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
- Recently Submitted PhD Theses
- Master of Arts Students
- Recently Submitted MA Theses
- Student Publications
Thesis Title: 'Ideology and Muslim militancy in India: a case study of the 1857-59 Indian Mutiny'. Supervisors: Professor Sekhar Bandhyopadhyay and Dr David Capie (Political Science & International Relations)
Thesis Title: 'Subcarpathian Ruthenia through Czech Eyes 1918-1938'. Supervisor: Dr 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.
Thesis Title: 'The Backyard Poultry Tradition in New Zealand and the Development of the Poultry Industry, 1945-75'. Supervisor: Dr Kate Hunter
Thesis 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: Associate Professor Jim McAloon and Dr 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
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: Professor James Belich (Stout Research Centre) and Dr Cybele Locke
Thesis Title: 'Reproductive health and childbirth: A history of techno-medical intervention in late colonial and early post-colonial Bengal'. Supervisors Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Professor Charlotte Macdonald
Thesis Title: 'An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876'. Supervisor: Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
Thesis Title: 'Networks of Jesuit Science across New Spain, from Manila to Rome (1650-1700)". Supervisor: Dr 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.
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.
'Expressions of resistance: Communist Organisations in New Zealand 1970-1992. Their development, influence, fall and legacy'. Supervisors: Professor James Belich (Stout Research Centre) and Associate Professor Jim McAloon
Communist organisations in New Zealand have always been small, electorally insignificant and out of the mainstream of politics and society. Nevertheless, despite their small membership, they have had a disproportionate influence in a number of key areas, particularly the trade union movement, student organisations and cultural activities. An examination of the resistance they exerted against the grain of the times and against the cultural and political hegemony of pakeha 'middle' New Zealand will demonstrate not only on their own development and contribution to a more indigenised radical response to this hegemony, but will also shed light on the majority history of this period.
I first studied at Victoria in the 1970s, and eventually, having become involved in student politics, completed a BA in English Literature and History. At that time the main thrust of the teaching of the History Department was towards European history and I didn't take a single paper that dealt with New Zealand history. I think my third year papers were on the French Revolution, Religion in Tudor England and Charlemagne. The next major events in my life were buying a house, having a baby and getting married. This was followed by another baby, moving to London and having yet another baby. We lived in London for nearly fifteen years.To distract myself from this I started to study archaeology at Birkbeck College of the University of London. I took part in a training dig at Bignor Roman Villa, and was about to embark on a field trip to Libya, when we returned home to New Zealand. I comforted myself with the lack of archaeology at Victoria by taking part in a dig in Uzbekistan run by the University of Sydney. However this was quite an expensive undertaking, so I turned to Geology (up to 200 level) and then Classics. Finally I decided to stop mithering around and enrolled in History Honours, which I completed in 2005. My 489 essay was on Dr Theodore Gray, the Inspector-General of Mental Hospitals and the Mental Defectives Amendment Act of 1928.
Thesis Title: 'State in Transition: the Kalhora and Talpur Rule in Pre-Colonial Sindh c1740-1843'. Supervisor: Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
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.
In 2008, Andrew returned to Wellington to do his PhD after sixteen years spent living overseas. In 1991 he graduated from Victoria with a BA(Hons), and earned a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1994. During the fourteen years Andrew lived in the United States, where he gained citizenship, he conducted research and advocacy for the United Nations, and on behalf of Human Rights Watch to benefit the 1997 Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Andrew completed a Master's degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Aberdeen in 2008.
Andrew is teaching HIST228/318 Special Topic: Revolution, Recation and Reform: United States-Iran Relations, 1941-1979 in Trimester 3, 2012 and also writes for the Tehran Bureau blog for the American PBC show Frontline.
For details of Andrew's recent book please see Student Publications 2010.
Thesis Title: 'The Science of Stories: Human History and the Narrative Philosophy of Science'. Supervisors: Miles Fairburn and Dr Alexander Maxwell
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.
Susan is teaching HIST 329: Special Topic: Comparative History: Writing, Reading and Print: Transformations in Society and Culture in Trimester 2, 2012.
Steven grew up in Tauranga before moving to Hamilton to study history and philosophy at the University of Waikato. In 2008 he was awarded First Class Honours for an MA in history. That research examined the social context and dominant ideologies behind reactions to conscientious objectors in New Zealand during the First World War. In 2009 he moved to Wellington to study at Victoria University.
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.
I grew up in the small Waikato township of Raglan and attended Raglan Area School before moving to Hamilton to attend Melville High School in 1998. In 2004 I moved to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago where I graduated with a BA(Hons) in History in 2007.
Thesis Title: 'Liverpool in the Era of Abolition: the impact of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on Liverpool, and the Development of Liverpudlian Antislavery Thought, 1780-1834'. Supervisor: Dr Steve Behrendt
Thesis Title: 'The Idea of "improvement" in New Zealand Land Policy, 1853-1860'. Supervisor: Associate Professor Jim McAloon
Thesis Title: 'Representations and Legacies of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X'. Supervisor: Associate Professor Dolores Janiewski
Thesis Title: 'Los Angeles Uncovered - Surveillance and Conspiracy in the City of Angels'. Supervisor: Associate Professor Dolores Janiewski
My M.A. thesis will examine the social and political history of early 20th century Los Angeles, and is particularly focused on the individuals and collectives (both left and right) that fought over the ideological soul of this model metropolis. Individuals include members of the Chandler dynasty, publishers of the Los Angeles Times, while organisations surveyed include the LAPD, the ACLU, and various private super-patriotic surveillance groups. Proceeding from the hypothesis that political surveillance & repression was very much a ubiquitous practice in both building and running the city, I will research a selection of episodes between 1910 and 1950 in order to coax these practices into the light. This broad approach will demonstrate how the structural mechanisms of political surveillance and repression within the city changed over time, from state-sanctioned vigilante groups hunting pacifists and subversives during WWI, to HUAC’s attempts to survey and punish politically undesirable entertainment industry employees in the decade after WWII.
I returned to Victoria University in 2010 with the modest goal of finishing the BA that I had (barely) started years earlier but had dropped to pursue other interests. Sometime during the year it took me to finish I discovered a love for the study of history that caused me to change course entirely, I suppose with enough force to carry me into the history honours programme in 2011. After a taxing but very rewarding 2011 I managed to secure a summer scholarship to do historical research in an area very much in line with my own interests, and the labours of that summer provided the germ of my current Master’s degree. Now I’ve just got to write the thing…
Simon won 'Best Overall' in the VUW Summer Scholarship Poster Competition 2011-2012.
Thesis Title: 'Imperial Dissenters: Anti-Colonial Voices in New Zealand, 1883-1945'. Supervisor: Dr Adrian Muckle
Nicholas' project seeks to identify and elucidate the currents of opposition circulation within New Zealand towards the notion of its "Pacific Destiny". By examining public discourse surrounding both potential annexation of Pacific Island territories and subsequent colonial administration in the Pacific, Nicholas aims to show that from certain quarters of political and civil society there existed a strong humanitarian streak whose adherents refused to accept the benevolent claims of Empire.
Thesis Title: 'National Ideals or National Interest? The Relationship between New Zealand and South Africa 1984-1994'. Supervisor: Dr Malcolm McKinnon (VUW/Ministry for Culture and Heritage)
Thesis Title: 'At home in New Zealand in the 1960s'. Supervisor: Professor Charlotte Macdonald
Large format colour pictorial books about New Zealand - coffee table books - first appeared in the early 1960's and instantly became one of the most successful products of the local publishing industry. Richard's MA study examines their shifting status as commodity and gift, book and non-book, local and international product. These complex relationships suggest ways to reframe ideas about Pakeha New Zealanders' views of themselves and their country.
Thesis Title: '"Now the war is over, we have something else to worry us": New Zealand Children's Responses to Crises, 1914-1918'. Supervisor: Dr Kate Hunter
Thesis Title: ''Not the Socialism we Dreamed of': Becoming Ex-Communists in the United States and New Zealand, 1956-58'. Supervisors: Associate Professor Jim McAloon and Associate Professor Dolores Janiewski
Thesis Title: 'Holocaust Consciousness in New Zealand 1980-2010: A Study'. Supervisor: Dr Simone Gigliotti
Thesis Title: 'The Reality of Return: Exploring the Experiences of World War One Soldiers after their Return to New Zealand'. Supervisor: Dr Kate Hunter
Thesis Title: 'George French Angas and the creation of colonial knowledge in New Zealand: a more correct idea' Supervisor: Professor Charlotte Macdonald
Thesis Title: 'Manufacturing Consensus? New Zealand Press Attitudes Toward the Labour Movement in 1890'. Supervisor: Associate Professor Jim McAloon
Thesis Title: 'Liverpool and the Raw Cotton Trade: A study of the port and its merchant community, 1770-1815' - Supervisor: Dr Steve Behrendt
Thesis Title: 'Confirming Tradition: Confirming Change - A Social History of Cricket Tours to New Zealand in the 1930s'. Supervisor: Professor Charlotte Macdonald
Thesis Title: 'Drown-proofing New Zealand: The Learn-to-Swim and Prevent Drowning Campaigns, 1936-1956'. Supervisor: Associate Professor Jim McAloon
Thesis Title: ''The blessed land': narratives of peasant resistance at Nandigram, West Bengal in 2007'. Supervisor: Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
Alexander (Alex) Moffat-Wood
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.
Louisa (Jane) Paul
Thesis Title: 'Political Prophecy in the Elizabethan England'. Supervisor Dr Glyn Parry
Thesis Title: 'Self Determination along the Austrian Frontier, 1918-1921:Case Studies of German Bohemia, Vorarlberg, and Carinthia'. Supervisor: Dr Alexander Maxwell
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): http://www.erudit.org/revue/memories/2010/v2/n1/index.html
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.