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Research in English

Our research explores the diversity of writing in English. Current themes include the literature and cultural history of New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Ireland; renaissance studies; genre studies; modernist studies; travel writing; medical humanities; pedagogy; and creative writing.

Catherine Chidgey is currently completing her sixth novel, Remote Sympathy. Like her award-winning The Wish Child, it is set in Nazi Germany. She translates children’s books from the German, and her own children's book, Jiffy, Cat Detective, will be released in November 2019. Catherine also conceived the Sargeson Prize – New Zealand’s richest short story prize. Awarded for the first time in 2019, it is sponsored by the University of Waikato.

Associate Professor Mark Houlahan has co-authored Antipodal Shakespeare: Remembering and Forgetting in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, 1916 (Bloomsbury, 2018). He is co-editing (with Aidan Norrie) a book on Renaissance Drama (New Directions in Early Modern Drama: Edges, Spaces, and Intersections) and is planning a book on iconic New Zealand theatre, tentatively called 10 Plays from the Edge of the World.

Dr Maebh Long’s research engages with modernists writings in Ireland and the Pacific. Her Collected Letters of Flann O’Brien (Dalkey Archive Press) was published in 2018, she co-edited New Oceania: Modernisms and Modernities in the Pacific (Routledge, 2019) with Dr Matthew Hayward, and is currently completing a co-authored book on modernism, education systems and Pacific literature with him. Her upcoming project focuses on discourses of immunity in the modernist period.

Associate Professor Kirstine Moffat’s current research continues to be preoccupied with nineteenth- and early twentieth-century New Zealand fiction, particularly the voices of women and the intersections between texts and conditions in which they are produced. Her latest research project extends her fascination with music and culture, exploring the performance history of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas in Australia and New Zealand from the first stagings in the 1870s to contemporary adaptations.

Associate Professor Sarah Shieff’s scholarly edition of Letters of Frank Sargeson (Random House, 2012) reveals one of New Zealand’s best-known authors in a completely new light. Her current project, Letters of Denis Glover (Otago University Press), will do the same for one of New Zealand’s best-loved poets. She is the New Zealand editor of Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature (MLA, 2017).

Tracey Slaughter's short fiction collection deleted scenes for lovers (2016) and poetry Conventional Weapons (2019) were published by Victoria University Press to critical acclaim. She is currently working on another collection of short stories, & a novella. She edits the literary journal Mayhem.

The English programme also hosts the University of Waikato’s annual Writer in Residence. Recent graduate research has covered death scenes in Shakespeare, science and religion in nineteenth century literature, literary detectives, writing by Maori, trauma narratives, and endings in long-form fiction.

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