Associate Professor Alice A Te Punga Somerville

Iwi: Te Ātiawa, Taranaki

Qualifications: PhD (Cornell), MA (Auck)

[email protected]

Associate Professor / Manukura

Research Interests

Māori, Pacific and Indigenous literary and cultural studies. Pacific studies. Indigenous studies.


At its heart, Alice's research is about texts by Māori, Pacific and Indigenous people. Dr Te Punga Somerville's work is underpinned by her belief that we (Māori, Pacific and/ or Indigenous peoples) are constrained when the stories about us are limited. She therefore focus on texts as evidence, sites and foundations of stories that are far more complex than those that are told about us by other people or even those that are generally told by ourselves.

Dr Te Punga Somerville's MA and PhD focused on Māori written literatures, and as she deliberately sought broader contexts for exploring this writing she developed a twin interest and expertise in Indigenous studies and Pacific studies. She also writes the occasional poem.


English; Indigenous Rights; Maori; Maori History; Maori Identity; Maori Research; Pacific Issues

Indigenous studies, Pacific literary and cultural studies, Comparative Indigenous studies, Indigenous (esp Māori) diasporas

Recent Publications

  • Te Punga Somerville, A. (2019). ‘[Modernism] in Māori life’: Te Ao Hou. In M. Long, & M. Hayward (Eds.), New Oceania. Modernisms and Modernities in the Pacific. Routledge.

  • Te Punga Somerville, A. (2019). Two hundred and fifty ways to start an essay about Captain Cook. New Zealand Journal of History, 53(1), 3-49.

  • Te Punga Somerville, A. (2018). Inside us the unborn: Genealogies, futures, metaphors, and the opposite of zombies. In W. Anderson, M. Johnson, & B. Brookes (Eds.), Pacific Futures: Past and Present (pp. 69-80). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. Retrieved from

  • Te Punga Somerville, A. (2018). Searching for the Trans-Indigenous. [Review of Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies by Chadwick Allen]. Verge: Studies in Global Asias, 4, 96-105.

Find more research publications by Alice Te Punga Somerville