Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Author Archives: Angela Wanhalla

Dunedin Sound

The first ‘Global Dunedin’ public lecture takes place on Sunday 12 April.

Join us at 2pm in the Auditorium at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum to hear Dr Graeme Downes – from the University’s Department of Music and the renowned frontman of the Verlaines – talking about Dunedin music, particularly in light of the very successful Tally Ho! collaboration with the Southern Sinfonia.

Please come along!!

Dunedin’s Past, Present and Future

The Centre for Research on Colonial Culture is supporting a new initiative concerned with globalising local histories through the Global Dunedin project. We outlined this new initiative briefly in a post last month, but you can read about it in more detail in this news item from the University of Otago. Tony Ballantyne, Director of CRoCC and who has taken the lead on developing Global Dunedin, says the project is “the first of its kind for the University and for Dunedin. We think it is an important undertaking because our city is packed with really compelling and interesting stories. And sharing those stories is one way in which we might help strengthen the bonds of community”. We hope you’ll take an interest in Global Dunedin by following the blog and attending the associated public lectures, which are held on the second Sunday of each month at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.

Centre News: Research and Publications

Here’s a brief round up of what some of the Centre members have been up to over the past few months.

Hugh Morrison has been investigating New Zealand and Scottish Presbyterian missionary children’s experiences, including interviewing 21 people in New Zealand and Scotland over the last year. He gave a research seminar at the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Edinburgh in January, called ‘Sand Through the Fingers: Tracing Notions of Scottish Cultural Identity in the Narratives of New Zealand Presbyterian Missionary Families, 1890-1940′. He’s got a few publications in the works, including one emerging from a workshop in Germany (July 2014) on Indigenous teachers in mission school contexts in Bolivia, and had a book review published in Social Sciences and Missions (2015). He reviewed Timothy Yates (2013), The Conversion of the Māori: Years of Religious and Social Change, 1814-1842. In late August Hugh is convening a symposium on children and young people in colonial contexts, which is sponsored by the Centre.

Tom Brooking has been busy over the past six months. He’s had an article on Seddon and the Pacific published in the Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies (2014) and book reviews published in Agricultural History (2014) and New Zealand Books. He has managed a third launch (after Dunedin and Hokitika) of King of God’s Own in Parliament sponsored by the Attorney General Chris Finlayson with the former Chief Historian and editor of Te Ara, Jock Phillips, giving the book his blessing. A fourth launch will take place at Powell’s Bookshop in Portland, Oregon during the New Zealand and Australian Studies section of the Western Social Science Association Annual Conference after Easter. His paper at this conference is on his next project on ‘The Making of Rural New Zealand’, entitled ‘Larkrise to Littledene’. The paper he gave on Seddon and Joseph Chamberlain at last year’s Birmingham symposium on Chamberlain is being published by Palgrave Macmillan as part of an edited collection. Tom’s final RSL at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, has been confirmed where he will work with Professor Eugenio Biagini on colonial nationalisms, and make progress on his book on the making of rural New Zealand. He will also visit Gallipoli, and Tyne Cot to assist with his teaching of the course on New Zealand and the First World War. Finally, Tom will give a paper at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environmental History in Munich.

As well as running a successful conference on eugenics in the British colonial world in February this year, John Stenhouse has also published ‘Missionaries and Science and Medicine’ in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the History of American Science, Medicine and Technology (2014).

Other Centre members, as noted in an earlier post, have published books, including Tony Ballantyne’s Entanglements of Empire (Duke and Auckland), which provides a new interpretation of the Anglican mission in northern New Zealand, while Barbara Brookes co-edited a book, Bodily Subjects. Another co-edited book is soon to be published: The Lives of Colonial Objects, co-edited by Annabel Cooper, Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla, will appear with Otago University Press in July. This book is a product of the Centre’s inaugural conference, Colonial Objects, which took place way back in January 2013. Eight of the 50 essays have been written by Centre members.

During late February and early March, Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla spent three weeks in Canada on visiting fellowships. They were based for two weeks at the University of Alberta (History and Native Studies) and one week at the University of Manitoba (History), where they gave a series of research talks and public lectures on various topics, including Indigenous literacy and Māori women’s writing; histories of intermarriage and empire; and the social impacts of American servicemen in the South Pacific during WWII, including a screening of the documentary film, Born of Conflict. In April, Lachy will be attending a pre-read workshop at the University of Cambridge (UK) on Print Media in the Colonial World, sponsored by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.




Introducing Global Dunedin

March 23 is Otago Anniversary Day, but it also happens to be the occasion for the launch of a new initiative from the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture: Global Dunedin. Have a look at Global Dunedin’s Blog, which is designed to serve as a forum for discussing Dunedin’s historical development and its changing economy, social life, and cultural pattern. The project will showcase how the city has changed over time and the ways in which its pasts have shaped its current and future prospects. The blog – together with an associated Facebook page and Twitter account (@GlobalDunedin) – will disseminate reflections on the city’s history and life here now.

In addition to a social media presence, the Global Dunedin project team are also running a public lecture series in conjunction with Toitū Otago Settlers Museum: in these Sunday afternoon talks, leading local researchers and thinkers will reflect on different aspects of Dunedin’s past and present.

Follow us and join in the conversations!

Global Dunedin


Visiting Fellow

The Centre for Research on Colonial Culture is very pleased to be hosting Dr. Patricia O’Brien, an ARC Future Fellow based at the Australian National University. In 2012 she was the JD Stout Fellow in New Zealand Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and in 2011 she was the Jay I. Kislak Fellow in American Studies at the John W. Kluge Centre at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. From 2001-2013 she was visiting Associate Professor in the Centre for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She is the author of The Pacific Muse: Exotic Femininity and the Colonial Pacific (Seattle, 2006) and is currently working on a biography of Samoan nationalist leader Ta’isi O. F. Nelson.

Dr. O’Brien is visiting the Centre until March 24th and while in Dunedin will be giving two research talks. Her first talk is on Wednesday March 18th in the Department of History and Art History (Burns 5, from 3.30) on ‘Ta’isi O. F. Nelson and the Mau: Australian Dimensions to New Zealand and Samoan History’. On March 23rd she will present a paper to Te Tumu: School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies called ‘The Trials of Mr Nelson: Ta’isi O. F. Nelson and Indigenous Resistance in Interwar Samoa’. This talk will take in Cen3 (Central Library) from 2.30.

We hope to see you at both talks!


CFP: Children & Young People in British Colonial Contexts

Dr. Hugh Morrison, with support from the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, will be hosting a 2-day symposium on 24 & 25 August at the Hocken Collections on the histories and experiences of children and young people. The Call for Papers is below:


Unpicking the Tapestry: Children & Young People in British Colonial Contexts

Children and young people were ubiquitous and significant players on the stage of national and colonial formation, yet this remains a significant gap in the history and historiography of British world colonial societies like Aotearoa New Zealand. Therefore an exclusive focus on the historical place of children and young people in comparative colonial contexts is timely in terms of further development; both in the New Zealand context and that of the wider British world. Such discussion can inform a better historical understanding that is locally, nationally, and transnationally configured.

This symposium is sponsored by the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture at the University of Otago, New Zealand. It aims to bring together scholars (from New Zealand and beyond) who are interested in a range of aspects of colonial children and young people under the rubric of ‘unpicking the tapestry’. If colonialism is the overall tapestry holding together children’s and young people’s lives, then what is revealed when we begin picking away at the individual strands of this tapestry? In particular the symposium is interested in addressing a number of key questions which include: What does it mean to talk about ‘colonial childhoods or adolescence’ or to think about children and young people in relation to colonialism? What colonial sites were significant or influential for children’s and young people’s lives, and in what colonial sites were children influential? To what extent were children and young people constrained by boundaries or moved fluidly across boundaries (eg. gender, race or ethnicity, nation, class, religion), and to what effect? What are the sources for excavating and interpreting colonial childhoods? What are the gaps and silences? How do we negotiate these? In what ways might a comparative approach (across colonial societies) expand or limit our understanding of colonial childhoods and adolescence? What are the significant challenges and opportunities in this field of academic enquiry? These are some of the questions we wish to explore further over two days of keynote address, paper presentations and round-table discussions.

The keynote speaker will be Canadian historian Professor Kristine Alexander, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. She will be joined in round-table discussions by education historian Professor Helen May (College of Education, University of Otago) and one further person to be confirmed. Up to a further 16 paper presentations are anticipated in plenary session form (half hour sessions per paper).

Paper proposals should be sent by email to Dr Hugh Morrison ( in the form of a 300 word (maximum) abstract, accompanied by a paragraph giving academic or professional background by Tuesday 31 March, 2015. Accepted papers will be notified by Friday 24 April at the latest. There will be no registration/symposium costs for presenters, but travel and accommodation costs will need to be individually paid for. It is anticipated that symposium papers will be published as an edited book collection or special journal issue.

Waitangi Day Talk

Followers of the Centre may be interested in attending a forthcoming public talk to be given by Dr. Lachy Paterson on 6 February at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Lachy will be discussing changing views of the Treaty of Waitangi, since 1840 and up to the present day. He will also reflect upon the Treaty’s role in New Zealand society currently and in the future. The talk begins at 2pm. Read more about it here.

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 3.56.31 PM

New Publications

Congratulations to Tony Ballantyne and Barbara Brookes on the release of their newest books. Tony’s book, Entanglements of Empire, was released by Duke University Press in late December, with a New Zealand imprint published by Auckland University Press being released in April.





In the past week, a collection of essays co-edited by Barbara Brookes with Canadian colleagues Tracy Penny Light and Wendy Mitchinson (both University of Waterloo), Bodily Subjects: Essays on Gender and Health, 1800-2000, was released by McGill-Queen’s University Press. The collection explores the historical entanglement between gender and health across two centuries and in a variety of locations through essays ranging from the nineteenth-century British Poor Laws, an Aboriginal reserve in 20th century Queensland, AIDS activists on the streets of Toronto in the 1990s.


Congratulations Barbara and Tony!

Family Emotional Economies & Disability at Birth

Last year, Professor Barbara Brookes (a CRoCC Steering Committee member), contributed a post to a History of Medicine Blog about the ‘complicated emotions surrounding disability at birth’. You can read the Blog post here. In it Barbara traces the emotional responses and experiences of families to disability in mid-twentieth century New Zealand through the dissertations of University of Otago fifth year medical school students in public health. At that time, the students were encouraged to study what was then described as “intellectually handicapped” children, and did so by going into the community and talking to families, but particularly mothers. The dissertations are a rich archive for social history, but are particularly revealing of attitudes to disability, from within and outside the family during the 1950s and 1960s.

MA Scholarship Available

Are you interested in pursuing an MA in Wellington? If so, you’re in luck. Professor Charlotte Macdonald (School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations) at Victoria University of Wellington has an MA scholarship available. It offers $16,000 + fees, on a project linked to her Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden-funded research: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Settler: Garrison and Empire in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Applications close on 23 January. Click here to read the advertisement and find out more about the project.



Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address