Moving Texts

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

Mark your diaries! Prof. Tony Ballantyne, Director of the Centre for Research on Culture, is giving a research talk titled “Moving Texts: Humanitarian Narratives and the British Empire in the 1820s and 1830s” as part of the Department of History and Art History’s Research Seminar Series. Tony’s talk will take place on March 26th in Burns 5 (Arts Building, University of Otago) and begins at 3.30.

CFP: Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters

Friday, January 17th, 2014 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters: A Multidisciplinary Conference

24-26 November 2014
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Historical and contemporary global migration involves a range of cross-cultural encounters, but how are these interactions discussed, debated, and defined? This three-day multidisciplinary conference seeks to examine past and present migrant encounters with other peoples in a diverse range of locations. Papers from various disciplinary angles are welcome from a variety of themes and from any historical period or region.

Themes may include but are not limited to:

  • Race, ethnicity and citizenship
  • War, migration and cross-cultural contact
  • Labour, migration and cross-cultural encounters
  • Empire, contact and mobility
  • Gender, migration, and cross-cultural encounters

Please provide:

  • a title
  • a 250-word abstract of your paper
  • brief biographical information (including institutional affiliation and contact details).

All proposals will be assessed after the deadline of Friday 11 July 2014. If you require an earlier acceptance please advise us.

Proposals or requests for further information should be sent to:

The conference is sponsored by four key multidisciplinary research hubs in the Division of Humanities at the University of Otago:


For further information see the website (click the highlighted text).




Crowns and Colonies: Monarchies and Colonial Empires

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

An international conference convened by Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery

With a keynote address by Professor Miles Taylor, Director of the Institute for Historical Research, University of London, on Queen Victoria and India

Department of History,
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
University of Sydney
11-13 June 2014

From the time of Alexander the Great and the Roman Caesars down to the empire of Queen Victoria and beyond, monarchism and imperialism have often been linked – indeed, republican colonial empires have been notable exceptions in international history. Napoleon III dreamed of constructing an ‘Arab kingdom’, Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, King Leopold created his own realm the Congo, and Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel III was named Emperor of Ethiopia. Even today the Commonwealth of Nations is bound together by the figure of the British monarch, and the Danish queen reigns over Greenland and the Faeroe Islands.

Outside of Europe, as well, monarchs ruled over disparate peoples, their hereditary and often sacred positions bringing together under a crown the empires of China, Japan, the Ottoman state and several pre-colonial African empires. Non-Western monarchs – Zulu chieftains, Indian maharajahs, Emperor Haile Selassie, the king of Korea among others – were themselves often displaced by imperial conquest. Nationalist movements sometimes campaigned for the restoration of dynasties, at other times for abandonment of ‘feudal’ rule.

This international conference, and a proposed collection of essays commissioned from participants, explores the links between crowned rulers and their colonial possessions. Paper proposals are invited on any historical period or region.

Themes may include but are not limited to:

  • different theories of kingship in relation to colonial empire;
  • royal initiatives in colonial expansion and patronage of colonial expeditions, chartered companies and learned societies;
  • the legal position and prerogatives of monarchs in colonial systems;
  • interventions by monarchs in colonial politics and governance;
  • royal visits to colonies (and visits by colonial rajas, sultans and other rulers to colonial metropoles);
  • royal personages in the colonial military and administration; representations of monarchs in colonies (statues, buildings, artwork) and commemoration of royal births, anniversaries and deaths; royal honours, decorations and investitures;
  • movements for the restoration of indigenous dynasties abolished by colonial authorities;
  • the repercussions of metropolitan and nationalist republicanism and dissolution of monarchies in the colonial world;
  • and links between former colonies and monarchies (as in the Commonwealth).

Please send proposals of papers by 15 February 2014

Please include the following:

  • Your academic or professional affiliation and full contact details (email, telephone and postal address)
  • The title of your proposed presentation
  • A 250-word abstract
  • A one-page cv or list of your major publications

All proposals will be assessed after the deadline of 15 February 2014.

Please note that there will be no registration fee for the conference. There will be a conference dinner at participants’ own expense.


Cowan Symposium: Draft Programme

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

The draft programme for the forthcoming James Cowan Symposium (21 February at the National Library, Wellington) is now available.



9-9.30: coffee, muffins

9.30-10.45: Mihi and welcome followed by a Keynote lecture from Chris Hilliard, University of Sydney

Chair: Annabel Cooper




11.00-12.30: Session One (Chair: Paul Diamond)

Robert Joseph and Paul Meredith/On The Maniapoto O&T Report

Te Kenehi Teira/Historic Places on Rangiaowhia/recording sites

David Green /Commemorating Chivalry and Unity?




1.30-3.00: Session Two (Chair: David Colquhoun)

Ariana Tikao/ Tales from the Border

Kathryn Parsons/ The Enzed Junior

Jim Frood/ Cowan for Secondary School Students




3.15-5.00: Session Three (Chair: Angela Wanhalla)

Roger Blackley/ The Plutarch of Maoriland

Lydia Wevers/ Romance of the Rail

Annabel Cooper and Diane Pivac/ Filmed History: Cowan’s Screen Legacy


Wrap-Up Comments: Tony Ballantyne, University of Otago


5.30 Drinks


NZHA Conference Makes History

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

The recent New Zealand Historical Association Conference, which held at the University of Otago from 20-22 November 2013, was special for a number of reasons. For the first time a panel session was offered in te reo Maori. Organised by CRoCC member Lachy Paterson, the te reo panel was both pioneering and well-received. Congratulations to Lachy and his co-panellists, Megan Potiki (Te Tumu) and Migoto Eria (Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery) on this fine achievement.

Lachy Paterson, Megan Potiki and Migoto Eria

The NZHA conference also saw the premiere of a documentary, Children of War, a major outcome from Professor Judy Bennett’s Marsden-funded project on the fate of the children fathered by American servicemen with Indigenous women during the Pacific War. This was a particularly special event because Arthur Beren, who features in the documentary, was in attendance and spoke at the premiere as did Steven Talley, the producer of the documentary. Click on the highlighted text to read an Otago Daily Times story on the film.

Congratulations to the NZHA on a fine event and for making history by including a te reo panel and a film screening at the biennial conference for the very first time!


Register for the James Cowan Symposium

Monday, November 18th, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

The registration portal for the Cultural Go-Between, Colonial Man: New Perspectives on James Cowan Symposium is now open. Click on the highlighted text, which will take you to the portal.

The Cowan Symposium is co-hosted by the Alexander Turnbull Library, and takes place at The National Library in Wellington on 21 February 2014. Keynote speaker is Associate Professor Chris Hilliard, University of Sydney.



Considering Performance in Colonial Culture

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

A special issue of the Journal of New Zealand Studies on Colonial Performance has just been released. It features essays by a number of the Centre’s members, notably Tom Brooking and John Stenhouse, and the volume was edited by Barbara Brookes. Congratulations to all involved in creating this special issue!


Inaugural Mary Boyd Prize

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

The New Zealand Historical Association is calling for submissions to be considered for the inaugural Mary Boyd Prize.  This award is for the best article on any aspect of New Zealand history published in a refereed journal between April 2011 and April 2013.  It will be presented at the NZHA’s biennial conference to beheld in Dunedin this November.

Please visit the New Zealand Historical Association webpage for full details.