Faculty of Arts - Department of Anthropology
Dr Phyllis Herda
BA (Arizona), MA (Auckland), PhD (ANU)
Department: Department of Anthropology,
Social Anthropolgy / women's studies: Polynesia, textiles, oral traditions as history, disease and colonialism, issues of gender, status and power.
Phyllis has trained in Anthropology and Pacific History. Her research and writing has focused on gender, politics and colonialism in the Polynesian past and present.
Phyllis is currently completing two research projects:
1) A Plague on Paradise: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in
This project is a study of the relationship between European colonialism and the spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic in western
2) The Creation of a New Tradition: Women’s Quilting in
This project explicates the social and aesthetic practices and values embodied in Polynesian quilting. It explores how patterns of exchange and kinship between island groups are and have been negotiated by women in the establishment of a quilting aesthetic as well as a diversely commodified art form. Research was undertaken at the American Museum in Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bowes Museum, Worthing Museum (United Kingdom) and the Shelburne Museum, New England Quilt Museum, Old Sturbridge Village, Museum of American Folk Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, DAR Museum, Bishop Museum, and Honolulu Academy of the Arts (United States). Fieldwork was undertaken in
Herda, P. In press. "The political aspects of marriage in traditional Tonga". In Tonga and the Tongans: Heritage and Identity, edited by E. Wood Ellem. Melbourne: Tongan Research Association.
———. 2007. "Hybrid identities and the transference of Hawaiian quilt imagery". Pacific Arts (NS) 3-5:37-45.
Addo, P., H. Young-Leslie, and P. Herda, eds. 2007. Hybrid Textiles: Pragmatic Creativity and Authentic Innovations in Pacific Cloth. Special Triple Issue of Pacific Arts, vol 3-5.
Herda, P. 2005. "Narratives of gender and pre-eminence: The Hikule’o myths of Tonga". In Vision and Reality in the Pacific Religion, edited by P. Herda, M. Reilly and D. Hilliard. Christchurch; Canberra: Macmillan Brown Centre; Pandanus Press.
Herda, P., M. Reilly, and D. Hilliard, eds. 2005. Vision and Reality in the Pacific Religion. Christchurch; Canberra: Macmillan Brown Centre; Pandanus Press.
Reilly, M., and P. Herda. 2005. "Vision and reality in Pacific religion: An introduction". In Vision and Reality in Pacific Religion, edited by P. Herda, M. Reilly and D. Hilliard. Christchurch and Canberra: Macmillan Brown Centre and Pandanus Press.
Herda, P. 2005. "Marriage, rank and political process in ancient Tonga". In A Polymath Anthropologist: Essays in Honour of Ann Chowning, RAL (Research in Anthropology and Linguistics) Monograph 6, edited by C. Gross, H. Lyons and D. Counts. Auckland: Department of Anthropology, The University of Auckland.
Recent conference presentations
Herda, P. 2007. "Malaspina in Vava’u’". Tonga: Its Land, Sea and People, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, July.
———. 2005. "Documenting historical New Zealand quilts". Southern Threads: Connecting Dress, Cloth and Culture, Otago Settler Museum, Dunedin, March.
———. 2005. "The political aspects of marriage in traditional Tonga". Tonga and the Tongans, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, July.