Skip to content

Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund

The Arts Digital Research Seed Fund was launched in 2023 to support researchers across the Faculty of Arts to develop research projects and build capacity in digital topics and research methods.

Successful projects receive support from the Arts Digital Lab in the form of:

  • Funding for 200 hours of research assistant time, which may be split between two students; 
  • Support to recruit a research assistant with relevant skills for the project; 
  • Training and mentoring of the research assistant(s); and 
  • Advice and opportunities to present or workshop ideas at Digital Humanities Research Network sessions. 

The Faculty of Arts is providing this funding to support research and build capacity in digital research topics and methods.

Congratulations to the 2024 recipients

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund.  The successful projects are:

  • Exploring the vā and lā of Aotearoa’s climate journalism
    Project Lead: Tara Ross (Journalism)
  • Tracking the Development of the Paipera Tapu through the 19th Century
    Project Leads: Forrest Panther (Linguistics) and Joshua Wilson-Black (NZILBB)
  • Criminalisation and Deportation of Pacific Peoples by New Zealand and Australia: Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of ‘Post-Pandemic’ Social Media
    Project Leads: Lin Mussell (Political Science & International Relations) and Josephine Varghese (Human Services)
  • The possibilities of Big Podcast Data
    Project Lead: Zita Joyce (Media & Communication)
  • Empowering Indigenous Narratives: An Exploration of Video Games for Historical and Cultural Education
    Project Lead: Chia-rong Wu (Chinese)

2023 Arts Digital Seed Fund Projects

Mapping Public Lectures and Debates in 19th Century Christchurch Through Digitised Historical Newspapers

Joshua Wilson Black
Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund Project 2023

This project maps public lectures and debates in 19th century Christchurch, by applying a variety of text analytic methods to historical newspaper advertisements to extract the ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘what’ of these events and produce a public facing interactive visualisation. Unlocking this information from historical newspapers will be a significant contribution to both New Zealand history and to the emerging field of experimental history of philosophy.

This project contributes to the ADL’s ongoing work on Papers Past newspaper content. The investigation of workflows for OCR improvement is particularly important for future work as OCR errors are a significant limit on the success of text analytic methods.  

2013-2023 Electoral Immigration Detention Discourse in Aotearoa, Australia, and the UK

Lin Mussell and Sian Troath
Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund Project 2023

Immigration detention is a contested topic mobilized during elections to shore up political support and votes. These discourses reveal assumptions, values, and norms on the part of politicians, bureaucrats, pundits, and community stakeholders about social risk and deservingness. These discourses have real world impacts through policy decisions and on the lived reality of migrants.

This research project is creating a corpus of immigration detention discourse, drawing on corpus-assisted discourse analysis techniques to comparatively analyse narratives about immigration detention, specifically risk and deservingness; track how such narratives are transferred across borders (policy learning); and pin-point how narratives are reflected in subsequent policy.

Image: Takver, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Taniwha: A Cultural History – Digital Corpus Analysis

Kirsty Dunn and Madi Williams
Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund Project 2023

This project asks “who” rather than “what” are taniwha?  To whom are they related and how? Are there connections between taniwha narratives? What kinds of knowledge are embedded in these narratives? And how might taniwha narratives help us to understand and navigate current conflicts and challenges that are present both here in Aotearoa and beyond? 

We are building and analysing a digital corpus to assess and address ways in which taniwha have been represented in pūrākau, literature, visual art, news media, and a range of digital and web-based source material.  

Exploring digital approaches to film studies at UC

Erin Harrington
Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund Project 2023

Over the last fifteen years, researchers in film studies and associated visual analysis fields have been exploring the use of digital and computational tools in novel ways. One strand of inquiry, based more in film and arts practice, is how the creation of videographic essays might be a form of research and meaning-making itself, as well as a mode of dissemination and a pedagogical approach. Another is how digital tools might open up new ways of thinking about film as object and artefact. Approaches are almost staggering in their diversity.

This scoping project thus aims to understand what digital approaches to film studies might look like at UC – practically, ethically, creatively. The aims of this research project are broad, and are intended as first steps towards a better understanding of this field in our context.

Image: Archives New Zealand, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Imperial reinforcements: MI7b propaganda in New Zealand and the Dominions during the First World War

David Monger
Faculty of Arts Digital Research Seed Fund Project 2023

During 1917 and 1918, a newly established branch of British military intelligence, MI7b, recruited a collection of more than 20 talented writers from the ranks of the army to write propaganda for circulation to newspapers in Britain and its imperial Dominions (Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa). Among the recruits were such prominent authors as the fantasy writers Lord Dunsany and H.R. Wakefield, the humourist J.B. Morton, the Irish author Patrick MacGill and the journalist and author A.J. Dawson, as well as the internationally-renowned post-war children’s author, A.A. Milne.

This project aims to expand the exploration of digital newspaper repositories, by seeking further pieces by Milne and other MI7b propagandists. The research will shine new light on Britain’s self-promotion to itself and its Dominions during the war, and increase knowledge of British propaganda activities in Aotearoa.


How to apply

Applications are welcome from researchers across the Faculty of Arts, including postdoctoral fellows and staff in non-continuing roles. Current ADL committee members may apply, but must recuse themselves from the selection process. 

Applications for the 2024 Arts Digital Seed Fund closed on 8 April 2024.

Complete the application form to outline the aim of the research, the digital research component, timeline and likely outcomes (e.g. publication, digital output, Marsden funding bid).