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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Families and Colonialism

For those interested in the relationship between family, colonialism and settler culture we encourage you to read, and follow, the Families and Colonialism Research Network Blog created and managed by Emily Manktelow, Laura Ishiguro and Esme Cleal. Its a great way to keep informed of new books and journal articles in the field, as well as forthcoming research events.

Hawkes Bay Museum and Art Gallery

Are you fascinated by museums and material culture? Are you interested in following the exciting developments taking place at the Hawkes Bay Museum and Art Gallery? If so, we encourage you to follow the HBMAG Blog, which features articles about some of the amazing treasures held by the institution, as well as updates on the changes taking place at the museum.

Pacific History Association Conference 2012

Conal McCarthy and Lachy Paterson

Several members of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture attended the biennial Pacific History Association Conference recently. Hosted by Victoria University of Wellington from 6-8 December, the conference drew together historians from across the Pacific.
Faculty and post-graduates from the University of Otago were there in large numbers, including two Centre members Lachy Paterson and Megan Ellison of Te Tumu: the School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, who presented papers on the benefits and difficulties of utilizing indigenous-language texts within the practice of writing history. Megan focused specifically on Kāi Tahu writings and manuscripts, while Lachy presented a paper based on his current project, an anthology of Māori women’s writings from the 19th century.

Jacqui Leckie (Anthropology), Alumita Durutalo (USP), Louise Mataia (NUS) and Rosey Anderson (Otago), along with two Centre members, Angela Wanhalla and Judy Bennett, reported results from their collaborative Marsden funded research project tracing the fate of children born to indigenous mothers and American servicemen in the South Pacific during World War II.

Rosey Anderson

Rosey Anderson’s paper based on her MA thesis research was a particular highlight. Her MA explores the history of a New Zealand Government scheme to bring Cook Island women to the country as domestic servants, while also tracing the impact of that migration on the women and their families.

The Centre for Research on Colonial Culture is based in the History and Art History Department at the University of Otago. This department has a proud record of producing excellent post-graduate research on colonial history and culture, and it was heartening to see this tradition continued at the Pacific History Association Conference this year.


Kate Stevens

Several former students gave well-received papers on their current research: Kate Stevens, who completed her BA (Hons) in History and Anthropology at Otago in 2008 and is now undertaking a PhD at Cambridge, gave a paper on British and French colonial legal regimes in the Pacific, focusing specifically on Vanuatu; Antje Lubcke (MA, Otago), gave an illuminating and excellent paper on photography in late 19th century Papua, which is the subject of her PhD at ANU; and Dr. Jonathan West, now working at the Waitangi Tribunal, presented new research on the effects of the earliest epidemic disease, known as rewharewha, upon Māori communities. The Centre has heard great things about the presentations of Otago’s current post-graduate students too and congratulates Rosey Anderson (Cook Island domestic servants), David Haines (shore-whaling on Banks Peninsula), and John McLane (Influenza Pandemic in the Pacific).

We also wish to congratulate Professor Judy Bennett whose new book, An Otago Storeman in Solomon Islands: The Diary of William Crossan, Copra Trader, 1885-86, was launched by Doug Munro at the Pacific History Association Conference. It is co-edited by Tim Bayliss-Smith (University of Cambridge), and was published by ANU-E Press. Congratulations Judy and Tim!

Doug Munro and Judy Bennett


Gandhi and Slow Reading

The Centre was fortunate to have Isabel Hofmeyr (University of Witwatersrand) give a stimulating seminar on 3 December.

Professor Hofmeyr explored the presses of turn-of-the-century Natal, focusing specifically on Gandhi’s Indian Opinion, produced by the International Printing Company.  Although this multi-lingual newspaper was originally based in Durban, Gandhi shifted it to his ashram at Phoenix in 1904, where its various inhabitants shared the production work. Professor Hofmeyr argues that Indian Opinion was printed not only inform and inspire people, but that its design was part of a larger vision to slow down the process of reading, that he saw increasingly tied to the pace of modern industrialized life.  Gandhi’s experiences in newspaper publishing helped develop his later philosophy.

Professor Hofmeyr’s seminar is based on research that will be appearing in Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading (Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2013). We urge you to buy it!


Vicente Diaz Seminar

The Department of History and Art History and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture are delighted to be hosting a talk by renowned indigenous scholar, Vicente M. Diaz (American Indian Studies and Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The talk will take place on Tuesday 11 December at 10.00-11.15 AM in the History & Art History seminar room, 2N8, Burns Building.  His title is: ‘Voyaging Ancient Futures’

Abstract: This multimedia talk presents two decades of outrigger canoe voyaging in Micronesia, and in the US Heartland (Michigan and Illinois), to broach alternative ways of reimagining the links between history and future, and links between narratology and archives.  This work ranges from building and sailing traditional voyaging canoes to more recent work in advanced visualization technology (3-D, Virtual, and Augmented Reality) enroute to producing virtual voyaging and simulating atolls and their cultural practices as a counter archive.




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