Please join us for the final talk in the Global Dunedin Lecture Series, which will be given by award-winning historian of urban culture and heritage, Dr. Ben Schrader, on Sunday 14 October. Ben will speak about the global influences on Dunedin’s 19th century architecture, focusing in particular on the built environment of Princes Street.
Ben’s talk is a free event and will be held at Toitū’s Auditorium on Sunday 14 October.
Our next Global Dunedin lecture will be presented by Dr. Michelle Schaaf (Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies) on Sunday 9 September. She will discuss the migration of Pacific families to Dunedin, focusing in particular on the role of female leadership within these pioneer families, especially their contribution to the city’s Pacific communities. Join us at 2pm on Sunday at Toitū’s Auditorium for this free event.
In her Global Dunedin Lecture at Toitū on 12 August, Lea Doughty (PhD Candidate, School of Pharmacy) used a life history approach to track the wartime experiences of pharmacists who served with New Zealand forces during World War I. Lea’s research is on military medicine during the Great War, focusing on pharmacy and the ANZAC forces. Her Global Dunedin lecture touched on the reasons why pharmacy and pharmacists are often a forgotten aspect of New Zealand’s histories of World War I, largely because their work takes place at a distance from the main event, or they were diverted into other military roles. In total, 192 men who had worked as pharmacists served with New Zealand forces, 18 of whom were born in Dunedin. Of the 192 men, 27 died on active service. These included William Sloan, the first pharmacist to enlist, who died of wounds he sustained at Gallipoli, and Harold Dodds of Port Chalmers who died at Passchendaele in October 1917. Looking wider than the Dunedin cohort, Lea highlighted the range of roles pharmacists were given. William Brosnahan, from the West Coast, was utilised as a vet in the Imperial Camel Corps. Interestingly, there was one Māori chemist who served with the New Zealand forces. Jack Hiroti attained the rank of Sergeant in World War I, and went on to serve with distinction in World War II with the 28th Māori Battalion. Many thanks to Lea for providing an interesting insight into a little known aspect of New Zealand’s military history, and for bringing to light the personal histories of these servicemen.
Our next Global Dunedin Lecture will be presented by Lea Doughty (PhD candidate, School of Pharmacy, University of Otago) on Sunday 12 August at Toitū (for details see poster). In this talk Lea will discuss the pharmacists who served in New Zealand forces during World War 1, trace some of their experiences during and after the war, and place this history into the context of the global history of military medicine. This is a free talk and all are welcome!
The latest instalment of the Global Dunedin Lecture Series was given by Dr. Rosi Crane (Honorary Curator, Otago Museum) on Sunday July 8th. Her subject was the global trade in animal skeletons, exotic birds, and pelts that underpinned the establishment of Otago Museum’s early collections. This was a truly global trade in which the museum’s earliest curators were enthusiastic participants. In exchange for moa bones and whale skeletons, Otago Museum received exotic overseas specimens. An early example was a giraffe skeleton from a Paris museum acquired in 1874. A key currency, highly desired by international museums, moa bones were sent to Liverpool, Sydney, Aberystwyth, and many other locations. Specimens were also obtained opportunistically, but also through a network of commercial dealers located across the globe. Many thanks to Rosi for sharing her research with a large crowd who were left enthralled and astounded by the global reach of Otago Museum’s collection.
In June, the Centre was delighted to host one of our favourite historians, Dr. Kate Bagnall, who was visiting Dunedin to conduct research at local archives for her current project tracing Chinese naturalisation across the British colonies. Kate also kindly presented on an aspect of this research in our Global Dunedin speaker series. In her talk she traced the legal and personal histories of naturalisation, connecting the Dunedin experience into a larger Australasian setting, arguing that tracing naturalisation processes and records helps to uncover different histories of migration and mobility from the standard narrative of single male sojourners. This is particularly important research because Chinese presence in the British colonies is often told through a focus on exclusion and immigration restriction. Incredibly, Kate also presented fresh research barely hours old from her visit to the Dunedin archives, revealing that there were 450 Chinese who naturalised in New Zealand prior to 1908, with 197 of those in Otago. The first in Otago was Louis Gay Tan in 1870. We thank Kate for a wonderful lecture and wish her all the best for the research project.
Our next Global Dunedin lecture will be given by Dr. Rosi Crane on July 8 on the international trade in museum specimens during the nineteenth century. When the Otago University Museum opened in its new building on Great King Street in 1877, amongst other things there was a giraffe skeleton, a stuffed lion, several monkeys, and innumerable birds from Australia, Europe, India and New Zealand. From the outset the collections were international. Many of the exotic animals came to Dunedin from commercial dealers from London, Sydney, Bremen and Prague. Some of the purchase money came from limited museum funds but most came from trading moa bones. Kiwi and kakapo skins had their value too but they were not as valuable as moa. A few scraps of correspondence has survived which tells us the price that these animals fetched, what else the dealers had to offer and what the curators wanted to fill perceived gaps. The business of supplying museums with specimens was extensive and Dunedin was part of this global network of supply and demand. The story of how historical commercial trade practices have impacted on the Museum is told here for the first time.
We’re really delighted to be hosting Kate Bagnall (University of Wollongong) for our next Global Dunedin Lecture at Toitū on Sunday 10 June. Kate is currently researching the stories of Chinese migrants who sought citizenship in Canada, Australia and New Zealand between 1860 and 1920. As she notes, the history of Chinese naturalisation in British settler colonies of the Pacific Rim is hidden, mostly because it has been seen through the lens of Chinese exclusion, a history of when it was prohibited by law rather than of when it was allowed. In this project, Kate is exploring the lives of naturalised Chinese, intertwining biographies and case studies with historical analysis of naturalisation law and policy, linking lives with legislation. Her aim is to understand why and in what circumstances Chinese migrants became British subjects, and what it meant for them.
Kate will discuss aspects of this research project at her Global Dunedin Lecture “Gold Mountain Guests”. This is a free event and open to the public. Hope to see you there!
In conjunction with Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, the Centre hosted the third lecture in the Global Dunedin Speaker Series on Sunday 13 May. Dr. Jill Haley, Curator Human History at Canterbury Museum, and a former archivist at Toitū, spoke to an attentive audience about album culture in colonial Otago and how engagement in this practice helped forge personal identity. In a richly illustrated talk, Jill discussed some the findings from her recent doctorate titled The Colonial Family Album: photography and identity in Otago, 1848-1890 (which can be downloaded from the University of Otago’s library here), which examined over 50 albums from Toitū’s collection. Although it might be assumed that albums were used by migrants to remember family and to assert familial connections to their former homes (whether Scotland, England or Ireland), instead the majority of album makers collected and displayed photographs that asserted their connections to their new home in the Otago colony. But album makers also included photographs that illuminated the global dimensions of their personal connections, including Priscilla Scott’s, which included images relating to places she visited with family, notably Peru, Hawaii and the United States. Increasingly, album makers also purchased photographs of local and international celebrities, as well as the the British Royal Family, for their collection.
Many thanks to Jill for a fantastic and illuminating talk that provided an insight into how the global practices of photography and album culture were shaped by local conditions and utilised to narrate personal identity.
The Centre’s monthly Global Dunedin Lecture Series resumes on Sunday 13 May with a talk by Dr. Jill Haley (Canterbury Museum), who will discuss the role of colonial photography and album-making in shaping the identities of Otago’s 19th century settlers. Jill’s talk will take place at Toitū’s Auditorium, starting at 2pm. All welcome!
Professor Charlotte Macdonald from Victoria University drew a large crowd to the Centre’s second Global Dunedin lecture at Toitū Settlers Museum today. Charlotte brought Dunedin into the larger picture of the global circulation of soldiers and their belongings that stretched between Britain, India and the rest of the Empire. Her wide-ranging talk included the 70th Regiment who were transferred from India (where they had fought during the Indian Rebellion) to Auckland in 1861. While some stayed in the North Island and fought in the Waikato campaign, one contingent was transferred to Dunedin where they established themselves on what eventually became the Arthur St School. Soon after gold had been discovered in Central Otago, the contingent helped keep the peace and good order until they left in 1863. Charlotte’s research comes out of her Marsden-funded project, Soliders of Empire: Garrison and Empire in the 19th Century. The talk was followed by a lively question time. Many thanks to Charlotte for her rich and engaging lecture.