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Author Archives: Angela Wanhalla

Ringing in the New Year

It’s that time of year – time for the annual blog post on Centre activities, forthcoming publications, and other exciting news from our members.

Helen May’s year started with the award of a new years honour for services to education, becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Hugh Morrison has a new book appearing with Otago University Press in February called Pushing Boundaries: New Zealand Protestants and overseas missions, 1827–1939 and it will be launched in early April. He has also accepted an invitation to join the Grace Abbott Book Prize Committee (international Society for the History of Children and Youth), to decide on the “best book in the field published in English over the previous year”.

In February the Centre is hosting the Making Women Visible Conference, which honours Barbara Brookes, and features the launch of her new book, A History of New Zealand Women, on the conference programme.

In December Tony Ballantyne was awarded the W. H. Oliver Prize by the New Zealand Historical Association for his book Entanglements of Empire, published by Auckland University Press. In November Tony gave a keynote at the Race, Mobility and Imperial Networks Conference in Melbourne. He has contributed a chapter to How Empire Shaped Us (Bloomsbury) and his co-edited book with Antoinette Burton, World Histories from Below (Bloomsbury), will appear in September.

Tom Brooking is on Research and Study Leave, and will spend some time at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich, and as a visiting scholar at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University.

Angela Wanhalla and Lachy Paterson were promoted to Associate Professor.

Angela Wanhalla is co-organising the Making Women Visible Conference, and in October 2015 replaced Tony Ballantyne as co-editor, with Barbara Brookes, of the New Zealand Journal of History.

Annabel Cooper was one of four scholars awarded the inaugural University of Otago Prestigious Writing Grant to complete her book Screen Wars: Remaking the New Zealand Wars in Celluloid and Pixels, which charts changes to screen narratives about colonial conflict from the silent film era to the age of the phone app.

In 2015 Megan Pōtiki contributed an essay to a special issue of the New Zealand of History dedicated to Māori history, as did Michael Stevens.

The April 2016 volume of the New Zealand Journal of History is a special issue dedicated to ‘New Zealand Sexual Histories’. It is co-edited by Chris Brickell and Angela Wanhalla, and is an outcome of the workshop, supported by the Centre, they co-convened in July 2015.

Judy Bennett contributed a chapter to New Zealand’s Empire (Manchester University Press), co-edited by Katie Pickles and Cathy Coleborne. In 2015 the Chief of Army (Australia) invited Judy to address the Chief of Army History Conference in Canberra, on the theme Geo-Strategy and War: enduring lessons for the Australian Army, held at the Ballroom, National Convention Centre, 30 September-1 October. She spoke on “South Pacific: Using Indigenous resources in the Second World War”. Following the open conference, Judy also contributed to a ‘closed’ one-day teaching-learning session on scenarios for possible military and civil disturbances that may involve the Australian armed forces in the region, including the Pacific. Her visit was fully funded by the Chief of the Army.

Congratulations to all!

PhD Scholarship in New Zealand History

Centre member, Dr. Angela Wanhalla, is looking for a suitable candidate to take up a PhD scholarship attached to her Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellowship on ‘The Politics of Intimacy in New Zealand History’. Applications are invited from suitably qualified students, who hold a minimum of a BA (Hons) or equivalent, interested in working on an aspect of the history of marriage in New Zealand. Potential areas of investigation include, but are not limited to: marital violence; adultery, bigamy; arranged marriage; co-habitation; marital property; interfaith relationships.

The scholarship includes a $25,000 per year stipend, plus tuition fees. The tenure of the scholarship is for three years full-time, with a start date of 1 July 2016

For further information please contact Angela Wanhalla (


Colonialism, Archives and Mental Health

In February 2016 Associate Professor Sally Swartz, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who publishes regularly on psychoanalytic theory and psychotherapy, and the history of psychiatry in colonial settings, will be visiting the University of Otago with the support of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture. Her 2015 book, from the University of Cape Town Press, is entitled Homeless Wanderers: Movement and mental illness in the Cape colony in the nineteenth century. In addition to attending the Making Women Visible Conference (15-17 February), Associate Professor Swartz will offer two talks, both open to the public.

On February 18 she will offer the following presentations:

1) A session on ‘The Archive and the Person: History and Psychotherapy’ reflecting how being a practitioner works alongside being an historian.

2) An open lecture entitled ‘Families, Emotion and Attachment: Insights from the past to the Present’ .
Times and places to be arranged.

For further information please contact Professor Barbara Brookes (


Conference on Dress, Clothing and Bodies

Dressing Global Bodies: Clothing Cultures, Politics and Economies in Globalizing Eras, c. 1600s-1900s

7-9 July 2016, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Co-Organized with the Pasold Research Fund, UK


The clothes on our backs are intimately connected with bodily experiences, cultural, social and gender portrayals, as well as the economies of fashioning and re-fashioning across place and time. Garments reflect the priorities of local and international economies, collective and personal inclinations, religious norms and conversions. These materialities are shaped by global flows of cloth and beads, furs, ready-made and second-hand apparel, in dynamic processes of fashion exchange. Dress is a charged cultural instrument, as evident in colonial and decolonization processes, social and political agendas, animated by cross-cultural and commercial flows, industrial and institutional innovations.

This international conference will showcase new historical research on the centrality of dress in global, colonial and post-colonial engagements, emphasizing entangled histories, comparative and cross-cultural analyses. This scholarship redefines national and collective communities, in the practice of fashion and the dynamics of re-fashioning and re-use, from the seventeenth through the twentieth century.

Themes could include, but are not limited to:

Cross-cultural practices and patterns of dress and / or body adornment
Production and distribution of clothing (across cultures, entangled, comparative)
Gendered and ethnic shaping of dress and dress practice
Fashion politics of dress in globalizing contexts
Circulation and re-use of dress and dress idioms
Design in globalized contexts
Representations of clothing cultures
Appropriation / acculturation of designs, materials, motifs
Dress in colonial / post-colonial contexts
We especially welcome themed panels, maximum three speakers.

We welcome individual papers as well.

Submission Requirements:

For individual speakers: a 200-word proposal and a 1 page CV

For full panels: a 200-word panel rationale, plus 200 word proposals for each panel participant along with their individual 1 page CVs.

Send all submissions to:

Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2015.

Acceptances of papers to be announced: 1 December 2015.

Plenary Speakers:

Antonia Finnane, Professor, School of Historical & Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. Author of Changing Clothes in China: Fashion, History, Nation. She will address fashion in Qing/Early Republican China

Karen Tranberg Hansen, Professor Emerita. Department of Anthropology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Northwestern University. Author of Salaua: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia. She will address cultures of dress within Global Africa.

Dana Leibsohn, Priscilla Paine Van der Poel Professor of Art, Department of Art, Smith College. She will address colonial practice, cross-cultural influences in the dress of colonial Spanish America.


Principal Organizers:

Beverly Lemire, Professor & Henry Marshall Tory Chair, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta

Giorgio Riello, Professor, Department of History and Director, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick


International & Local Organizing Committee Members:

Anne Bissonnette, Associate Professor & Curator, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta

Lisa Claypool, Associate Professor, Department of Art & Design, University of Alberta

Lianne McTavish, Professor, Department of Art & Design, University of Alberta

Ann Salmonson, Masters Candidate, Department of Art & Design, University of Alberta

Ashley Sims, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta

Meaghan Walker, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta

Sophie White, Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of Notre Dame



Soldiers of Empire Marsden Project

We’d like to congratulate our colleague Professor Charlotte Macdonald (Victoria University of Wellington) on her Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Project, Soldiers of Empire, and alert you to the project website. Charlotte is working with Dr. Rebecca Lenihan “to put a face to the British army and navy presence in New Zealand. In doing so we aim to link the service of men in this part of the world to the wider British empire. Our interest focuses on the ways in which war takes people, goods, ideas and habits around the world. Engaged to suppress resistance to British expansion, the armed forces also served as vectors of empire. We are focusing on the world beyond the battlefields.” We encourage all interested in the project to look at their fantastic website, and bookmark it so you can keep up-to-date on the progress of their research.

Orphanages, Residential Schools, Colonial Gossip

All of these topics will be discussed at a half-day symposium on “Colonial Families: New Perspectives” taking place on Thursday 20th August from 9-12 in Central Library Seminar Room 3, University of Otago. This event is sponsored by the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, with support from a Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and features four speakers who will present new research into the history of the family in Canada, New Zealand and the Pacific:

Laura Ishiguro’s (University of British Columbia) research is trans-imperial and global in scope. She will speak about colonialism, mobility, and intimacy in the “long” nineteenth century through the story of one Metis family from British Columbia. Her talk draws upon her SSHRC-funded research project, “Settler colonialism, global families, and the making of British Columbia, 1849-1871″ (Insight Development Grant 2014-16). She guest-edited a 2013 issue of the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History on “Imperial Relations: Histories of Family in the British Empire,” and in it called for a rethinking of the meanings of, and relationships between, family, intimacy, and imperialism.

Crystal Fraser (University of Alberta) is a high-profile young Gwich’in scholar who is undertaking research on the impacts of colonialism on her home community, Inuvik, located in northern Canada. She has been identified as “one of the most important Canadian historians of the next generation” whose research on residential schools, gender, and sexuality in Gwich’in society and the Canadian North is “actively shifting both fields as aboriginal people and northerners start writing and directing research in their own history on their own terms”. She is also a leading voice in Indigenous social media, which included hosting @IndigenousXca where she discussed racism in Canadian academia. Crystal will speak about the current debates within Canadian history and society about residential schooling.

Jennifer Ashton (Auckland) will speak about family, race and respectability in northern New Zealand during the nineteenth century. Jennifer’s talk draws from her recently published, and highly regarded first book, At the Margin of Empire: John Webster and Hokianga, 1841-1900 that “takes us into Hokianga to reveal how the evolving intimate relationships and economic transactions of everyday life reflected larger shifts in colonial power” through a biography of the trader and colonist John Webster and his networks.

Erica Newman (Otago) will talk about her original and exciting doctoral research on orphanages and adoption in colonial Fiji. Erica’s research in this area has been recognized internationally in the form of invitations to participate in pre-read workshops at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and an invited publication on her previous work on Māori adoption in the highly regarded American Indian Quarterly.

Contact Dr. Angela Wanhalla ( for further information about this free event.

Hocken Lecture

Tony Ballantyne, the incoming PVC Humanities at the University of Otago, departing HoD of History and Art History, and Director of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture gave the 2015 Hocken Lecture last week. In it, Tony discussed some archive stories that are foundational to his own work, and critiqued claims about archival silences promoted by some postcolonial scholars by pointing to the lively and rich vein of work being produced at the University of Otago, particularly by researchers attached to the Centre. You can read about his lecture in this Otago Bulletin article, which gives a thorough report on its content and maps out Tony’s vision for New Zealand history. Thanks Tony for a wonderful lecture!

New Zealand Women’s History Conference

A reminder that abstracts for the Making Women Visible Conference are due by 31 August. We are excited to announce that in addition to special forums, there will be two keynote speakers: Dr Melissa Matutina Williams (Auckland) and Dr Frances Steel (Wollongong).

Get those abstracts in!

Making Women Visible: A Conference in Honour of Barbara Brookes

15-17 February 2016, University of Otago.

Making Women Visible honours Professor Barbara Brookes, one of New Zealand’s most important scholars, who has worked at the cutting-edge of historical enquiry for several decades. Over the course of her career, Barbara’s scholarship has encompassed diverse topics (including reproductive politics, mental health, film, photography, performance, race relations, disability, sexuality and feminism). These topics have been approached in imaginative ways (biography, the histories of emotion, comparative and transnational approaches), but throughout she has consistently placed women at the centre of her work.

This conference (15-17 February 2016) not only celebrates a distinguished career, but also marks the arrival of Barbara’s much-awaited survey history of New Zealand women, which will be officially launched as part of the conference programme. Its publication invites a renewed focus on New Zealand women’s history. It has been over twenty years since the suffrage centenary that was the catalyst for the publication of a number of important books, including Sandra Coney’s foundational survey history, Standing in the Sunshine. Since 1993, the number of books, edited collections, articles and theses concerned with aspects of women’s history has greatly expanded and the methodological approaches have undergone evolution. We think it is time, therefore, to reflect on the body of scholarship produced by historians since the early 1990s – to consider its impact on the teaching, researching, and writing of women’s history since then and also to look forward to where the field is headed.

The conference theme focuses on one of the core goals of women’s history, which has been to make women visible, therefore we invite papers that address ‘visibility’ from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The conference committee particularly invites proposals for individual papers and panels that reflect Barbara’s areas of research, speak to the theme of visibility and consider the generation of scholarship since the early 1990s with a view to what has changed and what challenges lie ahead. We are especially keen to receive paper proposals from postgraduates as well as those working in the arts and heritage sector.


Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a short biographical statement by 31 August 2015 to

If you wish to propose a panel, please provide a panel title, along with abstracts and biographical statements for each presenter, and submit it to by 31 August 2015.

Conference committee: Jane Adams, Katie Cooper, Jane McCabe, Sarah Christie and Angela Wanhalla (University of Otago)

Lecture on the August Offensive

The next Global Dunedin lecture will take place this Sunday, August 9th, in the Toitu Auditorium, beginning at 2pm. It is being delivered by Seán Brosnahan, a well-known local historian and curator, who will discuss the fighting at Gallipoli that came to a thundering crescendo in the August Offensive. Its failure, despite the heroic roles played by the Otago Infantry and the Otago Mounted Rifles, was the death knell of the Dardanelles campaign. Come along to hear an excellent public speaker mark the 100th anniversary of that ill-fated offensive.

Visiting Scholar

Associate Professor Tamara Loos (Cornell University, New York) is visiting the University of Otago this week. While here she will give a public lecture on Tuesday 4th August on the topic of Biography and Islam in Thai history. This talk will tae place at 5pm in the Quad 1 lecture theatre, and all are welcome. Click here for further information about this talk. While in Dunedin Associate Professor Loos will give a research seminar in the Department of History and Art History Seminar Room (second floor Arts Building, room N8), beginning at noon on Wednesday 5th August. Her talk will will explore the social history of nineteenth and early twentieth century Siam through the lens of a prince, reluctantly drawn into rebellion. Please come along!


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