Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Projects and Events

To promote and engage with cutting-edge inter-disciplinary research in comparative and cross-cultural studies, we offer projects, events and seminars.

Forthcoming Events

Previous Events 

Symposium on ‘Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters’ 24 - 26 November

Organized by Professor Angela McCarthy (History) and Dr Angela Wanhalla (History).

Go to Symposium Webpage

^ Top of Page

Colloquium: Multiculturalism in New Zealand: international and multi-disciplinary perspectives

Monday 10 November 2014, 10.30am - 4.30pm
The William James Seminar Room, Department of Psychology

New Zealand is increasingly becoming one of the world’s most ethically diverse countries. However, multicultural aspirations in New Zealand face challenges at both the theoretical and practical level; for instance, multiculturalism is often seen to be in tension with New Zealand’s traditional stance of bi-culturalism. The Colloquium Multiculturalism in New Zealand examines the ideals and realities of multiculturalism in the New Zealand context from both international and multi-disciplinary perspectives. Leading experts in political theory and political science, social and cultural psychology, education, anthropology and demography will provide multi-disciplinary perspectives on multiculturalisms in New Zealand and international contexts and New Zealand’s responses issues such as identity and cultural diversity and differences, thereby highlighting opportunities and challenges for a multicultural New Zealand.

This Colloquium is proudly sponsored by the University of Otago Research Themes, “Comparative and Cross-Cultural Studies” and “Asian Migrations.”


Vivienne Anderson, College of Education, University of Otago
Tahu Kukutai, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato
James Liu, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington
Kate McMillan, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington
Dominic O’Sullivan, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University
Elaine Reese, Department of Psychology, University of Otago
Katherine Smits, Political Studies, University of Auckland
Vicki Spencer, Department of Politics, University of Otago

Admission is free but please register by emailing to by 31 October.

^ Top of Page

De Carle Lectures

Symposium on Comparing Comparisons 10 October 2014

With Professor Haun Saussy and Professor Zhang Longxi (City University of Hong Kong). Organized by Associate Professor Jacob Edmond.

Go to the Symposium page.


Professor Saussy is a leading scholar of Chinese and comparative literature. He holds the title of University Professor at the University of Chicago, an honour reserved for a handful of distinguished scholars whose work has the potential for high impact across the University. He received his B.A. (Greek and Comparative Literature) from Duke University and his M.Phil and Ph.D from Yale (Comparative Literature); between undergraduate and graduate schools, he studied linguistics and Chinese in Paris. He has previously taught at UCLA, Stanford, Yale, the City University of Hong Kong, and the Université de Paris-III. Between 2009 and 2011, he was president of the American Comparative Literature Association. In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to moving to Chicago, he was Bird White Housum Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University.

Saussy’s first book, The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic, a study of commentary on the Chinese Book of Songs, received the 1996 René Wellek Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association. He is also the author of a collection of essays, Great Walls of Discourse and Other Adventures in Cultural China, and editor of Sinographies: Writing China, of Chinese Women Poets: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism from Ancient Times to 1911, and of Comparative Literature in an Era of Globalization, the American Comparative Literature Association’s 2005 report on the state of the discipline.

In addition to his research on early Chinese poetry, Saussy has published on a wide variety of topics, including Chinese musicology, contemporary art, oral literature, and Haitian poetry. He recently edited Partner to the Poor, a book on the international work of physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer.

Professor Haun Saussy (University of Chicago), organized by Associate Professor Jacob Edmond

^ Top of Page

Colloquium on ‘Multiculturalism in New Zealand’ 10 November

Organized by Professor Elaine Reese (Psychology, Otago), Dr Katherine Smits (Head of Politics and International Relations, Auckland) and Associate Professor Takashi Shogimen. Co-sponsored by CCCS and the Asian Migration Research Theme.

^ Top of Page

September 2014

Professor Haun Saussy (University of Chicago), 2014 University of Otago De Carle Distinguished Lecturer

Each public lecture will be followed by a reception open to all members of the audience. Professor Saussy’s visit is funded by the Division of Humanities and the receptions are generously supported by the Comparative and Cross-Cultural Studies Research Theme.

Thursday, 18 September, 5:15pm, Burns 1, "Oral vs. Written: The Curious History of a Cultural Distinction."

Though it has become part of our common-sense understanding, the idea of a deep and comprehensive difference between the ways of thinking in predominantly oral and predominantly written cultures dates to the early twentieth century, at the most, and received its impetus from polemics now largely forgotten. By retracing this history, we can work out a genealogy for media studies that will accommodate a larger definition of the human.

Monday, 22 September, 5:15pm, Burns 1, "Doctoring the State: Plato, Hobbes, Humboldt, Virchow."

Western political philosophy at its beginning (Plato's Republic) introduces an analogy between medical treatment and political reform that, like all metaphors, has consequences on both the supposedly different domains that it incorporates. As long as the metaphor is viewed as a mere analogy, however, the practical relation of medicine to state survival is obscured. The historical development, through a series of political theorists, some of them physicians, explains the in-between status of the field of public health.

Thursday, 2 October, 5:15pm, Burns 1, "History-Writing and Moral Community in China"

The Chinese claim, seen with increasing frequency in current soft-power propaganda campaigns, of "5000 years of history" needs to be read in light of a process, over 2000 years long itself, of consensus-building by, of and for historians. How does such a thing as the Chinese Empire become, first an imaginary solution, then an inescapable reality, for a large part of humanity? The arts of rhetorical reading help us to see the successive articulations of what we now know as "China" or "Zhongguo."

Master class with Professor Haun Saussy (University of Chicago), Friday 3 October, 1–4pm, 1W1, first floor, Arts/Burns Building

Professor Saussy will lead a master class for postgraduate and early-career academics. Discussion will centre on a new essay by Saussy, still in draft form, called “Mutuality Equality Transparency,” which engages theories of Enlightenment, the early stages of postcolonialism and feminism, and current East-West controversies. Participants are also invited to introduce their own research topics to the class so that their research projects can benefit from Professor’s Saussy’s wide-ranging expertise and advice (see below for Professor Saussy’s biography and an outline of his research).

For accepted participants, the master class includes afternoon refreshments, free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Comparative and Cross-Cultural Studies Research Theme, which is sponsoring the event.

To apply to participate, please write to Loveday Why ( with your name, department, and a brief outline of your current research in 2–3 sentences.

Open Lectures on Transnational Collaborations in Contemporary Literature and Artistic/Literary Event 9 - 12 July

Public Lecture: Carla Harryman (Eastern Michigan University) "Rules and Restraints in Women's Experimental Writing" July 10th

English Departmental Seminar: Professor Barrett Watten (Wayne State University) "Zero Hour/Stunde Null: Destruction and Universals at Mid Century" July 11th

The Third CCCS Postgraduate Workshop, July 24th

Speakers: Grant Howie and Molly George

^ Top of Page

The Second CCCS International Symposium, 'Cross-Cultural Political Ideas: Interdisciplinary Horizons' 28 April

Keynote speakers: Associate Professor Leigh Jenco (London School of Economics), Professor David Porter (University of Michigan) and Professor Michael Puett (Harvard University). Organized by Associate Professor Takashi Shogimen (History, Otago)

leighjencolecture               davidporterlecture

^ Top of Page

Open Lecture 'Westernization as Barbarization: Culture and History in Chinese and Western Contexts' 29 April

Leigh Jenco, Associate Professor of Political Theory, London School of Economics

^ Top of Page

Open Lecture 'The Disappearing Act of China in the World of World Literature' 30 April

David Porter, Professor of English, University of Michigan

^ Top of Page

Seminar ‘Orchestras, Comparison and the Politics of Decolonisation’ April 2014

Professor Tina K. Ramnarine, Royal Holloway, University of London, and William Evans Visiting Fellow, University of Otago. Co-hosted by CCCS and the Music Department‬.

^ Top of Page

The first CCCS Postgraduate Workshop March 2014

^ Top of Page

Seminar 'Fa'amatagi (from the direction of the wind): reflections on a Samoan model of sustainable entrepreneurship.' August 2013

^ Top of Page

The First CCCS International Symposium, 'Comparative and Cross-Cultural Bioethics: Methodologies' 28 March 2013 

Organized by Associate Professor, Jing-Bao Nie and Dr. Ruth Fitzgerald.

^ Top of Page

‘The Gaze of Animals’ Workshop, September 2012

Speaker: Associate Professor Philip Armstrong, English and Cultural Studies Programmes and New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies, University of Canterbury. Organised by Dr. Cecilia Novero.

^ Top of Page

The CCCS Panel at the 15th International Philosophy and Psychiatry Conference, July 2012

^ Top of Page