School of Language Arts and Media


SLAM Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate Study

We welcome applications from students wishing to complete an MA or PhD in Journalism, Literature, Linguistics or Applied Linguistics. The route to a research degree is generally through a taught Postgraduate Diploma in the relevant discipline. Please see the relevant pages for further details of the taught programmes offered in each discipline.

Thinking of applying to be a SLAM research student?

  • Contact a SLAM staff member in the relevant discipline in the first instance, to discuss your interests and check whether you are eligible.
  • Through informal discussions with a potential supervisor (usually involving at least one face-to-face or skype meeting), you will shape your ideas into a research intent.
  • Submit a completed application form for admission (postgraduate), which includes your research intent, along with a CV, transcripts and other important documents. Please check that you enclose all the necessary documents when applying. Further details are available on the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) research pages.

Information for Current Research Students

  • SLAM research students work with a principal supervisor, and often one or more secondary or associate supervisors. Your supervisor should be your first port of call with questions regarding your studies.
  • The Chair of the SLAM research committee (currently Dr Fiona Willans) is also available to help with general queries regarding application, enrolment and progress.
  • SLAM researchers are all based within the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE). Detailed information, including the forms that you need to complete at various stages of the journey can be downloaded from the FALE research pages. FALE also organises a number of events throughout the year for its research students, so keep an eye out for information.
  • For general administrative queries, you may also sometimes need to contact the Administrative Assistant for either SLAM (Mrs Antoinette Parker) or FALE (Mr Anilesh Singh).

Student Profiles

Student Profiles

Wilfred Fimone is working on a Master’s in variationist sociolinguistics. He is examining three potential sociolinguistic variables in Rotuman: Ɂ-deletion, indefinite article and post-verbal negative clitic, with reference to the social independent variables of style, age, gender, education and geography.  The thesis aims to ascertain the social and linguistic constraints of the investigated variables, and whether they are indeed sociolinguistic in nature. Wilfred currently works as a Graduate Assistant for SLAM, where he helps assess and tutor English and linguistics courses.  

Lose V. Jenner-Helu is working on her MA Linguistics thesis: Talanoa ki ‘Uvea (History of ‘Uvea): Translations and Commentary. Talanoa ki ‘Uvea (TkU) is the history of ‘Uvea (Wallis Island) dating from 1150 – 1958.  TkU can be viewed as the product of an oral storytelling tradition.  ‘Uvea lacked a writing system until the nineteenth century when pālagi people brought their orthography and religion to the island.  Like other peoples without writing, the pre-contact ‘Uveans relied on “storytelling” to preserve and transmit their culture and traditions. By translating the ‘Uvean text into Tongan (and English), Lose is learning more about Tonga’s language and history, and is examining evidence about the history of Tonga through linguistic analysis. Lose is Tongan and grew up in Tonga, where she had her former years of schooling before going to NZ for higher education.  In recent years, she has returned to teach Tongan at ‘Atenisi University. 

Jenny Bennett-Tu’i’onetoa is investigating representations of violence in the literature of the South Pacific region for her MA Literature, with special focus on the work of authors from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. The study - Ataata o Sauaga - will analyze the textual representations of structural-cultural, institutional and individual violence with particular attention to violence against women and children. The relationships between the different levels of violence within the texts will be explored and the study will also examine the representations and function of symbolic violence in the literature of the South Pacific. Jenny completed her BA from USP in 2013 and taught for the College of Foundation studies at Alafua Campus from 2014 to 2016. She is also a writer and has published creative works.

Prashneel Goundar is investigating language policies in pluralistic Fiji for his PhD thesis in Linguistics. The study looks into the context in which a language policy is expected to be implemented, starting from the awareness that Fiji faces a number of language issues. Prashneel is currently a lecturer in Language at FNU, and has published a number of research papers, including his MA thesis on EFL vocabulary learning strategies. He has taught students from 19 different countries from all over the world, and has also travelled to New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea and China.

Shaleshni Prasad, enrolled on an MA in Linguistics, is investigating the role of oral speaking skills within the learning of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The research involves an experimental case study design with a cohort of UU114 students at Lautoka Campus, examining whether EAP teaching can be enhanced through the addition of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) activities to the regular curriculum. Shaleshni has been teaching for eight years, including EAP at USP and the University of Fiji, English as a second/foreign language in New Caledonia, and French as a foreign language at the University of Fiji.

Carmalita Dorell Ben Patel is analysing the tattoo as a sign within the Oceanic Region. The thesis focuses on the cultural value of the tattoo and its various representations in three different phases of Oceania: the Pre-Colonial, Colonial, and Post-Colonial. Such representations come in the forms of tattoo cosmology and mythology, the texts of explorers and sailors and their accounts of the tattoo (or rather the tattooed body), the display of the tattoo as a commodity, the use of it within the colonial narratives surrounding Oceania, and finally, the re-representation of the tattoo by Oceanic authors. Carmalita has completed her BA from USP, and is currently a Teaching Assistant in SLAM.

Sherita Sharma Sherita Sharma is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Pacific Media Studies programme. She is conducting her research on the effect of the 2010 Fiji Media Industry Development Decree on journalism in Fiji.

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School of Language Arts and Media (SLAM)
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji,
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