It is great news that the University of Otago has refunded the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture for a further five years, one of just twelve “flagship research centres”.
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie noted, the University’s funding and other support of its flagship research centres and research themes is an important way of ensuring the internationally outstanding work of its researchers, across a wide range disciplines, is encouraged and nurtured. “We recognise that our researchers in these centres and themes are often world-leading in many areas and we are pleased to be able to back them to pursue excellence in their fields.”
The Centre now has two co-directors, Professor Tony Ballantyne and Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla. A number of events are planned over the coming years, about which information will be forthcoming soon.
A good crowd came to the Hocken Library for the launch of Erik Olssen’s new book, Working Lives c.1900: A Photographic Essay. Erik, an Emeritus Professor of the Department of History and Art History, is a particularly engaged member of the Centre. This book came out of his research for An Accidental Utopia?: Social Mobility & the Foundations of an Egalitarian Society, 1880–1940, a book he published with Clyde Griffen and Frank Jones in 2009, also with Otago University Press.
Erik encountered a lot of photographs that he was unable to include in An Accidental Utopia, and it was on the advice of the previous Otago University Press publisher, Wendy Harrex, that he went on to produce this wonderful volume.