PhD graduates

Read about our PhD graduates and the projects they undertook with us.

Introduction

The International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) launched New Zealand's first PhD creative writing programme in 2008. Our first PhD graduate, Marian Evans, was capped in May 2010.

Graduate profiles are presented alphabetically here for historical interest and to give a sense of the diversity of projects undertaken by members of our PhD Creative Writing cohort. We imagine they will also be of interest to those considering applying for the programme in the future.

The descriptions below reflect the students' thinking either during their candidature or shortly after their PhD was awarded. As such, they should not be read as a final or definitive account of the project undertaken. We hope the web links included will provide more up to date information about each of them.

Information about our current PhD candidates and their projects can be found on our PhD Profiles page.You can also read about some of our MA graduates on our MA Graduate Showcase page

Pip Adam

Pip explored our relationships with architecture and engineering. Her creative project was the book-length work of fiction I’m Working on a Building.

Maxine Alterio

Maxine is a novelist, short story writer and an academic mentor in reflective storytelling. Her research focuses on the memoirs of First World War nurses.

Angela Andrews

Angela explored the intersection of poetry and medicine within the medical humanities: how the being, knowing and doing in poetry relates to medical practice.

Michalia Arathimos

Michalia writes literary fiction. Her research interests are indigeneity, postcolonialism, hybridity, Māori, migrants and nationhood.

Airini Beautrais

Airini became interested in the book-length poetic sequence after writing a long poem about the anarchist Neil Roberts.

Marian Evans

Scriptwriter Marian Evans’ autoethnographic PhD on writer/director gender in feature film development in New Zealand contributes to a global, activist project.

Laurence Fearnley

My critical PhD focused on the first attempts to climb Aoraki/Mount Cook. My creative project was a novel The Hut Builder, which also centred on the mountain.

Gigi Fenster

Gigi’s work explored self-induced fever and the creative mind. She integrated literary analysis, history, legal theory and memoir into a novel form.

David Fleming

David’s PhD thesis combined an examination of religious experience in contemporary fiction, and a novel.

Kerry Hines

Kerry used her concept of ‘co-mediality’ to underpin the development of a text-and-image work incorporating original poems and 19th-century photographs.

Lynn Jenner

This hybrid mixed-genre thesis records my investigations of loss, searches and re-constructions. The Holocaust is a major focus.

Christine Leunens

Christine is a novelist of literary fiction and historical fiction. She researched the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship in literature in English.

Therese Lloyd

Therese’s PhD thesis was a collection of poetry about desire, absence, and the healing nature of time, connected to an investigation of Anne Carson’s ekphrasis.

Tina Makereti

My project explored how stories are central to the reclamation and revitalisation of identities that have been decimated by colonisation.

Gavin McGibbon

My PhD examined script adaptations from stage to cinema and vice versa. It contained my own adaptations in both directions and proposed principles for adaptors.

Hannah McKenzie Doornebosch

Hannah researched representations of women and mothers onstage in New Zealand, and wrote several plays exploring how this representation has changed over time.

Stephanie de Montalk

Stephanie’s dissertation blended a personal memoir of intractable pain with a study of pain's resistance to verbal expression.

Sue Orr

Sue’s project combined a novel, The Party Line, and a critical analysis of the manipulation of the eavesdropping act and motif in Maurice Gee's adult fiction.

Lawrence Patchet

Lawrence considered the impact of ideas about authenticity on form in biographical fiction. An outcome was the book of short-stories I Got His Blood on Me.

Anna Sanderson

Anna’s PhD was a single work of creative non-fiction, which aimed to represent ‘the economy’ through the framework and language of visual and literary art.

Steven Toussaint

My thesis considered how the many compositional strategies that constitute the musician's art can be put, by way of analogy, to the service of writing poetry.