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Author Archives: Angela Wanhalla

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.


Ernest Scott Prize 2016

The shortlist for the Australian Historical Association’s prestigious Ernest Scott Prize has been announced. On the list is the Centre’s director, Professor Tony Ballantyne, for his book Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Māori and the Question of the Body (Auckland University Press, 2015).  The Ernest Scott Prize is awarded to the book that has made the most distinguished contribution to Australian or New Zealand history or the history of colonisation.

The judges describe Entanglements of Empire as “a smart, engaging and intelligent new work, which carefully blends New Zealand historical research with new theoretical readings inspired by international scholarship. Pushing disciplinary boundaries, its novel approach in reading the early Missionary-Maori dynamic in a new light, makes this book a new spin on an ‘old’ topic. Employing new frames of reference, guided by a focus on spatial interaction and physical embodiment, this book will invite further re-readings of the early colonial encounter period in New Zealand. Elegantly written, grounded in solid primary research, Entanglements of Empire is focused on re-thinking the history of early colonial New Zealand.”

The winner will be announced at the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Lecture, University of Melbourne, on 26 April.

Congratulations Tony, and good luck!

Colonial Formations Conference


Colonial Formations: Connections and Collisions

University of Wollongong 24–25 November 2016

Keynote speakers:

Professor Clare Anderson, University of Leicester

Professor Jane Lydon, University of Western Australia

Dr Alice Te Punga Somerville, Macquarie University

Dr Virginia Marshall, University of Wollongong

This conference will explore colonial formations from a range of historical, contemporary and interdisciplinary perspectives. In particular it seeks to foreground the local and regional particularities of colonial dynamics alongside those of the more studied arena of ‘imperial formations’. We seek to continue the work of decentring the metropole, as well as to shed light on its enduring power and purchase. The conference’s framing themes of ‘connections’ and ‘collisions’ encourages enquiry into processes of borrowing, negotiation and collaboration, as well as contestation, conflict and Indigenous resurgence and mobilisation.

The conference also serves to mark the recent formation of the Colonial and Settler Studies Network (CASS) at the University of Wollongong. CASS promotes critical inquiry into the history, theoretical framing, and contemporary manifestations of colonialism on a global scale. We particularly foster work that places colonial and settler colonial formations in comparative and connected frames, and promote collaboration between scholars of diverse colonialisms.

Paper proposals might consider the following themes: Indigenous and subaltern networks and exchanges; Settler colonialism and its relation to other colonial formations past and present; Colonial mobilities and movements across different colonial spaces; Collaborations/resistance/resurgence/cultural activism; Violence and violations; Citizenship and the production of difference; Biopolitics and colonialism/settler colonialism; Gender and sexualities; The politics of memory

We are calling for proposals for both individual papers (20mins) and panels of up to 3 speakers (90mins). Proposals should include a 250-word abstract and a 50-word biographical statement for each speaker. For panels, please also include a title and brief rationale for the panel as a whole. Please send proposals to by 10 June 2016.

The conference will be preceded on 23 November 2016 by an interdisciplinary one-day masterclass for postgraduates and early career researchers — ‘Confronting Colonialism’. This will be led by Professors Clare Anderson and Jane Lydon, along with CASS members. Participants will be mentored to develop their conference papers for submission as journal articles. Some travel bursaries will be available. Places are limited. Interested postgraduates and early career researchers who are submitting a paper for the conference can request a masterclass application form by emailing

We anticipate that one or more journal special issues will develop from the conference proceedings.


Public Lecture on Visualizing Cultural Heritage

The Department of English and Linguistics, the Postcolonial Studies Research Network, and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture are pleased to host Professor Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, from 14-18 March, 2016. Professor Ghosh-Schellhorn holds the Inaugural Chair in Transcultural Anglophone Studies at Saarland University. Her wide-ranging research areas include literary and cultural studies, popular culture, intermediality, popular and art-house film, diaspora studies, memory studies, museology, material culture, pedagogy and curriculum development and the canon.

While at Otago, she will give two presentations, to which all are invited.

Open Lecture

Tuesday 15 March, 5.15pm-6.15pm, Archway 2 Lecture Theatre

Hosted by The Postcolonial Studies Research Network and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture

“Re-Configuring Government Houses: Virtual Models and Life-Worlds in Transcultural Perspective”

This talk concerns a fresh approach to visualizing cultural heritage in a Transcultural Anglophone Studies (TAS) context. In collaboration with Artificial Intelligence experts, we have undertaken research into the material history of Empire so as to re-visit received historiographies with an aim to revising them in the light of contemporary analytical tools. The focus is on British Government Houses in transcultural perspective.

What was it like to live in a British Government House? I would like to use TAS’s xml 3D virtual model of Government House Calcutta (1803-) to demonstrate the advantages of using computer technology to support research into the field of colonial architecture by incorporating into it evidence of the various life-worlds found here. Besides taking a virtual 360o tour of the building and its grounds, we will also be zooming in to one of its most representative interiors, the Throne Room. Accompanying us on our tour are a selection of the epistolary, autobiographical, as well as pictorial materials left us by the former incumbents of the House, the objects that they chose to be surrounded by, and the current use to which this still-functioning edifice is being put.


Department of English and Linguistics seminar presentation

Friday 18 March, 4.00-m-5.00pm, in Burns 4 Lecture Theatre

“Representing the Beautiful Forevers: Subaltern Lives Straight From the Page to the Stage?”

This talk, freely borrowed as its title is from Katherine Boo’s National Book Award winner, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (2012), seeks to address the problematic field of the so-called ‘Third World’ slum. I will be looking at Boo’s text as a project that sets out to (re-)present, for a ‘global’ readership, the lives of these Others, before moving to a recent example of another ‘global’ project: the much praised Behind the Beautiful Forevers as scripted by David Hare and performed by the National Theatre (Nov. 2014 – April 2015). What, we could ask, are the consequences when Boo’s narrative about Mumbai slum ‘dwellers’ [sic] is adapted for a mainstream British stage? Should we join the critics in their almost unanimous praise of a successful and, moreover, prescient transcultural stage production that claims to be ‘epic theatre’? What exactly are the implications of this packaging for consumption of subaltern life-narratives?


In Search of Almighty Voice

In this talk Professor Bill Waiser examines why the Willow Cree man Almighty Voice was the most wanted fugitive in Canada in the late nineteenth century and how his story and fate have been interpreted since his violent 1897 death at the hands of the North West Mounted Police.

The Centre is delighted to be hosting award-winning historian Bill Waiser (University of Saskatchewan), who will give a talk on his current research project on Wednesday March 9th in Burns 5 (Arts Building), beginning at 3.30.

Bill specializes in western Canadian history. He has been awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, granted a D.Litt., and is a University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Chair (Distinguished Professor Emeritus). His most notable publications include: Saskatchewan: A New History (2005), winner of the Clio Prize, Canadian Historical Association; and with Blair Stonechild, Loyal Till Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion (1997), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction.

This talk is free and open to the public. Please come along!


Four Waves of Feminism

If you missed last month’s Making Women Visible conference, or there were papers on the programme you wanted to see, but couldn’t, then you’re in luck! The Dowse in Lower Hutt is hosting a one-day symposium, Four Waves of Feminism, on 8 April that brings together presenters from the conference, and others, to discuss feminism in contemporary art, art history and curating. This is going to be a popular event, so make sure you register your interest in attending ASAP!


Public Lecture on Reproductive Politics in South Africa

Associate Professor Susanne Klausen (Carleton University), an award-winning historian who has published widely on aspects of reproductive rights in South Africa, is visiting the University of Otago as a Williams Evans Fellow. Her first book was Race, Maternity, and the Politics of Birth Control in South Africa (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), and her most recent publication is Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and Women’s Reproductive Rights in South Africa (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

Associate Professor Klausen will give a public lecture on the topic “From Rights to Justice: The Ongoing Struggle for Women’s Reproductive Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa” on 1 March (Tuesday). Her talk begins at 5.30 in Archway 2 Lecture Theatre and is open to the public. All are welcome!


History, Psychotherapy, Families and Mental Illness

These topics were all covered by Associate Professor Sally Swartz (University of Cape Town) in two talks at the University of Otago on February 18th. Sally is a clinical psychologist and directs the Child Guidance Clinic at her university, teaches in the Department of Psychology, and combines these roles with an interest in history. She has published extensively on colonial asylums, mobility and mental illness in South Africa. Her latest book is Homeless Wanderers: Movement and Mental Illness in the Cape Colony in the late nineteenth century (UCT Press, 2015).

While in Dunedin Sally gave a brilliant workshop, The Archive and the Person: History and Psychotherapy, reflecting on the intersections between her two areas of expertise. She discussed the various ways in which her work as a clinical psychologist influences and shapes the way she intervenes in and reads colonial archives, particularly asylum case files. She explained how psychotherapy and history can be brought together in meaningful ways, particularly in relation to interpreting and understanding the embodied experiences of patients and families.

Associate Professor Swartz

Associate Professor Swartz

Sally also gave a public lecture entitled Families, Emotion and Attachment: Insights from the Past to the Present, in which she discussed how families kept their links, or didn’t, with their relatives in mental institutions. Experiences varied, but South Africa’s Jewish community, in particular, was one group that actively supported each other in times of family breakdown and stress. Those who lacked family support were less fortunate. From both these talks, Sally demonstrated that some aspects of mental health have not changed, notably the parsimonious official funding for psychiatric health services. Medical knowledge, though, has advanced immeasurably.

CRoCC was pleased to host Sally, and thanks Barbara Brookes for inviting her to Dunedin.

Sally Swartz and Barbara Brookes

Sally Swartz and Barbara Brookes


Making Women Visible Conference

A highly successful conference on women’s history was held this week at the University of Otago. It began with a keynote address and public lecture from Professor Barbara Brookes at Otago Museum’s Hutton Theatre, which was filled to capacity, followed by the launch of Barbara’s new book, A History of New Zealand Women (Bridget Williams Books) in the museum’s Atrium. A large and excited crowd gathered to celebrate this achievement.

The publication of Barbara’s landmark survey history of New Zealand women was marked by a conference, Making Women Visible, which had over 70 papers on the programme and attracted 150 delegates from across New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa. Organised by Centre member Angela Wanhalla, and Jane McCabe, Katie Cooper, Sarah Christie and Jane Adams, with help from Emma Gattey, Violeta Gilabert and Radhika Raghav, the conference was made possible with financial support from CRoCC, the University of Otago’s Continuing Education Fund, and the Women’s Studies Association of New Zealand. This funding support enabled the organisers to put together a diverse programme, host a special forum on women’s history in the public sphere, as well as bring outstanding scholars to Dunedin as keynote speakers.

You can find out more about the conference at Storify, where the organisers have collated social media comment, photos and video of the proceedings. Also see the Making Women Visible Album on the University of Otago’s Department of History and Art History Facebook page to view images of the book launch and the conference. A much fuller description of the conference will appear on the New Zealand Women’s History Caucus Blog soon.

Here are a few images from the launch and conference. Click pictures to enlarge.


Dorothy Page and Philippa Mein Smith

Dorothy Page and Philippa Mein Smith



Marian Quartly and Diane Kirkby


Katherine Milburn, Judy Bennett and Jacqui Leckie

Katherine Milburn, Judy Bennett and Jacqui Leckie


A large crowd awaits Barbara's keynote lecture at the Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum

A large crowd awaits Barbara’s keynote lecture at the Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum


Barbara addressed the audience on the topic of caring and care work

Barbara addressed the audience on the topic of caring and care work


Crowds gather for the launch of A History of New Zealand Women

Crowds gather for the launch of A History of New Zealand Women


A brisk trade ensued

A brisk trade ensued


Heather Devere and Kelli Te Maihāroa both presented at the conference

Heather Devere and Kelli Te Maihāroa both presented at the conference


Paerau Warbrick and Pamela Gerrish Nunn

Paerau Warbrick and Pamela Gerrish Nunn


Melissa Matutina Williams gave a keynote address on the intersections between Māori and Pākehā women's histories

Melissa Matutina Williams gave a keynote address on the intersections between Māori and Pākehā women’s histories


Frances Steel's keynote explored women's mobility, modernity and maritime history

Frances Steel’s keynote explored women’s mobility, modernity and maritime history


Friends and collaborators: Margaret Tennant, Charlotte MacDonald and Barbara Brookes

Friends and collaborators: Margaret Tennant, Charlotte Macdonald and Barbara Brookes

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!


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