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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

International award nomination for work on copying

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 1:47pm

A highlight of 2020 for English and Linguistics Professor Jacob Edmond was having his publication Make it the Same shortlisted for a major international prize in literary studies.

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Professor Jessica Palmer new PVC of Humanities

Tuesday, 22 December 2020 2:57pm

Leading a diverse and vibrant Division of Humanities is something Professor Jessica Palmer is looking forward to.

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Otago appoints Acting Vice-Chancellor

Monday, 21 December 2020 3:17pm

Professor Helen Nicholson will take up the role of Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago in 2021.

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Okay, Boomer book gets into swing of 60s

Friday, 18 December 2020 4:03pm

A title referring to a recent intergenerational spat is entirely appropriate for Dr Ian Chapman’s new book Okay, Boomer, which delves into life in 1960s New Zealand.

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Vale Professor Jim Flynn

Friday, 18 December 2020 2:35pm

Professor James Flynn FRSNZ, a University of Otago academic renowned for his intelligent approach to research and teaching, and his internationally recognised work on race and IQ, died on 11 December, aged 86.

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Grad journey guided by te reo's transformative power

Friday, 18 December 2020 4:07pm

A strong belief in the transformative power of te reo Māori for all in Aotearoa New Zealanders has guided Education graduand Will Flavell’s professional and educational journey. 

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Survey first step for voter study 60 years on

Thursday, 17 December 2020 11:02am

Politics researhers need respondents for the 2020 General Election Survey and would like 600 people – 300 from the Taieri electorate and 300 from the Dunedin electorate – to answer a 44-question survey.

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Behind the scenes: graduand explores families on set

Tuesday, 15 December 2020 4:35pm

Graduand Helen Bollinger’s behind the scenes view of intergenerational film families in New Zealand cinema provided the inspiration for her Gender Studies master’s. 

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Otago announces 26 new Professors

Tuesday, 8 December 2020 10:06am

Twenty-six University of Otago academics have been promoted to the position of professor this year.

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Video: Professor Sonja Tiernan’s seminar for the Melbourne Irish Studies Seminar Series

Friday, 4 December 2020 12:49pm

Professor Sonja Tiernan’s seminar for the Melbourne Irish Studies Seminar Series Commemorating controversy: Women and the shaping of Modern Ireland is now available to watch online.

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Law alumnus Latu looks forward to lecturing

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 12:23pm

Otago alumnus Alex Latu sees his recent appointment lecturing in the Faculty of Law as a continuation of a “very rewarding journey.”  

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Outstanding supervision recognised at OUSA Supervisor of the Year

Monday, 23 November 2020 11:40am

Two Māori academics who have helped postgraduate students flourish in their studies have been awarded the top awards at the OUSA Supervisor of the Year.

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Marsden grant success for three Humanities projects

Friday, 20 November 2020 12:55am

Division of Humanities researchers  Professor Claire Freeman (Geography), Dr Erica Newman (Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies) and Dr Karen Greig (Archaeology) have secured Marsden funding for research projects.

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New honorary fellow to enhance museum/iwi ties

Wednesday, 18 November 2020 9:37am

The University of Otago’s Archaeology programme has appointed Dr Gerard O’Regan as Honorary Senior Research Fellow; a move it says will greatly benefit research relationships with the Otago Museum and Ngāi Tahu.

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Otago researchers secure $17.5m in Marsden funding

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 11:18am

University of Otago researchers have secured $17.5 million in Marsden funding for 30 world-class research projects.

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Otago researchers secure $17.5m in Marsden funding

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 10:26am

University of Otago researchers have secured $17.5 million in Marsden funding for 30 world-class research projects.

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Dunedin energy study shows worrying trends

Monday, 9 November 2020 4:37pm

More diesel use; less renewable energy; less energy efficiency; more carbon emissions – a new report from the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability identifies many worrying energy use trends in Dunedin.

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Professor Tiernan interviewed by Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies

Tuesday, 3 November 2020 12:35pm

Professor Tiernan inaugurates a new series for the Keough-Naughton Institute's website: Three Questions.

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Thirteen universities, 24 hours, one important election

Thursday, 29 October 2020 10:27am

During the Academic Live Review on Wednesday, 4 November, Otago students and academics will join counterparts from 13 universities worldwide tol debate and analyse events as they unfold in the US presidential election.

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Urgent need to decolonise urban planning: Otago researcher

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 10:02am

City planners need to embrace self-determination by Indigenous property developers and regard them as treaty partners with the authority to plan for themselves, an Otago researcher says.

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Otago announces 2021 Arts Fellows

Monday, 19 October 2020 10:16am

The University of Otgao's 2021 Arts Fellows continue a strong tradition of celebrating diversity and making culture accessible to many.

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University of Otago announces 2021 Arts Fellows

Friday, 16 October 2020 11:30am

Award-winning writers and artists tackling challenging social issues; composers creating soaring operas; dancers working with the community – the University of Otago’s 2021 Arts Fellows continue a strong tradition of celebrating diversity and making culture accessible to many.

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New Māori Theology lecturer excited about next steps

Thursday, 15 October 2020 1:39pm

New Māori Theology lecturer Reverend Wayne Te Kaawa is excited about his next steps at Otago

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Otago appoints new head of External Engagement

Wednesday, 14 October 2020 2:44pm

Leading historian Professor Tony Ballantyne, FRSNZ, has accepted a new role at the University of Otago as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement), effective from next year.

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Otago’s first female Vice-Chancellor to leave after a decade

Thursday, 8 October 2020 1:16pm

The University of Otago announced this afternoon that Professor Harlene Hayne is leaving her role as Vice-Chancellor in April 2021.  Professor Hayne has been appointed to the role of Vice-Chancellor at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

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Making a world of difference

Thursday, 1 October 2020 4:33pm

University of Otago academics and alumnae have been named as finalists in the Women of Influence awards.

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Otago experts analyse potential result of End of Life Choice referendum

Monday, 28 September 2020 10:12am

University of Otago researchers are providing a cautious prediction that the majority of voters will support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 in next month’s assisted dying referendum.

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Shakespeare dodged plague, pupils' festival beats Covid

Friday, 25 September 2020 10:48pm

Between 26 September and 6 October 49 talented pupils from around New Zealand will attend the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand National Shakespeare Schools Production (SGCNZ NSSP) in Dunedin to act, rehearse and learn.

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Law forums to tackle tricky referenda issues

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 10:46am

Two events hosted by the University of Otago Faculty of Law on 29 and 30 September are aimed at making the key issues behind next month’s assisted dying and cannabis referenda accessible to the public.

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Fulbright opens door for music composition graduate

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 8:39am

Last month Nathaniel Otley was awarded with a Fulbright General Graduate Award which he will take up at Eastman School of Music in Rochester.

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Read Our Words: new poster highlights anti-racist reading list for all

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 9:33am

An inter-disciplinary group of Māori academics from the University of Otago have released the Read Our Words poster to encourage the public to engage with “the voices and experiences of Māori to help create an anti-racist Aotearoa New Zealand.”

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Institute of Directors Emerging Director Award won by Law Dean 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 9:01am

Faculty of Law Dean Professor Jessica Palmer has been named the Otago Southland Branch Emerging Director for 2020. 

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Māori law lecturer joins Faculty of Law

Friday, 11 September 2020 9:30am

Mihiata Pirini (Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea) has recently been appointed as a Māori lecturer in the Faculty of Law.

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Otago research reveals pre-schoolers to be holistic city planners

Thursday, 10 September 2020 9:26am

New evidence shows pre-schoolers are some of the most intuitive city planners, yet their voices are largely disregarded in city design.

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History professor first NZ humanities academic to join prestigious Academia Europaea

Wednesday, 9 September 2020 11:40am

History Professor Takashi Shogimen has become the first New Zealand-based humanities scholar to be invited to join the prestigious Academia Europaea.

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Institute of Directors Emerging Director Award won by Faculty of Law Dean

Monday, 7 September 2020 11:52am

Faculty of Law Dean Professor Jessica Palmer has been named the Otago Southland Branch Emerging Director for 2020.

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Otago student wins National Kaupapa Māori Moot competition

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 7:35pm

“Court-ready” was the consensus among the judges of this year’s National Kaupapa Māori Moot competition, before declaring Faculty of Law student Jacobi Kohu-Morris national winner. 

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Political education leads to political ambitions for Otago graduate

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 9:17am

Robert Griffith thinks his time at Otago will make him a better politician in the long run.

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Changes to teaching needed to integrate Māori law into legal system

Thursday, 27 August 2020 4:59pm

Systemic change in the legal studies curriculum at our universities would be an important step towards integrating Māori law into Aotearoa New Zealand’s legal system, research released this week says.

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First creative writing PhD student graduates

Thursday, 27 August 2020 8:46am

Dr Cullinane’s creative-practice thesis explores the interplay between memory and setting in the short fiction of US-based Irish writer Colum McCann.

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App mapping Covid response takes top NASA award

Wednesday, 26 August 2020 5:29pm

University of Otago National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies PhD candidate Nick Tobia was part of a team that won this year’s NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge.

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Art reflects life for first creative writing PhD

Tuesday, 25 August 2020 5:06pm

Otago's first creative writing PhD Marjella Cullinane says her research and writing, often explore place, the experience of being an immigrant and the history of the Irish in New Zealand.

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Law PhD thesis emphasises children's voices in family disputes

Wednesday, 19 August 2020 4:02pm

Central-Otago barrister and mediator Deb Inder’s PhD on children’s participation in family court processes is aimed at improving legal policy and practice to ensure children have the opportunity to express their views in matters affecting them.

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Honorary Fellow furthers Pacific engagement

Monday, 17 August 2020 12:04pm

The University of Otago’s Theology programme is excited about its future relationship with recently appointed Honorary Fellow Emeritus Professor the Reverend Dr Uili Feleterika Nokise, and the opportunities it will create for further engagement with the Pacific community.

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Testing the metal: new chapter explores gender in Japanese music subcultures

Thursday, 13 August 2020 11:02am

A chapter on gender and musical subcultures in Japan by Media, Film and Communication lecturer Dr Rosemary Overell, recently published in the “The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture", looks beyond the extreme metal scene to consider dynamics in other genres, including reggae and hardcore punk.

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2020 Arts Fellows share creative insights

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 9:15pm

On 18 July the 2020 University of Otago Arts Fellows discussed their work with the public at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

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Otago academics doing their bit for the public good

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 3:22pm

Not one, but two Otago academics were celebrated when the Critic and Conscience of Society Awards were presented at the University Council Chamber last Friday night.

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Research team hopes Māori lives will be saved with new testing criteria for stomach cancer

Monday, 10 August 2020 11:01am

There are likely to be several hundred Māori unaware they are at high risk of an inherited form of stomach cancer and a New Zealand research team is hopeful updated international clinical practice guidelines they helped develop will encourage these people to be tested.

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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 4:41pm

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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In praise of crime fiction

Thursday, 30 July 2020 10:26am

An opinion article by former English student Jean Balchin celebrates ENGL243 Tartan Noir: Scottish Crime Fiction.

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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 3:12pm

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.