Associate Professor Sarah Shieff

Sarah Shieff

Convenor of Writing Studies

Qualifications: MA, PhD Auckland

About Sarah

Sarah's main teaching  and research areas are New Zealand literature and cultural history, food writing, the literature of trauma and Gothic fiction. She is the convenor of the University of Waikato's Writing Studies programme, and edited the Journal of New Zealand Literature, 2005-15.

Sarah is the editor of Letters of Denis Glover (University of Otago Press, 2020) and Letters of Frank Sargeson (Vintage, 2012). In 2019 the Friends of the Turnbull Library awarded her their centennial grant to support her research on a scholarly edition of the letters of Allen Curnow.


New Zealand literature and cultural history; food writing; the literature of trauma; scholarly editing.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

Recent and Current Graduate Supervision areas include:

  • The language of sexual hygiene in World War I
  • Representing chronic invisible pain: a challenge for fiction
  • Contemporary biographical verse in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Hypermasculinity in transgressive fiction
  • Food in British writing in the years of austerity, 1939-54
  • Re-framing the Waikato: the colonial photographic and cartographic archive
  • Modes of sacrifice in fantasy fiction
  • An Inclusive dramaturgical kaupapa for Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Female Werewolves
  • Fin-de-sicle detective fiction, surveillance and the invention of the homosexual
  • Reading the Aging Woman: The Crone in Fiction
  • Philip Roth's 'Zukerman' novels

Supervision Interests

New Zealand literature and cultural history; food writing; contemporary Jewish writing; trauma studies; gothic fiction.

Recent Publications

  • King, R., Morris, P., Shieff, S., & Temple, P. (2021). ANZL Round Table: Literary Legacies. Retrieved from

  • Shieff, S. (2021). Working with letters. The Turnbull Library Record, 53, 8-23.

  • Shieff, S. (2020). Denis Glover's life in letters: Sarah Shieff. In National Radio Saturday Morning programme, 12 December 2020. Retrieved from

  • Shieff, S. (2020). Denis Glover and Allen Curnow: A friendship in letters. In Public Lecture at the National Library of New Zealand, Molesworth St, Wellington.

Find more research publications by Sarah Shieff


New Zealand writing and New Zealand music history; the Gothic in film and fiction.