When possible, Te Tumu always likes to acknowledge our students’ completions of their PhDs with a morning or afternoon tea. Today was our opportunity to celebrate Raphael Richter-Gravier, who graduated last December. Given that his thesis investigated Polynesian bird narratives, it was fitting that Te Tumu gifted Raphael with a 2-dimensional metallic sculpture of a kārearea (NZ falcon). His supervisor, Professor Michael Reilly, spoke about what a wonderful doctoral student Raphael was, one whose writing was stimulating and thoughtful, and didn’t need too much revising. Raphael also noted that his friend, Manu Berry has created a number of woodcuts inspired by the bird narratives, which are currently on exhibition at PC Gallery in Port Chalmers. Raphael has been with Te Tumu for a number of years, as a student and tutor in Māori Studies. He seems to have a lot of activities on his plate at present (including teaching French), and we wish him well for the future.
This is perhaps the first time Te Tumu has featured in Spinoff, New Zealand’s pre-eminent online news service! Raphael Richter-Gravier recently completed a PhD thesis on bird narratives from Polynesia, that features in the article. Raphael was supervised by Professor Michael Reilly and Dr Michelle Schaaf from Te Tumu, and also by Professor Bruno Saura from the University of French Polynesia. Click here to access the Spinoff article on Raphael’s thesis. If you want to read the thesis, click here.