry and Steve Behrendt

Nancy Marquez

Thesis Title: 'Transatlantic Science Networks: New Spain and the Republic of Letters 1570-1700'.  Supervisor: Steve Behrendt

Nancy's dissertation includes a big picture view of Scientific Publishing in the Spanish world during the seventeenth century, and a case study of how Athanasius Kircher's readers in New Spain (Manila, Mexico City, Puebla de los Angeles, and Madrid) participated in the Jesuit Republic of Letters.  Book inventories from archives and rare book libraries in Mexico, Spain and the Philippines, make up the database that forms the basis of Nancy's survey of scientific publishing in New Spain.  The correspondence of Athanasius Kircher with his novohispanic readers, as well as, Siguenza y Gongora's Libra Astronomica (1690) are her key sources for analyzing the state of empirical science in New Spain.

Nazima Parveen

Nazima ParveenThesis Title: 'Partition and the Politics of Space: a Study of "Muslim" Localities in Delhi, 1947-1976'. Supervisor: Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Giacomo Lichtner.

This research examines how the dominant political discourses, administrative policies and socio-cultural processes constitute and reconstitute the images of Muslim localities as 'backward' and 'segregated' spaces in post Partition/postcolonial India, specifically in Delhi? While questioning the objectivisation of communities and their spaces as 'Hindu' and 'Muslim', the study tries to understand the ways in which certain images and stereotypes and produced.

Nazima is a trained researcher and have worked in UK, India and Nepal on the construction of religious minorities as political identities, their representation and participation in the socio-political processes. She has worked with the diaspora Muslim and Jewish communities living in London and the Madhesi Muslim community of Nepal. Nazima has managed a number of projects funded by the Home Office, UK and the European Union in London. She has also carried out an internal evaluation of the Lokniti Election Survey workshops organised by the Lokniti program of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), India.
Nazima was awarded the Asia Fellows Award for her ethnographic work in Nepal by the Asian Scholarship Foundation, Bangkok. She has also won scholarship for her current doctoral research through the Marsden Grant of Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Rachel Patrick

Thesis Title: 'Each Battling in their Spheres: gender, class and Otago families during the First World War'. Supervisors: Kate Hunter and Jim McAloon

My PhD uses the experiences of a Dunedin family – the Downie Stewarts – as a focal point for a wider exploration of the family story of the Great War. Mary Downie Stewart – mayoress, patriotic organisation leader and prominent Otago war worker – became permanent carer to her soldier and politician brother, William Downie Stewart, after his return from the Front in 1916, crippled with severe arthritis. Another brother, George Hepburn Stewart, died from dysentery while on active service in Egypt in November 1915. The surviving Stewart siblings – Mary, William, and their elder sister Rachelina Hepburn Armitage – kept up a close and regular correspondence for the duration of the war and during the following decades, and their letters and other family papers, the papers of individuals and families within their social circles, as well as the welfare records and correspondence of the patriotic organisations Mary was associated with during the war – the Otago Women’s Patriotic Association and Otago Soldiers’ and Dependents’ Welfare Committee –  provide insights into the family experience of war and enlarge upon wider themes: the impact of war upon family relationships and domestic life, disability, masculinity and the body, private grief and loss, and gendered and class-specific understandings of patriotism and sacrifice in war-time.


I grew up in rural Northland (Tapuhi) and Whangarei, and moved to Wellington in 1999 to study at Victoria University. I completed my BA and BA Honours at Victoria in 2004, taking several years off for work and travel in between. In 2005 I moved to Melbourne to work and study part-time towards a Masters in History. My MA thesis, which I completed in 2009, was entitled ‘Teaching the Storied Past: History in New Zealand Primary Schools, 1900-1940’, and charted changes in educational practices surrounding history teaching as well as analysing the content of widely-circulated textbooks. I was awarded a Vice Chancellors’ Strategic Research Scholarship in 2009, and returned to Wellington to commence my PhD in early 2010.

Esha Verma

Thesis Title: 'State in Transition: the Kalhora and Talpur Rule in Pre-Colonial Sindh c1740-1843'. Supervisor: Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

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Master of Arts Students

Jessie Annett-Wood

Thesis Title: 'Modern Women in the Mirror, New Zealand, 1922-1932'. Supervisor:Charlotte Macdonald

My research looks at one of New Zealand's earliest woman's magazines, The Mirror. It first appeared in 1922, at a time when the behaviour of the modern woman or modern girl was increasingly commented on. My research seeks to explore, through the Mirror, ideas about New Zealand women's femininity and its relationship with modernity in the 1920s. What did it mean to be modern and female in New Zealand?

Sarah Burgess

Thesis Title: Vice-reglal Wives in New Zealand, 1887 and 1926'. Supervisor: Charlotte Macdonald and Jim McAloon

My research looks at what it meant to be a vice-regal wife during the high point of British imperialism, focusing in particular on the public side of the vice-regal wife's role as described in various New Zealand newspapers. It explores both her ceremonial duties and her role in welfare work, while also touching on her self-presentation to the colony through her fashion and the decoration of government house. Through these spheres of activity, my research considers to what extent the vice-regal wife's role can be understood as a performance of gender, imperialism, and status.

Stephen Clarke

Thesis Title: 'Thinker, Sailor, Soldier, Critic - Joseph Evison "Ivo": Imperial Sojourner, Freethought Intellectual, Catholic Apologist, and tory Agitator'. Supervisor: Jim McAloon

Stephen's thesis examines the life of Joseph Evison, a prominent lecturer and editor in the burgeoning Freethought movement in the 19th century New Zealand.  In particular it explores his ever changing intellectual, moral, spiritual, and social attitudes as they were expressed, and altered on the public platforms of Freethought, Catholic radicalism, and conservative politics.  Understanding Evison's changing opinions in the context of secularising colonies far from entrenched religion, Stephen seeks to show how conculsions about Evison's work affect the larger histories of Freethought, radicalism, religion and religiosity in New Zealand.

Joe Cruden

Thesis Title: 'Work and the Wealthy in the Wairarapa, 1876-1913'. Supervisor: Jim McAloon

My thesis aims to look at a systematic approach to a study of Wairarapa's colonial rich.  My research uses probate records both to create a database of wealthy individuals, as well as to investigate inheritance patterns amongst the rich as laid out in their wills.  My research aims to extend South Island research on the existence of colony gentry in New Zealand.

Mark Shaw

Thesis Title: 'In the Middle of the slaughter' - Journalists and United Nations Witnesses Writing about the Rwandan Genocide'. Supervisor: Simone Gigliotti

This thesis examines a sample of memoirs authored by journalists and United Nations employees working in Rwanda, either during the 1994 genocide or in the genocide's aftermath.  It examines how these secondary witnesses write about the dead and how they internalise the international community's failure to prevent genocide as their own.  This thesis also places these memoirs in the larger tradition of western writing about Africa.


Recently submitted PhD Theses

Hayley Brown

Thesis Title: 'Loosening the Marriage Bond: Divorce in New Zealand Society, 1898 to the 1950s'. Supervisors: Charlotte Macdonald and Dolores Janiewski

Jo Bunce

Thesis Title: 'James Macandrew of Otago: Slippery Jim or a Leader Staunch and True'. Supervisors: Jim McAloon and James Belich (Stout Research Centre)

Andrew Cooper

Dr Andrew Cooper

Thesis Title: 'Fateful Consequences: U.S.-Iran Relations During the Nixon and Ford Administrations, 1969-77'. Supervisors: Dolores Janiewski and Rob Rabel (PVC International).

My project examines the impact the 1973 Oil Shock had on US - Iran relations in the years that preceded the 1979 Islamic Revolution. If access to cheap oil was indeed the primary justification for America's twenty-five year, multi-billion dollar investment in Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's regime, then to what extent did the Shah's aggressive efforts to boost oil prices in the mid-1970s alter American perceptions of his value and loyalty as an ally? My study seeks to investigate the extent to which the Shah's policies led the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations to reassess their support for him, what if any steps they took to express their opposition to the Shah's drive for higher oil prices and greater autonomy.

Robert Hurley

Thesis Title: 'The Science of Stories: Human History and the Narrative Philosophy of Science'. Supervisors: Miles Fairburn and Alexander Maxwell

Erin Keenan

Thesis Title: 'Experiences of Maori Urbanisation in Wellington, 1945-1970'. Supervisors: Richard Hill (Stout Research Centre) and Evan Roberts (University of Minnesota)

Susann Liebich 

Dr Susann Liebich

Thesis Title: 'Connective Readers: Reading Practices and Communities Across the British Empire, C. 1890-1930'. Supervisors: Charlotte Macdonald and Sydney Shep (Wai-te-ata Press)

My PhD dissertation examines the connected histories of middle-class reading cultures across the British World, c. 1890-1930. I have published on reading networks and community in New Zealand, on the reading life and archive of a New Zealand reader, and on book selling in colonial Wellington. I hold an M.A. from the University of Leipzig in book history, where my research focused on the paperback revolution in post-1945 West Germany. My research interests include imperial history and cultural history of the British World, as well as book history, and in particular the history of reading.

Steven Loveridge

Thesis Title:'Sentimental Equipment: New Zealand, the Great War and Cultural Mobilisation'.  Supervisors: Jamie Belich (Stout Research Centre) and Rob Rabel (PVC International).

Steven’s doctoral research examines intersections of mobilisation and public culture in New Zealand during the Great War. The project aims to place New Zealand’s war effort within its social, cultural and intellectual contexts and to capture the dynamic of how mobilisation and public culture negotiated with one another in public space. Specifically this research seeks to locate how the shape of the New Zealand home front relates to the pre-war social/cultural landscape and to examine the manner by which the mobilisation of ideologies operated.

Grace Millar

Thesis Title:'Families and the 1951 Waterfront Dispute'. Supervisors: Charlotte Macdonald and Jim McAloon

Samuel Ritchie

Thesis Title: 'Responses to Indigenous Violence in the Tasman World, c.1769-1850s'. Supervisors: James Belich (Stout Research Centre) and Adrian Muckle



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Recently Submitted MA Theses

Florence Baggett

Thesis Title: 'Slaving Capital in the Era of Abolition: Liverpool's Silent Rejection of the Slave Trade 1787-1807'. Supervisor: Steve Behrend

Charlotte Bennett

Thesis Title: '"Now the war is over, we have something else to worry us": New Zealand Children's Responses to Crises, 1914-1918'. Supervisor: Kate Hunter

Carl Blackmun

Thesis Title: ''Not the Socialism we Dreamed of': Becoming Ex-Communists in the United States and New Zealand, 1956-58'. Supervisors: Jim McAloon and Dolores Janiewski

Jessica Caldwell

Thesis Title: 'Holocaust Consciousness in New Zealand 1980-2010: A Study'. Supervisor: Simone Gigliotti

Coralie Clarkson

Thesis Title: 'The Reality of Return: Exploring the Experiences of World War One Soldiers after their Return to New Zealand'. Supervisor: Kate Hunter

Daniel Cruden

Thesis Title: 'A Comparison of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X in the Black Mainstream Press, 1955-2011'. Supervisor: Dolores Janiewski

Catherine Falconer-Gray

Thesis Title: 'George French Angas and the creation of colonial knowledge in New Zealand: a more correct idea'  Supervisor: Charlotte Macdonald

Nicholas Hoare

Thesis Title: 'New Zealan's Critics of Empire: Domestic Opposition to New Zealand's Empire 1883-1948'. Supervisor: Adrian Muckle

Simon Judkins

Thesis Title: 'Under Prying Eyes: Repression, Surveillance and Exposure in California 1918-1939'. Supervisor: Dolores Janiewski

Basil Keane

Thesis Title: 'Kotahitanga Parliament, 1892-1902'. Supervisors: Adrian Muckle and Richard Hill (Stout Research Centre)

James Keating

Thesis Title: 'Manufacturing Consensus? New Zealand Press Attitudes Toward the Labour Movement in 1890'. Supervisor: Jim McAloon

Alexey Krichtal

Thesis Title: 'Liverpool and the Raw Cotton Trade: A study of the port and its merchant community, 1770-1815' - Supervisor: Steve Behrendt

Owen Mann

Thesis Title: 'Confirming Tradition: Confirming Change - A Social History of Cricket Tours to New Zealand in the 1930s'. Supervisor: Charlotte Macdonald

Jess Maynard

Thesis Title: 'Drown-proofing New Zealand: The Learn-to-Swim and Prevent Drowning Campaigns, 1936-1956'. Supervisor: Jim McAloon

Adam McConnochie

Thesis Title: ''The blessed land': narratives of peasant resistance at Nandigram, West Bengal in 2007'. Supervisor: Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

Alexander (Alex) Moffat-Wood

Thesis Title: 'Blizzard City: Built Environment and Civilization in Antarctica, 1911-1961'. Supervisors Kate Hunter and Lee Davidson (Museum and Heritage Studies)

Alex won one of the two postgraduate prizes for best presentation at the Antarctica New Zealand conference in Hamilton in July 2011. Alex's paper was based on research completed for the Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies over the summer of 2010-2011.

Gillian Nelson

Thesis Title: 'Diary and Diarist: the journals of Vicesimus Lush, 1850-1882. Supervisors: Adrian Muckle and Jim McAloon

Louisa (Jane) Paul

Thesis Title: 'Visual Histories: Amateur Films in New Zealand c.1923-1965'. Supervisors: Charlotte Macdonald and Simone Gigliotti

Lauren Peacock

Thesis Title: 'National Ideals or National Interest: New Zealand and South Africa, 1981-1994'. Supervisor: Malcolm McKinnon

Talia Pollock

Thesis Title: 'Political Prophecy in the Elizabethan England'. Supervisor Glyn Parry

Richard Thomson

Thesis Title: 'At home in New Zealand in the 1960s'. Supervisor: Charlotte Macdonald

Matthew Vink

Thesis Title: 'Self Determination along the Austrian Frontier, 1918-1921:Case Studies of German Bohemia, Vorarlberg, and Carinthia'. Supervisor: Alexander Maxwell

Elizabeth Walker

Thesis Title: 'The Living Dead': the repatriation experience of New Zealand's wounded Great War Servicemen'. Supervisors: Kate Hunter and and Evan Roberts (University of Minnesota)

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Student Publications


Vink, Matthew, "The Competition for Self-Determination in Czechoslovakia, 1918-1919" New Zealand Slavonic Journal, vol.46 (2012 published in 2014), pp.41-69.


Cunningham, Matthew. ‘Australian Fascism? A revisionist analysis of the ideology of the New Guard’, Politics, Religion & Ideology, Vol. 13, no. 3, September, 2012, pp.375-393.

Cunningham, Matthew.‘The New Zealand Legion’, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 2 April 2012


Alves, Andre and Evan Roberts. ‘Rosie the Riveters’ Job Market: Advertising for Women Workers in World War II Los Angeles’. Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas (forthcoming, 2012), based on Andre Alves’s HIST404 research essay, 2009.

Cunningham, Matthew. '"Familiarising the Foreign": New Zealand soldiers' observations on landscape during the Gallipoli Campaign', New Zealand Journal of History, Vol. 45, no. 2, October, 2011, pp. 209-224.

Cunningham, Matthew. ‘Conservative Protest or Conservative Radicalism? The New Zealand Legion in a Comparative Context, 1930-1935’. Journal of New Zealand Studies, no. 10, 2011, pp. 139-158, based on his HIST428 research essay, 2009.

Hutchison, Oliver. ‘Sex, Skyscrapers and Saxophones: Jazz and the Americanization of Weimar Germany’. European Connection, no. 14, 2011), based on his HIST239 research essay, 2010.

Liebich, Susann. ‘Letters to a Daughter: an archive of middle-class reading in New Zealand, c. 1872-1932'. In WR Owen and Shafquat Towheed, eds. The History of Reading: International Perspectives, c. 1500-1990. Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp. 163-177.

Patrick, Rachel. 'An Antidote to Bookishness': Local history, educational practices and colonialism in New Zealand Primary Schools, 1900-1940'. New Zealand Journal of History, Vol. 45, no. 2, 2011, pp. 192-208.



Cooper, Andrew, The Oil Kings: How the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010

Graham, Ruth. ‘Juvenile Travellers: Priscilla Wakefield’s Excursions in Empire’. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 38 (2010), pp. 373-393, based on her Bowen Prize-winning HIST427 research essay, 2008.

Jordan, Kate. ‘The Captains and Crews of Liverpool’s Northern Whaling Trade’. International Journal of Maritime History, 22 (2010), pp. 185-204, based on her HIST489 research essay, 2007 (and the most junior scholar to ever publish in the journal).

Liebich, Susann. 'Connected Readers: Reading networks and community in early twentieth-century New Zealand.' Mémoires du Livre/Studies in Book Culture, Vol. 2, no. 1 (2010):

Mann, Owen. ‘The Cultural Bond? Cricket and the Imperial Mission’. International Journal of the History of Sport, 27 (2010), pp. 2187-2211, based on his FP Wilson Prize winning HIST489 research essay, 2008.


Brown, Hayley. ‘“We Both Agreed You Were a Sexual Maniac”: Contestations of Sex and Marriage in New Zealand Divorce Cases, 1898-1947’. Melbourne Historical Journal, Special issue No. 1 (2009), pp. 21-37, based on her PhD research.

Cunningham, Matthew. ‘“But Why, Some Say, the Moon?” The Politics of Apollo during the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963’. Quest: The History of Spaceflight, 16 (2009), pp. 32-45, based on his HIST489 research essay, 2008.

Gush, Nadia. ‘The beauty of health: Cora Wilding and the Sunlight League’. New Zealand Journal of History, 43, 1 (April 2009), pp. 1-17, based on her PhD research.

Millar, Grace. ‘Research Note: Popcorn, Pickets, and Brassbands: Young Workers’ Organising in the Cinema Industry 2003-2006’. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 34, 2 (2009), pp. 108-116.

Ritchie, Samuel. ‘“No White man on the Station but myself”: Whiteness as a Category of Analysis for the Reverend Francis Tuckfield’. ACRAWSA e-journal, vol 5, no 1 (2009), based on his PhD research.


Christoffel, Paul. ‘Prohibition and the myth of 1919’. New Zealand Journal of History, 42: 2 (October 2008), pp.154-175, based on his 2006 PhD dissertation.


Liebich, Susann. ‘“The Books Are The Same As You See In London Shops”: Booksellers in Colonial Wellington and Their Imperial Ties, ca. 1840-1890’. Script and Print: Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, 31 (2007), pp. 197-209, based on her HIST427 Research Essay, 2006.


Francis, Andrew. ‘Anti-Alienism in New Zealand during the Great War: The von Zedlitz affair, 1915’. Immigrants and Minorities, 24 (2006), pp. 251-276, based on his PhD research.

Taylor, James. ‘Contemporary media portrayals of the 1913 dispute’. In Melanie Nolan, ed, Revolution: The 1913 Great Strike in New Zealand. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2006, pp. 142-163, based on his PhD research.

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