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News and events

News and events from the Otago Arts Fellows

SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival

News from and about our programmes, staff and students

Vote 2020 asks political candidates how they’ll avoid predecessors’ mistakes

Friday, 7 August 2020 5:30pm

University of Otago Politics students will interview candidates all aged under 30 in the month leading up to September’s general election as part of the Vote 2020 interview series.

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Alexander the Great is Dead! Meet Demetrius the Besieger

Thursday, 6 August 2020 10:33pm

Classics programme Associate Professor Pat Wheatley's new book, released by Oxford University Press in April, reconstructs the life of one of Alexander the Great’s most intriguing and enigmatic successors, Demetrius “The Besieger of Cities”.

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Fulbright honours to eight University of Otago graduates

Thursday, 6 August 2020 3:15pm

Eight University of Otago graduates from across the University have been named Fulbright New Zealand award winners.

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Politics public seminars to discuss post-COVID world 

Wednesday, 5 August 2020 9:45pm

Politics Professor Philip Nel says public seminars on 12 and 19 August are aimed at making sense of the changes already linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those to come.

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dtour literary app bigger, bilingual

Tuesday, 4 August 2020 10:29pm

dtour, a literary app that links remarkable writers and their stories to iconic sites in Dunedin, has doubled in size and translated many of its entries into te reo Māori.

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Geography award for global contribution

Monday, 3 August 2020 7:27pm

School of Geography Head Professor Etienne Nel recently was recently nominated as the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Award and Medal for his sustained contribution to Geography and development.

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Otago experts deemed ‘critic and conscience’ of society

Monday, 3 August 2020 11:53am

For the first time, the Gama Foundation has recognised two people at once for their efforts in being the ‘Critic and Conscience of Society’ – both University of Otago academic staff members.

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The Sophia Charter launched to enhance student safety and well-being in North Dunedin

Thursday, 30 July 2020 9:09am

A multi-agency agreement, that includes the University of Otago, Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Otago Property Investors Association, the Dunedin City Council (DCC) and the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA), has led to the launch today of The Sophia Charter, designed to enhance the safety and well-being of the student community in North Dunedin.

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Great artists, but also scoundrels and cads

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 8:22pm

 A new book Scoundrels, Cads, and Other Great Artists by College of Education Dean Professor Jeff Smith discusses the amazing artistic creations of nine famous artists alongside their often appalling personal behaviour.

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Language, learning, people priorities for departing Te Tumu Dean

Thursday, 23 July 2020 12:02pm

Te Tumu Dean Professor Poia Rewi leaves Otago to become Tumu Whakarae (Chief Executive) of Te Mātāwai, a government agency created to assist hapū, iwi and communities in the important task of Māori-language revitalisation.

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Children's Issue Centre celebrates 25 years

Wednesday, 22 July 2020 5:34pm

The University of Otago’s Children’s Issues Centre (CIC) celebrated its 25th anniversary this week.

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Emotionally Charged - new book explores life, love and death in 1870s Italy  

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 11:28am

History programme Associate Professor Mark Seymour's new book Emotional Arenas looks at love, life and death in 1870s Italy. 

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Virtual Open Day a first for Otago

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 2:03pm

For the first time the University of Otago is holding a Virtual Open Day for prospective students and their families to explore everything Otago has on offer, from home.

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2020 creative writing competition opens today

Monday, 20 July 2020 9:39am

The University’s second annual creative writing competition for students and staff opens for entries today.

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Otago's French connection celebrated on Bastille Day

Wednesday, 15 July 2020 10:46am

Otago’s strong French connections were also on display in the Arts Building on 14 July as Languages and Cultures staff and guests celebrated Bastille Day.

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A tactical retreat? New RMA report takes top planning award

Thursday, 9 July 2020 10:27am

A ground-breaking report, co-authored by Otago Faculty of Law academic Dr Ben France-Hudson, focussing on reducing natural hazard and climate change risk under the Resource Management Act (RMA) was recently awarded the New Zealand Planning Institute’s John Mawson Award of Merit for 2020.

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Online COVID-19 masterclass attracts thousands from around the world

Wednesday, 8 July 2020 11:40am

International conferences held entirely online may well be the future, if the just-completed University of Otago Global Health Institute’s (OGHI) online COVID-19 Masterclass is anything to go by.

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New research examines links between religion and parental support from non-family members

Tuesday, 7 July 2020 8:23pm

New research suggests that this “multiplying” may be the result of the higher levels of support from non-family members that church-going women receive, and that these greater levels of support are also associated with positive developmental outcomes for children.

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History Worth Repeating radio series worth replaying

Friday, 3 July 2020 5:48pm

The latest broadcasts in the "History Worth Repeating" can now be replayed

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Otago campaign encourages students to speak up against sexual violence

Friday, 3 July 2020 12:45pm

A new Otago marketing campaign aims to give students the confidence to speak up for others and intervene in situations where inappropriate sexual behaviour is occurring or could be about to occur.

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EQC grant unites earth and social sciences

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 9:34am

Southland could be New Zealand’s largest area of incomplete seismic fault information, but University of Otago researchers can now fill in the gaps after receiving a new EQC grant.

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Housing issues close to home for new Politics academic

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 10:31pm

Although stranded half a world away new Politics programme lecturer Dr David Jenkins is excited about calling Otago home.

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Otago expert fears increase in fetal alcohol disorder following lockdown

Friday, 26 June 2020 4:35pm

A University of Otago researcher fears the soaring rates of alcohol purchases during lockdown may result in more babies being born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) next year.

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University-backed Shakespeare Festival moves online to beat lockdown

Monday, 22 June 2020 11:48am

For several months about 2000 pupils in 300 groups nationwide have been filming scenes for the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand’s University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival regional heats.

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POLS summer school papers offered in 2021

Monday, 22 June 2020 11:38am

There are two politics papers on offer with the 2021 Summer School.

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Otago to hold August graduation ceremonies

Friday, 19 June 2020 11:45am

Otago’s graduation ceremonies are set to return in August, after COVID-19 disruptions caused the cancellation of its May ceremonies. 

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Books of my life by Liam McIlvanney

Friday, 19 June 2020 9:49am

Liam McIlvanney shares the stories of his best-loved books.

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Moving to energy-efficient lighting more than just a bright idea

Monday, 15 June 2020 11:52am

A new University of Otago-led study shows moving to more energy-efficient lighting would help New Zealand achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity generation.

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Introduction to Internet-based Learning – semester 2 paper

Monday, 15 June 2020 11:44am

EDUC435 is a semester 2 paper about how to make best use of the internet to support, enhance and deliver teaching and learning.

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Pūtea Tautoko provides vital support for University of Otago students

Thursday, 11 June 2020 12:34pm

Just a few weeks since it was launched, the University of Otago student financial relief fund Pūtea Tautoko has provided NZD$659,156 in grants to support students facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 questions to be answered in Otago University masterclass

Thursday, 11 June 2020 11:23am

If you’ve got questions about COVID-19, an upcoming fortnight-long masterclass, running from June 22 until July 3, should be on your radar.

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New research solves PNG archaeological mysteries

Tuesday, 9 June 2020 2:46pm

New research has ended decades-long speculation about what ancient Papuan New Guineans ate, and how they processed food, in the highlands of New Guinea several thousand years ago.

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Arts provide solace and lighten lockdown

Monday, 8 June 2020 9:20pm

While the Covid-19 lockdown presented many creative challenges for 2019 Frances Hodgkins Arts Fellow Imogen Taylor, the experience underscored how the arts provide solace in times of crisis – both for the artist and the public.

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Community-oriented club nets top sports award

Friday, 5 June 2020 4:12pm

Providing a “whānau away from home”, and a supportive environment for players from several codes has netted the South Pacific Rugby League and Sports Club a University of Otago Innovation in Sport Award.

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Archaeological mysteries solved by new PNG research 

Tuesday, 2 June 2020 2:50pm

New research which “fills in the blanks” on what ancient Papuan New Guineans ate, and how they processed food, has ended decades-long speculation on tools use and food stables in the highlands of New Guinea several thousand years ago.

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Grant to fund writer's work on loss during lockdown

Tuesday, 26 May 2020 8:40am

Receiving a grant from Copyright Licencing New Zealand will help Dr Majella Cullinane complete Meantime, a work the Creative Writing Professional Practice Fellow describes as a very personal reflection on the realities of grieving during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Are you interested in getting a recognised professional social work qualification?

Tuesday, 26 May 2020 3:12pm

Join us for an online information session about the Master of Social and Community Work (Applied).

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Online Theology seminar series popular during lockdown

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 10:35am

A switch to Zoom during the Covid-19 lockdown had no impact on the popularity of the Theology Programme’s “Faith Thinking” series.


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Proud day for first Early Childhood Education master's graduates

Monday, 18 May 2020 4:22pm

While they couldn’t cross the stage on May 16, Leanne Walters and Karla Lawrie were proud to graduate in absentia to become the University of Otago’s first Master of Teaching and Learning Early Childhood Education graduates.

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The future of Irish Studies in New Zealand

Friday, 15 May 2020 11:22am

Irish Studies was profiled in this month’s Otago alumni magazine

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Trans-Tasman project to explore online law during lockdown

Thursday, 14 May 2020 10:54pm

The Remote Justice Stories trans-Tasman research team wants to analyse the stories of people who have participated in online legal hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Life-saving help inspired career

Thursday, 14 May 2020 10:32am

Nikita Hames is a recent Social Work graduate, explains how life-saving help inspired her career.

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Top award for Milton scholar

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:36pm

English and Linguistics Programme Honorary Fellow Dr John Hale recently receiving the Milton Society of America’s honoured scholar award for his “notable contributions to Milton scholarship.”

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Motorised transport dominant mode for Dunedin pre-schoolers

Tuesday, 12 May 2020 9:53pm

Motorised transport dominant mode for Dunedin pre-schoolers new Geography research shows

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E-TANGATA interview with Shayne Walker

Thursday, 7 May 2020 4:01pm

Read the E-Tangata interview with Shayne Walker who describes social work as an act of love.

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Great Scott! New Zealand Wars book shortlisted for prestigious award.

Monday, 4 May 2020 10:20am

Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology programme Associate Professor Annabel Cooper’s book Filming the Colonial Past: The New Zealand Wars on Screen has been shortlisted for the 2020 Ernest Scott Prize.

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Gates Scholarship paves way to Cambridge PhD

Friday, 1 May 2020 5:12pm

Otago Law and History alumna Emma Gattey has received a prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship

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Moving social work and social services online during lockdown

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 8:11pm

Online forums are helping social workers share ideas on how to provide services for families during the Covid-19 lockdown, University of Otago Social and Community Work Associate Professor Emily Keddell says.

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Professor Tiernan's interview on research

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:22am

Professor Sonja Tiernan was interviewed about her past and current research projects.

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University of Otago announces Pūtea Tautoko support fund for students

Friday, 24 April 2020 4:45pm

The University of Otago is committing $1.5 million as an initial investment to support Otago students facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 global outbreak.

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New animations demystify legal processes and terms

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 7:48pm

New short animated clips from the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre will help people navigate New Zealand's court processes.

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Photo call for your 1960s images

Thursday, 16 April 2020 10:05pm

Otago Music academic Dr Ian Chapman needs your images for his forthcoming “delightfully interdisciplinary” mashup book about life in 1960s New Zealand.

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Text analysis shows conceptual overlap as well as domain-specific differences in Christian and secular worldviews

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 3:27pm

We asked Christian and non-religious people to explain 54 phenomena, and use text analytics to quantify the conceptual overlap in their worldviews.

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Easter Rising Commemoration for Irish Studies Chair

Thursday, 9 April 2020 11:23am

The Irish Embassy, New Zealand organised 'Mise Eire – I am Ireland': A virtual gathering – to commemorate the Easter Rising Anniversary.

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PNG highland research redates Neolithic period

Tuesday, 7 April 2020 10:37am

Report co-author Professor Glenn Summerhayes (Archaeology) says new research published in 'Science Advances' on the emergence of agriculture in highland Papua New Guinea shows advancements often associated with a later Neolithic period occurred about 1000 years’ earlier than previously thought.

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New Bowie book full of surprises

Friday, 3 April 2020 4:20pm

Dr Ian Chapman is an authority on David Bowie – he even modelled his recently-retired musical alter-ego Dr Glam on Ziggy Stardust – but research for his new book still led to a deeper appreciation of the late, great music icon.

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Launch of new book on the history of civil marriage equality in Ireland

Friday, 3 April 2020 11:23am

In celebration of the publication of Prof Sonja Tiernan’s book, The History of Marriage Equality in Ireland.

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Online services foster sense of community

Monday, 30 March 2020 8:25pm

With traditional church services suspended during the Covid-19 lockdown, Theology Programme academic Dr Katie Marcar is turning to technology to help people observe their faith and foster a sense of community.

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Change to programme of public events – COVID-19

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 11:46am

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the very difficult decision to cancel or at the very least postpone our current programme of public events.

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Lightshow illuminates Victorian's plight

Friday, 13 March 2020 5:23pm

Several public events by visiting William Evans Fellow Professor Sally Shuttleworth explored important aspects of Victorian life on a grand scale this month.

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Original waiata feature of building blessing

Friday, 13 March 2020 11:11am

The University’s new Music, Theatre and Performing Arts Centre was officially opened with a whakawaatea (blessing) and a waiata composed for the occasion.

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Ten-point plan to increase access to free and low-cost legal services

Tuesday, 10 March 2020 4:55pm

A new research report from the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre (UOLIC) recommends ten steps to help New Zealand’s law profession deliver more free services to people caught in New Zealand’s widening ‘justice gap’.

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Changes ahead for Professors Smith and Smith

Thursday, 5 March 2020 7:31pm

After working together for over a quarter of a century - sometimes even sharing an office - "husband and wife team" Professors Jeff and Lisa Smith are heading in different academic directions.

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Alien help makes science homework fun 

Monday, 2 March 2020 5:19pm

Professor Lisa Smith, a former Social Sciences Head and College of Education Dean, has teamed up with her PhD student Kimberly Arcand (Visualization Lead for NASA's Chandra Xray Observatory) to produce An Alien Helped Me With My Homework! - a book aimed at making science accessible and fun for younger readers. 

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World-leader in cognitive science of religion to give 2020 De Carle Distinguished Lectures

Thursday, 27 February 2020 3:53pm

The 2020 De Carle Distinguished Lectures, hosted by the Religion programme, will feature a world-leader in the evolutionary and cognitive science of religion, Professor Ann Taves from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Victorian world comes to life in multi-storey Dunedin lightshow

Monday, 24 February 2020 3:37pm

Disease, environmental pollution and mental health – challenges that were as real for people in the Victorian era as they are for us today – will be brought to life during a multi-storey lightshow at the University of Otago’s Dunedin campus next month.


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On the brink? Visiting academic to discuss research and Hong Kong

Saturday, 22 February 2020 9:57am

On 5 March, University of California Irvine Chancellor’s Professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom will give an illustrated public talk focusing on patterns of protest and the tightening of political controls in Hong Kong.

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History worth repeating in new radio show

Saturday, 22 February 2020 3:03pm

In their new OAR 105.4FM series History and Art History Programme Professor Barbara Brookes joins Sonja Tiernan, Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Otago, to canvass wide aspects of the past – from individual stories to national histories.

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Shining light on Victorian's plight

Saturday, 22 February 2020 1:53pm

Between 8:45pm and 10:30pm on 8 March, Oxford University Professor Sally Shuttleworth’s award-winning sound and light show ‘The Speed of Modern Life’ will light up Otago’s Richardson Building.

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Harmony found in Music collaboration

Thursday, 20 February 2020 10:45pm

One’s a musician and lecturer who’s mad about technology. The other’s an IT professional who also happens to be a musician and sound engineer.

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Two new writing fellowships build connections with Ireland and Scotland

Thursday, 20 February 2020 11:15am

Two new University of Otago writing fellowships will facilitate and encourage literary and cultural exchange between Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand.

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New writing fellowships promote literary/ cultural exchange

Friday, 14 February 2020 6:29pm

Two new writing fellowships, attached to the University of Otago's Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, will facilitate and encourage literary and cultural exchange between Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand.

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Fulbright scholars excited by opportunities

Thursday, 13 February 2020 9:46pm

Two University of Otago staff have received 2020 Scholar Awards from Fulbright New Zealand, allowing them to travel to the United States to pursue research and form international connections. 

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Research award for co-director of Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies

Thursday, 13 February 2020 11:50am

Professor Sonja Tiernan, Eamon Cleary Chair of Irish Studies, is delighted to have been awarded the Keough-Naughton Library Research Award.

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Albany St studio closure not the end of the road

Thursday, 6 February 2020 5:04pm

Dr Ian Chapman reflects on the legacy of the Albany St studios, which were formerly owned by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (the NZBC) and home to the University’s contemporary music programme since 2000.

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New generation of NZ security specialists needed, Otago expert says

Tuesday, 4 February 2020 1:31pm

New Zealand must develop a new generation of national security experts to meet the rise of transnational terrorism head-on, an Otago politics expert says.

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Exciting research and heritage conservation project at Te Kauae a Maui, Hawkes Bay

Monday, 3 February 2020 2:13pm

Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga is working with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the University of Otago to develop a plan for managing an important archaeological site that is currently under threat from coastal erosion.

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Music student youngest ever member of Voices NZ choir

Thursday, 30 January 2020 5:19pm

Music classical voice student Lillian Gibbs is the youngest person ever to become a member of the Voices NZ choir.

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The Luck of the Irish - Public Lecture Series

Thursday, 30 January 2020 11:42am

Professor Sonja Tiernan interviewed on 30 January 2020 on the OARsome Morning Show 105.4fm Dunedin about this year’s public lecture series, The Luck of the Irish.

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Frances Hodgkins Fellow Imogen Taylor to show new exhibition

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 1:26pm

Artist Imogen Taylor hopes her latest exhibition will help the public engage with queer histories that have long been hidden, as she prepares to unveil a year’s worth of hard work.

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Boost for New Zealand’s online legal information: Collaborative project receives grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation and Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 9:11am

The University of Otago Legal Issues Centre (UOLIC) is establishing an online hub to support the development of online legal information (OLI) in New Zealand.

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3000-year-old teeth solve Pacific banana mystery

Friday, 24 January 2020 12:00pm

Humans began transporting and growing banana in Vanuatu 3000 years ago, a University of Otago scientist has discovered.

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Hands On Politics 2020

Thursday, 23 January 2020 12:26pm

Peyton Bond and Kate Hellings spent the week with 14 potential new politics students from high schools all over the country at Hands On Otago 2020.

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Emotion concepts are not the same worldwide

Friday, 20 December 2019 3:50pm

Fear, anger, sadness – while it is often assumed these emotion concepts are the same the world over, new research suggests there is greater cross-cultural variation in “how people think about emotions than is widely assumed", contributor Dr Joseph Watts says.

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Volunteering a highlight for law grad

Friday, 20 December 2019 5:21pm

Volunteering was a highlight of recent law graduate Norhan El Sanjak's time at Otago.

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Law student volunteers her time throughout studies

Thursday, 19 December 2019 9:23am

A feature of law graduand Norhan El Sanjak’s time at Otago was continuing volunteer work in the community, which was both professionally and personally rewarding, and pushed her “out of [her] comfort zone.”

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Many lessons learned during four-decade education career retiring Dean says

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 4:42pm

Retiring College of Educaiton Dean Professor Notman says he has learned many valuable lessons over his four-decade career in education. 

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One parent one language journey for Te Tumu graduate

Thursday, 12 December 2019 10:46pm

Graduating with a Master of Indigenous Studies has been a “surprising journey of self-discovery” for Paia Taani, and one she says has anchored the decision made by her and her whānau for her to communicate solely in te reo Māori with her tamariki.

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Influencing attitudes through traditional Māori mapping practices

Thursday, 12 December 2019 10:57pm

Jovan James Mokaraka-Harris (Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Wai) credits his supervisors for his postgraduate diploma with giving him a continual pursuit of education at the University of Otago.

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2019 Gallaway Cook Allan Prize for Law and Emerging Technology awarded

Wednesday, 11 December 2019 9:18am

The New Zealand Law Foundation Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies is pleased to announce that Emma Harris is the winner of the 2019 Gallaway Cook Allan Prize for Law and Emerging Technology.

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Three new Professors for Division of Humanities

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 9:17am

Three Division of Humanities staff have been promoted to Professor in latest academic promotion round.

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30 new Professors for the University of Otago

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 4:51pm

Thirty University of Otago academics have been promoted to the position of professor this year.

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New international research project to study religion’s impact on family size and child health

Thursday, 5 December 2019 10:09am

A major international, multidisciplinary project is set to shed light on how religion impacts family size and child health, following a multi-million dollar grant.

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The fast track to the public service

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 2:35pm

Reaching the end of a Master of Politics degree at the University of Otago, Ben Hay-Smith’s plan for 2020 involves working in Treasury’s Economic Strategy and Productivity team as part of their Graduate Analyst Programme.

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Scholarship to continue psychology research

Thursday, 21 November 2019 2:21pm

An Otago undergraduate student has received a prestigious scholarship to continue the work of researchers from the Psychology Department.

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Samoa climate change resilience challenges Western perceptions

Thursday, 21 November 2019 2:22pm

The resilience of Samoan communities in the face of climate change is providing a blueprint for other nations to follow, according to Samoa and Otago researchers.

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Law students land top spots in land law prize

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 2:08pm

Faculty of Law students Hansaka Ranaweera and Clara Sinclair took the top two places in this year's EC Adams Memorial Prize in Land Law

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Law students land top spots in land law prize

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 2:16pm

Faculty of Law students Hansaka Ranaweera and Clara Sinclair took the top two places in this year's EC Adams Memorial Prize in Land Law

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A virtual Albany St recording experience

Monday, 18 November 2019 9:34am

A collaborative project is aiming to digitally preserve the University’s Albany St recording studio so music can continue to be created there – only in virtual reality.

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Encounters and Exchanges Conference to explore history of knowledge after Cook's arrival

Monday, 18 November 2019 2:44pm

University of Otago backed Encounters and Exchanges Conference, Blenheim 1-3 December, to explore exchanges of knowledge after Cook's arrival in New Zealand

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Professor Sonja Tiernan interviewed on radio

Monday, 18 November 2019 4:10pm

Professor Tiernan speaks with RNZ National Radio about the border in Ireland, and also with OAR 105.4FM Dunedin about the visit of award winning Irish writer Sinéad Gleeson.

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The Politics Programme at the University of Otago issues Climate Change declaration

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 11:32am

Following discussion at recent staff meetings and participation in the Climate Strike Movement, the Politics Programme unanimously agreed to support the Climate Strike Movement and to issue a declaration on climate change.

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The last resort -MPlan thesis explores Airbnb impact in Queenstown

Friday, 8 November 2019 2:37pm

Master of Planning candidate Sam McGough's thesis explored the impact of Airbnb in Queenstown.

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Five Humanities projects funded in latest Marsden round

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 5:16pm

Five Division of Humanities projects receive Marsden funding in 2019 award round.

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Otago researchers recipients of inaugural $3m Marsden Fund Award

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 9:42am

University of Otago researchers are the recipients of an inaugural Marsden Fund Council Award worth $3 million to investigate genetic predisposition to metabolic diseases like diabetes and gout among Pacific people.

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Marsden Grant – The Longitudinal Study of Cohesion and Conflict

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 3:19pm

Dr John Shaver was awarded a Marsden Fast-start grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

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Marsden Grant – Cross-cultural Patterns in Theory of Mind

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 11:54am

Dr Joseph Watts was awarded a Marsden Fast-start grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand

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The Celtic origins of Halloween

Thursday, 31 October 2019 3:06pm

Listen to an interview and read an article about the Celtic origins of this festival.

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Momentous week for Dr Joe McIntyre, UOLIC Visiting Fellow

Thursday, 31 October 2019 11:24am

Judicial expert Dr Joe McIntyre’s visit to the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre (UOLIC) as the 2019 Visiting Fellow proved to be a significant week, both personally and constitutionally.

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Ngā Pou Whirinaki celebrates Māori at Otago

Friday, 25 October 2019 3:38pm

Last week’s Ngā Pou Whirinaki featured a collection of four events which celebrated the University of Otago’s Māori students, staff and scholars.

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Brains tickled not pickled at MindJam

Thursday, 24 October 2019 3:27pm

This weekend’s MindJam, held in Queenstown, will again offer a great opportunity to hear, meet and converse with Otago experts as they explore important cultural questions.

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From Tanzania to NZ - global collaborations key says Professor Sharp

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 10:01am

School of Geography William Evans Fellow Professor Jo Sharp says global collaborations underpin good research

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Six rising research stars celebrated in annual awards

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 9:58am

Six researchers whose work covers everything from ancient dolphin teeth to the management of obesity have been recognised by the University of Otago.

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Fire beats pumpkin - CISS to reclaim Halloween as Celtic festival

Friday, 18 October 2019 1:19pm

Fire will feature, but pumpkins and costumes will not, when the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies reclaims Halloween as the Celtic festival Samhain later this month.

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Pride in the Humanities symposium enhances teaching

Thursday, 17 October 2019 12:33pm

The third annual Division of Humanities Teaching and Learning Symposium, held at the Dunedin campus on 15 October, offered staff a full day of reflection and collaboration on ways to enhance teaching practices.

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Place and future of Pacific research explored at symposium

Friday, 11 October 2019 5:54pm

The University of Otago’s Pacific Academic Staff Caucus (PASC) held its inaugural symposium, at the Dunedin campus on 27 September to engage in important conversations about the place and future of Pacific research at Otago. 

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Metaphorically speaking - international symposium explores language of metaphor

Thursday, 10 October 2019 3:07pm

Professor Andreas Musloff will give a keynote address at The Body Politic Metaphor in Discourse, Past and Present international symposium in Dunedin on 11 October. 

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Lives of early Dunedinites revealed after excavation

Wednesday, 9 October 2019 8:38am

They ate oysters, they probably had pet cats and their feet were small. Fragments of the lives of late 19th century Dunedin people who lived and worked on the site of the University’s Dental School have been revealed in a major archaeological excavation.

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Humanities staff support paves way for prestigious scholarship

Tuesday, 8 October 2019 2:35pm

History graduate Kate Tilson says support from Division of Humanities staff paved the way for PhD study at Cambridge.

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CISS PhD candidate Sue Wootton wins prestigious ​Menton Fellowship

Monday, 7 October 2019 3:23pm

Poet, essayist and novelist Sue Wootton will travel to Menton, in the south of France, next year to work on her sixth poetry collection – but first she has a PhD and second novel to finish.

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Professor McDermid on RNZ's Saturday Morning show with Kim Hill

Monday, 7 October 2019 11:09am

Best selling Scottish crime writer Val McDermid has sold more than 15 million copies of her work worldwide. She's arrived in New Zealand to take up a role as a visiting Professor of Scottish Studies and Crime Fiction at the University of Otago.

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Professor McDermid profiled in the NZ Listener

Monday, 7 October 2019 11:11am

Scottish “queen of crime” Val McDermid on having a stab at Otago.

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Writing competition stimulates creativity across University

Friday, 4 October 2019 11:08am

A poem written in te reo Māori was one of five winners in the University’s inaugural creative writing competition for students and staff, Writer.

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Crime talk of town ahead of Celtic Noir Crime Writing Festival

Thursday, 3 October 2019 1:33pm

Celtic Noir Crime Writing Festival, Dunedin, October 12-13 to host top names in crime writing, including Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies faculty members.

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Reclaiming our Celtic festival

Thursday, 3 October 2019 11:43am

Halloween may now be perceived by many people as an American event but in fact, Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is a Celtic festival that originated as Samhain.

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Opinion: STV – Making your vote count in local elections

Wednesday, 2 October 2019 10:59am

Otago Politics Professor Janine Hayward offers some advice as you put pen to voting paper over the coming weeks.

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Scholar credits Otago teachers with her success

Wednesday, 2 October 2019 9:24pm

History graduate Kate Tilson says support from Division of Humanities staff paved the way to a prestigious Cambridge PhD scholarship.

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Seven inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair appointments to mark 150th

Monday, 30 September 2019 3:22pm

In a new initiative, the University is celebrating its internationally acclaimed scholars by creating a prestigious new role - the Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair (Poutoko Taiea).

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Music and sunshine on the Leith

Friday, 27 September 2019 1:42pm

Otago’s own talented Performing Arts students, a wonderful group of volunteers, some sunshine, a whole lot of cushions and a crowd of students, staff, friends, family and tourists made for a fun afternoon of music on the steps by the Leith last Saturday.

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Philip Neill Memorial Concert celebrates 75 years of composition prize

Thursday, 26 September 2019 9:41pm

The Philip Neill Memorial Concert in St Paul’s Cathedral this Sunday celebrates 75 years since the Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Music was established, and will feature performances of eight prize winners from the past.

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University celebrates new Chaplaincy lectureship

Thursday, 26 September 2019 9:28pm

At a special function in the University Council Chamber earlier in this week, seed funding for a new lectureship in Chaplaincy Studies was celebrated. Fund raising for the lectureship has been given a great start via the generous funding of the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland.

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Te Roopu Whai Putake inspire at national hui

Tuesday, 24 September 2019 10:00pm

There has been plenty of praise for the University of Otago’s Māori law student association after their performances at a national conference in Wellington.

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Otago alumnus selected for English language teaching fellowship in Azerbaijan

Tuesday, 24 September 2019 10:45pm

Otago English graduate Richard Schlight has just arrived Azerbaijan on a 10-month fellowship to train teachers and teach English.

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Planning to do good - Geography's Dr Ashraful Alam

Tuesday, 24 September 2019 12:04pm

Geography programme lecturer Dr Ashraful Alam says his experience as an architect and academic has underscored the importance of planning which "listens to people's stories".

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Blooming blossoms draw big crowd

Monday, 23 September 2019 9:46am

The annual cherry blossom viewing festival just keeps getting better as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

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1869 Conference and Heritage Festival to celebrate a range of ‘firsts’

Thursday, 19 September 2019 2:58pm

The many important scientific, political, commercial, cultural and medical milestones reached 150 years ago are set to be explored and celebrated during the 1869 Conference and Heritage Festival, which starts in Dunedin on 25 September.

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Opinion: The value of the Arts

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 9:45am

In an opinion piece, written for the Otago Daily Times and reprinted with permission, Associate Professor Tim Cooper, the Head of the School of Arts in the Division of Humanities debunks some myths around the Bachelor of Arts, and discusses the “human skills” a BA instils in graduates.

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Pacific book award recognises achievement

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 4:38pm


The 2019 of the Heilala Book Prize in Humanities is French, Politics and Law student Shani McMullan.

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NOTED: Renowned Scottish crime writer Val McDermid on Otago Professorship 

Friday, 13 September 2019 4:58pm

In a recent NOTED article, renowned Scottish crime writer Val McDermid explains why a visiting Professorship at Otago appealed.

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University of Otago announces 2020 Arts Fellowship recipients

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 10:31am

The University of Otago’s 2020 Arts Fellows look set to continue a strong tradition of contributing to New Zealand’s cultural canon, with next year’s recipients including award-winning writers, musicians, dancers and artists.

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CISS featured in Celtic Life Magazine

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 5:40pm

Popular Canadian magazine Celtic Life International carried a feature on CISS's Celtic Noir festival in its October 2019 issue.

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Celtic Noir 2019

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 10:30am

To mark its tenth anniversary, the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies is partnering with the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival and the Dunedin City Library to present 'Celtic Noir 2019', a festival of Irish, Scottish and New Zealand crime fiction.

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Professor McIlvanney featured on Radio NZ's 'Bookmarks' Programme

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 5:34pm

CISS Co-Director, Professor Liam McIlvanney was recently invited to choose his favourite books, films and TV shows on Radio NZ's 'Bookmarks' slot.

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University’s new Voice Lecturer to perform

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 12:40pm

The University community and the Dunedin public will have an opportunity to hear the School of Performing Arts’ new Voice Lecturer perform this weekend.

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International festival highlights Dunedin as cultural hub

Monday, 2 September 2019 5:12pm

The stage is almost set for the UNESCO Cities of Literature Short Play Festival, which will be held at the University of Otago, Dunedin, from 12 to 20 September.

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Oranga Tamariki baby removals “racialised, regionalised, antenatal and coercive”

Wednesday, 28 August 2019 9:04am

Newly analysed figures from Oranga Tamariki show the number of babies being taken from their parents are overwhelming Māori, hail mostly from four distinct North Island regions, and are more frequently than ever removed by legal order before birth.

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Law twins' journey not identical

Monday, 26 August 2019 2:53pm

Identical twins Katarina and Makareta Coote say although they took the same programme, and graduated on the same day, studying law at Otago allowed them to explore their individuality.

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2019 De Carle Distinguished Lecturer in the News

Thursday, 22 August 2019 8:57am

Our 2019 De Carle Distinguished Lecturer, Professor Alison Phipps, speaks to the Otago Daily Times about refugee integration in Dunedin.

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FFENNA event reinforces value of community dance

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 2:23pm

Caroline Plummer Dance Fellow Antonio Ssebuuma Bukhar says Saturday's FFENNA 19 event, which involves 50 local dancers, underlines all that's good about community dance.

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University writing competition closes soon

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 11:32pm

It’s time to get writing! There are just over two weeks left to get your entries in to Writer – the inaugural University of Otago writing competition for staff and students.

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LLM candidate Mihiata Pirini – Improving access to justice through design 

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 3:03pm

Mihiata Pirini is working with users of New Zealand’s oldest specialist court to contemplate how that court is designed, and to create space for imagining how it could be re-designed to deliver better access to justice.

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Tauira Māori celebrated at ceremony

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:12pm

Pride was abundant among whānau and graduands at the University of Otago’s Māori pre-graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon at Union Hall.

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UOLIC Public Event 2019

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 4:28pm

The University of Otago Legal Issue Centre (UOLIC) host an annual event in May or June each year on an access to justice topic.

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Time to update mental capacity laws – new Otago co-edited book argues

Monday, 19 August 2019 1:46pm

For those lacking the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, New Zealand currently relies heavily on the basic decency of families and whānau to ensure the law is applied.

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Coffee and te reo Māori a great combo

Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:33pm

All welcome at new Cafe Reo events, which are aimed at improving Māori language skills in an informal setting.

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2019 OUSA Supervisor of the Year named

Friday, 9 August 2019 7:04pm

It was only a “few” years ago Dr Susan Wardell was watching her supervisor be awarded the OUSA Supervisor of the Year. Now it has come full circle, with Dr Wardell being given the top nod at the awards.

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Celebrate the centenary of Colin McCahon at the Hocken this weekend

Thursday, 8 August 2019 10:49pm

Widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost painters, Colin McCahon’s legacy as an artist and teacher is being celebrated this year.

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Positive effect of music and dance on dementia investigated by Otago study

Thursday, 8 August 2019 9:27am

Stereotypically viewed as passive and immobile, a University of Otago pilot study has shown the powerful influence music and dance can have on older adults with dementia.

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Favourite Irish films feature in new series  

Thursday, 1 August 2019 6:27pm

The Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies is launching a new Irish Film Night five-film series this month.

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Talented Otago cellist follows passions

Thursday, 1 August 2019 12:12pm

Tessa Dalgety-Evans can often be seen carting her cello on her back through campus.

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Can ancient Māori beliefs contribute to global peace?

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 12:47pm

Olly Te Hata Ohlson is hoping a presentation he is giving at the University of Otago this evening will help Māori youth understand how traditional teachings from Te Āo Māori will complement their academic studies.

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Politics Spring Lecture Series 2019

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 2:15pm

The 2019 Politics Spring Lecture Series features a series of four panel discussions featuring topical politcal issues. These panel discussions will run over four dates from September through to October.

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Special treatment for School of Performing Arts building

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 11:52pm

Workers are hand-winding large concrete floor panels into place above slab floors and joiners are crafting more than 780 acoustic boxes for the music and performance studio building under construction behind the Robertson Library in Union Street East.

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Ihumātao situation a ‘complex’ power battle – Otago research

Friday, 26 July 2019 4:39pm

An Otago Master of Planning graduand who completed his thesis on cultural heritage protection within the wider Ihumātao peninsula says the ongoing situation is complex and filled with tensions at various scales.

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Large number of unplanned pregnancies among women with chronic health conditions

Friday, 26 July 2019 12:53pm

A large number of women with chronic health conditions have unplanned pregnancies and are at risk of experiencing adverse events during pregnancy, something a University of Otago researcher says could be prevented if healthcare professionals are prepared.

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Thesis discusses surgical mesh complications

Thursday, 25 July 2019 5:46pm

New Master of Chaplaincy thesis on surgical mesh complications identifies "clear gap" in literature around this significant issue.

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Dr Neil Vallelly hosts refugee talk

Thursday, 25 July 2019 9:27am

Our member Dr Neil Vallelly speaks to the Otago Daily Times ahead of his event with Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani.

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From Durban to Dunedin: Dr Beverley Clark's education odyssey

Friday, 19 July 2019 12:51pm

From Durban to Dunedin - recently appointed College of Education Early Childhood Education lecturer Dr Beverley Clark is excited about the next steps in her educational journey. 

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Options abound at inaugural Humanities Career Week

Thursday, 18 July 2019 4:55pm

The inaugural Humanities Career Weeks, run at the Dunedin campus between 16 and 23 July, offers a wide array of seminars for students looking to join the workforce, or continue on to postgraduate studies.

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Event to mix business and great craic

Monday, 15 July 2019 10:31am

The first gathering of the Irish Business Network New Zealand in Dunedin will bring town and gown together for a night of networking on Thursday, 25 July.

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Coastal erosion challenges councils and communities

Thursday, 11 July 2019 9:55am

New research shows a “business as usual” approach will not work for New Zealand’s regional councils, and over a quarter of our local councils, who are facing extreme exposure to climate hazards like coastal erosion, flooding and rising groundwater levels.

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British refugee integration expert returning to Dunedin for lecture series

Tuesday, 9 July 2019 11:30am

The University of Otago’s Centre for Global Migrations says having Professor Alison Phipps, OBE, return to Dunedin as the prestigious De Carle Distinguished Lecturer for 2019 will promote wide-ranging and insightful discussion on a host of refugee integration issues and trends.

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Inaugural University creative writing competition launched

Monday, 8 July 2019 10:38am

A creative writing competition for staff and students opens today, as part of the University of Otago’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

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Same, same? New book examines copying in global media age

Thursday, 4 July 2019 5:16pm

A new book by English programme Associate Professor Jacob Edmond examines the turn toward repetition in poetry, using the explosion of copying to offer a deeply inventive account of modern and contemporary literature.

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Otago to feature in Hollywood horror film

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 10:16pm

Last weekend’s filming of Hollywood horror film Black Christmas on campus was a wonderful opportunity for the University to support film production in the city, and for students to receive some hands-on movie experience.

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Poverty impacts child protection system contact – Otago research highlights

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 3:17pm

A child’s chance of entering the child protection system is intrinsically linked to the deprivation of the area in which they live, University of Otago research has highlighted.

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Long-serving Te Tumu academic Dr Jim Williams retires

Friday, 28 June 2019 11:48am

Te Tumu academic Dr Jim Williams retired last week after 27 years' service at the University of Otago.  

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Otago connections positive for Sierra Leone

Thursday, 27 June 2019 12:17pm

Professor Tony Binns’ collaboration with Sierra Leone goes far beyond the research he began in 1974. The University of Otago Ron Lister Professor of Geography spoke about his 45 years of collaborative links with Sierra Leone, West Africa, at the International Initiatives seminar series last week.

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Poetry prize shortlisting a surprise

Thursday, 27 June 2019 11:05am

Otago English PhD candidate Robyn Pickens says she was stunned to be shortlisted for the inaugural Brotherton Poetry Prize, which is supported by the University of Leeds Centre for Poetry.

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"Create, connect, collaborate" - Digital Humanities Hub a hit

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 9:48am

Since September 2018 the Digital Humanities (DH) Hub – Te Pokapū Matihiko o Te Kete Aronui, a shared Humanities Division resource, open to staff and students, has been filling its brief to help connect researchers, staff and students working "in the digital realm". 

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Events provide insider’s perspective of brutality of Manus Island prison

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 10:04am

When Manus Island detainee and award-winning novelist Behrouz Boochani is interviewed at the Dunedin Public Library on 23 June, he hopes his harrowing story will increase awareness of the inhumane Australian border regime.

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Two Otago academics nominated for prestigious writing award

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 10:22pm

It may be a long way from the grimy back streets of Glasgow or Edinburgh, where many of their victims fall prey to foul play, but there’s no doubt “tartan noir” crime writing is in good health at the University of Otago.

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Crime pays for Otago academics nominated for prestigious writing award.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 2:51pm

It may be a long way from the grimy back streets of Glasgow or Edinburgh, where many of their victims fall prey to foul play, but there’s no doubt “tartan noir” crime writing is in good health at the University of Otago.

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Otago academics urge churches to help stop violence against women in Samoa

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 12:40pm

With elements in their nation’s social, cultural and religious systems stacked against them, Samoan women still experience high rates of violence.

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Majella Cullinane joint recipient of inaugural Dan Davin Literary Foundation Writer in Residence

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 9:24am

Majella is a creative writing PhD student in the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies.

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New paper for pre-Christmas Summer School

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 9:32am

A new Classics paper CLAS330 Special Topic: Elections in Roman and Modern Times, will be offered on campus and by distance, with lecturers Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre (Classics), and Dr Chris Rudd (Politics), in a pre-Christmas Summer School.

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Guidelines and regulator needed to avoid risks in government AI use, study finds

Monday, 27 May 2019 2:03pm

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers.

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Surveying + Spatial as a Career Presentation as part of Otago’s Science and Technology week

Friday, 24 May 2019 11:26am

The School of Surveying hosted a lunchtime talk by three recent graduates of the School of Surveying about the different journeys they each have taken from uni student to survey and spatial professional.

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Indigenous postgraduate student numbers on the rise

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:47pm

A golden dawn is approaching for Māori postgraduate law students at the University of Otago.

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Honorary literature doctorate celebrates literary career

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 5:17pm

Founder of New Zealand's leading specialist non-fiction press and Otago alumna Bridget Williams received and honorary Doctorate of Literature on 18 May. 

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Culture quiz encourages teens to pursue language study

Monday, 20 May 2019 10:28pm

Dunedin secondary school pupils received a taste of the languages on offer to study at the University of Otago.

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Music project striking right note

Monday, 20 May 2019 8:14am

More huge concrete panels are about to go up at the site of the University’s new music recording studio, a host are already up and a lot of other work is going on out of sight, University of Otago Campus Development Division Director David Perry says.

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Hon Justice Miller’s contribution to law recognised

Monday, 20 May 2019 9:31pm

For the Honourable Justice Forrest (Forrie) Miller it’s hard to put into words how much it means to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Otago.

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Volunteering all positive recent graduate says

Monday, 20 May 2019 2:57pm

Volunteering while studying Law and Accounting led to "too many positives to list" recent graduate Maddi Ingham says. 

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New dawn approaches for indigenous postgraduate law

Friday, 17 May 2019 9:44am

Eight indigenous postgraduate law students met in Dunedin this week to build relationships and learn more about indigenous legal research methods and literature.

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Animal welfare system provides poor protection – Otago academic calls for change

Thursday, 16 May 2019 9:39am

New research from the University of Otago’s Faculty of Law, funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation, questions whether New Zealand’s “world-leading” animal welfare system adequately protects our furry friends, and argues the agencies charged with protecting animals need more funding.

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Four Honorary Doctorates to mark sesquicentennial

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 4:26pm

Four University of Otago Alumni will be recognised for their life’s work and their contribution to the University, New Zealand and the world during a special graduation ceremony on 1 June.

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Honorary law doctorate recognises gender equality work

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:07pm

Otago alumna Brigid Inder will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for her work advocating for gender equality and women's rights.

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Art and science come together in exhibition

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:25pm

Scientific objects and artefacts from across the University of Otago intermingle with well-known works of art in the Hocken Collections’ latest exhibition.

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Law Professor wins Critic and Conscience of Society Award

Tuesday, 7 May 2019 9:51pm

University of Otago Law Professor Andrew Geddis has been awarded the 2019 Gama Foundation Critic and Conscience of Society Award – but concedes he may need to get a mobile phone to help with media calls.