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Dr Christiane Leurquin

Senior Lecturer
Pacific Support Officer
French Honorary Consul for Otago and Southland

Christiane Leurquin imageContact

Room 5C18
Tel +64 3 479 5413

Research interests

  • Discourses, practices and theories of anthropology in the Pacific
  • Pacific perspectives on wellbeing and health
  • Negotiating identity in post-colonial world
  • Orality and cultural studies in Oceania
  • Women perspectives on tradition and education in Kanaky/New Caledonia



I studied History at the Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris and completed a Doctorate on the History of the Kanak population. I was first employed as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Otago in 2008, and I have focused my research on the literature of the French speaking Pacific islands, with a particular interest in the literature of New Caledonia. I was interested in studying the emergent indigenous literature of this region through the prism of History.

The colonisation of the Pacific islands by the French left a mark on the culture and influenced the style of writing as well as the topics. I was looking at the portrait of the Kanaks by the French, as well as the testimony by the Kanaks of their own history and situation.

I also researched childhood and identity, analysing the ties between tradition and social break up, introspection and search for identity in the spatiotemporal location of childhood.


  • French Honorary Consul for Otago and Southland
  • Pacific Support Officer for the Social Anthropology Programme

Current projects

  • Research on Maurice Leenhardt’s Kanak tales, collected in New Caledonia at the beginning of the 20th Century, with a particular focus on the representation of Kanak women, and analysing them considering oral tradition and oral history.
  • Thanks to the Pacific Funds, I am looking at intangible cultural heritage, and specifically traditions passed on from mothers to daughters in New Caledonia, through a series of interviews.

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Te Huki, K.-A., Kasarhérou Leurquin, C., & Young, C. (2021, June-July). Diversity in pedagogy. Panel discussion at the 15th Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Hellenic Or Roman Antiquities & Egyptology (AMPHORAE XV): Hindsight is 2020, [Online].

Leurquin, C. (2021, July). 1st year University language courses (Otago): What to expect. Workshop presentation at the New Zealand Association of Language Teachers (NZALT) Conference: Celebrating Excellence in Language Teaching & Learning, Wellington, New Zealand.

Kasarhérou-Leurquin, C. (2013). [Review of the book Nights of Storytelling: A cultural history of Kanaky-New Caledonia]. Journal of Pacific History, 48(2), 234-235. doi: 10.1080/00223344.2013.787507