Research projects

View the current staff research projects in the School of Languages and Cultures.

Asian Languages and Cultures

Assoc Prof Stephen Epstein has in recent years been working on a larger research project examining how an explosion of contacts that cross national boundaries is reshaping South Korean national identity has led to several journal articles and book chapters. In particular, he is focusing on Korean media and popular culture representations of Korea's neighbours and its relationships with them as a vehicle for better understanding the interaction of identity and globalising forces, both in Korea and more generally. He is also researching the international rise of the Korean popular music industry and its relationship to the Korean indie scene.

Prof Wang is currently working on “Missing Narratives of Modern Chinese Intellectual History: Modernity and Writings on Art, 1900-1930.” This Marsden-funded project examines how and why drastic changes in art and art practice occurred in China at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Another project she is involved with is “Local Stories and National Identity: Competing National Narratives in Contemporary Chinese Nativist Fiction.” This project studies the intricate and intimate connection between literary nativism, regional identification and national belonging in contemporary Chinese fiction.

European and Latin American Languages and Cultures

Miguel is currently working on a book project entitled ‘Writing Son: Nicolás Guillén and the Representation of the Afro-Cuban Other’. The book will feature essays that consider key theoretical issues from Latin American cultural criticism and Post-modern ethnography in relation to the literature of Cuban writer Nicolás Guillén. It will also evaluate the differences between the representation of Afro-Cuban culture and blacks in Guillen’s pre- and post-Cuban Revolution production, linking them to the distinct socio-political and cultural circumstances of each period.

Dr Sally Hill is researching Italian-New Zealand writer Renato 'Michael' Amato (1928-1964) as part of a University Research Fund project. Focusing on a critical examination of Amato's published and unpublished works, Sally's project investigates the concepts of migrant/minority writing and 'national' literature.

Prof Sarah Leggott is working on a book project on women writers and the politics of memory in contemporary Spain. This project analyses the representation of the Spanish Civil War and the ensuing Franco dictatorship in recent novels produced by women writers, examining the relationships between gender, memory and the representation of a traumatic past in narrative.

    Dr Monica Tempian is currently working on the first Critical Edition of Manfred Winkler’s Poetry, an international project funded by Victoria University and the Munich Institute for German Culture and History in Southeast Europe (IKGS). Survivor-writer Manfred Winkler has been credited with playing a major role in representing the cultural diversity of Eastern Europe and the traumatic events of twentieth-century Europe. The Critical Edition will provide the basis for placing the examination of his work in the context of international debates on Eastern European ‘minority or multicultural literatures’.