Students who are interested doing a postgraduate qualification in the field of South Asia and have completed a minor in South Asia Studies or have been awarded a BA or MA in a discipline relevant to this field are invited to apply within the programmes that have academic staff with South Asia expertise. Academics with South Asia expertise at UC are listed on the NZSAC website.

New Zealand South Asia Centre/Macmillan Brown Centre University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Joint Workshop Health, Labour and Migration in the 19-20 th century South Pacific

Date: 5 June 2014
Location: Room 208, Macmillan Brown Centre, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ.

From the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century the high price of sugar drove the expansion of plantation agriculture into the Australian Tropical north and the West coast of Viti Levu, Fiji. The Colonial Sugar Refinery dominated the manufacture of sugar and the management of labour in the Pacific region, supporting colonialism in Fiji with revenue flow, management of immigration and control of labour.

This workshop focuses on issues of labour, health and citizenship in the South Pacific region. Existing research into the experience of Indian indentured labour migration to plantations on the Pacific island of Fiji has discussed morbidity and mortality on the sea voyages from Indian ports to the Fijian plantations. There has also been some investigation of the causes of death on plantations. However there is no systematic analysis of health and disability as aspects of plantation experience and of disease as a factor in discourses of exclusion within the plantation communities themselves. Similarly research into the movement of Pacific laborers to the sugar plantations of Australia has tended to neglect health and stigmatization of disease as elements in both the well-being of plantation workers and in the configuration of their exclusion from Australian society. This workshop brings a medical history perspective to the Pacific experience of labour migration. It encourages exploration of health and disability as aspects of indentured and laboring experience and argues that disease, particularly stigmatizing diseases such as leprosy, contributed to the marking of labouring populations as excluded from community and citizenship both within plantations and in the emerging political cultures of Australia and Fiji.

The core papers presented will situate the history of migration and labour in the South Pacific within the broader perspective of indenture and plantation history. Other papers will then take up moments in the history of Indian and Pacific labourers’ experience to explore the interconnections of health migration and labour in the formation of new communities in new lands.

Publication of selected workshop papers as an edited book or special issue is planned.

Papers are invited relating to the themes

  • A new type of slavery? Plantation labour in global perspective
  • Identity and citizenship
  • Migration and community in the South Pacific
  • Health, indenture and identity in the South Pacific
  • Gender, health and labour migration in the South Pacific

Post-Graduate students are particularly encouraged to contribute.

Confirmed participants include

  • Professor Brij Lal, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra
  • Dr Rajsekhar Basu, History, University of Kolkatta, Kolkatta
  • Dr Jo Robertson, University of Queensland, Brisbane
  • Professor Biswamoy Patti, Associate Professor, History, University of Delhi, New Delhi
  • Katherine Foi, MA, History, University of the South Pacific, Suva
  • Dr Jane Buckingham, History and New Zealand South Asia Centre, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
  • Dr Gwen Parsons, History, University of Canterbury, Christchurch

Scholars interested in contributing to the workshop and/or a future publication, please send a 200 word abstract and short CV by 28 May 2014 to Jane Buckingham:

Jane Buckingham
History Department
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand

An international project on the history of mathematical sciences in Sanskrit sources has been awarded a ve-year grant from New Zealand's funds for research excellence, the Rutherford Discovery Fellows, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The 5-year project is entitled \New perspectives on the history of the exact sciences in second millennium Sanskrit sources".

As part of the activities of this project, the investigators are offering a PhD scholarship jointly with the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) in Chennai, India. The scholarship will provide an annual living allowance/stipend of NZ$25,000 and full tuition costs while in New Zealand and an allowance in Indian Rupees commensurate with living expenses while resident in India. It is tenable for study towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the appropriate department or program on the topic of the history of mathematical sciences, at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The awardee will research and write a PhD thesis under a supervisory committee including the Principal Investigator, Dr Clemency Montelle, Associate Investigator, Dr Kim Plofker, and, where appropriate, scholars at associated institution(s). The thesis topic will relate to the project goals, e.g., a critical edition with translation and commentary of a previously unpublished text on Sanskrit computational astronomy. Approximately one-third of the study and research for the thesis will be carried out under the auspices of CMI, based on materials and training at CMI and/or neighbouring institutions.

The successful applicant will meet the following criteria at the time of appointment

  • sufficient knowledge of and interest in some combination of relevant elds of study, within history of the mathematical sciences and/or Indology, to design and complete under the supervisor's guidance a doctoral thesis relating to the project's objectives;
  • ability to enroll for a three-year PhD programme at the University of Canterbury.

With the approval of the Principal Investigator, this position may be held concurrently with any other scholarship, award, or bursary, excluding any such award requiring teaching or other duties separate from this project. For further details, please consult the UC doctoral regulations.

How to Apply

Inquiries about the terms and scope of this scholarship are encouraged. Please contact us through the addresses given below.

To apply, please send a cover letter brie y describing your relevant background and interests, a recent academic curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of two references.

Applications (PDF format preferable) should be sent by 14 July 2014 to be considered for enrollment beginning in early 2015.

Dr Clemency Montelle (Principal Investigator)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand

Dr Kim Plofker (Associate Investigator)
Department of Mathematics 
Union College 
Schenectady NY 12308, USA

at Chennai Mathematical Institute, India during the CMI History of Mathematics Season (17 November to 14 December 2014)

The History of Astronomical and Mathematical Sciences in India (HAMSI) Working Group is dedicated to fostering and disseminating research in the history of Indian exact sciences (including astronomy, mathematics, and related subjects), and integrating it into the history of mathematics in general. Such research includes not only investigations of primary sources, such as editions, translations and/or technical commentaries of important works, but also surveys and thematic investigations (on subjects such as history of trigonometry or geocentric astronomy, for instance), overviews intended for nonspecialist and student audiences, and historiographical reviews. HAMSI is supported by a five-year grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand and is coordinated by its founding members Dr Clemency Montelle (School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and Prof Kim Plofker (Department of Mathematics, Union College, NY, USA).

To this end, HAMSI announces three research fellowships for visiting international scholars during the annual history of mathematics season at Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), Chennai, India, 17 November to 14 December 2014. CMI is a center of excellence for teaching and research in the mathematical sciences and is funded by both private and government sources with strong national and international scholarly networks.

These fellowships are intended to support international researchers in the history of mathematical sciences who seek to increase their acquaintance with Indian developments in this field and their relation to scientific traditions elsewhere. Applicants’ proposed plans of scholarship and/or study during the fellowship period must have some connection to the history of mathematical and/or astral sciences in India during any time period over the last two millennia. Researchers may come from any discipline: e.g., history, mathematics, history of mathematics, mathematics education, philosophy, history of science.

The fundamental goal is to encourage researchers, primarily non-Indologists, to develop greater familiarity with Indic scientific traditions and help integrate new research about them into the study and teaching of history of mathematical/astral sciences in general outside India. Possible projects along these lines could include, but are not limited to, the following: a chapter on Indian mathematics as part of a general history of mathematics textbook; an article on the historical development of a particular mathematical technique or concept which includes a strong Indian component; examining the work of a particular Indian author in translation; acquiring some knowledge of Indic languages and/or scripts for the purpose of studying Indian exact sciences.

The history of mathematics season will include lectures, seminars and minicourses with visiting scholars and students and will culminate in a conference with broader participation from historians of mathematics at other institutions in India and overseas. Drs Montelle and Plofker will be in residence at CMI during the fellowship period, and other faculty at CMI and other local libraries and research centers will also be at hand for guidance and advice.

During their fellowship period, researchers will

  • carry out their proposed research plan
  • give one 50min specialist seminar and/or run a short workshop for CMI students and faculty on any topic within history of mathematics
  • take part in a day-long workshop and the end-of-season conference

Applications consisting of a one-page plan of proposed research and an academic CV should be sent in English to Dr Clemency Montelle by email ( by Monday, 30 June 2014.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us (, Kim Plofker ( with any questions.

Two places for New Zealand students are available to study in India under the Commonwealth Scholarships scheme. Applications are due by 10 March 2012. The application form can be downloaded from the ICCR India website (PDF). Further information about the scholarships can be found here.

Scholarships website

University of Canterbury scholarship information.

International students

  • Apply for admission
    Before going further with your inquiry, please contact the University admissions office to apply for admission. Approval of admission is required before you can enrol in our programme.
  • Scholarship Opportunities for International Students
    Information for international undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • New Zealand Development Scholarships (nzaid website)
    The New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) scheme offers the opportunity to people from selected developing countries to undertake development-related studies in New Zealand.