Tim Corballis

Teaching in 2020


My background is in mathematics, philosophy and creative writing, with a PhD in the theoretical humanities. I am the author of five novels, including most recently the literary science fiction book Our Future is in the Air. Other writing includes commentaries on art, politics and culture, with my recent work focusing on the aesthetics and cultural politics of science. I have been the recipient of a number of writing honours, including the Victoria University of Wellington Writers Residency (2015), the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency (2005), and a first place in the Landfall Essay Competition (2013).


My research centres on the political aesthetics of science. This involves exploring imagery and narratives associated with scientific research on the one hand and placing science in written and artistic contexts on the other. I am also interested in writing fiction, reflexive creative non-fiction and academic work on the relationship between science, politics and society more broadly. In my work I engage with a range of academic disciplines, including aesthetic theory, science and technology studies, the cultural studies of science, the environmental humanities and the humanities studies of digital cultures.

Current research projects include

Climate model aesthetics

This project explores the narrative and imagery of climate modelling using analytical insights from narratology and aesthetic theory. It asks whether climate models can be thought of as ‘storyworlds’, and explores the range of ways in which we might interpret and respond to their visualisations.

Creative collaborations

I am currently working on three collaborative creative projects: a moving image work with photographer Fiona Amundsen on technological utopias and the ethics of care based around sites in the West of the United States; an epistolary writing project with art historian Su Ballard on the ecology, politics and economics of the Tasman Sea; and a multi-author written collaboration on the science and mātauranga Māori of Wairarapa Moana.

In addition to these current projects, I also write and review on art and politics, and serve on the Editorial Board of the journal Counterfutures: Left Thought and Practice Aotearoa.


I am interested in supervising students who wish to work on aesthetic, political or social aspects of the sciences. I am especially open to students whose projects involve creative work, whether as a separate creative project or as an integral part of their research methodology.

Current supervisions include

Zoe Heine – ‘Climate Change and Community Gardens’, MSc (Science in Society), 2019.

Recent supervisions include

Anthony Lapwood –  ‘Home Theatre’, MA (Creative Writing), 2017.

Jackson Nieuland – ‘Foursquare’, MA (Creative Writing), 2015.


I have contributed to events for a wide range of institutions. Most recently, I was invited to open the exhibitions Semiconductor: The Technological Sublime and Eva Rothschild: Kosmos for City Gallery Wellington and organise and chair a panel discussion for the gallery in relation to Semiconductor’s work (2019). I also contributed to the Model United Nations conference in Wellington (2018) as a keynote speaker, and chaired public events on behalf of the Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies. I have contributed to literary events such as Wellington’s LitCrawl events, the VUW International Institute of Modern Letters Writers on Mondays series at Te Papa Tongarewa and the Ruapehu Writers Festival in Ohakune (2016).

Selected Publications

Books and contributions to books

  • Corballis, T. (2017). Our Future is in the Air. Wellington: Victoria University Press
  • Corballis, T. (2016). There is No Up, There is No Down. In I. Horrocks & C. Lacey (Eds.), Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays from Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington: Victoria University Press
  • Corballis, T. (2016). Confronted worlds: Collaboration as the Gap between art and literature. In S. Bacharach, S. B. Fjærestad & J. N. Booth (Eds.), Collaboration in the Twenty-First Century. Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Corballis, T. (2015). R.H.I. Wellington: Victoria University Press
  • Ballard, S., Benson, T., Carter, R., Corballis, T., Joyce, Z., Moore, H., Priest, J., & Smith, V. (2015). A Transitional Imaginary: Space, Network and Memory in Christchurch. Christchurch: Harvest Press
  • Corballis, T. (2015). Memories of the invisible. In F. Amundsen (Ed.), The Imperial Body. Auckland: Split/Fountain.
  • Corballis, T., & Amundsen, F. (2015). Spirit photograph. In Fiona Amundsen (Ed.), The Imperial Body. Auckland: Split/Fountain.
  • Corballis, T., & Amundsen, F. (2013). Matter speaks / voiceless Matter. In P. Cullen, T. Eccleston,  & A. Thomson (Eds.), weakforce4. Auckland: Split/Fountain

Short fiction

  • Corballis, T. (2015). Machine stories. Turbine, 15.


  • Corballis, T. (2019). Populating the climate: Narrative in and with climate models. Environmental Philosophy. doi:10.5840/envirophil201981284
  • Corballis, T. (2017). Protesting, sitting alone, talking nicely: On politics, writing, and science. Pantograph Punch, 20 Sept.
  • Corballis, T. (2016). Letters from reality: The art of Gregory O’Brien. Art New Zealand, 158, 82-85.
  • Corballis, T. (2015). Colony / art / freedom / debt: The negation of the full world. Reading Room, 7, 30-45.
  • Corballis, T. (2013). Winter. Landfall, 226, 6-17 (winner of 2013 Landfall Essay Competition).


  • Corballis, T. (2019). Two installations by Joyce Campbell at the Adam Art Gallery, 27 July to 20 October 2019. CURCUIT: Artist Film and Video Aoetaroa New Zealand.
  • Corballis, T. (2019). Exhibition review: Still Looking: Peter McLeavey and the Last Photograph (Adam Art Gallery, 6 October – 20 December 2018). Art New Zealand, 169, 76-79.
  • Corballis, T. (2018). Book review: David J. Hess, Undone Science: Social Movements, Mobilized Publics, and Industrial Transitions (MIT Press, 2016). Thesis Eleven, 145(1), 146-148.
  • Corballis, T. (2018). Exhibition review: The Tomorrow People (Adam Art Gallery, 22 July – 1 October 2017). Art New Zealand, 165, 76-80

Teaching in 2020