Jeff Sissons

AProf Jeff Sissons profile picture

Associate Professor School of Social and Cultural Studies


BA (Hons) Well, PhD Auck

Recipient of 2008 & 2016 Marsden research grants

Research specialties

Recently completed Marsden-funded research on Polynesian Iconoclasm.

Colonialism and Cultural Change, Cook Islands Society and History, Maori Cultural History.

Selected publications

Baskerville, R. F., Jacobs, K., de lautour, V. J., & Sissons, J. (2016). Ethnicity as inclusion and exclusion: Drawing on concept and practice in accounting research. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal on 'Operationalising Ethnicity in Accounting Research', 29(8), 1262-1269.

Sissons, J. D. (2016). Dangerous Remains: Towards a History of Tapu. Sites: a Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 13(2), 49-65.

Sissons, J. (2015). Personhood as history: Maori conversion in light of the Polynesian iconoclasm. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 124(2), 129-146.

Sissons, J. D. (2015). Fighting fire with fire : the Rarotongan iconoclasm and it's aftermath. In R. Dixon, L. Crowl, & M. T. Crocombe (Eds.), Cook Islands Art and Architecture (pp. 384-399). Suva, Fiji: USP Press

Sisssons J. (2014). The Polynesian Iconoclasm: Religious Revolution and the Seasonality of Power (Asao Studies in Pacific Anthropology), New York: Berghahn Books

Sisssons J. (2013). 'Reterritorialising Kinship: The Māori Hapū', The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 122(4). pp 373-391.

Sissons, J. (2011). History as sacrifice: The Polynesian iconoclasm. Oceania, 81(3), 302-315.

Sissons J. (2011). Anthropological understandings of hapuu and the improvisation of social life, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 17(3), pp. 628-631.

Sissons J. (2011). 'The Tectonics of Power: the Hawaiian Iconclasm and its Aftermath', Oceania, 81(2), pp. 205-216.

Sissons J. (2010). 'Building a house society: the reorganization of Maori communities around meeting houses', Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 16(1), pp. 372-386.

Sissons J. (2009). 'Indigenous Networks'. In A. Iriye & P. Saunier (Eds.). The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

Sissons J. (2009). Comment on: 'Indigeneity: global and local' by Francesca Merlan, Current Anthropology, 50(3), pp. 326-327.

Sissons, J. (2007). Hongi Hika. In J. Binney (Ed.), Te Kerikeri 1770-1850: The meeting pool (pp. 47-50). Wellington: Bridget Williams Books.

Sissons, J. (2005). First Peoples: Indigenous Cultures and their Futures London: Reaktion Books

Sissons, J. (2002). The Ethnography of history. In C. Davidson, & M. Tolich (Eds.), Social science research in New Zealand: many paths to understanding 2nd ed. Auckland: Pearson Education

Sissons, J. (2001). Nga Puriri o Taiamai: A Political History of Nga Puhi in the Inland Bay of Islands Auckland: Reed Books

Sissons, J. (1999). Nation and Destination: Creating Cook Islands Identity Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific

Sissons, J. D. (1993). Elsdon Best. In Dictionary of New Zealand Biography:Volume two, 1870-1900. Bridget Williams Books and N.Z. Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington 1993

Sissons, J. (1991). Te Waimana, The Spring of Mana: Tuhoe History and the Colonial Encounter Dunedin: University of Otago Press, Dunedin

Selected Conference Papers and Presentations

2017. The Maungapōhatu Diamond: The Poetics and Truth of Prophecy. Deane Lectures series, presented in association with Colin McCahon: On Going Out with the Tide. City Gallery Wellington.

2017. The Lizard-eaters: Maori shamanic society against the New Zealand State. Guest Lecture: Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope (2016-2020). University of Lapland.

2017. The struggle to inhabit: Lizard-eating as indigenous resistance in 19th-century New Zealand. Guest lecture: Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope (2016-2020). University of Lapland.

2017. Not Ethnography: Human Cultural History. Anthropology in Aotearoa Symposium. Celebrating 50 Years of Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. Victoria University of Wellington.

2015. The Land Confused: Notes for a History of Tapu. 40th Annual ASAANZ Conference: 40 Years On: Does Anthropology Really Need a Theme? Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

2014. Indigenous knowledge and the politics of responsibility. Discussant. Competing Responsibilities The Ethics and Politics of Responsibility in Contemporary Life. Wellington.

2014. Interactive conversation between Jeff Sissons and Dr Catherine Trundle about her new book 'Americans in Tuscany'. SACS Seminar Series. Victoria University of Wellington

2013. Illustrations for the Polynesian Iconoclasm. 2 books, 2 scholars. J C Beaglehole Room Victoria University of Wellington

2010. Fetishizing the word: idolatry, literacy and chiefly power in Eastern Polynesia. Australian Anthropological Society: Anthropology and the Community to Come. Geelong.

2010. Judging after the Polynesian Iconoclasm: against Foucaultian Genealogy. Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa New Zealand (ASAANZ). Victoria University of Wellington.

2010. The Polynesian Iconoclasm as Sacrifice. SACS Seminar Series. Victoria University of Wellington.