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Craig Alan   Volker

Adjunct Professor
The Cairns Institute and the College of Arts, Society and Education
James Cook University (Australia)
I speak in the following language(s): English, Tok Pisin, German, Nalik, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Spanish, Indonesian, Esperanto

Craig Alan Volker is a linguist with research interests in the pidgin-creole and indigenous languages of Papua New Guinea, especially the Bismarck Archipelago. Currently an Adjunct Professor in The Cairns Institute of James Cook University, he was formerly Professor of Languages at Gifu Shōtoku Gakuen University in Japan and Professor of Linguistic Research at Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea. He has also taught at Goroka Teachers College (now the University of Goroka) in Papua New Guinea, at high schools in Papua New Guinea and Australia, and as a visiting professor at universities in Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. His doctoral dissertation at the University of Hawai'i about the Nalik language of New Ireland and his master’s thesis at the University of Queensland about Unserdeutsch (Rabaul Creole German) were the first linguistic descriptions of those languages. He has since written extensively about Nalik and Tok Pisin, is particularly interested in their use in modern media, and was the editor of the Oxford University Press Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin English Dictionary. He is also interested in the teaching of Tok Pisin as a foreign language. He divides his time between his homes in Portugal and New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, where he is a Wangpaang (Associate Talking Chief) of the Sea Eagle Clan.
Geographic administrative areas
Papua New Guinea
New Ireland (Papua New Guinea)
East New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
Geographic places
Papua New Guinea
New Ireland province
East New Britain province
Historical periods
The Colonial time
20th century
21st century
Indigenous languages
Tok Pisin, Nalik
Download the CV
  • Masters Research (1979 to 1983)
    Master of Literary Studies — University of Queensland, Australia
    Thesis: An Introduction to Rabaul Creole German (Unserdeutsch)
    Fieldwork in East New Britain
  • Teaching Experiences (1980 to 1986)
    English teacher, — Aiyura and Passam National High Schools, Papua New Guinea
    English teacher at boarding school
  • PhD Research (1987 to 1994)
    PhD student — University of Hawai’i
    Dissertation: Nalik Grammar (New Ireland, Papua New Guinea)
    Fieldwork in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea
  • Academic Position (1989 to 1991)
    Senior Lecturer, Dept of Language and Literature — Goroka Teachers College, University of Papua New Guinea
    Taught classes in English, and drama and supervised student training practica
  • Academic Position (1991 to 2012)
    Professor — Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University, Japan
    Faculty of Foreign Languages
    Linguistic research and classes in South Pacific Studies and intercultural communication. Supervised students’ study trips to Papua New Guinea and Australia
  • Collaborative Project (2009)
    Unserdeutsch— a documentary South Seas Fairytale — KUNST-SToFF and Goethe Institute, Germany
    Linguistic advisor to a dramatic production that was performed at the Languages Without Borders Festival in Berlin and elsewhere in northern Germany and Netherlands
  • Academic Position (2010 to Now)
    Adjunct professor — James Cook University, Australia
    The Cairns Institute
  • Academic Position (2013 to 2015)
    Professor of Linguistic Research — Divine Word University, Papua New Guinea
    Linguistic research
  • (2015 to 2017)
    Tok Pisin and South Pacific sociolinguistics — Faculty of Languages and Literature, University of Bremen, Germany
    Taught intensive Tok Pisin courses and seminars in South Pacific sociolinguistics over three separate sessions
  • Collaborative Project (2015)
    The Tale of the Coconut — Filmgestalten Berlin, Germany
    Linguistic and cultural advisor to the making of the first children’s movie in a Papua New Guinea indigenous language
  • Consulting Work (2017 to Now)
    Director (Linguistics) — Education Projects International, Kalispell, Montana, USA
    New Ireland school textbooks
  • Academic Position (2017 to 2018)
    Jakob Fugger Visiting Professor — University of Augsburg, Germany
    Taught Tok Pisin class, seminar in the German language outside Europe, language policy seminar, and engaged in collaborative research into Unserdeutsch (Rabaul Creole German)
  • (2017)
    Intensive Tok Pisin — Ludwig Maximilian University Munich and Fünf Kontinente Museum, Munich, Germany
    Intensive Tok Pisin course in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Academic Position (2020 to 2022)
    Visiting Professor — Faculty of Letters, Kansai University, Japan
    Taught classes in language policy and conducted collaborative research on the translation of Bahā’ī Scripture into Tok Pisin and Japanese
  • Teaching Experiences (2020)
    Visiting professor — Dept of English, University of Bern, Switzerland
    Intensive Tok Pisin course
  • Field Research (2022)
    Skulls from New Ireland in Übersee Museum Bremen, Germany — Übersee Museum Bremen
    Provenance research in Papua New Guinea of decorated skulls at the Übersee Museum in Bremen, Germany
  • Collaborative Project (2023)
    Neumecklenburg — Übersee Museum Bremen, Germany
    Ethnographic collections from the German Colonial period in “Neumecklenburg”, a collaborative project between New Ireland and the Übersee Museum, Bremen, Germany
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