Public Lecture—Sarah Ross on Elegy in Print: King Charles I in the Emmerson Collection


Wednesday, September 13th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Public Lecture—Sarah Ross on Elegy in Print: King Charles I in the Emmerson Collection

Image of title-page opening of Monumentum RegaleThe Centre for the Book is pleased to welcome Professor Sarah Ross of Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington to speak on “Monumentum Regale: King Charles I in the John Emmerson Collection, State Library Victoria, Melbourne.”  Her lecture will be held Wednesday, 11 October, at 5:30 pm in Archway 2, or online via Zoom (register your email here and we’ll send you the link on the day).

In 2015, State Library Victoria, Melbourne, received an extraordinary bequest of early modern books, over 5000 volumes amassed by John Emmerson, QC, during a lifetime of collecting. The third largest deposit of early modern books in the world (after those in the British and Bodleian libraries), the Emmerson collection centres on material relating to the execution of King Charles I in 1649, the defining moment of the English revolution. This presentation focuses on elegies for the king in the Emmerson collection, exploring the relationship between icon, body, and text; the figuration of poetry and the book as tombs for the king; the reassemblage of the king in Emmerson’s volumes; and Emmerson’s collecting practice as an inherently elegiac activity. The talk showcases images from the recently launched exhibition, Beyond the Book: A digital journey through the treasures of the Emmerson Collection:


Sarah C. E. Ross is Professor of English at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington. She has published widely on seventeenth-century poetry, politics, women’s writing, and manuscript and print culture. Her most recent publications include Early Modern Women’s Complaint: Gender, Form, and Politics (2020), The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Women’s Writing in English, 1540-1700 (2022), and the digital exhibition, Beyond the Book (2023).

Reading Allowed–Wed. 13 Sept at 5:30 at the central Dunedin Public Library

Friday, September 8th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Reading Allowed–Wed. 13 Sept at 5:30 at the central Dunedin Public Library

The tireless duo of Paul Tankard and Lorraine Johnston will be reading from two very engaging works next week: Lorraine will be reading from Patricia Grace’s classic kiwi novel Potiki (1987), and Paul will be reading a short story by Dorothy L. Sayers.

As Paul exhorts, “Spread the word — literature needs reading!  And we need to read it!  Books have voices that need to be herad!  Help literature escape from the shrinking academy!  Don’t leave reading to Chat GPT!”

Plus it’s fun.  So do join the session if you are able.

A Potential Prelude to the 2023 Symposium

Thursday, August 17th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on A Potential Prelude to the 2023 Symposium

Anyone interested in books and resistance is invited to join a webinar hosted by the Bibliographical Society of America on September 12, 2023 at 6:30 PM (EST) [10:30 AM on Wednesday 13 September NZ time] for a public lecture by Tara Bynum on Black Reading in Early America.  You can register for the talk here (

Here is Professor Bynum’s abstract for her lecture:
“In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter.

A daring assertion of Black people’s humanity, Reading Pleasures reveals how four Black writers experienced positive feelings and analyzes the ways these emotions served creative, political, and racialized ends.

Tara A. Bynum is an Assistant Professor of English & African American Studies at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America.

A Chance to Learn More about Shoults

Sunday, August 13th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on A Chance to Learn More about Shoults

Join the Theology Programme seminar on Friday, 25 August at 4.00pm in Burns 4 of the Arts Building as they welcome Dr. Donald Kerr speaking on “The Rev. William Arderne Shoults: His Life and Legacy.”

The Shoults Collection has been in Dunedin since 1893, firstly at Selwyn College and then at Special Collections, University of Otago. This collection of some 5600 books and manuscripts contains medieval manuscripts, incunables, books on ecclesiastical history and primitive church rites and rituals, philology, bibliography, science, travel, and Arabic and Persian texts. Very little is known about the collector the Rev. William Arderne Shoults (1839-1887). He did not come to New Zealand; his library arrived here through the visionary initiative of Samuel Nevill, first bishop of Dunedin.  This talk will cover Shoults’s life at college (St. John’s, Cambridge), his work in ritualistic parishes of London, his association with the Rev. Joseph Leycester Lyne (1837–1908), the controversial, enthusiastic, revivalist known as ‘Father Ignatius’, and the Shoults Collection itself. The survival of the collection is remarkable as a fine example of what a nineteenth-century curate and book collector could achieve.

Small Press Fest, 18–20 Aug. 2023

Friday, August 4th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Small Press Fest, 18–20 Aug. 2023


18–20 August 2023 at Evening Books/Yours, 43 Moray Place

Small Press Fest is bringing together small presses and independent publishers from across the motu to Ōtepoti for three days of celebrations, workshops, talks, readings, and panel discussions.

Katie Kerr from GLORIA (Tāmaki Makaurau), Brannavan Gnanalingam from Lawrence and Gibson (Pōneke), Dunedin Youth Writers (Ōtepoti), Sasha, Achille and Renae from 5ever Press (Pōneke), Chris Holdaway from Compound Press (Tāmaki Makaurau), Rosa, Sam and Flynn from Newzician Magazine (Ōtepoti, Ōtautahi), Jennifer and Aidan from Rat World Magazine (Tāmaki Makaurau), Gilbert from Point Design (Ōtepoti), Blue Oyster Project Space (Ōtepoti), Gabi Lardies an independent book designer & writer / editor (Tāmaki Makaurau), and Val and Clare from Left of the Equator (Pōneke).

See the full Programme here: Small Press Fest • Ōtepoti • 18-20 August 2023 (

Reading Allowed–9 August–Chaucer and Stevenson

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Reading Allowed–9 August–Chaucer and Stevenson

The next session of Reading Allowed is NEXT Wednesday – August the 9th at the ground floor Cube area at 5.30pm

Come along to hear from a really old  and funny story by Chaucer, “The Miller’s Tale,” and from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, read aloud by Dr. Paul Tankard and Lorraine Johnston.

2023 Dalziel Lecture, “Laughter is From Mars: Science Fiction in the Anthropocene”

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on 2023 Dalziel Lecture, “Laughter is From Mars: Science Fiction in the Anthropocene”

The Centre for the Book is pleased to share the news about this year’s Margaret Dalziel lecture, “Laughter is From Mars: Science Fiction in the Anthropocene,” which will be delivered by Professor John Plotz of Brandeis University on Friday August 25, 4:30-6:00, Lecture Theatre 2 in the Arts/Robert Burns Building on the University of Otago campus.  Further details may be found here:

The lecture is free and open to the public, so please feel free to share the details with anyone who might like to attend.  There will be a livestream for those who are unable to be with us in person:

“Laughter is From Mars: Science Fiction in the Anthropocene”

This talk proposes that we have underestimated science fiction’s capacity to represent and critique science and the technological power it wields. When Joseph Conrad called H G Wells the “realist of the fantastic” he set surprisingly durable terms for understanding science fiction’s relationship to actuality. Scholars have argued since about whether the genre principally extrapolates from the present, or speculates  on what other economic/political/cultural  configurations might be possible. This talk, by contrast, traces the genre’s long tradition of mocking human self-centredness.

Recentring our understanding of SF on satire may offer a way to reframe Amitav Ghosh’s notion of “the peculiar forms of resistance that climate change presents” to “serious” fiction.  For many decades,  science fiction’s satiric thrust was Menippean, oriented chiefly against an exaggerated sense of humankind’s importance (do you think the world revolves around you?). But the nature of that satire has changed as writers struggled with the fact that humans truly had a world-altering and world-destroying capacity. In the 20th century, the human capacity to destroy the world (atomically, mainly) was satirised by Capek, Lem, Vonnegut, Le Guin and others. This lecture, after tracing that legacy,  assesses SF’s newfound capacity to satirize humanity’s present destructive power principally by way of  N K  Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, set in a world where people control and create earthquakes with their minds.

Public Readings for Centenary of Eliot’s “The Waste Land”

Thursday, July 27th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Public Readings for Centenary of Eliot’s “The Waste Land”

Assoc Prof Paul Tankard will be bringing Eliot’s landmark poem to life at numerous venues around town over the next week or so.  Don’t miss the chance to hear Paul channeling the haunting voices of Modernism at your favourite venue.  Feel free to download and distribute the PDF flyer.

After a short introduction, the poem will be read aloud. No booking, no lecture, no commentary, no charge. The whole event will take around 40 minutes.

Sun 30 July, 4pm –  Inch Bar (with the Bill Martin Trio)
Tues 1 August, 5pm – Dunedin City Library @ the Cube
Wed 2 August, 5pm – Waikouaiti Library
Tues 8 August, 5pm – University of Otago Library @ Special Collections
Tues 15 August, 5pm – Hocken Library
Fri 18 August, 7.30pm – Knox College @ the Buttery

Tonight–books up for grabs if you’re clever

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Tonight–books up for grabs if you’re clever

Te Takarangi ki te Ao is hosting a Book Quiz event in the Dunningham Suite Dunedin Public Library  this evening Tuesday 11 July to celebrate Puaka Matariki with all things books! Arrive 5.15pm, quiz starts at 6pm.

If you’re free this evening, please please come along to our Te Takrangi quiz, it’d be super lovely to have you there, lots of beautiful books to gift and beautiful food being served by His&Her Catering (think pork belly with green applie five spice; tofu steamed bao buns with pineapple and chilli; pumpkin, watercress and parmesan arancini and more).

A special book quiz, book prizes, book authors and loads of book joy.

This is an invitation to join us and share in our Matariki celebration and love of books!

Please share this news, all welcome – bring friends and family. Share with your students too.

Some example pātai:

  • Which part of the body is tatooed with the puhoro pattern?
  • Who was the first Māori woman to gain a PhD in Aotearoa New Zealand?
  • Where did the landmark exhibition Te Māori first open?
  • Where does Mataatu Wharenui now reside?
  • When was Whakaata Māori, formerly Māori Television, launched?

After checking out the very exciting Te Tauhoko Nui o Matariki night market on the Union lawn, come down to the Dunedin Public Library for a fun quiz.

Christopher de Hamel Public Lecture, Wednesday 16 August, 5:30 pm

Sunday, July 9th, 2023 | Shef Rogers | Comments Off on Christopher de Hamel Public Lecture, Wednesday 16 August, 5:30 pm

Book of Hours, France (perhaps Paris), ca. 1435–1450. Dunedin Public Library

Friends of the Centre for the Book will be excited to learn that Dr. Christopher de Hamel will be presenting a public lecture entitled, “Medieval Manuscripts in Dunedin in the 1960s” at the Dunningham Suite of the Dunedin Public Library on Wednesday, August 16th at 5:30 pm.  The event is free and all are welcome.

Dr. de Hamel is an Otago graduate and recipient of a DLitt from the University in recognition of his expertise on medieval manuscripts.  He is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and former Fellow Librarian of the Parker Library.

Anyone who has heard Dr. de Hamel present before will know what an enthusiastic and intelligent speaker he is.  Put the event in your diary now to avoid disappointment.  And please RSVP to ensure a place on the night:


Any views or opinion represented in this site belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Otago. Any view or opinion represented in the comments are personal and are those of the respective commentator/contributor to this site.


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