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Centre for Research on Colonial Culture
Rethinking Colonialism & its Legacies

Feminist Oral History

If you happen to be in Wellington on April 7, do consider attending a public lecture on feminist oral history being presented by Lynn Abrams, one of the leading scholars in the field. Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow, Lynn has published widely on oral history, notably her important book, Oral history Theory. In her public lecture she will draw upon oral histories conducted with British women who came of age in the immediate post-war decades to explore the influence and meaning of feminism in life narratives. Click on ‘This isn’t very feminist at all…’ Talking about feminism with post-war British women for details.

Symposium on Individual Rights and Biopolitics

A symposium on “Individualism versus Collectivism in New Zealand and the British Empire: Individual Rights and Biopolitics” is being held at Victoria University of Wellington on Saturday 8 April (click on the Programme for further details). It features talks from leading New Zealand historians, including two from the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture: Barbara Brookes and Jane McCabe. Even better, the symposium is free! If you are interested in attending please contact Professor Charlotte Macdonald (charlotte.macdonald@vuw.ac.nz) to register.

Call for Papers Closing Soon

If you want to present at the Centre’s Filim in the Colony Symposium (co-hosted with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision), then you have until the end of the week to submit your abstract. Details of how to submit are provided below. Make sure you don’t miss out on what promises to be an exciting interdisciplinary event.

Film in the Colony Symposium

Centre Refunded

It is great news that the University of Otago has refunded the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture for a further five years, one of just twelve “flagship research centres”.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie noted, the University’s funding and other support of its flagship research centres and research themes is an important way of ensuring the internationally outstanding work of its researchers, across a wide range disciplines, is encouraged and nurtured.  “We recognise that our researchers in these centres and themes are often world-leading in many areas and we are pleased to be able to back them to pursue excellence in their fields.”

The Centre now has two co-directors, Professor Tony Ballantyne and Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla.  A number of events are planned over the coming years, about which information will be forthcoming soon.

New Book on Religious Childhoods

Creating Religious Childhoods in Anglo-world and British Colonial Contexts, 1800-1950 is a new co-edited collection from Centre member, Hugh Morrison, and Mary Clare Martin (Greenwich University, UK).  This new book, published by Routledge, features children and religion in colonial society contexts such as New Zealand, and aims to develop greater understanding of religion as a critical element of modern children’s and young people’s history.

‘Mrs Stevens and her probationers with the hospital baby’, alongside article by Mary Budden, ‘Almora Christian Families’, in LMS Chronicle, July 1895, p. 182 (from Chapter 1, p. 27)

Arguing that religion was an abiding influence (positive, negative and benign) among British-world children throughout the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth, the book places ‘religion’ at the centre of analysis and discussion, while at the same time positioning the religious factor within a broader social and cultural framework. Essays written by an international grouping of scholars focus on a range of geographical settings: America, Australia, Britain, Canada, Fiji, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the South Pacific. The various contexts within which religion shaped childhood in these settings – mission fields, churches, families, communities, institutions, camps, schools and youth movements – are treated as ‘sites’ in which religion contributed to identity formation, albeit in different ways relating to such factors as empire, nation, gender, race, disability and denomination. Chapters on New Zealand include: an examination of southern Dunedin’s religious identity; children’s religious literature published by A.H. & A.W. Reed; and the ways in which religious identity was conflated with civic qualities of sacrifice and service.

Ockham Book Awards 2017

Warmest congratulations to Centre member Barbara Brookes, whose magnificent book A History of New Zealand Women has been shortlisted for the Illustrated Non-Fiction category in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards!

 

 

Film in the Colony

The due date to submit abstracts for Film in the Colony has been extended to 25 March. We can confirm that the keynote speakers have been finalised and include: Dame Professor Anne Salmond, Natalie Robertson (Auckland) Dr Ian-Malcolm Rijsdijk, Dr Litheko Modisane (Cape Town). Exhibiting: Lisa Reihana (Auckland).

Make sure you get those abstracts in!

Film in the Colony Symposium

 

Rage Against the Machine Symposium

On April 8, Victoria University is hosting the symposium Rage Against the Machine: Biopolitics, Individualism and Collectivism in 19th Century New Zealand and the British Empire in Wellington.

At the event, discussion is invited around the subject of the current comparative research project on individualism vs collectivism of Fulbright Scholar Anna Clark (University of Minnesota). Responses to the themes, topics and questions posed by the project are warmly invited.

For more information on Professor Clark’s project and the symposium, click: RageAgainsttheMachineSymposium

VUW Contact: Charlotte Macdonald, tel + 64 4 463 6761, charlotte.macdonald@vuw.ac.nz.

REMINDER: CFP, Film in the Colony Symposium

Don’t forget the Film in the Colony Symposium, to be held in Wellington, 13-14 July.

Film in the Colony Symposium

If you are interested in presenting a paper, send a 200-word abstract and a brief bio to: filminthecolony@otago.ac.nz by 28 February 2017.

 

Valued Coconuts

Scholars in Pacific history and culture met to share their knowledge on the use and economies of the coconut in a symposium on Monday and Tuesday this week in Dunedin, the first event in what looks like a busy year for the Centre.  Professor Judy Bennett organised and hosted the Valued Coconuts: Hear Our Voices symposium and workshop as part of her Marsden project, Constant Coconuts: A History of a Versatile Commodity in the Pacific, and with support from CROCC.

coconuts picture

From left: Steve Talley, Josh Levy, Toaga Alefosio, Holger Droessler, Adrian Muckle, Kate Stevens, Lachy Paterson, Angela Wanhalla, Judy Bennett and April Henderson.

Valued Coconuts was a pre-read workshop featuring six papers.   April Henderson and Toaga Alefosio’s (Victoria University of Wellington), On Skin and Bone: Samoan Coconut Oil in Indigenous Practice discussed how coconut oil is used in the continuing Samoan practices of fofō (healing massage), samaga (tattooing) and liutofaga (cleaning of ancestors’ bones) and the meaning for people today.  This paper comes of out of summer scholarship for Toanga (who will be an Honours student this year) and April’s current research on virgin coconut oil use, “Kernals of Hope: Following Coconut Commodities from the Pacific to the West” supported by a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden grant.  In the second paper, Wasting coconuts? Consumption versus commerce in Wallis and Futuna, Kate Stevens discussed how French colonisers’ desire for scientific production of copra clashed with the Indigenous people’s views on the value of coconuts.  Kate is a postdoc in Otago’s Department of History and Art History, working with Judy on their Marsden project.

 Josh Levy is a PhD student at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who is researching the successive colonial regimes on Pohnpei through food history.  His paper, Ideal coconut country: Persuasive coconuts and the scientific plantation in Pohnpei, Micronesia, looked at the German colonial period and the effects of copra production on the Pohnpeian population.  Steve Talley, an Otago PhD student’s paper set to Defining indigenous entrepreneurship in the New Hebrides copra trade, and how the opportunities and constraints of the French and British rule moderated the Indigenous peoples’ engagement in the coconut trade.

Holger Droessler‘s Coconuts in Samoa explored how the cultivation of coconuts and production of copra mediated the German colonisers’ attitudes to Samoans, and how Samoans were able to maintain a subsistence economy despite the German desire for greater productivity.  Holger is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Bard College in New York state.  In the last paper, Judy Bennett’s Voices of Rotuma: Enduring Refrain examined the copra trade of Rotuma both in the colonial and post-colonial eras and tensions brought about through the necessity of having to ship its copra through Fiji.

Click image to enlarge

Centre members, Angela Wanhalla and Lachy Paterson, acted as commentators for these papers alongside Adrian Muckle from Victoria University of Wellington.  The format of the symposium allowed for extensive discussion of the papers; the plan at this stage is for all the papers to be incorporated into a special journal issue.  Thanks to the Hocken Collections for providing the venue for the event, and for the tour of some of their Pacific material.  Thanks also to the Otago Museum for a tour of some of its coconut-related holdings.

 

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