Dr Tom Ryan

Qualifications: MA(Hons) PhD Auckland DEA EHESS Paris

([email protected])


Historical anthropology; cultural studies; mining and indigenous peoples; mythologies; work; Niue; Pacific Islands; Australia.

Research Interests

Current Research Projects

  • Imaginaries of New Zealand Nationhood. The working title for a book applying anthropological analysis to large-scale multi-cultural society; to be submitted to an academic publisher in late 2016.
  • 'Manners and Customs of the First "Australians": The Fantastic Anthropology of Gabriel de Foigny, 1676'.  Invited seminar to be given at Université d'Aix-Marseilles, Jan 2016, then submitted to an academic journal.

Featured Publications

  • 2016. 'Hiapo Faka-Niue: A Genealogy of Barkcloth on Niue', in Tapa: Southeast Asia to Eastern Polynesia, Michel Charleux (ed). Aux Vent des Îsles, Papaeete/Paris. [In press]
  • 2015.'Review of M. Pointer, Niue 1774-1974: 200 Years of Contact and Change'. J. Pacific History. [In press].
  • 2015. 'A Long Comment on John Robinson's 'Control by Paradigm''. Academic Freedom Aotearoa, 26 February.
  • 2015. 'Academic Freedom and the Proposed Changes to University Council Membership', with Craig Marshall. Academic Freedom Aotearoa, 16 February.
  • 2014. 'Island That Stands Alone: Social Transformation on Niue'. Invited presentation to First Conference of Pacific Islands Research Network (PIURN), Université de Nouvelle-Caledonie, Nouméa, 6 November.

Recent Publications

  • Ryan, T. F. (2017). Hiapo: A Genealogy of Barkcloth on Niue. In Tapa: de 'l'Encorce a l'Etoffe, Art Millenaire de l'Oceanie: From Tree Bark to Cloth: An Ancient Art of Oceania. (pp. 236-245). Paris, France: Somogy Editions d'Art.

  • Ryan, T. (2017). Ngā Haki: Flags and flagpoles as symbols of mana Māori. In 11th Conference of the European Society for Oceanists (ESFO). Conference held in Munich, Germany.

  • Ryan, T. (2017). How the Tiki torch was co-opted by white supremacists'. Retrieved from

  • Ryan, T. F. (2017). Coveting and despising: 'South of Asia' versus 'Many Islands': Australia and New Zealands' contrasting cultures of colonisalism. In S. A. Wardi, J. -M. Regnault, & J. -F. Sabouret (Eds.), L'océanie convoitée: Actes des colloques (French Edition) (pp. 26-27). 'Api Tahiti, Papeete.

View all research publications by Tom Ryan

Papers Taught


Anne Eddy, Te Hemara Tauhia and Martin Krippner: Cross-Cultural Biographies. [chief].
Mandy Shaver, Art and the Aesthetic at a Tattoo Studio in Hamilton, New Zealand. [chief].
Isa Ritchie, Free Lunch: Food Sovereignty in Whaingaroa/Raglan.
Estelle Townsend, Brand Qatar: Competing Interests in Qatari Foreign Policy.
Elizabeth Pascal, Pots and People in Espiritu Santo: Traditional Pottery-Making in Vanuatu. [chief].
Saburo Omura, The Treaty of Waitangi and Asian Immigrants in Aotearoa. 2014.
Vince Malcolm-Buchanan, A Genealogical Ethnography of Tangihanga: Our Taonga, Our Stories. 2014.
Caroline Thomas, The Sorcerer's Apprentice: A Life of Reo Franklin Fortune, Anthropologist. 2010. [chief].
Des Tatana Kahotea, Rebel Discourses: Colonial Violence, Pai Marire Resistance, and Land. 2005. [chief].
Susan Sayer, The Postcolonial Lesbian Text: Readings of Four Novels by Renee. 1998. [chief].

Associations and Memberships

  • Tertiary Education Union (NZ): Inaugural President (Wellington-based), 2009-10 Life Member, 2014.
  • Fulbright NZ: Visiting Fellow, Georgetown University, 2007; Member of National Selection Panels, 2008-10.
  • Association of University Staff (NZ): Board Member, 2003-04, Academic Vice-President, 2005-06.