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Centre for the Book | He Rau Kupu
Events and Opportunities related to Books at the University of Otago

Exhibition: Te Takarangi – Celebrating Māori scholarship, mātauranga and academic excellence

Fans of the Centre for the Book will recall Jeanette Wikaira’s excellent talk about this project at last year’s symposium. Now we have the opportunity to see the results of her work and the work of two other Otago scholars, Jacinta Ruru and Angela Wanhalla, so don’t miss the chance to call into the Public Library before the end of the month to learn more about the history of Māori scholarship in print.

A joint collaboration between Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Te Takarangi provides a glimpse into the rich publishing history of Māori-led-non-fiction work, with a particular focus on the later years as the growing publication of Māori research has blossomed. It acknowledges the mātauranga and inspirational Māori voices that shape and inform our scholarly debate in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Takarangi is an acknowledgement and celebration of Māori-led scholarship and writing across time and genres. The collection of 150 non-fiction publications provides an overview of some of the most important Māori leaders, thinkers and authors of our time. From the first book published about the Māori language in 1815, to current Māori scholars, researchers and writers making their mark, Te Takarangi is something we can all celebrate.
Friday 2nd July – Saturday 31st July, 2021
Ground Floor, Dunedin City Library, Moray Place

Public Lecture on Jane Austen in the 19th Century

The Centre for the Book is delighted to be able to welcome back on of our most popular presenters, Prof. Janine Barchas from the University of Texas.  She will be delivering a public lecture entitled, “Two Copies, Two Prices, Two Readers: Victorian Books and Variable Pricing.” on Wednesday, 4 August at 5:30 pm in Archway 3.  We hope you can join us for this lively and heavily illustrated talk delving into the much discussed but rarely spotted “common reader”.

Charlotte Grimshaw on her recent memoir

The Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival is bringing Charlotte Grimshaw to talk about her new memoir, The Mirror Book.  Full details available here.  The author will be interviewed by Phillippa Duffy, and given the controversial content of the memoir, it’s sure to be a lively discussion.  There can be few books that demonstrate more directly the powers of print, and hence of interest to the Centre for the Book.  Tickets required and will probably sell quickly, so don’t hesitate if you are interested.

An Elegant Opportunity–Wednesday, 30 June

The Otago Decorative and Fine Arts Society extends an invitation to all book lovers to join them for a talk (via Zoom) by a renowned English binder.  If you are not a member of the Society, guests are welcome for a $25 fee, with refreshments following the presentation.  Please RSVP to the Society’s Chairperson, Jenny Ross, if you wish to attend.
Dominic Riley is an internationally renowned bookbinder and teacher. He specialises in the restoration of antiquarian books and the creation of contemporary fine bindings.

He teaches bookbinding both in the UK and USA, and his prize-winning bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library. A Fellow of Designer Bookbinders and President of the Society of Bookbinders, in 2013 he won the prestigious Sir Paul Getty award in the International Bookbinding Competition, and his winning binding was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

2021 Centre for the Book Symposium, “Natural” History?—Call for Papers

Double-page plate following Dedication; “Museum room, including crocodile on the ceiling”.By: Ferrante Imperato 1599. Courtesy of the Smithsonian.

We are delighted to announce the dates and theme for the 2021 Centre for the Book Symposium.  All details and a partial list of possible topics are in this PDF.

We are especially pleased to be able to have the Manager of the Australian Biodiversity Heritage Library, Nicole Kearney, joining us for the public lecture on Thursday evening, 18 November.  We will then reconvene in Archway 2 on Friday the 19th of November, for a plenary lecture by Dr. Rosi Crane and a variety of stimulating panels created from the abundance of abstracts we anticipate in response to this call for papers.

Proposals for talks are due no later than 1 September, emailed to books@otago.ac.nz.  We hope to have a programme ironed out within a fortnight of the deadline, and look forward to seeing lots of familiar faces and welcoming new ones.

Best Laid Plans …

Alas, the raffle had no takers.  Whether that was due to lack of visibility or the too-clever question (answer: William Cowper) is not clear, but the co-directors will now seek recipients more directly.  And we’ll hope to see lots of you at the Festival.

Everybody Loves a Raffle

And everybody loves the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival.

As a sponsor for Catherine Chidgey’s talk about her new novel, Remote Sympathy, the Centre has two vouchers redeemable for one ticket each to a session at the Festival.  In keeping with our democratic ethos, we have decided to raffle them off.  To enter, just send your answer to the question below to books@otago.ac.nz.  The names of all those submitting correct answers by 5 pm this Thursday, 15 April, will be entered into a draw and the winners announced on Friday.

Be in to win!

Who said, “Books are not seldom talismans and spells”?

Confirmation of Room for Thursday’s Lecture

We will be gathering in Burns 1 on Thursday, not Archway 2, due to Covid Level 2 social distancing requirements. Burns 1 can accommodate 67 socially distanced, so please don’t be the last to arrive, though we normally only anticipate c. 60-70 anyway, so I hope we’ll be just fine.

A few other Health and Safety reminders related to Level 2:

Please do not come along if you are feeling unwell;
Please consider wearing a face covering;
Please be sure to sign-in with the tracer app or using the sheets provided at the building entrances;
Feel free to avail yourself of hand sanitizer at the entrances;
Please be sure to allow 2m between you and the next person as you enter and leave the lecture theatre.

We are pleased to be able to hold this event in person, and hope you will feel confident of your safety in coming along.  If the country announces any changes to alert levels between now and Thursday evening, please check here for any updates.

World Book Day to Proceed; room to follow tomorrow morning

A quick posting to confirm that Juliet Blyth’s lecture and the dinner following will go ahead as planned. Thanks to all of you who have booked for the dinner. I can assure that the University is very hygiene conscious, and we will be well spaced. The lecture is being moved to a larger venue, with rooms holding about 4-5 times as many people as are allowed to use them under distancing rules. I am still waiting until tomorrow morning for final confirmation of a room, and will post it as soon as we know.

World Book Day Lecture Remote Access

If you would like to hear Juliet Blyth’s lecture on Thursday 4 March, but are unable to attend in person, we will be live streaming the talk.  The details below should enable you to join us from anywhere that has a good internet connection and a web browser other than Internet Explorer.

Of course, we’d love to see you in person, and there’s no way we can stream the dinner afterward, but if you are able to survive solely on food for the mind, then please feel free to join us remotely to celebrate World Book Day.

The URL for the event will be

https://www.otago.ac.nz/its/services/teaching/streaming/otago466001.html

  • We usually try to start the streaming at least 5 minutes before the event.
  • The live streaming works with most web browsers, but not Internet Explorer.
  • People can use our Test Stream at any time, to check in advance that they can receive University of Otago streaming.  The Test Stream is at    https://www.otago.ac.nz/its/services/teaching/streaming/otago030399.html