University Research Fund results

Seven Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences proposals have been granted funding by the University Research Fund in 2020. A total of 60 proposals were submitted to the April round with only 20 being funded across the University.

Congratulations to the following staff members on their successful proposals:

Associate Professor Steve Behrendt, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations—18th Century St. Kitts Sugar Colony Book Project

This funding will support Professor Behrendt’s book project on eighteenth-century St. Kitts, a sugar plantation colony in the British West Indies. This project will study an Africanised workforce and will integrate African history, entering into major debates about African cultural carryovers and creolisation, slave household/family structures, occupational hierarchies (by ethnicity and gender), and plantation management. Further, the book will analyse St. Kitts’ plantations as agribusinesses: sugar plantations were also livestock plantations, and planters produced crops besides sugar.

Associate Professor Kate McMillan, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations—Political Coverage in New Zealand's Chinese and Indian News Media: 2020 Election Campaign

Associate Professor Kate McMillen and Dr Fiona Barker (School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations) will study political coverage in New Zealand's Chinese and Indian communities’ news media through the 2020 election campaign.  This multi-election study, the first of its kind in New Zealand, assesses the extent to which ethnic media perform these important roles in New Zealand. Analysing political coverage in the highest-circulation New Zealand-based Chinese and Indian newspapers and websites during the 2020 election campaign, the project will look at coverage of leaders and policies, tone, encouragement to participate in voting and information on how, as well as comparisons with mainstream media.

Inbal Megiddo, New Zealand School of Music—Te KōkīForbidden Music

This funding will enable the recording of works composed for solo cello, and for cello and piano, by suppressed composers. These are composers whose works, under the Nazi regime, were labelled "Entartete Musik", or degenerate music. As a result, their works were banned from performance, while the composers themselves faced suppression, exile, or even death. As a result, some of the masterpieces of the twentieth century remain undiscovered, rarely performed, largely unrecorded, and their creators forgotten. Inbal’s research has identified a number of such works—this recording will bring them the recognition they deserve with an internationally released recording of the highest quality.

Reader Sydney Shep, Wai-te-ata Press—Ko Wai Au, Ko Wai Taatou: Designing a Māori Collective Digital Identity Network

Associate Professor Shep will lead a team in partnership with Taranaki-based Parininihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation (PKW), investigating collective digital identity. Through service design experiments informed by indigenous methodologies, the team will co-design a Māori-centric data commons.  They will explore issues around collective identity, information sharing, privacy, and data sovereignty through a series of prototype mobile applications. Prototypes will be tested with PKW's shareholder community, demonstrating and promoting revitalisation of social and cultural re-connection.

Reader Marco Sonzogni, School of Languages and Cultures—Trans-Originality: Literary Translation as Creative Writing

Dr Sonzogni will explore translation as a form of creative writing by looking at the implications on equivalence between originals and translations, and what criteria could be used to define and evaluate ‘alternative’ equivalences. Using Robert Nye’s prose “telling” of Beowulf (1968) and Alice Oswald’s verse “excavation” of The Iliad (2011) as case studies, this project introduces the new concept of trans-original writing which considers literary translation as a form of creative writing.

Dr Monica Tempian, School of Languages and Cultures—The Complete Works of Manfred Winkler: Bilingual Edition

This funding will support Dr Tempain’s ongoing study of Manfred Winkler (1922–2014), the most prolific German-language Israeli survivor-writer, whose multilingual, transcultural writing has significantly contributed to the Palestinian-Israeli-European dialogue in the arts. Dr Tempain is now proposing a bilingual German-Hebrew poetry edition to mark the poet’s 100th birthday anniversary in October 2022. Beyond its socio-political relevance, the proposed project is also important in the transcultural scholarly context and the emerging interdisciplinary area of German-Hebrew Studies. A register of manuscript titles will be developed, 800 texts transcribed, and a fully annotated German-Hebrew edition completed.

Associate Professor Rick Weiss, School of Social and Cultural Studies—Polemics of the Book: Print and the Modernisation of Religion in Colonial India

Associate Professor Weiss will investigate how the shift from manuscript to print in colonial India transformed and modernised Indian religions. In the mid-nineteenth century, printed books replaced manuscripts copied by hand as the primary medium of textual communication. As the vernacular press flourished, so did features that characterise modern Indian religion: democratisation, debate, and a plurality of voices asserting conflicting views on caste, gender, ritual, and authority. By focusing on the democratising and polemical dimensions of this nascent print culture, Associate Professor Weiss will seek to argue that print was central to the emergence of modern religion in India.