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.

Research Talk by Samia Khatun

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

Dr. Samia Khatun, who is a guest of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, will give a research presentation to the Department of History and Art History on Wednesday 18th September.

The title of her talk is ‘Placing Indian Ocean Travellers: Aboriginal Language Stories about South Asian Workers in the Australian Interior, 1860-1930′.

ABSTRACT: Late on a Tuesday afternoon in c.1895, two young Aboriginal sisters were waiting at Alberrie Creek railway siding in the South Australian desert, when two Muslim men on camels rode past on their way to the nearby dam. Upon sighting the waiting girls, the men brought their beasts to a sudden halt. To the dismay of the sisters, ‘the train was running late.’ The story of what happened that evening at Alberrie Creek railway siding remains in the oral records of Arabunna people today and is a tale of two intersecting geographies rarely examined together: An Indian Ocean world peopled by itinerant peddlers and princes and arid Australian deserts criss-crossed by paths of Aboriginal mobility. With close attention to Arabunna language tales of sexualised encounter between distinct subject peoples of the British Empire, I examine the space/place politics that belie Arabunna memories of Indian Ocean travellers in Australian deserts.

Samia’s talk will take place in Burns 5, Arts Building, University of Otago starting at 3.30.

See you there!


Paper Work

Friday, May 17th, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

Professor Tony Ballantyne (Otago) and Associate Professor Craig Robertson (Northeastern University), who is spending his sabbatical in the Department of History and Art History, have organised two events that explore the history and meaning of paper work.

On Thursday evening 23 May (5.30 Burns 2) the distinguished media historian Professor Lisa Gitelman (NYU) will deliver a public lecture entitled the ‘The Social Life of Paper’.

On Friday 24 May there will be a one day research symposium at the Hocken Collections on ‘Paper Work: The Materials and Practices of  Modern Information Cultures’. The programme is below. Please email Tony if you would like to attend:

Paper Work: The Materials and Practices of  Modern Information Cultures

9.20am: Welcome


Barbara Brookes, Committed by Paper: Incoherence and Accountability in the Seacliff Asylum Files

Jane McCabe, The Kalimpong Files: Private and Confidential

Mark Seymour, Pursuing Paper to an Archival Silence: Same-Sex Acts in Nineteenth-Century Italy


Stephen Robertson (University of Sydney), Private Detectives and the Paper Work of Surveillance in the US, 1855-1939

Craig Robertson (Northeastern University), Handling Information: File Clerks, Efficiency, and the Emergence of the Modern Office


Tim Rowse (University of Western Sydney), Tabulating Indigenous Populations: Colonial Knowledge in Two Dimensions

Tony Ballantyne, Paper and the Work of Empire: Bureaucracy and British Colonialism

Research Seminar on Transnational Indigenous Women’s Activism

Friday, February 22nd, 2013 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

On  March 1st the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture will co-host a research seminar by visiting scholar Professor Margaret D. Jacobs, University of Nebraska. Her seminar is entitled: “Transnational Indigenous Women’s Activism and the Indigenous Child Welfare Crisis, 1960-1980s.’

Prof. Jacobs will consider how American, Canadian, and Australian Indigenous women worked together to challenge the epidemic numbers of Indigenous children who were being removed from their families to be fostered and adopted by non-Indigenous families from the 1950s up to the 1980s. The seminar will take place on Friday March 1st in the Department of History and Art History seminar room (2N8) at noon.


Gandhi and Slow Reading

Monday, December 10th, 2012 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

The Centre was fortunate to have Isabel Hofmeyr (University of Witwatersrand) give a stimulating seminar on 3 December.

Professor Hofmeyr explored the presses of turn-of-the-century Natal, focusing specifically on Gandhi’s Indian Opinion, produced by the International Printing Company.  Although this multi-lingual newspaper was originally based in Durban, Gandhi shifted it to his ashram at Phoenix in 1904, where its various inhabitants shared the production work. Professor Hofmeyr argues that Indian Opinion was printed not only inform and inspire people, but that its design was part of a larger vision to slow down the process of reading, that he saw increasingly tied to the pace of modern industrialized life.  Gandhi’s experiences in newspaper publishing helped develop his later philosophy.

Professor Hofmeyr’s seminar is based on research that will be appearing in Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading (Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2013). We urge you to buy it!


Vicente Diaz Seminar

Sunday, December 9th, 2012 | Lachlan Paterson | No Comments

The Department of History and Art History and the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture are delighted to be hosting a talk by renowned indigenous scholar, Vicente M. Diaz (American Indian Studies and Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The talk will take place on Tuesday 11 December at 10.00-11.15 AM in the History & Art History seminar room, 2N8, Burns Building.  His title is: ’Voyaging Ancient Futures’

Abstract: This multimedia talk presents two decades of outrigger canoe voyaging in Micronesia, and in the US Heartland (Michigan and Illinois), to broach alternative ways of reimagining the links between history and future, and links between narratology and archives.  This work ranges from building and sailing traditional voyaging canoes to more recent work in advanced visualization technology (3-D, Virtual, and Augmented Reality) enroute to producing virtual voyaging and simulating atolls and their cultural practices as a counter archive.



Practice Conference Presentations

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | Lachlan Paterson | 1 Comment

Megan Ellison and Lachy Paterson of Te Tumu are two thirds of the panel “He Kōrero, he Tuhituhinga: Utilizing Indigneous-Language Texts”, presenting at the upcoming Pacific History Conference in Wellington later next week.

They will be giving their presentations as a “dry-run” at 2pm on Monday (3 December) in Te Iringa Kōrero (R3S10) on the third floor of Te Tumu.

Lachy’s topic is “He Reo Wāhine: Māori Women’s Voices from the Nineteenth Century” which discusses Angela Wanhalla’s and his research on Māori women’s voices in the archives.  Megan’s topic, “Te Ripa Tauārai o kā Reo e Rua: the Crossroads of Two Languages”, investigates some of the texts she will be using for her doctoral study.

If interested, please feel free to come along.

Research Seminar

Saturday, November 17th, 2012 | Angela Wanhalla | No Comments

Professor Isabel Hofmeyr (University of Witwatersrand), author of The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim’s Progress (2004), will give a research seminar co-sponsored by the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture and the Centre for the Book on Monday, December 3rd. Her talk, ‘Gandhi’s South African newspaper Indian Opinion: Towards a Theory of the Imperial Textual Commons’, will take place in the Humanities Division Meeting Room from 10.00 AM until 11.15AM. Please join us for what will be a fascinating research seminar.