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News of the World: The Global Poetics of the Newspaper
A project supported by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Extended deadline for applications for PhD scholarship

The deadline for applications for the Marsden-funded PhD scholarship in Māori literature and the news has been extended to Friday, 12 July 2019. For details of this exciting opportunity, see here. Please direct any questions and inquiries to

PhD scholarship in Māori literature and the news: call for applications

Applications are invited for a Marsden-funded PhD scholarship in Māori literature and the news. We seek proposals for a project that explores the role of newspapers and other news media in the development of Māori literature in both te reo Māori and English.

We are interested in proposals for projects that address how Māori writing and literature (broadly defined) has been influenced by and responded to news media from the nineteenth-century niupepa Māori to digital media. Applicants should have a qualifying degree (e.g., an MA or BA honours) in a relevant discipline, such as English, history, Māori, or media studies, and a demonstrated ability to carry out independent research. Applicants with knowledge of te reo Māori me ngā tikanga Māori are especially encouraged. The successful applicant will ideally be based in Dunedin at least part of the three years of full-time study normally required for the PhD, though this residency requirement is negotiable.

The start date is also negotiable, but the successful applicant is expected to commence PhD study sometime within the next twelve months.

The scholarship includes a stipend of NZ$27,500 (not subject to tax) per year for three years plus tuition fees.

This PhD scholarship is supported by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand as part of the Marsden-funded research project “News of the World: The Global Poetics of the Newspaper.” For more on the background to and possible scope of work that might be supported by this scholarship and on the wider project of which it is a part, and for information on application requirements and contacts, see below.

Please note that, in addition to Lachy Paterson and Jacob Edmond, we anticipate appointing a third supervisor or advisor with particular background and expertise in an area of te ao Māori appropriate to the PhD project.

Background to and possible scope of proposals

In the nineteenth century, Māori newspapers, as key outlets for Māori writing, facilitated the development of new written genres out of traditional forms. As Lachy Paterson notes in Colonial Discourses, “many Māori [newspaper] correspondents treated the exercise [of letter writing] as if it were an extension of whaikōrero. The language employed had to fit the confines of a written letter, but was more oral than written in style.” Paterson cites, for example, a letter writer’s use of the “karanga” form “in response to the newspaper’s own metaphor of being welcomed onto a marae, as Te Manuhiri Tuarangi (a visitor from afar).” As this example illustrates, the modular structure of the newspaper arguably allowed for reader interaction and the incorporation of a wide variety of materials, including letters built around the call and response of whaikōrero. Māori genres were not out of place in the newspaper but were in fact well suited to the multiplicity of the newspaper form, which, like whaikōrero, incorporated poems and songs alongside political debate.

In the twentieth century, Māori periodicals continued to play a crucial role in the development of new forms of Māori literature, while waiata, haka, and other Māori forms and genres were frequently used and adapted to address the news of the day. Today Māori language and literature continue to evolve in response to and through online news and social media.

We invite proposals for PhD projects on any aspect of this rich history of mutually shaping interactions between Māori literature and the news.

News of the World: The Global Poetics of the Newspaper

This PhD scholarship is supported by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand as part of the Marsden-funded research project “News of the World: The Global Poetics of the Newspaper.” The “News of the World” project asks why our instant access to online news from around the world brings not global understanding but paralysing confusion. It addresses this question by pinpointing the origins of our confusion in the newspaper, the medium that first juxtaposed news from many places on a single page. By analysing literary works from around the world that respond to news media from the printed daily to the Facebook newsfeed, it seeks to understand how the collage-like structure of the news produces our experience of the world as both instantly accessible and overwhelmingly complex. The study interrogates literary responses to two key stages in this growing sense of global complexity: the information revolution of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the digital revolution of today. Literary responses to these revolutions illuminate the continuities and differences between how we first came to imagine the world through the patchworked form of the newspaper and how we imagine the world today through online newsfeeds. Without investigating this interrelationship between imaginative texts and news media, we cannot grasp how we have come to view the world as bewilderingly complex and how we might reform our view to address issues of global urgency.

Applications requirements

Applications must include the following:

  1. A brief research proposal (no more than two pages)
  2. A curriculum vitae
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. A writing sample (e.g., a published essay, an honours dissertation, or an MA thesis)

Applications should be sent electronically to the contacts below by Friday, 12 July 2019.

If you need more time to complete a full application, please send an email below indicating your interest on or before Friday, 12 July 2019.


Inquiries, expressions of interest, and applications should be directed to:

Associate Professor Jacob Edmond

English Programme, School of Arts


Professor Lachy Paterson

Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies