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Category Archives: Publications

Wellington celebration

The Centre would like to thank Professor Charlotte Macdonald who organized a celebration for The Lives of Colonial Objects on Monday evening at the Thistle Inn in Wellington.


Thanks to Charlotte Macdonald (right) for organizing this event.

Folk from the capital (from VUW, Te Papa, and others) are well represented in the book, and it was a great opportunity to come together, along with friends and colleagues.  Two of the co-editors, Annabel Cooper and Lachy Paterson, were able to attend from Dunedin.  He mihi nunui, Charlotte, for your passion and your hospitality.


Annabel Cooper (right) chatting with people celebrating the publication of The Lives of Colonial Objects (centre)


Sydney Shep (VUW) and Chris Szekely, Alexander Turnbull Library.

New Publications

Congratulations to Tony Ballantyne and Barbara Brookes on the release of their newest books. Tony’s book, Entanglements of Empire, was released by Duke University Press in late December, with a New Zealand imprint published by Auckland University Press being released in April.





In the past week, a collection of essays co-edited by Barbara Brookes with Canadian colleagues Tracy Penny Light and Wendy Mitchinson (both University of Waterloo), Bodily Subjects: Essays on Gender and Health, 1800-2000, was released by McGill-Queen’s University Press. The collection explores the historical entanglement between gender and health across two centuries and in a variety of locations through essays ranging from the nineteenth-century British Poor Laws, an Aboriginal reserve in 20th century Queensland, AIDS activists on the streets of Toronto in the 1990s.


Congratulations Barbara and Tony!

Liam McIlvanney wins Ngaio Marsh Award

Great news about CROCC member, Professor Liam McIlvanney.

Press Release by Craig Sisterson:

An exceptional thriller entwined with national and workplace politics, sectarian warfare, and the changing face and influence of the newspaper industry has won University of Otago Professor of Scottish Studies Liam McIlvanney the prestigious Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.

Dunedin-based McIlvanney was announced as the winner, for his “fascinating, brilliant, and challenging” novel WHERE THE DEAD MEN GO, before a packed house at the conclusion of the lively Great New Zealand Crime Debate event at the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival on Saturday 30 August. “In a year where we had our strongest, deepest, and most diverse long list ever, and four truly fantastic finalists, WHERE THE DEAD MEN GO got the nod for its terrific, page-turning storytelling powered by superb prose, fascinating characters, and an evocative sense of place,” said Judging Convenor Craig Sisterson. “It’s the kind of book that lingers in your mind beyond the final page.”

In WHERE THE DEAD MEN GO, Glasgow stands on the precipice: of the Commonwealth Games, a national vote on Scottish independence, and an explosive rekindling of a brutal gangland war. Gerry Conway is a jaded, jobbing journo, the golden child fallen, clinging to the coat-tails of his former protégé, Martin Moir. When Moir’s body is discovered as a big story breaks, Conway steps into his shoes; a very dangerous place, as gangsters, politicians, and other predators swirl around.

The judging panel, consisting of crime fiction experts from New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, called WHERE THE DEAD MEN GO “a thought-provoking novel with very real characters and a fascinating, complex plot”. McIlvanney puts a lot into this book: the state of the news media, what it takes to be a good reporter, politics, family life, and even a New Zealand connection, said one judge. “Excellent writing makes it all fit together very nicely indeed.” Conway was described by the judges as “an unlikely hero perhaps, as the mainstream media around the world are going down the gurgler… he keeps digging away like a real reporter should, even when his bosses are less than supportive.”


The Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, established in 2010, is named for Dame Ngaio Marsh, who is renowned worldwide as one of the four Queens of Crime of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Dame Ngaio published 32 novels featuring Inspector Roderick Alleyn between 1934 and her death in 1982. With sales in the millions, and her books still in print to this day, Dame Ngaio is one of New Zealand’s most globally successful authors. Dame Ngaio’s closest living relative, John Dacres-Manning, gave his blessing for the New Zealand crime writing award to be named in her honour, saying that “I know that Dame Ngaio would be so proud… to know that her name is associated with the award”.

In addition to the award itself, McIlvanney, who is the son of famed Scottish novelist and poet William McIlvanney, wins a set of Dame Ngaio’s novels, courtesy of HarperCollins, and a cheque for $1,000 from the Christchurch Writers’ Festival Trust.


Erik Olssen’s Working Lives, National Radio review

Gyles Beckford reviewed Erik Olssen’s Working Lives c. 1900 a photographic essay  today on National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme with Kathryn Ryan.  They described this as “a great book”.  Emeritus Professor Erik Olssen is a treasured member of CROCC.  Click here to listen to the review.  (Length 4′ 44″.)

Click here for publication details.

New Biography on Richard Seddon

photo-34Richard Seddon was a colossal figure in New Zealand politics up to his death in 1906.  His Liberal Party was New Zealand’s first modern political party; his government introduced old age pensions and votes for women, as well as an industrial conciliation and arbitration system.  Seddon was able, for much of his time as Prime Minister, to gain the support from a wide range of the political spectrum, at the same time that the rest of the world marvelled at the country’s “socialist” experiments.

It has been almost 60 years since an authoritative biography of Seddon has appeared, R.M. Burdon’s King Dick.   Until now!  CROCC member, Professor Tom Brooking’s latest book Richard Seddon: King of God’s Own has just been published by Penguin Books, and gives us fresh insights into “the Life and Times of New Zealand’s Longest-serving Prime Minister”.   Congratulations, Tom.

Dr Angela Wanhalla wins Ernest Scott Prize

At the Australian Historical Association conference in Brisbane last night, Matters of the HeartCROCC member Dr Angela Wanhalla was awarded the Ernest Scott Prize for History.  This prize is awarded annually to the book judged to be the most distinguished contribution to the History of Australia or New Zealand or to the history of colonization published in the previous year.

Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand was published by Auckland University Press.

As the judges commented “Angela Wanhalla’s ground breaking history of interracial relationships in New Zealand across two hundred years utilises not only the usual range of church and state records but also personal papers, family and local histories to track the lives of couples whose relationship was sustained over a period of time.  While Maori women left little trace for the historian, Wanhalla uses analysis of images, particularly photography, to overcome some of the gaps and silences in the record. She takes a broad view of coupling which incorporates common law relationships, Maori ceremonies and Christian marriages sanctioned by the State and also takes account of various debates and legislative action in relation to marriage over time.

“Wanhalla draws on the recent work by anthropologists and historians such as Ann Laura Stoler to explore the history of emotion and sentiment as central to these encounters. She historicises the specific context in which these are expressed and how they changed over time in relation to the society and demographics. She notes that interracial relationships in New Zealand have often been used as evidence of ‘gentle colonialism’ but while  her study of intimacy makes an important contribution to overturning simplistic paradigms of race relations on the frontier and beyond,  Wanhalla still  emphasises the framework of gendered and racial power struggles within which these relationships operated.”

Congratulations to Angela for her ongoing success!


“Objects book” progress

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Manuscript ready for sending to Conal.

In February 2013 CROCC held its inaugural conference on “colonial objects”.  This was a successful event attracting academics, librarians, archivists, heritage professionals, and others.  It was always our intention to publish a collection of essays coming out of the conference presentations.  The editors, Annabel Cooper, Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla still have some loose ends to tie up (ably assisted by their RA, Katie Cooper) but are happy to report that our draft is almost ready.  It has now been sent to Conal McCarthy at VUW to read and add a final reflective essay.  Then it will be off to Otago University Press to perform their magic.  Expect it in the bookshops in 2015.  A big thank you to all involved.

New book on the Scots in New Zealand

Last night the book, Unpacking the Kists: The Scots in New Zealand was launched at the University Book Shop, Dunedin, written by Brad Patterson, Tom Brooking, and Jim McAloon, with Rebecca Lenihan and Tanja Bueltmann.  One of the authors,  Professor Tom Brooking, is also a member of our Centre.  The publication is one of  many outputs still emerging from Brad and Tom’s Marsden Grant awarded in 2004.

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Brad Patterson and Tom Brooking celebrating the launch of their new book, Unpacking the Kists. University Book Shop, 25 March 2014.

There was a great turn out for the launch.  Distinguished guest included Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in the Scottish Government; Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner; and Dave Cull, Dunedin mayor.

The term “unpacking the kists” refers to unpacking the many different items from the large boxes that the Scottish immigrants brought with them to the New World.

Unpacking the Kists is being sold last night under a Otago University Press imprint.  It is also published by McGill-Queens University Press in Canada.

Considering Performance in Colonial Culture

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

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.




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