Dr Carolyn Michelle

Senior Lecturer, Convenor & Graduate Student Adviser (Women's & Gender Studies)

Qualifications: MSocSc, PhD Waikato

School of Social Sciences



Communication; Gender; Sociology; Violence; Women and Gender Studies

Gender and the new technologies of assisted reproduction, motherhood and family; popular culture; audience reception.

Research Interests

My current research interest is in the area of audience reception theory and research. I am presently leading a transnational comparative project exploring audience engagements with Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film trilogy. We have published our findings in several journal articles and conference papers to date, and have begun working on a book.

Previously, I have conducted research on gender and new technologies, particularly human assisted reproduction and emerging biogenetic technologies, co-constructions of gender and ethnicity in advertising, media representations of domestic violence (with C. Kay Weaver), and discursive constructions of ‘motherhood’ and ‘the family’.

Recent Publications

  • Schmidt, J., Michelle, C., & Simon-Kumar, R. (2016). Editorial: Women's Studies Journal. Women's Studies Journal, 30(2), 3-5.

  • Davis, C. H., Michelle, C., Hardy, A., & Hight, C. (2016). Making global audiences for a Hollywood ‘blockbuster’ feature film: Marketability, playability and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). Journal of Fandom Studies, 4(1), 105-125.

  • Michelle, C., Davis, C. H., Hardy, A. L., & Hight, C. (2015). Pleasure, disaffection, 'conversion' or rejection? The (limited) role of prefiguration in shaping audience engagement and response. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 18 pages. doi:10.1177/1367877915571407

  • Michelle, C., Davis, C. H., & Vladica, F. (2015). Understanding variation in audience engagement and response: An application of the composite model to receptions of Avatar. In Z. Vukanovic, J. B. Lesourd, & S. Wildman (Eds.), Consumption and Branding Value Networks in New Media Markets (Vol. 1, pp. 245-280). Mediaxxi-Formalpress.

View all research publications by Carolyn Michelle

Papers Taught


Recent PhD projects I have supervised:

- Susan Chapman, 'The Visual Representation of New Zealand Women Athletes in Print Media'
- Jane Cook, 'Sex, Metaphysics and Mental-ease'
- Kim Anh Duong, 'A feminist critical evaluation of the Vietnamese National Action Programme on Trafficking in Women'
- Ernesta Mosha, 'Discursive Constructions of Gender-Based Violence In Kiswahili Novels'
- Jane Wambui Njagi, 'Abortion Discourses And Politics In Kenya'
- Arezou Zalipour, 'The Cinema of Asian Diaspora in New Zealand'

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Michelle, Dr Carolyn 9364 caro K.2.05A Women's and Gender Studies Programme
Michelle, Dr Carolyn 9364 caro K.2.05A Sociology Programme