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Centre for Research on Colonial Culture
Rethinking Colonialism & its Legacies

Family Ties, Literary Kinship and Creative Production in 19th Century Britain

On 12-14 February 2017, the Department of English and Linguistics, University of Otago, will host ‘Family Ties,’ an international symposium exploring literary kinship and creative production in nineteenth-century Britain. The CFP is below.

Plenary Speakers:

Judith Pascoe, University of Iowa
Devoney Looser, Arizona State University

In 1800, poet and playwright Joanna Baillie dedicated her Series of Plays to her physician brother Matthew Baillie for his “unwearied zeal and brotherly partiality”; Matthew himself had recently edited the anatomical research of their uncles, John and William Hunter. At century’s end, Oscar Wilde cited his mother Jane Wilde’s translation of Sidonia the Sorceress (1849) and his great-uncle Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) as his “favourite romantic reading when a boy.” Family played an important role in the literary and artistic productions of the long nineteenth century, from the Burneys to the Brontës, and the Rossettis to the Doyles. Critical approaches ranging from Noel Annan’s “Intellectual Aristocracy” to Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory have provided useful ways of assessing and contextualising the role of family in the creative production of writers and artists, but still the role of the family remains under explored.

We invite submissions for “Family Ties” focused on British literary and artistic families in the nineteenth century. Topics for 20-minute papers might include:

Interdisciplinary Influences
Collaborations and/or Dissents
Authorial Identity/ies
Communities and Networks
Redefining Family Units
Stages of Life (births, marriages, deaths)
Reimaginings of nineteenth-century families
Families, Creativity, and Empire
Economics of Family Authorship
Literary and Artistic Legacies
Little-known Relations
Generational Influences

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words by 15 November to Dr Thomas McLean and Dr Ruth Knezevich at

Details of the conference will be posted online here as they become available.

Book & Place Symposium

On 27 and 28 October, the University of Otago Centre for the Book is hosting its annual Research Symposium on the theme of Book and Place.

It will open on the evening of 27 October with a public lecture from Neville Peat in the Dunningham Suite, 4th floor, Dunedin Public Library, starting about 7.00 pm. You are cordially invited to come and listen to this well-known author reflect on his sense of book and place as he describes, in words and pictures, some of New Zealand’s most remote and precious areas and landmarks. An informal reception will follow the talk.

The Symposium proper will begin at the Marjorie Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum at 9.00 am on Friday 28. Professor Tony Ballantyne will begin proceedings, and after morning tea, Dr. Ingrid Horrocks of Massey University will deliver a plenary paper entitled: ‘Writing Place: A Case for Creative Nonfiction’. Nicky Page, Director of Dunedin’s UNESCO City of Literature programme will also be present. Please check out the full programme through the Centre for the Book blog

Importantly, for those attending the Thursday night ecture, please notify the Dunedin Public Library via their Library’s event site that you wish to attend.

To register for the symposium you need to send an email providing your name as you wish it to appear on your name tag and your email address to

There is no charge to attend the Symposium, which is generously supported by the Department of English and Linguistics, the Division of the Humanities, and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture.


Research Seminar on Mono’i

We are pleased to announce that Centre member Dr. Kate Stevens will present a research seminar on Thursday 29th September in the University of Otago’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology Seminar Series. Kate will talk on “Mono’i: Repackaging Tradition in Tahiti?”. Her seminar begins at 12pm, and will take place in Seminar Room 1, St David’s Complex. Hope to see you there!



New Historians Conference

Call for papers: The history postgraduate students at Victoria University of Wellington, Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui, warmly invite you to the 2016 New Historians Conference, to be held on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 October.

First established in 2006 by Professor Melanie Nolan and postgraduate students, the conference attracts MA and PhD candidates and others who have recently completed their research.

It is an excellent opportunity to discuss current work and to share ideas.

Expressions of interest and 200 word abstracts are due 1 September.
Registrations are due by 15 September.

Keynote speakers will be confirmed shortly. Registration costs $25, to be paid on arrival at the conference. There will be an optional conference dinner on Monday night, costing $28-$35 per person.

Further details are available at:

Please follow the event via Twitter: @HistoryatVic and use the hashtag #NewHist16.

Book Launch

Come along and celebrate the launch of Judy Bennett and Angela Wanhalla’s co-edited book, Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific, beginning at 5.30 on Wednesday 13 July at Te Tumu, University of Otago. Published by the University of Otago Press (a co-publication with University of Hawaii Press), Mothers’ Darlings traces the fate of the children fathered by US servicemen who served in the South Pacific Command Area during World War II and is the major outcome of Judy’s Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Project of the same name.

launch invitation


PhD Scholarship: Literary and Book History after Colonialism

University of Queensland’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities has a number of doctoral scholarships available. These are attached to specific projects, and you can find out more about them here. Of particular relevance to Centre followers is Project 3: Literary and Book History after Colonialism, led by Associate Professor Anna Johnston and attached to her ARC Future Fellowship.

Australian settler modernity was shaped by distinct orders of knowledge that can be traced through book history and studies of print culture. The key aim of Associate Professor Anna Johnston’s ARC Future Fellowship project is to provide fresh and challenging readings of Australia’s literary and cultural history, and to map the aftermath of colonialism in contemporary culture.

Successful applicants will be supervised by Associate Professor Anna Johnston, and will be enrolled in the School of Communication and Arts. While all relevant dissertation projects will be considered, proposals that articulate with Fellowship themes and approach are encouraged. Indicative projects could include:

  • Settler colonialism and Australian literature, past and present
  • Colonial science and natural history publications
  • Missionary writing
  • Archival or book history projects, particularly using UQ’s Fryer Library and / or AustLit
  • Non-fictional prose and literary studies

Students in literary studies, cultural and intellectual history, and postcolonial cultural studies are encouraged to apply and to refine their proposal in consultation with the project leader.

NZ Women’s Studies Association Conference 2016

Call for Papers for the Women’s Studies Association Conference (WSANZ) 2016

“Re/generation: New Landscapes in Feminism and Women’s Studies”.

2nd-3rd September at the Owen Glenn Building, The University of Auckland, Main Campus.


Please note that the deadline to submit an abstract is 30 June 2016.


The Conference keynote themes and speakers include:

  • Conference Inauguration: Prof. Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (University of Waikato)
  • Inaugural Margot Roth Lecture : Prof Priya Kurian (The University of Waikato)
  • Panel on New Directions in Justice: Prof. Rosemary Hunter (Queen Mary University, London), A/P Elisabeth McDonald (Victoria University, Wellington) & A/P Tracey McIntosh (University of Auckland)
  • Panel on Gender, Generation and Care : Prof. Ngaire Kerse (School of Population Health, University of Auckland); Dr Katherine Ravenswood (AUT), Dr Tess Moeke-Maxwell (University of Auckland)

Proposals in the following categories are welcomed: (a) 20 minute paper presentations (b) One hour panels (c) Soapbox sessions: (for undergrads and high school students; 3-5 minutes on a relevant theme) (d) Posters and (e) Performances (poetry, art).

Limited scholarships available for undergrads and high school students.

Apply by JUNE 30th !!!!  (100 words on why you want to come PLUS name of a teacher or lecturer for reference)

For more details, see

Symposium: Collecting and Exhibiting Photography

Te Papa is hosting a symposium on photography in June. It costs $10 for the day-long event. To register click here.

Collecting and Exhibiting Photography
Saturday 11 June, 10am 5.15pm
Nga Toi, Level 5 and Rangimarie 1, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

How do curators decide what photographs to exhibit and what to collect, and what are the ethical questions they consider? What are the implications of displaying non–art photography in an art museum? What is the significance of historical photographs in the age of digital photography? These questions and more are explored in this thought-provoking series of talks inspired by New Zealand Photography Collected.

10am–12pm: Keynote lecture and gallery walk-through
Leading art historian and photography curator Professor Geoff Batchen talks about New Zealand Photography Collected and issues related to photography curation. A walk through the exhibition with its curator, Athol McCredie, follows.

1.10pm–2.40pm: Panel – Collecting and exhibiting national collections
Panelists are Judy Annear, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Shaune Lakin, Curator at the National Gallery Australia, and Ken Hall, Curator at Christchurch Art Gallery.

3.05pm–3.25pm: Lecture – The evolution of photography curation
Ron Brownson, Senior Curator at Auckland Art Gallery, explores how the curation of photography collections has changed. He also gives examples of contemporary artists who use photographic archives in their practice.

3.25pm–5.15pm: Panel – The ethics of exhibiting photography and photographic archives
The discussion is led by writer Dr Cassandra Barnett from Massey University Wellington, joined by Te Papa Pacific Cultures curator Nina Tonga, artist Fiona Amundsen, and Dr Clare Veal, an expert on the history of photography in Thailand.


Launch of New Book on New Zealand’s Overseas Missions

Come along to help launch and celebrate Dr Hugh Morrison’s new book, Pushing the Boundaries: New Zealand Protestants and Overseas Missions, 1827-1939, at the University Book Shop (Great King Street), Friday 8th April, at 5.30pm.

hugh-bookPublished by Otago University Press, “Pushing Boundaries is the first book-length attempt to tell the story of the evolution of overseas missionary activity by New Zealand’s Protestant churches from the early nineteenth century up to World War II.   In this thought-provoking book, Hugh Morrison outlines how and why missions became important to colonial churches – the theological and social reasons churches supported missions, how their ideas were shaped, and what motivated individual New Zealanders to leave these shores to devote their lives elsewhere.

“Secondly, he connects this local story to some larger historical themes – of gender, culture, empire, childhood and education. This book argues that understanding the overseas missionary activity of Protestant churches and groups can contribute to a more general understanding of how New Zealand has developed as a society and nation.”

Hugh is a historian of missiology, a member of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, and a staff member at the College of Education, University of Otago.


Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age

Our colleagues in Media Film and Communications at the University of Otago are sponsoring a conference on sovereignty and migration, which will take place in early May. The Call for Papers is below.

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age
University of Otago
May 6-8th, 2016

Fadak Alfayadh (RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees)
Tracey Barnett (Independent Journalist)
Mengzhu Fu (Shakti Youth)
Associate Professor Stephanie Fryberg (University of Washington)
Tame Iti
Moana Jackson
Crystal McKinnon and Emma Russell (Flat Out)
Suzanne Menzies-Culling and Marie Laufiso (Tauiwi Solutions)
Professor Margaret Mutu (University of Auckland)
Emilie Rākete (No Pride in Prisons)
Annette Sykes
Teanau Tuiono

Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age is an academic and activist conference featuring workshops that address the intersections of criminal justice movements around the incarceration of migrants and communities of colour and Indigenous sovereign movements. SRB II builds on the momentum and opportunities enabled by the first Space, Race, Bodies conference in publicising and disseminating scholarship and activism on the intersections between geography, racism and racialisation.

Presentations and panels are invited to address, but are not limited to, the following:

surveillance and imprisonment in settler colonial and imperial histories
detention and surveillance of migrants and refugees
racial profiling and state violence towards ethnic and marginalised communities
geographies of torture in the ‘war on terror’
the geopolitics of homonormativity and pinkwashing
hate crimes and the role of imprisonment as a key modality through which rights protections are secured
intersectionality and social and political forms of exclusion
community and activist challenges to state violence and detention
Indigenous sovereign protest movements
corporeality, race and biometrics
capitalism, race and incarceration
the prison industrial complex
digital forms of enclosure and surveillance
race, racialisation and geography
climate change, migration and asylum
protest camps and state surveillance

Please note that general submissions on the theme of space, race, and embodiment are welcome. We also invite workshops, creative performance and other community forms of participation.

For more information about the conference and the SRB collective, please visit our website:

Abstracts of 200w with an accompanying 50w bio can be sent to:

We will accept abstracts on a rolling basis until April 1, 2016.



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