Current research projects
Hopkins's sense of duty
I am working on the notion of duty as it appears in the poetry and prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Although in some ways he inherited the Victorian pre-occupation with duty, Hopkins had a rather unusual understanding of what the concept involved, and for him it was a liberating principle of action. I hope to complete a journal article on this shortly, which may in turn develop into a short monograph.
John Mulgan’s novel, Man Alone, has the rare distinction of having been almost continuously in print since it was re-released in 1949 and has long had classic status in New Zealand literature. However, the text that was released in 1949, after Mulgan’s death, made a number of changes from that which he published in his lifetime. I am working on a new edition of the novel based on the 1939 original.
I have a number of other shorter projects underway, including articles on New Zealand poets Ursula Bethell and Eileen Duggan, further work on Hopkins, and some pieces on medieval literature.
Areas of supervision
- New Zealand literature, especially poetry, or literature of the 30s.
- Medieval literature.
- Religious poetry, either looking at particular poets, or exploring the connections between religious and poetic expression.
I am especially interested in working with students who wish to undertake research in the Alexander Turnbull Library.
- Journey to Oxford. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2011. Pp. xxiii + 68.
- A Good Mail. Letters of John Mulgan. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2011. Pp. xxv + 320.
- Report on Experience. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2010; London: Frontline Books, 2010; Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2010. Pp. 204.
- Still Shines When You Think of It: A Festschrift for Vincent O’Sullivan, edited by Bill Manhire and Peter Whiteford. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2007. Pp. 380.
Essays and journal articles
- Bethell’s “Leaves of Gold”: an unpublished poem. Kōtare: New Zealand Notes and Queries (2010).
- Eileen Duggan, in Essays in New Zealand Literary Biography: Series Three: The Early Poets. Kōtare, 7.3 (2009). Ed. Paul Millar, Jane Stafford and Mark Williams.
- Ursula Bethell, in Essays in New Zealand Literary Biography: Series Three: The Early Poets. Kōtare , 7.3 (2009). Ed. Paul Millar, Jane Stafford and Mark Williams.
- Hic iacet Pilatus: Vincent O'Sullivan's 'Pilate Tapes'', in Still Shines When You Think of It: A Festschrift for Vincent O'Sullivan, ed. Bill Manhire and Peter Whiteford. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2007, pp. 102–118.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ursula Bethell: an Antipodean Influence. Hopkins Quarterly, Vol. 33, Nos. 3-4, Summer-Fall 2006, pp. 119–134. [Actual publication in 2007]
Professional links and responsibilities
Peter Whiteford was Head of School from 2007-2011, and has been Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2011. He is also currently Acting Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Research.