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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
The Centre is delighted to hear that this year’s Hocken Lecture will be given by Professor Tony Ballantyne, the Centre’s director and the Head of the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago. He will talk on ‘Archives, Public Memory and the Work of History’ in the Burns 1 Lecture Theatre, 95 Albany Street, on 6 August, beginning at 5.30pm. This is a free event and all are welcome.
Dr Jane McCabe will give a talk today on Dunedin’s Indian connections, specifically Kalimpong, where Dr. Graham operated an orphanage for Anglo-Indian children. Some of these children were sent to Dunedin in the early decades of the twentieth century. In the afternoon’s talk Jane will discuss the pathways and fate of these children once in New Zealand. Everyone is welcome to attend this free public event, which begins at 2pm in Toitu’s Auditorium.
The Centre is delighted to be hosting Matt Cook, Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck College, University of London, who will give a public lecture based on his latest book at the University of Otago this week. He will discuss his latest book, Queer Domesticities: homosexuality and home life in twentieth century London, to make a case for the importance of domestic space in the making of queer – and here queer male – desires and relationships.
Professor Cook’s lecture will take place in Burns 2 Lecture Theatre (in the Arts Building, 95 Albany Street), on Wednesday 1 July, beginning at 5.15.
This is a free event and all are welcome to attend.
Hope to see you there!
The Centre has recently hosted two riveting research-based talks.
The first, on Sunday 10 May, was part of the Centre’s ongoing project, Global Dunedin. Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith, a biological anthropologist from Genetics Otago gave a public lecture at Toitū: Otago Settlers Museum, “Who do you think you are – Dunedin?”
Lisa discussed the genetic ancestry of Dunedin’s population based on the testing of randomly selected DNA samples. This research is part of the “Africa to Aotearoa” project, in which Lisa looks at the deep ancestry of New Zealanders, which in turn is part of a wider international study, the Genographic project, funded in part by National Geographic. While one might suspect that Dunedin’s genetic make-up is essentially homogenous from its Scottish heritage, the research shows just how diverse Dunedin’s population is, in line with other major cities in New Zealand.
On Thursday, May 15 visiting scholar Dr Aaron Kamugisha gave a CRoCC seminar, “The Caribbean’s Intellectual History through Culture”. Aaron discussed the global impact of Caribbean theorist’s, particularly CLR James, amongst others, on the development and dissemination of anti-colonial thought and intellectual traditions. He placed these theorists in the context of the development of two threads of intellectual history: Caribbean Studies and Caribbean Cultural Studies, but argued that these thinkers ought to be understood in term of Caribbean radical thought.
The next lecture in the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture’s ‘Global Dunedin’ initiative will be given by Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith who will detail some cutting edge research on the deep ancestry of Dunedinites from her “Africa to Aotearoa” project, which looks at the ancestry of New Zealanders. As part of this project over 200 samples were collected from across the population of Dunedin. So who do you think you are, Dunedin? What does the genetic ancestry of Dunedin look like compared to Wellington, or Christchurch or Auckland? What does it tell us about the history of Dunedin?
Lisa’s lecture will take place on Sunday 10th May 2015 at 2:00pm at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum – Auditorium.